Monday, December 19, 2005

Election Promises

The political landscape in Canada is murky. Over 12 or so years ago, the old Progressive Conservative Party disintegrated and split off into three factions: the Reform Party based in western Canada (primarily Alberta), the Bloc Quebcois based in Quebec and the miniscule remnants of the PC scattered throughout Canada. Eventually, the Reform Party became the Alliance and then "merged" with the Progressive Conservative Party to create the Conservative Party of Canada, led by Stephen Harper. The Bloc continues to thrive in Quebec.

The Liberal Party became the defacto national party in Canada, though most of it's power is concentrated in Ontario (which has the largest number of seats in Parliament).The Liberals are coming off a term as a minority government and a 12 year reign as the government. They have gone through countless scandals including the Sponsorship scandal that saw government money directed towards Liberal Party supporters in Quebec, all in the name of selling Canada in Quebec. The spoilers, aka the New Democrat Party, retain their 3rd place position.

We are in the throes of election campaigning here in Canada and it never ceases to amaze me the extent to which politicians will go to get elected. The polls are too close to call, but all seem to point to one thing: a minority government, be it Liberal or Conservative. Despite the scandals, the Conservatives have been unable to overtake the Liberals in the polls. Some Canadians, especially in Alberta, like to blame Ontario, or specifically, the immigrants in Ontario. Others blame the Bloc Quebcois - which has a stranglehold on the next biggest block of seats in Parliament.

Harper likes to harp (pun intended) on the scandals and on the point that the Liberal Party does not have the moral basis to form the next government. Fine and dandy. But Harper, the economist and so-called leader of a conservative party, has been talking about how he is going to spend money here, there and everywhere. One press release from the Conservatives stated that they will spend more money than the Liberals on child care. Since when do Conservatives spend more money - our money? When will a politician stand up and say: My goal is to make government less intrusive or my goal is spend less so that you can have more money to do whatever you want? Our political leaders lack vision.

1 comment:

Lunchbox said...

Mousky,

I can only commend you on what looks to be a very neutral post. It's refreshingly on-target, pointing out some flaws in both of the parties vying for lame control of the minority we all know to be coming. Yet, it doesn't advocate one party or another for that spot.

I am most concerned with the classic conservative slant against personal freedoms, although the location of the magic purse which allows him to lower taxes while increasing social program levies is on my mind here and there.

While Mr Harper's bunch seem to have math problems and Mr Martin's crew can't seem to justify their spending, at least they're both shoving /some/ bogus plan for a united Canada down our throat; that puts them ahead of Mr Layton and the Bloq, in my books.

I think that the 'It's Ontario's Fault' sentiment in the West has diminished. With mr Campbell's cock-up of his recent term, our glass house in BC has become far too noticable for us to throw so many stones this time around.

In all, though, I think this short minority term will be one of the dirtiest terms ever: far more back-room deals, far more mud-slinging and brinksmanship. It will be a public shame until some party gains a majority government and has no one else to blame.