December 05, 2005

Platforms so Far are All Disappointments (Where's the Electoral Reform?)

All of the parties so far have released some part of their platform. There is the Conservatives with day care and GST. The NDP have talked about the auto-industry. The Bloc has talked about what else…? Separation. And then there is the Liberals with... Have they really released anything beyond Ignatieff to the wolves? Even the Greens have offered little except the desire to be included.

So far, it has all been disappointing. The two platform pieces by the Conservatives are faulty and full of fluff. The NDP's has been insignificant in scope. The Bloc's is par for the course and the Liberal's is just static in the air. Oh, and Green who?

Whatever happened to originality, vision, innovation? Whatever happened to effective changes and policy, not just politicking? I realize I mention this issue a lot, but so far - I know it's still early – it has been a bunch of the same and nothing. It's disheartening really, especially for me. I left the Liberals for as much to join the NDP. And now they are essentially doing the same. What disappoints me more is that the NDP probably had a real chance to grow their numbers this time, coming off positive reviews for their work in the House. They could have thrown out some real ideas and got even more attention that is positive. But so far they have only squandered their opportunities.

The real change, and one I believe many people will respond to is electoral reform. It can't come from the Liberals (they broke that promise along with many others from the last election) or the Conservatives (perceived to be similarly deceptive) but as a matter of platform policy from the NDP. I think this idea would resonate as something serious, especially if the NDP said they would use this in bargaining with whoever has the minority position. I think this would draw more people to vote for the NDP.

I realize that the Green party has this as a part of their platform. The unfortunate side is that they are still not considered strong enough to get this implemented. And it can be contrived as just an argument of self-preservation. In other words, it's easy to argue for reform when you're not in control to gain attention, but that can ultimately change when you taste power for the first time. Electoral reform, I believe, needs to come from one of the major parties and one that people feel is somewhat honest. I think that leaves only the NDP. But they aren't proposing electoral reform, at least not yet. I think at this point, if a major party wants my vote, an honest policy of electoral reform will probably get it. Hmm, I wonder if I might have to move Quebec…

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)