Since I'm almost positive I'll be doing more than one of these during the epic, tedious, propaganda stink bomb that Harper is pleased to call an election, I thought I'd better name them clearly. You are going to get the opinions of a real, ordinary, working Canadian, as opposed to the mythological entity Harper invokes at every opportunity.
If you're here, you're either a political junkie, or a big fan of my writing. Hello and welcome. You can find other political rants using the "politics" label over on the right. I'll try not to repeat myself but you might want to start here, with recent commentary on the Alberta provincial election.
Here's the rules. I love comments, and I moderate them. I'm fine with reasoned disagreement, but will ruthlessly delete incoherent rage filled spasms of bile. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, that's your business. I'm going to point to various issues, and let you make up your own mind.
Canadian elections over the last 100 years or so have been about 6 weeks long. That seemed to be plenty of time for people to discuss the issues and make up their minds about who should be elected to appear to run the country. I have some pretty cynical notions of who actually runs the country. Two sayings come to mind, "He who hath the gold makes the rules", and "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!" as attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild.
The Conservatives certainly have the money, and have demonstrated the will to spend it, particularly on negative advertising. Even without watching television I know of the "just not ready" bit of arrogance. By election day, if Harper has his way, every Canadian alive will be parroting it back as a response to any statement by anyone. (Sort of like Conservative members of Parliament.) "Smithers, what do you think of the 4th quarter projections?" "Just not ready!" I hope our tottering economy can take the blow.
Just so you know, Harper's name will appear on my ballot, but don't blame me, I've never voted for him. My neighbours, however, seem to like him. Or rather, more accurately, they are afraid of what the other guys might do. I'd like to think with the election of Notley we'd be over that objection, but maybe not.
In any case, we are going to hear endless scary stories about Trudeau and Mulcair, and their respective political parties. But what I urge you to do is look at the facts. Look at what Harper has actually done, as opposed to what he says he has done. I'm not saying he's lying, oh no, he's just being politically expedient with the truth.
And this is going to go on for months! All August, and if he thinks anyone is paying attention that isn't being paid to be doing so, he should seek medical help for the other delusions that would go along with it. All September, when many of us are trying to get the kids settled into school routines, and us back into a serious work routine. Two thirds of October. It's turning my stomach as I think about it. Elections and medicines are both good things, but the proper dosage is critical. 11 weeks is overdoing it.
Harper has to wear his record. He's a hard working kind of guy, and he's been hard at work micromanaging every file to his personal satisfaction. If you're reading or watching something that the government is saying or doing, it's a safe bet that either he or one of his short-panted minions in the PMO approved it. Then they go suppress competing opinions.
The Liberals are still wearing their record for two reasons. The most obvious is the party leader's name. I think it's safe to say that most Canadians recognize the name Trudeau. In Western Canada any number of people have mastered the knack of saying the name while spitting. The other reason is that Chretien and all his scandals aren't that long ago. One of the reasons the Conservatives were elected was that they promised to be open and transparent and ethical. The latest Senate scandals tell you how that turned out. When you come right down to it, the Liberals and Conservatives are two wings of the same party. Old, entitled, corrupt, arrogant.
The New Democratic Party is carrying baggage from many years of saying dumb things because they knew they wouldn't get elected. They talk openly about (gasp) raising taxes, and other changes to the political order that make the powers that be very nervous. There was an Ontario NDP government that did dumb things, and that got everybody excited. They forget that the Tommy Douglas NDP government produced 16 straight balanced budgets, including the introduction of medicare, and during troubled economic times. So far, and I admit it hasn't been that long, Notley has scarcely put a foot wrong. I speak with many people who are pleasantly surprised.
The Greens are trying hard, I'll give them that. Or rather, with some spectacular exceptions, May, the leader is. You don't hear much about the party. If the other MP's were as hard working as May is, I'd be a lot happier about the state of the federal government. Let's just say she has unfortunately let her mouth off the leash a few times and leave it at that. I don't think anyone would say they are ready for prime time, unless there's more than kool-aid in the kool-aid. But as a protest vote vehicle, hmm, who knows?
The Bloc Quebecois. A purely Quebec party of no real relevance other than a protest party. No variety of Quebec separating from Canada more than it already has is going to happen. Quebecers have got it good and they know it.
Maybe there is an independent running in your riding. I love their optimism, and every one of them should be inducted into the Order of Canada for putting their time and money where their mouth is when it comes to trying to make Canada a better place. Certainly I would never do anything so quixotic, I'd rather write about it.
So there's an introduction. Let's see what campaign trail shenanigans inspire the next blog. The astute of you will recognize that it's tough sledding for me when it comes to choosing who to vote for. Voting against is easy. I could vote myself to an empty ballot in a heartbeat. In my blue sky dreams I would create a ballot form that had "None of the above" at the bottom, and if that choice had the most ballots, we'd do the whole thing over with a new slate of candidates. Repeat as needed.
I'm going to be looking for a reason to vote for one of the candidates. I hope you do too, and I implore you to get out and pick one of them, especially if you traditionally don't.