Monday, December 31, 2007

Cut the Crap in the Next Federal Election

I like the tone and tenor of Garth Turner’s latest post about a forthcoming federal election. It is about time for another election. But more to the point is about trust, integrity and substance in political leadership.

Garth Turner is an MP who has reason to know, first hand, that election time is coming. And he agrees the time for an election is fast approaching.

This next election has to be about the serious issues facing Canada, our future and our place in the world. It should not be "fought" or decided based on the charisma or the chimera that has been so characteristic of the shallow contests of the recent past.

Campaigns matter and nothing can be taken for granted by anyone or any party in Canadian politics today. Canadians are in no mood to be trifled with and we know we have to apply some judgement and make some serious choices this time around. The time for pro tem government is over.

So those who aspire to power - show us your stuff...and I mean your real stuff. Do not insult us with the standard superficial posturing, spin and the photo-op spectacle that is passed off as of political and election campaigns these days.

The political gamesmanship of the past is not good enough - in fact it never was. For once, show us a campaign based on character, capacity, caring, hope and ideas and aspirations, responsibility and resourcefulness. Show us a campaign based on the substance of your party candidates and its leadership and expain the significance and seriousness of your proposed policy platforms. Show me where you see the country going and how you will get us there. Show me what sacrifices I must make to achieve the goal and why they are necessary, and explain to me the consequences of failure. Also help me understand what opportunities for success and progress await if we get it right and do it right.

I want a real choice in a real election with real flesh and blood people offering to serve the common good - not pandering for personal power and aggrandizement. So this time, in this election, use the time to convince me why I should give you and yours, as fellow human beings, my consent to govern me, to represent me and to make all the necessary hard choices on my behalf.

Remember, all you political aspirants of every political stripe - this pending election better be all about Canada and Canadians and not about you and your party friends. Like all engaged and thoughtful Canadian citizens, I am ready to listen to you, make some judgements and then to decide.

So to all nominated and soon to be nominated candidates, your voters and your fate awaits you!


  1. Anonymous9:45 am

    I agree with every word. However, I have little faith in all 3 of our "long in the tooth" party leaders. We already know Harper's campaign is going to be about 'leadership' and blaming the liberals for everything wrong with their govm't.

    The idiots who are running the Liberals right now are still believing that positioning themselves just above the lowest common denominator thinking that's enough.

    The NDP is accustomed to taking the crumbs left over from the other 2.

    Unfortunately, the people who make the decisions in the campaigns, aka the 'old guard' are so set in their ways, only a huge election loss will force them to change, or better yet, quit and unleash the renewal they promised in the first place.

    -- signed Mr. Grinch

  2. Whooee! We all want them things, Kenny. What we'll get is sound bites, smears and soapbox saviours sellin' hokum to the 58% who'll bother gettin' off their keesters to go out and vote.

    Who you votin' fer? Tweedle-dee or Tweedle-dum?

    Happy New Year, Ken.


  3. So this time jimbobby - we yell out Bullshit at a political rally when we hear it.

    We use the Blogosphere to expose and clear the air of crap when we see, read and hear it.

    We force them that would presume to lead us to raise their game. And in the process, we don't take cheap personal shots as they adapt, change, grow and learn through the campaign.

    But when they insult our intelligence - we return the favour.

    So far I am voting for Dion the man not the Party and my ballot question is about the environment.

    If he lets me down, I plan to park my vote with the Greens in protest not in preference.

    You in?

  4. "You in?"

    I been callin' Bullshit fer about 40 years since I was a 18 YO hippie.

    I left a comment over to POGGE about how effective I figger the blogs are. Not very.

    I been votin' Green fer a spell. I don't trust the Grits to walk the walk. My vote ain't just a protest vote, though. The more Green votes, the more the other parties realize they need to do something meaningful vis-a-vis ol' Mother Earth. In an era of perpetual minorities, 8% or 10% is kingmaker material.

    If the environment is truly your main issue, please consider voting Green as your first choice.


  5. But Mr. Grinch - remember Pogo's wisdom about who the enemy is - it is us.

    We always get the government we deserve and that is even more true for those who don't get informed and don't show up.

    Take your energy and don't devote it to preserving your "little faith." Take it to the candidates and be clear and concise about what you want and why it is important to you.

    Share your information and insights within your networks to let people know your thougths and reactions to the candidate's.

    Don't believe polls. Eschew pre-packaged political messaging. Mistrust the content of negative ads as well as messengers and their motives.

    Elections are like a rutting season for politicians...they only have so much time to make and impression and get the job done.

    Unfortunately all too often they take that rutting metaphor for reality. They extend it to believing the job of elections is about gaining political power. They have no compunction about screwing with the hopes and aspirations of the electorate in pursuit of their purposes.

    I don't want to be screwed with, seduced or cajoled by superficial focus-grouped sloganeering.

    I want to be informed, convinced and then ultimately given a real reason to believe in someone.

    ONLY then will I trust a candidate or a leader with my vote.

    Whose country is it anyway?

  6. jimbobby - I had no doubt "you were in!" As for the Greens first, I will await the campaign to see how it goes.

    We have an updated interview with Lizzie May coming up on Policy Channel very soon. I just have to find the time to edit it.

    I am sure you will be interested in what she had to say.

  7. this pending election better be all about Canada and Canadians

    Well said!

  8. Anonymous8:44 pm

    Haha, using Garth as an example. When he crossed the floor, he should have resigned and campaigned in a byelection - why? Because he said so before no previous switches.

    Do not use Garth as example of demoractic principles.

  9. Forget the spin? Ken, throughout your comments you call Harper and the Conservatives "Bush-like" and "republicans". That is what I call spin - what does that say about policy? Why not pick some Conservative policy and evaluate it instead of name calling?

  10. Anonymous8:47 pm

    "Like all engaged and thoughtful Canadian citizens, I am ready to listen to you, make some judgements and then to decide."

    I doubt this - given your comments on this blog, you will vote Liberal no matter what. You have made up your mind.

  11. eric and Anon @8:47...I have evaluated Harper's policies and tactics for well over a year on this blog and I have even congratulated him on some wise decisions. In the end, the record speaks for it self. Harper is a Bush disciple. He parallels the Bush Republican social policy, security policy, economic policy and environmental policy. He even uses the same political negative and tactics and disciplined strong man centrists message control and decision making powers. On that count to say Harper was like Chavez – now that would be spin!

    You accuse me of spin because you don't like the truth in all of it. Show me how Harper is different…I will give you one thing; Harper is different on Quebec than Bush is. Bush likely doesn’t even know Quebec exists. So we get the Cons avoiding the subjects with mixed metaphors and misdirection of information and attention. Like releasing the fact the Cons own trumped up "investigation" of former Liberal government polling activity showed they spent more money on polling last year than the Liberals did at it worst. Then the Cons try to misdirect the issue by releasing the investigative report during the Mulroney Ethics Committee testimony hoping the media would not notice.

    As for Anon - thanks for your presumptuousness. I not only wonder on what basis you presume to make up my mind - I even wonder who you ARE!!! I hesitated to even publish your comment because it added nothing to the conversation. But then I considered why you would say something so little substance and feel you needed to do so anonymously?

    You must be fearful of something. What are you afraid of? If you are afraid of your political party and/or its leader finding out your identity and that you comment on Blogs? The choice is easy switch or shut up…courage or cowardice.

    BTW eric – if a presumed Anon @ 8:47 was a Con and afraid of that party or its leader in this comment reply –THAT would be spin! I didn’t!

  12. Anon @ 8:44 so you think Turner crossing the floor disqualifies him from expressions of opinion?

    When will Mr. Harper release the special Middle East report he commissioned from Walid Khan?

    Mr. Harper PAID for this report with taxpayer money and refuses to show us the work product that Mr. Khan provided. I wonder if it even exists.

    Walid Khan also crossed the floor to join the Cons soon afterwards and rather than say he should not be listened to, I am full of anticipation of benefiting from his depth of insight and his perspicuity on Middle East issues. But my Prime Minister denies me that fulfillment because he will not give Canadians the report and he gives no reasons for not releasing it either.

    So much for Mr. Harper's much touted accountability and transparency.