Wednesday, July 6, 2005

When thieves underwrite house insurance policies…

How adorable… Belinda Stronach is the Democratic Renewal Minister, which would be an an almost impossibly challenging portfolio if these makework junior cabinet positions were meant to accomplish anything except give the government the appearance of doing something — as if the need for democratic renewal is the government's responsibility and not its own bastard child. The fact that the Liberals have identified it as a problem after almost uninterrupted Liberal rule over the last half century speaks volumes about their ability to provide solutions. This is of course not to say that Paul Martin has not let himself be clear that he is very serious about this issue, and if an office, official letterheads, expense accounts, and a few dozen more civil servants need to be procured, this is the price we Canadians must pay whether they like it or not — is there any wonder why people don't vote?

But having recently discovered her trans-partisan identity, Ms. Stronach is a Party trooper and is hardly likely to be daunted by ignorance or an inappropriate appointment. So, according to the National Post, she

will embark this year on a cross-Canada tour to listen to Canadians, especially young people, on voter apathy and public disengagement from politics.
What do you suppose the odds are that it is the apathetic or disengaged Canadians will be the ones volunteering to speak to Ms. Stronach? Or, that this disconnect from relevance would even matter? The Democratic Renewal Minister will hardly deviate — despite the contradiction that the title of her mandate would seem to make apparent — from the Canadian political tradition of appearing to objectively seek opinions that manage to support the canvassing politician's own agenda. And another Canadian tradition:
Ms. Stronach has been given a $1-million budget for the tour, which is expected after the summer, said Stephanie Leblanc, Ms. Stronach's spokeswoman. The tour's goal is to listen to and engage people, especially youths, in politics, partly by creating a better understanding of how the political system works.
It's not clear here whether Ms. Stronach will be creating a better understanding for people, or whether people will be creating a better understanding for Ms. Stronach. The difference in meaning is probably negligible anyway, and hardly worth $1 million — not when I could have done the job for half the price.

Speaking of new democratic renewal, the Toronto Sun reports that it's the NDP that is in fact the party of wealth, contrary to their reputation for only being able to ejaculate in a daisy chain with poor people. Guess they just like to slum it…
Canada's big trade unions gave the federal NDP a $3.4-million gift only months before new financing rules severely restricted contributions to political parties. Canada's nine largest and most powerful unions responded to fundraising rules that took effect in January 2004 by pooling their cash and buying the federal socialist party a three-storey office building in downtown Ottawa. The coalition, which included the Canadian Auto Workers, Communications, Energy and Steelworkers unions, decided to make all donations to the NDP planned for the next decade in the fall of 2003 and earmarked them to buy the building, says an official at the political party.

[…] he NDP had a $3.2 million surplus by the end of 2004 and took in $5.2 million in donations from 30,097 Canadians. By contrast, the Liberal Party received $4.7 million in donations in 2004.
HT for both stories to Neale News.


Pietr said...

whistlestop tours by the public morale conditioner-"People are silent..."

Meaghan Champion said...

I'd love to meet Belinda as she travels across the country on her little herd-prodding tour.

It would give me a great deal of satisfaction when she asks the question "So why don't you vote?" to say "because of people like you!"
(ok... that's not the only reason I don't vote.. but it would be fun to get in her face like that)