Five-word playbook for winning an election:
‘Shout Loudest’ – ‘Promise the Most’.
Shout loudest – and whenever possible put yourself on a pedestal – position yourself as W Wolfe in Pulp Fiction – ‘the cleanup person’ who can take care of the mess we are in and protect us and wherever possible tear apart the integrity, character, soul and physical appearance of your opponent.
Promise the most – they don’t have to make sense and you certainly don’t have to act upon them – there is always some ‘unforeseen’ circumstance that creates the great divide between desirablity and feasibility.
When combined it’s like an overdose of dental anesthetic before facing an angry drill. You are numbed into submission, trapped in a chair and forced to watch whatever they are playing on the ceiling television. You simply check logic at the door and surrender the importance of your vote.
The net result is that in a country of immense riches we elect Governments who create out of control deficits; that one day in the not to distant future will put us in the final stretch of a race to bankruptcy without an airbag. Stimulus plans that do little to stimulate, handouts to legacy businesses, partisan policy and short term thinking that ignore the long term ramifications of a rapidly aging population, youth unemployment, and the cost of job security and guaranteed pensions in the Public Sector with little or new protection for the people working in the Private Sector.
Tough Times require Tough Leaders, Decisions and Medicine
We need Leaders who have vision, conviction and will and who can write and pass tough policy versus simpling slapping a ‘borrowed’ Band-Aid on a festering wound. Leaders who are transparent, who open the cupboards to show us that they are bare.
Leaders who are honest and acknowledge that long-term sustainable gain can only come from short-term pain.
In today’s Democracy these Leaders don’t Win
Voters have shown that they have reversed engineered JFK’s famous quote – it’s now –
“Don’t ask what I can do for my country, ask what my country can do for me”
The aging want to protect their retirement age and pensions, the youth want more affordable education. We all want less congested highways, cheaper electricity, better healthcare, more services and of course lower taxes. Public Sector Unions would never vote to level the playing field with the Private Sector.
If you want my vote? Don’t give me reality or a promise about a desired future state.
Give me something now
Voters don’t seem to care if the deficit is like an uncontrollable snowball crashing down a steep cliff on a wet snow day. They don’t personalize or internalize when you spend a billion dollars to buy a few votes from citizens who don’t want a gas plant in their backyard or you fire sell their grandchildrens assets like Toll Highways and Hydro Electricity that deliver recurring revenue, in spite of their mismanagement.
You can spin, weave and dance, over promise, under deliver, and go dramatically over budget as long as the Voters each get a turn at the trough to slurp on borrowed feed.
Stupid is as Voters Does.