Politics, schmolotics…

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by admin on September 23, 2009

When I look down the gun barrel of history I see a lot of fat, make that fatuous, targets scattered over the field of Canadian politics.

Take the cry that “Nobody wants an election!” that seems to be heard everywhere that political opinions are proffered. That’s just mediaspeak for “Oh God, I just got over the last campaign and it’s too soon to get back on the bus, train, plane to hear those same

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boring speeches over and over again”.

Then there’s  “Minority governments don’t work. We need a majority for efficient government!” Apart form the fact that efficient government is an oxymoron, proponents of majority rule cannot get over the stunning fact that Canada has its own flag only because it was adopted under a minority government. This country

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is so divided that only a minority government can produce unanimity on anything as contentious as a national symbol…

Then there’s the Quebec conundrum: How do you win an election without Quebec. Liberal Jean Chretien had one solution – pour money into the province. Tory Brian Mulroney had another -pour money into Quebec. This solution worked as long as the money rolled into La Belle Province. The minute it stopped it was “Sayonara” and today we have the separatist Bloc Quebecois controlling the majority of Quebec’s federal ridings.

John Diefenbaker, back in the 1950s, had a different and simpler solution. Coming out of the western wilderness he uttered these famous words: “We can win without Quebec!” The province’s voters, who knew which side their bread was buttered on, promptly gave him 50 of its 75 federal seats. – And a majority government.

Political pundits seem mesmerized by the fact that Quebec votes for a party that cares only about Quebec. They predict dire consequences for the Canadian federation when a party has only provincial interests. They forget that this province has a history of voting for stray political animals. Fifty years ago Real Caouette became head of the Social Credit party and, for a few years thanks to a majority of Quebec seats, was able to bestride the corridors of political power. Then he died and his party instantly disintegrated, proving he was only a blip on the historical road.

And how’s this for prime time stupidity? The provinces have been exposed finally as the main reason interprovincial trade is so difficult to arrange. When the federal government went south recently to complain about the US’s current “Buy American” campaign it was told that, for self protection, the provinces had insisted they be kept out of the Free Trade agreement. “No truck nor trade with each other.” is their motto, it seems.

We could go on but it only gets worse. Thank God hockey season is upon us and we can get involved in something that really  matters.