Just an idea….gonna ‘float it’….see what you think…..
Most people running for office are motivated to ‘do good’. Even the idiot Cons thought they were right and had the answers to what ailed us (despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary). Harper thought he was GOOD for the country.
Some pursue politics for reasons of ego and a hunger for power but they are rare. Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau’s back room. Christy Clark’s back room. Those people thirst for power so as to push their personal agenda. The average politician is no good at much of anything else (maybe teaching drama) but likes meeting people, shaking hands and kissing babies. And they are more than willing to go along to get along. They believe in the system. They may be weak-minded and spineless joiners, followers and sycophants but, generally speaking, they are benign and vanilla-nice. Like lap dogs.
There are not a lot of truth-telling, courageous contrarians in politics, that is for sure.
And the reason we have parties and opposition and dirty politics is that these ‘personalities’ feel they can’t ‘do good’ unless they first have the power and that means (in this system) selling out, dirty tricks and telling lies. And they even need to ‘join’ up’ to do that. With that sacrifice, they then lose what little personal integrity they might have had. They rationalize that as required for the ‘team’ approach of the party system. They and we seem to think they have to first do a lot of bending over, suckholing, brown-nosing and being blind to the evil in the background to be able to be in the position to do any good.
What a soul-killing exercise that must be.
I keep thinking about that. There must be a better way. I think proportional representation is a much better way but, once you get to thinkin’, you think up other stuff, too.
So….here we go: Imagine that all the candidates really want to do good, represent their community and are not motivated by the money, perks, bonuses and other selfish aspects of the job. One, say, is the Green candidate, one Liberal candidate and Joe over there is the NDP. All others are welcome to join the local constituency pact, too. The local pact is an agreement based on the fact that being adversaries is counter productive. Being in opposition is the opposite of cooperation and their allegiance to the community is more important than subservience to the party that rarely serves anyone all that well.
The local pact plan can work better.
Of course, they run against each other but the two or three top vote getters (minimum votes required to form the pact…..say 25%) commit to cooperating. And then, when the election is done, one of them is the official MLA but they (those with 25% or better) then split the salary and the perks. They split the expenses and the per diems. And they work together.
Opinions and votes are decided jointly (deciding vote going to the highest vote-getter). But that means two people representing the community. Or three. That means two or three bodies making it to meetings. That means two or three minds being better than one and all the pact members being together are made more able to resist party pressures.
If three vote getters get more than 25% of the vote each then there are three bodies doing the job. If only two get 25% or more then the pact is made up of two.
Why not? If you are really running to help your community, then that should work for you in spades. The average back bencher MLA gets over $105K a year in salary and somewhere around another $50k in expense allowances and such. For hardly any excuse at all, they give additional pay. Plus office staff and crap. And there are plenty of perks. Most MLAs I have met couldn’t get work at $50k in the real world so they can share what is likely close to $200k and still be way ahead. Plus they get more done, satisfy more of the voters and have greater independence to vote their conscience.
It also ends the adversarial nature of politics and makes it more cooperative and more democratic.
This plan is basically proportional representation done at the local level. You want a candidate that is first past the post, then don’t vote for those who form the local pact. You want as much bang for your buck as a taxpayer, then vote the local pact. Easy.
I’ll call this idea the Pact Party. It is not an official group but a movement, an idea, an exercise in peaceful revolution that should offend no one.
Such an idea is pretty simple, pretty basic and pretty unselfish. Therefore it will take a lot of explaining and most people just won’t get it. “Unselfish? Like, duh, who would do that!?”
I think a lot would. I think most politicians start out wanting to do good. And, I think if they did this good thing, they would revolutionize politics overnight.
What do you think?