Thursday, August 10, 2006

Achieve a Lasting Election

So the word on the street is New Brunwick is about to be thrust into a provincial election. (For those who may have stumbled upon this blog and have no idea where the province of New Brunwick is, move really won't care if I tell you.)

Anyways, I am so ready for this election. The reason I am is that I hate minority governments. Over the past few months, the NB parliament has descended into a mess of backbiting, sophomoric comments, backroom dealings and floor crossing. The only cure for this, in my opinion, is to blow it up and start fresh. Well, it won't be as fresh a start as Guy Fawkes might have had in mind, but then we needn't go to such extremes.

Let me get straight to the point: some of what's happened in the last few years has been plain ol' boneheaded. But, strictly speaking, while I have some loose Liberal party ties, I am not a blind partisan. So, while there are things I think Lord did wrong, I also think Shawn Graham hasn't exactly shone in the role of Leader of the Opposition. He has often seemed like a needling Ken Linesman who can only make bitter statements in the press scrums rather than a man of vision. It's gut-check time for him because a PC majority in this election will almost certainly mean the end of his party leadership.

On the other hand, Lord for the most part has done very little to ingratiate himself with the voters. His time in the Premier's office has not been a period of growth for the province. And some of his decisions have simply been wrong-headed. Nevertheless, he still has a decent shot.

I promised I would get to the point and now I will. Regardless of which party takes power in September (and please, New Brunswick, make sure they have a solid majority), here are 4 things I would like to see:

1. No more floor crossing. If you find you want to leave your party and join the other side, you sit as an independent and a bi-election must be called within 6 months. See how your riding feels about your decision.

2. Fix senior care. The large seniors homes charge way too much and they are always full. So senior citizens who need nursing care sit in the hospital at a cost of about $800 a day waiting for a bed in a seniors home that will charge the taxpayers about $150-200 a day. Private homes are a viable option if the government would allow seniors to go where they choose. Personally, I would rather be in a smaller home with better care that costs everyone less. Do the smart thing.

3. Fix the school system. Listen to the teachers. The policy wonks do not know what they are doing. End of transmission.

4. Tolls. Embrace the unpopular. We need a toll on our highway. Don't believe me? Look at the shadow tolls. Don't believe them? Produce your own numbers. I say put the toll booth somewhere other than where it was originally (why give those whiners a shot at a job in the booth?) and make a plan to address the concerns of people who have to pass the toll every day to get to work. Here's my plan: prove you absolutely have to pass throught the toll every day to get to work and you get a passcard with about 45 free passes on it every month. Why should some of the poorest people in the country (that's us, NBers) have to pay an extra 5 cents on a litre of gas so everyone else can drive through our province. This was a disaster royale from day one. Address it.

5. Stop wasting time with stupid private member bills like dangerous dogs. Some of the best dogs I know could tear you a new one if they were so inclined, but they don't because they have responsible owners. Pass some dangerous owner legislation. Or better yet, do something useful. I'd hate to have to put down my dog because of some ill-conceived legislation.

That's it for now. See you at the polls.


Anonymous Mr DJ said...

Can't wait for the election. It's high time to give Bernie "what for"! It's not so much the B Lord himself, it's his cronies. When you staff your caucus with people who have nick names like "Tanker" what can you expect in the way of intelligent offerings?

I absolutely agree with all of your requests, however the election will probably turn out to be about deer fences. If someone can get elected based on toll highways, someone can get elected based on deer fences. It's time to give Shawn Graham a whirl, at least he will staff his party with people that have some form of formal education and experience.

If Shawn can create his own "red book" for NB I think that will put him over the top. Granted Chretien did not deliver on every promise in the original red book (1993 Federal Election) at least it had a well laid out plan. It would appear the Conservatives are just meandering along without a clue how to govern at least they will all have full pentions having been in power for two consecutive elections.

9:02 AM  

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