This will be the third election in three years. And the fourth since 2004. I’m not sure why a Prime Minister has a mandate of four years when the true mandate of office seems to be barely one year. Yes, it’s our fault for electing a minority government, but can our politicians not take a break from flying overhead like vultures, waiting for the right moment to strike? It seems that the opposition spends all their time strategizing how to bring down a minority government while the party in power spends all its time contemplating how to hang on to their fledgling support. Who can possibly govern the country in the meantime, and who has the time to keep things on track? Nobody, it seems.
As renowned Canadian commentator Rex Murphy succinctly puts it in his brilliant Globe & Mail article, No better than a moose in a rut, “Our Parliaments are downtimes between campaigns. MPs go to Ottawa to rest up and strategize for the next one, not to legislate. In Ottawa, they frame every issue and incident, every committee and inquiry, with reference to the next plunge to the polls. The Canadian political universe is currently bounded by only one question: When is the best time for an election?”
And what about the cost? In the midst of a recession, can we afford to spend $300,000,000 on an election? That money can go a long way in this country. Is spending it on an election really the best investment? I know of a few financially deprived schools, a few hospitals that are short on life-saving equipment and nursing care, and a few communities with underprivileged, starving people. Perhaps they could use a little financial infusion.
But none of this matters, because when a political party decides to forge ahead, there is no talking reason. The mind is made up, the battle is on.
The opposition is gleefully rubbing its hands in preparation. The attacks are already revving up, even if they are starting with a sputter. When the Liberal party leaked a video to the media this week, in which Harper is giving a private speech to party members in Sault Ste. Marie, the opposition was all over it. How dare Harper say, “Imagine how many left-wing ideologues they [the Liberals] would be putting in the courts, federal institutions, agencies, the Senate.”
As if this was some big hidden fear that is just now coming to the forefront.
The Liberals also took great issue with Harper’s comments that if the Conservatives won a majority, they would continue their crackdown on criminals, abolish the gun registry, and implement more tax cuts and a balanced budget. How shocking, how deceitful, this behind-the-scenes plotting is!
“Now you get to see the real Stephen Harper,” Ignatieff says. Oh, really? Was it the fake Stephen Harper who has been saying the exact same things for the last four years?
The polls indicate that a fall election will result in little change. Once again, we will have a Conservative minority with hands tied behind their backs. But polls can be wrong, right? That’s what the opposition claims...and desperately hopes.
Bottom line—Polls show that Canadians do not want another election. Not now. We want the people in power to use it responsibly and we want the opposition to keep them in check. The day will come when it’s time for a change, but as I see it, there is not one compelling reason to harass the constituents into going to the polls...again...just to end up where we started—with a minority Conservative government.
And when the time comes for a legitimate election, give me policies that make sense, efficient spending, honest intentions, strong leadership, and smart social programs that will not bankrupt the country, and I will vote for you. But if all I see is senseless finger-pointing, voter manipulation, mercenary behaviour, and he said she said rhetoric, I’m not interested.
Unfortunately, once a person gets on the political stage, there is little room for ideology and integrity. The script is written, the characters are cast, and the minute you flub your lines or miss your cue, you’re finished. Because the objective is to fill the theatre and the minute people stop coming, the show is over.
I want Rex Murphy to be Prime Minister. He is the most polite, well-spoken, respectful, and intelligent guy out there these days. He understands people, he has a good head, a big heart, a witty mouth and he’s almost always right! Yes, I nominate him to run this country for the next ten years. Are you up for it, Rex?