Even though I missed seeing the harvest moon last week — apparently it was gloriously huge and bright — it would have been impossible to miss this week’s big sign of the times: a new government has been elected.
On Monday, New Brunswick turned Tory blue. Voters elected the Conservatives to a huge majority, ousting the Liberals who had neglected to consult voters before negotiating a tentative deal to sell NB Power. The Conservatives have promised to consult. On paper, this sounds like an improvement. Yet there are few governments who make decisions these days without sending up “weather balloons” to gauge public reaction, conducting endless polls (with high probability of accuracy), and holding high level meetings with industry leaders. So what does it mean to consult?
It reminds me of the Aesop’s fable about the man and his son walking with their donkey to town. Several opinions later, they ended up carrying the donkey. The moral of this story: “Please all, and you will please none”. Politicians who govern by poll are going in circles, flip-flopping on decisions, carrying donkeys.
I admired the Liberals for having the guts to make a bold decision, even if people decided it was a bad one. We like our leaders to be bold, don’t we? Or perhaps we just want them to be like us, telling us what we want to hear, projecting our desires like our reflections on TV.
Taken on December 2, 2009