Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Democratic Reform Package?

Apparently the Liberals have one, and the package was almost released a while ago. I also suspect some measures on the "abuse of power" front, or at least I would hope so. The question now becomes, why aren't the Liberals seizing the moment and filling the large vacuum available to them?

Is there a better time to release a democratic reform package, any other reforms on accountability and/or transparency? Particularly after last week, is it possible to get any more traction than this exact moment? Notwithstanding the contempt hearings which are set to launch today, I'm wondering if we aren't missing an opportunity to show a true contrast. If the Liberals wait until the campaign begins, any reform package will be a one day story at best, whereas right now there is this current void just begging to be filled.

No one knows what the Liberals will offer, but it needs to be bold, timidity will be met with a collective yawn. There is a vocal and engaged subset that will respond to a progressive presentation, but reforms have to challenge self interests and really shake up the status quo. The Liberals have an opportunity to capitalize on the present disinterest in the same old, true reform a springboard to a renewed brand. To maximize any impact, I'm left scratching my head why we aren't all over this golden opportunity that has presented itself? Events have presented themselves, reactive is required, dust it off, spruce it up, but get it out there now while it's topical. Hard pressed to think of better timing, rather than opining about arenas, stay in the fashion of the day and make some noise, on a file begging for some content.

19 comments:

Dan F said...

Best move would be to introduce the Democratic Reform package as a confidence motion on their opposition day. Cons might suspect that they have something like this up their sleeve, which is why the opposition day isn't until next Friday. If the government falls on the motion, the election is over Democratic Reforms!

Steve V said...

That's a good move!

Jerry Prager said...

There will be over 100,000 people on the streets of East Lansing Michigan today protesting the corporate takeover of America, just as there were over 100,000 people on the streets of Madison Wisconsin last weekend, the corporate media blackout notwithstanding, don't worry about the shelf life of a democratic reform package, the Americans are just getting started, and Harper put himself on the wrong side of history. I like Dan F's proposal too.

Skinny Dipper said...

My worry in the next election is that the opposition parties will be timid on democratic reforms. Personally, I do hope for proportional representation. I fear that Ignatieff will talk about Harper's autocracy while not mentioning any proposals that a Liberal government would bring. I fear that Jack Layton will frame this election as one about dealing with senior citizens. Democratic reforms will be a sideshow. Yes, I know that democratic reforms are hidden on the NDP website, but I need to hear Layton strongly support reforming Canadian democracy.

Steve V said...

I'm not deluding myself into thinking democratic reform is a big vote mover, but to ignore some sentiment out there, speaks to a detachment.

A Eliz. said...

I thought Mr. Donolo was smart!

Fat Arse said...

Dan F has a good point, it should be acted upon and the Lib's should call it "HONESTY in GOVERNANCE!" Cause really, when we boil down the machinations of Harpo & Co. over these past five years what is is that we really see as their collective shortcoming? To paraphrase anotehr pol at another time in another country "It's all about HONESTY stupid!"

Kirk said...

The news is all about Japan right now.

Nothing the Liberals do, atm, would make the news.

They shouldn't waste their time releasing any policy until the nightly news isn't all about Japan.

Skinny Dipper said...

Steve V,

I'll agree with you that democratic reform will likely not be the BIG issue in the campaign. I do think that it can be mentioned once in a while.

Steve V said...

Agreed. Part of the drift to other parties revolves around these issues. Couple that with a general apathy about our democracy, maybe not pivotal, but important.

Jerry Prager said...

Mr. Ignatieff needs to stop running from being Professor Ignatieff; he needs to define liberal democracy, because, even as I write this, labour and independent workers are filling the Michigan State House, the protest there is just starting, 3-5 thousand now, growing as the day goes and work ends, tonight will be something more, so my point is democracy is a ground swell rising, even with Japan on constant stream hiding the uprising that is spreading from Wisconsin, the regeneration of American democracy is starting; same way as North Africa, twitter and facebook, but strengthened by alternative TV, and Youtube, and by what's left of the non-corporatist media; it will soon become a tide that will carry all democracy boats and swamp all those who oppose its rising, Mr. Harper is on the wrong side of history and his record proves it. As for the Economy, after Martin-Chretien, the Liberals have nothing to prove about their capacity to manage debt and the spread the burden more fairly than the conservatives will. Next topic. Professor Ignatieff should campaign on liberal democracy as a collegial form of government more suited to parliament than corporatism. Take the political debate to Harper, nail him to the cross of his own actions with his own words from his own speeches from ten years and more before the took office, words that will tie him to the republican agenda taking away rights in America as we write. Turn Professor Ignatieff's understanding of America into a debate with Harper, argue for a renewal of North American liberal democracy, then give us a vision of Canada rooted in the deep deep threads of his own families place in Canada, and we will see a man finding himself in his destiny and surprise us all.
I say that because I was willing to be surprised by Harper at first,the night he was elected I consoled myself with the thought that Canada might now see some of those democratic reforms that the Alberta movement was always claiming it wanted, but that turned into a lie the first week in office, and I haven't believed anything he's said since, Where's democracy Stevo ? PS. Professor Ignatieff has more character, so I think the odds of him turning sour, are unlikely.

Jerry Prager said...

6000

Kirk said...

Guess you'll like the new Liberal ad then Steve.

http://www.liberal.ca/blog/?utm_source=lbst&utm_medium=e_blast_en&utm_campaign=march2011ads

Doesn't rely on the news ^not reporting policy announcements so that's the right approach, imho.

I wish they'd mention the forged invoices more than Oda though.

Steve V said...

Ha! I just said on da twitter, that I liked ads, but didn't like the Oda lead. That story didn't resonate, not sure why it gets top billing. Maybe most recent?

Jerry Prager said...

I have been having this thought, Liberals introduced a democracy Renewal Policy, the government falls over a democracy confidence vote, Professor Ignatieff goes to the GG, and asks to try a form a government to enact the policy for 100 days, after which, there will be an election, or not, possibly dependent on the cabinet and the new PM losing the confidence of the house,in any case, either fill out the four year term and so save the cost of an election, or go to the polls. And whoever wins must govern more openly, more transparently, more democratically.

Kirk said...

Yeah, you lead with your strongest point and the rest piles on that first impression and backs it up. (worked best for me when I was showing my photography portfolio many years ago.)

Jerry Prager said...

saw it, good enough, but prefer ads that remain ironic, aware of their own use of genre, that allow the audience inside, rather than trying to stamp their message on us.

Kirk said...

Jerry, I agree you need to allow the audience "inside". That's what the Con attack ads do, they put the audience on side with the narrator by using terms like "us" and "we" while immediately painting Ignatieff as the outsider. Very tribal.

Funny thing is, in Canada the largest tribe is a small "l" liberal/progressive one and Harper is the right-wing, fire-walled outsider.

It would benefit the Liberals to remember that and work it, no matter how much the media and the Cons try to push Harper as the mainstream representative.

Jerry Prager said...

he should be appealing to the coalition of voters who form the majority of voters in Canada, become the servant of our democracy, and not the boss of his party like Harper.
And democracy about to jes grew here too:
Washington DC: protest @ 5pm 601 13th St NW nr Metro Cntr. Wisconsin republicans pick up checks from bosses for last weeks work: being met by public.
Get onboard little children, get onboard.