Wednesday, 4 May 2011

4 years

I have a feeling the next four years will be a good time to be rich.  Four years of a Harper majority.  Four years of a stranglehold on truth and transparency.  Four years of bigger prisons, more fighter jets and spiraling costs to fund them.  Four years in which the poor will get even poorer and the rich even richer.  I just read this morning that the gap between rich and poor has never been greater.  What will it look like in Canada by 2015?

On the positive side, Jack Layton's voice will be heard more clearly now that he is the leader of the opposition.

I hope that the Liberal party will re-invent itself ... perhaps as a coalition with the NDP ... the only reason Harper and his Tories get anywhere is because of vote splitting.  I am not in favour of a two party system ... but a multi-party system only works when there is proportional representation ... and that is not likely to come about under a Harper majority government.

I will be just about 75 years old when I next vote in a federal election.  I sure hope that Canada and I survive till then ... and that all the people who did not support Harper this election have figured out how best to defeat the man.

I wish I believed in miracles ... and that I could hope that Harper would acquire some humility and  the ability to govern graciously rather than with an iron hand.  I wish he would become a better prime minister, one I could respect.  But miracles are not too common these days, so my only realistic hope is that the other parties will figure out how to stop him from gaining another majority in four years ... or that they teach Canadians how important it is to choose proportional representation and demand it; that it become one of the major planks in an opposition platform; that whoever wins the next election will be forced to put real democracy to a referendum.

My riding (Pontiac) ousted its Tory minister, Laurence Cannon, by the way, and we have a New Democrat in his place.  It happened because of a grassroots swell of concern that translated into intelligent voting.  I was a little worried because people were being advised to vote strategically but it was a toss-up whether to vote NDP, Liberal or Bloc.  The Bloc had stood second last time.  Liberal, Cindy Duncan MacMillan,  is a respected farmer in the area and concerned about community issues.  Mathieu Ravignat was new to electoral politics but the NDP was gaining strength in Quebec..  What to do?  What to do?  Eventually I voted with my heart and voted for the NDP ... and was lucky that so many others made the same choice for either heartfelt or strategic reasons..

In non-electoral news, life continues to be good.  Kenya and Remi are having a ball together, romping and wrestling for hours every day.  I am getting used to my new car but am horrified by its gas mileage.  And I still fear backing up.  And there are all still all those buttons I am afraid to push.  My buddy and I are splitting our lives between two places and learning to adjust to the vagaries implicit in a new relationship.  Laughter helps smooth out rough edges.  The dogs are delighted he is part of my life because they have an extra pair of hands to pat them.  I started teaching Andre this week and the first session went well.  Today I will be working with Azra and Pauline ... just three lessons left.  I will miss them, but I will also be glad to be back to one session per week.

So ... I think I will simply bury my head in dogs, paint pots, teaching, and clouds for the next four years, and forget politics until 2015.