Wanderings – Election this fall? No thank you

If you believe the pundit-class in media, Canadians will be going to the polls sometime before the end of the year in a federal election. That is the cure for what ails the country after 18 months of pandemic responses, shutdowns and lockdowns, and the plethora of things that go with it. Marking an X on a piece of paper.

We’ve been here before. The call for politicos to return to the campaign trail was made the morning after the election results were revealed – and rightfully so. No one party won a majority. These parties would have to do something shocking – work together. A minority government goes against the very nature of the über-partisan politics that most mainstream parties now espouse. Sorry, that cannot happen. Back to the ballot box with thee. Why would – or should – Canadians expect politicians of different political stripes to work together? We should know by now that is not how politics really work in 2021.

Politics is no longer the art of compromise, where opposite sides come together, work out their issues and create good policy. Or at least create a not-so-bad-policy-that-everyone-can-live with and that policy still does something positive for the country.

Politics, at least at the federal and provincial levels, is about gamesmanship and oneupmanship. Its settling scores and undoing the work of past governments because the new government’s view is opposite. Why do better when it is easier to say how the other person/leader/party screwed up?

When you take the political-tinted glasses off, you can see the partisanship ooze from every announcement or press release.

Even congratulatory messages now have backhanded comments implanted to score cheap political points. Who gives those points? The partisans of course. Here is something to consider. When everyone carries their own score card, and partisan friends assign the political points – does the competition still matter?

Politics is becoming more like the show Whose Line is it Anyway? That show’s introduction reads, “The show where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.”

All the above does not answer the question of whether we should have an election this fall. No.

Federal politicians were elected in the fall of 2019 for a four year term. They were also given no clear majority. Voters spoke loudly then and said “work it out together.”

Canada, like the rest of the world, is still mired in the COVID-19 pandemic. If you cannot go inside a restaurant to sit and have supper with your family, you shouldn’t be forced to endure an election. One that will give the same results as two years ago. MPs on Parliament Hill should look at the calendar, see that they are two years short on their four-year term, and get back to work.

Originally published in the June 30, 2021 issue of The Morrisburg Leader.