Well, I'm depressed. The 2011 Elections came and went like a fat bully on a chopper, leaving a sour taste in my already cynical mouth. We, as a people, elected a corrupt Conservative government for the THIRD consecutive time. A federal government which will continue to lie, abuse privilege, slash vital social funding and essentially treat the nation as a playground for its rich, pig-headed, socially ignorant cronies.
I voted today and I felt excited to do so. I'm not kidding....I love voting. I'm fascinated with the political process and nothing stirs my fire like a whole night of electoral return coverage. The steady minutiae of ballot counting, district polling and watching the numbers add and change. Believe me, this kind of thing is as fast as politics will ever get. Results, if unchallenged, will be locked within a few hours....which is essentially light-speed compared to the normal rate of activity in the political sphere.
What am I left with?
My faith in democracy remains, although it did take a severe pimp-slapping tonight. I had two bottles of wine on hand for what I hoped would be a celebratory night of watching the Conservative government get its walking papers. Instead, what ended up happening was the realization that, while the Liberal party received a red-ass beat down and the Bloc Quebecois was rendered virtually extinct....the same masses of people who voted this fuck wad Harper into power in the first place, have not been reading newspapers, watching TV or surfing the webs for updated information on their political heroes. With those same bottles of wine I proceeded to drink my depression and anger...which left me rather tired and sad. Go figure.
A somewhat bright ray of light came as the NDP received enough seats to constitute the official opposition, which has never happened in Canadian history. No small feat, that...Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader was elected in her British Columbia riding, making her the first, and only, Green Party candidate to have a seat in Parliament. This is encouraging, but, rather sad at the same time. As a lone voice for her party, she will be all but invisible.
Did I really expect things to turn out differently? Well, yes...this time I did. In past federal elections, there hadn't been the tangible sense of urgency and righteous indignation that I felt leading up to this vote. I am fortunate enough to have a circle of very politically astute friends and the last couple of months felt like a real taste for change was in the national air. I tend to post a lot of political articles to my Face Book account. I am not alone in this behaviour, but, recently it seemed like everyone I knew was reading articles, watching videos and posting them with a delicious frequency. It would be very easy at this point to ask, rhetorically, if the people who voted Conservative can't read, watch nothing but American programming and are just plain freaked-out by the Internet...but, that would be pointless. The fact is, more people voted for those fucking bastards than anyone else. Cold truth. In a system that doesn't solely support two parties, 40% counts as a majority. The huge national gains made by the New Democrats bodes well for the next elections, if they don't entirely fuck the poodle during the first trip to the majors...the Liberals need to do some deep self-reflection and rebuilding, the Bloc need to just get over their essentially hopeless position and the Greens need to think about a twenty year plan, if they intend to have any federal impact.
I could spend a few paragraphs analyzing the trends that occurred last night...the juggling of Conservative seats, the swell of NDP support that started in the maritimes and blew up in Quebec...but, why bother? All the sour grapes in the world (and, frankly, that's what they'd be) won't change the fact that a large part of Canada has absolutely no wish to see anything significantly change in our Government. And, yes...I know that nobody actually cast a vote for Stephen Harper (outside of his riding). The fact is, he's the fucking Prime Minister and there's no way that the party is going to remove him, no matter how many laws and procedures he subverts. Hell....he may wish to take his re-branding of the Federal Government a step further and call himself, "Emperor". Jesus...why not? He's got the country so firmly over a barrel (and roophied, apparently) that it just won't make that much difference. How about Prima Nocta rights from newlyweds, just to seal the deal? Spread those cheeks, average Canadian...you're about to get Harpooned. I thought that I had been smelling the winds of change recently...turns out they were a fart. Lovely.
I know that the world I woke up in is not that much different from the one I passed out in, with the somewhat nauseating knowledge that the Conservatives now have a majority....it's probably my imagination that makes the air feel like it tastes a little sour, and the pain in my head is caused by dehydration, not the fact that I'm allergic to political douchebuggery (a term of my own devising)...no, today I'm pissed off, angry, bitter and depressed.
In other words, it's business as usual.