Well, it finally happened. Last Friday the Canadian Parliament finally got up on its hind legs and voted no confidence in the current government. So we are off to another election — this one slated for May 2. In reality though Canada has been in a continuous election campaign for the last five years or so and we are all sick of it. Attack ads smearing the Liberal leader have been steady fare on TV. Our local Con MP Scott Reid sends out periodic ‘updates’ about how tough the CONs are on crime and how bad the opposition would be if they came to power. And it always comes with a mail-back response form — but if you give any response but ‘ja!’ there is never a reply. As for what he is doing there is never an update — just a non-stop stream of what appears to be campaign literature. Problem is that in a rural area the issues are not crime but economic development, roads, utilities and the constantly soaring cost of government. Not much progress seems to be made on any of those.
So the Globe was saying today that this will be the first campaign fought in the social media — then asked ‘but will anyone vote?’. Its a hard call to find anyone worthy of a vote. The incumbent has been quick to take credit for every positive gain of Canadian business and even faster to smear his fellow party leaders. But leadership and providing a statement of direction for the government and the country has been pretty scarce. But if people don’t vote we will be stuck with the same old stuff for a few more years — more stupid spending and even more sleazy deals. There just doesn’t seem to be much of a choice. My Dad used to say that the secret of voting is to try and work out which politician will steal the least. So far that doesn’t appear to be Harper. The only thing he is good at is harping on the big lie — the attack ads, the fear mongering about a ‘coalition’, ad nausea. He wants to be PM for life but hasn’t the guts for a takeover — so we are all condemned to a death by 10,000 cuts.
Sometimes it seems that the only way to sort this out is to have the elections decided by the candidates with pistols at 20 paces — winner take all. Or maybe AK-47s. Or perhaps the ultimate outsourcing of political union with the US. Ontario would make a nice state, maybe two or three. And at least there would be some investment in the Arctic. Pity about healthcare though.
We all should really care about the governance of the country. It is, after all, the world where our children will live. But with an entrenched political class constantly jockying for power and richly rewarding themselves — while the real business of the country takes care of itself. They clearly are not interested in OUR problems or outlining a future that we want to work towards. To me, being conservative always meant being prudent with spending but making investments in the future.
So let us look at the current CONs. In the original campaign there were promises of fixed election dates, a factor which helps US politicians focus on business, but as soon as he was in this vanished. Instead we have constant campaigning and an election every time the polls flicker in his favor. Is the ‘security’ of the G20 the model for the future? I hope not. ‘1984’ would not be my desired future. So far everything seems to be pointing at a nightmare world of central control and constant supervision. As in 1984, ‘we have always been at war with East Asia…’ or whatever the message of the day is supposed to be. Like any 3rd world dictator money flows into self-aggrandizement and the military. Makes me think that if my kids want any future not in the US they had better learn Spanish or Mandarin.
And as for the current election — we will ignore it as much as possible and on election day vote strategicly. A pity there is nothing to vote FOR.