By guest blogger Frank Moher
One thing of which you can be certain: if you’re a western Canadian prime minister, they will eventually try to get rid of you. They, of course, being the central Canadian political operatives and parties who regard it as their congenital right to run the country.
It happened to Diefenbaker, it happened to Joe Clark, and now it’s happening to Stephen Harper. One could also argue that it happened to Kim Campbell, but that was more a matter of a compliant national media doing a Sarah-Palin on her, even before there was such a thing.
I didn’t vote for the Tories six weeks ago, mind. I don’t like most of their policies, and the ones I do like, like fairer representation by population, are liable to happen over time regardless. I also thought the Liberal Party divine right of rule had, for the foreseeable future, been interrupted. Boy, was I naive.
Then again, so too is anyone who thinks the current imbroglio has anything to do with the opposition parties’ concern for the country’s economic well-being, or rights of women, or welfare of the public service sector. What it did have to do with, last week, was Harper’s stupid feint at removing public financing of political parties. Great idea, Steve: now that you have a slightly stronger mandate than before, really go for the jugular. Ignore the fact that you’re still a minority government. The opposition couldn’t possibly get it together to . . . Oh wait. They could.
Since then, of course, Harper has withdrawn the public funding grab, leaving the opposition parties having to pretend they’ve been defending higher principles all along. Right; and sharks eat fish because of their ethical concern for preservation of the food chain.
The current situation may have something to do with the clash of right-wing and left-wing values, but so what? Just because I prefer the latter to the former doesn’t mean my team gets to form the government at any opportunity. The Conservatives represent the values of a lot of people in this country, especially where I live (BC) and where I came from (Alberta). They managed to collect a lot more seats than the next guys during the election, and that means, for the time being, their values prevail, whether I, or the sun court around Dion, Layton, and Duceppe, like it or not.
So if this mess does lead to another federal election, I will vote for the Tories, just to make the point that even people who don’t live in the 416 and 613 area codes and select left-wing ridings get to exercise their franchise too. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past Harper to have that very idea in mind; yet another bun-fight in which a fed-up electorate gives him the majority he blew last time.
In which case, nice work, Mr. Harper. You finally got me, when just about nothing else would have.