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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.


  1. Good to see you back, Ryan. Your are passionate and committed to change in the political process...a daunting task at the best of times. However, I believe we have an opportunity to engage people more than ever, given the absolute ineptitude of all of the political parties running this province.

    I have stated, for quite some time, that we need statemanship and humility in our leadership if we are ever to put ourselves out of the mess we are in as a province and as a people. The "head in the sand" attitude of the government, in light of the death knell for rural Newfoundland, is appalling to say the least. They don't know what to do about admittedly a complex problem but are also dithering in the face of a looming crisis. Oil and hydro is their hoped-for salvation but this is sheer folly, given the uncertainties of oil prices, the finite nature of the oil feilds, and the fanciful ecomomics of Muskrat Falls

    There is a collective wisdom in rural Newfoundland that can pull us out of this and save us from government ineptitude and distructive fisheries policies but it has to start with true dialogue and people power. We MUST find a way to take back control or this resource or our rural communities are doomed.

  2. Hey Cyril. There's no doubt we need to get more people involved in understanding that government is not going to save the day for rural NL. They will likely continue to let in slowly die because that makes for better politics and easier budget allocations. Screaming about investing in rural communities and doing the exact opposite is tradition in NL so I can't see it changing any time soon. Even a municipal sector strategy would be a huge step in the right direction but I'm not holding my breath on that one either.

    If we want to see things change then we have to make that change happen without government. It's the only way, at least for now anyway.

  3. Hang in there, we need all the voices we can muster.

    Keep it up!