Meet ABI - Part I
ABI (Abi) is an election strategy aimed at taking the election campaign narrative away from political parties and substituting our own. First, some background.
Between elections, we tend to look at election results:
|2019 FEDERAL ELECTION|
|Province or territory||Population||Electors on the lists||Valid ballots||Rejected ballots||Total ballots cast||Voter turnout|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||519,716||420,067||243,278||99||3,611||2||246,889||58.77%|
|Prince Edward Island||142,907||116,721||85,294||99||1,068||1||86,362||73.99%|
Then we get curious about where those votes went:
|Conservative Party of Canada||6,239,227||34.34%|
|Green Party of Canada||1,189,607||6.55%|
|Liberal Party of Canada||6,018,728||33.12%|
|New Democratic Party||2,903,722||15.98%|
|People's Party of Canada||294,092||1.62%|
Next, we get lost in the weeds, trying to figure out who we should vote for. We do not really trust any of them to govern responsibly. The BQ and Greens are outliers, each with a narrow agenda that is not conducive to national economic and social recovery. The People’s Party suffered a really bad start but has policies worthy of consideration and debate. The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP have not distinguished themselves over the last two decades. We have suffered through 7 federal elections starting in 2000:
|37th General Election, November 27, 2000|
|38th General Election, June 28, 2004|
|39th General Election, January 23, 2006|
|40th General Election, October 14, 2008|
|41st General Election, May 2, 2011|
|42nd General Election, October 19, 2015|
|43rd General Election, October 21, 2019|
We are weary of being treated to weeks of political parties slagging on another, playing silly political games to score points on social media sites, dozens of insincere promises and no change in how we are governed. We are in for another election within the next twelve months.
Our entire political structure is stuck somewhere in the mid-1960s except for our Prime Minster who is stuck a good decade earlier when we had high hopes for the United Nations and a lasting peace. Over the years the UN has wandered off into a hybrid Marxist/Socialist paradise doing its best to take control over western democracies.
The world has undergone dramatic changes over the past five decades, but our governments have not. They are not meeting the challenges we face today or adapting to shifting geo-political powers. Political parties have become so fixated on power struggles, they no longer remember why they were elected and have effectively tossed democratic representation in the waste bin.
The powers concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is an insult to democracy. The PMO cannot include the Privy Council in any democracy. The Privy Council is a neutral body reporting to the Governor General. The Clerk of the Privy Council is also the head of the Public Service. As part of a neutral Governor General’s Office, the privy council Clerk prevents politicization of the Public Service. The PM and Cabinet cannot put their own people into key positions.
The Prime Minister should be seeking the guidance of his Cabinet and caucus in formulating government policy rather than relying on the advice of highly paid, unelected public relations and political strategy people. We need a government that does things right because they are right instead of acting solely to secure re-election.
The opposition has completely failed us and over the two decades, all have been in opposition ranks. There has been no effort to prioritize the nation’s needs and important issues such as:
- indigenous reconciliation;
- the ongoing horrific disappearances of women and girls;
- armed forces spending;
- a convoluted and largely incomprehensible tome of an income tax act;
- gun and gang violence in urban centres;
- the flight of business investments;
- destruction of the oil and gas sector of the economy;
- a broken criminal justice system;
- federal incursions in provincial jurisdictions; and
- an unjustifiable “equalization” program.
The term ‘government accountability’ has become a sick joke. It does not exist in our parliament. Worse, out parliament has chosen to recuse itself for six months rather than carry out the duties
its members were elected for and in violation of their oaths of office.
The message is that our elected representatives are not essential to good governance during a virus epidemic/crisis, but by their actions, are incapable of democratic rule and irrelevant. Where do we turn to when those we elected to represent us fail to do their duty?
Turning over unfettered control to a minority government for six months is not democracy at work. Refusing to sit as a parliament during a crisis is not democracy at work. We need to fight back and insist on a return to democratic governance. More on that later this week.