Friday, December 05, 2008

Canadian Politics

This week is rather tumultuous at least within the domestic political environment in Canada. Some calls it a crisis that is unprecedented in history. It all began When the Prime Minister, who is also the leader of the Conservative Party proposed a budget with two main thrusts. Under the goal of cutting costs, the first is a stimulant for the economy which the opposition denounced as overly 'frugal.' The second is more damaging, at least for the opposition, in that political party subsidies will be pegged back. While the first is rather consistent for the Conservative way of governing, as far as the opposition is concerned, it is the second that is the proverbial feather that breaks the camel's back. Financially, the opposition parties are heavily reliant on such political subsidies (paid from the public coffers). The Conservatives can comfortably hold their sway due to their financial stability. Since then, Harper, the Prime Minister has backed down from his two proposals and promised to revise and submit a new one in January next year. However, the opposition has not backed down, opting to go ahead to topple the minority government as their goal. Actually, no matter what has been said in the press, that seems to me to be the only goal: Government toppling, under the name of democracy, that the people wants to see a coalition. For me, the logic is simple. Harper has already made concessions, Unfortunately, the opposition insists on the pound of flesh, just like Shylock in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice." Not only was the initial proposal withdrawn, a new one was promised, which will be more palatable to all. However, the Opposition does not want it anymore.

For me, there are some things which troubles me.
1) Firstly, what are all these political leaders trying to do? Isn't fixing the economy more important now?
2) Secondly, the Conservative Party has already realized its folly and offered to back down from its initial impetus. Yet the Coalition, comprising the Liberals-NDP-Bloc, are hellbent to force down the Conservatives. That will mean usurping the reins of power by playing with numbers.
3) Currently, the opposition Coalition are united under one main goal. What are the goals AFTER the current Conservative government is toppled?
4) For keeping Canada as a united country, is the Coalition the best way to go? The current economic stimulus proposed by the Coalition includes a $30b injection of funds into the economy. Why must such an act be done in such a dramatic fashion? Canada's situation is very different from the sub-prime mess that the US is in. Moreover, it is among the top countries that is deemed solid in terms of resilience during this worldwide economic downturn.
5) Political squabbling is normal in any country. The timing in which such squabbling is done reflects the level of maturity. Unfortunately, the country does not need such political infighting to distract the people from getting the economic vehicle going.
6) I think Canada wants a fairly even distribution of power for all, which is why on the one hand the Conservatives is given the right to lead, on the other, such leadership requires the cooperation of the other parties. A minority government seems best. If the current Conservatives government is lousy (according to critics), I am not sure how much better will the new Coalition be? There are far more uncertainties with a Coalition than the current Conservative setup. Just two will give you an idea. The proposed new PM is one that the people has recently rejected by means of an increasingly unpopular vote against him. Secondly, the Bloc, who seemed more concerned with Quebec than the rest of Canada, promises to stay with the Coalition for only 18 months. That to me is building more uncertainties in an already fragile political climate.

Looking at the whole situation, I think the best next move for all is to call for a new election and let the people decide. We all have better things to do than to be constantly disturbed with such political upheavals, either way.


No comments:

Latest Posts