Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Archive for May 2011

Why I’m Throwing My Support Behind The New Democrats

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Two years ago I would never have even thought of voting for a party this far on the left. Shit: up to two weeks ago it hadn’t even crossed my mind that a party who call themselves “new” even though they’ve been active for 40-plus years would get my X on the ballot. This is an election no one gave a shit about till polls showed the NDP in second place. I’ll admit it: I’m bandwagoning – but not without good reason. There are many aspects of a voter’s decision – pragmatism, selfishness, idealism, passivity, admiration and superficiality – all should, and have been, considered.

Let us start by laying out the options in this campaign. The Conservatives under Stephen Harper have managed to stabilize the economy, work to a capable degree with other parties in a minority government and not veer as far to the to the right as some on the left would like you to believe. This is why they got my vote in the last election – that right, I voted Tory in ’08. I have often argued in recent times against ethics and principles steering one’s views in such a dirty game as politics. However the second prorogation of parliament by Harper was a clear and unequivocal abuse of power. There is no use in arguing this point to the contrary. If legislative debate can be suspended for excessive periods of the time by the executive than representative democracy is no longer legally and/or actually respected in this country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pragmatist – the first prorogation, to avoid a coalition attempt, was for only 5 days but when the Prime Minister shuts down the government for half a session of parliament it indicates his disregard for the purposes of even voting for members of parliament in the first place. Sure, the country did not go to shit when Harper breached explicit ethical boundaries, but when authoritarianism veers its ugly head it always starts out on a good note.

Then we move to the government- (who thinks they are) –in-waiting. The Liberals are a party that quickly and eagerly overthrew the one major leader in probably all Western democracy that put environmentalism so high on the agenda. And whom do they replace him with? Someone who spent a quarter of a century outside the country in the ivory tower before returning and demanding to be Prime Minister. I truly believe Canada for a long time has been able to produce its’ own leaders and does not need to educate and train them abroad. I tip my hat to the Tories for attacking the Liberals on this point – it works. The fact that when Ignatieff’s nationalism became an issue the professor immediately wrote a book titled “True Patriot Love” only showcases his blatant shallowness.

I’d like to point out that as well as principles, superficiality for the first in this campaign has become an issue for me. Michael Ignatieff literally represents in my opinion, next to only cleaning a dirty vagina, what a douche bag truly is. Everything I loathe about intelligentsia is personified in this Anglo-American-Canadian. He just looks like the kind of professor that would give you a C- on a paper for no apparent reason except his elitism. And this is what the Liberals have campaigned on – Ignatieff’s goddamn image! They have dug they’re own grave.

On the other hand the NDP have run a quite admirable campaign. Attacking the left was on obvious and practical way to gain seats – it will work. The real wonder is the apparent success in Quebec. After winning a seat in the province for only the second time the New Democrats have gone after the Liberals hard in French Canada. They are taking a page out of the Tory book from the ’06 election except on the other side of the political spectrum. And for too long left-wing Quebeckers have only been given a meager choice between either one separatist party or one federalist party.  Also, in the last election I thought it was plainly ineffectual for Layton to be campaigning for Prime Minister – but by god it is paying off now.  Furthermore, if anyone from Newfoundland to BC was bored out of their mind on April 12th they may have caught part of the English leaders debate and had to notice Layton’s success in all the above points. I mean, for god’s sake, show up for work “Iggy!” Typical fucking professor canceling class without notice! Layton’s elder statesman appearance has also feasibly helped boost the respectability of his leadership.

The one leader who has arguably and ironically been favoured for almost the past decade is Duceppe. You’ve got to hand it to someone who truly believes in the annulment of a constitution yet also respects and understands all its institutions and procedures so well. I’ll honestly be sad to see him go – witch is likely even if he retains his seat but the Bloc loses as bad as the polls indicate – he’s an individual with clear ideals that is willing to compromise for step-by-step gains. He has provided some bluntness and charisma that you don’t see much from federal leaders. The attacks by Conservatives accusing the Bloc of “wanting to break up Canada” can only hurt the Tories in the province.

This campaign and election could have been typically boring-as-shit but it could be taking a turn no one saw coming.  A “New” party new again. My major regret in voting for the Old Social Democrats is leaving the Greens out to dry. For the past two years I would have voted for the environmentalist party on any occasion. They deserve representation and they would shake up this static political environment we have here in Canada. However a NDP opposition would be even more substantial – and, quite frankly, even more likely. Previously I had not voted strategically. In the last two federal elections I voted for a Liberal and a Conservative respectively – both losers. (I’ll insert another admission of guilt to being a voting-whore for now having cast ballots across the political spectrum) And I have never felt my vote was “wasted.” It was simply a silent declaration of what I wanted and it took no more effort what-so-ever than a 5-minute walk and a check on a ballot. However, this time it’s too close to call in Hamilton Mountain. The Liberals are running a “star” candidate and NDP could go down. I may make the smallest difference this election, finally.

For no better reason a social democrat government, or at the very least an official opposition, would ideally help a somewhat poor post secondary student like myself. And if anyone of you reading this wanted to disregard any of the further elaboration or explanation I have provided above and vote for a party based on reasoning of equal selfishness I would accept that as an absolutely appropriate political decision.

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Written by shanedantimo

May 2, 2011 at 2:22 am