Welcome to my election site. This site was formerly an Economic Blog that contains some longer pieces on Canada’s economy, the public interest and the state of our political system. The decision to pursue an independent candidacy was not taken lightly. It stems from my deep belief that the public policy solutions we urgently need today are not to be found in mainstream, middle-of-the-road thinking nor are they likely to be offered by parties wedded to the status quo. There is so much in Canada that was built by earlier generations of people that is worthy and a point of pride for folks today. In celebrating those achievements and paying homage to the vision and audacity those citizens and their elected representatives embodied, there are grounds for hope that a renewed social pact can be struck once again. However, recent trends and developments – from massive household indebtedness, income inequality and job insecurity to significant social distress, increased health dysfunction and anxieties about global warming — suggest that the democratic reflex of our present day leaders has atrophied. Essentially courting wealthy financial interests and yielding before market-based dogma that benefit the few and not the many, our current political class no longer has an instinct for what ails the country, its people and the natural environment or, perhaps, even more importantly, how to unlock its potential for great achievement once again. In the absence of a real impulse for genuine reform, the mainstream political parties and the corporate news outlets court the median voter with contrived marketing campaigns based on psycho-graphics, public relations techniques, horse-race polls, and emotive wedge issues. Little real change can result from this kind of superficial, one-dimensional dialogue with the voter. The sense of powerlessness that it breeds is unhealthy in the extreme and leaves voters with the impression that they are passive victims of forces larger than them. No real democracy can last long in this state.
I chose an independent campaign for another reason. It is simply the case that no real proposals for lasting change can stand up to the powerful insider voices that currently line up in favor of ‘business-as-usual.’ The Canadian people know at their core that the kind of politics we have endured for the past forty years are a pale imitation of the real thing. Grassroots civic engagement and broadly-shared collective gains can only be achieved once again if we end all corporate and for-profit lobbying; start capturing the real social, economic and environmental costs of commercial undertakings; and convene citizen assemblies (or what I have described as ‘Public Interest Councils’) to play an active part in the collective choices and resource allocation decisions presently made by a narrow stratum of public officials and corporate executives.
I have worked in and around politics and public policy for a good chunk of my life, and I now believe we can only rejuvenate our political system, end the widely felt apathy, frustration and cynicism of ordinary Canadians, and create the kind of good, public-spirited and long-term thinking we urgently need, if we undertake these kinds of reforms.