Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Monday, August 15, 2005

on political parties, sort of

“Someone” has got to reinvent the political party system. If you are a Liberal (a Democrat in the US) then you are supposed to believe in everything they believe in and the same for being a Conservative (Republican). But I don’t know many Liberal voters (not party members or staffers or the politicians themselves) who believe in higher taxes and more government interference (or government control). And I don’t know many Conservative voters who believe that a woman shouldn’t control her reproductive processes or that gay people shouldn’t get married.

I suppose someone would have to do a poll, but I believe the average Liberal voter has more in common with the average Conservative voter than the politicians of either party understand. Average voters just vote for one party or the other because of family history, because of media influence, because they like the candidate, maybe because of some planks in the platform. But the average voter doesn’t necessarily support all the planks in any party’s platform. So why isn’t there a party for the average voter?

I think we first have to ask, do we still require a two party system? Do we require an adversarial process in government? What if government were shrunk to its essentials (we don’t really need a department of heritage, do we? And if you go here http://canada.gc.ca/depts/major/depind_e.html , you will see all the government tentacles out there, many of which need to be or could be eliminated.)? And what if there were a truly independent watchdog like the Auditor General that had real authority?

I suppose two parties makes sure that different points of view on the usefulness of government can be heard and debated. If this is really true, then I think we need two new parties. It’s much more polarized and therefore more obvious in the US because the President is a Republican but the media (and celebrities) are Democrats. Here, the Conservative party is not a force to be reckoned with, isn’t in power and doesn’t have the media on its side. (I personally think it marginalizes itself with its constant harping on the socially conservative issues that do not resonate with the average voter.) The Liberals however are entrenched in the systems and have a vested interest in keeping them all running. It’s a rare politician who says “I want to work myself out of a job by fixing the problem”. How many government agencies that were set up to fix a specific problem have ever been disassembled? It seems that if you want to fix a problem and you don’t want a permanent government body to linger on like a bad smell when the problem is resolved, you need to set up a royal commission or other type of public inquiry that has a definite end date on it. Unfortunately, these types of inquiries rarely seem to solve a problem and usually cost a fortune.

I am sure there is a solution out there. Right now, I am just posing the question.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are going to enter the CBC contest, try your Monday Blog on politics.

It shines!

10:37 AM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Is that you, B?
Thanks but I didn't think this would be what they were looking for. And it's not 2000 words either!

10:57 AM, August 25, 2005  

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