Sunday, March 06, 2005

Meaningless positioning 

Anti-Abortion Dem. to Seek Pa. Nomination
You know, I get a kick out of headlines like this.
The only thing worthy of note about this man, apparently, is that he is anti-abortion and a Democrat.
And his being anti-abortion, in this particular electoral office, is virtually meaningless -- what power has any Senator ever had to outlaw abortion? None, really. Yes, they passed some kind of late term abortion law a couple of years ago, but wasn't it overturned?
Anyway, what gives me a chuckle is how often politicians run on, or get publicity about, policies about which they can do nothing.
Its like a rural alderman running on a platform of relieving taxpayers from education taxes -- easy to say this, considering that municipal governments have nothing to do with how the schools are managed.
Or a provincial politician running on a platform of changing the equalization formula -- this is a federal formula, not a provincial one, so provincial MLAs can't really promise to do anything about it.
Or a federal politician saying he will make sure new highways are built in the constituency -- again, this is a provincial matter and all the feds can do is give provinces some money and hope they might use it to improve a particular highway.
But politicians won't stop doing this kind of thing until their public draws them up short, and says -- hey, tell me what you CAN do something about, instead of pandering to me about policies that you are powerless to implement.

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