A majority of Canadians want a left-leaning party in power, but our votes split between the Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc, and the Green Party.
By Adrian Duyzer
Published September 11, 2008
Most Canadians would prefer it if Barack Obama won the US presidency.
Many of us are worried about John McCain's recent bounce in the polls and are sincerely hoping Obama rises to the challenge and defeats him.
In spite of our dislike for right-winger McCain, we may be about to elect our very own home-grown right-winger to the highest office in the country, for the second time in a row.
There's something wrong with this picture. Putting the US aside - American politics are endlessly frustrating - the problem here is simple: we can't seem to agree with each other.
A majority of Canadians want a left-leaning party in power, but our votes split between the Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc, and the Green Party. We're in the same miserable state as conservatives were in when the Reform Party was splitting the right-wing vote.
A lot of people, from both sides of the political spectrum, think it's good to have minority governments, essentially because they can't get too much done. They believe that so long as no single party can do whatever it wants, Canada will do just fine.
This is a short-sighted and cynical view of the federal government's role.
It's true that most Canadians are getting by okay. But the success of nations is not measured by the day-to-day lives of their citizens. It is measured in decades, generations, and centuries.
Long-term prosperity requires long-term vision, and this is something minority governments - especially Harper's minority government - are not good at.
The world is not standing still. The progress of other nations toward greater greater prosperity and technological and industrial excellence is accelerating. Other nations are making enormous progress towards cleaner, greener and more equitable societies.
Meanwhile, Canada is lagging, seemingly content to ride the coattails of a Western-based energy boom the success of which directly threatens the health of the entire planet. We are not making the investments in our long-term future that we ought to be making.
There is no simply no national vision for the future of Canada at the federal level.
A minority Conservative government is not acceptable, and neither is a minority Liberal government.
Without proportional representation, a combined majority of small-l liberal MPs isn't good enough either, especially since none seem willing to pull the plug on the government when faced with passing bills they disagree with.
(Witness NDP leader Jack Layton's pathetic acquiescence under the policy of "making Parliament work". For whom? The Conservatives, apparently.)
What is needed is a majority government formed by the Liberals, or the NDP, or the Greens.
With me so far? If so, all that's left is for you and I to agree on which party to vote for. That's the hard part. I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm strongly leaning towards voting for the only party that I think has a reasonable chance of beating the Conservatives: the Liberals.
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