Sep. 5, 2021

Election campaign is all about Central Canada

The federal election campaign to date can best be described as Central Canada Speaks.

The Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa triangle is the centre of the universe for political parties and their leaders. Their efforts to remind us of that are not subtle.

A Leader’s Debates lead-off in French on a Quebec French-language cable TV company signals to English-speaking Canada that Quebec has taken over Ottawa without firing a shot. Try holding an English language Leader’s Debate. Quebec would never allow it, so who is in charge of our governance?  

Our political leaders have insulted every person living outside the province of Quebec without any push-back. That is neither accommodation nor tolerance; it is fatalism, lack of patriotism, lethal lethargy and stupidity. We don’t value our constitution because we have never even read it. We won’t appreciate our freedoms and rights until they are gone and can’t be resurrected.
Adding injury to insult, political leaders made it clear that they plan to govern differently in Quebec. They have plans for specific concessions to Quebec.  We have a de facto super-province and nine lesser entities. The has been no protest in the media, from political pundits or the public.

Five decades of political conditioning have overwhelmed us. We are numb to the demands, pleading, and posturing of a Quebec unwilling to admit military and diplomatic defeat under terms of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. Quebecers strive to keep New France alive, even if it is only a vague memory.
Without a steady supply of provisions and immigrants from Great Britain and later from Europe, New France would have disappeared in an expansion of America. That is all lost in Quebec’s passions, pomp and posturing. Like any other street bully, Quebec postures with threats we do not challenge, and we are paying the price. With federal aid, Quebec is blackmailing us and will never be satisfied. The price demanded is continuously increased.

Constitutionally, we are a federation of equal provinces. Provincial areas of sovereignty, governance powers and responsibilities are set out in Section 92. There is no provision for variances between the provinces. The federal government cannot lawfully provide Quebec with authority and powers not given to the nine provinces. Shifting federal powers over immigration and pensions to Quebec and not British Columbia and Nova Scotia is disgusting and unlawful.
Federal legislation allegedly protecting the British Columbia sea coast from tanker traffic must also protect the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, Hudson’s Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The authorities, powers and responsibilities of provinces set out in our constitution are not negotiable; if there is to be a change that requires a constitutional amendment.

•   •   •

While we are on the topic of leader’s debates, it is hard to think of a less useful measure of who is best to govern our nation.

These are debates between figureheads. They are the spokespersons for political parties chosen by the members and insiders of the political party they represent. They are only as good as the representatives elected to serve in the next term of office.
The French Language debate is interesting because it clearly shows how dysfunctional our federal governance system has become. We have candidates for our next Prime Minister behaving like teenage truants, interrupting, talking over, demeaning and insulting one another instead of debating ideas and policies that address the concerns and needs of Canada and her people.

Are we are choosing a tyrant-in-residence rather than the Prime Minister of a democracy? There is something badly wrong with the notion that a Prime Minister is a demigod who can alone decide the future of our nation. If so, why elect 337 more representatives?  
Debates, if we must have them, can be held in Calgary and Halifax. Political party conventions are televised no matter what city they are held in.

Participants must require recognition by the moderator before speaking. Interrupting or speaking over another participant must result in ejection from the debate. A leader who does not treat others politely and respectfully is not capable of leading our nation.     
We need rules requiring that no political party can campaign without first filing a platform of policies and proposals with Elections Canada, updated as the campaign goes on.

We have to cut through the sales pitches to focus on plans and priorities. We need a publicly-assessable record of commitments made by each party during the campaign. That is how we can hold politicians accountable.  

Our 2021 election campaign accurately reflects the disrespectful, dysfunctional, vulgar circus that our parliament has become. Canada deserves better.

We should never again have to vote on which candidates and political parties will do the least harm.