Posted by Justin Holmes in In the news
on 03 25th, 2011 | one response
Imagine you’re a 25-year-old voter. (If you’re 25, this should be easy for you.) Canada going to the polls in May, which is now a certainty, might seem a little dull.
A 25-year-old voter will have only been of voting age seven years and by May will have gone to the polls four times. Canada would usually only see two elections in that sort of time frame.
This voter has seen minority governments elected three times, and will likely see a fourth this year. The voter might even be unaware of how unusual the thought of a minority government seemed to Canadians in 2004, his or her first election.
This voter would have known Stephen Harper best as prime minister, but perhaps more significant in a historical context, this voter will have gone to the polls while the Liberals boasted three different leaders. The voter’s older 29-year-old friend would have gone to the polls five times since 2000 as the Liberals fielded four different party leaders.
This youth voter, this voice of change in Canadian politics, will likely have one reaction when the election date is dropped: apathy.
And really, that’s what most of us should be feeling. The Conservatives, should polls be believed, aren’t likely to gain a majority to from an election. The Liberals, those same polls would show, are in dismal shape. The NDP have a lot to lose and less to gain right now and the Bloc Quebecois don’t seem especially popular at the moment. There is no other burgeoning political movement on the horizon.
So the question must be asked: why exactly does anyone in Canada want an election?
It does seem like the Liberal and NDP leaders might feel they can’t simply lie down and let the Conservatives pass whatever budget they please. Fair enough, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced one they didn’t like this week, and they put up a no-confidence vote today.
Opposition parties are right to hold the governing Conservatives accountable. They should speak their minds on the budget, and some complaints of contempt have validity. But these aren’t issues regular Canadians care about. Regular Canadians are concerned about the economy – and spending millions upon millions of dollars for what most would presume will wind up as a game of parliamentary musical chairs seems wasteful when many are still struggling to put food on the table.
Canadians are headed to the polls, and barring something very interesting in the campaign, we’re all likely to go home losers from this one.
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