Postscript: The election nobody wanted - or expected
Published Friday, April 29, 2011 2:45PM EDT
From the election that nobody wanted to the election that nobody expected.
It was almost pathetic seeing the Bloc wheeling out Jacques Parizeau this week, a man whose time has come and gone.
All it did was highlight the irrelevancy of the Bloc. Irrelevant, ineffectual, incompetent.
Yes a party well past its best-before date. It may the end of the road for the Bloc. That's the good news.
Now what is really behind that smile? The sudden surge in the NDP in Quebec has been the story of the campaign. What's really unsettling is that this is largely a protest vote, like the ADQ in the 2007 Quebec election.
I would bet the farm that 90 per cent of people who say they will vote for the Dippers have no idea what's in their program. People want change. That's clear. But at what price? Are you prepared to pay for all their promises?
Take a look:
- Increases in money for parental leave
- Lower tuition fees
- More social housing. Doubling of the benefits in the Canada Pension Plan
- A cap-and-trade carbon tax program that would be a job killer
Higher deficit or higher taxes? That's your choice.
This is also the party that believes in Bill 101 for federal institutions in Quebec, and says Quebec could go its own way with 50 per cent-plus-one referendum vote. The NDP would basically let the separatists set all the rules.
The party has some qualified candidates in Quebec, but most it seems many have no experience; a number of university students who thought a campaign might be fun before their summer jobs began.
Take Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the NDP candidate in Berthier-Maskinonge, a mostly unilingual Anglo in an almost 100 per cent francophone riding.
She is campaigning this week in Las Vegas; the trip was apparently planned before the election was called. Viva Las Vegas!
Jack Layton looks like the guy most people would like to have a coffee with. Unlike the other leaders, he is not angry. But that can't be enough. Is this really a popularity contest? We aren't picking a homecoming queen here.
People want change, but they should be careful what they wish for. I somehow think voters might have some sober second thoughts on Monday, but I've eaten my words before, and as Churchill once said. I have always found them tasty.
Sure the system isn't perfect. We need a system where your vote does matter more, but voting is your duty and it's your duty to be informed. It's a responsibility that we all share.
Do you like living in the true north strong and free? Show it.
Look around the world. People are dying everyday for something so many of us take for granted. Never forget the Canadian lives that were given so you could mark your X. Get out and vote. It's a small price to pay for what we have.