Tuesday, January 24, 2006

All Hail Prime Minister Wahoo!

I've been so busy not paying attention to things that it wasn't until I got an e-mail from Egale Canada that I realized that Harper won. (Though I at least got my vote in yesterday.) I'm very opinionated on this, although today at a farewell lunch the conversation was all about politics and all I could do was sit back and listen, as the realization dawned that I don't know shit about this last election.

I don't follow the news, or watch enough tv (other than Teletoon and Discovery) to have seen most of the campaign ads, or have caught any of the debates. So what follows are the impressions of a know-nothing, which probably makes me reflective of a large chunk of the voting public, unlike my well informed professional friends at lunch today...

Stephen Harper fucking scares me. I disagree with supporting the americans in Iraq, or letting them park missiles on our lawn, or repealing gay marriage. For a whole year leading up to the non-confidence vote he and the conservatives had nothing constructive to do but whine and bitch about the sponsorship scandal, while the liberals and the NDP went on about the business of trying to cooperate in running the country, JUST AS THEY HAD BEEN ELECTED TO DO. The only time the conservatives got a platform was when the election was game on, and how much can you trust the shit they come up with in a hurry that they think will please the most voters because it only counts on election day? Yeah, about that much. The NDP's goals, the liberals goals, and for that matter even the Bloc's; have been evident long before the election was called, so you can at least trust their convictions.

Now to the liberals... where was their platform? Perhaps it was apparent to informed voters, but to a schmuck like me it was completely invisible during the campaign. All I saw or heard about were attacks on Harper, and that doesn't win an election when 'they' have a scandal to point to and 'you' don't. I remember Paul Martin's televised address last April, it moved me enough to write my liberal MP:
I am writing to profess my support and appreciation of the television address made by The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, on the evening of April 21, 2005. It demonstrated the quality and accountability of both his leadership and that of the liberal party, and your collective commitment to using the time spent in office for the governance of Canada. Well done!
He even wrote back to say thanks. I also sent this off to my conservative party riding president:
I am writing to express my displeasure at the current goings-on in Canadian parliament. I feel that too much time and attention is being focused on the sponsorship scandal, and the resultant call for an early election.

What seems like a large amount of money to the majority of us Canadians is no doubt trivial compared to the budget of a country. Perhaps I’m naïve, but I actually believe that neither Paul Martin as Finance Minister, nor Jean Chrétien as Prime Minister, were aware of it until it was brought to light in later audits.

Scandals will happen in any government, at any level, and it is how that government responds that is the true measure of its merit. Although I missed Prime Minister Paul Martin’s April 21st television address, it was with great respect that I read the transcript in the newspaper the next morning. It underscored the leadership he has shown in the face of this issue in the past, and demonstrates strong leadership today by calling for parliament to return to the pursuit of the public’s business.

I am not by default a liberal supporter – I have voted many ways in many elections. I can say though that based on the current goings-on in parliament, my vote will not be for the Conservative party should an early federal election be called.
Of course I never heard back from him.

What I'd like to know is, where was that Paul Martin during the campaign? Despite his disappearance I still voted liberal, but my logic was overridingly fiscal at that point: Occasional 200 million dollar scandal vs. yearly multi-billion dollar deficit. Gee, let me think about that.

Anyway... my liberals lost and they deserved it with that campaign, or rather lack of a campaign; but damn!


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