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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Good Comms is Bad Policy

This makes no sense to me.  Which is probably why I'm not a war room kinda guy.

Voters are smart: they know that - for the big ticket problems, and particularly the economic ones - the problems are myriad, and the range of solutions are myriad-er.  Ipso facto, Keep It Simple Stupid: keep talking, over and over, about two or three easy-to-understand ideas about making the economy better.

Is that like saying "cut taxes, oil solves everything and tough on crime?"  Cutting taxes means more money in people's pockets, right?  Oil - that's something everyone needs, so a logical basket to put all one's eggs in?  Getting tough with crime forces more legit economic activity, or some such?

What about health care costs, the baby boomer cliff and severe weather events?  Or mental health, oil price fluctuations, ISIL?  Or reduced public services due to reduction to accommodate tax breaks cutting many Canadians off at the knees, leading to presenteeism, poverty, mental health, etc?  Or the frequency of mental illness and marginalized persons in our prisons, a bell-weather of social failure that impedes success for all?

Complex, inter-connected problems require complex, cross-sectoral solutions.  They require diversity of opinion and buy-in to work.

Then again, good politics isn't about nurturing the long-term sustainability of the economy or society - it's about winning.  Over the past couple of decades, the short-term win has come to eclipse all else.
Which probably helps to explain this: It's the last day of August... and the survey says the electorate don't really want anyone to be government. 

Our political class by and large doesn't believe in tipping points - at least other than the kind that propel them to power or cast them out.  For most, it probably hasn't occurred - really occurred - that they are helping to weaken both our democratic system and people's faith in democracy as a model.

Rob Ford - great sound-bite deliverer.  Donald Trump, same.

Where that rabbit hole leads, though, is not something we want to be exploring.

Our parties need to step up - but we need to expect more from them as well.

Open Government, Responsible Society.  The alternative choice won't be pretty.

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