If you’re Prime Minister Paul Martin, the weather in Canada’s current political climate is certainly frightful.
Canada’s political winds have blown heaps of metaphorical snow upon our Prime Minister, as the results of the Gomery Inquiry have been followed, inevitably, by the threat of an opposition defeat of his besieged government, which would force what may well be a Christmas election.
Unfortunately, it seems that many Canadians don’t want a Christmas election. To some, making important decisions about who will govern this country apparently takes a back seat to sipping Egg Nogg, hanging candy canes, and accumulating near-crippling Christmas-gift-related debt.
However, Canadians should welcome the idea of a Christmas election. What better time than Christmas to take this country in a new direction?
Hopefully, the outcome of a winter election can demonstrate once and for all that Canadians, like Santa, know who’s been naughty or nice. While many Canadians may be extremely reluctant to consider any of our politicians “nice” – especially Stephen Harper who, if you believe the typical ultra-lefty tripe, conspires with Ralph Klein to kick over orphans’ snowmen – at least we know who’s been really, really naughty.
Which would be – that’s right – the federal Liberals. And while many federal Liberal apologists out there will insist that the party itself is not to blame for adscam, the naughty list that is the Gomery report disagrees with them. It contends that the federal Liberal party is the only common factor amongst the planning and execution of this scandal, as well as its beneficiaries. In other words: they planned it, they carried it out, and they benefited from it.
This, however, hasn’t stopped Paul Martin from playing the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge, snorting “Bah! Humbug!” at the idea of respecting the wishes of Parliament and calling an election in January. Many accuse Stephen Harper, Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton of playing the role of the Grinch, conspiring to steal Christmas by forcing a yuletide vote that would draw the attention of Canadians away from the season’s traditionally festive matters. But it is Paul Martin who has forced Canada’s opposition parties into this corner, where they must either force a Christmas election, or allow the Liberals an additional four months to work on damage control.
Then again, Martin is shaping up to be an uncharacteristically generous Scrooge. Unsurprisingly, his government has stepped up to the tax relief plate and offered $37 billion in new spending, as well as retroactive tax cuts (amounting to hundreds of dollars per Canadian). But don’t let those visions of sugar plums dance in your heads just yet, kids; these generous Christmas presents – also known as bribes – are dependant upon the Liberal government surviving the next election.
All this aside, it is my greatest hope that the spirit of the season can convince the Conservative party and the New Democrats – who are usually bitter blood-enemies – to unite in the spirit of peace and harmony to hatch an agreement that would allow the two to form a coalition government in the wake of a Christmas election.
This could represent something of a plump Christmas goose for Canadians – the social conscience of the NDP, combined with the fiscal responsibility of the Conservative party. Perhaps, for once in a long time, the bulk of tax money spent on social services could actually go to front-line service, as opposed to being wasted in bureaucratic snowdrifts. Perhaps Canadians could even have a government that is less concerned with petty partisan politics, and more focused on the actual business of running the country.
Of course, that is merely a fringe benefit that will come with finally having a government that will at least promise not to steal Canadian tax dollars. Paul Martin’s Liberals won’t even do that.
This Christmas, give Canada the most precious gift of all – that of a new government.