As election talk increases our newspapers are full of opinions by political pundits telling us that Canadians don’t want an election. They think that Ottawa should simply get down to work even if it means letting Little Stevie run roughshod over our already bruised Canadian psyche.
As much as Stephen Harper drones on about his legitimately elected government, only about 30% of Canadians voted for those guys in the last election. A majority of Canadians don’t want this Harper government in power. That much has been clear from the outset.
I used to support the idea of minority governments. Historically, they have worked but in this age of fuck you politics, they are an appalling failure.
So ask yourself, what have we got?
- We have a bullying style of leadership from the Prime Minister, a style of leadership so mean spirited that it undermines respect for the office he holds.
- We have a right-wing government that is bit by bit changing what it means to be a Canadian for the rest of us.
The result is that as a people, Canadians who have a reputation for finding the workable compromise, are being led by a “my way or the highway” government. It is a situation few of us are comfortable with.
The real question is do we want to exchange a Conservative lead government for Liberal government with the same lackluster support now held by Harper and his gang? Why bother.
In the short term what we need is a real coalition government that can team up together and make parliament work. Not some temporary soft Conservative/Bloc/NDP coalition like we are working with now in the short term, but a formal Liberal/NDP deal. Any reasonable government with a social conscious would be supported by the Bloc. A good coalition would easily go full term.
The only thing standing in the way of that happening is hubris and there are few things more powerful.
In the long term, Canadians have to begin to realize that democracy as we know it in this country is a sham.
- When 30% can bring any party to power in Ottawa.
- When 40% support can win a government a majority.
- When Mulroney’s 50.03% win in 1984 is being described as a landslide
We need to change the electoral system.
Canada is one of the few remaining major democracies still using the “first past the post” system. Most major democracies scrapped this "winner take all" system some time ago. Winner take all systems subvert the core principles of representative democracy.
So, wake up Canada and reclaim your country while you can still recognize it.