A lament for high school teacher political consultants

Before I’ve even had coffee this morning. I read in the Telegraph-Journal a commentary from a Saint John-based high school teacher with advice for Shawn Graham on how to win the next election. His strategy? This is cut and paste:

The easiest and most obvious strategy would be to choose a few important issues on which the current government is failing New Brunswickers and offer some real solutions. Important issues are not the ones which a few people make the most noise about. They’re the ones that affect the most lives.

Right on. Just get a blog, why don’t you?

But, the fun stops there. Here are his recommendations:

Tackle global warming (I’m not kidding).
Drop the $2500 Cap to Soft Tissue Injuries (equally not kidding).
Put Up Some Wildlife Fencing (not kidding, seriously I’m not).
All of these could fall under the heading of “just do the right thing.”

Now, I have freely admitted that I am not a political strategist nor a soothsayer (remember my predictions?). But come on. Am I so out of line with reality? Global warming? Not to be disrespectful – I do thing environmental stewardship is important but #1 on the ‘ways to get re-elected’ list?

Soft tissue cap? Look it. New Brunswickers need to have a mechanism to sue when appropriate. But just about everyone knows that the soft tissue issue was being abused and was killing the insurance rates of the average New Brunswicker. I am fully aware that the media and the Liberals want to make auto and every other type of insurance an issue but I can’t for the life of me see why – other than crass politics. And I object to crass politics – even if it gets you elected.

Wildlife fencing. Do I need to comment on this?

“Just to the right thing”. Do I need to comment on this?

When did high school teachers become political advisors with a circulation of 35,000?

Here’s a thought. Let’s pick someone from an occupation with absolute job security and a great pension. Let’s situate them in the cocoon that is the Kennebecasis Valley and then let’s have them speak on behalf of the New Brunswicker in the Miramichi who has witnessed population decline for two decades and is facing the potential of a mill closure. Or how about speak for Saint John? Saint John, a wonderful town, just getting real economic impetus from a number of positive initiatives. Let’s derail that and focus on wildlife fences.


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0 Responses to A lament for high school teacher political consultants

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think the first quote says it all. Pick issues where the government is failing?? Ya think? My political strategy would be to talk about ways that the government has succeeded and..oh wait, no, that’s what the GOVERNING PARTY would do!

    The scariest thing is that somebody so dumb is actually a teacher. However, you’re being a bit cynical, for example, when was the last time you put together a letter to the editor and had it rejected? A letter to the editor is just that, any bonehead can do it.

    But don’t stoop to ‘crass politics’ by claiming that issues people care about fit that description. Your feelings about insurance are not the issue. New Brunswickers don’t need a better way to sue, they need a decent living if injured and public insurance. Again, thats my opinion, the committee’s opinion, and now the liberal party’s position. If you don’t agree that’s fine, but don’t insult the issue because you don’t agree.

    Again, while people continually talk about the rates, more central (at least to me) is that fact that New Brunswickers send hundreds of millions of dollars to Toronto and Kitchener in exchange for a few call centre jobs (and I do mean few). Public insurance would employ New Brunswickers and keep that money in the province. Again, maybe you don’t like that,but that doesn’t make it ‘crass politics’ just because a lot of people do.

    But heaven forbid they talk about outmigration. Heaven forbid they talk about the massive forest giveaway to company’s that obviously will leave as soon as the forests are gone. Heaven forbid they talk about plugging money into company’s like Bennett to further wreck the environment-and who sit idly by anyway. Heaven forbid they talk about northern development meaning sending metal processors to Alberta.

    The list, of course, goes on and on. Although I don’t think global warming is a poor thing to attend, it fits quite well with what you are saying about funding dying industries. Close down a few pulp mills and you go a long way to fighting global warming, in fact, is there anything else polluting the air in New Brunswick? There’s hardly any people, its not like cars are a huge issue. And how much nicer would St. John be without a pulp mill right downtown on an environmental wonder? The problem is that those people need jobs, but of course there are ways to address that issue.

    Imagine what it must be like though, if teachers aren’t even aware of the biggest problems. Imagine if a teacher can’t even put his finger on the fact that the province has huge class sizes, and only spends $6000 a year per student-half what other areas spend. Or even the fact that in ever increasing number of them are being drugged because its impossible for teachers to keep order in a class that size.

    So I think WE need to make those election issues, along with the ones David mentioned. There are rumbling s about a fall election, so perhaps now is the time to do some planning.