Sunday, May 1, 2011

Election 2011 winds down - yay

Canadians are going to the polls for the 4th time in 5 years. What we gained by not crashing hard during the last economic downturn is being wasted buy power plays. There is only one thing I wish we would adopt from US political structure and that is specific wait times between elections that cannot be overturned unless there is a vote of non-confidence. That would have removed just one of the elections but one is better than none.

I thought I would never understand the knee jerk opposition to Harper. To me he's pretty much like our family of 2 working adults. His Calgary home isn't in a super rich area, his wife ran a successful business. He said he would put the same sex marriage thing up for vote in parliament and he did while phrasing it in way that could not possible overturn the Supreme Court judgement. In spite of personal beliefs he has held the line on abortion being a medical procedure like any other. First time as PM he made 5 election promises and kept them. The social fears of (mainly) Metro-Torontonians seem really out to lunch especially since our civil rights are protected and Canadians rarely go on about "activist judges". I don't want the Conservatives to have a majority because I don't think that best serves a country as diverse as ours but I can accept him representing Canada.

Since I've developed a negative reaction to Ignatieff I'm a little more sympathetic to those anti-Harper folks. I was very surprised that the Liberals brought, what is in essence, an American to be their party leader. Here is someone who as spent most of his adult life in the US as it wandered further and further to the right.  Under his leadership there has been no interest in working with the CPC, just creating conflict.  He can't even be bothered to do his job by attending Parliament. And there's his amazing statement that even if Harper got the majority minority he'd persuade the Gov Gen.that *Ignatieff* should be the PM forming a minority coalition. Even as a throw away comment that is deeply disrespectful of the Canadian Electorate. A sore loser that appeals to authority to "win".

Which brings us to the NDP. I actually think a coalition of NDP and CPC could bring the balance Canada needs.  Do good things for Canadians at a reasonable cost. The CPC initiative of getting physicians to areas in need by forgiving student loans actually mesh well with the idea of the NDP desire to get rid of cell phone contract to make cell phones like any other utility; both widen the availability of services to everyone. Encourage small business, ensure a stable social net, hold big business accountable are all things the CPC and NDP could work on together.

And to my surprise those could be the big 2 after tomorrow. NDP is gaining support in Quebec and running neck-in-neck with the Liberal party. If Layton does become official opposition and does well, the next election  - hopefully in 4 to 5 years - could be really  interesting.