I haven’t written much on politics lately, focusing instead on smaller, more domestic issues of family. There are a few reasons for this. One, of course, is time. As I focus on my job and responsibilities as a parent and spouse, the time to closely examine the political scene just isn’t as great as it used to be, which is probably a good thing, given how it can get my blood pressure rising.* So I follow various political reporters on Twitter and I’ll catch The National before bed but that’s about it.
Secondly, compared what’s going on in Libya, Egypt, and, ok, Wisconsin, our political scandals seem like small potatoes.
Finally, ever since Stephen Harper was awarded his first of two consecutive minority governments, the polls have simply refused to budge more than a few points. Certainly not enough to either hand a minority government to the Liberals or a majority to the Conservatives. For the time being, despite the fact that he just isn’t a popular leader, we’re stuck with Stephen Harper. So what else is there for me to say? That they consistently lie and have a creepy disdain for anyone they don’t agree with? That’s been the case for more than five years.
It’s been suggested that the Liberals and New Democrats should merge as their support would form the basis of majority centre/left government. I don’t know where I stand on that issue. In a way, it makes a certain kind of sense but you’d be asking partisan politicians to compromise an awful lot of what they feel are their core principles. But if either party wants power, the reasoning has it, then they need to join forces. And yet Jean Chrétien managed to win three majorities with the Reform Party, The Progressive Conservatives, the Bloc Québecois, the NDP, and The Natural Law party on all sides of him. So I don’t think shared power is always the way to win the House.
I’m not a huge fan of Ignatieff but I’ve never liked the way his education and privileged background has been seen as strikes against him. Sure, you can have fun with his image as a out-of-touch, erudite elitist but that’s hardly a disqualification for being prime minister. I’ve always assumed that the prime minister should at least be smarter than me because God knows I’d be a disaster in that job. Still, he hasn’t really caught on but I’m sure, given a chance, that he’d be preferable to the current fellow.
The upshot of all of this is that whenever this rumoured election ever does happen, it’ll likely be the last for at least three of the current leaders. If Harper gets another minority, he’ll be forced out as leader and Ignatieff, having failed to secure even a minority, will be forced out as well. Jack Layton, while he’s recovering from prostate cancer, may not have it in him to keep doing his job. And Gilles Duceppe has been rumoured to take his chances with the Parti Québecois, although I’m not sure why. Aside from being premier of British Columbia, being leader of the PQ has to be the worst job in Canadian politics. If I were him, I’d stay put.
All that to say, if you don’t like our current crop of leaders, wait until after the next election. They’ll be gone soon enough.
*Actually not true. My blood pressure is well within the healthy range.