So the Tories up here in the Theoretically Frozen North have managed to stave off an election once again, and what irks me is that they did exactly what they pilloried the Liberals and NDP for doing last year: namely, they got the Bloc on their side with governmental concessions. Somehow I doubt the screaming harpy chorus that cried out “cooperation with the Bloc is treason” when Stephane Dion suggested that maybe the parties which received the support of a majority of Canadian voters should run things will find their indignation quite so stoked.
People complain about the American media all the time, and with good reason, but the Canadian media has its own set of quirks that can really be annoying. One of them is the conceit that governing in Canada’s seemingly permanent minority government environment is difficult, and it simply isn’t. The Harper government figured out the two-part secret of how to do it a long time ago: run policy through the Prime Minister’s office and administrative channels of the government rather than legislating through Parliament, and bribe the Bloc whenever things get dicey.1 The fact that the Harper Tories have figured out this relatively simple equation and the Canadian media by and large has not is depressing; the fact that the Harperites could figure it out and then be basically dogshit at the actual job of governance, moreso.
Still, we’re most likely stuck with the useless assholes for another couple of years until the Liberals realize that Michael Ignatieff was a huge, huge mistake. (For American readers: Michael Ignatieff is kind of like Evan Bayh, except you want to punch him in the face even more.)
- You can bribe other parties, but frankly it’s simplest to bribe the Bloc: you just find something the Quebec government wants, and give it to them. That’s the power regional parties bring to the table. [↩]