November 02, 2009

Liberals and NDP Tag Team - A Reboot of Canadian Politics and Government

Liberals and New Democrats together could unseat Harper - thestar.com

Not everyone is going to like this idea. There will be some in both the Liberals and NDP camps that will balk almost instantly at the notion. Conservatives most of all will sneer at it, mock it and say some outlandish things about it. Deep down inside, they'll likely fear it.

Political scientist, Michael Byers, isn't calling for a coalition but calls it a 'ceasefire'. This would mean the two parties will continue to be opponents during the election, offering their own platforms and they'll have no post-election power-sharing agreement. However, the parties, only once, will not run candidates against each other. The party that showed the most weakness in each riding will drop that candidate in favour of the other.

The rest of Byers' piece in the Toronto Star looks at the election reform issue, using this ceasefire as a way to draw attention to the issue.

I actually like the idea. I don't necessarily like it because it could potentially return the Liberals to power and defeat the Conservatives but that it may reboot Canadian politics in general.

Politics in Canada is riding a downward spiral into disrespect and disrepair. It's less about ideas then it is character assassination. It's less about governing for the people then it is about preservation of power. And due to its current condition the public is tuning out in droves.

I'm not going to lay the blame solely on the Conservatives for this situation. While I'm fond of Chretien's Liberal government they weren't saints by any mean as they didn't necessarily follow through on every promise or they promised too much. And Martin went the road of personality over substance. Both of these examples have been used and taken to the extreme by Harper who has also gone on to include much more brinkmanship, partisanship and cronyism. The proof of where all of this has led us is in the dwindling turnout of voters.

To reboot the system, beginning with an apparent gentleman's agreement, might reignite the interest and faith of the public in their government. It could be the return of optimism that your vote does matter and therefore honesty getting rewarded. This ceasefire would also likely put ideas, real ideas and policies, back in the spotlight rather than having debates about personalities or watching massive negative campaigns forced upon us.

All three major parties would have to focus on these aspects because the dynamics would change significantly. Mainly, they would need to truly earn a vote from the people. Many supporters will be skeptical (especially Grit and Dipper supporters) about voting for one another. Both of those parties will have to give people a reason to support them rather then jumping to the Greens, Conservatives or just staying home. The Conservatives in turn will need to give skeptical Liberals a reason to support them as well, as there will be an opportunity for right-of-centre Grits to seriously feel wary about this arrangement. Ideas, integrity, true leadership (not the drivel espoused by the likes of Martin and Harper) and honesty will be have to be at the forefront, both during and after the election.

The dynamics also change in the sense that, in theory, this could expose how real democracy should be played out in this country. What I mean is that voters actually choose winners and the ending seat allocation on the Hill reflects the will of the people and could raise the question of election reform in a serious way. This is something that Byers seems to imply and is seemingly part of his m.o. for writing this piece. Democratic reform puts a lot at stake for all parties in Canada. Liberals, Bloc, and Conservatives, traditionally, have wanted to avoid it, while NDP and Greens would ultimately benefit. Again, whatever the outcome someone would have to prove it's unnecessary or they will show that it's required.

Too long have Canadians dealt with rhetoric, deception, shell games, brinkmanship and never-ending election periods. It's time to refocus on governing, ideas and making this country as strong as possible for all Canadians. A reboot of politics and government is exactly what Canada needs.

1 comment:

Patrick Ross said...

Quite the contrary. I fully welcome Michael Byers showing Canadians how desperate, naive, politically selfish, and (quite frankly) stupid he is.

For example, Mikey seems to have forgotten what the Liberals did the last time they won a majority government during a recession.

Then again, this is the same guy who thought that Iranian prison guards beating and reaping a Canadian citizen to death shouldn't have resulted in so much as a diplomatic hiccup with that country.

How fucking stupid can Michael Byers be?

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)

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