Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Appointees Suck

The senate has officially screwed us. Let me say that clearly; the senate, a group of people appointed by people who have a vested interest in having a complacent oversight group, has gone and fucked us in the asshole. With a penis.

Jest aside, the fact that we now (barring Michaëlle-Jean's vetoing the ratified law) have a fixed election date - October 19th, every four years, as of 2009, for information purposes - is bad news. In the system we've been used to, the opposition parties did have to face the rather mild unpleasantness of the incumbent party being the group to fix the election date, which affected preparedness, after a fashion. This was a tradeoff we lived with because we saw what the alternative - what we've now adopted - means, just south of our border.

A fixed election date does a number of things which are actively detrimental to the function of our government and which are just fucking annoying; in the first place, suddenly we go from election campaigns which last, at most, a couple of months to the monstrous, two year long campaigns of the United States. Which is annoying, though it is not detrimental in and of itself, unfortunately, its immediate consequences are.

Long and fixed election campaigns focus the attention of our already incompetent government away from the work of governance; the political parties, for years at a time, become more focussed on gaining or maintaining power, than on making sure the country runs smoothly - this is a lesser problem in the USA because it is a country which imposes term limits on presidential candidates; here, where the possibility of a Maurice Duplessis-style dictatorship still exists, it is downright dangerous.

I'm going to write my MP to urge that a repeal of this law be proposed; Canadian parties have become proficient at coping with a suddenly announced election date and the incumbent advantage is negligeable. The benefits - short campaigns and government focus - of non-fixed election dates far outweigh that small detriment. Our political process, with its first-past-the-post system, unelected senators and symbolic monarchy needs all the benefits it can get.

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