Trying To Make Sense Out Of Canadian Politics

Since everybody else is doing it, I might as well throw my voice into the current Canadian political discussion. I wasn’t going to bother, but because so much of what I’m hearing is so wrong, I don’t feel like I can hold out anymore. Let’s look at a few of the key points that keep coming up and see if we can make a little sense out of them.

1. All of these opposition parties trying to form a coalition government flies in the face of the democratic process.

How? The right to do that is written into the rules of government. If there is not sufficient confidence in the current ruling party and it falls in a parliamentary vote, either an election is called or the other parties in the House are given the chance to govern. Sounds to me like everybody’s following the rules. What we’re seeing is not a coup, it’s the usage of long established though rarely used procedure.

2. it goes against the will of the Canadian people who elected a Conservative government.

Yes, that overwhelming majori…wait, there is no majority. Yes Harper won the most seats, but not enough to prevent something like this from happening. He could have prevented it from happening if he had chosen to follow his own advice and worked with other parties like he said he wanted to do a few short weeks ago at the conclusion of our 24th election in the last year and a half, but he didn’t. Right out of the gate he did what he’s always tried to do, govern like his party had won every seat. It’s worked before, but even the most spineless opposition has its breaking point. And if there’s going to be a breaking point, cutting their public funding in an attempt to bankrupt every party that isn’t you and spinning it like it’s a gigantic cash savings for the taxpayer while also talking it up as a boost to the economy is a good way to figure out what it is. That doesn’t even take into account plans to take away the right to strike from federal employees or limit the ability of women to fight for pay equity. And that’s just the recent stuff! Harper reminds me a lot of that kid we all grew up with who liked to poke that one neighbourhood dog with a stick. He would do it and do it and laugh and laugh and it would be happy and great…and then he has the nerve to be shocked and sad and surprised when after one too many pokes, the dog finally jumps up and attacks him.

3. Harper deserves a chance to govern.

The last 3 years called. They wanted to let you know you didn’t dream them.

4. Stéphane Dion is not the person who should be leading government. He was soundly rejected by the people when he ran in the last election.

This I actually agree with. I don’t care how smart he is or what his academic credentials are, he just doesn’t have it as a leader. he doesn’t connect with people, and that includes a lot of the ones who would generally be Liberal supporters. The language issue has a lot to do with that. He can’t get his message out effectively to English Canada, and that hurts him. That’s one of the reasons why I voted NDP. I don’t think he should be staying on to lead the new coalition. that job should fall to jack Layton at least until the Liberals get their leadership situation sorted out.

5. The Liberals and NDP forming a government involving the Bloc Québécois is treason! Nobody should ever seek the support of the separatists! All they want to do is destroy Canada!

If that’s the case, then everybody’s guilty, even the Conservatives. Even if we leave out the fact that Harper tried to do pretty much exactly what’s being done to him now to the Liberals back in 2004, we’re still left with the fact that like it or not, the Bloc exists and especially in minority situations, everybody has to work with them. The Cons have to keep them happy enough to keep the government alive, and everybody else has to lobby for their support in the hopes that they can vote that same government down. I look at the Bloc kind of like herpes. They’re not going away, but they can, and should, be managed. Whether you want them or not, they’re part of your life. Besides, it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting any cabinet positions. They’ll just be playing a support role. And I’d like to think that they along with the Liberals and the NDP would be smart enough not to push too much of an extreme agenda. None of our current political parties are in a position where that would be a good idea.

6. We should have another election so that the Canadian people can be heard.

Also, I presume, so that even less people can vote and we can wind up right back where we are. Another election would solve nothing. All it would do is cost money, and fights over money are kind of how we got to this point in case you haven’t noticed.

I’m not sure how things will ultimately shake out. A lot can change in politics pretty quickly. But whatever happens, I’m not going to get too worked up over it just yet. I’d love to see Harper gone, because he deserves it. but I’d also like to see his replacement be somebody who is a good leader and who can be trusted to take the country in a good direction. I’m not sure that person exists in any of the other parties, but only time will tell. for now, I’m willing to wait and see.

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