Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canadian politics, have you gone insane?

Just a few weeks after the last federal election, the losing political parties have decided to join together defeat the duly elected party and form a coalition government. I just have one thing to say about this: For God sake, why?

In Canada we have four main political parties. Each electoral district, or whatever it's called, votes for a representative who then gets a lovely salary, buggers off to Ottawa and pretends to represent his or her voters. The party with the most seats in parliament gets the privilege to form the government. What happened this time is that the winning party has less seats than the three other parties combined. However, according to the rules, they get to rule the country for the next four years (or perhaps four days depending on how things go from here).

So why does a coalition government piss me off? Well, first and foremost, Canadians, those of us who bothered to turn up, voted for our respective parties on the basis of what they told us. Now that the election is over, three of the parties are changing the rules on us. This is not what we voted for. If they are successful in bringing down the duly elected government, then they had better hold another election right away or this knitting based blog might just turn into one big long political rant. Trust me, that's not going to be good for the country.

Second, this of all times, is not the right time to upset the political scene in our country. So, yes, I live in the only province yet to enter recession (according to my radio, which is mostly correct on this sort of thing), but I know that it could and I know that the rest of the country is shitting itself over the economy. At a time of 'global economic change' and 'economic crisis' how can this move be a good thing? The three parties don't get along, they have never in my lifetime got along, and there is very little evidence to say that they ever will get along. If they do succeed in this endeavour, they will spend so much time fighting among themselves that nothing will get done.

Third, well, I don't know if anyone still remembers this, I mean, it was like five years ago or so, but the biggest of these three parties had a huge political scandal involving something along the lines of missing money. Thus, they aren't in power anymore. Maybe they have changed their ways, maybe not, but would one really want to risk someone with their history forming the government at this economically unstable time?

Fourth, if somehow these three parties manage to get along, do an end around our country's political system, defeat the duly elected government, and form a coalition government, I ask you, who is going to run it? The Liberals have this fellow as their leader who the English speaking half of the population can't understand and let's face it, he was elected by his party as a scape goat to draw attention from their recent history. What about the NDP? Their guy looks like a chipmunk and their party seems to be interested in big government, big spending, big taxes for the little guy, and giving union heads big kickbacks, or so it seems to me. But I am looking at this situation from a particularly West Coast point of view and they haven't been very popular around here lately. As for the Block, I don't have anything against their leader or the party. I just don't want them to have too much power in Ottawa. For a political party whose stated intent is to help one province, and only one province, even if that means separating that province from the rest of the country, they are refreshingly frank about their intentions. But I wonder, at this time in our country's history, is it a good thing to give them the reigns?

I am not saying that I am a fan of the Tories, but as far as I can tell, in the last ten years, they have either lied less or they have been caught lying less than the other parties. Maybe not the best basis for a relationship, I know; however, we did elect them. That last point should be the one that counts. What the other parties are saying with this move is that they don't care what the electorate tells them. The wants of 'average Canadians', a term much loved during the last election, are not an issue when it comes to governing our country. They don't care about what we told them we want. That pisses me off.

So why, why, do this now? Did you notice the motion that they are planing to vote against in order to send this circus into motion? Did anyone pay attention to this? Anyone? Well, I don't blame you if you missed it. The real issue here seems to be lost in the uproar. Despite the fact that the other parties say that the Tories have done nothing to help the economy, the Tories wish to pass a motion which will, among other things, stop a good chunk of taxpayer money from being given to the political parties for their election campaign and then use this money to provide tax cuts and services to the voters. Um, that's just horrible. I mean, give tax money to the tax payers? What is this world coming too?

In my rather vocal opinion, that is a stupid bill (motion, financial update, whatever) to vote against no matter how much you try to make it seem like there are bigger issues at stake. Besides, if you really cared about Canadians, you wouldn't start this circus just before Christmas. For the sake of families everywhere in this great land of ours, don't give people an excuse to argue politics at the dinner table. Christmas is a time for fighting over petty family squabbles, not politics. Have some compassion.

I can only see two ways to make this better. First, and easiest, a bunch of politicians could cross the floor and join with the ruling party to form a majority government. Though, I admit, the second option is my favourite: a complete overhaul of the Canadian political system. Do something like Australia does, they're pretty cool. They even have kangaroos.

Sorry about the language everyone, but some issues require strong words.

1 comment:

Josiane said...

You probably guessed that not only am I on the other side of the country, but I'm also sitting on the other side of the fence on the matter of our country's politics. Many Canadians, actually the majority of the canadian population (so not only us in Quebec), can't feel included when "we did elect them" is said, as they didn't contribute (nor did they want to) to the election of the Conservative party. It's probably not the case for all of those who didn't vote for the Conservatives, but for some of them what may happen next feels like their voice will finally be taken into account.
In any case, I'm watching the situation with great interest, and am really curious to see what will happen next.