Democracy Needs a “Face-lift”

The article, “Levac vows to fight for job” shows that democracy in our province, our cities and our country needs a “face-lift.”

Mr. Dave Levac may not be leaving Eagle Place, but it’s up to the citizens of Brant whether he leaves his role as MPP, or not.  And, Ontarians will decide if the current liberal government, lead by a party appointed premier, stays in power.  It’s presumptuous for Mr. Levac to say he’s not leaving.  This presumptuous attitude is one of the reasons why democracy-as-usual doesn’t cut it anymore.

Mr. Levac’s record is questionable.  The province can’t afford $17 Million for the proposed Laurier Brantford/YMCA Athletics-Recreation Complex (neither can the federal government for that matter).  From Brantford’s perspective it is unneeded, unwanted by citizens and unaffordable.  The Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre debacle (which the province and the federal government each gave, you guest it, $17 Million) must be paid for, put to full use, learned from and the city debt free before another “athletic complex” is put before taxpayers.

$5 Million for derelict, abandoned industrial site (oh, sorry, we should use the sanitized buzzword—brownfields) clean up is not an acceptable use of taxpayers’ dollars.  Taxpayers’ are not responsible for cleaning up someone else’s mess.

Brant has detox centres. They are called The Brant Community Health System and The Brant County Health Unit.

Mr. Levac is quite right that Ontarians have witnessed “harsh political games” played out in the following files (for a complete list see the comments section of the above article):

  • Health-premium (non-tax)
  • E-Health
  • Ornge
  • OLG
  • Eco-fees
  • Canceled gas plants

Think of how the lost taxpayers’ dollars from these “games” could have helped the legitimate poor and lessened the tax burden on taxpayers.

How can Mr. Levac defend the “Wynne Record” if he acknowledges these “games” have damaged the province?  Why did it take so long for the government to “fess up” and attempt to start to “fix” the damage?

So, what should we do?  As Mr. Lorrie Goldstein eloquently states in the article, “Entitled to Their Entitlements:  Scratch the surface and Tories and Liberals are the same,” “If recent events in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park teach us anything, it’s that political corruption isn’t a function of ideology.  It’s a function of power.”  Therefore, we suggest that all three levels of government legislate:

  1. Term limits for elected positions and managerial department/ministry civil servants
  2. Electorate approved spending ceiling
  3. Referendum for decisions beyond the day-to-day administration of the jurisdiction
  4. The only poll permitted during an election campaign is the official election poll on election day (meaning there is a ban on all other polling during the campaign)
  5. All election results for the jurisdiction must be in before results are released to the public

These actions won’t prevent all corruption, but they will shorten the laundry list of scandals.

With these changes, as a voter, you may recognize your power to make a difference because you will not be manipulated by polls or advanced election results.  Your voter apathy may disappear because the foregone conclusion that the same people are re-elected won’t be possible (when incumbent limit is reached).  Your candidate might actually be elected.  Your vote will have a genuine effect.  You may even look forward to election day because no one knows what’s going to happen.

Sounds like a recipe for higher voter turnout.  The fresh faces walking into the polling stations, or clicking online, will be part of our democracy’s collective “face-lift.”

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