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Canucks heading back to the polls

And so it begins… Just a short time ago, members of federal political parties could at times be heard preaching the benefits of fiscally responsible spending.

And so it begins…

Just a short time ago, members of federal political parties could at times be heard preaching the benefits of fiscally responsible spending.

Since the Conservatives were punted after a non-confidence vote, though, we’ve been sent hurtling (limping?) toward a May 2 general election.

And Voilŕ. Along with the standard fear advertising campaigns, which the Conservatives struck first with, suddenly there is money everywhere to be promised to the citizenry in an attempt to buy votes.

In trying to attract critical Ontario votes while campaigning, Liberals are now ready to throw $1 billion in subsidies at students, while big business-friendly Conservatives are prepared to offer tax breaks to small businesses and offer families a $2.5 billion tax split option (if a new Conservative government balanced the books). The NDP, while not throwing bucks around, are looking to affect everybody’s dollars by capping credit card limits.

In the meantime, we may not know how much money the Greens could shower us with as, once again, a consortium of broadcasters has deemed Elizabeth May’s party as being unworthy of a seat at the good old boys’ table.

The Greens, say the geniuses at CBC, CTV, Global, TVA and Radio-Canada, don’t have an elected MP and therefore have no place in a televised debate with the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois.

We say what a farce.

Unlike the Bloc, which is a federal party with a strictly provincial/sovereigntist focus, at least the Greens, who actually have a national platform, have a slate of candidates which spans this dominion.

The Bloc has no candidates and no relevance outside of Quebec, other than they could form part of a coalition government.

Please, will some riding out there elect a Green so this fiasco doesn’t appear again in future elections?

Then there is the no-substance coalition debate. The Stephen Harper Conservatives would have us believe that hell is no further away, should he not receive a majority, than a Liberal-led coalition.

Michael Ignatieff, on the other hand, said should his Liberals win a minority government, there will be no coalition.

Fear mongering as to the possibility of a coalition government does little more than take the focus away from discussions of substance.

After the last federal election, when the Conservatives were handed the reigns of a minority government, political pundits warned that minority governments may be the way of the future. Some went so far as to predict, based on strong regional bias, that there will never be another majority government.

As things now stand, the Conservatives’ 143-seat minority government could be countered only by a coalition of Liberals (77 seats), Bloc (49) and NDP (37).

Could opposition parties ever work together substantially enough to form a government? Would that be a good idea? What’s worse, a lame duck minority government or an overly complex mix of ideals melded to topple a minority?

In the end, being that none of our federal parties are possessed of a truly charismatic leader, maybe the most interesting news item to come out of this campaign will be the voter turnout numbers of election-weary Canadians.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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