The source of apathy

The Commission on Legislative Democracy, headed up by long time Tory backroom operative, David McLaughlin, will be releasing its final report tomorrow and according to the Times and Transcript will be “recommending a sweeping makeover of New Brunswick’s political system, including changes to how our MLAs are elected, how much power they have and how political parties should operate.”

The lack of voter interest in the political process is the main impetus for the Commission. They say we need to get New Brunswickers more engaged in the political process. They think that tweaking the process will lead to icnreased voter turnout and interest.

I have a slightly different view of the world.

Give people a reason to vote – and they will. Engage them in the process – and they will. Get beyond the subterfuge and spin that completely dominates politics – and they will. Tell the truth no matter how hard it hurts – and they will.

For the most part, we the public are not stupid. Telling us that the economy is booming, you have made record investments in health care, your education reforms will rocket us to third in Canada for standardized test scores, your Prosperity Plan is working. People are not stupid – they look around and they see the truth. Their kids are still leaving the province in record numbers, they still have to wait in long lines for health care and they have ultimate sympathy for teachers who are trying to do their best in an underfunded system.

A little straight talk and a tough love plan to really solve the province’s problems. That’ll shake the apathy. That’ll get them out to vote. However, given our history, no Premier or government wants to make any move to shake us out of our slumber – because when they do – we usually kick their arses out of office. For the Premier, a gentle slumber is just about what he wants.

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