06 December 2008

Who needs democracy?

Should we have a coalition government? Should the opposition suck it up and pack it in, like Stephen Harper hoped they would do?

Rarely, to some, does Canadian politics warrant the level of interest and excitement that leads ordinary citizens to tune into CPAC to hear the next low blow in the debate, but it happened. Sitting in my staffroom, I heard people get excited and expound on the necessity of either prorogation or new government. "Facts" and numbers were thrown around with the ease and simplicity which usually has people turning over to take a nap. Had I attempted a conversation about politics a few weeks ago, the force of people's yawns would have blown me out the door. Now they all want to talk about it -- loudly.

What gets to people are the reasons. Some will go on about the attack on collective bargaining embedded in the financial update. Others will point to the trampling of hard-won women's rights. The most popular arguement -- because it was at the top of the list of Conservative talking points -- is funding to the other political parties.

Whether you believe that political parties should get all their funding from those who support them, or think that all political campaigning should be meted out equally so all parties work from a level playing field, I think the point was best made (as far as I've seen) by Rick Mercer this week on his show.

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