Let’s think this through

Needless to say, last week’s column “Lies my Premier told me” received lots of feedback.
None has been negative so far and that leads me to believe that the defenders of all things NDP may not want to get into a public debate about the topic. The column outlined seven main areas that the two most recent premiers have lied about to Manitobans.
The most interesting comment on the column came from a young person who said it made them re-think their support for the NDP. That’s a good thing. Everyone should think about their support for a political party and then make an informed decision and cast a vote. The collective, informed opinion of everyone is needed to get the right decision at the ballot box. It was encouraging to hear that the column helped to encourage evaluation.
Manitoba has a basic problem and that is the bulk of the votes, and therefore the bulk of the seats, are in Winnipeg. Now, having worked, lived and campaigned in Winnipeg, I have learned that for the most part, residents of Winnipeg are fine folks.
The only problem is that they don’t understand rural issues and, conversely, rural Manitobans don’t understand urban issues all that well either.
However, there are some things we can easily agree upon. Years of neglect and incompetence by governments at all levels have yielded some long term messes that will take two decades to fix. That said, we must start the “fix” and here’s what needs to be done.
1. Taxes must not go up, they are already too high.
2. Taxes are being collected in the wrong way, especially with regard to schools being partly funded by property taxes. That system is unfair, outdated and very ineffective in raising money for schooling.
3. We all have a huge infrastructure deficit, be it in roads, water, sewer or public buildings. It doesn’t matter if you live in the suburbs, downtown Winnipeg, Brandon, small towns on a farm or in a rural or remote community, we all have a huge infrastructure deficit.
4. There is a housing shortage and there are several government issues that are contributing to it.
5. Governments must, must, must balance their budgets or the economies will collapse.
6. There will have to be some reduction in the the number of programs offered by government.
7. Gangs and hooligans have way too much control in our society.
8. Governments have to start thinking; it’s a lost art in governments at all levels
9. Health care funding and administration has to be overhauled. When you have that many bureaucrats you will always have trouble.
10. We will all need tolerance and patience as we move forward, be it at the municipal, provincial or federal level.
At this point in history, we have a majority federal government and hopefully they can do what they said they were going to do. We had a municipal election last fall and we need to encourage our councils to do the right things. We have a provincial election this fall and we need a change in government.
Remember, if you don’t get involved in politics, your life will be controlled by the people who do.

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