Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Harcourt: None of the above

Mike Harcourt surprised BC by leaving one party (the NDP) and joining the fastest growing party, the party of ME.  He says he is now free and as the Globe & Mail reports, is "going to be an independent sustainability democrat". The same is happening in the US where the Donkey-Elephant party is being nipped at by a growing swarm of independents who want to make choices without wearing the team colours.  The same is happening in the faith department where most people say they're spiritual and much in favour of peace & love, but if you ask for specifics, they are all over the map, with customized beliefs selected from aromatherapy, bibles, telepathy, being nice to people, slaughtering plants but not animals, reincarnation, and what have you with no hard-copy doxology.  Large enclaves in the nation states, as they prosper, become confident they can make it on their own in smaller independent chunks. (Did I really read a proposal to cut California into six new states like a slice of cherry pie?).  Couples that once could only survive on teamwork to scratch out a living and raise the kids, now find divorce is a sound economic option.   In this list come also political parties which will tend to fracture as the need for intermediaries to tell you what to think declines.  Any Dick or Jane that reads and thinks a little can have greater knowledge to hand daily than the first members of parliament who slowly congregated by train and buggy from the corners of our dominion for once a year sittings of the legislature.
Mike Harcourt, free man (G&M)

Mike Harcourt, whose politics I scorned but for whom I have always had a warm spot personally, is part of this centripetal trend.  Choice, knowledge, and access to power are increasing at the individual level and the worth of parties and other intermediaries is declining somewhat.

Two asides:
1.  That word "Sustainability".  Harcourt could have turned Green or Liberal but chose "an independent sustainability democrat".   This word can appeal to a conservative bunch as well as a distributionist bunch.  Think of the Five S program for getting a handle on any undertaking and bringing it to a sustained peak:
S(1) Sort through stuff to see what's worth keeping.
S(2) Set in order what you keep.
S(3) Shine it up, get it into top condition.
S(4) Standardize so there are plainly stated successful working policies to get things done.
S(5) Sustain it.  This means keep developing people and resources so the undertaking or group renews itself .  A little bit of reduce/re-use/recycle fits in here but developing new leadership and new opportunity and and long term perspective is more important.  So if Mike Harcourt's definition of sustainability overlaps mine, I could join forces with him.
2.  The Time Colonist reports a pleasantly realistic side of this ex-NDP man:"He said the party needs leadership that balances an understanding of the Lower Mainland with the resource realities of the province. “Vancouver is an important part of the province, but most communities, about 150 of them, survive on natural resources, and if you say, ‘You can’t log, you can’t mine, you can’t drill wells for gas or ranch,’ you’re ignoring 95 per cent of British Columbia and most of the communities that depend on natural resources.”

No comments:

Post a Comment