To prove they could waste our time and money.
There should have been not one single pseudo victory/concession speech last night. Stephen Harper should have slunk away in embarrassment. The whole election exercise was redundant.
So the conservatives crow about a ‘strengthened’ minority and walk back their statements, at the beginning of this sham, that they were seeking a majority. How is that a victory and how is it worth the country’s time and money? What conceit. Their mandate is no stronger, no more viable than it was the last time. If anything it is confirmation that a striking majority of people in the country, 62%, do not trust them – didn’t trust them the first time and do not trust them, yet again, to hand them the full instruments of power. I heard their surrogates on the CBC this morning play that insulting game of trying to convince listeners that all this was good news for the Conservatives. Tim Powers sounded either delusional or cunning, I don’t know which one, suggesting Stephen Harper minority was comparable to Lester B. Pearson’s. Barbara Mc Dougall managed to haul the political corpse of Mulroney into the discussion time and again, once saying that he would have helped in Quebec (is she kidding) and that the party solidified their position in Canada. What this election also proved was that Liberal party fatigue among the electorate has been followed by Liberal vagueness in their party.
So the liberals were unable to persuade anyone that global warming is catching up with us and we must change our lifestyles and priorities. I’d say that’s a massive failure. At the end of last week, lacking faith in their ability to mobilise people around a greener economy, the liberals rolled out Paul Martin raising his victorious hand as creator of something they called, the maple leaf miracle. He of the dirtier economy performed that whole ‘miracle’ we should remember on the backs of working people. Martin you will remember slashed unemployment insurance benefits, – (what he called the ‘surplus funds’); cut transfers to the provinces which resulted in reduced services (and I would extrapolate, provoking the tensions around in health care,) and liberal governments reneged on childcare time and again. One was hardly inclined to think they’d do any different. But they weren’t trying to convince me really. In rolling out Paul Martin they were trying to impress the same financial circles that were so gaga over Martin’s earlier budgets. They were saying, hey we’re the same people, despite the green talk of Stephane Dion. Big business didn’t seem to be buying it though. Their media mouthpieces lined up editorially for the conservatives.
This morning Lloyd Axworthy was talking about centre left coalition.
So the NDP has 8 seats and Jack Layton was still trying out the words prime minister in his speech last night. What he should really be saying, repeating in fact, is proportional representation.
In the absence of proportional representation, give me minority government. We get better government and they don’t get absolute power. Politicians actually have to do a job, they all have to keep their eye on us and what we want. Smalltime bickering and amateur brinksmanship is bearable if, in the end, we get reasonable government. Now if only those parties could stop acting as if they will ever again achieve the old style majorities; if they would take a hint and change their mind set from absolute power, if they would start governing the way voters indicate they want to be governed…
It seems to me that three consecutive minority governments should spell the demise of the first past the post practice. We’ve now enacted in three consecutive elections proportional representation without enacting the law of proportional representation. We are de facto proportional simply not de jure. Sometimes people are way ahead of politicians.
This blog posting was part of rabble.ca’s 2008 election coverage. For full coverage visit http://www.election.rabble.ca