I saw my first election sign today put up by the side of the road. I guess living on the west coast we've taken longer than Ottawa in getting things moving...Mostly because the election is usually decided before the polls close here anyhow. I suspect this is probably why we have a large Green Party base, so the islanders on Saltspring can "stick it to them" by putting the Greens in the commons just after the east coast has finished clinching the majority of the votes - all before we get a chance to weigh in.
It has been interesting watching the election kickoff unfolding in the news - the reports keep hashing up the same points:
--> Anytime something good by the Liberals is done everyone else cries "but the sponsorship scandal! Remember the scandal! And the thieves even got the CAW on their side, this will combine to create the English version of the scandal!"
--> Anytime something good is announced by the NDP everyone cries "but they won't support the minority to make a majority government! And where are the specifics?" You have to admit, it's hard to believe they are doing to do some of the environmental reductions they say they are without a detailed plan longer than 1 press release.
--> Anytime something good is said by the Conservatives everyone cries "but Harper isn't PM material!... What good will an extra $100 per family in tax cuts do anyways?"
I'm probably voting for the **actual party name removed until further notice** but in actual fact I don't really care who wins as long as it forms a majority government. If it's a minority government everyone can bitch they didn't do a good job and couldn't govern in step with everyone else, whereas the minority government can bitch they couldn't get anything done because everyone was against them. It really is a no-win situation that only makes the commons a huge discussion of why the government isn't working - as opposed to having a majority government moving us somewhere. Even if that somewhere isn't where we want to be, at least we know who to blame and can oust them in the next election...
My take on the Conservatives GST reduction to 5%. Whatever. Unless I plan on buying a new house in the future, why are you wasting my time with that? If you're serious about actually impacting something then just eliminate it. I'd rather keep paying 7% and have a slurplus to do something useful with like increase payments for the social programs they are announcing to make actual financial impact. Waving $400 GST rebates or $1200 child-care funds is wooing the voters be penny-wise and pound foolish. In reality I don't think for most voters it will be an impact felt enough to dent family finances, except in the psyche, but maybe that is their plan.
I think post christmas election media questions should be tabled by someone like Don Cherry - at least he would support a bench clearing brawl which would make it worth watching.
I can't wait until after Christmas when the real election tactics begin. It will make for much better media coverage - watching them serve up more softball questions to the Liberals while the Green Party complains they didn't get a pitch, the Conservatives complain they had a harder soft question and the Quebecois complaining they didn't know about the serve due to lack of sponsorship in their province.