Yeah, yeah, yeah... I understand that the Liberals fucked up and all, but given that the polls indicate that Canada's seemingly collective desire to vote punitively will result in a Conservative government, this seems like one of those "the cure is worse than the ailment" scenarios.
The Conservative Party. Can you friggin' believe it? For you non-Canadians playing along at home, the current Conservative Party is the net result of an unexpected chain of events, which went roughly like this:
- The Progressive Conservative (PC) Party (not to be confused with the current Conservatives, the PCs were fiscally conservative but socially whatever-the-hell-the-people-want) withers away to nothing in the early '90s.
- The Alliance Party -- a bunch of Yankee-style neo-cons -- is founded by crankypants Preston Manning, who, if nothing else, at least gives all appearance of being sane...
- Unlike his later counterpart, Stockwell "Doris" Day, who's a few maple trees short of a grove, if you catch my meaning. (Go here to read all about comedian Rick Mercer -- who's sort of Canada's Jon Stewart -- and his referendum bid to get Day to legally change his name. Funneeee.)
- And then, as if from nowhere, the new Conservative Party rises from the ashes of the old Alliance Party. It's an uneasy merging (well, it makes me uneasy, anyway) of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, led by the small-eyed Stephen Harper.
Anyway. This unlikely group is careening toward victory, which would all be well and good except that they have some funny ideas (and not ha-ha funny) about things I care about, such as gay rights and staying the fuck out of Iraq.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not all that keen on ANY of the main parties in this election. A rundown:
Liberals: They lied and they stole. These are bad things. They fucked up. And voting them in again would seem to endorse their fuckuppery.
New Democratic Party (NDP): Any liberal thinker worth their salt must support the NDP's platform -- improved social programs and whatnot -- but does any thinker of any political stripe actually believe that the NDP has the experience and moxie necessary to make their platform a reality?
Conservatives: Don't get me started. Again.
Bloc Quebecois: This Quebec-based party is ostensibly pro-separation. I'm one of those people who likes to keep the family together and happy, but these days I can't say I blame the Bloc. If the Conservatives do win, I want to separate.
Out here on the ol' frontier, we've also got a bunch of crazy fringe parties, to boot: the Green Party, the Work Less Party, the Marijuana Party, to name just a few. While in theory, I think that these are all worthy and noble goals, they strike me as a bit, er, single-minded. (And yes, yes, I know that these parties all purport to have broader mandates; you don't need to tell me! But if their mandates are really all that broad, maybe it was a strategic mistake to have such a singularly focused party name, hm?)
So where does that leave me? Well, I'm not going to tell you how I'm voting. I had a traumatic experience in grade three, when our teacher asked us -- via a show of hands -- how our parents were voting in the federal election. I was the only person whose hand went up when she said "Pierre Trudeau." Oh, the schoolyard ostracism!
But I am definitely voting. As should you. And let me tell you something: it's not too late for you to vote today, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT REGISTERED IN YOUR RIDING. Go here (I couldn't get the permalink to work, so just go to the entry entitled "Peace, Order and Good Government Doesn’t Come Free") to get all the poop on how to register, where to vote in your riding, and of course learn about the candidates.
[Big ups to CBC Radio 3 for the link and the info]