By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 30, 2012 - 0 Comments
Greg Fingas considers Bruce Hyer’s defection in the context of Thomas Mulcair’s hopes for regional outreach. Brian Topp considers Mr. Hyer’s defection in the context of the “bozo eruptions” that apparently hurt Wild Rose’s chances in Alberta.
Our political system tends towards hyper-centralization, and imposes a discipline on elected representatives that, at least some of them sometimes believe, disrespects and disempowers them. A “crisis of surplus consciousness” can result, in which the few at the top end up with too much to do (and therefore cannot do it well), which the vast majority of other team members end up with too little to do (and aren’t happy about it). This, to be precise, used to be said with reference to the hyper-centralized system in place in the Soviet Union. It could also be said of a number of poorly-led, hyper-centralized private corporations. It may be what parliamentary systems inherently drift into.
But as the Alberta election testifies, our political system also brutally punishes political teams who fail to maintain the tightest possible order in their ranks – at least as far as anyone can see – at every stage of proceedings including elections. “Bozo moments,” policy disagreements, strategy debated in public: Any chink of light is seized on as evidence of unfitness for office.
It seems to me there’s a distinction to be made between a candidate saying something that a significant number of voters find offensive and a candidate expressing a different opinion on policy or strategy, but it’s certainly the case that any break in unity is first and foremost discussed as a potential crisis of leadership.
Brian thinks “it is possible to have a respectful, deliberative, democratic political team that then presents a united front,” but the question remains, what does that look like? Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM - 0 Comments
Denis Coderre said yesterday that a Wild Rose win in Alberta might have an impact on national unity.
“We have to be very, very careful to have a Wildrose government because when the leader’s saying, ‘well, Quebec is complaining all the time, we shouldn’t give them (equalization), they have to understand where the money’s coming from …’ Hello? What’s that?” said Coderre. ”Everybody at one moment of their history was there to help each other. So I think we have to remember what Canadians stand for.”
Meanwhile, Michael Ignatieff sat down with the BBC to talk about Scotland and ended up musing about the potential eventuality of independence for Quebec.
Both men seem to forget that in defeating the Liberals in 2008 and electing a majority Conservative government last year, Canadians have already assured this nation’s unity.
By Paul Wells - Friday, August 28, 2009 at 2:43 PM - 19 Comments
Nick Kohler’s piece on Alberta’s Wild Rose Alliance party, and its leadership candidate Danielle Smith, is getting a lot of attention from very conservative Albertans. As, indeed, is the Wild Rose party itself. Alberta conservatism isn’t the milieu I know best (it’s so hard to find good latté in Okotoks), but I’ve been hearing from conservatives who wonder whether the Wild Rose is more deserving of their energy and money than Ed Stelmach’s bunch.