Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Map of how Canada voted yesterday. Thanks to CBC. Click to enbiggen.
So we've given Stephen Harper a majority Conservative government. Finally. It took him three elections. This is the man who prorogued parliament twice when things got too sticky for him and also he has been held in contempt of parliament. A man known as "Bush-lite" for his fundie principles and his belief in reducing taxes for the rich. A man who makes a lot of promises but has yet to be seen to fulfil any of them.
The good news is the Bloc Quebecois, a thorn in the side of federal Canada with its demands for independence, has been virtually wiped out by the NDP (thank you Jack Layton). AND our first Green member has been elected. Thank you Elizabeth May. Newfoundland and Labrador did not let me down either and turned their backs completely on the Conservatives and went Liberal, just about, all the way. Ontario, my old province, supported Conservative. Overwhelmingly.
The NDP were the huge surprise in all of this, gaining many seats and are now the offical opposition, crushing the Liberals, led by Michael Ignatieff, a man no one seems to like - wishy washy, non-charismatic, milque toast, his reputed intelligence never visible. He had the added humility of losing his seat.
Interesting times. Harper has always terrified me. He was held back by his minority status in the past but given this majority standing, I fear for our environment, our health care system, our arts and culture programmes and the status of women.
Elsewhere, the bloodlust for Osama Bin Laden is, well, unseemly at best, degrading and demeaning at worst. Reminiscent of the barbaric treatment of Saddam. The high road is always preferable and the speedy disposal of his body raises many questions. The cost of this so-called 'hunt' is in the millions of lives lost (countless innocent children among them) and trillions of dollars spent. It all appears sad and ludicrous when one takes the two steps back and will not deter any future 'revenge' killings on behalf of the extremists.
I wonder who is going to be the next bogey man the US holds high for target practice? The "defence" budget, and its beneficiaries, the mighty industrial never-ending war machine, must be kept in the lavish lifestyles to which they have become accustomed. Right?
Meanwhile the real bogey men: Wall Street criminality, economic collapse, lack of health care, childhood poverty, 55 million and climbing on food stamps, peak oil, homelessness, climate change, et al, will never be addressed.
We are such a sad little planet, aren't we?