I will take up the meme begun by Andrew Spicer who, in fairness, probably didn’t think he was starting up a meme. But this is my way of saying, I agree with him.
If all goes according to plan, the government will fall to a non-confidence motion on Monday. The holiday campaign could well hit new heights of voter apathy, but if the election is in January, maybe we’ll get an average turnout, especially if Canadians get motivated to make a few waves in their politics.
Like many Canadians who were polled recently, I think it’s time for a change. My desired outcome for the next election, short of the Green Party electing MPs, is for a Harper-Layton informal coalition government. And like many Canadians, it’s not the current hype about Liberal corruption that’s done this to me, it’s something more.
For the Canadian democracy to continue to function, the government has to be able to change. It is simply not healthy to perpetuate the Liberal dynasty just because the main opposition party is even less inspiring. As a recipe for poor government, we’re already seeing this in terms of Paul Martin’s dithering style and the arrogance of ministers like Tony Valeri. And until the Liberals are sent to the opposition benches and given their lesson in humility, this is only going to get worse.
Prime Minister Harper is far from scary, especially considering that to govern, he will likely have to work out a compromise between himself, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP leader Jack Layton. The three leaders are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but in recent weeks they have shown a remarkable ability to cooperate, and while it may be naively optimistic to hope that this cooperation could continue into the next parliament, it’s not unheard of. Look at what’s happening in Nova Scotia.
Earlier, I said that Stephen Harper still had to raise himself to Dalton McGuinty’s level of electability in order to sit in the Prime Minister’s chair. I still believe that. But the other side of the comparison is even more compelling: Paul Martin is the Ernie Eves of federal politics, at the end of a political dynasty that has run out of ideas. He and his ministers are governing solely on the basis of not being the other guys, and that doesn’t cut it anymore. He doesn’t deserve to be prime minister. He doesn’t even deserve to be opposition leader, frankly, and the benefit of sending him to the opposition benches is that he likely won’t be opposition leader for long.
Not only has Stephen Harper honed the Conservative strategy, pushing some interesting policies ahead of his previous all-corruption-all-the-time strategy, there is a glimmer of hope that the three opposition parties might cooperate to get things done in Ottawa. And while he alone doesn’t have Dalton McGuinty’s level of electability, he’s not the only one we’re going to be electing here. A minority parliament without Martin at the helm is the best outcome of this coming election, in my opinion, for all Canadians.