New politics -

New politics


Bit late to this, but here is John Manley reflecting on his time in office, the current state of play and the way forward.

Many of the changes in political culture were healthy. We ceased to spend what we could not afford. We no longer assumed that growth was inevitable and learned that we had to have the right mix of public policy and investment if we wanted a strong economy. We demanded results and high ethical conduct from our public officials.

All of this is good. But what I see as the erosion of public space — the declining importance we attach to collective action, and the growing distrust of the state — are dangerous if left unchecked. If the past year and a half of turmoil in the financial markets has taught us anything at all, surely lesson number one is that public policy matters.


New politics

  1. I liked this part too:

    I know that this is more of a diagnosis than a prescription for change. It is not at all clear how we stop the negative spiral we are in and bring a new politics and renewed institutions into being. But each individual can make a contribution.

    Citizens: By insisting upon being treated like intelligent human beings who care about their communities and their country, and by demanding an improved level of debate about issues both within and outside of Parliament, the legislatures and city halls;

    Politicians: By backing away from the personal attacks and talking about complex matters in a serious manner — telling the truth about some of the hard choices that face us;

    Journalists (and their editors): By treating public policy as something more than entertainment.

    • I may be just dreaming but i've always thought that Manley would have made a great foil for Harper. It would have been very interesting. Manley had the sort of credentials that would have made it pssible to flank Harper on the left or the right. Sigh…life's full of lost opportunities. The libs sent the B team up. Is any one really surprised at how swimmingly they're doing. I may not stick around for the C team.

    • Thanks for the post. That is right on the money

  2. We need a" new politics". Well John right now your party needs you. Why the hell did you walk away if you in fact believe this stuff? I know…you did your time. Maybe you think you can help more from your new job?
    Any one else think this would make a great stump speech…from a liberal perspective?

    • I know it's tiresome to blame Paul Martin for all of the Liberal Party's problems, but sacking most of the Chretien Cabinet leading most of them to retire from Politics certainly leaves the party with a significant vaccuum of experience and talent.

      • You got that right. Personally i do blame Martinfor all the libs problems…well almost all.

        • Of course Martin would have us believe that he wanted Manley in Cabinet but Manley refused to accept anything other than Finance…

  3. Aaron – how does one go about acessing the rest of that lecture…i know, i know google…grumble…that thing hates me!

    • The text is available from the CCCE website:

      • Thankyou kindly.