Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Supporting the 62% coalition - but with tepid enthusiasm

Comment boards, blogs, news sites and talk radio are all completely abuzz with the drama on Parliament Hill. Tomorrow morning Stephen Harper will meet with the Governor General - perhaps to request that she prorogue Parliament, perhaps for some other reasons. I hope that if the request is made, it is denied, and that the three parties representing the other 62% of Canadians who cast votes in the election will have a chance to form a government - and that they will actually advance constructive policies for our country.

But to be perfectly honest, I feel a bit like I've been sleepwalking through the past five days. I have been following the debates and reading the news sites, and thinking about precedents. But I have felt little of the excitement that most people around me seem to have - history is potentially being made, and it leaves me feeling oddly empty. I suppose that ultimately what it comes down to is this - I would rather have a team of orangutans in government than the mean-spirited Stephen Harper and his team of (mostly) neo-cons (there are some notably exceptions in his caucus). But I also do not see a coalition made up of Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe as my dream team. Far from it - I voted in the last federal election with a bit of a shrug as I picked the best of some mediocre options. And while mediocrity is better than mean-spirited politicking during an economic slowdown, it also isn't the stuff that great history is made of. Our country is facing a global economic crunch, and it really needs a more constructive approach than we've been witnessing.

To be honest, when I heard that Jean Chrétien and Ed Broadbent were working on brokering the coalition deal, my reaction was "Great, now can the two of them come back into political life to actually head up this coalition?" Our political leadership is failing us right now, and there isn't much on the national scene which gives me cause for optimism. And so, while I support the coalition, I believe that they have a legitimate right to try to form a government, and that it would be within Canada's constitutional law to offer them that chance, I'm not doing the dance of excitement as I wait to see if they will pull this off. I'm just hoping that it will be better than the vindictiveness that Stephen Harper has been demonstrating for the last three years.

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At 7:20 am, Anonymous Dennis said...

Gee, the blogosphere is flooded with this stuff today. Unbelievable


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