Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not 'Why An Election,' But 'Why Not'

Some people may cite the expense, some people may cite the inefficiency, but whatever the reason the general perspective in Canada is that an election right now is unwanted. I question that view and believe its not only antiquated, but reinforced by partisanship, sloth and apathy. It is the small masses who rise the simple and base objections against elections, where it is elections that lift us, they lift us all towards that democratic ideal. The democratic ideal of having a government that represents the people, not the people of some distant time, but of the people today.

The reasons against holding an election are simple and perpetuated solely by their traditional acceptance. We are shaped by our history to be reluctant of democratic renewals, for Canada was founded not out of a revolt for representation, but rather forged to end years of frequent elections. In the Province of Canada with numerous factions and coalitions, governments fell in rapid succession, elections were held within months of each other, and stagnation resulted. The thought that a greater population would offer political stability motivated confederation in 1867. The pursuit of political stability is the nature of our government, it is perhaps our most traditional value. This in great contrast to our American neighbours whose country was founded not to ensure stability, but more simply to ensure democracy.

It is from that foundational value that Canada has rationalized a hesitancy to hold elections; where instead of favouring elections, we question them.

Elections are expensive, that I will admit, the 2008 general election cost over 300 million dollars, however ensuring a representative government is something of which cost cannot calculate. Governments begin by our consent, they continue at our request, and they will end when our confidence is lost. Each member of the government is our representative chosen during an election based on their promises and platforms. As time progresses promises and platforms change and so too must our judgments.

The Canada of eight months ago is not the Canada of today. During the last election Stephen Harper promised we would not be in deficit, since then he has reversed that position, and has announced an ever-growing deficit now looming at 50 billion dollars. The main opposition party has a new leader in Michael Ignatieff and a new vision to offer Canadians. The international landscape has transformed with the global recession, the American dollar is threatened and China is investing more heavily abroad. The EU and the SCO each are further integrating and the whole of middle-east has been altered with Israel mentioning a two-state solution, Pakistan descending into a deep war with the Taliban, and Iran's recent election results. And in all this I dare not forget to mention the election of a new American President.

Neglecting the anacronistic reluctance gainst a federal election this July, the question should not be why do we need an election, it should be why do we not need one?

4 comments:

Tiny Perfect Blog said...

Poor little Liberal bloggers, they actually think Iggy is going to bring down the government.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

I don't think Ignatieff will. My post was actually criticizing people, more specifically, the reasons that suggest we should not hold another election so soon.

wilson said...

If Canadians thought your guy could do a better job than PM Harper,
the polls wouldn't read 78% against an election.

This is the people's Government,
not the Liberal's people.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Wilson, why not use a poll of harper's and ignatieff's support to as a possible gauge of which one Canadian's prefer?

Instead you use an unrelated poll concerning solely whether or not Canadians want an election. There are Liberals who don't want an election and there are Conservatives that do. To bring up that other poll is strange at best.

Canadians don't want an election because Canadians have never wanted an election so soon after a previous one. And they never have because most value political stability more then democracy.