Monday, January 24, 2011

What I Want From Ottawa

As a lapsed Liberal I've spent the past couple of years in political limbo.  The Harper government has been mediocre at best.   The Liberals, first under Dion and then Ignatieff, have been duds.   The NDP, well I still don't trust them, probably never will.

It finally dawned on me that rejecting the current offerings doesn't mean I have to limit myself to criticizing them.   No, indeed, this is an opportunity to express what I want to hear from a party I'd be willing to support.   What is important to me?  What am I looking for?   So, here goes.  This is what I want in exchange for my vote.

1.   I want a government that gives genuine priority to climate change.  Every country is facing significant climate change impacts just from the emissions already in the atmosphere.  We have to come to grips with that.  Our government has to get a practical assessment of what's coming our way.   It has to get that information out to local authorities and the public.   It has to evaluate our options for adaptation and then engage the processes of planning and implementation.

2.   I want a government that acknowledges that the wealth gap, the inequality between rich and poor, is a scourge to the country and its future that needs to be redressed.   Inequality harms everybody save for the richest of the rich.  It hobbles us and holds us back.   It undermines the social cohesiveness we're going to need to meet the challenges coming our way this century.

3.  I want a government dedicated to the restoration of a robust, vital and independent Canadian media.   That would be a government willing to compel the dismemberment of the corporate media cabal that suffocates diversity and serves power interests instead of the public interest.   I want more owners, not fewer, more reporters and columnists, not just the hacks who preside today.

4.   I want a government resolved to restore Canada's place in the world.   There is no shortage of combat soldiers in the world.   Contributing a couple of thousand warriors here or there is a wee drop in a very deep bucket.   Yet there is an enormous need for peacekeepers.   The job may have become more violent today than it was in the 60's but that hardly determines its relevance.  We don't need to become a brigade in America's Foreign Legion.  

In short, I want a truly Progressive government, one willing to take long overdue bold stands needed to serve the people of Canada.   I want a government with true vision, one that is able to look around the country, see what's happening and understand what's needed.  I want a government willing to act with courage and principle, not the milquetoasts who want power but aren't willing to fight for it.

That's my wish list.   What's yours?


Anonymous said...

I'd suggest the following:
1. Proportional representation or some similar level of political reform in this country. There's no reason why such a small group of people should 'own' Canada the way they do.
2. Make a commitment to put Canada on the map when it comes to digital communications, including media and regulatory reform. The CRTC is useless, the CBC has been silenced and the monopolies that own the existing structure are ripping us off.
3. Price parity: Canadians are paying for the rise in the value of the dollar, but are not getting any benefit. Books, gas, food and a myriad other routine consumer goods are anywhere from 20-100% more expensive than their price in the US, but for no reason.
4. Significant cuts to the defence and prison programs. Canada should be a secure state, not a security state.

I could go on. I think what Canada needs is a fresh party that isn't mired in the daily trash of the Hill. I don't think the Greens have what it takes either.

Let's start a Party!!

The Mound of Sound said...

Unfortunately Anon we don't have the decade or two necessary to organize and launch a new party that would be capable of influencing events in Ottawa.

The best I think we can hope for is a wholesale housecleaning of the Liberal Party. It's become clogged with punks, pretenders and hangers-on. Just as Iggy learned that Ian Davey was no Keith Davey, the Libs had better sober up and realize Justin is no Pierre either. The whole party has become just so terribly lame, pathetic, sophomoric.

Yet lurking in the background, gasping for breath, remains the once powerful Liberal organization. It's quite an amazing force when the reins are in the right hands. What's unclear to me is how much longer it can survive without a genuine leader.

oryx said...

Unless you're referring to some far gone liberal party, perhaps the one led by Lester Pearson or Pierre Trudeau, the Liberals of the last thirty years have been nothing more than a bunch of craven, corporatist elites.

Since 1980 the gap between the rich and poor has be growing, with higher concentrations of wealth in few hands than ever. This happened under Liberal and Conservative governments alike, but in fact, the biggest gains to the rich were made under the combined 13 year leadership of Jean Cretien and Paul Martin.

While we can be proud that Jean Cretien refused to join the "coalition of the willing", he wholeheartedly committed Canada to the equally illegal war in Afghanistan. Martin continued lock-step in his shoes (after first wiping Cretien's blood off the dagger he pulled out of his back) and the only decent policies to emerge (such as Canada's refusal to be part of the U.S anti-missile treaty) were the result of his enforced coalition with the NDP. He was also responsible for the appointment of the Right Despicable Michaelle Jean, who prorogued Parliament not once, but twice.

I don't know your reasoning for not trusting the NDP, at least on a Federal level (I understand that they are imploding under intense inter-party squabbling in B.C. right now; maybe that's it). Maybe it's the defection by Bob Rae to the Liberals, or the fact that they hoofed Buzz Hargrove from the party. But, you've read Chris Hedges and understand, I'm sure, how the once great small L liberal institutions have long been co-opted by cororatism.

But you're right
about one thing; there is no time to invent an alternative party. The only party that can even come close to fullfilling your wish list, which echoes my own, is to turn to the NDP. Jack Leyton and his party have been the ONLY politicians who have consistently advocated for strong measures on climate change-beyond even the lame strictures of Kyoto, consistently calls for Canada's immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, consistently calls for "first past the post" proportional representation, consistently demands higher taxation for corporations and the wealthy

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry Oryx but Layton will never get my vote. He's a shitheel like the rest. Look at the way your dirtball leftie turned on Dion over carbon taxes, the only effective way to implement meaningful carbon emissions. When he pulled that stunt for his own personal political advantage I had the full measure of that weasel. No thanks.