Peter Gets an Election

One of the gifts which my Dad gave to me was an interest in politics. Not only would he answer any of my questions about the subject during our discussions about this topic, but he nurtured my enthusiasm for the entire process by letting me sit down on the couch beside him and watch the televised drama of “Election Night” unfold across the nation. As I got older, of course, I was able to stay up later and later, although I was never able to stay up “until the bitter end” as long as I had school to get up for in the morning. As I have written before, I could never understand why few, if any, of my classmates had any interest at all in discussing the election results the next day at school.

Once I was out and on my own, I was able to continue my “Election Night” ritual on my own terms entirely. I got into the habit of having a quick nap when I got home, so that I could watch the whole thing and still be able to function at work the next day, (after a fashion, anyway).

As an aside, as a federal government employee, I had to not only be impartial, but be seen to be impartial. Obviously, that meant that I couldn’t have politically partisan items at my desk or on my person at work, and in fact, until 1993, I couldn’t even have a campaign sign on my own property. 

This didn’t discourage me from  encouraging everyone I came in contact with during an election campaign to get out there and vote. I have always felt that voting is a right which must be exercised in an intelligent and informed manner.

So this week, Loyal Reader, I want to give you my comments on certain aspects of the day and of some of the parties, at least as I see them. 

Overall, the election results didn’t change things very much, there were a few surprises but the numbers pretty much stayed the same.

Mr Trudeau did not get a majority, but I think that the Liberals had an excellent response to COVID and handled the situation in the best way possible. I know that CERB made a big difference to many people as far as basic financial support is concerned, and I want to take the opportunity here to praise the people who delivered it so well. They basically learned that program “on the fly” and delivered it very smoothly and quickly. And believe me, Loyal Reader, I have first hand knowledge and experience of having to rapidly acquire the skills necessary to deliver such a program in a competent manner.

I saw that several Liberal candidates had their status in the party affected by accusations of improper conduct. In one case, the candidate was defeated, and the seat was taken by the Green party candidate. The other case was more troubling to me. In that situation, the candidate was in a “safe” Liberal riding. Allegations of sexual misconduct were brought forth extremely late in the campaign, concerning charges which were apparently made, then withdrawn. I am somewhat bemused by the reaction of many of the voters in that riding. I saw interview excerpts in which they expressed concern that his name was still on the ballot, and in fact a petition has been started asking that he not be allowed to sit in Parliament. Here’s my take on the whole affair.

These allegations surfaced very late in the campaign, and the ballots had already been printed. The situation was all over the media over the weekend, and information was easily available not only in the media, but also on the sites not only of Elections Canada, but the relevant political parties. As a voter, YOU have the obligation to ensure that you are aware of any complications which may arise in the election as a whole and in your riding in particular. To me, they have only themselves to blame for that particular choice. Maybe next time there’s an election these people will concentrate on reading about electoral issues rather than watching videos of llamas playing the piano.

To me, it was rather reminiscent of the “Patrick Brown” situation, and all of us who live in Ontario know how that one played out. Time will tell, of course. 

The second place team ran a fairly good campaign, at least they acknowledged that “climate change” is real. I felt that they kowtowed a little too much to the “gun lobby”, and they tossed around “tax credits” for child care without really explaining how and when families would benefit from these programs. The main thrust of the Conservative campaign seemed to be the cost of the election, I saw one ad in particular which featured a clip of Trudeau speaking about how no one wanted an election during the pandemic. However, it was obvious from the film clip that he was going to continue his sentence, but then the clip ended and a graphic appeared reinforcing the cost of this election. As project in a Grade 6 A/V class, I would give it a “C+”. As an ad in a national election campaign, it merits a “D”. Between that ad and the million new jobs that were going to magically appear, I wasn’t impressed. As an aside, the pedant in me wants to tell Mr O Toole that regardless of whatever medal he won in 1998, he most certainly wasn’t in the RCAF when he won it. 

I will not be skipping over one of the “major” parties, as it has no direct impact on me, although it is a major factor in Canadian federal politics.

The NDP has the interests of the “little people” at heart. With their avowed goals of enacting action on climate change, putting an end to privatization in long term care, Pharmacare and not only making the extremely wealthy, but corporations as well, pay their fair share as far as taxes are concerned, they have shown that they have a vision of an inclusive Canada,  where all can thrive. Unfortunately they have to deal with a great deal of inertia concerning these issues, as people tend to vote with little or no regard for their own self interest.

Speaking of the Green party, they seemed to be their own “worst enemy” during the campaign. Infighting hampered their efforts, however Lady Luck delivered their first seat in Ontario. This “breakthrough” was more a product of the misconduct and hubris of a Liberal incumbent than it was of hard work on the part of the Green party, but an electoral victory is an electoral victory. I hope that the party can regain its strength, as I feel that it can have some influence on the Canadian political scene.

There are always a number of “fringe” parties in the race when the “writ is dropped”, and they generally have little or no impact on the general situation.

As an example, I saw the comment made by a candidate of one of these parties during a virtual all candidates debate. When asked about the deficit, he said that his party would use “loans” (?) to resolve this pressing issue. I quickly scrolled past before my head exploded.

I will save my comments on the other party involved in this latest federal election for next week, as I have a bit to say about the subject.

I read somewhere yesterday that in this most recent federal election, 40% of all eligible voters in Canada…..didn’t.

Just a reminder that over the last two weeks; – pro democracy organizers in Hong Kong were jailed for “sedition”, -certain technology companies were accused of blocking access to an anti Russian government app, – Putin’s party has claimed a “supermajority” in the Duma, which is the Russian parliament, -there was an attempted coup in Sudan. It kind of makes me feel that the money spent on our election was not such a waste.

And yet in our last federal election…..40% of all eligible voters stayed home. It truly makes me sick.

See you soon 

=PJM=

A confirmed Cat person, Peter dabbled with being a water boy, a paper boy and an altar boy before finally settling on a career with the Canadian federal government.  Once, in his youth, he ate a Dutch  oven full of mashed potatoes to win a 5 cent bet with his beloved sister Mary’s boyfriend. (Of course he was much younger and a nickel went a lot farther!))

He has retired to palatial “Chez Montreuil”, which he shares with his little buddy CoCo the Fashionable. He is blessed to have the beautiful Betty in his life. He is not only a plastic aircraft modeller, but a proud “rivet counter”. Military aviation and live music are among other interests of his, and he tries to get out to as many shows as he can. He will be here for your enlightenment whenever the stars align. Profile photo courtesy of Pat Blythe, caricature courtesy of Peter Mossman.

Bob Segarini, Don’t Believe A Word I Say, COVID, CERB, Peter Montreuil, 

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