Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Canadian Elections (My Bully Pulpit)

Well I'd say I'm surprised, but I can't, because I'm not. For those of you not in, from, or familiar with Canada, they just had an election. Here's the rundown, out of a parliament of 308 seats:

Conservative Party: 167
New Democratic Party: 102
Liberal Party: 34
Bloq Quebecois: 4
Green Party: 1

On my Facebook wall this morning I woke up to comments like this:

"Just remember for the next 4 years that we are not hostages, we are not victims and we will be neither silent nor polite. We will scream."


"momentous day for the NDP, and yet still a sad, sad day for Canada"

Let me say this now. The Conservative Party went from a minority government to a majority one, because of the same arrogance you can see in these posts. Me, I vote Green. I'm dead chuffed Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party, for those of you who don't know) got her seat. But neither will I weep for a democratically elected party winning a free and fair election. I'm not arrogant enough to think that just because I don't share the prevailing political opinion (yep, that's right: they won; they prevailed) that it's a "sad day for Canada."

So the rich will get a little richer, the poor will get a little poorer, and we'll waste a little more money than we otherwise would have on the military. And even then, it was the Liberal Party who bought those broken-down diesel subs (yeah that's right, diesel-powered submarines) from the British for an arm and a leg when they last had a majority, so wasting money on the military isn't just a Conservative trait, I guess.

For those of you in the US, just remember: this is a Conservative Party that cannot help but espouse single-payer healthcare, has admitted that it was wrong to push for entry into the Iraq conflict (which we didn't join despite their best efforts), and who has given me, a poor student, money every year because I'm poor. Which is to say that every political party in Canada makes your Democrats look insanely right-wing. The Conservative Party just less so. Oh and most of them don't hate gay people, either.

So I'm taking a wait-and-see approach. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not going to like the bills that come out of Ottawa for the next few years, which is why I didn't vote for them. But the Conservative Party just won a fight it didn't start, because the leader of the Liberal Party made the same mistake as those people who are shocked by the outcome this morning: they confused their own political beliefs with those of the country as a whole.

I don't like it, but I can live with it.

Guess I'll just be writing more petitions for the next few years.


And I may have a drink to the bloody nose the separatists got last night, too.


Anonymous said...

What are you seeing as the problem with diesel subs? They're a lot quieter than nuclear ones submerged and for Canada's purposes a nuclear sub's range is hardly necessary. And I'd hardly think the nuclear option was any more environmental!

Not saying Canada didn't get ripped off, mind, just saying that inherently it's not a stupid idea unless you're flat against maintaining the military's strength, which is a different argument.

Your analysis seems very balanced, by the way, which is why I'm quibbling with details obviously :-)

Vellum said...

Well, to be fair, my perceptions of Diesel-powered subs may be a bit coloured by two things: first, they have to come up for air, and we have an awful lot of ice to navigate under without doing that; and second, one of the bloody things caught fire on the way over from England and killed at least one of our armed forces personnel.

I'm sure they have their uses, but I feel like we could maybe have spent the money on building our own nuclear powered ones, kept the money in the country employing Canadians, and, oh, I don't know, gotten new ones for our trouble, too.

Anonymous said...

A while has passed since I should have answered this, but I just wanted to say, I hadn't gathered about the accident, that's awful. I wouldn't argue for the strategic usefulness of machines in that kind of state whatever they were! I can hardly speak for Britain, but, sorry.