Sigh. We’re back to the drawing board. Most people knew that Martin’s Liberal minority government wouldn’t last four years, especially with the Conservatives and Bloq quebecois having such a big chunk of the opposition –and having one goal in common: ousting the Liberals– but to start a campaign in December, that seems more than idiotic.
Who’s going to listen to political speeches amid Christmas songs? What’s going to prime, here, worries about what Martin or Harper is saying, or worries about what to get the kids for Christmas?
Canadians were bombarded so much with the sponsorship scandal that a lot of other parliamentary business was swept through without so much as a mention (except for the same-sex marriage bill, of course). I found an informative site that might help in deciding if you’re satisfied with the way your MP (Member of Parliament) has represented her/his constituents. How’d They Vote? Canadian MPs in focus provide a yearly summary of how each MP voted on bills presented or passed in the house during the year. The site is a “non-partisan website which provides a variety of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament, specifically, how our politicians vote and what they’ve said.”
Another helpful site is CBC’s Canada Votes 2006 which reports on media events related to the election, giving a relatively equal time to all four Party Leaders (Liberal, Conservative, New Democrat, and Bloq quebecois). You can also get information on your own riding, and also on Leaders, Parties and Issues. And if you prefer to find out what other Canadians like you are saying, you can read the Blog Report, a daily summary of blog comments on the election.
There are also the official party sites, and many newspaper sites to consult –although I’ve never found a non-biased newspaper–. Nevertheless, it’s still makes me wonder that Harper and Layton chose that time of year to bring down the government. With voter turnout decreasing every election, and the difficulty in raising interest in political issues even in a “normal” time of year, I think I can predict that voter fatigue, and not only because the issues are still the same as the previous election, will have a direct effect on turnout on 23 January. Many people I’ve talked about are shrugging, saying “what’s the use, they’re all the same”. It takes a lot of energy to inform yourself, analyze, separate the bullshit from the truth, something that may be lacking in the dead of winter.
In addition, I find myself frustrated that our government has decided to spend another few million campaining while they’re all screaming about lack of funds for Healthcare, children poverty, unemployment, etc. Having an election at this time is simply a power grab, with no real agenda behind it. It slows down to nothing the effectiveness of the government and, in the end, will result in the same damn situation: another minority government.