Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Politics and Patronage

Throughout history, in fact ever since two people stood in front of each other there has been a need for systems of understanding. Language being one such method used to bring understanding. As humans progressed and larger groups formed, we needed more systems to bring order. Political parties are examples of systems used to bring order and structure at least, peace is a different matter. We often get people who are skilled at politics yet inept at peace. The irony is that politics is there to assist us in securing peace. For example we have Libya, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and many other areas where politicians have done a masterful job of getting what they want. However the ability to bring peace has been left behind. Here in Canada, peace in our society is far greater than the countries noted above. Even though we do not live in an society that is waging open warfare does not mean we can be less diligent on the efforts to be peaceful. In truth, we should feel the obligation to be ever more diligent. To do this we must look beyond current thoughts and understanding of political normalcy. One area that has been abused to get lengths by every party holding power rests within the legislative branches of governance. One of the most radical out side the box ideas is to do away with party politics in the House. For example, here in Canada, the territory of Nunavut has no party politics. Doing so increases transparency, responsibility to voters and decreases political patronage, pork barrel politics and whipped votes. One of the largest barriers we have is the attachment to old school party politic method and ideology. The system of party politics is comfortable and familiar. Sadly, there are emergent realities that erode the trust of the people creeping in, these must be dealt with. As an example the next government could pledge to appoint the best person for each Ministry no matter what party they belong to. These members should not have to change parties or cross the floor which does happen on occasion. Or, how about each party leader as a Minister of Education, another party leader as Minister of Health or Minister of Finance and so on. At the very least I think that every elected member should be allowed to apply for a Minister position. The best person for the job is always mentioned and sometimes the party that holds power just does not have the best person within its ranks. I understand these are not typical concepts but that is what outside the box thinking is. Furthermore, there is no legal reason it is not done today. The only reason it is not done is due to political patronage and the fact that it is rare to have a politician with enough courage to try it.