La CAQ au Québec

La CAQ viens de gagner les élections au Québec. Il sont de droite et je me demande si c’est juste de la chance ou si quand le fédérale est plus de gauche les provinces change plus a droite et vice versa.

En tout les cas je suis d’une manière soulagé de ne pu vivre au Québec par ce que je n’aurais pas été sur pour qui voter. Les Libéraux au Québec sont un peu plus a la droite que je l’aimerais mais l’autre option, Québec Solidaire,  avec lequel je partage quand même assez d’opinion est super souverainiste.

Ya aussi un échange en particulier qui m’aurais probablement faite voter Libéral et c’est celui-ci:

La chose intéressante c’est que tous les parti sauf les Libéraux sont en accord. Je trouve sa troublant….

The economy is overrated

Someone once told me they didn’t bring back the cart at the shopping center because it “helps create jobs”. It’s a bit like we have accepted that there needs to be Bullshit Jobs.

A speech I’ve always liked is this one by Robert Kennedy:

It demonstates so well how the GDP and so many other measures of “success” are faulty.

Even the way we measure the economy is all wrong. This NYT article does a very good job of showing why even with a low unemployment rate and a high GDP we have so much inequality and suffering.

It reminds me a bit of vanity metrics (A metric that makes you feel good without telling you anything about your business). We have started to optimize our government policy for those vanity metrics. Instead of going to the root causes of what makes a great society we have metrics that, while initially well intentioned, have distracted us from the real goal.

Leaving behind the old metrics in search of better ones would be a good start. (until we end up corrupting those…)

Accepting the things we cannot change

I recall reading Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change a few years ago and there’s one thing I always liked about it. It takes the quote:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

And then harps on “the wisdom to know the difference” part. The goal of that chapter was that there is always a way to impact change. That we don’t need to accept things we cannot change.

I’m not sure if I follow that. I think in a sense for me, not accepting the things we cannot change doesn’t mean banging your head against the wall trying to do the same thing over and over. It means reframing the goal. Giving things up the original way we intended to impact change to approach things in a different way.

In a sense knowing when to quit something to change completely the approach. I didn’t accept that I couldn’t change politics as much as realized that wasn’t the only way of going about my goal of making the world a better place.

You can impact change, sometimes you just need to totally ditch the current approach and do something completely different.

Swing Sets and Orange Juice

I remember when I worked in the Leader’s office and the Bev Oda orange juice story came out. Many people in the office were genuinely aghast of this. They really felt that this was emblematic of why we needed to kick the conservatives out of power. It was mostly the older more long time partisan folk. I was never able to tell if they genuinely had come to believe after all this time in politics that this topic really mattered.

I couldn’t tell if it’s because they felt that this really was what our work was about or if they just did a big deal of it internally to motivate the younger / newer / more influencable folk. To me it seemed slightly ridiculous. Now don’t get me wrong $16 for an orange juice is ridiculous, but here’s how I see that having played out:

You’re a cabinet minister, working late at the hotel. You have a rush meeting in the morning and you see the little breakfast card thing at the hotel. you check off a few boxes to get an early meal before you go to bed, prices probably aren’t listed. The next day you check out and since it’s the government you don’t get the bill for a few weeks, because of how invoicing and procurement works. A few weeks later it comes with the charges laid out and you just glance it over and sign to approve the charges. You probably never even realize that the juice was $16. The “opposition research” members of the parties comb thru expenses via Access to Information requests and gotcha, the famous “$16 Orange Juice” is born.

And really while $16 is a lot for orange juice, I don’t expect cabinet members to be spending their time trying to save $10 off some orange juice. They have much more important things to do.

But there we were making a webpage and an email campaign about this $16 orange juice.  It’s catchy, news reporters bite and folks click those links. For the record, Bev Oda fully repaid the amounts, agreed it was a mistake and publicly apologized for it. Regardless she was hounded for months about it and it ended with her resignation. What a great thing we had achieved. Force a cabinet minister to resign because of some orange juice.

The Globe and Mail wrote about this “problem” because a similar thing recently happened for the Prime Minister’s swing set. The Prime minister paid for the swing set himself, but not the installation fee. Regardless the $7500 swing set makes the news.

Now given that this is the prime minister, I’m willing to bet he can’t just pay $75 to Home Depot to get them to install it in the yard. There’s probably a bunch of rules about certified contractors and folks who need to pass various security clearances before you can start mucking around in the Prime Minister’s house. And I think everyone agrees that it’s not really a great idea to have someone you found on kijiji installing furniture at the PM’s house. Regardless, the swing set “cost” $7500 ($4,368 of that being the actual cost of the installation that the taxpayer paid).

The article ends with this:

I’m not sure what any of this says about our politics today, other than it’s not good. And the fact is, all political parties in this country are responsible for where we are today.

It seems like no matter what happens, it’s always someone else’s fault. I don’t think it’s the political parties fault. At least not entirely. Could there be some really principled folks who would not pick on such meaningless things? Probably. But we never see them….

Why is that? It’s perhaps because we haven’t voted for them, we haven’t reported the news on them, we haven’t clicked on articles about them. It’s easy to point fingers about this. But I think we should all start looking internally into what we’ve done that’s lead to this moment, what we are doing, and what we think we want to do about it going forward before looking to blame others.

On that note, Bev Oda, I’m sorry I contributed to ending your career. While I don’t agree with many of your views and opinions, I don’t think that should have been a career ending decision.