For June 9, 2010, the prize for dumbest editorial of the week had a clear winner, perhaps even a record performance.
The second editorial in the Moncton Times,etc. praised the formation of the People's Alliance of NB as a breakthrough in New Brunswick politics. This is our new party, and it was founded on a principle. That's good. A political party should have principles. The principle is that the elected candidate should vote as his or her consistuents wish, and should not follow a party line in voting. No problem so far.
Then the editor suggests the new party should put forward a platform so it won't be seen has having only one issue. Think about that.
If the PANB puts forward a platform of what it intends to do, and then wins the election, then all the PANB members of the assembly are committed to follow the party line to get that platform passed. That will mean that sometimes they will have to vote against the wishes of those who elected them. If they do keep their major promise, to break with the party line, then much of their platform will never pass because they'll never be able to have a majority.
The PANB is just a variation on a very old idea. The old idea was to have the whole poulation vote on every bill. The system was obviously impractical. Even if all the voters were literate (and half of New Brunswickers are not), how could they posssibly have spare time to study and evaluate all bills? And if they could spare time, how many would do it?
Read the editorial for a laugh. Then read Alec Bruce's much better column on the same theme, right next to the editorial.
Still it's nice to see a party with a principal. That's what every party should begin with. PANB has a principle. The Green Party has one. The NDP has quite a few principles, and ones that have proven rather good. Too bad the provincial party doesn't appear to know what they are.
The Conservatives and Liberals wouldn't recognize a principle if it came with a label on it. As I said in an earlier post, neither party even knows what its name means.