Jun. 9, 2020

Meet ABI – Part II

Our elected representatives abandoned us during what they claim is a crisis. Over the past three months, our governments federal and provincial have gone to extraordinary lengths to tell us how deadly the coronavirus is.
     That is true in some settings, such as personal care facilities where residents and staff cannot get away from one another, protocols for a contagious illness were not in place, there was no adequate supply of personal protective equipment and facilities were badly understaffed.
     As of about June 5th, the NIA LONG TERM CARE COVID-19 TRACKER showed that 6,400 residents and 14 staff members died from COVID-19 infections. That is 85% of all COVID-19 deaths. When we extract the personal care facility cases and deaths from overall figures:

COVID-19

CASES

%

DEATHS

%

DEATH RATE

GENERAL POPULATION

67,382

71.26%

1,144

15.14%

1.70%

PERS CARE FACILITIES

27,170

28.74%

6,414

84.86%

23.61%

TOTAL

94,552

100.00%

7,558

100.00%

7.99%

 
Risks for the general population are heavily overstated.  We can only speculate on why governments are employing the ‘fear factor’ when it is not necessary. Distraction comes to mind.

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     In Part 1, I listed ten items that our government is ignoring during the crisis they invented. There are many more. The current protests in major cities are another distraction. Politicians make gestures but nothing changes.
     People ask me what we can do to bring about real change. There is a lot we can do. In the 2019 election, 93 seats (27.5%) were won by less than 10% of votes cast. They are vulnerable to change.
     We start with an ABI campaign. Vote for Anyone But an Incumbent. The most vulnerable seats will shift from party to party. Other seats won by 10% to 19% will also shift. All incumbents will see their margins sink. The odds of any party achieving a majority will drop, as they should. None of them have earned a right to govern. Collectively, they let us down, failed to represent us in dealing with a crisis and we need to express our anger and frustration. Same old, same old is not acceptable.
     All parties are currently pleading for our donations and support. We need to prepare an election campaign like no other in the past. We are usually ill-prepared when we encounter a candidate or can ask a question at a forum. Let us change that and take the election campaign narrative away from political party strategists and PR people.
     We need to be prepared with some tough questions to throw at candidates and political parties. Here are a few examples:

  1. 1.Are you and your party prepared to split the positions of Clerk of the Privy Council and Clerk of the Cabinet and return the Privy Council to the Governor General as required by our constitution?
  2. 2.Are you and your party prepared to sharply downsize the PMO and require the government to be run by the Cabinet and Caucus rather than by hired strategists and PR people?
  3. 3.Will you and your party split the roles of Attorney General and Minister of Justice to avoid conflicts of interest for the AG.
  4. 4.Are you and your party prepared to abolish whipped votes and allow elected representatives to vote in accordance with the wishes of their constituents?
  5. 5.Are you and your party prepared to rescind the Official Languages Act and hire based on competence, not linguistic ability?
  6. 6.Are you and your party prepared to rescind the Lobbying Act and enforce criminal code prohibitions on influencing elected and appointed government officials?
  7. 7.Are you and you party prepared to resurrect the oil and gas sector and make provisions to build the infrastructure required to restart this vital engine of our economy
  8. 8.Are you and your party prepared to commit to simplifying the Income Tax Act to a plain language document any taxpayer can understand?
  9. 9.Are you and your party prepared to honor the constitutional powers of provinces and cease interference therein?
  10. 10.Are you and you party prepared to accept the responsibilities given you under Section 91 of the Constitution and act on them as your primary policies?
  11. 11.Are you and your party prepared to amend the Referendum Act to put referendums in the hands of an arm’s length separate body and ensure that at least one constitutional issue is dealt with in each calendar year.
  12. 12.Are you and your party prepared to make amendments to House rules that require any Order in Council to receive approval of the House of Commons before taking effect.

     I submit that if we are consistent and persistent, we can change the dialogue of the next general election and force politicians to heed our concerns for a change. There are more to examples to be considered, but we need to keep the list we adopt to a maximum of ten issues. Ideally, we need to pick the top six and hammer politician relentlessly with those six.
    Your comments are always welcome.