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Friday, November 25, 2005

Election Time in Canada

It seems like we just had a federal election... Oh yeah, we did! Now we will be having another sometime in January (story) - as a result of a non-confidence vote.

For my American visitors, we currently have a minority Liberal government and they have survived by working closely with the NDP (more socialist leaning party). They have also had to be careful to strive for multi-party committees and to ensure more consensus around decisions. In the short duration of their term they have increased spending on aboriginal people, education, health, housing, city infrastructure, foreign aid, the arts and well... other things. They have also just cut personal and corporate taxes. And here's the kicker - the country is still running a surplus budget. Why the hell would anyone need an election, you might ask?

Unfortunately, they also have been exposed to have behaved abysmally in terms of ethics and money-grubbing (some in particular and not the Prime Minister). Some Canadians (not the majority) are unhappy with progressive bills on gay marriage (legal in all Canada now) and pot smoking (soon to be decriminalized).

Here's my take, for what it's worth:

- Minority governments may be short-lived and misery for whoever leads, but they provide good government because the leaders don't have complete power (like King George II in Washington).
- This election will return the Liberals as a minority government again - mainly because most Canadians can't stomach the Conservative opposition and aren't ready to trust the NDP to actually hold the steering wheel.

I can add another metaphor for the separatist Quebec Party, the Bloq, if you'd like? Okay, I will! The Bloq can never be at the ship's helm because they are only in Quebec and Quebecers, like good milk, don't really want to separate... but they like playing the threaten-to-leave card and they trust the Liberals about as much as Tom Cruise trusts Prozac or traditional religion. Count those metaphors - dare you.

Me? I'm voting Alex Atamenenko, our local NDP candidate. He's a good man, has a chance to win and I love saying his name out loud - try it.


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