Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Business of Politics

To try to understand why Montreal and Quebec politicians are following in Ontario’s footsteps by passing failed, ineffective dog law that will make law-abiding dog owners into second-class citizens, break people’s hearts, ruin lives and kill unoffending dogs, let’s analyze the political game as a business case.

After all, passing a failed, proven ineffective law is akin to emulating Enron’s accounting techniques.

First - In business, one must justify why a new product, division or plant is required before it will be considered.

Why is the proposed new dog law required?

There should be existing law respecting dogs and dog behaviour; is it objective, clear, concise and enforceable?  Is the law being enforced?  If not, why not?

What experts were consulted for the dog law proposal?  Were they people armed only with opinions (which is what I heard Montreal used)?  Why were people with deep dog knowledge and proven data, true experts, not used?

No answers from Montreal or Quebec on that point.

Next – What is the cost of the proposal?

Business calculates the capital cost for launching a new product or building a new plant.

In politics, calculating the cost is more difficult because the jurisdiction doesn’t know how the cost to enforce the proposed law; the strength of the opposition to the proposed law; and, how many court challenges the jurisdiction will have to defend.

Enforcement of a subjective “breed” based dog law will require additional animal control personnel and lawyers (to go to the court cases).

These costs are paid from taxpayers’ dollars as they occur, not from a capital account for costs.

There is also the emotional cost to residents of an unfounded, unjust, inhumane, vague, shoddy, proven ineffective and proven fiscally irresponsible law that legislates law-abiding people into second-class citizenship based solely on the shape of the property they own - their dogs – and kills unoffending dogs solely because of their shape.

While animal control personnel and government lawyers are busy enforcing an unfair, ineffective law, people will continue to get attacked and bitten by untargeted dogs, possibly at a much higher rate, because the ACOs will be busy killing unoffending dogs.

This proposed law might open the jurisdiction to lawsuits by victims of bites by untargeted dog types because the proposed law does nothing to reduce dog bites and attacks by dogs of other breeds and types.

There will be no answer from Montreal or Quebec on this point as the financial and emotional costs are incalculable.

Next – Who stands to profit from the proposed law?

In business, the stakeholders are the ones who stand to profit from an effective solution to a challenge.  Owners of the business and creditors.

One would think in a municipal or provincial jurisdiction that the stakeholders would be the residents of that jurisdiction.

In the political game, who profits from passing a law that has failed in multiple jurisdictions?  Who are the stakeholders in this proposal?  What is the gain?

In human psychology there are primal drives - survival, food, shelter, procreation. Passing “breed” specific legislation (“BSL”) satisfies none of these, so let's rummage in what passes for politician’s brains and see what else it might be.

What is Coderre’s profit in this?  What is his motivation?  Is it the upcoming Montreal municipal election?  Coderre is radiating an air of arrogance and self-satisfaction, boasting that the law will be passed on September 26th and implemented on the spot.  Is it all ego and political greed on Coderre’s part?

What of Coderre’s sycophants, his tame councillors?  If Coderre is boasting that the law will be passed, he must have enlisted a sufficient number of foot soldiers (aka cannon fodder) to vote in favour of it.  Have promises been made to them to guarantee their unwavering support?  If so, what promises?  If so, how much will these promises cost taxpayers?

Is there any return on investment (ROI), any form of dollar return to the taxpayers, on this proposal?  No, because there is only cost to the taxpayers/ stakeholders.

Does Montreal intend to sell seized dogs for research?  Does it have that right?  Is there any payback to the City from any for-profit shelters for dogs?  Or higher rates paid by the City to for-profit shelters because the killing rate will be much higher? 

I understand that the Montreal and Laval shelter, Berger Blanc, is a for-profit shelter.  Who exactly are the stakeholders in Berger Blanc?

No answers from Montreal or Quebec on that point.

Next – When business takes an action, it is transparent with its stakeholders on the W5 and HM (who/what/when/where/why and how/much).

Not so in Montreal.  The proposed dog law is available in French only, cutting numerous residents, potential residents, travellers and proposed travellers out of the knowledge loop and greatly disadvantaging them.

More on transparency - What’s with the Quebec government’s “distract and deflect” action, supposedly “leaking” the proposed province-wide BSL shortly after Montreal’s?  Trying to take some heat off Montreal?  Collusion with Coderre (a fellow Liberal) to advance or support his political ambitions?

No answers from Montreal or Quebec on that point.

I tell you - having seen this whole screenplay run in Ontario - the only phrase that comes to mind is "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap".  

Whenever politicians act in this manner, there's a game afoot and people are just pawns in the politicians’ game.  The dogs are nothing more than collateral damage to the politicians.

Figuring out the game and the players should give all the answers.  To date, analysing Montreal and Quebec raises more questions than answers.

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