Austerity Is A Lead Brick in Elections

Takeaways from the provincial election in Quebec last week, in which the separatist Parti Québécois ousted the Liberal Party from control of the Quebec government:

  1. Voters don’t like “Austerity.” Not in Europe, and not in North America.
  2. If  there’s some friction or resentment along generational lines, the cost of college education might be a flash point, both in Europe and in North America.

You could see Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, distancing himself from the dreaded Austerity on Sunday, when he allowed that he doesn’t want to totally destroy health care reform.

One part of health reform that Romney likes, it turns out, is the part allowing college students and recent graduates to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies.

Do you suppose the powers that be might become impatient with the rejection of Austerity by voters exercising democracy? Corporations are trying to gain control of democracy by spending unlimited amounts of money to influence public opinion. What happens next?

— John Hayden

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Austerity Is A Lead Brick in Elections

  1. Politicians seem to have more in common with other politicians, than they do with their constituents – I know I’m over-simplifying, but it is also a gut reaction. This certainly seems to be an observation of our Canadian politics.
    When you think of the money: needed to campaign for office; needed to show an/some alliance to a “seasoned” politician, in return for their endorsement to run; needed to display some sort of common mindset values with other politicians… is it any wonder that people, who play in that club, have more in common with each other? Is it any wonder that the people that they are meant to represent, geographically, become just the “meal ticket”, or deemed “not as important”, until the next election campaign? I’m just throwing it out there, as an observation!
    As individuals, we (I think many of us) try to find the career that will give back a decent level of living. Some of us are content and happy to find that niche, and feel that we are a well-rounded and benign definition of a good patriot or citizen. Fewer of us (but maybe that group is growing!) seem to need considerably more recognition (appearing dysfunctional) to feel that we are “maintaining” a comfortable lifestyle. I am willing to edge out into a hazard zone to say that “we” want to attain our lifestyle achievements at the expense of the “99” percent. I realize this comment is looking more like a “with or agin us” equation, which is an objectification of “others”. Humans don’t make the nicest neighbours sometimes. That of course isn’t all of us, or all of the time. But the rotten ones will pull many into the quagmire, we if don’t gesture the odd objection!
    Are we transitioning away from politicians, who 200 years ago, believed this was an act of self-giving? Do politicians believe they represent other citizens, who either could not or would not represent themselves well, for the betterment of building a country? It seems nowadays that politicians are in this career to build the betterment of their own families, their own circles of friends, and lifestyle patriots – this at the expense of th 99 percent.
    The campaign for “we are the 99 percent” is adapting, learning and growing from their mistakes of 2011, and will most likely be back this year to remind our politicians that they haven’t got it “right” yet.
    Thanks for the fodder and your take on current affairs John. Always a good read..

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  2. Great observation. The U.S. Senate is a millionaires club, and I doubt the House can be far behind. Maybe it’s the same in the Parliaments of Canada and Britain? Even at t he state and local level, here in the U.S., the average worker can’t take the time off from work to be much involved in politics, and the ability to fund one’s own campaign seems more and more to be a necessity. At the local level, I’ve found that the typical council person is a business person or landowner of some means, with a vested interest in something of economic significance. The ordinary citizen only has a vested interest in the school system and other basic infrastructure, like water supply and roads.

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