So it was election night in Canada yesterday. The Conservatives won, sadly. But I'm not as disappointed as a lot of my friends are:
First, it's a minority governement, so they'll need the support of other parties to stay in office. The other parties usually being more centered or left-leaning, they'll have to move their ideology toward the center.
Second, Stephen Harper, the Tory leader, said he won't send troops to Iraq, despite previous support to the war while in the official opposition. He actually said not long ago that he was "extremely disappointed" the US couldn't proove there was WMDs in Iraq.
Same thing with abortion; Despite personal views that seem to lean toward pro-life, Harper promised not to change Canada's abortion laws. Good thing.
Of course, it happened before that election promises were not fulfilled, think of Jean Chretien's Liberal promise in 1993 of eliminating the GST (The Conservatives, who created the tax in the first place now want to reduce it from 7% to 6%, then later to 5% and the Liberals, who fought it and got elected partly due to their word of eliminating the sales tax are now strong defendants...Strange world), but the new government being a minority one, it leads me to believe that they won't be allowed to mess up too much, either by going extreme or by not fullfiling the promise on which they were elected.
Personally, I don't mind the GST, reducing income tax sounds more interesting, mostly because it favours saving instead of spending(And I spend a lot!). It just sucks to add the amount to whatever you buy, but we got used to it by now.
I like the Tories project to give more autonomy to Quebec on the international scene, mostly on the cultural and linguistic questions. Lets just see where it will lead. The topic might be important if they want to keep power, the Bloc Quebecois being extremely sensitive on those questions (and every other social aspect, usually being left-wing), they might play the fact that they hold the balance of power, a very interesting position in a federal parliament for a sovereignist (or separatist as English-Canadians say) party.
On the bad side, the Conservatives are thinking of bringing the same-sex marriage debate back on. I mean, come on, the law was adopted, most of Canadians either support or don't mind the law and honestly, the stupid "tradition and family" argument is getting old. It will never stop heterosexuals from getting married and besides, heteros screwed up big time with marriage as an institution anyway.
I also don't like Harper's plan of re-thinking Canada's position in the US anti-missile shield plan...Why? Honestly! But I have to agree on beefing up Canada's military. Canada always had a huge role on peacekeeping missions and we now have limited and exhausted ressources streching all over the world. Here, it's not a question of aggressive military presence, but helpful peacekeeping and assistance, which is for me, the way an armed force should be designed in the first place: Defensive and Peacekeeping force with strong natural disaster/humanitarian relief training and skills home and abroad.
It would also be a good thing to get a stronger presence in our Arctic territories, mostly since those few incursions by US subs and those claims by the US that the Northwest passage is actually "international waters". In those times of global warming where this passage might become a year-long commercial route , it's important to show up there to back up our claims and control traffic through our territory. And then, there is that minor dispute with Denmark over that small island between Canada and Greenland. A war between Denmark and Canada over that small rock is simply impossible (Can you imagine? It would almost be funny, more absurd than that UK/Argentina clash over the Falklands in 1982). But it kind of sucks when our politicians say it always was part of our country, cancel a military flight to the island in order to avoid upsetting Danish sensibilities, and then find themselves with a big Danish army show on the same island a week later...Nice one!
So, yeah, being a minority government, I think we'll be back at the polls in the next 2 years, and hopefully I'll be able to vote this time. Last year, I couldn't vote because I was in the middle of the woods, planting trees when the election happened. This time, I could have voted here in Alberta, but honestly, my vote wouldn't have made a difference, all the ridings here elected a Tory by huge margins. I didn't want to vote Tory, my vote could have made a little bit of a difference in my Quebec riding, mostly since I was not sure between the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP. I tried getting on the list up there and it was too complicated and long for the time remaining before the election. Here in Banff, you always lose count of the date!
Okay, enough politics for a while, I love it but I usually find myself alone in a room when the subject arise.
Remi is leaving to Montreal tomorrow. He's been here since April and tonight, there probably will be a memorable party. Will post on that tomorrow.
I am working early tomorrow and I plan to have a blast tonight, so time for a nap!