The Gleaners - by Millet
There is weird stuff happening with Blogger these days. I keep getting Sanskrit-like font, and I don't know why. I kind of dig it though.
So yeah, here we are - back in much the same position (politically) that we were 5 weeks ago. A record low participation rate, which is very sad. I put that down principally (and ironically) to a lack of civics education in schools, and a break-down of the family structure. I really sound like a Conservative in writing that, wot? But I think that it is at least partly true. I gained an interest in Canadian politics by spending a lot of quality time with my Grandmother. We were "ideologically" opposed, but had great, respectful discussions and debates about those differences. In the long run, we agreed on the same principles of fiscal conservatism, and social progressiveness.
Another problem is the lack of proportional representation. The Conservatives won the Government with 20% of the votes of eligible voters. Some 10 million people chose not to vote. Why? Is it because people don't believe that their voices count? (they do, and they don't, but...) To put that 20% into perspective, the Greens got ~20% of the votes that the Cons got.
It was an election about "leadership", and then, by default, became about leadership/economy. The Conservatives knew that this shit storm was coming, and that is why they triggered the election (well, plus the Cadman thing coming to a head, the In-and-Out scam coming to a head, the Couillard book coming out - what a flop - etc.), but they had no plan. Sadly, ironically, Harper's plan is Dion's plan - to call together the Premiers, heads of banks, have meetings with global leaders... - which Harper dismissed as "a plan to make a plan". Dion is a singularly decent man, in the words of Rex Murphy, and that is a rarity these days. He had a vision for something new, but was unable to articulate it to Canadians. It was not just the accent, but he had a battle against the impression that two years of Harper's negative advertising cemented into peoples minds, and he does not have the support of the Liberal old boys' club. That is too bad, in my view. He reminds me of Joe Clark in 1979 in some ways (decency, sincerity, etc.) - just before we ended up with Trudeau, who paved the way for Mulroney. That was a grim decade and a half.
Just a week ago, Harper was saying that everything was a-ok, and that there would be no "bail-outs" for banks. Then, we "found out" that everything is not a-ok, and that the guv was pumping $25 Billion into the economy (banks). That does not instill confidence into me.
I have read most saying that Dion is finished, and that the knives are out for him. He has done nothing to dispel that rumour. The thing is, who will replace him as leader? Ignatieff? He does not have the party, or Parliamentary experience. Plus, he is a goof. Rae? Too much baggage, too old, and he is creepy in the same way that Clinton is creepy. It seems to be a common trait amongst Rhodes Scholars. Manley, in a come-back? No thanks. Frank McKenna. Frank McKenna. Wherefore art thou, Frank McKenna? I'm not holding my breath.
I don't think that there can be a coalition betwixt the Libs and NDP. Jack wants to be PM, and would settle for nothing less. The ideologies are a fair bit different too. Further, it looks as if the Liberals are going to be in a mess for a while. Harper doesn't really need a majority, he will continue to stress the Liberals, and will continue with his incremental dismantling, and sale, of Canada. We will wake up some day 10 years from now, and wonder WTF happened while we were watching American Idol, American politics, and whinging about those damned Americans. We will be those damned Americans. (Disclosure; I have American uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. They are all good people, just like us.) Harper said that we "won't recognize Canada when (he is) done with it", and it is true. I already don't recognize it.
I read someone - whom I have great trust in - that we will live in totalitarianism for the next 200 years, and I think that he was correct. "We" "have given" Harper a "new, stronger mandate" to "implement his agenda". Some 20% of eligible voters have, anyhow. His agenda is in the public domain, although not enunciated at any point during the campaign, and it is tragic. Codex Alimentarus (control of your food). North American Union. Supplantation of our sovereign dollar with the Amero (some day - I predict just months before the Olympics, we will have 60 days to trade in all of our dollars for Ameros.) We will have American military providing security in Vancouver and Whistler during the Olympics. Even though we have a decent copy right law, and a levy on all blank DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes, etc. that goes to the recording industry, it must be harmonized with the American laws. We will have more pesticides as we lower our standards to the US's, we will be de-regulated left, right and centre. Prisons will be privatized to meet the demand as our drug laws are harmonized, and we import the war on teen-agers, hippies, people with chronic diseases, etc. who smoke a little weed. We will have wistful memories of a publicly funded health care system.
They say that you get the government that you deserve, but I have to wonder - what did I, or my 19 month-old son do to deserve this?
I have much more ranting to do, but it is fruitless, and pointless. And, I am trying to keep my screeds to under 10,000 words.
There is a lot of ill wind coming. House prices are down ~6.5% nationally, and "the most expensive markets" (like Vancouver) are faring worse. The Infinity project sounds as if it is dead. The stock market rallies of the last couple of days were suckers' rallies - as I suspected. The global economy is totally flacked, no matter what we do. All of those billions - nay, trillions - that the governments are pumping in is just a huge theft from us all. Last week's bail-outs put every single Canadian some $3,600 further into debt. Your Social Insurance Number is a chit for that (and all) government debt. I heard today that the Finance Department is forecasting a $10 Billion deficit at year-end March 2009. That is 5 months from now, so are they going to be borrowing $2Bill/month, or have we been in deficit all along? (as I forecast last week) Inquiring minds (mine, at least) would like to know.
Did you get what you voted for?