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LETTER: Partisan politics and patronage fails everyone

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Election 2019 is now in the rear view mirror. Some will say good riddance to another election done the same old way that is as outdated as black and white TV.

Those days and many more like them, in terms of communication, technology and social change are in the past where they should be.

Change is inevitable and can be quite positive and uplifting in its outcomes; unfortunately, not so much in politics.

Change does not come easily in pyramid politics, from federal to provincial to municipal — it’s more like Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to run a marathon on one leg.

Governments, as we experience and know them today, are much like our friend T Rex. They’re huge in structure, laboriously overstaffed, massively expensive to manage and maintain, horrendously wasteful, realistically cold and impersonal, and clearly obese with outdated rules, regulations and ways of doing things better and smarter.

But that’s the way it is and has been in Newfoundland and Labrador politics for far too long. Political parties and politicians are embedded in this living, archaic beast and continue to foster its inefficiencies, expense, wastefulness, and uncaring demeanor while completely ignoring the realities of the changes taking place as our society moves towards welcoming and adapting to more diversity and inclusiveness.

Little has changed in the Newfoundland and Labrador political scene.

Old-school parties, old-school politicians and old-school politics continue to operate in a vacuum with old school policies.

Expectations for the future are low while many have given up on any of our government structures as the best means to lead us forward. In essence, our government’s so called “forwardness” is more like looking at our universe with a pair of binoculars.

Isn’t it time that government give itself a good shaking from top to bottom and catch up to the moving world of change that is taking place right here at home?

Many would agree that political parties and politicians have failed us miserably over the years. We certainly didn’t get into this very sad state because political parties and politicians listened or believed the way forward was through strong cooperation in the House of Assembly. Partisan politics and patronage fails everyone; no one is excluded.

After another uninspiring election in this province, the way forward is blurred and doesn’t indicate to anyone that there is much hope for the future. Same old, same old. Going forward, however, presents an opportunity for all political parties to re-evaluate their policies and futures or, they could do what they have always done, put their selfish partisan goals before the needs of the many.

Our success in the next decade relies on an attitudinal shift by politicians and political parties and a willingness to work together in the House of Assembly for the common good of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

To do otherwise would be a failure and a betrayal of all the people in this massively indebted province.

The men and women who were recently elected have a responsibility to work together in the House of Assembly for the cultural, social and economic well-being of all the people no matter what their gender, colour, race or religious affiliation. That is where Newfoundland and Labrador is headed. We can either choose to be a part of moving our province's diversity and inclusiveness forward or we can continue to bury our heads and accept the tunnel vision of those who support it.

Going forward can and should be a time for positive political renewal in Newfoundland and Labrador. Election 2023 will present new opportunities for younger, diverse, innovative, women and men, to prepare themselves to challenge old time politics, politicians and parties in this province.

If current political parties and politicians can’t adapt, then it’s time for these dinosaurs to move aside and give the reins to younger visionaries who can lead this province forward, for the common good, with a new cooperative spirit of bipartisan politics in the House of Assembly. Anything less would be a failure and a betrayal of this province’s future and its people when we need it most.

P.J. Dwyer

Gander

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