Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yes, Becky, There Are Good Politics

Rebecca Gingrich (political sister of Newt, no doubt) asks "is there a difference between STV and STD?". Then proceeds to prattle cynically about the hopelessness of politics. Which begs a number of questions, beginning with "why bother?", since she obviously feels voting and other hopeless exercises are not going to do any one of us any good. As for picking on poor little STV, the voting system that turns itself upside down in order to be fair to everyone (how very Canadian!), again...why bother, if you don't believe in politics in the first place?

What Becky Vote Grinch does not say is, what does she believe in? She touts the need for a 'total cleanse' of the system in order to start with 'something meaningful'. Such as? Perhaps she's of the Robert Mugabe school of politics; since politics is nothing but a game of greed and power, let's just get on with it and hoard as much G&P as we can stuff in our Swiss account. Or she may wish us to appoint a Royal Decider on whose compassion and vision we will rely to wiggle free of this tangle of evil called democracy.

Well, enough; you get the idea. Not to pick on poor Becky, she's perhaps just more vocal than the rest of the so-called 'silent majority' who long for the 'good old days' when people who 'know what they are doing' made our decisions based on 'our best interests'. But let's get real; those good old days did exist and look where it got us. Those people who 'knew what they were doing' turned out to have names like Bush, Rove, Chretien and Mulroney. They were backed and applauded by men with names like Conrad Black, Michael 'Brownie' Brown, Mark 'Spitzer' and 'Bernie' Madoff.

Becky laments that 'our input has no impact' and yet lambasts a voting system that would solve the very problem she pleads against. She compares STV with STD. The irony is, STV is a great prophylactic designed to protect us against the act she's complaining about most of all - getting screwed by the political system.

So let's get real. Quit hyperventilating and think about the political result you want; responsive representation based on the indicated wishes of the voting public. The responsive part comes well after the voting, so let's put that aside for now. But for reflecting the wishes of the voter, STV is by far the best system available.