Spinning wheels

The real question these days isn’t when the next federal election will be held. It is whether an election is going to change anything?
There’s no doubt Canadians are angry—and rightly so—over the sponsorship scandal that’s coming to light day by day before the Gomery Commission. But when push comes to shove, will that anger translate into Liberal annihilation at the polls?
The old Progressive Conservative party, under then Prime Minister Kim Campbell, knows full well the brunt of voter wrath—being reduced to just two seats across the country in 1993 after two-consecutive majority governments. Canadians these days, though, don’t seem willing to hand the Liberals a similar fate.
One reason, perhaps, is that they still don’t trust the Reform-Alliance creature that morphed into the new Conservative Party—as evidenced by last June’s election results. In other words, voters may not like the Liberals, but the alternative is even less palatable.
But equally important, the electorate (at least outside of Quebec) is in no mood for another election, and may blame the Conservatives for sending us back to the polls so early—at a $250-million plus price tag.
Which means another Liberal minority, or maybe a Conservative one. In either case, however, it’s back to square one.
It certainly feels like we’re in the middle of an election campaign right now. Three of the federal leaders already have been stumping in vote-rich Ontario, and accusations and fear-mongering are flying.
But all that’s really done is left voters more confused than ever—and feeling that the various parties are just putting their own interests first.
In fact, the only thing this latest political hoopla may accomplish is driving voter apathy even lower, and with only another minority government to show for it all.
It is a sad state of affairs, indeed.