Thursday, April 21, 2011

Elections, eh?

I'm sure that to most Americans, the only thing more boring than Canada is Canadian elections, and that's quite understandable. While Americans took the great step forward of electing their first black president in the last presidential election, we Canucks now have the opportunity of taking the great step sideways of re-electing a man with all the charisma of a piece of wood, or replacing him with another man with all the charisma of a piece of wood.

This differs from the last election in that we had a different another man with all the charisma of a piece of wood, and the previous one in that we had yet another different another man with all the charisma of a piece of wood. Of course we do have two major parties with radically different platforms - one, if re-elected, will take our money to benefit their friends in big oil, while the other, if elected, will take our money to benefit their friends in, well, just their friends.

Where Americans had to decide based upon the great issues of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, public health care, and saving millions of people's homes from foreclosure, we have to decide based upon the great issues of whether we will pay more taxes or pay more taxes, whether a major urban bridge should fall down sooner or later, and saving some members of Parliament (what we call Congress) from receiving a lifetime pension after only two years in office.

Americans get to see their politicians caught (literally) with their pants down in things like the blue dress scandal; the most exciting thing that has happened in the personal life of Canadian politicians in the last ten years was when a poor little rich girl dumped both her boyfriend and her party to accept a cabinet post from the other party, in what can only be termed the pinstripe slumber. Ironically, she lost her seat (if not her pants) in the next election when her new party went down to defeat, which is the only kind of going down that happens in Canadian politics.

Our good neighbours have presidential elections every four years that last for two years; we have federal elections every two years that last for about a month, which most of us find way too long. The longest-serving party leader is still known primarily for how silly he once looked in a hairnet while visiting a cheese factory, some 14 years after it happened.

American presidential candidates have included war heroes, movie stars, activists, lawyers, peanut farmers, and more; our Prime Ministerial candidates have included lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, and more lawyers. No wonder we keep getting screwed. And overbilled.

I guess these contrasts are what you get when you compare a country based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with one based on peace, order, and good government. Oh well, two out of three ain't bad.

1 comment:

  1. Good government, eh? Is there such a thing? Of course, you gave me an out with the "two outta three ain't bad" comment. After the last twenty years in American politics you make me want to move to Cañada. Well, except for that tax issue you mentioned...


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