It Happened to Me

It must be election time…

…because Dad’s laying down the law.

Yesterday afternoon, after arriving back in Accordion City,
I dropped by Mom and Dad’s place. It’s near the airport, and it was a
nice thing to do since I’d missed the weekly family dinner on account
of being in Boston for the weekend.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen the news,” Dad said, while I told him
about my trip, “but they’ve announced a date for the election.”

“June 28th,” I said. “I saw the papers during my stopover in Montreal.”

“You know, this family votes always votes Liberal. Always.” he said emphatically, with a glance that seemed to say If the Conservatives win, all us coloured folk will be rounded up within a half hour and put to work in the salt mines.

I always take Dad’s advice under consideration, but I also am old
enough to know when Dad is right and when is isn’t. Cases in point: he
once thought that my strong interest in computers was not a real
academic pursuit and detracted from my high school studies, and there’s
that really bad Bert Convy perm he once had in the seventies.

However, he is no stranger to politics. His father and mother were in municipal politics in the Philippines. His cousin, General Renato deVilla,
was the secretary of defense and a presidential candidate. He’s done
his share of work with people in both the provincial and federal
governments here in Canada. Most importantly, he engineered our
departure from the Philippines during Marcos’ dictatorial flip-out, an act aided, abetted and ignored by the Americans (Bush 41 once toasted Marcos with “We love your adherence to democratic principles” while the opposition was either in exile or jail), who needed Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Station.

I smirk every time David refers to Canada as a “dictatorship” (albeit a Disneyland one) or Kathy calls Canada a “banana republic with snow”; they’re both nice folks, but I worry that they’d fold like cheap furniture during a real crisis.

A friend of mine is voting NDP — not
because she thinks they’ll win, but to have them garner enough seats to
keep whomever wins in check. My opinion is that if you’re going to vote
for a party that can barely organize a beer run — and even then, not
without going into committee and calling in a sensitivity consultant —
go all the way and vote for the Natural Law Party of Canada.

She also suggested that the resort that my family is building in the
Philippines should be an ecotourism one, and I managed to fight off the impulse to roll my eyes. Not messing up our own backyard
is part of the plan, but making it the primary selling point makes about as much
sense as promoting a restaurant that sells watery plebian beer and
just-passable food solely on the strength of its big-breasted

Oh, wait…

Let me be clear right now: only severe brain damage or the promise of a
free bionic leg and kidney for Dad would ever get me to vote for the Bloc Quebecois.

Vive la rue Dorchester!

So here I sit in the political centre, going: “Liberals? Conservatives? Liberals? Conservatives?” Looks like I have some reading and candidate meetings in my future.

Feel free to throw in your two cents; that’s what the comments are for…

14 replies on “It must be election time…”

sponsorship scandal, hrdc waste, gun registry waste,… can’t stand gov’t waste!?… by the way, loved your Canadiana post (‘almost 30 years later…’)…

So far this election campaign, I don’t want to vote for any of them. They spend all their air-time arguing about who loves health care the most, and calling each other names. Except for the Bloc that is, but I don’t think you folks in Toronto are likely to vote for them.
The liberal line “Stephen Harper wants to do to Canada what Mike Harris did to Ontario” rings true to me. That does seem to be what he wants to do. And then there’s the whole Iraq war thing. Harper is a bit too “gung-ho” on military intervention for my taste. That he tries to hide it is even worse.
Some of the Conservative criticism of Paul Martin is roughly on target, too. He does seem to have a habit of making grandiose speeches full of empty promises. But then, they all do that. It’s a relatively harmless habit.
I kinda like the NDP. They’re so… democratic. They don’t have a rigid, simple-minded party dogma, which seems to be the substance of your shot at them. But I do seem to remember that they make a pretty decent opposition party in parliament.
I think it’s probably best if the Liberals win again, though I’m not sure if I’ll go so far as to actually vote for them.

Elections are simple (well in principle they are…) You just vote for the party that you think will represent you and your ideas the best.
Personally I don’t consider myself conservative and I can not imagine that I would vote for the Conservatives. I would like to see the NDP more more to the middle so it would attract more voters. I don’t think it would be bad if we would end up with the liberal minority since after all the scandals, it’s time to put them back on earth.
Unfortunately, the Canadian democracy doesn’t offer many choices (almost as bad as the Americans…). I wish there would be more political parties since there is not a real alternative for the liberals which is why they will always be a big power. I think that there are plenty of people who are going to vote for Liberals again even if they were not happy with them…

The relentless focus on “The Leader” obscures the fact that you can’t vote for Prime Minister, you can only vote for your MP. In your case Joey, you can choose (you’re in Trinity-Spadina, right?) between Olivia Chow (NDP), who has been actively involved in the community for years, or Tony Ianno (Gliberal) who has one of the worst attendance records in the current Parliament.
Instead of looking at the party, you should choose on the basis of who would best represent your interests as an MP. Considering how badly Gliberal MPs have treated Accordion City, why should you reward abuse?

More political parties sounds nice in principal – the reality is Italy. I’m sorry, but I like the starkness of our political choices – it makes you really consider what you think is a priority. That is if you vote – if you don’t you can respectfully go stick your head where you keep the shrivelled remains of your franchise. (Sorry, I get pretty pissed about this sort of thing.)
As for your dad’s “vote Liberal or call yourself Villa-less”, I’m sorry but I just hear your dad doing what the Liberals rely on all recent or onetime immigrants to do – support their party as a matter of faith, without really questioning what they really do or stand for. My family were Liberal for years, NDP before that, and CCF before that (my grandfather was treasurer for the local CCF candidate during the Depression), but this might be the year I go Tory, just because I won’t reward the Liberals for sponsorship (or military de-funding, or a hundred lies, or their Quebec policies, or…), and my blood runs cold whenever I look at Jack Layton.

More political parties sounds nice in principal – the reality is Italy

Italy is one of the examples but so is the Netherlands and there political landscape is lot less quite than Italy. Having more political parties works there. And having lived in Netherlands many years, I think that the Canadian character has certainly a lot more in common with the Dutch than the Italian so I don’t know why it would not work here.
Having said that, you could have too many. I just wished there was an alternative so that every party knew that they could not sit back but that they have to be on their toes all the time. The fact that Liberals will still be the biggest party after the elections despite the recent scandal just proofs that point.

I can’t say I’m in love with everything about the Liberals. They’ve sure got their share of problems, and could use a wake up call. Whatever I think of the Liberals, I’m freightened to imagine Harper in charge – or even with too much power.
I remember watching debates for the Conservative leadership and that he struck me as being a real jerk. I paint him as a anti-abortion, conservative religious, very Bush-like (even the cowboy mentality), who is ready and willing to stand with the Americans on any issue solely because we’re allies. And what’s the platform? Less government and taxes? A fend-for-yourself American-style system of healthcare/gov’t/etc? I like the US and have a lot of respect for what they have, but Harper seems like the Bloc Qu

Richard > Rick: Dutch-style proportional representation certainly gives one a wider range of choices than Canadians have at the moment. I don’t think the challenges of Italian politics can be blamed entirely on their electoral system …
Joey: Your remark about David calling Canada a Disneyland “dictatorship” and Kathy calling Canada a “banana republic with snow” reminds me of one of my earliest experiences with Canadian politics – some or other Vancouver student politician calling the Chretien government “fascist” in 1998. I am always really, really irked by Canadians on the Right and the Left who indulge in that kind of hyperbole. It demeans the experience of people who endure(d) life in REAL dictatorships, banana republics, and fascist states, and it makes it impossible to talk seriously and intelligently about the fine nuances of politics in a constitutional democracy. Heck, there are things about Canadian politics and Canadian culture that I find Bad with a Big B, but for a banana republic dictatorship experience, go work for a newspaper in Zimbabwe or for a labour union in Colombia for a few years!

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