Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dissemination 1: Erin Weir

Alright, a flurry of posts are about to go up here on the blog. With reporting on Erin Weir's campaign proposal to eliminate corporate and union donations to political parties within Saskatchewan, it seems only right that we should take a look at the proposals that have come out thus far.

As such, there will be four main posts; broken into each candidate, and these four posts will be used for the purpose of helping those voting determine which leadership candidate is right for them. I will permalink these pages to the sidebar for ease of finding them as well.

Also, since I don't think it's suitable to go back and edit each post every time something new gets added, we shall be taking advantage of Blogger's tagging system.So, to the right hand side of your screen, you'll see a new gadget called 'labels'. Each candidate will have a label assigned to them, and all posts mentioning them will be tagged, so you'll be able to keep up to date with information from/about them as we update.

Also, as these profiles will have a link to the candidate's main webpage, it will be a handy reference for that as well.

Easy as pie, I think. So, without further ado, let's start by looking at the campaign information that has come out from Erin Weir's campaign. Also, I am going to hold my tongue a bit for the moment. These are simply highlights from the platform that has been presented thus far, with little to no feedback from me. The feedback will come en masse eventually, but for now, I'd prefer just to get the information out there.

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Source: Erin Weir Campaign Site

Representative Democracy


Firstly, as mentioned, Weir's campaign has hit hard with the idea of campaign finance reform and the banning of corporate and union donations to political parties. Weir's campaign has done well to include this in a unifying theme of 'representative democracy', as it turns less people away than the term 'campaign finance reform'.

Weir has also hammered the Saskatchewan Party's approach to excluding under 18 year olds from report data that was used to help determine the redistribution of constituencies throughout Saskatchewan. It's a move the NDP has condemned since the determination was made, so its good to see that he's sticking to the party's guns on this matter.

Finally, under the representative democracy label, Weir has addressed the need to establish legislative time tables for the appointment of officials; namely mentioning the jockeying that went on at Elections Saskatchewan after the SK Party refused to appoint a new Chief Electoral Officer, despite a candidate being proposed and supported by the legislature.This is an issue that I think has fallen off the wayside, as I don't think many people give too much thought as to legislative appointments (with the exception of egregious ones that reek of partisanship), so it will be interesting to see whether or not this notion gains any political traction during the campaign.

Women in Politics


Weir has also stressed the need for getting more women involved in politics; and if you look at the seats of the legislature, you can see the point. This is another NDP staple of many years, but Weir is approaching it with strengthening the mechanisms in place through allowing tax receipts for donations to the Bessie Ellis fund and modifying nomination rules to promote equity-candidates.

Weir's campaign hasn't quite defined whether equity-candidates would extend only to increase women in the legislature, or whether it will apply to various people such as Aboriginals and LGBT candidates as well. I imagine it would, but it would be nice to indeed hear that that will be the case.

Finally, Weir has called for the legislature to be respectful of the needs of the people who sit within it, mainly by promoting reasonable hours and childcare facilities. A reasonable request, no doubt, but also one that has been kicked around the provincial party for a few years. I do worry, however and this is just my opinion, that this is too simplistic an approach.

By which I mean, it seems to suggest that fewer women seek office in Saskatchewan for these two reasons, which essentially boil back down into time spent with family and children. I do worry that it comes off as too simplistic an answer, rather than addressing the real reasons why fewer women seek public office in our province, but that aside it is a good idea to address none the less; if only because as gender roles have changed in our society, fathers could also use the space to bring younger children to work and have time to spend with their families.

Tuition


Finally, Weir's campaign has also called on the need for the province to implement a tuition freeze, though his campaign has yet to incorporate the idea into his platform, I imagine it will only be a matter of time until it is official policy though.

He is right to point out that wages have dropped and tuition has gone up; furthermore, tuition rates have gone up higher and faster than the SK Party projected when they eliminated the tuition freeze during their first term in office.

And that, in a nutshell, is what has been brought forward by the Weir campaign thus far. This post will not be modified to include new policy developments, but future posts will be tagged for ease of finding under the subject of Erin Weir.

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