Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why We Don’t Need Another Election

Today, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released his much delayed, but often talked about, budget.

Typically in Canada, there may be a few hints as to what the upcoming budget – outlining how the current federal government will manage the country – will contain. The rest of the budget is kept hush hush. It’s even illegal for journalists to report on the contents of the budget before it is officially released. That’s why many journalists will end up in a “lock down,” which is a locked room, guarded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) no less. Or at least that’s the way it was when I was a news reporter.

This budget on the other hand, was very much known well in advance. Probably because the Prime Minister used it to delay the inevitable collapse of yet another minority government, run by Stephen Harper.

See, Harper is now in his second term of office, so-to-speak, even though he has never fully completed a prime ministerial mandate. He called the last election early, because he wanted to ensure he’d get re-elected, because no one really knew or understood the other potential leaders.

Now, he’s trying to push through a budget, yet he knows he won’t get the support he needs from the other parties to ensure it goes through. This will lead to calls that he’s an incompetent leader, and votes to that effect, which will topple his government early – again – and lead to another $70 million election.

That’s right, it costs at least $70 million to have an election in this country. That means Stephen Harper has already spent at least $140 million of our hard earned dollars, and without really accomplishing anything yet this term, is about to spend at least another $70 million.

With the economy the way it is, most of us would be so lucky to have $210 million -- $140 million plus $70 million) to toss around wildly and without any due regard for the loss.

Dollar figures aside, the real cost is the loss of time in doing what we elect our public figures to do – run the country. When there’s an election, nothing gets done. The Prime Minister dissolves Parliament, essentially ending the ruling government’s rein, until the next one is elected. Then all the politicians go out campaigning, making promises of what they will do, instead of actually doing what they said they would do.

If big business was run like our federal government, big business would be out of business big time.

I think we need a house cleaning in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. We don’t need to clean house of just the current government drones, but all the politicians – all parties included. We need real people really willing to roll up their sleeves and actually do some good for this country.

But alas, all we’ve got are a bunch of wanna-be leaders and no one to actually take a lead role. The New Democratic Party is already saying they won’t approve of the new budget, even though they haven’t even read the damn thing! They say this just because they want to topple the current government, and take this country to another election, so that they too may one day lead this country from one minority government to another – without actually accomplishing anything substantial.

But then again, I suppose spending over $210 million without actually accomplishing anything, in a sense, is quite the accomplishment. But it is one accomplishment this country can do without.

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