this blog has moved to a new address: daveberta.ca

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to http://daveberta.ca.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

joe clark: "the question is not why the green party should be let in. the question is: why should the greens be kept out?"

Former Prime Minister Joe Clark has waded into the debate and is asking some pretty tough questions about why Green Party leader Elizabeth May is being left out of the televised Leaders' Debate.

Clark also made a point that I can imagine a lot of Canadians would agree on (this Canadian included):

The tone of federal politics today is the worst I can remember in my 50 years in public life. Of course, there were angry partisan differences before, but they were tumultuous exceptions to a general rule of common public purpose, even civility. By contrast, the standard today has become consistently bitter and negative - personal invective routinely displaces any serious discussion of issues or differences.

This low standard helps corrode respect for the democratic institutions in which this mean drama plays out. It comes at a bad time, because there has been a general decline in the reputation of politicians, parties, legislatures and other institutions. Cynicism grows. Candidates are hard to attract. Citizens turn away from politics - especially young people, who see nothing to attract or inspire them. That constitutes a long-term threat to the authority of the pan-Canadian political institutions that have always been essential for citizens of this diverse democracy to act positively together.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go Joe!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty pissed off about this and the attack ads that the PC's have sent out.

I will be a PC member voting green in protest this election.

mj said...

Well said Mr. Clark. I try to stay engaged in politics, but a sense of disconnected apathy washes over me when I see our party leaders flinging virtual bird poop at each other and making ad hominem arguments rather than talking about actual issues.

Anonymous said...

Joe's certainly in a position to know about this. After all, his Progressive Conservatives fell because the Liberals acted then much like the non-Progressive Conservatives are acting today -- going for a sound-bite as opposed to constructive policy.

I don't like the conservative philosophy in general, but I have to admit, I'd consider it if someone like Joe, who obviously thinks more about the country than his next term, was leading.

Aaron said...

This might work in favour of the greens. They could try to galvanize apathy and anger amongst voters into a protest vote.

Anonymous said...

Joe Clark is a man of class and integrity. There is not a politician today that could hold a candle to this man.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure Joe Clark's golden age of politics really existed, but the tone does seem to be getting worse.

Nevertheless, it doesn't even come close to the wallowing in the gutter we see from our southern neighbours.

Bill Given said...

Amen Joe.

Anonymous said...

Daveberta, you are yourself by no means among the worst of offenders, but you certainly actively promote the classless, even defamatory, websites and bloggers that Joe Clark would include in his condemnation. Check your own links, are you really on the high road?

Anonymous said...

@ anon, Sept. 10, 9:58 PM


Rrrrrreeeeeeaaaachhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

Joke Lark has always been just that: a joke. He doesn't hold a candle to Stephen Harper.