So, like many people, I watched the 2011 election debate yesterday evening. Predictably, it was us-versus-them — or from Harper’s point of view them-versus-me — for much, but not all, of the debate.I think this would have been true regardless of who was Prime Minister because the opposition’s goal is to unseat the incumbent party in an election so they can afford to risk more.
At some point over the course of the two hours, each of the leaders made at least one good point, even the separtist leader, though what Harper’s “good point” was escapes me. His continued denial of the legitimacy of being found in contempt of Parliament continues to baffle me. He once again claimed that it really wasn’t legitimate and that it was just the other three parties ganging up on him.
I’m sorry, Mr. Harper, but the majority of elected representatives in the House of Commons found you and your government in contempt of Parliament. You may not like it, but that’s the way democracy is sometimes, particularly when you obfuscate and lie in the House.
There was some mud slinging, but not an excessive amount. Harper didn’t really get involved in that, but as the incumbent Prime Minister and being in a precarious position as a result of the contempt and the Auditor General’s report that says they lied to Parliament about the G8/G20 funds, among other things, he couldn’t afford to because it would be a guarantee no-win situation.
Prior to the debate, the gap between the Liberals and Conservatives had been steadily closing. Post-debate polls seem to suggest the gap has increased. Hopefully that’s just a blip and the previous trend continues because with all that has gone on while Harper has been in power I am baffled as to why people would support him. Why would someone want to continue to have a governing party that has repeatedly obfuscated and lied to Parliament, second guessed, gagged and fired commissioners for doing their job (Linda Keen who was fired when she put safety first at Chalk River and the CRTC are two that spring to mind), ignored facts when they inconveniently did not support their actions (building new prisons when the crime statistics don’t indicate a need), and generally turning Canada into another United States (more prisons, and excessively expensive military jets (NB: I do not have a problem with equiping our military to do their job properly, but the cost of the F35s seems excessively high and not well understood.), to name a couple).
The Squid has an excellent blog post as to why a vote for someone other than the Liberals is effectively a vote for the Conservatives that I encourage you to read, regardless of your politics. I can understand why someone might want to vote NDP, Green or Bloc, but those votes will just end up being votes for the Conservatives. If you don’t want to see the Conservatives back in power, then vote Liberal. If you do want to see the Conservatives back in power, ask yourself why you’re supporting a government that was found in contempt of Parliament and has lied to Canadians.