Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Election Call

Pondering Politics

Can politics in Canada get any worse? The public must be disgusted with all the hypocrisy and games that are played out every day by all parties.

The liberals have an albatross of corruption and scandal hung on them. The Chr├ętien government got the liberals in this mess and the Martin government has attempted to get out of it.

Is this form of corruption new to Canadian politics? No, and it is likely to occur again. Political parties in power have always looked after their supporters through patronage.

There is nothing wrong with patronage. It is the fuel that powers the political engines. There is only one condition that needs to apply. Patronage must be honest and the beneficiaries must be qualified for the position. It is apparent the liberals took on some bad fuel and their engine is sputtering.

The scenario is simple. All three opposition parties oppose the liberal government for different reasons. The common thread is the sponsorship scandal. All the political parties say they are ready for an election. So, what is stopping them?

The Conservatives and the Bloc say it is up to Jack Layton and the NDP to pull the trigger and cause a winter election. Why is that? Why not the Bloc? They are the only party that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Why not the Harper conservatives? They are the only party that can form government. Jack Layton is the last person who should be triggering an election. He and the NDP have never had it so good and they would rather have a corrupt liberal government re-elected than have to face a conservative government led by Stephan Harper. Jack Layton and the NDP will assuredly face philosophical changes to health care under a Harper government. The conservatives and NDP have nothing in common.

Canada is not in a state of crisis. The economy is strong and there is peace and prosperity in our vast country. The problem is in the fact that this minority government has failed and there is no clear indication that either the liberals or the conservatives can form a majority government.

Common sense would suggest the election be held in the spring. Maybe the voters will give the hungry conservatives a chance to feed from the patronage pot for a while. Harper can talk all he likes about curbing patronage, but it will continue under his watch. You can be sure he won’t be hiring liberals to manage any future sponsorship programs, but his party faithful will get their chance at patronage. This is the nature of politics and we should all get used to it because it is not about to change anytime soon. The political hypocrisy and games will continue.

Larry Birkbeck