Showing posts with label democratic reform. Show all posts
Showing posts with label democratic reform. Show all posts

03 January 2013

Bravery and Democracy #nlpoli

“It is easy to be an armchair critic, tweeted natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy before Christmas, “but It takes real courage to stand for election.”

In another context, John Steele offered this opinion about your humble e-scribbler.:
“One thing that I respect about Ed is, he’s got balls enough to put his name to stuff. He’s not anonymous, so I respect that.”
The word “democracy” derives from the Greek words for people and power.  Democracy is a form of government in which everyone may participate equally and fully in making decisions that will affect them.

10 October 2012

Another sign of the democratic deficit #nlpoli

If you have a few minutes to spare, flip through the provincial government’s 2012 budget.

Look for the work “donation”.

You won’t find it.  Nor will you find any amount of money set aside in the health department budget that would cover a donation by the provincial government to health care foundations operated in some communities on the west coast earlier this year.

15 June 2012

Collins beats Kazakhstan #nlpoli

borat not collinsFrom a second rebuttal to justice minister Felix Collins, right (not exactly as illustrated) from the Center for Law and Democracy:

In a speech to the House of Assembly on 14 June 2012, Collins used derogatory terms to refer to CLD, and claimed we had financial motives in publicising our research. CLD is no stranger to working in difficult political environments. Over the past year, we have conducted projects in Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Somalia and many other countries that are known for being particularly hostile to democratising forces. However, this is the first time that the integrity and professionalism of our organisation have ever been directly attacked by a political leader. [Emphasis added]



12 June 2012

The Stacked House Filibuster #nlpoli

Democracy is a beautiful thing. 

bill29The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are witnessing its full beauty in the filibuster against the Conservative government’s latest assault on openness, transparency and accountability. 

06 March 2012

New partners and new supplicants #nlpoli

After the throne speech, the leaders of the opposition parties get to have their say in the legislature.

Just as the throne speech sets the government’s agenda, so too can the replies set the agenda for the opposition parties. They could be committed to biting at the government’s heels and demonstrating, as one former opposition leader put it, that the public could toss out the incumbents and trust the Opposition with the government at the next election.

Liberal leader Dwight Ball, the official opposition leader, offered a few “thoughts as we collectively work together to secure a brighter future.”

The rest of his speech covered health spending,  search and rescue and a handful of other topics all of which fit with the government’s agenda very neatly.  Any differences – on things like the fishery, for example -  were more cosmetic than substantive.

So with Ball basically pledging to be a partner for the ruling Tories, what of the New Democrats and Lorraine Michael?

Well, Lorraine talked as though she didn’t have a caucus.  There were plenty of references to what Lorraine had said before.  There are a great many “I”s in the NDP team.

But most telling of all, was Lorraine’s reversion to her old approach, of the supplicant going to authority to beg favours:

What we are asking for, Mr. Speaker, is very, very basic.

What they are “asking” for.  Not what they are working for.  Not what they will push for and not what they will do when they form the government.

No, as they did during the election, the NDP want to ask for things from those in power.

So with the Tories pledging to stay the course,  they can count on a new partnership with the Liberals as the NDP come on bended knee to ask for something or other.

Anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador will have to look somewhere other than the House of Assembly if they want new ideas. 

As for those clamouring for democratic reform, they could put a dozen new committees in the House.  Since none of the elected members seem to have any idea what they should be doing with them, democratic reform will have to come from somewhere else as well.

- srbp -