Sunday, January 08, 2006
Last year I blogged a lot about the federal election, posted a lot of links to analyses of the parties' policies and felt like I was on top of everything. This year I couldn't even stand to listen to the leaders debate. I don't know what's changed so much as that so little has changed. The Liberal party are the utterly frustrating in that their mode of making promises upon promises totally oblivious to the fact that as the governing party they should be touting accomplishments and talking about the promises from the last election that they kept. Now there would be something different.
Instead they try and match the tories bullet point-for-bullet point on promises in each area and forget that they have a record they should be running on. Maybe they realize their record is less than stellar, who knows. The promise to take away the head tax on new immigrants when it was Martin himself who brought it in was just emblamatic of the way they continually insult voters' intelligence.
The Liberals are starting to remind me of the Republican party in the US, where their only focus is on trying to get elected, but they have no idea what to do with themselves when they're actually faced with the task of governing.
The only thing that saved them last election was that the entire CBC got spooked about 2 weeks before the election that the Tories might actually win the thing and that they might put their favourite whipping-boy crown corp on the cutting block, so their coverage swung way in favour of the Liberals very suddenly. This time around they're still managing to do fairly balanced coverage, from what I've actually seen. I wonder if they'll lose their nerve again this year.
It's sort of a similar situation to the last British election. The Labour party basically won by default because the Tories have become a regional party that doesn't win seats outside of the South of England, and the LDP don't seem to show up on most voters' radars, even though they were the only major party that was against the Iraq invasion, a position that most Brits agreed with.
Any party that's been in power for a long time will start to rot the way the Liberals are. The Democratic Party used to have a stranglehold on the U.S. House of Representatives up until 1994 and became as corrupt and cronyistic as one sees the Republicans now. Granted it took them way longer than 10 years to get there, but in the end power attracts the power-seekers, and they will poison any institution.
And I think that's where we've arrived, we've got a governing party who's focus has changed from accomplishing something to preserving its own place in an institution.
I don't like saying how I vote, or telling people directly to vote for a certain party. But I will say, that limiting your choice to evil or stupid will get you the same disaster in the end.