Making GDP Failings An Election Issue

Thanks for the timely reminder that the GDP is a relatively poor indicator for the well-being of a nation ["Future Shock", June 3-10]. Your quote from Joe Jordan (Liberal MP for Leeds-Grenville) that "Making decisions primarily on the information provided by the gross domestic product is like driving a bus and just staring at the speedometer" seems to suggest that at least some politicians are aware of the GDP/reality gap. But looking at the 2004 election campaign, we get a different impression. The three biggest parties continue to promise to deal with social and environmental issues by spending money. The focus of their ambitions is to grow the economy (boost the GDP) to pay for programs to cure the ills associated with unbridled growth. It's a hopeless cycle that can only lead to the destruction of the environment and the disintegration of society.

By running a realistic article about an uncertain future, you have once again set yourself apart from the media mainstream, which seems to prefer stories about a political horse race. Ironically, this very same media has decreed that there are only three horses running, and that alternative voices need not be heard.

I have decided to add my voice to the mix regardless, in the form of a petition to Paul Martin, which anyone can read by visiting

Michael Hey