Wednesday, October 15, 2008


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."

Amen Brother...Amen!


  1. Prime Minister Harper called the election because he felt that Parliment was dysfunctional, was not working. And what do we see immediately the results are in? All party leaders saying that they will work to ensure that Parliment works. Hey guys, couldn't you have sat down and agreed on that without calling an election? Really, a few beers would have been a lot cheaper than an election.

  2. Lynn - You are absolutely right...I think Canadians would have happily antied-up for the beer, as much as it took.
    Sadly though, the Liberal Leadership issues about to grab the country's headlines will quite simply accelerate much more Parliamentary acrimony, dysfunction and an election before anyone wants it. Just about 59% of registered voters went to the polls this time...just like our American cousins we'll probably be down to 50% by time the next on comes around....

  3. I can't speak for the rest of Canada, but I do know many rural BC voters who simply couldn't stomach the idea of another carbon tax on top of the provincial initiative implemented by Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government. I'm pretty green, and I support disincentives to "city folk" driving gas guzzling SUV's that ironically, never spend a moment off-road. However, it is just like those city slickers in Vancouver (and Campbell/Dion, apparently) to forget that four wheel drives and long distance travel are a simple fact of life outside of the urban areas. I don't know many people in my federal riding who embrace being penalized for making a 90 minute drive into Kelowna to safely get the groceries they want at a reasonable price.

    Relatedly, I take issue with being punished as a polluter when I take the initiative to use Biodiesel whenever possible - which is quite a bit. Carbon tax be damned - why is there no incentive to use low emissions fuel that is made of recycled waste?