No Business Like Political Business

I’m sorry, I don’t have a business post for you today.

I have to be honest, after Monday’s nail-bitingly tense election I’m lucky I’ve been able to function the past few days.

Nail-bitingly tense of course, for those who voted. What a showing for the NDP! What a blow to the Liberals! And the bloc! I didn’t expect to see that in my lifetime.

It was only nail-bitingly tense, of course, for those who voted. A lot of people didn’t, so despite the historic, meteoric rise of a party fighting for the values of you and I, we’re left with a majority government bent on turning us into an American vassal that was selected by 24% of the population. 40% of the country didn’t bother voting at all. That’s a lot of people. You probably know one. So I’d like you to find one of them and say:

Thank you! Thank you for helping us to live in a world where prisons and fighter jets are more important than healthcare and education.   Where our parents and grandparents can fear for their financial security. Where women won’t have equality or a forum to talk about it. Where people can keep hoping that those tax breaks for the super rich and giant corporations will really `trickle down` instead of seeing first hand that, given the slightest opportunity, small businesses will create 4x more jobs! Where we can continue to pay high rates of interest and have the worst internet service in the developed world! Where the rest of us can take our rightful second (or third, or fourth) place behind straight, white, Christian males. Thank you for making sure that when we travel to other countries we can be ashamed to claim Canadian citizenship. Where the last gasps of a dying industry are given more importance than the very planet we live on. Where we can keep looking forward to more of the same because the party in power certainly isn’t going to get behind election reform.

I could accept all of this if it was what the majority of us decided. But we didn’t. From an insidious combination of voter apathy and our archaic electoral process we are left again and more thoroughly with a government that does not represent us.

A lot of people worked tirelessly so that this wouldn’t happen, and their work wasn’t for nothing. Maybe it will take four years of the `Harper` government to make everyone else realize that what we really need is a government of Canada. That represents all of Canada.

These are some organizations working to make this happen:

www.apathyisboring.com
www.fairvote.ca
www.democracyinaction.org

Check them out, spread the word, and tell every person who didn’t vote just exactly what they agreed to. Silence is assent.

2 comments

  • Actually, a conservative majority with a very strong NDP opposition will turn out a lot better than one with a strong Liberal opposition and a weak NDP. the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois have now pretty-well been decimated, and there is now a green MP. we’ve come a long way, but the long, strange trip isn’t over yet. and 58 out of 75 ridings after never having more than 1 is one hell of a drastic jump.

    • In the abstract, Laurence is right – a New Democratic Official Opposition will be a more ardent and convincing defender of the progressive opposition than the Liberals were perhaps. What he’s neglecting, however, is that it was precisely the strength of the NDP in Ontario and other parts of the country that split the vote enough to hand Harper his coveted majority in the first place. And a Harper majority, regardless of who is in opposition, is the absolute nightmare scenario that every New Democrat, Liberal, Bloquiste and Green sought to avoid at all costs.

      On the slightly “grasping at the thinnest of silver linings” side of things though (and pardon my mixing of metaphors), at least now we have an Official Opposition that believes in electoral reform. While it is doubtful they will make a big issue of it in Parliament (and with a Harper majority, does it even matter anyway?), it has to beat the days of it being a third party argument alone.

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