Dean Pen­ney sur­veys the po­lit­i­cal land­scape

The Compass - - OPINION -

We’ve all heard the the phrases “the po­lit­i­cal winds of change” and “some­times a change is good as a rest.”

Well I be­lieve both have come to fruition this past sev­eral weeks and months.

When the end time comes to a per­son’s po­lit­i­cal life, reluc­tantly that per­son nei­ther wants to ac­cept it, let alone giv­ing in and giv­ing up, but it has hap­pened to our for­mer pre­mier, Kathy Dun­derdale.

With­out go­ing into the in­tri­cate de­tails, we all know that she stepped aside to make way for change and for the party to re­tain po­lit­i­cal life, rather than be on life sup­port.

We have seen change a lit­tle more closely to home with that of the re­cent provin­cial by­elec­tion, re­sult­ing in Sam Slade be­ing elected as our Lib­eral MHA for our district. And even be­fore that an al­most com­plete change in the guard with our town coun­cil, with the ad­di­tion of some new, fresh faces.

Some­times a politi­cian can over-ex­tend their ten­ure, whether it is for the good or not of the people, the prov­ince or even the coun­try. Some­times a short ten­ure is not all that bad ei­ther. Take, for ex­am­ple, if Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper wins the next federal elec­tion. It will place him on a pedestal on par with the four man­dates of Pierre El­liott Trudeau and Sir Wil­fred Lau­rier.

If Harper continues his win­ning streak, then who knows, maybe even higher than that of Macken­zie King and Sir John A. MacDon­ald, with six man­dates each.

With over-ex­ten­sions as in­di­cated above, I won­der how many fresh ideas can be im­ple­mented? Or is it just much of the same rhetoric.

Speak­ing of fresh ideas, how about that bold move federal Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau when he re­turned all Lib­eral sen­a­tors to that of in­de­pen­dents, ba­si­cally so­lid­i­fy­ing his take on the Se­nate be­ing non-par­ti­san, and just imag­ine, our prime min­is­ter couldn’t even fathom this novel idea.

How about Bill Barry toss­ing his name into the po­lit­i­cal ring? Maybe his ap­proach to gov­ern­ing is sim­i­lar to that of our past pre­mier, Danny Wil­liams, in that it takes a busi­ness­man with a busi­ness ap­proach to en­sure and main­tain our eco­nomic tide continues into the fu­ture. Maybe a to­tal dif­fer­ent ap­proach is war­ranted in that we once again re­turn to a Lib­eral govern­ment on our provin­cial scene. Hey, maybe even on the federal scene as well.

Then again, short tenures are not all that bad ei­ther. Take, for ex­am­ple, Joe Clark, Kim Camp­bell or John Turner, and Tom Ride­out. Short, in this con­text, ap­pears to have been a good thing.

In Car­bon­ear, we are about to have a by­elec­tion for that of mayor, and fol­lowed by an­other for that of coun­cil­lor of our town. I will re­serve my per­sonal thought on this, but if you take into ac­count what the demo­cratic process is sup­posed to en­tail, I would like for you to think about this: If some­thing should hap­pen to our prime min­is­ter, then the deputy min­is­ter would step in and fill that void, sim­i­lar to that of pre­mier, the deputy pre­mier and to that of our mayor, the deputy mayor would fill that void un­til the next gen­eral elec­tion from what I un­der­stand and I stand to be cor­rected on that.

Then again there are a lot of chang­ing pa­ram­e­ters that can af­fect this within the demo­cratic process that is some­times puz­zling and be­yond our com­pre­hen­sion at times to make sense.

Whether it is changes at the high­est level in govern­ment, to that of our provin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal level, there are many non-at­trac­tive dif­fi­cult chal­leng­ing ar­eas that needs to be tack­led and as we have all seen from time and time again, there has been much of the same and with no change at all. To ne­ces­si­tate any change, re­quires our politi­cians re­gard­less of what level to think out­side the box from time to time. — Dean J. Pen­ney writes from


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