I’ve always liked and admired our neighbors to the north. Leaving aside the muckety-mucks from eastern Ontario and just about anyone from Quebec, there are no more generous, gracious, and well mannered people on the planet. Taciturn and a little gruff at times (no more so than New Englanders), the same guy in the bait shop who unsmilingly sells you two dozen minnows would five minutes later give you the shirt off his back to keep you warm when, in your tenderfooted ignorance, you capsize your canoe into the most mind-numbingly frigid water imaginable.
In fact, that’s my only real beef with Canada; it’s too cold. As a kid, we took family vacations in the North Woods of Michigan so the occasional cold snap in July that necessitated the novelty of a roaring fire in the drafty old cottage’s fireplace was something I was used to. But Canada in July is different. Even when it’s warm – say around 80 degrees – there’s a whisper on the wind that speaks of coolness. It penetrates your skin all the way to your bones so that you’re never entirely comfortable without wearing a light jacket of some kind.
I think the windbreaker was invented in Canada.
In short, the Canadian people. like most people who live in democracies, are the salt of the earth. Also, like most people who live in democracies, they are in the aggregate much better humans than the people they’ve elected to represent them. It’s said that people who live in democratic societies get the kind of government they deserve. That just simply isn’t true. People don’t deserve to be lied to. They don’t deserve to be stolen from. And they don’t deserve to be treated as wayward children who need to have a bunch of bureaucratic nannies controlling every aspect of their lives. I would venture a guess that the saying about deserving a specific kind of government was invented by a liberal to explain why governments fail to live up to our modest expectations of honesty, integrity, and healthy libertarianism.
The truth of the matter is a little more prosaic; since governments are made up of imperfect human beings, we’re bound to be disappointed by them. The only thing that keeps us from going nuts is the realization we can try the whole miserable experiment again with another bunch of imperfect humans when elections roll around.
And this is what Canada will be facing in the next couple of months. It seems pretty clear that the Conservative Party is about ready to call for a no confidence vote in Parliament that, if successful, would bring about elections in late May or June:
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said Wednesday he has made up his mind and will ask his caucus on Monday to vote in favor of a non-confidence motion against the minority Liberal government at the earliest opportunity.
“This is not the way that parliament should ever work,” Harper said in a speech in Amherstberg, Ontario. “It’s the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen in all my years on Parliament Hill.
“This not how Parliament should work and as soon as we get back I will be asking our caucus to put this government out of its misery at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Harper is referring, of course, to the Adscam scandal whose revelations have rocked not only Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal Party government, but also threatened a unified Canada. Ed Morrisey explains:
One of the bitter ironies of the Canadian Adscam scandal involves the status of Quebec. Originally, the government launched the Sponsorship Program as a public-relations effort to convince Quebeckers that they are a vital part of the Canadian federation, hoping to combat the separatists that had gained enough political power to force a referendum on independence—which lost, but only narrowly, a few years ago. After seeing $250 million of Canadian tax money disappear into the pockets of Liberal Party activists and the party coffers, however, the momentum away from separatism has been reversed. Now 54% of Quebec favors separation from Canada in some form.
Harper is also referring to one of the more cynical and shameless moves I’ve ever seen a politician make; Martin’s desperation deal with the ultra-liberal NDP party on the government’s budget that incorporates many of the leftists’ legislative priorities into the budget process. It’s a shameless move on the part of both Martin and NDP leader Jack Layton because Martin has sold out his own party’s legislative agenda for the sole purpose of garnering NDP votes in any no confidence motion in Parliament. And Layton has made a deal with a corrupt government to boost his party’s electoral prospects with Canadian moonbats by giving them things near and dear to their hearts:
Layton said new areas of spending would include investments in education and training, an acceleration of the gas tax transfer to the provinces, a “significant investment” in building more affordable housing and an increase in foreign aid.
All this is new spending not included in Finance Minister Ralph Goodale’s budget.
Another sign of desperation has Martin and his ministers criss-crossing Canada in what the Canadian press has cynically dubbed “The Sorry as Hell” tour:
Critics are fuming over the Liberal government’s tax-funded cross-country travels they’re dubbing the “Sorry as Hell Tour.” Prime Minister Paul Martin, cabinet ministers and Grit MPs have been fanning out across the country, doling out goodies on a national image-boosting exercise.
Calling it a “deja vu” of last year’s “Mad as Hell Tour,” John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, insisted the Liberals should be footing the bill for partisan events.
Good luck with that, Mr. Williamson. Trying to shame a politician into doing the right thing is a futile exercise – especially when it comes to their political survival.
Even though the Conservatives hold a lead over Martin’s sticky fingered Liberals, it remains to be seen whether or not the Tories can win an absolute majority in Parliament that would give them the levers of government. At 99 seats, the Conservatives would have to win 54 additional seats in an election to unseat Martin. Theoretically, they could win less than that and try to create a coalition with the Bloc Quebec party who currently hold 54 seats themselves but the price for those votes may be too high. In which case, there would be a real scramble for power with some good old fashioned back room dealing that would make the survivor of such a scenario the proprietor of a pretty shaky government.
Alas, the Canadian people deserve better.
Cross-Posted at Blogger News Network
Angry in the Great White North has an excellent but disturbing post on something that Captain Ed touched on; the break up of the Canadian nation:
Federal money goes in large quantities to Quebec in order to entice them to stay in Confederation, to keep that single leg upright and continue to prop up the country. It’s no wonder that many want to secede. For them, it is a mixture of a desire to make their own future unfettered by concerns in other parts of the country, other parts that have given up on their original role in keeping Canada together. It is also a realization that the effort spent by the Rest of Canada on keeping Quebec would probably better be spent on their own problems and on their own future.
The Rest of Canada is coming to that realization now. Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more people in the Rest of Canada would just skip a referendum altogether and just send Quebec on its way. With all three legs gone, the system would collapse completely. But this might not be a bad thing in the end. Any engineer will tell you that a system that is wildly unstable is dangerous. It is also expensive, requiring constant work and input of energy to remain in a quasi-stable state. If it allowed to collapsed, the components will seek the low-energy state. From there a new system can be created, hopefully in a new configuration that is highly stable.
Read the whole thing.