Friday, December 09, 2005

Scandal? What Scandal?

Remember when the only thing people talked about was the Gomery report? Corruption, kickbacks and fraud. What more could we ask for? The opposition parties couldn't wait to bring down the government.

It turns out, at least for the moment, that voters aren't that concerned. They want to move on to more "substantial" issues like healthcare. Almost 30% of voters think healthcare is THE issue yet none of the parties have really addressed it in a comprehensive way.

As for corruption, talk about a velvet glove treatment. None of the parties want to be the first to go negative, at least in a heavy, obvious way. So far it's all light jabs and gentle sparring. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security, Paul. It's coming.


Little Progress

After two weeks of campaigning, the opposition parties must be starting to question themselves. They've released promise after promise to no effect. The Liberals are even getting a slight bump up in the polls. It's a long campaign and most people won't be taking this seriously until the New Year. But still. You gotta wonder what's it going to take to unseat these guys.



Children Are Our Future

Some issues are clearly being addressed. Take daycare for example. Harper announced a plan that would pay families $1200 a year for every child under the age of six. No strings attached. Martin responded by promising to allocate money for daycare. Actually, he would double the amount he promised last time. Was the money from the first promise ever delivered? Is ten billion dollars that never gets delivered twice as good as five billion dollars that never gets delivered?

In any case, the distinction between the two proposals couldn't be clearer. Martin wants money transferred to governments to build infrastructure while Harper wants families to have the money directly and allocate it as they see fit.

Although both strategies have merit, consider this. Only 13% of children attend institutional daycare. 40% stay with family members, friends, etc. while fully 47% of children stay at home with one of the parents. What do they get? Nothing. Many critics said that $1200 dollars per year wouldn't go very far. If you're a stay at home mom struggling to make ends meet so that your child can get the best care possible maybe you have a different perspective. In the voting booth it's all about me, baby!


I Want To Be In Politics

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. Marc Garneau got a quick introduction to the ruthlessness of high stakes Federal politics this week. In 1986 (that's almost twenty years ago) Garneau made a speech in which he spoke about the need to allocate limited educational funds to the people that have the best chance of succeeding. The Bloc jumped all over this comment accusing him of being against assistance for special needs and handicapped students.

A month is an eternity in politics. Twenty years? Not so much. Remember, if you plan to run in an election, even if it's twenty years from now, do what the pros do. Be vocal, speak often, say nothing.


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