Here is the official list of nominated candidates for the city of Charlottetown, Summerside and the towns of Cornwall, and Stratford 2003 municipal elections.
Let the games begin!
Here is the official list of nominated candidates for the city of Charlottetown, Summerside and the towns of Cornwall, and Stratford 2003 municipal elections.
Let the games begin!
Ministers invited to join Cabinet or given new responsibilities include:
- Honourable Jamie Ballem, Minister of Environment and Energy and Attorney General
- Honourable Philip Brown, Minister of Tourism
- Honourable Mildred Dover, Minister of Education
- Honourable Chester Gillan, Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Seniors
- Honourable Kevin MacAdam, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry
- Honourable Mitchell Murphy, Provincial Treasurer and Minister Responsible for the Racing Commission
Ministers retaining responsibilities include:
- Honourable Pat Binns, Premier, President of the Executive Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Honourable Michael Currie, Minister of Development and Technology
- Honourable Elmer MacFayden, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs
- Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Transportation and Public Works and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
My spies tell me that the new cabinet and any changes to deputies will be settled between Tuesday and Thursday of next week.
It's always a tense time for those who wait. I won't speculate but what about you? If you were Pat what would you do?
Something that I missed before the election. 60,000 people live in Charlottetown. I bet more than half the taxes come from Charlottetown. How many seats? 6 out of 27?
Why do we not make more of a fuss? After all the Americans had a rebellion over the same issue of representation.
If Charlottetown had a more equitable representation maybe feeding the EI machine would have less power over all Islanders?
Well done - while the party has had a hard time - you have shone through as a decent man. Islanders and your political opponents see real quality in you.
What to do now in the next 4 years? The NDP had a hard day of it in Ontario as well. So maybe some hard thinking has to be done. Politics appears to have been polarized in a two party state leaving no room for a third party. In particular for a third party that is conventionally organized and is also strongly allied with organized labour.
Making the break with organized labour has enabled the Labour Party in the UK to become the new natural government. Why? Because the world is no longer a battle between the left as seen as labour and the right as seen the managerial classes. That was a 19th and mid 20th century world that does not exist anymore. The NDP has to move on and to capture the needs of those who are not spoken for in our own time.
Who are your allies now? Who is not represented by the current system? The young, the very old and small business. Where do they live? In the cities and not in the rural ridings.
If I was the leader of the NDP on PEI I would think of the following things.
I would build not so much a party but a movement. I would find ways of giving the young a real voice for their issues. Access to education, loans and work. I would help them become a movement and help them gain power as a result of having a voice. The NDP would facilitate their voice.
I would look at the trend towards self-employment and I would build a movement that would represent their interests in the way that the NDP used to represent labour. Small business need help in health care, pensions, business taxes etc. Again I would facilitate the connections between small businesses all over PEI and by giving them a voice create one for the NDP.
Finally I would connect to the boomers who now care for their elderly parents and I would help them create a movement to get more help in this most trying of all family roles - of caring for the elderly.
You new candidates will come from these movements as will your committed voters.
All these issues will grow in importance in the next 20 years and no one in the mainstream gives them more than lip service. This is fertile ground. These are also mainly urban issues. Better to have 6 great candidates who have come up as real leaders from these movements in the urban ridings that to try and cover the whole Island in a rush in the last few months of a mandate.
The NDP is at a cross roads - only realigning itself with the issues of our own time will save it.
Congratulations to you for having the courage to run and to have succeeded in creating the basis of a worthwhile opposition. We all need the grit in the shell to create a great pearl.
You have maybe 4 years to provide not only the questions that Islanders need to ensure accountability but also to create in the minds of Islanders that you have the making of a great premier. Some thoughts.
One of the parts of politics that exhaust voters are knee jerk negative comments about anything that a government does. We are so tired of childish debate where everything that the government does is "wrong" Not only does the debate revert mainly to a childish shouting match, but because "wolf" is being called all the time - it is hard to see the important issues from the dross. Please be constructive in your criticism. There will be time when the government is at least misguided and even wrong - call them on that. But when they talk good sense build on it and show that you have thought even more deeply about the issue.
As important as being the "grit in the shell" the other job that you have is to demonstrate that you deserve to lead a government. To do this you too will have to develop a well thought out mandate of key issues and attach a thoughful agenda to them. Please stand for something rather than just against the government.
We will be in for tough times in the next 4 years. Sensitise the people of PEI to the reasons why healthcare as we practice it is unsustainable. Help Islanders see how they can make a difference themselves. Push for new types of service delivery such as telehealth that use less resources and feel better for both the provider and the patient. Be sympathetic to the plight of the potato farmers and to the lobster fishers but look beyond these businesses to create new alternatives. Build a case for small business being welcome on PEI.
Get behind our kids. Start asking why so many Islanders cannot read. Ask why we have the largest dropout rate for boys in school. Ask why only 35% of high schoolers at rural schools intend to go to univerisity compared to over 70% in urban schools? Ask why 70% of freshmen at UPEI are women. Where are the men? Shift the debate from more teachers to what is really going on.
Get behind the environment and energy. Please avoid a cheap power platform. This will only ensure a failure. Go for independence - make this your own and push the government to do more and faster to make PEI independent of oil.
Build a team behind you that is larger than your elected members. Bring in people who can make a difference in policy. Show that you can govern.
Many years ago in England, a great Prime Minister was eventually succeeded by his son who was only 25 when he took office. The name of Pitt is always associated with the ideal of political leadership. Pitt the younger lead Britian through very trying times during the Napoleonic wars and the beginnings of the agricultural and Industrial revolution. It takes a special courage for a son to follow a great man along the same path. Islanders see that in you. You have taken the first step and you have a beachead in history. Now the hard work of becoming your own man begins. Best wishes
Congratulations! Few politicians have deserved and won the respect that you have. Islanders trust that you will do the right thing for them.
Great politicians like you know that you cannot do everything. What could you focus on in the next 4 years that would ensure your winning the next election? For as we will see in Ontario, governments mainly lose elections rather than oppositions win them.
Healthcare costs - As a government you have few levers to control the cost drivers in healthcare. But, the system has tipped and now costs 50% of the budget up from 35% a few years ago. Obesity and diabtetes, the addiction to drugs (drug use is growing at 9% compounded) and the aging of our population which drives 300% of the usage of younger adults are converging to drive this cost so much that it will constrain all the other things that you have to spend money on. At the same time expect every province to have its hand out to Ottawa.
The healthcare system itself cannot cope. It is our lifestyle and our belief that health is only a doctor's visit, a pill or a procedure away that is the foundation of the cost crisis that will loom. We have to find a way of building a recognition in the community that health is at first a personal responsibility. So long as our health is perceived as a goovernment responsibility, it will take you down in the next mandate. This is the real health issue. The electors were smart enough to see that it was not about more doctors. You have some room to make this type of move and Islanders will back you.
The economy - In the next 4 years the export/monoculture/commodity aspect of our farming and fishery will fall over. Borders will close, health and weather will conspire. You have a clear choice. You can put the industries that will fail into intensive care and spend all we have and then some in the vain attempt to save a dying patient or you can get behind the new and the vibrant. A key area for new investment will be in renewable energy. I know that you have a passion to make PEI independent of oil. With a major investment in wind and biofuels we can have a chance to do that and to offer farmers a new business.
The other area to look at to help our economy is to look at our human capital. 35% of our best graduates leave PEI. Maybe they should go for a while and learn more. How then can we build the human capacity to improve our economy and to solve our problems? What if we made PEI very attractive for middle-aged entrepreneurs who want to give up the rat race in Toronto and in New England? What if 5,000 came to PEI in the next 4 years?
What would then bring to our Island? Money, energy, ideas and a passion to make a difference. Would this be expensive and difficult to do? Why would they want to come - for our lifestyle. This would be the same generation as you Pat - you just came a bit earlier. They would come for the same reason - they want to make difference. If we became the smart province with a renewable energy strategy and a strong environmental approach we would attract these people. They would create the jobs and the alternative economy.
Education - The real issue here is that PEI has such poor results. 17% of Islanders cannot read. 42% can read at level 3. This is an intergenerational issue that threatens to make us unable to cope in the future. This is an econonmic issue before it is a social issue. The issue is not really schools but how we raise our children. A major investment in helping Islanders parent better will yield a huge dividend in grade 1 and in the years to come. The research is now conclusive - if we do a good job with raising children until they are 6, they will do better in school, in society and at work. More effort in the early years would take the pressure off the schools and restore family life to the centre that it was on PEI. .
Seniors - PEI risks having more seniors than any other province. More than 50% of our population will be over 55 soon. So long as seniors think that they can sit back and let their kids suppprt them, we will be in serious trouble. We have to have a strategy that supports seniors being as independent as possible for as long as possible.
If you can do well on thse fronts you will not only win the next election but will go down as being a great statesman
The election is now old news, Pat Binns has taken his old seat at his old desk for another term -- 4 years to do what he has done for the last 8. Really, is anyone upset with that? Even for the Liberals, what's the big deal anyway? The youth have no love for politics yet, nor do they hate it -- the worst case scenario is arising in a two party island; indifference is infecting many.
We have a four member Liberal opposition in our legislature that can hopefully fill four pairs of Ronnie McKinley's shoes over the next PC mandate. I can't help but wonder, even if the Liberal party had swept the island, what difference would it make? I now understand why people voted PC accross the island; things are o.k. and there isn't a reason to take a chance.
What role does our opposition fill? Their sole duty remains one of questioning the governments actions and policies as well as offering alternatives. Essentially; we elect a conscience to keep tabs for us while we hand control to our governing party. It all makes sense, in an 1800's kind of way. There was a time, I know, when the opposition held a value that was more than just issuing press releases to the media. They were the paid researchers, who went to, and listened at, every session of the legislature. They watch our government and give us feedback -- they are the people's advocate, shunning each and every government idea on sheer principal.
In reading over the readily available Hansard, it struck me that we are afforded the very same tools, at our leisure, that the Official Opposition is able to leverage. We are able to watch the legislature live on Cable 10 and we can access the entire wealth of Government of PEI information on their exceptional website. The one thing we don't have, save for the gallery, is a seat in the legislature. The people are no less capable of understanding and questioning the governments actions. The questions is one of enablement.
There have been some calls to keep ElectionWatch PEI open, and I trust that the site will stay open as a space for all voices. I expect we will see published here many commentaries and letters that will not make Compass, Question Period, or the pages of the Guardian. As an apolitical venue, no-one is turned away and everyone will be free to read what comes to these pages.
ElectionWatch PEI is not, as it may initially seem, a political alternative. Islanders have the NDP who do their best to make sure we have a third choice on the ballot box. This ElectionWatch, and now the web as a whole, is not the Guardian, CBC or traditional media either. There is no editor for this soapbox, only you and your writing. You can write anywhere, on ElectionWatch or your own website. What we have is the new legislature, and you are our new Unofficial Opposition.
It's been well discussed in the weblog world, the idea that the web can be an enabler, or glue, for democracy. Having an impact on democracy is one of the natal ideas emerged from the bowels of the internet. The idea of an informed populace goes back much further. What we are seeing on PEI is a series of concrete changes that can build a measurable impact on our democracy.
As we move forward with this site, and other experiments such as CityFilter, we are learning a lot of lessons. There is no shortage of mistakes for us to make, but we have managed to oil the machine in the right parts to help it along. What is emerging is something with more momentum however, much like a publisher donating his press, we lack the resources to be full time political commentators. This was obvious with ElectionWatch when many people I had never known at all made some of our most valuable contributions. This momentum is born from the example that is in this site, it is a valuable testimony of the ability to enable a new opposition and a new thought-alternative.
My respect for Pat Binns, Robert Ghiz and Gary Robichaud as politicians and citizens runs deep -- they are three proven people who have worked hard, as a labour of love, for this province. My respect for the electorate, however, is so much greater. Those islanders who have a deep care for this province are the ones who I will always praise -- and they are the ones who's voice must be heard. Calling our MLAs to voice concern is often a moot point -- we know that there is a party line, and our voice often remains unattended.
What we require, and what we now have the tools to execute, is a consistent and public discourse on the governance of Prince Edward Island. A network of citizens who pin the badge of publisher on themselves for a few minutes each day, or month, or year and they write. Each written piece becomes one small hand running through the waters of political movement, better than the comparative flick of a finger the mainstream media can afford to allow us. Each piece is the beginning of new ideas and alternatives, attempts to keep the government accountable, and reflections on the success and failure of the government to date.
This new place is not merely a placemat for the disenfranchised, nor is it the birthplace of a new political party. It is the new home to democracy, and the starting point to responsible governance.
There is no magic word we can say to invoke each islander to contribute to this process, we could only wish for even some small percentage to read these new voices, but there is one thing that has to be asked to everyone; you must do some small part.
If you are constantly thinking of sending a letter to the editor of the Guardian on some topic, then you need to write them on the web. If you have ever called your MLA, then you have something to contribute to us all. If you have ever considered a new option to an old government idea, then you have something to write about. If you have ever simply voted, then you should tell us all why.
The tools and technology have become so simple, and those Islanders who can will work to make them more accessible. Already, work has started on new and needed pieces of software to bring these ideas to the next level.
Take it as you want, but this storm has never before been stirred on PEI. If you think this is "old hat", then you do not see the shift, or are choosing to ignore it. This is the emergence of a new and interested electorate who are going to demand something better. In 2008 it won't be able to be ignored and will shift the vote in some ridings, but by 2012 -- the political lives of entire parties will rest on their participation in the new legislature.
It started yesterday.
Here is a brief account of my watching the CBC election coverage last night.
7:00 - Coverage starts.
7:37 - CBC predicts PC majority government.
7:43 - PC strategist Peter MacQuaid uses the word "threepeat". English language suffers another small injustice.
8:04 - First mention of Jean Tingley, lagging slightly behind. Weblogs mentioned.
8:15 - CBC calls Ghiz as elected in District 13.
8:18 - Gary Robichaud gives concession speech. CBC claims that Nick Borangia, the youngest candidate ever at 18, has the university vote sewn up. Current and last year UPEI SU Presidents, Editor of The Cadre ask "Who the hell is Nick Borangia?"
9:00 - Robert Ghiz makes acceptance speech for District 13 and concession of government. Man in red shirt behind him raises beer, popular on cell phone.
9:09 - Sarah Frasier quips "I don't want to say creamed again..."
9:12 - Pat Binns carreid into party at rink by two strongmen. Country bean farmer image still intact.
I have been without power since Sunday night and apolgize for taking so long to get back online but I also lost a lot of trees and my place has been a disaster. I am at the Library now will be for days.
As I was chain sawing and raking a few ideas came to me - what do you think?
What happened? I think that governments usually lose elections. We will see this occur in Ontario soon. Islanders still have confidence in the Binns team. They rejected the "More" idea.
In particular they rejected the simplistic idea that better healthcare is all about more doctors and nurses and the disbanding of the Health Authority. I met with several depressed health officials last week who were very concerned that after years of trying to get the root of why we lose our health that they might be forced into a knee jerk reaction and have to play the "more" game. The failure of Dr Ling ad Mr Mackay is a strong signal that Islanders see though such partisan and simplistic ideas.
Islanders rejected the can issue. They know that we have to do more about our environment - they don't know what but they know that this is important.
Islanders still have a large investment in rural ridings for government jobs. My take in Jean's riding is that they re elected the incumbent becuase they knew that the Tories would win and wanted to stay on the gravy train. Without Ken Bigham, Jean would have been only a handful of votes away.
A vote for the NDP was in reality a vote for the Tories. Many ridings would have very close if there had bene only 2 candidates. This is a tragedy. Ralph Nader in effect put in Bush in the US. How best do we deal with this type of thing. I am not for a moment suggesting that the NDP not run but that we need to think more deeply about what is going on.
Don't we live in a civic society? I am so impressed by the way that the three parties spoke of each other all the way through and at the end in particular. Compare this to Ontario!
Tomorrow I will post some advice for Pat Binns, Robert Ghiz and Gary Robichaud. Now the election is over what would I do in your job for the next 4 years.
Most of the ElectionWatch predictions were right -- the Liberal Party has gained a few seats, but the PC Party has held the government with a 10% margin in the popular vote, but a much larger gap in the legislature ownership.
Feel free to leave your comments, lessons and prediction here.
Thanks for being part of ElectionWatch.
Next: Charlottetown Municipal Elections. Bing
The polls have closed and CBC coverage has gone into full swing.
We haven't gotten a meeting place together to watch the election coverage -- The Wave at UPEI is closed tonight.
You can use the comments on this post as an open thread to post your thoughts.
As we prepare to go to the polls tomorrow, Downpour Dougie (a little Canadian content for you dear reader) is set to hit PEI somewhere between the Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown at 3:00 AM. Environment Canada is calling for possible thundershowers with 50 to 80 mm of rain overnight, and winds reaching up to 100 km/h. Tomorrow won't be much nicer; more possible thundershowers, another 10 to 15mm of rain and winds up to 60 km/h. You can watch via satellite as Dougie rains down terror upon the free range sugarcubes of our Maritime province.
How this will affect the voting is anyone's guess. As the CBC says "Many of the key districts in this election are expected to be inside the Charlottetown city limits." These swing ridings are the key to a Liberal presence in Province House or could sew up another sweep for the PCs. All it would take is a few dozen voters in any district staying inside because of the bad weather to shift the tide.
Regardless of the weather it is our right and our responsibility to get out and vote. Our democratic process is too precious to lose like a wind whipped umbrella. With this in mind, I quote some statistics from a leaflet handed to me this evening by one Aimee Arsenault of the UPEI Student Union.
- In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
- In 1649, one vote cause Charles I of England to be executed.
- In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
- In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
- In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
- In 1923, one vote gave Aldolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party of Germany.
- In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service, just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Let's show the world that it takes more than a Class 1 hurricane to scare Islanders away from the polls.
Will and I offer our thanks to all of you that have contributed to the site. It has been such fun having you come here and make this so special. My sense is that in 20 years you will be able to bore your families by reminding them again that you were the very first to recognize the power of the blog to make our democracy better.
Didn't Shakespeare say it well for Henry the 5th at Agincourt
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words - Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester - Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin, Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother;........
And gentlemen in England now a'bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day
Before asking either Will or Rob, I am proposing that the humble writers and readers of ElectionWatch get together for an hour or so over a beer on Monday night to watch some of the election results coming in. Any suggested venues/times?
Dont worry about it. There is legislation in place to insure that everyone who is able to vote, can vote.
So if you are working on election day, take advantage of this law and get out and vote.
Its too bad however that there isnt a subsection of the election act letting me out of my business exam on Monday.
Now, there's a way to really get the student vote on your side.
Election Act [936 KB]
81. (1) An employee, who is an elector, shall, while the poll is open on
ordinary polling day, have a reasonable and sufficient time, not to be less
than one hour, for the purpose of casting his or her vote.
Employee to have time off for voting
(2) If the employment of an employee does not permit the use of one
hour of his or her own time for voting, the employer shall allow the
employee such additional time with pay from the hours of his or her
employment as may be necessary to provide the one hour, but the
additional times for voting shall be granted to the employee at the time of
day that best suits the convenience of the employer.
Time off with pay,special case
(3) This section does not apply to an employee who is engaged in the
operation and dispatch of scheduled buses, motor transports, ships and
aircraft, and to whom the time mentioned in subsection (1) cannot be
allowed without interfering with the scheduled operation or dispatch of
buses, motor transports, ships or aircraft.
Application of section
(4) An employer who refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or
in any other way, interferes with the use by an employee of the time for
voting, or fails to pay him or her as provided in this section, is guilty of
an offence. 1996,c.12,s.81.
Intimidation etc. by employer, offence
Take note that the parties have all largely ignored the tech sector in the province. The only mention I found any of the policy documents was a passing reference in the PC platform (545 KB PDF) that "Technology centres will provide a catalyst for further growth in the Information Technology industry."
What's the reasoning behind this glaring omission from policy of the Island's fastest growing industry? Even crafts earned a few paragraphs in another PC document (545 KB PDF).
In case you get the impression that things are working perfectly fine, I talked to a Holland College BISD graduate yesterday. He told me flat out what I knew all along: the day he graduated his skillset was outdated. The school is still stuck in a Microsoft-oriented mindset, while such software is being replaced in the work world by open source. No mention from anyone about increasing academic standards to keep in step with the reality that awaits our students.
It seems like they are missing some big opportunities for growth. We should be creating a tech-friendly province that will attract business small and large alike. Imagine province-wide wifi, or how about even just ourcapital city? Where's the plan to use new technologies like weblogging, instant messaging or digital document signing to provide better service to voters? How will the government support groups like ITAP?
Most importantly, where's the consultation with us in the tech industry that want to see this province propell forward? Is there such a division between the two that our agenda completely fell of the map?
I find the people are getting a bit bolder with making demands in exchange for their vote. Today, I was told there were four votes in the house in exchange for a guarantee and promise that the two men in the house would be given jobs driving the school buses. They didn’t want quite as much for the women, just 20 weeks flagging at government wages of $13.00 per hour. I am sure no politician worth their salt would make this promise, not even for four votes. I have no intention of selling my soul to the devil for votes.
Jean posted this today.
As an immigrant to PEI, one of the few aspects of Island life that repels me is the idea that one of the jobs of an MLA is to get folks jobs with the government. It drives the patronage machine; it drives painful shifts when a new party gets in; it drives the MLA's mad and it creates this sense of dependency and obligation that is so unhealthy.
How can we rid ourselves of this practice?
I found out first hand tonight about an 11 year old girl who had a stroke and who's mother has to pay 700$ out of pocket every month for medication (the problem is: next month she is out of money, 0$ left) and her school board will only give her 1/2 hour of tutoring a day (if a kid has a behavior problem, he can get something like 2 hours a day). Top that off with the fact that nobody will pay to get her a computer to help her participate in school and you have one of the most backward, anti-community healthcare systems that could be contrived.
Maybe you can't help everyone all the time, but an 11 year old girl who is just getting started in life? Invest now, save later. If our good government really cares about health and education, here's their chance to do it all at once.
Ken Bingham NDP has raised the issue of seniors having to deplete all their savings before they get assistance in a Nursing home.
There seems something wrong that those who have been careful with their savings should be forced into penury. I am not saying that those who who have no money should pay - I am saying that when we have to go into a nursing home, it is because we cannot cope anymore on our own or with our family. There is no "choice" involved here.
Imagine, you have been careful all your life to have some savings for you old age. Your savings mean that you can buy your loved ones a Christmas present. Buy yourself some clothes. Leave something to your children. Whatever, your savings are part of your self respect and your dignity. But we have a system where, when you cannot cope anymore, which is itself a terrible blow, you then have to give up all that you have saved. Yes those who can pay should pay something but why does it have to be everything?
Most Islanders now have parents who are in this category. It's time for a whole review of what life will be like when most of us will be seniors which is not that long a time away.
Robert had a tough audience the other night when he faced the Teachers. Like elephants - they have long memories. This issue is likely a strong reason why the Liberals chose to go with leader who could honestly claim not to have had anything to do with the decision.
Normally time is the great healer. What do you think - is this a dead issue or will it return to haunt the Liberals for another election?
Any leader in an electorate the size of PEI who thinks they are too busy to write a weblog will also need to consider that John Edwards is also now blogging as he ramps up his bid in the American Presedential race.
The Liberals now state that they will eliminate the new Health Authority that was set up to run the two acute care hospitals in Charlottetown and Summerside. (Thanks CBC)
The authority was set up so that PEI could get the savings and the effectiveness of the two hospitals being run as one acute care network that would serve all Islanders. The Liberal critic says that the hospitals have been taken away from their local communities. The acute care hospitals serve all Islanders not only the communities that they are located in. It is important to make the distinction between community health which stays in the community and acute care which is a province wide responsibility.
Acute care is when you fall very ill and/or need an operation. Our two hospitals can just offer a front line acute care service for Islanders. Remember no other community of 140,000 has access to this type of service. So we do quite well compared to most small communities of our total size. But even then if you are critically ill, you will have to leave the Island as we will never be able to offer locally the level of acute care expertise available in a large city. Even so, managing an acute care facility is very intense. When they were located in the community, they naturally pulled the attention of the management away from community care to the needs of the acute care unit. So when the critic demands that the hospitals be brought back into the communities, he denies that they serve all Islanders and seeks to put acute care back on top.
When the critic demands that a service now allocated to Summerside be also located in Charlottetown he advocates the duplication of services. The last thing PEI needs is for the two acute care hospitals to duplicate services or worse to compete for custom. We simply cannot afford this.
The critic makes no distinction between the acute care and community care. Community care is all about the help that you have to keep you well and to manage chronic illness such as diabetes. These parts of the healthcare system are kept as close as possible to the communities that they serve. If we put the hospitals back - we would double the management staff and once again reduce the focus on community health. The most significant health problems we face on PEI are not acute but chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, trouble with breathing and depression. This is what we have to focus on and not just in alleviating the symptoms but in prevention. So long as acute care was in the community, chronic care took a back seat.
All well managed healthcare systems are making an attempt to shift resources to the chronic side of the issue. This is where the majority of the patients and the problems reside. This is the underlying reason for the reorganization of PEI's system.
The critic stated that we don't need executive management. He would fire the leaders and hire more doctors and nurses! This is like saying that an army just needs more soldiers. After all who needs a good general? Wars are won by good generals who create great armies. So it is with everything. Now more than at any other time our healthcare system needs good leadership. Simply working the old system harder will not serve us. Where will the nurses and doctors come from? They wont - new methods and new technology will have to fill the staffing gaps. How will we deploy new technology? How will we prevent more illness? Only new approaches will enable us to beat the impending health/financial crisis. Only a great management team will be able to solve these problems.
So ask your self whose interest is it to have poor leadership in the hospital - defined as not controlling costs and redefining services? Who wants to hold onto the status quo with the doctors and acute care in the centre? While you think about these questions ask yourself who is front and centre in this issue?
Heard some leaks about the results of tomorrows guardian OmniFacts/Bristol Group poll.
The poll, which will be published in tomorrow’s Guardian, apparently shows no significant movement in voting intentions or in anticipated voter results.
It also shows that 53% of voters surveyed indicated a preference for or were leaning to support the PC’s, compared to only 43% for the Liberals and 4% for the NDP.
Voters surveyed also prefer Premier Binns as the best choice to lead Prince Edward Island by a 2-1 margin over the other party leaders.
Voters surveyed believe that Premier Binns and Team PC will win re-election, also by a 2-1 margin.
The poll suggested a 34% undecided amongst voters surveyed. Professional polls never report an undecided this high. This indicates to me that this survey may be flawed with poor wording of questions or problems with the poll’s methodology.
If accurate, the poll would indicate that there has yet to be a meaningful movement in the voting intentions of Islanders and there is no mood for change.
While I believe that these kind of surveys are usually right on the nose with their predictions, the only poll that matters will be taken a week from today.
The National Democratic Party in the US has a weblog AND they are doing a kick-ass (excuse the pun) job of it.
After election time, smart opposition parties will have weblogs. If the NDP has a weblog, everyone with a computer will know their stance, and will hold the government accountable. If the Liberals had one; they'd make the newspaper every morning. (Edit: Link subconsciously stolen from Scripting News)
CityFilter Charlottetown will cover the upcoming elections in Charlottetown. If you are a candidate and would like some help in setting up a blog please follow the link and contact Jevon MacDonald.
CityFilter is also a great way to follow issues in our city at any time
I have gained a lot of respect for TIAPEI as an organization in the past 2+ years. They are extremely client-driven -- and this is an example of bringing together a digest of information for their clientele to discern and compare on their own.
We have just over a week to go and - there is really so little news or heat in the election. This is not just because this is Sunday.
I do not detect a groundswell of feeling about the need for a change as we see in Ontario. I do not see an issue where the government is at risk. I see a leader that the people have confidence in. So the issues that I would like to see publicly on the table are not there but I know privately that they are in the mind of both parties.
In professional boxing, the champion cannot be beaten on points. Is this true for politics?
If it is, we can predict today that, unless an issue arises that captures the Island, that Pat Binns and the Tories will be returned with a substantial majority of seats again.
While some well discussed candidates are breaking ground for the liberal party, in some ridings it's the PC candidates who are listening the most. In this case, considerable effort was put forward by Mandy's PC candidate to respond to her e-mail. This is a lesson for every candidate who lets some correspondence slip here or there, you are losing votes. But you knew that already, did you?
My mother always told me, vote for the man (or woman) -- not the party.