In a reply to this post of Zolltan’s, I commented I couldn’t stomach voting for the Conservatives; a party that’s had my vote since I came of voting age. My decision got much easier over the last two weeks. I’m voting Liberal.
Is it because I support their policies? No. Do I want them in government? No. Am I centre-left in my views? Heaven forbid. I’m as tory as they come. Then why? Because they have no chance in hell in forming the government. I’m pretty sure the Michael Ignatieff has to resign (even if he doesn’t, I don’t mind voting Liberal). Also, he was the only leader to harp on the erosion of strength of Parliament and our institutions.
History will judge Stephen Harper’s minority governments harshly I believe. He could yet wind up with a majority, depending on the way these vote splits go. He could yet be a great Prime Minister, with a majority at hand. And, his record over the past 5 years is not bad. On the large questions, he’s done all right.
But the little things he’s done have completely pissed me off. Let the record show that I tolerated inviting Fortier and Emerson into Cabinet, the appointment of Conservatives to the Senate (an act of political expediency I would no doubt copy in the same position; Harper has to work with the system he’s given), the Rights and Democracy kerfuffle, displaying annoyance at the PBO, etc. The straw that broke this camel’s back was the decision to abandon the Long-Form Census, a move that seriously question the brains behind this organization.
While there is merit in the argument that minority governments put too much focus on political expediency, this government couldn’t help itself. I believe the fundamental flaw is an over relience on the egg heads that statistically model the public, its intentions and its voting records. Too much focus on slicing and dicing the electorate suggests the Tory brain trust missed the forest for the trees. Pandering to the base is an euphamism for “playing not to lose.” Too bad.
I don’t mind the prospect of Conservative majority; I’d welcome it in the normal course. But this one time, I’m going to take a lot of pleaseure out of not voting for them.