Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pass the Hot Potatoes

Here an election, there an election, and in both places - there are hot potatoes. Canadians can look forward to, or dread, an election on October 14. That's not a surprise because the Conservatives have been campaigning madly for weeks, or is that months? I think the two hot potatoes are the environment and the economy. Harper, he of the rigid hair and attitude, will focus on the economy and will denigrate the Liberal's plans for the environment. It appears that Dion will continue to present the Green Shift as his major platform plank. I hope he can manage to convince voters of its validity and its sanity. If our environment becomes more and more toxic, the effects will be far worse than a dip in the national economy.

It could be argued that calling an election now is illegal, but it's unlikely that there will be much focus on that particular issue. The PM says that Parliament was not working, meanwhile his party generated a booklet that was all about how to obstruct the business of the house and stall committee work.

There is also the money-in money-out scandal and the Chuck Cadman problem.Of course, the Conservatives will do their best to ignore all this. They will likely to continue to refer to Dion as ineffective and to Harper as a 'strong leader'.

I believe we should be wary of that 'strong leader' rhetoric. Even Harper's method of increasing funding for the Armed Forces could be criticized, if Dion wanted to. Dion's partner/wife, Janine Krieber, is an renowned expert in anti-terrorism who teaches at RMC. She believes that Canada's military can do its best when thoroughly and expertly trained and prepared etc. Might - in other words - is not the definitive answer to terrorism. History proves that's true, but, alas history has been ignored by Harper, who prefers to theorize on the virtues of unrestrained capitalism.

Meanwhile, south of the border, there are also hot potatoes. The Republican presidential candidate has chosen a woman to run as the VP candidate. She is much younger than McCain and has far less experience. That could be a problem, but the bigger problem, which no one is addressing, is her belief system. One important example: abstinence is the only sex education that should be funded and taught. How unrealistic! As a mother, I sympathize with her and with her teenage daughter who is now pregnant. But, I am also concerned for the young man who is the father of the child. Yes, he should admit responsibility and do his best to provide for the child, but must he marry her? It would tidy up the situation, but what does he want to do? I suspect we'll never know. As a side note to all this, the rate of teenage pregnancies in the U.S., which had slowly fallen for several years, has now risen again. Does abstinence only sex-education have anything to do with this? I think it may. We are all fallible, and promises made in good faith are sometimes broken.

Mrs. Palin took on the 'old boys club' in Alaska, but now, she wants to become a member of the most powerful old boys club in the world. Irony abounds

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