Monday, October 13, 2008

Canadian Election Watch - Day 37

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow politically-disgruntled Canadians. Turkey for dinner tonite. Turkeys to vote for tomorrow. At least the dinner comes with mashed potatoes and gravy - palatable extras that we just can't seem to find in our politicians. Let's hope one of the other major party leaders makes dessert out of Harper since he fancies himself to be a fruit.

I was pondering today whether Canada needs a longer campaign season. Yes, I know that would involve an increase in the already insanely excessive election budgets of Elections Canada and the parties but as I've watched the downward trend of the Cons, I've wondered if more damage might have been done to their party if the other parties had had more time. I'm also aware that there was, apparently, a little spike upwards for the Cons over the weekend but if Steve had been given even more time to shoot himself in the foot, especially as he has in Quebec, might his fortunes have been diminished? Hard to know. Lastly, would an extended campaign season increase interest and participation in our elections as more Canadians had a longer stretch of time to really study and discuss each party's platform?

As it stands now, and as I've written before (yesterday, for example), too many people vote based on ideology that the politicians they choose don't even stand for anymore. That is a problem and is one of my core complaints about singularly devoted partisanship that forgives far too much when parties don't live up to their agendas. That's why I'm now an independent. I don't expect perfection but I do expect meaningful battles - not political games - to push for more civil and human rights and justice.

None of the current leaders exhibit anything nearing greatness. They're all very milquetoast characters who are too willing to compromise core principles for political gamesmanship. I'm not talking about rigid ideology here - just some passion for really helping Canadians to live a better life. It is our government, after all.

I'm sure as I write this that there are partisans reading who are thinking unequivocally that their leader is exactly what I've described. I've chronicled that belief in writing about the US election. We don't need shiny objects and we deserve to be treated as intelligent voters who absolutely refuse to be lied to anymore. But, if we don't demand that, as George Bernard Shaw wrote:

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

I guess we'll find out what we deserve on Tuesday nite. Enjoy your turkey(s).

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