Saturday, September 13, 2008

Canada, Mean ? ? ? ?

Yesterday Slate published an excellent piece by Christopher Flavelle summarizing the state of today's Canadian politics. Thanks to our friend IP at Idealistic Pragmatist for pointing us to it. Read the whole article here.

What's the Matter With Canada?

How the world's nicest country turned mean.
By Christopher Flavelle - Friday, Sept. 12, 2008

Last Sunday, news came that Canada—sensible, quiet, some would even say boring Canada—will hold an election on Oct. 14, its third in four years. Those outside the country may wonder what the problem is; in Canada, after all, health care is free, the dollar is strong, same-sex marriage is legal, and the government had the good sense to stay out of Iraq. You might think of Canada as the un-America, where the only debate ought to be whether to spend the country's growing oil wealth on faster snowmobiles, bigger hockey rinks, or Anne Murray box sets.

But beneath the calm exterior, Canada's political system is in turmoil. Since 2004, a succession of unstable minority governments has led to a constant campaign frenzy, brutalizing Canada's once-broad political consensus and producing a series of policies at odds with the country's socially liberal, fiscally conservative identity. Canada is quietly becoming a political basket case, and this latest election may make things even worse.

Just scan the headlines. In June, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that Canada—for years the only G8 country to post regular budget surpluses—was likely to fall into deficit this year, thanks to a reckless cut to the national sales tax. In February, the government proposed denying funding to films and TV shows whose content it deemed "not in the public interest," sparking cries of censorship from a sector that has historically received public support. In 2007, a member of the governing Conservative Party proposed a bill that would reopen the debate over abortion, a topic that governments both liberal and conservative have avoided for decades.

Please read the whole article. I know, I know, what does a USian writer know about Canadian politics? Read it. You'll see.

And then, those of you that can vote, please do.

Those of us that can't are depending on you . . . .


cls said...

Don't worry! I'm doing my best. I've even donated money, as well as my time! Watch out John Baird! Bwahaha!

West End Bob said...

Good grief, is John Baird your MP?

You poor thing . . . .