Well the Federal election has come and gone this week.
And what an election it was. The Conservatives were returned with a majority in Parliament and the Offical Opposition Liberal party was reduced to rump status while the socialist NDP replaced the Bloc in Quebec as well as becoming the Official Opposition. Oh yes, the Greens also elected their leader to a seat for the first time in political history - more on that later.
So what happens now?
First the Conservatives with a majority can now pass laws that reflect their aspirations and not have to compromise with other parties as in past when they were a minority government. I think you will see legislation removing the registry for long guns (rifles and the like) which has annoyed voters in rural parts of Canada.
There will be a move to restrict or eliminate the single order desk monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board. Many farmers have chafed at the Board over the years and say they can get better pricing on the world maeket for their product than the Board could. Ironically there is no similar move to do the same with the Cheese and Milk Boards in Quebec - another example of bowing to political threats from that Province in terms of leaving the Confederation.
There might also be legislation to remove public funding of political parties. This would force parties to rely on fundraising and donors rather than the public purse. With the Conservatives being very good at fundraising, this will benefit their party to the detriment of the others.
Increased funding and capital equipment purchases for the military will occur much to the dismay of the socialist Opposition.
Commitments militarily internationally will be maintained.
The new Official Opposition will have a steep learning curve to go through in a very short time. A large number of their members are first timers and will have to adapt quickly to the games in Ottawa. already one senior member has been quoted as saying that he did not believe that Osama Bin Ladin was killed and that no photographs exist of this. Another does not even live in her riding. Another was a former Separatist - is there such a thing as a former Separatist anyway?
If you had watched the post election speech of the leader of the NDP, you might have been forgiven if you has thought that that party had won the election. A lot of talk of what they are going to do and what changes they are going to achieve.
I think that they should have realized that even though they have risen greatly in seats elected, their ability to influence government policy has diminished greatly. When there was a minority government in power, the NDP were vital to its survival, so all legislation basically had to meet with their approval or the government would face defeat. Well with there now being a majority in power, that approval is no longer required.
Also now the NDP has to present rational, plausible and intelligent platforms and ideas to the Canadian public to press their case to become the Government.
Lost in the glow in the NDP headquarters is the fact that many Quebecois have switched from the separatist Bloc to their party but still have the same political goals. That is that this may be the last chance for this country to achieve some type of accord with Quebec and finally assure their place in Canada or if this fails, will drive them completely into the Separatist camp once and for all with the possible removal of Quebec from Canada. An irony of this is that with the defeat of the Bloc leader in this election, he will be getting a obscene pension plan from the country he wants to leave in value that the ordinary person can only dream of.
You ever notice that the spending and pensions of politicians are never voted on by their employer - the public?
The Liberals (and their Leader who also lost his seat) are now in a rebuild mode that may take a decade or more before they can return as the natural governing party of the country. Indeed many observers believe that the merger of the Liberals and the NDP is not too far off and the result will leave Canada like the United States with a 2 party system of right wing and left wing philosophies.
And we come to the single seat Green Party, hmm....as with the case of the NDP, if you had listened to them election night you would have thought they were elected with a majority.
Oh yes, the next 4 years will be very interesting indeed.
Was it just me or did everyone find it a little weird that following the announcement from President Obama that special forces had killed Osama Bin Ladin that there was a chorus of voices raised asking it is legal? Even in the United States?
Are they kidding us?
Here was a man who admitted and bragged about masterminding the attacks on the twin towers, Pentagon, botched attempt on the White House, the USS Cole, 2 embassy attacks and people ask if this was legal?
What are those people thinking of anyway?
The next time an IED explodes and kill forces in Irag or Afghanistan, will the same chorus emerge?
I doubt it.
It is waaaaaaay too easy to sit in your easy chair munching on snacks, watching a huge plasma TV to be critical of those defending freedoms and your basic rights than to participate in any way at all in the basic rights of freedom and democracy. Let someone else do the dirty work but stand by to criticize if you feel slightly uneasy about the process. Freedoms and rights once lost are very hard if not impossible to regain.
One only has to look at recent history in Germany in the '30s where a nation stood by passively while an insane man and his minions lead the globe to another world war.
On another front, finally planting our garden starting today. What a wonderful way to spend an incredible amount of time and effort to produce food that ripens all at the same time and has to be eaten withing a week or so. Dusting, weeding, watering, fretting - how wonderful is that ?
Going to get the old bike out of hiding this week and give it a whirl.
It will probably be quite the sight to see this old fart wheezing and puffing like crazy - as he struggles with all his might to get his arse on the seat! Who knows what the actual driving will look like!
Oh well, beats the heck out of power walking at the mall with the seniors club!
In that vein, take care out there,