Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Modest Proposal

How many Canadians had their ever-waning faith in the electoral process diminished even further following the most recent federal election, I wonder? After over a decade of the Liberal Party (called by some the Grits since voting for them is like chewing on sand) being the big boys in the playground, the Conservatives (AKA the Torys because they’ll tell you any (s)tory to win your vote) came along and pushed them off the swing so they could form a minority government. About time too, some thought. It’s all good.

Then the usual political shenanigans began. The new governmentette had not even been sworn in to office yet when one David Emerson, who had run as and been elected as a member of the Liberal party, ‘crossed the floor’ and joined up with the winning Conservative party. The story around town is that he had been offered a cabinet post and a big jar of candy to do what he did and as much as I just hate to start or spread rumours the fact is that a lot of people thought that Dave’s move had been in very poor taste.

Since those fateful days a lot of dirty water has passed dispiritedly under the bridge. A group from Dave Emerson’s riding tried to get an unelect David Emerson campaign going and a lot of letters were written to the local papers informing the general public at large about Dave’s lack of morals and his goofiness. Big Dave his own bad self finally weighed in on the situation and informed any and all who could be bothered to listen that he was now totally disillusioned with politics and would probably never run for political office again (this statement was voted the best use of irony in Canadian political history which is quite an honour when you think about it.) This may have been a funny thing for a politician to say, but on the other hand old Dave is a funny kind of guy.

So here we stand. Turmoil, grief, disillusioned politicians and big jars of candy littering the landscape. It’s no wonder that the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote is dropping. To quote my good friends in DOA , Something Better Change.

Currently we Canadians in a federal election vote for the politician of our choice who then goes way, way back east to Ottawa where they spend the next four or five years sucking up to the party leader and doing what they’re told while ignoring what the folks back home have to say so they don’t get banished to the back benches. My proposal is this: Federally we should have to choose two names, one would be the Prime Minister and the other would be our representative in the nation’s capital. This second person who would be our representative would have no party affiliation so that you would vote for the person you like best. The person who wins would head off to Ottawa and then they could choose what party they would like to belong to. If it’s the same as the Prime Minister, that’s fine. If it’s not the same party as the Prime Minister, that’s fine too.

Pros? The destiny of the politicians is no longer in the hands of the party leader but now in the hands of the voters where it belongs. The party leader had best listen to the members of Parliament, and the members who choose to belong to his (or her) party or that member could just stop supporting the leader. I admit that things might be a little rough at the beginning but I think they’ll work out in the long run.

Cons? The big party bosses will hate it. Good enough for me.

A big shout out to my pal Johnny Swift for not minding that I borrowed the title ‘A Modest Proposal’ off him. You da bomb, John.

Anyway… Humouroceros

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