* Note--I don't think this applied to the 2008 election where Obama was actually a good candidate that people could, ahem, prefer. He was not the hold your nose candidate that John Kerry was, for instance.But, in some ways, the Americans are kind of lucky. I was asked recently by someone who I would vote for in the current Canadian campaign, and I responded that I was glad that I could not (I am not a citizen, just a resident).* Why? Because I would have four or five candidates to choose from and picking the least worst is much harder.
* Another advantage--I was able to turn away a couple of Conservative folks who appeared at my door--sorry, I cannot vote, go away.Surely with four or five parties, one has to be attractive, right? Um, not so much. Process of elimination is the only way to go in my entirely theoretical ballot:
- We can include the Greens, but that would be an entirely wasted vote. They have not gained any seats in parliament as far as I can tell.
- The Bloc Quebecois: If you follow this blog, you know how I feel about Quebec separatism (they call it sovereignty, but who are they kidding? Only themselves if they think it works). Quebeckers will argue that voting Bloc gives Quebec sway in Ottawa. Sure. But as a spoiler since a successful bloc means no party gaining a majority, which might be fine. But since the BQ will not be in power under most potential realities, it is voting for a party that can only extort. For me, any vote for a party that promises secession is, well, voting for secession. That would be against my interests as an Anglophone in Quebec, and against Canada's interests and Quebec's as well, since another referendum, successful or not, will disrupt the economy and produce much animosity.
- The Conservatives? Um, what do they stand for? Not for the missions in Afghanistan--that would require standing up. For a variety of relatively right wing positions such as banning the registry of long guns (rifles, I guess). Not to mention that Harper has not been the most open, transparent, accountable of Prime Ministers. That the PM's Office writes the talking points of most/all government officials is perhaps even more problematic than stamping Harper government all over the place.
- The New Democratic Party [NDP]? Jack Layton is clearly the most "Prime Ministerial" of all of the party leaders, and is fighting a good fight despite fighting another fight--cancer. I do admire the man. The party, well, not so much. Not only do you have candidates talking about the "American war machine" in the context of the F35 debate (I don't mind opposing the US, just 1960's era mindless jargon), but the party's pacifism is not a stand I can support.
- More importantly, the party, which would seem to be for rights and freedom, always panders to the French nationalists within Quebec, siding with them when various issues come up where the NDP can support oppressing the Anglophones. They seem to be the only Federalist party using only French signs in Quebec. Their hypocrisy here bothers me far more than the other parties for some reason. I guess I am always annoyed when the self-righteous are so very wrong.
- But they are a party of panderers, as their latest promise to freeze tuition suggests. First, the Federal government here has no role to play on tuition since that is a provincial matter. Second, given how much the provinces vary in their tuition (it is still low across the board), there is nothing to this platform promise but a play to the young who may not understand math.
- Which leaves us the Liberals. Their leader, Michael Ignatieff, makes everyone believe the old saying: those who cannot, teach. Iggy just lack any credibility to be a decent Prime Minister. I am still frustrated that the Liberals ran away from the Afghanistan mission when they were the ones that started it. Their platform calls for more peacekeeping and less war-fighting. I really do not want to see the day that Canadian Forces are deployed again in a peace-keeping mission because the public and the Liberals will be upset when folks shoot at the CF whether they are wearing blue helmets or not. The world changed after Somalia and Rwanda and one of those changes is that the opponents in these kinds of missions will fire upon the folks from the international community to drive them away. If you are not prepared for that, then don't deceive everybody into thinking that it will be the 1960's all over again.