Thursday, 4 December 2008

Political Disappointment

I can remember only one other time that I have been so profoundly disappointed by a political decision. In both cases the decisions seemed to me to be, not only unjust, but also unsound.

A quarter of a century ago, the Quebec government agreed to contract conditions, including salary raises that would have brought Quebec teachers into line with the Canadian average. Then they simply revoked the agreement by changing the law. We had fought for what was right. We won partly because we had gone on strike and lost salary and partly because our cause was just. The government did not like losing so it simply pulled the rug out from under us. Almost as soon as we were back in our classrooms, they passed a bill that rolled back our salaries and revoked the contract conditions we had agreed to. They behaved like little despots, and I couldn't believe this was happening in my country, my democratic, fair minded country.

Today we saw another petty tyrant, a bully, get his way. Prime Minister Stephen Harper chose to run the country using a partisan hard line and refusing to cooperate despite the fact that he had, once again, a minority government that demanded cooperation if it were to successfully govern. Finally the opposition rallied and formed a coalition that could govern. Steven Harper's response was to ask that the GG prorogue Parliament so that he would not face a vote of confidence he knew he could not win. Before he did that, he presented a vicious dishonest case to the Canadian people that could well tear this country apart.

In the meantime, between now and the end of January, nothing will be done about the economic crisis. All of our government members have been given a holiday. At the end of their holiday it is fairly certain that the government will fall and another election will be called. It will be very expensive and will mean that another 8 weeks will pass before any kind of governance will resume. At the height of a serious world crisis we are going to be floundering about in the storm in a rudderless boat.

And once again I can hardly believe that this happening in my country.

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