Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wanted: One Prime Minister, a person with ideas need not apply

I took in some of the recent Thinker's Conference on the weekend and followed it some more by reading the various blogs of folks who attended. All in all I would say it was a success.

However, to judge by the reaction in some of the media you would expect that it was an unmitigated disaster. It is an interesting reaction as the event ran smoothly and there was a good exchange of ideas on many different issues.

And therein lies the problem with this event. The media does not do ideas. They prefer to act as "political strategists" even though they are not very good at it and even though there are much greater issues they should be concerned with.

Part of the reason for this is the generation of ideas in this country as become industrialized like many other sectors of our economy and it is an industry that is dominated by corporate interests.

You only need to take a look at all of the "experts" that now weigh in on many of the issues of the day. They are from banks, various interest groups, and industry groups such as The Conference Board. Then there are the lobbyists. They are now the ones that generate most of the ideas for government but only for the highest bidder.

The idea industry reflects the general lack of innovation of the corporations it supports. Canadian corporations do not care about innovation or ideas. Their job is largely to manage their corporations in a way that contributes to the profits of their parent company, whether they be in the US, Europe or China. For them coming up with good ideas is to rock the boat, which is something they do not want to do and they want to be certain that the Canadian government supports their endeavours so it cannot rock the boat either.

The Thinker's Conference goes directly against that. Not only did the conference have a diversity of opinion it also had a diversity of the sources of that opinion. The corporate interests were not the only voices and ideas presented.

This would not be so bad except that the Liberals have had two big thinkers as successive leaders. They have had leaders that can take ideas and synthesize them into policies that could upset the status quo. It is even worse that the current Liberal leader takes every opportunity to acquire the opinions of ordinary folks. That, combined with some of the ideas expressed on the weekend, combined with a big thinker holding down the position of Leader of the Opposition is not something to make the heart of some Canadian corporate leader flutter with delight.

That is the kind of thing they would want to discourage and since all of the media is this country is owned by those same corporate leaders we see a generally negative reaction to what should be a positive idea, a politician listening to people to determine what are their priority isses and how they might resolve them.

It could be argued that after almost 20 years of having managers running our country that we could use an ideas person for the next Prime Minister to help bring us fully into the new century.


Blogger Rotterdam said...

Harper is my PM.
He is a thinker with idea's.

March 31, 2010 8:13 PM  
Blogger Gene Rayburn said...

yeah... bad ideas.

March 31, 2010 10:06 PM  
Blogger Annie... said...

Out of date stale as yesterday's toast!

March 31, 2010 10:56 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Stephen Harper has not had an original thought since conception.

April 01, 2010 6:43 PM  
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