Saturday, January 2, 2010

Do something different - Part 4

I’ve been urging us all to do something different.

A quote from Margaret Thatcher goes, “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”. To achieve good success in our community development here in Pictou County then will require all of us to first make a work plan to achieve that end and then we will need to work that plan. However, in the past we have not done either very well.

In this regard, today I want to concentrate our thoughts a bit on the job of our MLAs, our provincial representatives.(...continued)
In our provincial government, each member of the legislative assembly (MLA) has a riding to represent there. That is how our government is setup so logically, you might expect that each MLA should arrive at the legislature in Halifax with a well laid out plan for the riding in his/her briefcase.

We also provide through the political party system, a way and method whereby each citizen should have the ability to input to the riding’s plans and development. In each riding, every voter has the right to join and become a member of a political party, presumably the party with members holding similar views and opinions to his own. So, what I would like to see and I believe should be happening in every riding is for the members of each political party (Conservative, Green, Liberal, NDP) to construct a development plan for the riding.

Voters on Election Day would then have a clear, more meaningful choice when casting their ballots and the party riding plan garnering the greatest support would be the one represented in the Legislature.

But sadly, that is not even close to what happens. Instead, (and all the political parties are equally guilty), we short circuit all of our best political structure.

Instead of running candidates in each riding to represent the people of that riding and fight for a plan to deal with their issues and concerns, we run a “Raw! Raw! Hoopla and Spin” system of both elections and government.

The objective when increasing party membership is not to gather input from more members but to provide more cash cows to build the party finances. In elections, riding problems are ignored. What everyone talks about is the popularity of the party leaders, the polls, political spin and advertising which is increasingly negative.

Is it any wonder that our communities have become dysfunctional and we are losing population? But there is a way out of the mess. Just tell your MLA or the local leaders in your party’s riding association that you want to develop a plan for your riding and to be part of it. One problem is that they possible do not have much of an idea as to how to do that. This is another area where I believe our PRDC should be front and centre.

I believe that our PRDC should not do the planning. Rather it should provide our MLAs and the riding associations of all the parties with a template and with some guidance on how to do the sort of planning that is needed to construct a good plan for each riding based on the party’s philosophy or leanings whatever they may be.

And that would be something different.
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