Manitoba needs to go hard to the right

Many political observers might jump on that headline with sinister glee. “That Waddell character is finally showing his true colours. He’s a right winger, we knew it all the time,” they might say.
Here’s an even more controversial headline, Manitoba needs to go very hard to the right and quickly. I don’t mean right wing versus left wing. I don’t mean liberal versus conservative or conservative versus socialist. I mean hard to the right, as in the truth.
Many things need to change in Manitoba. Recent elections in Manitoba and Ontario show that change isn’t high on peoples’ priority list but it can also be argued that options for change weren’t clearly outlined by the opposition parties. Voters opted to stay the course in both provinces due to a lack of well thought out and properly explained alternatives.
The voting percentage needs to go up, way up, but voters have to know what they are voting for. In the recent Manitoba election, it was pretty fuzzy as to what were the real platforms of the three political parties. In most cases, the party platforms seemed to contain a lot of “Me too” and “We can do it better”, and “Those other guys are crooks and liars”.
Another thing that has to change is that leaders have to lead. In today’s political world, leaders are rarely, if ever, allowed to lead. The gaggle of handlers is both stifling and invisible.
A recent Winnipeg Free Press report said that a high ranking PC Manitoba person commented that nobody would want to lead the PC Manitoba Party as they would have to face the critical blasts from Michael Balagus, NDP campaign organizer. Apparently, Balagus pulls all the levers of power behind the scenes in the Manitoba NDP. I don’t think I have ever met Michael Balagus. He’s a behind-the-scenes guy, not very public. I would like to meet up with him. Actually, I would like to meet him on  a debate platform. I like eating socialists for breakfast so it would be great to actually meet the man. Not likely to happen as behind-the-scenes guys don’t come out into the daylight very often.
It would be much better if leaders actually lead and spoke well and stood up for what they believe. For a farm boy who grew up hearing John Diefenbaker, Tommy Douglas, Lester Pearson and Robert Thompson, the current crop of leaders are miserable in comparison. Without a tele-prompter they can’t string three sentences together. If anybody actually heckled them, I think they would pop a cork. If anybody actually debated against them I’m sure they couldn’t handle it.
What Manitoba needs, and Canada for that matter needs, is a hard turn to the “right” to the truth. We need policies we can embrace, polices that we can afford, policies that we can understand, policies that make sense.
Currently the federal government is asking every department to look at a 10 per cent and a five per cent cut in budget. That may be difficult for departments to imagine. For a business person it’s not a huge deal. Arguably a business person has the option of trying to expand income rather than cut expenses but a five or 10 per cent cut shouldn’t be a big deal. At first blush, one could cut a lot more than that provincially by reducing the number of bureaucrats in health or even education. One has to also wonder how many times we have to run health programs to encourage people to stop smoking or to eat less chips or drink fewer soft drinks. If people insist on being  that dumb, it’s doubtful if another government program will help them. People, for the most part, already know that smoking is harmful, that overeating is harmful. Proof of that is how much some people spend on weight loss programs and stop smoking programs.
Manitoba and Canada indeed need a hard turn to the “right”, to the truth. If we get leadership that is willing to speak the truth, then we will prosper. If we don’t, it will be only a matter of time before we go down the same path as the United States and Greece have gone. May truth prevail, it’s only the “right” thing to do.

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