Monday, March 7, 2011

An Election About Democracy

So there are rumblings that a spring election wouldn't end up being about corporate tax cuts and fighter jets after all. Marlene Jenning's has suggested a non-confidence vote might be in the cards, prompting an election about democratic themes, like a lack of transparency. Music to the ears for those of us concerned about such things, but I think it's pretty well accepted that Canadians couldn't care less. If lack of transparency and unaccountability got Canadians excited the CPC wouldn't be flirting with a majority. "Oh but the Conservatives got elected on a platform of open government!" some might claim. No, they didn't, they got elected on a tough-on-crime and GST cutting platform, Liberal corruption, and western parochialism. They'll run the next election the same way, with an unhealthy amount of Iggy and elite-bashing thrown in. So, if the Liberals want any chance of improving their seat count they need to beat the Cons on policy. They can't do that with fuzzy rhetoric about democratic values. Even the policies Ignatieff has already talked about won't do the job. They need something serious and big that monopolises election coverage. I have no idea what that is. If I had my druthers it would be some sort of move towards a PR system, that would be a complete game changer, and a serious punch to the electoral stomach of the NDP (for this election). Doubt it will happen though, Liberal partisans still think they can form a majority government at some point. They can't. Canada's cartel system isn't working anymore and someone needs to break it open.

Also, Iggy's education platform is a nice thought, but a non-starter.


  1. I agree policy will matter, but it is also true most people don't pay a lot of attention between elections so it would be pure foolishness to simply ignore the behaviour of the Harper conservatives. I would hope any election message would pound home that theme, even as the Liberals announce policy.

    Voters vote out governments just as often as they vote for change. A clear message can set the tone.

    I think you have a point, but it sounds like you're ready to give up and fight an election on Harper's terms. I prefer the Liberals set their own agenda and strategy, not Harper.

  2. Not the impression I wanted to give. I think the Liberals need an exciting policy that gets the media talking about a substantive issue and not about populist CPC trash. Quite the opposite of fighting an election on Harper's terms.