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OPINION: A Challenge to our Four Political Parties

Dale Small, David Weale, John E. Clow and Wayne Carver

Guest Opinion

An election is imminent.

It will be the most critical voting decision for Islanders in generations. After a century and a half of alternating between two old established parties, we now have expanded choices and fresh possibilities. On what will we voters base our decisions? There are many factors to consider, but in our view two are paramount: an assessment of recent performance, and the platforms presented by the parties to inform and entice voters.

Traditionally, election platforms are purposefully designed to be vague, short term and non-committal while tossing in a few eye-catching buzz words. Not good enough. Not anymore. Not by a long shot. Islanders are fed up with broken commitments, sudden shifts in priorities and policy directions, all explained with mumbled, vague excuses and justifications.

We are tired of governments pursuing after-the-fact priorities that suit the party, not the citizens. Islanders are totally fed up with corruption and favoritism – corruption being the word we use to describe the last twelve years of Liberal reign.

Vision P.E.I. is issuing a public challenge to all four parties.

Release your election platforms within one week of the writ being dropped. Surely you are ready to do so. We ask (perhaps demand is more appropriate) that you address the short and long-term issues that are critical for Islanders, not issues that your parties deem important.

It has become crystal clear to us over the past four years that the broad issues of importance to Islanders are: What is your comprehensive, long-term vision for P.E.I. as we look down the road twenty years and beyond? What is your vision for: the environment, the economy and governance?

We challenge you to be specific. For example, what is your plan to restore and protect the quality of our land, water and air? What is your position on the Irving demands for more water and land? What is your strategy for insuring that our economy lifts all boats? And, do you support separating the offices of the attorney general and the minister of justice to keep partisan concerns out of legal decisions?

How will you combat corruption and deliver truly ethical, transparent governance? There are of course, many other related questions, so feel free to expand. But please, no platitudes and clichés. No political rhetoric to disguise actual intentions. Just tell us plainly what you want to do. If you can’t do that, why on earth should anyone vote for you?

It is our solemn intent to monitor every public communication from all parties from now until election day. We are prepared to praise any or all parties willing to present clear, unequivocal platforms. We are also prepared to publicly point out and condemn any and all attempts by parties to fool the electorate (again) with their flimsy, misleading pronouncements.

Dale Small (co-founder), David Weale (co-founder), John E. Clow and Wayne Carver are members of Vision P.E.I.

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