Please forgive the recent hiatus. I was busy plotting birthday parties (there’s triple-chocolate cheesecake involved, is all I can say) and – oh yeah – getting some work done. You know. Work. The kind that helps pay the bills.
I haven’t had much time or energy to pay attention to the ongoing Parliament Hill saga. Apparently, there’s talk of a coalition to replace the Tories. Unless of course enough people wake up in time and realize Stephen Harper has managed, once again, to trap his hapless opponents. I don’t particularly like Mr. Harper. But I sure don’t believe he’d be dumb enough to get himself trapped by Messrs. Dion and Co.
Re-anyway. I am not particularly upset by any of this. For one thing, it’s not exactly surprising (not even the part where the Bloc gets to play a major supporting role; all parties have explored similar possibilities). And whether it happens or not, things aren’t likely to change. The only kind of government this country ever gets is the socially liberal, big spending kind. There isn’t one political party that speaks to me. Not one. But they all want to reach into my wallet to pay for things I don’t like – yes, very much including the Tories, who spend more these days than anybody ever did.
Seriously; is there any reason for someone like me to care one way or the other? I’m having real trouble thinking of any, but I’d like to know what our readers have to say.
Andrea adds: I’m a “reader” of sorts. Read this blog religiously, actually. Mostly looking for typos and such, spiffing it up here and there… anyhoo. Never miss a chance to express your opinion, I say.
I care because while Harper didn’t prove to be small-c conservative at all, there’s not an economy out there that the NDP didn’t successfully tank. They have a proven track record, so to speak. That leaves me concerned for all kinds of things–but mostly for the poor, those living on the margins, those who lose their jobs and are left with nothing but an NDP-sponsored government handout. My second point: Harper caused this (I recently mused whether youthful inexperience is actually a hiring requirement in the PMO). But is the removal of government subsidies for parties–a firing offence? Not sure.
Why you should continue not to care–on the other hand. Because this will all come to an election sooner or later. Carry on with your cheesecake (sounds delicious). (And paying work. I’ve heard of that. Gotta go.)
Rebecca adds: I am also having trouble caring, which is unusual given my politics junkie status. Frankly I don’t like any of the players very much right now. Duceppe is the only one actually representing the interests of his constituency; I guess it’s our loss that Canada isn’t part of his constituency.
I’m chiefly curious to find out how much of this is part of a Rovian Grand Plan by Harper, and how much is wild flailing. A lawyer of whom I’m fond (they do exist) is of the opinion that “Harper speared himself, is frantically trying to pull out the harpoon, and may take constitutional democracy down with him.” I’ve also heard from people much more plugged in than I am that this has been in the offing since well before the October 14th election, which wouldn’t surprise me – as Brigitte says, all political parties scheme this way – but does mean that Harper’s real error was in giving the clowns an opening, not in committing some offense so grave that the three parties united to restore harmony, balance and Coke in the water fountains.
The larger lesson here, one of them anyway, is that minority governments are awful, and coalitions are worse. With the rise of the BQ and the Greens, they might be here to stay, and if (ftu ftu ftu) there’s another conservative schism, we’ll be permanently consigned to the ranks of unstable democracies that hold election every 18 months, like Israel and Italy.