A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Party Platforms, some thoughts!

If the choice is between fixing the hole in the roof and remortgaging the house then the choice is obvious, particularly with the interest rates so low. Throwing a tarp over it and putting a bucket under the drips is not a long term viable solution, that for so many of us finding a job to even purchase a tarp is a major problem simply highlights the position we are in both individually and as a country. If the roof has been leaking for some time and just moving the buckets around as needed was the solution chosen then simply doing more of the same is equally illogical. When your accountant then proposes that you go out and buy a shiny new Caddy with the money you did not know you had, saved by not fixing the roof, would you rehire him!


With Harper promising billions in funding for various projects across the country despite the numbers that put us in recession whilst at the same time saying that there is / will be a surplus of income over spending is troubling enough but that Mulclair is echoing that scenario is bizarre. Anyone who thinks that the books will be shown to be in the black when the 'new' government is sworn in must be drinking more than coolaid and to promise that all the goodies being proposed can then be paid for without substantial new income is a fantasy. The fantasy includes the recently announced $1.9-billion surplus for 2014-15, a $4 billion jump from the announced deficit just a few months ago and revealed just a month before the election....are you kidding?. The deficit still exists even if only in unfulfilled promises and programs! Of course close examination of many of the promises reveal that the amounts flaunted are to be trickled out over several years, in some cases even decades, and thus can be reduced, redirected or cancelled as required. It is the promise of big bucks for this or that that gets the attention of far too many voters.


It is understandable that all the partys (except the Greens) are reluctant to talk about minority and / or coalition government, they all want the power to pass legislation of their choice without having to 'comprise' by 'cooperating' with those damned folk from other partys who have been elected by their constituents to represent then in our search for a better Canada. We have seen what majority government has brought about, and it has not been pretty, whilst the Cons have been particularly destructive of process and ideologically rigid I suspect any party with a majority will not embrace 'comprise' and 'cooperation' which to my mind is what we need to move forward.


I will be very surprised if we are not in a minority situation come October and that will at a minimum require two or more partys to work together to undo the Havoc that Harper has wrought be it on a case by case basis or on a more formal agreement. I applaud Elizabeth May's efforts to get a conversation started about this possibility (probability?) BEFORE we find ourselves in another constitutional crisis. We cannot forget that despite Harper & Mulclair having said they will not appoint senators and that they want to abolish it, it still is part of our parliamentary process and legislation must be passed in the senate before becoming law. That as it sits now it is a body dominated by Conservative appointees who can be counted upon to oppose just about anything that does not fit their view of the world will be difficult enough without adding further dis-functionality to that body by calling in to doubt its legitimacy.


All the opposition partys are promising to move towards election reform, the Libs say they will introduce a new voting system in time for the 2019 election, are leaning towards a preferential voting system but will form a committee to study it first. The NDP say that they will impose a Mixed Member Proportional system and the Greens have long advocated for change and say that they will “establish an all-party Democratic Voting Commission to review past research and conduct a public consultation on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada.” With even those of us who strongly flavor electoral reform unable to agree on which of the several systems and variations of same is the best option this one is going to be difficult for all concerned. Then there is parliamentary reform, the return to following the traditional rules and strengthening the system so it cannot be abused as it has been in recent years. Little has been said about that by the partys, they are all too busy trying to GET power rather than restrict and share it!


Finally, little has been said about reinstating our scientific research, Census Canada data collecting, environmental protections, search and rescue capability, social support mechanisms etc etc etc gutted by the Con Regime. These things will all take time and money and require a vibrant “economy” with folks able to finds jobs and pay taxes, stopping the exodus of corporations to other jurisdictions and ensuring those that do stay pay their fair share. In short we need a leader and a government that instills confidence in Canada both internally and overseas, are any of the partys going to provide this dramatic change so desperately needed? Frankly I see a few glimmers of light but still await the rising of the sun over Canada bringing a new era of our 'representatives' working together to bring a new day to our diverse country.


Who is going to be that bright light, I have no idea!





Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

2 comments:

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Harper must be feeling anxious in his cocoon.He jumps on any bit of pseudo positive news, like the ever talked about alledged surplus. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie.He's not even aware when he contradicts himself. He does not seem to be aware of how ridiculous he sounds.

Rural said...

"Stephen Harper, he just cant be trusted." !