The Policy link is gone but I have a copy if anyone has questions.
cursory review of the seventy some items posted by the Alliance I
searched for a word that I thought descriptive. That word is muesli (a
diminutive of mush), a mix of many food ingredients that contains no
meat. A melange of many cereal grains, nuts, fruit and probably other
stuff. If you pour water in the muesli the result is a healthy watery
soup. If the water is hot the muesli becomes a nourishing porridge.
Displaying some sensitivity toward the evocative aspect of words I
apologise to the grass roots members who I am supposed to believe were
the drafters and crafters of the document.
The policy has changed little since my first look at it some years back, when the Reform Party rented exhibit space at an Electronics Industry trade show near Toronto. It had 56 items, many items were really duplicates, reworded to appeal to a wider range of the wronged and disaffected . There seemed to be something for every wrong ever experienced by a citizen. No basic governance issues, just problems stemming from inept administration or a liberal/conservative (interchangeable) mind set. Now that list has expanded to more than 70 items. I did not read it all.
When evaluating the so called grass roots sector it is my belief that we must bank on their consensual judgment of character. There is very little wiggle room there. But Canadians know more about hockey than they know about; history, Political Science (an oxymoron), system management, group behaviour, environmental issues, financial policy, economics and on and on. Should these people be trusted to draft policy for a potential Federal Government. As a grass root I get my guidance from a minority. Us grass roots are subject to manipulation in ways we do not understand. If there is any doubt about that consider the accomplishments of the Advertising Industry. In Canada we depend on the grass roots to vote with some intelligence; and in the long term I think that works well. Still Canadians are not above a few partisan errors; the evidence is on the editorial pages of our newspapers.
The Canadian Alliance grass roots are going to come up with policy input to National council. When that is the last thing the bulk of these people give a damn about. We already know that the Alliance handles failure the same way as their competing political parties.
Alliance decision making criteria with respect to policy implementation are not easily discerned. There seems to be a reliance on some background decision making system. A hidden decision making system is dangerous because of the potential influence of non political agendas. The Policies of the Canadian Alliance currently set forth are subject to review and possible change; perhaps this spring.
The Constitution is now only historic.
("The Policy" link is open now; added 03 October 2007)
The posted Constitution of the Canadian Alliance is assumed to be the founding document. Therein I find the National Council enshrined. Is the National Council the firm guiding hand. The leader of the party answers to the National Council. He is only called the leader. His role is spokesman for National Council. National Council is more powerful than the grass roots membership who have been on a policy defining journey this past year. The National Council's vision has to be perfect, because there is no wiggle space to accommodate a fast changing political environment. I am assuming that the National Council adheres to the espoused policy and platform. The leader can not direct National Council. The National council is a committee. Historically there have been a few successful committees. One was held in Philadelphia a few hundred years ago. There were probably more.
The really good part is that there have been a large number of people meeting publicly on a monthly basis under the Alliance banner to find a way out of the swamp in the wilderness. Many are young, they are intelligent, they are concerned. They are not married to the Canadian Alliance. Unfortunately a large amount of fascism is necessary for any political party to survive. The party must take precedence when there is a threat to survival because therein are embedded the ideals of the active members. If the new members are unable to influence the National Council they could take their enthusiasm and insight elsewhere.
Can the National Council create policies and a platform for the apathetic voter. I suspect that many members of the Alliance were politically apathetic before Reform and the Alliance came along. Some members of the alliance seem to think that apathetic voters do not care; I think apathetic voters are people whose hope and aspirations have been jaded by the faults and defaults of politicians.
It is my conjecture that any organisation that can inspire ten percent of the apathetic "voters" to pay attention and as a minimum go to the polls will have a landslide electoral victory. With all the hazards that attends a large majority in the House of Commons the affection of the voters will continue to swing. Can a bunch of well meaning people (grass roots) reinvent a country? I think they can if they are willing to sacrifice their very personal and parochial interests and embrace the three founding cultures, all of which have been partial to newcomers. The Canadian Alliance projects the image of being primarily concerned with defeating the Liberals using muesli fortified with selective morality and rhetoric. Better government from the ground up may be a task beyond the aspirations of the National Council of the Canadian alliance.
The first leader of the Alliance expressed concern about a six hundred thousand dollar potential scandal; while hundreds of millions of dollars were being wasted; granted they were only 62 cent dollars. Throw the man a herring that few care much about and he gets sidetracked; or was he following the inperatives of National Council. I can only infer this possibility from reading the WWW posted version of the Canadian Alliance Constitution; because the leader is beholden to National Council his options are limited. So a change of leader should not make any difference, with the exception of the projected image. I believe that the grass roots can detect the difference between image and substance, and in an election all the grass roots across the country have the option of voting. There is a bit of a problem with the concept of grass roots. It means what you pay it to mean.
Where are the leaders of the Canadian Alliance? The real leaders seem to be invisible. I say that because I do not see much leadership potential in the leadership race. I would agree it is perhaps too soon for real leaders to emerge. The founder of the Reform had leadership ability and some charisma but he tired and was diminished by his own vision. The Liberals and Conservative have more than 100 years experience each. The dual persona NDP must have at least 6 years experience a dozen times. The political sensitizing of our youth to the importance of government may be Mr. Manning's best but accidental heritage.
The Canadian alliance is ripe for takeover by a statesman or stateswoman or a statesperson which is neither. I hope one emerges in my time, so we can stop being proud of our faults.
I am Tom Mousseau
My interests are observation and analysis.
Sometimes I must be wrong. Again sometimes I may be right.
My worst sin was refusal to participate in politics when I was young
and naive; because I feared being robbed of my soul by the abusers in the figurative back room.
Or: "I did not have the guts for it."
I thank the Olde Tsaeler for this space.
He will graceously post links that challeng the above musing.
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