Hospital workers, police, ambulance and first responders will know that a "full-moon" brings out irrational behaviour. Perhaps no one else noticed, but October 14th, was this year's night of the "harvest" full moon.
Deep in the rubble of this election misadventure lies the cost to Canadian taxpayer. They are irrational, staggering and unjustifiable. Mr. Harper's repeat minority performance on the flawed premise that the 39th Parliament was dysfunctional, was both predictable and anticipated. An election is always an opportunity for displays of massive voter ignorance. This Federal election, the third in four years, revealed alas an electorate fatigued by the acrimonious partisanship of the House of Commons, apathetic about the country's leaders, their poor judgement and a growing lack of national direction.
Although I may be naive, I think that in the end it was the strenght of the two main national leaders that became their biggest liability. While true that circumstances may have conspired against both Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion to rob each of their goal. It was the rapidly tumbling economic circumstances of the past month that led to questions about Mr. Harper's ability to lead in troubled times and unravelled his quest for a majority government. As for Mr. Dion; his environmental "green-shift" plan, trying to learn politics on the fly, and a lack of skills at selling the party platform robbed him of the goal of being Prime-Minister.
For these miscalculations, Canadian taxpayers are left "on the hook" for Election Canada's estimated $300-million cost of running the election. Plus About $20-million in costs to the political parties' coffers for advertising, travel, aircraft, bus, vehicle charters, security etc. The real cost, though immeasurable, may be the damage to our economy.
I don't know whether the country would have been better off if Parliament had been sitting to hold a steady hand on the tiller as the economy melted over the last month. A certain measure of Parliamentary co-operation and civility over the economic storm certainly would not have made things worse. I do know that the Toronto Stock Exchange plunged from its high of 15,155 points to 8,851 points.In the process $400-billion of Canada's accumulated wealth was wiped-out.
Now, it seems we may be in for a rough ride. In the shadow of this election, Mr. Harper says the government will "take whatever appropriate steps are necessary" to ensure the integrity of Canada's financial system. Since the country is already at deficit's door, his words may forecast a chilly season ahead in ways more than the typical Ottawa winter. His reassurance: Hollow. As Judge Judy says: "don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!"
By any measure, there were no decisive victories in this election. As James Travers in the Toronto Star wrote: "So here we are, 38 days and some $300 million later, in an unsettled place not far from where we started."