Politics! There’s something that will either bore or irritate the readers, especially my lone non-Canadian reader. But, if I don’t get it out my system here, I’ll be harassing people from a bench in the mall, along with the other old coots. I was initially going to be full of fire and rage, but I’ve thought better of it and I’ll try to keep it cool.
I am probably in the minority of Canadians since I’m in favour of the election happening. I have been able to tolerate the minority government up until the last few weeks, and in fact, I prefer minorities to any majority. It leads (in theory) to cooperation and reasonable compromise. My desire for an election has nothing to do with party ideology or beliefs, but instead it goes all the way down to the principles of government.
First, I think government needs to talk to reporters. They don’t get to control the message being put out, or deny access to the media. Early on ol’ Steve closed ranks and started to restrict what people could know. That is a good sign of bad government.
Next, the ruling party is under an unbreakable obligation to represent the interests of the entire country, including the people who voted against them. When the party takes control, they become the Government of Canada. Over the last few weeks, Harper’s inner circle has insisted that all official missives from Ottawa get labelled as coming from ‘The Harper Government’. Nope. No Sir. I do not like that. That’s a small issue, trivial on the face of things, but it bothers me. It’s an attempt to take credit for everything the government achieves, as if the rest of parliament had no hand in things.
The biggest slap in the face to our democratic system has to be the Harper refusal to fully disclose the cost of their plans to Parliament. What? WHAT??? Would you trust a mechanic who answered your question ‘so how much is this gonna cost?’ with a surly ‘shut up, that’s how much’? If your plans are expensive, detail the expenses and make a case for them to the rest of parliament. You don’t get to play hide the weenie with the facts, Steve. When these facts are kept from the duly elected representatives, our rights as Canadians are being assaulted. There are more examples I could list, but this ain’t no essay.
Sadly, I fear that Canadians are going to vote for the guy trying to change the rules to suit his own ends. The news channels and the pundits are already saying that “average Canadians” see Harper as the economic safe choice. Evidently, these pundits think that these Canadians will happily put the autocrat in full control because he looks like he’s good with a buck. Maybe a majority Harper cartel will make a big enough mess that Canadians will be able to banish the Conservatives again afterwards. That is, if there is anything left by that point.
Once again, I want to say that this isn’t about ideology. I know there are decent, honest, scrupulous people within the Conservative party. Our local MP Ed Holder seems to be a good guy. There are Conservatives who sit on the various committees and work with their peers to come to a non-partisan result. Unfortunately, the party is being run by a small group of amoral big business jerks who are trying to game the system. The inner circle does not care about Canada, and they hate the democratic process. And the only way to remove them from their position is to punish the entire party.
Okay, that will do for now. Whew. Remember that I love all of you, you nutty bunch of kooks, and go enjoy your weekend!