Monday, October 13, 2008

Petty Colours

When I returned to Kingston this evening, there was an email waiting for me in my inbox with the subject line "Are you ready?!..." Am I ready for what? New Month Day was a while ago (or isn't going to happen for a while. We're almost as far from the last one as we are from the next one.), so it couldn't be that. I'm ready for the stock markets to recover. But hey, who isn't, right? So it probably wasn't that.

As a last resort, having exhausted all of my ideas for what the contents of the email could be, I opened it. The contents read "...To watch little coloured bars scroll across the bottom of a TV; for the talking heads; for the interminable wait for results? I know I am!" Indeed, that may be the only good part of the election for me. I'm not really interested in who wins anymore, and unless theis year's thanksgiving turkeys were spiked with ideology-altering amounts of tryptophan, I'm pretty sure I can guess who the winner is going to be. I'm only marginally interested in how many seats the respective parties get.

This election, I didn't have cable, and most of my information regarding the election came from websites of newspapers. My first exposure to election television came this weekend. I consider myself lucky that I managed to avoid it for so long. Party platforms this time around ranged from almost nonexistent to mostly unrealistic. How can I listen to one guy tell me to vote for nothing in particular and another guy tell to vote for a platform almost none of which he could feasibly implement.

Initially, I thought Dion's proposed carbon tax was a good idea, relative to the NDP's and Conservative's ideas, until he actually released the details of the plan (before there was even talk of a premature election). I thought the carbon tax was going to directly affect consumers. A tax at the pump or something. But instead, he wants to go after corporations just like the other two. With a different type of tax structure, of course, but the target of the tax is the same. Corporations, not people [1]. The majority of the population (I think) wants something to be done about carbon emmissions, but not many are willing to do much themselves, even if all they do is agree to suck it up and pay an extra percentage point or two at the pumps. I guess I'm just too cynical, but I wanted to see people put there money where their mouth is. (Elizabeth May has a plan too, I'm sure. I'll pay attention to it some time after her party elects an MP.)

The other major issue (aside from that too-often repeated theme of leadership. It's important, for sure, but for the love of Pete, would you tell us where you'd like to lead us before the election is almost over? [2]) was the economy, about which I have a feeble grasp when it comes to solutions, lack thereof, and their necessity altogether. Dion apparently also has a feeble grasp, since his plan seems to be to ask experts to come up with a plan. Let us know who these experts are, and we shall elect them instead, Mr. Dion. Perhaps someone with a graduate degree in economics, like, oh, say, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Speaking of Mr. Harper, though, as with the rest his platform, he has a plan, or so he claims, though I don't know what it is. Layton, if his television commercials are to be believed, cared. How nice.

At the end of it all, I don't know who to vote for. I may have to exercise my democratic right not to vote. I don't like not voting. But I don't want to vote for the least of three evils, and I'm not big on protest voting. Perhaps there is no sense to it, but I'd like to have some sort of none-of-the-above type option (spoiling the ballot is more fun, mind you).

Democracy I like. I like driving too. But I don't usually get into the car if I have nowhere to go, and politics isn't something you joyride.

I hope I can watch the little coloured bars on the internet.

[1] For many years, I had believed that the GST was a brand new tax. In part it was. Though I learned earlier this year that it replaced a previously hidden manufacturing sales tax. We were all paying it before the GST, we just didn't know about it. After the GST we did. Dion's Carbon tax would be another hidden tax. You can talk amongst yourselves about the economic advantages or distadvantages of hidden taxes.

[2] ...says the guy who didn't say much about the election until the campaign was almost over. I had thought about some potential posts, but never got around to writing them.


Jonita said...

I find politics annoying, myself. Yes, I'm glad that they run the country, BUT I'm sick of the smear campaigns and not really knowing who to vote for. I really don't know who's lying through their teeth to me and who has absolutely no idea what they're doing. In the end, I think that things will pretty much be the same in this country regardless of who has more seats. I know, I sound unpatriotic, and I'm sure that many people will not agree with me, but this year I decided not to vote. All of that political dribble has done my head in, and I really have no idea WHAT I'm voting for anymore.

Jon said...

I don't usually get into the car if I have nowhere to go... Nice, very nice, Dr.(El)ZING(a).