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, January 09, 2006

Election time

About the coming election. I want a different party. I don’t want Conservatives telling me how to live my life (no marriage for you if you’re gay!). I don’t want Liberals telling me they know how to spend my money better than I do (yet another social program!). I don’t want the NDP telling me that a huge swath of the population can’t stand up for themselves (more unions for everybody!). The rest of them, including the Green Party, tend to be single issue parties - no good for the country as a whole. And a federal election and a federal government should be about federal issues. Education and health care are provincial and if you don’t like that, change the constitution.

I recognize that people need “leaders”. And they need role models too. So I am willing to concede that a prime minister should be both of those things. I also know that most people go into politics for themselves. Oh they say they are serving the public but that is just a handy by-product. Being a politician is a goofy kind of job - you make it up as you go along. There aren’t even any real rules about what to do for your constituents - just rules about conflict of interest and spending and such. Which as we know, tend to be ignored also.

The job attracts a certain kind of person, just like other jobs do. That’s why stereotypes exist - lawyers are seen a certain way, doctors another, mechanics a different way. I’m not going to change any of this over night. So if I want a new party, it would have to be sufficiently like the other parties so as to attract enough people to make it a party. Look at the Libertarians - they never get enough people for a meeting, never mind to run for office in even a few ridings.

Can we invent a new party given the facts? I wonder. But if we were going to try, what would that party be like? It would only focus on true federal issues. It would only do the things that need doing - not invent stuff like multiculturalism and heritage. It would be much smaller than it is now. Does a town like Ottawa really need 6 MPs? Does PEI with a population of less than 140,000 need 4? Does Canada with a population of only 32 million need 306? I don’t think so.

Now that I think about it, just being small would eliminate a lot of the nasties that are currently plaguing us in government. It would also mean that the party would campaign on putting half of itself out of a job. Now who would run with that platform? I might.

A side note about conservativism:
To be a conservative means that you don’t want things to change. But if something is now different from what it once was in “the golden years” (a mythical place or time if I ever heard one), then they want to change it back. Hence their stand on same sex marriages. Can’t be good if it never existed before now. This sort of position is ridiculous of course because change is certain, constant and necessary. How did we ever get here if not through change? Conservatives of course, just don’t want change in their life times, or change in certain delicate issue areas, or to change things that frighten them. We can all be like that a little, I suppose


Blogger bikerider said...

The two immutable laws of life:

1. Change is inevitable.
2. Nobody likes change.

Maybe we should have a mandatory change of government every five years. We get liberals for five then conservatives for five. We'd then keep their best stuff, the stuff that works, while each is in charge. It might work as an incentive to come up with good policies as they'd accumulate check marks with each session, if the next government keeps them going.

7:30 p.m., January 09, 2006  
Blogger Cal the Wonderdog said...

You are so right about jobs attracting certain types of humans.

In an orchestra, violin players are kind of particular and know what they like. The horn players are all great people you want to invite to your next back yard bbq, etc.

As far as dogs are concerned, I think certain show dogs have a bit of an attitude after they win their first event!

Now politics for humans - I just don't understand. Take the US. How can humans vote in a guy that is so unlike what they want their country to act to the rest of the world?!

Anyway, I'm just a dog. I love your blog.


12:57 a.m., January 12, 2006  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Bikerider, I am sure someone has done a study on mandatory changes of government but I don’t know about it. I think the whole “vote for ME!” thing is out of control - just look at the spending in the U.S. for instance. I know it’s better than the alternative. It just irks me that no one can think of a better way to do democracy.

9:42 a.m., January 12, 2006  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Cal, you are pretty smart for being a dog! I didn’t know that about horn players - I’ll have to cultivate them more than the violinists - should I ever meet either.

I’ve added you to my dog-blog-roll - I was doing some housekeeping and noticed there were a few dogs who were missing.

9:58 a.m., January 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can we change the constitution when Canadians did not have a say in the Constitution otherthan Mr. Trudeau. A constitation is suppose to be "for the people by the people". The Canadian constitution is Mr. Trudeau's personal agenda.

12:40 p.m., February 10, 2006  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Anon, I was going to look a bunch of stuff up but I decided instead to write from memory and you can look it up yourself. My mother always told me to look words up in the dictionary to learn how they were spelled and I remember them much better because I did that than if she’d just told me the spelling when I asked.

First of all, a constitution is just a set of rules on how we run the country. Each country has its own rules. Canada’s rules were in the British North America Act (BNA Act) and when Trudeau "repatriate" the constitution, he and his advisors transferred most of those rules to the constitution we have today.

The reference you made to a constitution being "for the people" is actually the last line of the Gettysburg address given by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war...
that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

There is a formula for changing the constitution right IN the constitution. Have a look at it. The American constitution has been changed many times by amendments since it was made in the late 1700s - most recently for the 27th time in 1992. It’s difficult but not impossible.

I think you are confusing the constitution with the Charter of Rights. Before the modern constitution, each province had some kind of bill of rights - at least, I know Ontario did. Those rights were set out in the modern constitution and apply to all Canadians federally. I think if you get a book about the history of Canada’s constitution, you will find it is more interesting than you thought and not as rife with rumour as you suggest.

9:09 a.m., February 13, 2006  

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