Our federal party leaders seem to think the Canadian people have very short memories. So many campaign promises, so many previous campaign promises broken. They fill up the airwaves. They fill up the newspapers. They roll out their agendas day in and day out like they actually do mean what they say. Reality check on aisle 4, please.
It's the end of the week and, yes, I'm being cynical but I think we really need to learn to take all of these grandiose promises with a grain of salt especially keeping in mind that regardless of some poll showing a Tory lead of 41% to the Grits 27% (or so), we could well be headed for another minority government situation. And that begs the question, doesn't it? If Steve was so sure that parliament had become "dysfunctional" - and when he called this election last week, the polls were not showing any kind of trend towards majority status for his party - why would he think that an election that could produce another minority would somehow make parliament functional again? (It wasn't actually "dysfunctional". Steve just decided to plant the back of his hand firmly on his forehead and moan like the opposition parties had done him wrong. Going after the pity the martyr, woe is me voting bloc - also known as "Conservative voters". He's so misunderstood, after all.)
Back to my point though, how would an election cure such a "dysfunctional" parliament? Oh, Steve could roll out the word "mandate" repeatedly and use that to beat the other parties into submission but is that the kind of government we want? Nobody's buying this kinder, gentler Steve or, if they are, they must have been in a coma since he took over having just awakened last Sunday nite. Remember the last time he ran and he promised to clean up the house? As Dr Phil would say, "How's that working for you?" This is awfully close to mirroring the US election ie. the Repubs made the mess so they'd be the best players to clean it up. Are you kidding me?
Sidebar: who were the broadcasting geniuses who scheduled the first Canadian leaders' debate for Oct 2 - the same nite as the US VP debate? CBC's At Issue panel gets props for bringing this up for discussion last nite since I hadn't even checked out the schedule yet. I do disagree with one of their panelists (can't recall now who it was) who was concerned that having 5 leaders debating might make things confusing. They obviously didn't watch the US primary debates where practically everybody and his/her dog was on stage and were (mostly) heard from anyway. (They should have given Mike Gravel and Seabiscuit more time but who'd vote for those kooks anyway - the CW (which I strongly disagreed with) went?) Democracy is democracy.
Just one last thing as an FYI. On the CBC's Canada Votes page (which also has election news updates), you can plug in your riding and be taken to its own little blog. Helpful for people wanting to discuss local candidates and for those of you who don't even know who your candidates are yet. They also supply contact info in case you have some feedback for them.
If you're interested in more Canadian bloggers' views on the election and many other topics du jour, check out the blog aggregator that I help moderate (when I'm not incredibly lazy or sick): Progressive Bloggers.
There's a much more immediate storm brewing tonite that I'm interested in tracking. So, with that, I'm off. Stay safe and stay informed!