Hamish McKenzie - electorally fatigued, London, Ont.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Canada votes; McKenzie leaves

Ugh. I've just been through this. Another f***ing (fucking) election. [Hat tip for expletive censoring rip-off: Duck, a.k.a Patrick Crewdson.]

This morning's Globe and Mail, five long days into the campaign, was packed to the gunnels with election coverage. The wildly unpopular Conservatives want to cut the GST from 7% to 5% over the next five years (i.e. much longer than they'd ever stay in government if they somehow accidentally got elected), saving consumers up to 8c a hamburger. Making them slightly less wildly unpopular. Conservatives, that is, not hamburgers. Hamburgers will always be popular in this country -- like ice hockey, the expression "eh," and telling foreigners that they haven't truly experienced cold until they've been in Canada, as if cold were some claim to national brilliance rather than an annoyingly restrictive social impediment.

The Liberals, meanwhile, say cutting income tax is a better option, and demonstrate this by making promises of doing just that. I would quote the figures to you if I had bothered to read the stores in the G&M. But, frankly, I've read enough stories about tax-cut-promising campaign rhetoric.

It is interesting to note, however, that in the retarded realm of Canadian politics where everyward is backwards, it was the wildly unpopular Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney who introduced the GST in 1991, while the Liberals opposed it. Shoes have since changed feet, as the Liberals here have realised (or realized, as they say in Canada) that it doesn't really matter what they do or say 'coz they're gonna get elected anyway.

Which, incidentally, is probably what's gonna happen in this election, coming January 23.

A quick catch-up for those who would like to care more about this insignificant North American nation's politics:

  • Everyone hates the Liberals at the moment, because, as the revered Aaron Bhatnagizzle correctly pointed out a few months back, a few years ago they were involved in a corrupt kickbacks scheme that unfairly favoured a chosen few ad companies. It's much more complicated than that, but you don't want to hear any more. Just take my word for it that it was very naughty and cost the country a whopping $1 million-ish. If you really want to know more, Google "Adscam."
  • Actually, I'm on the side of the fence that would like to see the Liberals punished for those indiscretions. Even if it means giving up the leadership to an equally personality-less, dysfunctional and alarmingly similar opposition party. Things are just too boring and predictable otherwise. And the Conservatives would only last a year and a half.
  • Despite this almost unforgivable transgression, Canadians can't bring themselves to vote for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who is infinitely less lovable than the appropriately-named-yet-somehow-cute Mr. Dithers.
  • Well, actually, there are a few people that automatically vote for Harper. But since they all live in oil-rich-but-lightly-populated Alberta, no-one cares too much about them.
  • There's a third party, the NDP, who are to the left of the Liberals and prop them up occasionally, provided the Liberals make budgetary concessions. They'll likely steal a few votes from the Liberals, making them even more of a force in the first-past-the-post House.
  • And then there's the Bloc Quebecois, which is basically going to win all of the Quebec vote, because Quebec is where the Liberals perpetrated their fraud. They side with the Conservatives when it comes to bringing the government down, but only because it brings them more strength.
  • The intriguing Green party over here, which figures itself as neither left nor right but "front," hovers just below 5% of the national vote, which is meaningless because to get into Parliament they need to win a riding (translation: electorate), which probably won't happen. Actually, they're an interesting party, because their main campaign platform is the environment, but in the last election, Greenpeace rated their environmental policies as inferior to the NDP's.What does it all mean? Another campaign. And I don't know if I've got the strength to go through with it. I think I'll go away for a while and come back when it's all over.