Saturday, September 13, 2008

That's a shame

Still too much for the majority of us to stomach:
The poll showed that more than half of Canadians -- 54 per cent -- reject the idea of a Conservative majority government, while 35-per-cent support it. Also, 38 per cent of Canadians reported they would be prepared to vote strategically, by switching their vote to another party, to prevent the prospect.
Hopefully, that will ruin Harpie's morning...and beyond that, his October 14th if we all work real hard. (h/t Thoughts on Climate Change)

By the way, speaking of preventing a Conservative majority, did you catch this synopsis of the state of affairs in Canada in Slate yesterday? If not, it's pretty bang on. From afar, they've captured the essence of our political problems. Here are three paragraphs from the piece, "What's the matter with Canada? How the world's nicest country turned mean."
...beneath the calm exterior, Canada's political system is in turmoil. Since 2004, a succession of unstable minority governments has led to a constant campaign frenzy, brutalizing Canada's once-broad political consensus and producing a series of policies at odds with the country's socially liberal, fiscally conservative identity. Canada is quietly becoming a political basket case, and this latest election may make things even worse.

Just scan the headlines. In June, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that Canada—for years the only G8 country to post regular budget surpluses—was likely to fall into deficit this year, thanks to a reckless cut to the national sales tax. In February, the government proposed denying funding to films and TV shows whose content it deemed "not in the public interest," sparking cries of censorship from a sector that has historically received public support. In 2007, a member of the governing Conservative Party proposed a bill that would reopen the debate over abortion, a topic that governments both liberal and conservative have avoided for decades.

The country is projecting its uncharacteristic behavior abroad as well. After decades of encouraging countries to increase their foreign-aid spending, Canada cut its own, from 0.34 percent of GDP in 2005 to just 0.2 percent last year. Long a beacon of human rights, Ottawa announced last fall that it would stop advocating on behalf of Canadians sentenced to death in other countries. And Canada is now the only Western country that still has one of its citizens held in Guantanamo, but Ottawa has refused to press for his release.
Well worth a read today.