I’ve been sort of following the election, I swear!
When I posted my first election piece almost two weeks ago, I was riding a personal high due to a rousing case of “hey, I might be healthy again.” And, as it turns out, I was terribly wrong. I actually still had a few days left of the horrible plague I had. Or maybe it was the black lung or something. I have worked a few coal mines in my day.
Actually, if I were to get the black lung, it’s probably more likely from getting stuck behind one of these on a bike (which is actually kind of painful for the lungs, if you ever get to experience that joy).
Granted, I wasn’t doing much biking in that time anyway, considering that I couldn’t get to Keele Street without coughing up a lung. Which would make sense that in the three and a half week period that I was sick, I only biked twice, after which I had no remaining lungs, and was thus required to stay full time in a tent of oxygen and hope that it might diffuse through my pores.
However, with the help of some antibiotics, and a some fresh new lungs I stole from a couple of local schoolchildren, I am back in action, and ready to take on federal politics with a renewed vigour!
And politics are… depressing.
The election started off on the predictable coalition front, in which Stephen Harper played up the Liberals as conniving, sneaky backstabbers who use political savvy to obtain power. Imagine… an unelected Prime Minister!
Yes – Ignatieff has tried it before, and he’ll try it again!
Well, except, I guess he didn’t actually try it before, since it was that nerdy guy with the funny accent who tried it the first time. And, of course, if you were paying close attention, there was that whole incident where Harper himself said that a coalition government was a viable option.
Of course, that was different, because when he said “coalition,” he meant “a right-wing party merger and simultaneous drainage of approval for the federal Liberal party which lead us to the circumstances in which we find ourselves today and not an actual coalition because using the words I actually meant to use would be too convenient.” Oh, and that letter where he talked about forming a coalition was completely different because he didn’t actually intend to follow through with it
And of course, the smooth-yet-questionable tactical manoeuvring that was proroguing parliament to avoid a confidence vote was totally cool, while that smooth-yet-questionable tactical manoeuvring that was forming a coalition of the opposition was uncalled for, because, you know, one of them had a precedent. Guess which one?
And, yet again, it’s clearly horrible that someone who wasn’t elected Prime Minister would be allowed to become Prime Minister. Except that we totally don’t elect a Prime Minister.
But I digress.
It is pretty fortunate that the coalition issue hasn’t dominated the election this entire time. For one, it would be really, really tedious to hear Stephen Harper do on continuously about one thing over and over. Granted, what I perceive as an over-reliance of the Tories on talking points (although, all parties are guilty) is pretty tedious anyway. But it would be worse.
So, fortunately, Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals released a platform. Sure, it’s kind of boring. Sure, I don’t actually really agree with the fundamental ideas in it. And sure, I don’t actually like my family that much.
(In case you were wondering: yes, he is flashing “do me” eyes in that photo. But it’s in an intellectual way, so you can feel okay about it.)
Of course, the platform hasn’t led to much of a discussion of ideas. More exciting, and more pressing issues have clearly arisen. Like keeping a party that more than 1 in 20 voters cast ballots for out of the national debates.
Or perhaps letting your constituents know that you don’t want them to know your stance on anything by refusing to attend local all-candidates debates.
Yes, these are all more important than the discussion of ideas.
Actually, none of this would be depressing, except for the fact that it hasn’t managed to dent the popularity of the Conservatives, although it has managed to make Michael Ignatieff seem slightly less undesirable, apparently. The popular opinion is hard to get rolling these days, it seems (unless you tap into populism, but I don’t want to think about that right now).
Sigh. Maybe next time I’ll be less pessimistic, as I won’t have left this untended for two weeks, and I’ll have less terrible things to view at once.
In the meantime, we can enjoy this teaser trailer for
the tea party what is plausibly the next Conservative minority. Huzzah!