Friday, January 20, 2006

Canada Crumbling

Jeff Kuhner, who could be described as a distant academic cousin of the Big Tent, is not optimistic about Canada's future.


Rachel said...

LOL about the distant academic cousin. Pretty funny stuff...

Maple Sugar said...

Well, inasmuch as people (read: Mark) scoff at hyperbolic claims that a Harper government will mean tragedy for Canada, I have to scoff at the idea that a minority Tory government will spell the same.

Harper worries me, if only because (and, admittedly, this is a completely ad hominem argument) he looks like a bloated Cabbage Patch doll with a rabid husky's eyes.

However, what worries me more are the equally rabid fringe elements of the former Reform party that remain in the Conservative ranks. I honestly have very little problem with most of the Conservative platform. I am concerned about the nutbars campaigning on that platform who believe that it is not right-wing enough, and who have based their political careers on whipping the far right into a self-righteous frenzy over Liberal corruption, all the while forgetting that all governments are corrupt in their own ways; it's just that some are better at getting away with it than others.

Mulroney's government was every bit as crooked, Mulroney himself equalled in smarminess only by Chretien, who followed him. When the Conservatives last left power, it was over the furor caused by the GST, Free Trade, and Meech Lake. But no one seems to remember how pissed off they were by those things: now that Harper is promising to reduce the GST (because 1% will make such a difference to the average Canadian), he's making himself out to be a hero for doing so. I wonder what Mulroney has to say to that...

And they wonder why people have lost faith in the electoral process.

While we're on the subject, just for fun: (Click "Youth Vote").

Mark said...

Rachel, you're right. That article was pretty funny, since it was based on a complete misperception of the situation in Canada. The reason the separatists in Quebec were gaining ground was because the choices in the province were the Liberals (completely discredited by the sponsorship scandal), or the separatist Bloc Quebecois. (Unless of course you wanted to vote for the Marijuana Party, as one Big Tent acquaintance did last time.) Most Quebeckers remain federalists at some level, and now that the Tories are leading nationally, they've become a viable federalist alternative to the Liberals, as recent polls have shown.

As for Western alienation, that's barely worth discussing. Yes, there is discontent with the federal government out West, but even the provincial Alberta Party is basically a joke electorally. That may change over the next 10+ years, but I doubt it.

Basically, Canada is in no greater danger of breaking up than it was 5 years ago, at the nadir of separatist support, and a minority Conservative government will do little to change that.

Maple Sugar said...

Er... I forgot to get round to my actual point in my last post, but Mark made it for me:

Because there are idiots in the ranks of the Conservative government (Harper himself notwithstanding), I think it will come to light pretty soon that the new government will be just as ineffectual as the current one, and Canada will continue to truck along as limpingly as it has been over the last few years. That is to say, that with any minority government, what people are most concerned with is avoiding yet another election, with its attendant annoying ads and stupid, empty rhetoric.

People are tired. They want things to settle down. No matter what party comes into power, I predict a period where people expend a lot of effort trying not to rock the boat, while all the while making noises about "creating change".