Hi everyone! Or make that “Buenos Dias!” I’m back from sunny Mexico, refreshed from the two-week holiday, and ready for action. There were some interesting news stories while I was away and I’ll comment on some of them later (e.g., Toronto hiring more garbage inspectors).
But the item for today concerns getting out and voting. I kept up a bit while away about the polls and the possibility of a Conservative government in Ottawa. I’m not going to get into detail here about why I think this is a good thing. First it would take up too much space and second this is not the right forum. Suffice it to say that at a bare minimum I agree with those who say the Liberals need some time in the wilderness as punishment for their various misdeeds (i.e., the sponsorship debacle). Paul Martin was a great finance minister, but “Mr. Dithers” was a lousy prime minister and I am tired as hell of his nattering on about “values” without being specific.
It was interesting to catch up on the newspapers and notice the shrill and desperate tone of Martin’s attacks on Stephen Harper. I have met Mr. Harper and heard him speak at a Rotary breakfast, and I found him not at all like the media has portrayed. In no way did he come across as extreme or “scary.” I’m not “blown away” by the guy, but I think he deserves a chance at governing and could do no worse than Martin. By the way, I was disgusted by the way the Globe and Mail “spun” various poll results with front page headlines to try and undermine poll suggestions that Harper could form a majority. I have written extensively for the Globe and know a few people in their newsroom and you’d be surprised how many hard-left people (I mean hardcore NDP supporters, not just Liberals) work in what presents itself superficially as a rather grey business publication. If you’re left of centre, don’t be offended by this comment. What I’m talking about is journalists and editors trying to affect the election outcome by misreporting facts with misleading headlines. They should save their opining for the editorial and op-ed pages.
I would like to see the Conservatives win a majority government if for no other reason than stability. This country is being torn apart by regionalism and the presence of four major parties in the House of Commons. But the polls suggest it will be a narrow minority, so I expect we’ll be out voting again in another 18 months. This is bad for our currency and our public life. Here’s what I hope happens: I hope that Harper has a chance to govern well and demonstrate he’s not the scary monster the left-wingers would have us believe, and then win a majority government the next time. I’m very nervous about a decade or more of minority governments.
Failing that, even if the Liberals come back into power in the next election (after this one) at least the party will have been spanked for what was, you have to admit, outright criminal activity. As the old adage goes, all political parties are ultimately corrupt, but at least in democracy we have the chance to throw the bums out every four years or so.
I’ll add a few more comments tomorrow once the election results are known.