Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Fall Election Would Be Dangerous for Democracy Because Ordinary Folks Will to Tune It Out

The conventional wisdom goes that summer is no time for overt politics. Sure, politicians are supposed to go around eating sweet corn, dancing at street fairs, and schmoozing at like events. The idea is to make contact with the grass roots, and, when you’re the government, remind people how much money has been handed out for communities’ pet projects. The real hard politicking begins in September, when the various of levels of government begin to sit again.

But this summer was so wet and rainy in much of the country that I don’t think the residents of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes really enjoyed—or even are aware of—the manufactured occasions to meet and greet the politicos. Now that we have had a couple of weeks of fine weather, and the forecast is for at least another 10 days, I doubt whether anybody wants to do anything but make up for lost time. This coming long weekend folks will try to cram a whole vacation into three days.

Yet Michael Ignatieff wants to plunge us back into election mode. The Conservatives need to be thrown out, but I for one don’t want to think campaigns. Given that I’m more of a political junky than 95 per cent of the population, I suspect there are hundreds of thousands out there who will find another fall election not at all relevant to their lives.

This is very dangerous.

We need people to care about who governs us, and we’re still going through a period when our economic future is still delicately balanced. Better to wait a while. In the meantime there's no reason why the worst of the Conservatives measures can't be blocked by opposition parties. If the Conservatives want to make a confidence measure out of that, well, let them. At least the election can't be blamed then on the opposition, and people may actually get excited about what is happening.

1 comment:

Jack Ruttan said...

I hate the conservative policies, yet I have to agree.