Last night I watched this episode of The Agenda. It is an excellent discussion about the state of politics in this country.
I am deeply concerned about the direction of politics in this country. While politics has always been something of dirty game I’ve observed the Conservatives use tactics that are truly offensive and corrosive on our democracy. They however aren’t the only guilty party.
Take for instance the use of attack ads outside of elections. The Conservatives effectively smeared Dion and Ignatieff. The ads worked but what are the long term ramifications of this tactic? How many quality people will want to ever become the leader of the opposition if they know the ruling party will immediately look for any dirt they can find and smear them with it on television coast to coast?
If the government doesn’t provide honest and accurate assessments of their programs to parliament who would want to be an MP? Say I’m fired up and I want to go make a difference in Ottawa. I get there and I can’t speak freely in the House of Commons and I can’t even know the real numbers behind programs? How will I be able to make any difference?
If I come to parliament and there is very little co-operation or dialogue just rabid partisanship how would I make any difference at all? If I come to parliament and the government simply shuts it down when it doesn’t want to be held accountable I would definitely wonder why I am there.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why some prominent MP’s from across the political spectrum have packed it in and given up. As we drift towards tactics that reduce the role of MP’s as attack dogs for rabid partisan agendas we will continually find our governments filled with second rate people. The quality of our leadership will diminish.
The decline of parliament is a much bigger issue to me than 1.5 points on the business tax rate or funding for students. We need a political environment that attracts bright innovative people with a sincere passion for our country. We need great people to come up with great ideas. Without great people will not be able to meet the challenges we face as a nation.