Oct. 7, 2019

Our election – If you don't have answers, change the subject

What have we sunken to? This election, more than anyone I can remember, has been devoid of reality as to the future of our country. As is so often the case, when the topic at hand is uncomfortable those responsible seek diversions. If you don’t want to talk about something, change the subject.

This election has been more about shovelling bull manure than about what this country’s future. First we  were distracted by puffed up fake indignation that at some point in his youth the prime minister had black and/or brown paint on his face in a school theatre presentation. Fake indignation because so many people feel offended and the standard feel-good is to cry racism. Rather than really caring about skin colour, too many people are thin skinned, it seems to make them feel better even if it may be condescending.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s dual citizenship is not a genuine issue – it doesn’t matter. Dual citizenship of a party leaders is trivial (which by the way he has already renounced).

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh wearing a turban is not an issue – it doesn’t matter. Wearing a religious symbol – freedom of religion is guaranteed in our country.

Green leader Elizabeth May being born in the U.S. – it doesn’t matter. Nobody cares about the number of members of Parliament and cabinet ministers born in other countries. You see, criticizing the U.S. is politically correct, talking about other immigrants, oh that’s politically-incorrect racism.

What about bread and butter issues? Everyone can think of a ton of them. Why in a country this size and with this wealth do we have a large segment of our population living on the streets as a result of homelessness and mental health issues? 

Of course, the biggest detractor has been the imaginary climate catastrophe that’s about to descend on us diverting us even further from the real problems of the country.

Why are we playing around with an imaginary fossil fuel and cow fart doomsday while turning a blind eye to Quebec cities merrily dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River every day? Image the damage to the climate from that methane alone? But utter silence.

Our government bought a pipeline without needing to, and now it’s just an asset on the books for accounting purposes. We have billions invested in an asset that is turning into a boondoggle. Then there’s the ongoing interest cost on those borrowed billions of dollars.

And on that topic, why haven’t party leaders paid attention to the fact that our country is importing oil to eastern Canada from hostile foreign countries while regional obstructionism is delaying the development of a delivery system from our own oil to Eastern Canada? Is it really about concern for a west-to-east pipeline or are there people with their fingers in the oil importation cash drawer? 

Why bring up abortion again and again when it has been the law of the land for decades, and all leaders have vowed the issue will not be revisited? It’s another example of diversion from the real issues.

The unacceptable treatment of our veterans, the lack of clean drinking water on reservations, the massive amounts debt piled up while sending Canadian tax money to other countries, I could go on and on. 

As a friend of mine summed up his expectations for the final leaders’ debate on Monday, each one of them will just be dodging the bullet as to what is happening and wrong with our system and smoothly deflecting to subjects the public couldn’t really give a tinkers damn about – past minstrel show participation, professional accreditation, turbans, place of birth, etc. 

The debate script will be meaningless hyperbole about “more jobs for Canadians, more money in the pockets of the middle class, more money for health care and education, higher taxes for the rich, zero carbon emissions, just more blather”. As comedian Jerry Sinefeld described his show –  a show about nothing.

With two weeks left in the campaign to determine the future of our country, it’s time to wipe the smudge off our shaded glasses to focus on what really matters.