Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12: No. Today, I can't blame the Moncton T&T

Today's paper had virtually nothing about the federal election in it. There was a poll showing Harper is close to Majority territory. That other story, quite reasonably so, is that Harper has been caught in another scandalous case of boondoggling to go with his choices of convicted thieves in his entourage, his manipulation of audiences at election speeches, and his flagrant lies to parliament. None of this matters.

As they go into what will be, I think, the most important  federal election in the history of this country, most Canadians must don't give a damn. The parties were quite right to pospone their French debate when it conflicted with the time of a hockey game. If they had gone ahead with the debate, they would have had no viewers.

I have never seen Canadians (and Americans) behave with such indifference to an election. Perhaps it's an understandable disillusionment with democracy. Perhaps it's the growing interest in trivia that we see reflected so often in our news media and in those absurd tabloids we see in supermarkets - that seem to outsell the regular newspapers on any given day. Perhaps it's just a stunned fatalism.

It is rare to find anyone who knows what the party platforms are, let alone what pressing issues are not even mentioned in the news media.

The world is going through a change as big as the fall of the Roman Empire; and Canada, despite its relatively stable financial position, is not at all prepared the economic and military changes that are coming - and coming soon. The changes are many but, admittedly; hard to predict. For example, the continued growth of China would have a severe impact on us. If it doesn't grow -  if for example, the Chinese government loses its iron control - and it is at least possible that it will - then we shall all have reason to fear a nuclear power in a state of collapse.

The Moncton Times carries two columnists who are among the best you will find anywhere -and I do mean anywhere. Check out Alec Bruce and Gwynn Dyer. (I think I'm being neutral. I've never even met Alex Bruce, and I knew Gwynn, but it was many years ago on radio. Read their columns on the editorial page today. You may find yourself thinking we really do have bigger issues than what a nuisance it is to register a gun.

Instead, Canadians will, if they vote at all, vote on knee-jerk reactions as in - 'Conservatives are good at handling an economy' (even a glance at Canadian history will show they have the worst record of bad and excessive spending); the 'Liberals are too deep into social spending' (a myth that goes back some sixty years. In fact, Liberals have done just enough social spending to avoid civil unrest, and to get re-elected).' The NDP is socialist.' (I might wish it were, at least a little bit. In fact, it has not been socialist since it was formed out of the old and only partly socialist CCF).

How will it turn out?

My guess is a great many won't even vote. The ones with special interests will vote because Harper has played to them. Most of us will ignore the profound military and economic consequences that face our children and, probably, most of those who read this. The special interests will turn out strong for Harper because they think the big issues of the day are gun registration, unconditional support for Israel, unconditional support for an American empire in its last, desparate years, privatization of everything, and more prisons.

That's how Harper will win, and we all will lose. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Oh, and read the letter to the editor by M.P.Martin. it's excellent. I congratulate the T&T not only for publishing it, but for naming it The Letter of the Day.

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