Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Dodged a Bullet
Canadians were lucky to escape a summer election. We may yet be lucky enough to escape one this autumn. But make no mistake, even if we dodge a fall bullet, there’s a federal election coming to a polling station near you within the year. Canadians who follow the political scene may understand why the possibility of another election so soon after the October, 2009 exists, but for most people, it really doesn’t make sense to be having elections every year, especially when they cost more than $300 million a shot.
The latest threat of election is coming from the Liberal Party, which senses it has better chance to form a government if there is an election soon rather than waiting. The Conservatives argue there is no need for an election and that the opposition parties need to work with the government to make this session of parliament work.
Wasn’t it just eleven months ago that Prime Minister Harper called an election three years early because he sensed he might be able to win a majority government? In most parliamentary democracies (like Canada’s) elections are held every four or five years. Even with minority governments, other countries can make things work because parties cooperate with one another. Here in Canada we are controlled by a tyranny of two parties that cannot bring themselves from playing political power games with Canadians rather than to put the good of the country first.
In fact, in order to call last year’s election Prime Minister Harper broke a law passed back in 2006 that required federal elections to be held on the third Monday in October, in the fourth calendar year after a previous election unless the opposition brings down the government. Last year, without the government being brought down, Mr. Harper simply dissolved parliament and went to the polls where nothing changed much anyway.
Now Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says he won’t support the government under any circumstance and will send Canadians back to the polls as soon as he can. Unless either the NDP or the Bloc Quebec support the Conservatives over the next few months, the government will fall and we will have to go back to the voting booth very soon.
Did you get that? In order for the Conservatives to survive, they will need the help of either the “separatists” or the “socialists.” If you have been following this “Keystone Cops” political situation, you will remember that the Conservatives and their supporters went ballistic last December when the Liberals and NDP proposed a coalition that had the agreement of the Bloc Quebec not to vote against said coalition for 18 months. Back in December, the separatists and the socialists were bad. Now they are “part of the democratic” process.
Where the hell did the integrity go? How did we find ourselves with politicians that put themselves first at every opportunity? Why do so many of us blindly support one side over the other when it is apparent that neither side is out for the betterment of this country or to support everyday Canadians? If we are ever to get passed this partisanship that is destroying Canada, we “little people” have to get back involved in the process and demand that the politicians we choose to support act with more integrity than we have seen lately.
When this election comes… and come it will… the Conservatives are going to tell us that it is unnecessary and that the Liberals are selfish and uncaring power hungry rats. Take that with a large grain of salt and remember October, 2008, when Prime Minister Harper broke a law his own government enacted just so he could seek a majority parliament. This next election is our opportunity to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire and demand they act with more honor and integrity. It will also be an opportunity to listen to policy and decide on the character of candidates by the virtue of their words and their conduct rather than the party banner they run under. Next election, it’s time for all of us to perform our role in this democracy of ours.