Classic Political Paralysis

In the Business section of the Toronto Star of October 6th 2007, there is coverage of the Ontario Provincial Election by Michael Babad that really sets the case for why our political processes are way out of kilter. Michael shows in straightforward terms how the rise of the Canadian dollar and the continuing effects of manufacturing globalization puts the Ontario economy at great risk as Ontario Manufactures get priced out of US and other traditional export markets with high price of the dollar This is a sentiment shared by the CAW-Canadian Auto Workers union and the Canada Board of Trade – infrequent bedfellows agreeing on the seriousness the dollar’s impact on industry in Ontario.

Yet Michael points out that flashpoint issues like Faith based schooling or Liberal government missed promises on Autism support and tighter gun control have dominated the campaign. All the political parties in effect want to steer debate to their strategy points and are really in no position to respond to breaking events with intelligent analysis or policy. Michael Gregory of BMO Capital Markets states the case: “The Opposition probably doesn’t bring [the Economy] up because its not the government’s fault; and the government doesn’t bring it up because [the Economy] just highlights that things could could be better economically [with better planning]”. Yes a classic case of the Three Monkeys school of political management.

The problem is that the Modern World is accelerating – decisions have to be made sooner and faster with less margin of error. In short the slack in the system in terms of time to make good decisions – be they economic, political or social – all are declining. Hence, the Muddling Through and Political Paralysis, once viable options from just 20 years ago, are fast fading as viable policy choices without increasingly catastrophic consequences.

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