WHERE ARE OUR POLITICAL LEADERS? By Axel Conradi
This is written the day after the Governor General granted Mr. Harper permission to prorogue Parliament, thereby blessedly ending one of the most tawdry parliaments in memory. ? The unthinking political partisanship of all our political parties has been truly shocking. Canada is the loser and certainly more divided by the overly heated rhetoric of the last few days. Where are our political leaders when we need them ?
The prospect of a Liberal-NDP coalition giving unprecedented power to the Bloc, a party dedicated to the demise of the country, while now fading remains appalling. Equally unappealing and an affront to our cherished parliamentary traditions is the very idea of a coalition government led by a man ( Stephane Dion ) only just repudiated in an election by the Canadian people and soon to be replaced by a potentially new PM ( Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae or Dominic Leblanc ) who as PM and in accordance with the Coalition agreement would govern for a full year beyond the six month period normally required of an un-elected PM to seek a mandate from the people. Lest anyone think my anger is directed only at the opposition, it is worth recalling that we are in this mess because Mr. Harper needlessly lobbed a grenade across the aisle over election funding and the public service’s right to strike. Unfortunately, Mr. Flaherty’s lame economic statement also gave the Liberals and NDP economic policy cover for actions aimed more at saving their political skins than the country.
Mere weeks ago we elected a minority government and parliament that we still expect to govern. That any party might yet run the risk of forcing us into another election, which for weeks would bring the machinery of government to a grinding halt when the world faces its greatest economic crisis since the 1930’s, is unconscionable.
I came to this country when I was seven years old and have been blessed to serve it overseas. To see our politicians, at a time of crisis, playing political and constitutional chicken with the country I love, not coincidentally one of the world’s oldest and most successful democracy’s, is truly galling. It is high time for all our political leaders to take a deep breath, take advantage of the time granted by the Governor General to put Canada first and make the new parliament that convenes on January 26 work
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