Hat tip for this post goes to Stageleft.
Election rhetoric seems to be heating up, with Michael Ignatieff finally grabbing some media attention and making statements that basically guarantee a fall election, or a fall on his face.
I have to say that I’m ready for it. It’s time for a change; time to throw the bastards out, as the saying goes. And I know I’m not alone. In recent weeks, there have been some interesting defections. Conservative-libertarian Jay Currie has jumped ship to the Liberals and the principled small-c conservative blogger Kateland is wavering about supporting Ignatieff, but doesn’t seem interested in sending her vote Harper’s way.
I don’t always (or, in Jay’s case, often) agree with these individuals on political matters, but on Harper it seems as though we have all come to the same conclusion. This is a man who governs by no principle but his own self-aggrandizement. This is a man who believes that every criticism, no matter how valid, is a political attack against his leadership. His government has, in three short years, developed a level of incompetence and arrogance that eclipses the final months of the previous Liberal government. Worse, his government has created nightmares for specific Canadian citizens, from Abousfian Abdelrazik to Suaad Mohamud and beyond, not just through the same incompetence that gave us a shortage in medical isotopes, but through active, mean-spirited stonewalling of any attempt to do right by these individuals.
It’s amazing: the Liberals took over ten years to slip to a point where the need to send them to the political wilderness to learn some humility and reinvent themselves overruled the wisdom of bringing an inexperienced opposition party to power, but the Conservatives passed that point in three.
That Harper cares only for those opinions which match his own is clear given these recent comments:
“I haven’t met a single Canadian who’s saying they want to see an election right now,” Mr. Harper said during a visit to Calgary.
Ooo! Ooo! Over here! And I see a hand waving over there. And I suppose those cheering supporters, or those thirty-three percent of Canadians who say they’ll vote Liberal, the eighteen percent or so who vote NDP or the remainder who vote Bloc, Green or Other, don’t count in your world, Mr. Harper. But then, under your government, Ms. Suaad Mohamud had to go through handsprings in order to prove her citizenship to this country, didn’t she?
I’m ready for this election. I’m looking forward to voting. It’s time to go, Mr. Harper. Hopefully the Conservatives will take the time in the political wilderness to bring forward a stronger, more inclusive leader, and a party with both the principles to advocate a strong vision of Canada, and the humility to listen to and, where possible, accommodate dissent.
I’m getting sick and tired about hearing all of these complaints about how dangerous an election right now can be. I mean, I can understand the frustration of having four elections in the span of five years, and if you’re really apathetic about what you’re being asked to vote for, don’t vote (or vote for somebody other than the major parties; but that’s another story), but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how having an election now is “irresponsible”. Well, sorry, I don’t see that.
But the excuses, they do pile up:
- Having an election will waste taxpayers’ dollars. (We’re almost $50 billion in the hole and we’re worried about spending another $300 million to assess the direction this country is taking and rendering our judgement? And isn’t the injection of $300 million into Canadians’ pockets a bit of a stimulus? Heck, aren’t we worried about job losses? This is money spent in Canada, people! Elections create jobs (albeit short-lasting ones)!). (Oh, and bonus points to Conservative supporters who worry about the spending of $300 million now, while saying nothing about how Stephen Harper committed this country to spending $300 million back in 2008, breaking the spirit of his election date law to do so)
- Having an election will kill the economy through instability. (I didn’t notice much instability in 2008, when the economy was even shakier than it is now. Or in 2006. Or in 2004. Heck, the United States managed to hold a presidential election in 1864, while the Civil War was still being fought. Our civil servants don’t take off because there’s an election happening, and our prime minister is still our prime minister until the Governor General asks him or someone else to form a government. There are plenty of hands on the levers of government should something come up, though I fear the partisan nature of some of those hands manipulating some of those levers).
- Having an election now will kill the popular home renovation tax credit. (I’m with Steve: are we filing our tax returns in October, now?. Does it take that long to reintroduce legislation following an election? Especially given that the Liberals have promised to reintroduce it should they be elected? And, if that’s really your fear, wasn’t it a little irresponsible for you to promote this tax so heavily, before it was actually passed by this minority government?)
- Having an election now will give you swine flu. (No, really, they’re arguing this)
No matter what happens, whether an election happens or not, the sun will continue to rise in the east and set in the west, come now, come tomorrow, and come January 1, 2013, unless the Mayans have something to say about it.