An Analysis Of The 2015 Election In Canada

Well, the Liberals won. And hallelujah, and praise be to the Lord. Of course it is good that the Harper Conservatives are out. But let’s not get carried away.  We have a lot of work to do.

Because, as bad as the Harper government may have been, and was, and as much as it needed to be defeated, we cannot let the Liberals slide through the next four to five years: because they have shown such weakness, that that is an impossible stance for the public to take, to simply support them blindly. I know, the vast majority of Canadians have more passion about bacon, or doughnuts, than about politics, but this is the fact. And this statement about the Liberals is vastly too understated. I am being polite here. Maybe I should not be.

A Liberal win is just the beginning. We have seen a turn from Liberal to Conservative governments, and back and forth, over and over again. The people get fed up with the Conservatives, and then they vote in the Liberals. Then they get sick of the Liberals, and they vote in the Conservatives. How about we hold pressure on the government, whichever party it may be, and make them uphold policies that the people want?

Enough of voting in this or that monarchical power. How about the people taking the power back? Enough self-evisceration. Take your power back.

The media wants to portray Justin Trudeau as the savior. We have seen that before. I think he looks like an inexperienced kid, riding on his father’s coat tails – or, as David Suzuki said, a “twerp.”

Let’s not get too giddy about the defeat of Harper. Yes, he had to go. That does not mean that the all-knowing Queen Mom, or a white knight on horseback – depending on your ideology, or fantasy – is what we have in response.

What we have, by all indications, is a Liberal party in Canada that is ostensibly run by a child, with a party machine that is controlled by big oil and big business.

That is the reality of the Liberal Party in 2015. And it is a far cry from what most Canadians would hope for – and something they will likely tolerate for only a very short time.

Yes, it is good that Harper is out. But that does not mean that we coast, in true Canadian style, in apathy and passivity, until the next election.

I know, it is a lot to ask, considering everyone has such pressures on them: but hear me now – if we do not stand up for what we believe, and not just what we are opposed to, our country will drown, and we will, most certainly, drown with it.

This is only the beginning. Where we go from here, is entirely up to us.

Here are the criteria for sound and responsible government in Canada at this time – this is the critical test:

1. Shut down the tar sands. Every major environmental group on the planet says this has to happen. The tar sands amount to 2% of Canadian GDP. We can do better. The multi-billions spent on the tar sands in subsidies can be spent on green energy infrastructure, with more jobs and a stronger economy as a result.

2. No to NAFTA-based “free trade” agreements, such as CETA, the TPP and FIPA. Surrendering supra-national powers to large, trans-national corporations is not only anti-democratic, and foolish, but it is in violation of Canadian law – and the surrender of the powers of Parliament to a foreign power is the one law and transgression on the Canadian books punishable by the death penalty, as high treason, to be clear about the gravity of the action. Such deals are a definite no.

(See my articles on this subject elsewhere – I do not want to repeat myself again.)

3. Proportional representation – with no squirreling out of it, by way of obfuscating, disingenuous politics. If the Green Party, for example, gets 5% of the popular vote, then they get 5% of the seats in Parliament, and no less. Proportional representation without sleazy manipulations – period.

There is a serious popular movement with regards to the third point. There needs to be a much greater one with regards to the first two. But in any case, these are the three points upon which any government, Liberal, Conservative, NDP or otherwise, should most centrally be judged.

If the Liberal Party cannot deliver on these three points, at the very least, then we have cause for revolution. I know, the tepid thing to do would be to give the NDP a chance to also betray us – but we have no more time for that. Both the NDP and the Liberals have shown their allegiance to corporate powers. Surely, we can stand now.

I know, the Canadian habit is to suck on a soother, and hope for the best, but that is no longer acceptable.

Surely, after all we have been through, and seen, Canadians can not, any longer, take a back seat to politics, and complacently elect a new government that will do as they like for the next four to five years. Surely, we have seen enough, that we realize we must be involved. This is the least we can ask, and the least we can do. In a country steeped in apathy, surely, the call can go out for this much, if not much more.

I have faith in this country, and this people. We can do more than stand by, and watch our country burn to the ground.

Legalized marijuana, a slight decrease in middle class taxes, and a slight increase in taxes on the richest 1% – that seems to be about all that we got out of this election, and very little more. And it would require a very big bong for Canadians to be satisfied with that.

Justin Trudeau says Canadians “chose real change” in voting the Liberals into power. That would be hilarious, if it were not so sickeningly deceitful and hollow.

This is why I was furious last night, while the media talking heads and corporate poodles were euphoric and all a-gush over Trudeau Jr’s (or Jr, for short) win. Harper was a disaster. The Liberals will be only slightly less of a disaster. It’s good to see Harper go. But a win for the Liberal party is nothing to be jubilant about.

Harper was defeated. That is a good thing. But we cannot afford to be complacent in the face of this new Liberal government, which remains pro-pipelines, pro big oil, pro tar sands, pro free trade, and pro-corporate. On all of these points, the Liberals are a disaster in the making. We will have to push them hard. Extra-parliamentary politics have never been more important than now.

Forgive me that I am not with the media circus, in decrying Trudeau Jr. as the next saviour. I think we, as Canadians, are smarter than that. Let’s show strength. Press this new government on the issues that matter. This is not the end, but merely the beginning.

October 20, 2015

The ever-lucid Tom Walkom takes apart the rhetoric of the major parties with regards to the economy. (Walkom holds a PhD from York University in economics and is a long-time veteran journalist with the Toronto Star.) In short, all three major parties are a farce when it comes to the economy. They will have to be pushed hard on this issue, as with many others.

This Election Wasn’t About The Economy – Tom Walkom, Canadian Dimension

Where the parties stood on the issues at the eve of the election:

Voter’s Guide – Council of Canadians

Frankly, only the Greens have shown any spine, vision, integrity, or even basic sanity. The other three parties are supportive of disastrous “trade” deals, or more accurately, corporate rights deals, and in favour of tar sands development and pipelines. The first destroys our economy and our democracy. The second destroys our land and the earth. So the big three parties, including the Liberals, need to be pushed hard, if they are going to have any chance of doing the right thing. The battle has just begun.

3 Responses to “An Analysis Of The 2015 Election In Canada”

  1. jtoddring Says:

    I’ve been receiving a bit of flack from a few people for judging Trudeau and the Liberals before they have had a chance to prove themselves. But this is precisely the “wait and see” attitude which is so commonplace, and which I was warning against.

    The typical wait and see attitude lulls the people into a complacency and passivity, which seems rational and reasonable enough, but which, given the current state of the world, is extremely dangerous, if not positively insane – and also extremely negligent and irresponsible. The environmental crisis alone makes a “wait and see” attitude completely unsupportable as well as unconscionable.

    We need to be politically active, outspoken and engaged, not just in the run-up to elections, but at all times. And we need to press governments, whether they be new to power or long in power, to represent the desires and interests of the people, and not just the interests of powerful elites, such as the large corporations, for example.

    Moreover, there are major elements of policy in the Liberal platform that should concern us greatly – and we don’t have to speculate about what a Liberal government might or might not do, because they have announced their policy platform, and at least their promises, prior to the election. Major elements of the Liberal platform are terrible, and must be opposed from the very first day the new government takes power.

    The price of democracy, truly, is eternal vigilance, and there is simply no escaping it, unless of course, we wish to lose our democracy, and return to the state of feudal peasants, serfs, or slaves – which the corporate oligarchy is working hard to bring about, and with considerable, and considerably chilling, success already.


  2. I’m judging the Liberals based upon what they have already said they are going to do: continue to support the tar sands and the Keystone pipeline, which are utter environmental disasters, and support CETA, which is a NAFTA-style “free trade” corporate rights agreement which gives corporations the power to sue parliament for any new or existing legislation which negatively affects their profits, thus, over-riding and effectively nullifying democracy in Canada.

    So if they fail to do what they said they were going to do, in these regards, that would be wonderful, but I’m afraid that if we don’t press them very hard, they will do exactly what they said they would do, and that will be a disaster for Canada, for the environment, for the economy, as such “free trade” agreements destroy jobs and the manufacturing base, or what’s left of it, and it will be a disaster for democracy. So what I am saying is not based in cynical speculation or an inclination towards pessimism – it’s based on explicit Liberal statements about their own plans and policies.

    It’s great news that the Trudeau government has said to Obama that there will be an immediate removal of Canadian forces from Syria and Iraq. Our foreign policy has already improved by a very large measure under a Trudeau government. Now, we have to press Trudeau on domestic policy, the economy, the environment and trade, election financing reform, native rights, the over-turning of the unconstitutional and draconian, proto-fascist Bill C-51, and the introduction of proportional representation, among other pressing issues. We have a long way to go yet.


  3. jtoddring Says:

    One last thought: I want to be hopeful too – and I am hopeful, because there are very positive trends happening in the world. But I think we should be hopeful within the context of dealing with reality. If we’re not, then we’re not really being hopeful, we’re just living in a fantasy world.


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