Three questions - Macleans.ca
 

Three questions


 

Alison Loat poses three questions for the party leaders.

First, how do you define your job description, both as an MP and as a party leader?

Second, what concrete steps will you take to make politics, and political parties, more relevant to the citizenry at large?

Third, what are you going to do to bring constructive, public debate to citizens?


 

Three questions

  1. *yawn…

  2. *yawn…

  3. Enjoyed seeing you on The Agenda last night!

  4. Enter text right here!

  5. Enter text right here!

  6. I haven't the slightest interest in those questions…..I'd rather know where each of them want to take this country in the next 5 years.

    Direction, goals, vision….you know….the big stuff.

    A mission statement without the flowery motherhood stuff.

  7. I haven't the slightest interest in those questions…..I'd rather know where each of them want to take this country in the next 5 years.

    Direction, goals, vision….you know….the big stuff.

    A mission statement without the flowery motherhood stuff.

    • While mission statements and ideas are critical to politics, we've also gotten to the state where no one really believes anything politicians say. We focus almost exclusively on what is being promised, and not our democracy's institutional capacity to make any of it happen.

      Here is the context (which is available in the original post) for why I think those kinds of questions are important:

      The leaders' debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

      However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

      For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
      http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

      • You can't follow a leader….shouldn't follow one in fact….if you don't know where he's going.

        We don't know where any of them are going….we can only guess at it by seeing the various small items….policies…and that has gotten us nowhere. Just complaints about 'broken promises'.

        We need to know what it is they're trying to achieve….before we can judge the policies, broken or kept.

      • The institution that is democracy assures us that every politician, no matter where he comes from or what he promises, will operate in the same way. There is no back door, there is no alternative, there is no corners to be cut, and we are the better for it.

        Now if you want to imply that some politicians can become party leaders without at least a little bit of understand of this process, and that party leaders should have full understanding of that process for himself, fine, be naive. If you think that asking these questions is going to unmask the phoney ones because the general public will be able to understand the difference between each answers, fine, be naive.

        Here's how you rouse the public's interest(and calm the indignation at the same time).
        http://www.youtube.com/user/AgendaStevePaikin#p/u

  8. Harper's answers:

    1. Imperial protector of Conservative values… and, oh … ordinary Canadians.
    2. Concrete, yes … excellent material. Canadians will appreciate the new shoes my government will make for the coalition.
    3. Give Dimitri Soudas a raise.

  9. Harper's answers:

    1. Imperial protector of Conservative values… and, oh … ordinary Canadians.
    2. Concrete, yes … excellent material. Canadians will appreciate the new shoes my government will make for the coalition.
    3. Give Dimitri Soudas a raise.

  10. I'll second that — great program, great topic, great guests.

  11. I'll second that — great program, great topic, great guests.

  12. You'll never get your craigslist paycheque with laziness like this

  13. That's just great, Alison, let's use up all of the available time talking about abstractions, instead of the concrete issues of this campaign.

  14. That's just great, Alison, let's use up all of the available time talking about abstractions, instead of the concrete issues of this campaign.

    • Unfortunately, Aaron didn't include the first two paragraphs of the post, where I explained why those questions – in addition to those on the issues – are important.

      Here is the context:

      The leaders' debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

      However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

      For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
      http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

      • The context doesn't really make them any better though.

        Number 1 is pointless and irrelevant even to those people who are interested in the process of politics.
        Number 2 is routine, with the catch-phrase answer of "Provide good government that takes people's input," readily available. Although I would expect Harper might go with the "eliminate the vote-based subsidy" just to get that dig in there.
        And number 3 is silly, as it has a giveaway answer of "hold many consultations with the public and make sure our candidates are listening to their constituents"

        None of these are relevant though because none of it means that citizens will actually affect either policy or process.

        I mean, you point it out yourself. If people don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do, how on earth will asking them about how they're going to ignore us get any real answers? If we don't trust them on the facts, are we really going to trust them when they lay out a version of "trust us"?

  15. I'm rarely this critical of Aaron Wherry as I've always enjoyed his reporting and writing style, but this blog post is facetious.

    Three cookie cutter questions. The same same ones we see every election, in every democratic country.

    Flooding the media with flaccid and unimportant messages is not how you're going to solve the apathy problem.

  16. I'm rarely this critical of Aaron Wherry as I've always enjoyed his reporting and writing style, but this blog post is facetious.

    Three cookie cutter questions. The same same ones we see every election, in every democratic country.

    Flooding the media with flaccid and unimportant messages is not how you're going to solve the apathy problem.

    • Well, if you don't like the questions you should presumably blame the person who wrote them, not Wherry, no?

      Also, did you read any of the 400 words Alison wrote in her post, or just the 50 that Wherry reproduced here?

      • No I haven't the refered article. I'm commenting about Wherry's post and as I said it's not by inundating his public with the usual that he's going to solve the apathy problem.

        • Fair enough.

          I would point out that I'm not sure that Wherry is actually TRYING to solve the "apathy problem", nor that this post is even necessarily ABOUT the "apathy problem". Also, I for one don't feel "inundated" by anything, but maybe that's just me.

  17. Unfortunately, Aaron didn't include the first two paragraphs of the post, where I explained why those questions – in addition to those on the issues – are important.

    Here is the context:

    The leaders' debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

    However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

    For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
    http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

  18. Unfortunately, Aaron didn't include the first two paragraphs of the post, where I explained why those questions – in addition to those on the issues – are important.

    Here is the context:

    The leaders%E2%80%99 debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

    However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

    For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
    http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

  19. While mission statements and ideas are critical to politics, we've also gotten to the state where no one really believes anything politicians say. We focus almost exclusively on what is being promised, and not our democracy's institutional capacity to make any of it happen.

    Here is the context (which is available in the original post) for why I think those kinds of questions are important:

    The leaders' debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

    However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

    For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
    http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

  20. While mission statements and ideas are critical to politics, we've also gotten to the state where no one really believes anything politicians say. We focus almost exclusively on what is being promised, and not our democracy's institutional capacity to make any of it happen.

    Here is the context (which is available in the original post) for why I think those kinds of questions are important:

    The leaders%E2%80%99 debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated.

    However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much – if not more – by what they actually see getting done. In fact, polling suggests one of the largest reasons why so few Canadians trust their politicians (10% in a recent Ekos poll) is that we don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do.

    For that reason alone, we hope at least one debate question addresses the "how" of politics, and not just the "what." As our MP Exit Interview project reveals, and our upcoming report on Parliament (out next week!) will reveal even more, the process behind our politics leaves much to be desired.
    http://www.samaracanada.com/blog/post/Questions-w

  21. You can't follow a leader….shouldn't follow one in fact….if you don't know where he's going.

    We don't know where any of them are going….we can only guess at it by seeing the various small items….policies…and that has gotten us nowhere. Just complaints about 'broken promises'.

    We need to know what it is they're trying to achieve….before we can judge the policies, broken or kept.

  22. The context doesn't really make them any better though.

    Number 1 is pointless and irrelevant even to those people who are interested in the process of politics.
    Number 2 is routine, with the catch-phrase answer of "Provide good government that takes people's input," readily available. Although I would expect Harper might go with the "eliminate the vote-based subsidy" just to get that dig in there.
    And number 3 is silly, as it has a giveaway answer of "hold many consultations with the public and make sure our candidates are listening to their constituents"

    None of these are relevant though because none of it means that citizens will actually affect either policy or process.

    I mean, you point it out yourself. If people don't perceive them as doing what they say they're going to do, how on earth will asking them about how they're going to ignore us get any real answers? If we don't trust them on the facts, are we really going to trust them when they lay out a version of "trust us"?

  23. Well, if you don't like the questions you should presumably blame the person who wrote them, not Wherry, no?

    Also, did you read any of the 400 words Alison wrote in her post, or just the 50 that Wherry reproduced here?

  24. I suppose, but taken this far, why should we bother holding debates at all? Why ask politicians ANY questions.

    Heck, why even hold elections? If none of us believe anything the politicians say to us anymore, what difference does it make which ones we vote for and which ones we don't?

    The problem isn't Alison's questions imho, they're all good questions. The problem is how few of us will believe any of the answers, no matter what the answers are or who gives them.

  25. No I haven't the refered article. I'm commenting about Wherry's post and as I said it's not by inundating his public with the usual that he's going to solve the apathy problem.

  26. The institution that is democracy assures us that every politician, no matter where he comes from or what he promises, will operate in the same way. There is no back door, there is no alternative, there is no corners to be cut, and we are the better for it.

    Now if you want to imply that some politicians can become party leaders without at least a little bit of understand of this process, and that party leaders should have full understanding of that process for himself, fine, be naive. If you think that asking these questions is going to unmask the phoney ones because the general public will be able to understand the difference between each answers, fine, be naive.

    Here's how you rouse the public's interest(and calm the indignation at the same time).
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AgendaStevePaikin#p/u

  27. Politicians don't necessarily always lie, but they do tend to weasel around the truth. Ms. Loat's questions are not necessarily about the wrong issues (at least some people probably care about the things she is trying to get at), but they are posed in too vague a manner. The answers we will get will probably be along the lines of "I like sunshine and puppies".

    Specific, concrete, questions are better because – even if politicians do lie – we can at least tell that they are lying, and punish them for doing so. Fuzzy questions beget fuzzy answers akin to the sort of things psychics predict, making it hard to hold anybody to account (accountability being the reason we have elections, press conferences and question period).

    By the way, I'm okay with questions that aren't directly about issues. How candidates frame themselves is useful to know – it tell us whose vote they want to win, and who they are likely to cater to in office (assuming they want to win re-election). The problem with Ms. Loat's questions is that they allow politicians to be all things to all people – something they are very good at doing.

  28. Politicians don't necessarily always lie, but they do tend to weasel around the truth. Ms. Loat's questions are not necessarily about the wrong issues (at least some people probably care about the things she is trying to get at), but they are posed in too vague a manner. The answers we will get will probably be along the lines of "I like sunshine and puppies".

    Specific, concrete, questions are better because – even if politicians do lie – we can at least tell that they are lying, and punish them for doing so. Fuzzy questions beget fuzzy answers akin to the sort of things psychics predict, making it hard to hold anybody to account (accountability being the reason we have elections, press conferences and question period).

    By the way, I'm okay with questions that aren't directly about issues. How candidates frame themselves is useful to know – it tell us whose vote they want to win, and who they are likely to cater to in office (assuming they want to win re-election). The problem with Ms. Loat's questions is that they allow politicians to be all things to all people – something they are very good at doing.

  29. Fair enough.

    I would point out that I'm not sure that Wherry is actually TRYING to solve the "apathy problem", nor that this post is even necessarily ABOUT the "apathy problem". Also, I for one don't feel "inundated" by anything, but maybe that's just me.