Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alliance Good. Coalition Bad. Ugh.

I don't know what's worse, the shenanigans of this Harper Government, or the attitude of the supporters.

I am not surprized when the Conservatives try for a majority. With a stacked Senate, they can dismantle abortion rights, and outlaw gay marriage, and to do this under the guise of stewardship of the economy. They don't have much to tout, since blowing a billions of dollars surplus, creating a defecit by overspending and handing the money to buddies is nowhere near good stewardship. It isn't surprising because it's a pattern followed before, and there will be a turnaround again, and they will soon (if not this election, then next) hand the reigns to someone else to clean up the mess. Then they will blame the tightening of budgets and fiscal mess on their successor. Mulroney did it. Eves and Harris did it in Ontario. It's failed Reaganomics 101. Conservatives have shown they can't be successful for more than six years or so in office because they can't keep the economy healthy that long.

This does not bother me. What bothers me is the 'do or die' attitude of their supporters. Theirs are a certain type of personality, or certain types combined. At risk of offending, I will not single out. There are many older people who support the Conservatives because they always have, and they don't look beneath the veneer to see that this is nowhere near the Conservative party they and their parents supported. I don't want to alienate them, because I know so many, and at the very worst, their hearts are in the right place.

The ones I am afraid of are the ones who are angry and crave that 'protest vote', people who want to be vindicated by their vote, that want their vote is more than just a vote, a statement or a message they want to send to their political parties. They don't just want to be the one in thirty-six million who gets lost in the system of ridings and one vote per person. They think 'take this! Look, I'm voting because I'm mad about the sponsorship scandal!' One, reading all the anti-Harper arguments, wrote simply: "Your anti-Harper vitriol and bias will make victory all the sweeter."

So it's not about the issues, it's about winning. These are the same fifteen percent of the population who vote based on who they think will win, while ignoring the issues. They right now support a party held in contempt of parliament, with a five-time convicted fraudster allowed to advise the PM at the same time as kicking out supporters at a rally for having a picture on their Facebook!

We should all be scared in any democracy about this polarization at all cost, because there is no way to sway these people. They are like the brown shirt supporters of Hitler in the early 1930s. There is no concise argument for them to be won over. For them, it is Conservative or bust, because they've based the last decades of their political rants on several key points that are probably long dead, and they were so vitriolic they believe they'd look like an idiot recanting.

They could not be more wrong. Politics is not static. It changes. It reminds me of the Unionist who talks about the Union gains of the early part of the century under Conservative governments as a justification of voting for them now. It does nothing to add to the debate, and nothing to better the system. It merely adds gum to the system and disallows movement, much like the two party system down south has entrenched itself. The Conservatives in office now could not be more anti-union, and it would only take one majority before they would have us on the same road as Wisconsin, Florida, and New Hampshire, with all our essential services cut to the bone.

The attitude is frustrating. Sometimes I think it's just better to leave Alberta their Conservatives/Reform/Alliance Party, and let them become regional like the Bloc. Perhaps it's better to just let them ride high on their oil money while their Province falls apart, and then come crawling back when the boom is over, like they have before, when they need Ontario's service economy to power them back out of the bust. But then, that wouldn't be Canadian of us, would it?

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