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Thursday 24 May 2012

Don't leave it to them

So here we are just over 7 months past a provincial election where we had the opportunity to advocate for changes to our political and government system. Has anything really changed? Is anyone paying attention? Even if they were, and some are, is there any kind of movement or feeling of positive momentum from any front? I don't suppose NL is much different then any other modern democracy in the sense that we love the political dogfights during election time but when it's all said and done most folks just assume good things are happening and that they did their part when they cast that ballot. Unfortunately that makes for a poor political system and a largely unaccountable government.

To be clear, this is not a partisan rant. This applies to many governments of various political stripes. They want us to be uninterested and largely uninformed. Its how bad governments get, and hold on to, power. I've written about voter apathy here before but this is something that I would consider even more important. Being part of a democratic society is demanding. It requires that as citizens we keep informed and express our opinions on important public policy matters. We cannot expect government or politicians to always have our best interests at heart so we have to fight tooth and nail to ensure that every decision and every action is indeed the best one possible. We have to demand the best from those who make the decisions that govern our province and our country.

Make no mistake, I am not writing this to point fingers. As regular readers will note this is my first post here for some time. As with everyone life demands regular attention and it is not always easy to keep informed and be active in public discussions. But it is necessary!

It can sometimes feel like a very daunting task to become involved. There are not many avenues to express a reasonably educated opinion and expect anyone to listen. There are certainly a few NL bloggers who keep at it regularly. A few callers to the open line programs do their best as well. From personal experience it can often feel like you are speaking to a crowd who have no interest in listening but I have to remind myself to just do my best to raise good points as often as I can. Even as a candidate in the last election my attempts to talk about real government policy and good governance practices fell largely on deaf ears. That may also be part of the reason for my lack of posts as of late. Well I've just got to suck it up.

Saying things once to a small crowd is not nearly enough to make a difference. Often things must be said repeatedly to all those possible to ensure that the discussion is taking place. Good government comes from real discussion and solid policy, and we need a whole lot more of both. So to hold up my end of the deal I will commit to posting at least one item per week on here related to government policy or rural issues in general and I ask that if you take the time to read this that you remain informed and do your best to drive the discussion. It is only when we push for open, educated discussion that we will make change. Don't leave it up to the media, politicians or bureaucrats. Good government in a democracy requires involvement. We cannot be passive and hope that those in power will make the right decisions without our input. Remember that the number one job of every politician is to get elected and then their second job is to get re-elected. We have to get informed and get involved, it's the only way to better government.