On a Possible Summer Election

I’ve been reading Kady O’Malley’s liveblogging of Michael Ignatieff’s response to the Conservatives economic report. Most people were banking on him supporting the government and now, with his insistence that certain demands regarding EI, federal stimulus money, and medical isotopes, the prevailing wisdom just doesn’t seem to be holding.

On Friday, the government could very well be defeated and we could be on our way to our second federal election in a year. This, in itself, doesn’t bother me. For as long as we’re electing minority governments, this will be an issue. And I’m happy to have the right to peacefully change or continue the government when asked.

What bothers me is that the default national choices are so uninspiring. In the Conservative government, you have a paranoid leader who spends his time running attack ads every time the Liberals get a new leader or trying to wrangle his members who either don’t know what they’re doing or are telling people with whom they disagree to fuck off. In the Liberals, I have yet to see them articulate any kind of idea as to what their government would look like. Other than not being Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff hasn’t given us much of a reason to vote for his party.

And so in a month and a bit, we may find ourselves voting on such electrifying issues as the administration of an employment insurance programme that my home province doesn’t participate in (we have our own deal here) and the definition of implementing stimulus money. You can’t accuse us of being a country of big issues.

In the federal and provincial elections in which I have voted, I’ve supported Liberal, New Democrat, and Green Party candidates. I don’t really know who’ll I’ll support this time.

People often complain that Canada has no Obama, someone of such gifted oratory whom people can really rally around. As nice as that would be for us, right now I’d settle for some quiet competence.


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