Congratulations are in order for your paper’s standing in the community, as Nov. 29’s letters pages showed no less than five out of the six letters published as thoughtful comments on the increasingly dysfunctional state of our politics.
Jim Bergot drew attention to an elected provincial Opposition having little or no effect on decisions; Art Skipsey pointed to perpetually unbalanced budgets with increasingly underfunded services; Stan Gauthier listed the protracted inaction — indeed, tacit encouragement — of our governments on ever-rising pollution; Bernie Smith showed the crippling effect of privatized debt on all government expenditures and a steadily declining voter participation across the nation; and Bernice Hathaway illustrated how party ‘yes-men’ relay their leader’s ideas to electors, rather than seeking electors views to refer to government.
These are fundamental faults, forcing Oppositions to address symptoms while the root causes remain untouched. Examples abound; electoral reform gets lip service but absolutely no action, year after year; an un-questioned but inherently corrupt system of private donations for funding political parties and governments allows small numbers of wealthy pipers to call the tune, while all effort is dissipated in coping with the fall-out. A publicly-funded state next door has not run a deficit in 50 years and has no debt at all, while our privately-funded Canadian governments have $63 billion of total interest costs annually, driving all programs into perpetual underfunding. Can these absolutely basic boondoggles possibly be called ‘sound business management’, or ‘responsible government’?
No wonder voters stay at home in dismayed disillusion; we really need an utterly different politics. Any party with electoral reform and national funding of parties and national needs as absolute priorities, would find itself stampeded into power. Where is it hiding?