Politics before People
If I may paraphrase Casius in his coercion of Brutus in the time of Caesar, “ the fault, dear citizens, lies not with the government, but with ourselves for we elect them”.
Oh the cheers and jubilation, the wailing and handwringing, and the apathy that is being displayed at the federal budget released Tuesday, March 19, 2019. I suggest why the uproar, if, should, when the Liberal Government is not elected in October, the budget is effectively moot. Should the Liberal Government remain, whether majority or minority, it won’t matter much anyway because as we have witnessed time and again, budgets are plans, and plans seldom materialize as they were envisioned. Should the Conservatives form either a government they will blame the plight of Canada and the World on the Liberals and bring in their own non-performing platform. And so it goes. The only discernible difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is the leader’s smile. A prominent CEO of a well known company posted a budget/election comment stating, “Low informed voters don’t care who foots the bill. Just bring on the freebies.” I would like to frame this as an elitist 1% comment; however, only we the collective electorate can prove it wrong!
In 2015 only the Liberals and the Green Party gained in vote totals from the 2011 election, albeit the Liberals gained decidedly more: 4,133,373 compared to 38,860. The Conservatives lost 54,268 practically entirely to Mr. Harper’s proroguing of parliament, gutting research along with gagging scientists and passing omnibus bills so convoluted they defied objective scrutiny. The NDP lost 963,704, in spite of a dynamic leader, mainly due to small funding proposals in a commitment to balance the budget and the public’s view that the Liberals had a better chance of beating Harper.
But, and there is always a but, there was only a 68.5% voter turn-out, better than the 61.1% of 2011 and lower that the 70.9% in 1993. So voters, think about that, the Liberal government won a resounding majority with 39.5% of the popular vote which in effect means the first-past-the-post electoral system, presented you, Canada, a majority government with only 27.4% of the eligible votes. 72.6% of the eligible voters did not receive the government they woulda, coulda, shoulda voted for. Where in all of rightdom is that even remotely reasonable.
As long as we are willing to accept the first-past-the-post electoral system, a measly 30 some percent as a majority and party politics before good governance, we remain mired in broken promises and scandal. Now to be fair no matter which governing party has the power, good policies are invoked and good things do happen. But good results do not resonate. Something inevitably goes wrong: the other candidate has better speaking points, looks better on television, a scandal or perception of one hits social media, promises are retracted, the list is endless.
Campaign promises and actual delivery seldom coincide. Pay attention to the language. In a previous article a I referred to the Confucius quote, “…if what is said is not what is meant…”. Canadians, citizens, voters this is never more truthful or impactful than during elections. Listen to the actual language, do not seize upon what you think you heard, consider the nuance and possibilities of what the actual meaning could be.
Canada is in our hands, let us move forward and elect members of parliament who will govern for the country and the people, not their egos and friends’ bank accounts.
Other views are welcome