In a historic Liberal non-confidence vote on Friday March 25, 2011, the Harper Government was defeated 156 to 145. The following day the Governor General for Canada dissolved Parliament. The Canadian House of Commons found Prime Minister Stephen Harper guilty of contempt of Parliament which under parliamentary law (Canada Elections Act, 2000) is a federal crime that bars Harper from seeking re-election on May 2, 2011. The media coverage of this historic event has been extensive. Several issues come to light.
- the election - This election comes on the heels of a recession that still has many Canadians feeling the pain of hard economic times. It will be the fourth election in seven years. In particular, despite promises new taxes have been introduced and old taxes increased. Essential living costs (eg. home heating, gasoline) continue to rise and in particular hydro costs in Ontario alone are to rise by 7% annually for the next five years and at least one major retailer, Loblaws has announced a 5% increases across all food products in their stores effective April 1. The election will cost Canadian tax payers $300,000,000 to $400,000,000. It is hard to justify this type of spending when food insecurity is a growing issue for many Canadian families. This is an election the Canadian people do not want and the Canadian economy does not need.
- Stephen Harper (Conservative)- Essentially Harper was impeached from government of Canada for the federal crime of contempt of Parliament. The Harper govenment was dissolved and Harper deemed unfit to be the Prime Minister of Canada. As a result an election was called to choose a new Prime Minister. Since Harper was found guilty of contempt of Parliament under the Canada Elections Act he is prhibited from becoming a parlimentary member for five possibly seven years after conviction. Why then is Harper running for the very same office that he was removed from?
- Michael Ignatieff (Liberal) - Ignatieff's sly smirk and avoidance of answering reporters' direct questions gains him no popularity points with the Canadian people. In fact according to a recent IPSIS poll, in order of popularity for next Prime Minister is Harper (49%), Layton (34%) and Ignatieff (17%). No one believes his sugary sweet "I'm for the Canadian family" nonsense because they can see the wolf behind the cloak. Under the Dalton McGuinty's Liberal leadership in Ontario we have seen new taxes added to 17% of consumer goods and services including new taxes on home heating fuel and internet services. Food costs will rise by 5% and hydro will increase 7% annually over the next 5 years. We have watched as the Liberal government in Ontario alone has introduced tax after tax (eg. HST, eco-tax) and thinly veiled taxes coyly called user fees as if we are too stupid to realize it is just another tax. Make no never mind, if the Liberals get into power the Canadian people will be taxed to the point there will be nothing to give. That's how much Ignatieff really cares about Canadian families. The Liberals see Canadian families as a cash cow and nothing more. Ignatieff has indicated that the Liberals will not form a coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois. Yep, and the Liberals also said no new taxes. Their track record for lying and gouging Canadian families with more taxes stands for itself so we are supposed to believe him when he says they won't form a coalition? Stephen Dion in 2008 said he would not form a coalition either just before he did. Out of curiosity, how did Ignatieff become the leader of the Liberal party without a leadership race and uncertainty of a free vote? Isn't that showing a lack of respect for democracy, the very same thing he accuses Harper of? Why did the Liberals wait until now to force an election with a non-confident vote rather than when Harper proroged Parliament in 2010? If the Liberals are so concerned about the Canadian family why force a costly election no one wants?
- Jack Layton (NDP) - The NDP are smelling like roses in comparison to the Liberals and Conservatives. Layton comes across as being genuine and unlike his counterparts he does walk his talk when it comes to environmental issues. He even lives in a green home, retrofitted for solar and low energy use. The concern I have with Layton is why did he join the Bloc/Liberal coalition voting to defeat the government?
- Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois) - It is abundantly clear that Duceppe is not interested in what is best for Canada. He is interested only is striking a deal that will be most beneficial to Quebec. To this end, he is a bit wishy washy ready to sell out to which ever party tosses the tasties cookies Quebec's way. The primary goal of the Bloc Quebecois is destroying Canada. He has already been in a coup with Ignatieff over installing Stephen Dion as Prime Minister. Duceppe has no respect for democracy! Why do the people of Quebec tolerate Duceppe?
- Liz May (Green Party) - May has been almost invisible since the last federal election in 2008. The problem with May is her campaign topics will likely focus on climat change, alternative energy and putting a price on carbon emissions. While these are all very valid concerns, the focus needs to be on what Canadians are most concerned about and that is rising food, fuel and electicity bills. In short her campaign is the same as she ran in 2008 with nothing new to say or offer.