There are two major elections just over the horizon. One in Canada. The other in the United States of America. Both of which are more polarizing than any I can recall.
If you’re an American, the Canadian election is meaningless. But if you’re a Canadian, the US election has enormous consequences in trade and world affairs.
Therefore; we all have something at stake in the upcoming votes. Especially Canadians where both elections really matter.
In the US, like Canada, the election is going to be decided by the person who loses the least. It’s incredible how in our two nations we have leaders who inspire so few, that their fate rests exclusively on the greater lack of the appeal of their opponents.
Long ago, voters got excited about voting, so much so, that they turned out in real numbers and voted for someone. Then it became voting along Party lines.
And now, it’s neither the person nor the Party.
Fringe players like our socialist candidates: Jack Layton, NDP in Canada, and Ralph Nader Independent in the USA are great for stimulating the conscience of our nations, but you wouldn’t either sitting in power.
Canadians will be able to choose between a fuzzy Liberal agenda where the government wants to be everywhere, and a real Conservative platform that promises much less government.
Unfortunately though, the Conservative platform which has a great deal to do with fiscal responsibility, also has in its policies social issues that restrict the rights of Gay and Lesbians to marry, and argues against a woman’s right to have an abortion. Not to mention support for closer ties to God.
Hence: I would like to vote for their fiscal policies. but deplore their social agenda. And their political ties to a deity.
In general, Canadians like liberal social freedoms. We like the fact that our governments don’t get into our bedrooms, or tell us what to do with our bodies, including a woman’s right to have an abortion. In this regard, we’re far less tight-assed than our American neighbors.
But we’re also far too self-involved to participate in the political process. And we too often think we’re somehow above the fray. More than that, we allow our Prime Ministers to virtually rule opposed to govern.
Unlike the USA, Canada lacks viable checks and balances.
The War in Iraq will play an enormous role in choosing the next President. That’s terribly unfortunate since there should be far more pressing issues to be debated.
But, when American men and women are being killed almost daily, wounded virtually everyday, and are living far away from home, friends and family for extended periods, the War really matters and becomes THE ISSUE!
If I was an American strategist planning the assault to win the White House for my candidate; here’s what I would do.
First and foremost, I’d find a way to get the hell out of Iraq.
I would swear an oath to bring civilized healthcare like Canada’s no-pay system to the American people.
I would promise to cut the size of the American bureaucracy. And I would put the meaning of democracy back into the word by eliminating all corporate donations, as well as placing limits on private donations to no more than a total of $5000 (for all parties and candidates combined) per eligible voter for each calendar year.
One of the most critical issues to the American political process is the amount of money that will be spent to pick a President this time around. It is estimated that between the Democrats and the Republicans, both parties will spend upwards of $1 BILLION combined.
Money such as this is a beckoning call for abuse, special favors and dishonesty to the maximum degree.
Other than the individual non corporate donors who contribute a few bucks to a few thousand dollars, there are very few ideologues who will give tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars without wanting something substantial in return.
This does enormous harm to the integrity of politics.
Then I’d promise to most judiciously oversee the spending of the people’s money, while at the same time reduce the national debt.
I’d forget about faith-based anything. I’d stay out of the bedrooms of the people. And I’d see to it that conditions are right to promote and protect the American standard of living.
If I was in the same position as the strategist for a Canadian candidate, my advice would be no different. Enhance the existing healthcare system. Continue to stay out of the nation’s bedrooms. Reduce the bureaucracy. Lower taxes and pay down the national debt.
Everything else would be normal governance.
I imagine most people want less government, less tax costs and better management of the services we already have. We don’t need promises of grandeur and pledges the leaders will never keep.
We need simplicity and clarity. Two commodities that have been in very short supply for quite a few elections.
If the process continues along the current path, we won’t have to worry about outside influences killing our democracies. We’ll do the job ourselves.