So, on Tuesday morning the Canadian parliament was dissolved. Kindof expected really. I feel a little silly for not paying attention to Canadian issues of late, I guess I've been in my own little world here.
Anyway, so here's my basic thoughts on the main parties from what I remember of the last election not so long ago:
- Liberals: Scandal, corruption, etc. You can't really get away with that without a few limbs torn off. I am glad that in Canada such crimes don't go entirely unpunished. Or, at least the ones that get caught anyway. I agree with some of their philosophy, but for a "liberal" party they're pretty neutral as far as making changes goes. They've been in power for a long enough time to be a little stale. I still like them better than the conservatives though. Paul Martian has a little bit of charisma I think, but there is something about him I still don't fully trust.
- Conservatives: In the last election the conservatives, to me, seemed to run on "The liberals suck, and your only other option is to vote for the PCP" (Progressive Conservative Party). I don't like Stephen Harper as a National leader, he's better as a winy opposition pawn disagreeing adamantly with everything Paul Martian says. The PCP also ran on a platform of anti-gay marriage by way of parliament having the right to overturn Supreme Court rulings. I can't agree with that... The Supreme Court of Canada is there as the non-political final say on matters of Constitutional law. It ensures that a government can't make a politically pressured decision that breaks our fundamental laws (aside from that interesting notwithstanding clause we have...). Judges shouldn't have to consider political retribution for making the proper decision even if unpopular. The system is set up as a balance. The PCP wants to change that balance to keep some "traditional family values" intact, whatever those are these days.
But beyond my general disdain for Stevie H and the party philosophy, there is one final reason I can't even consider voting for the PCP: Rob Anders, the useless PCP candidate from my riding, Calgary West. Man, I listened to this guy speak at the University of Calgary (which is in my riding) and he had NOTHING useful to say. He was a talking head, spouting "well the liberals are bad and therefore vote for me" to any question. The crowd was yelling at him for not engaging. It was sad. It was small-time George Bush except worse. The green party candidate answered her questions better, and she was just some new graduate. I'll rant more about this tool Rob later. However, he still got 55% of the vote in an area where a lot of students live. Why? A lot more old people live in this area.
- NDP (National Democratic Party): First, I think that the minority government was a good thing for Canadians in general. Nobody had enough power to power something through. And the swing votes were pretty much held by the NDP, who I generally agree with (more socialistic and "liberal" than the Liberals, in general). I'm still not 100% sure about all of their platform, I'll have to review it again. But I like them better than the Liberals and the PCP for sure. I actually find Jack Layton trustworthy, even if he looks like a boyscout with a stick up his ass.
- Green Party: Yep, I voted green last time. Why? Isn't that throwing my vote away? Hellllll NO. See, federal funding for parties is based on % votes received now and not seat count in parliament. I don't really agree with all of the Green philosophy or think its 100% realistic, but its an ideal really. See my philosophical ideal lies somewhere between Green Party and NDP, with a little Liberal in there too for the hell of it. By voting for the Green Party, I'm pulling the political spectrum ever so slightly towards my ideal. 4.3% of Canadians voted Green. That's quite a few people. 7.6% of people in my riding voted Green. That's one of the highest rates in Canada. But they didn't win any seats. However, for every Canadian that votes Green, it makes the big 3 parties above notice a little bit more about what some Canadians want.
Anyway, I still haven't had a beer (or any alcohol) in over a week, as per my decision... and hey! I'm tired now... 2:08 am. Sweet.