Friday, January 20, 2006

What do you call a Politician with Bad Breath?

If you were expecting a joke, it's the Canadian elections. I don't know what to believe anymore. Three days until voting day, and Canadian politics are a SNAFU.

It looks like there's a Conservative majority. Conservative bloggers have been united on this issue. Paul Martin Lies is one I found that seems to have updates by the minute, and by the looks of the profile picture, it's operated by an eight year old girl!

Paul was in my town yesterday. Stephen is trying to get those voters like Mitzzee and Jimmy in Toronto as we speak. (Mitzzee already confided to me that she's voting for the "blue-eyed devil" which shows you how proud we all are of our votes, regardless of who they're for). People are really going for the guy who brought this government down! Six months ago, I would have never imagined Stephen Harper to be Prime Minister material, but then again, who that running is? What are the platforms again? We have the corrupt Liberals, the NDP's that don't matter, the Bloc Quebecoise who's main agenda is to split up this country, and Stephen Harper, who most people don't like, but most people will vote for, because they don't like anyone else.

Well, we know some of the issues from Harper: building in a system of accountability for government. Shape up politicians! With his reforms, could we expect a polygraph test in the House of Commons? Instead of millions of taxpayer money going to Liberal-friendly ad agencies and the big nothing, let's hope he spends it on something valuable: a less robotic demeanor perhaps?

Ok, ok, Harper must have a sense of humor deep down, yet he always comes off as a grinch. I guess it was pretty funny when he went to the parliamentary press dinner gala and said, with his usual expressionless face, in an expressionless voice: "this is how I look when I'm excited." Wow, why aren't you a poker champion again? I'm sure that in that situation he could really create a "fiscal imbalance." Instead, that's what he wants to clean up. The "fiscal imbalance." That's a catchy phrase. Now will someone please dejargonify it for me?

I can't see him investing in education, or in healthcare -the two issues that usually dominate Canadian politics. Instead, he just wants to get tough on crime and regimented. He wants to bring up issues that were already dealt and done away with, like the traditional marriage. I would be suspicious of him spending most of the money on a military that the world would take notice of. C'mon though man, Canada is no Donovan Bailey in the arms race. Do we even have to run? Our southern neighbors got them nukes! We have some war paint and a couple inflatable dolls (no, just kidding, our military responds sufficiently enough to our own problems, unlike a certain emergency agency that didn't respond to a certain hurricane). But we're the peacekeepers not the terminators! Let's keep it that way!

On the issue of health care, Mr.Harper attacks Paul Martin because wait times have increased in hospitals, but he hasn't said anything substantial about putting money into the system himself. He will impose standards for wait times. I can just picture some politician screaming from parliament hill: "Get sewing quick! Faster with the defibrillators guys! Can you speed it up on those mastectomies?" That might make the doctors high on adrenaline, but it won't create any more nurses, it won't improve the services, it will just mean that families will have to travel farther away to get the services they need. To give him credit, he will allocate our tax money for our transportation costs. Thanks! Whether we like the Liberals or not, we do have to give them credit for creating Medicare.

On taxes: Cons would cut GST, Libs would cut income tax and NDP's would keep it the same. I'm not a big numeracy guy, but it seems like they're all playing a little game in our pockets, and I'm not liking it. A GST cut surely gets the public's attention, and reduces the consumptive costs slightly (a few cents off of your sub). For people who can't afford much, it might save them in the long run, but an income tax cut will save lower income families who actually need it more. If you were talking of getting rid of the GST altogether, I might crack a little smirk, but one or two percent? Wake me up when someone's actually running this country.

We want service without expenses, and Jack Layton says Canada has enough money to do it. He wants to improve (get rid of) child poverty and joblessness and help seniors, I'm just not sure how he's going to stimulate the economy. His concern about improving public transportation is a good one, considering Canada's record on air pollution. But if you really care about the environment, you'd vote Green Party. Protestors have recently reacted against Harper for his proposal to draft up a new agreement instead of the Kyoto Protocol, effectively turning his back on the plan to regulate green house gas emissions that cause global warming. Canada represents itself as a leader on this issue to the UN, so it would be a shame to scrap it. With this view, Harper has been branded as someone who's going to sell our environment to the devil.

So, this year is a peculiar year for politics. Many feel that there aren't choices, but that has also made them more active. There are those that will vote Conservative just to get the Liberals out, there are those who will vote Liberal just to keep the Conservatives out, then there are those who will vote for who they are sincerely gung-ho about -Communist-Leninist perhaps? and those who will vote strategically. For some people, they're simply voting for the candidate they like most in their riding -because they know someone they know, or whatever. There is a lot of talk, but also a lot of confusion and party-bashing. Paul Martin's Liberals have taken the moral low-ground and encouraged NDP's and others to vote Liberal for the sake of blocking Stephen Harper, not because they actually want to vote Liberal. Ed Broadbent, the man who made the NDP the most popular in its history, attacked them for this.

Yes, this election is sad. It doesn't look like any of the parties will work together. It's going to be minority government round #2. If there were real issues on the table, it would be a lot easier to decide who has the best plan in one's opinion, but this voting season is about so many different issues from credibility to accountability to personality to gun violence.

Speaking of Broadbent, he's raising money for the homeless, and homelessness is a serious issue, but politicians are silly. Here's a little video interview with him and Rick Mercer that demonstrates my point.


Blogger Maddy said...

A man I admire in politics
is Mario Cuomo - I stumbled
on a book of his - speeches,
essays and was in awe of his
views and humanity, insight
and direction.

11:56 p.m.  
Blogger finnegan said...

It's the old problem of Twiddle Dee vs Twiddle Dum when it comes to American Politics.

Canadian politics is far from ideal, your coutry doesn't seem to be as corrupted by special interest lobbying as the U.S.

America is now a plutocracy run by good-old boy oligarchs.

4:17 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

madelyn mulvaney -a politician and a baseball player too!

finnegan -oh how history repeats itself. Though, you're right, we have a lot less to be glum about up here than in the great US of A.

5:46 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

hear hear

8:53 p.m.  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Sounds as if you have turned this assisgnment into a personal and imaginative adventure!!

3:09 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

barbarafromcalifornia -Well, this wasn't really an assignment unless you mean my civic duty to get involved and cast my vote. Canadian politics are always an adventure! I hope I'm not being too politically incorrect by making a few jokes while I'm at it.

3:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Colorado Health Insurance said...

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12:41 p.m.  

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