Your handy guide to the Canadian election
the fun begin.
Scandal, political wrangling, he said-she said, repetitive
rhetoric, finger-pointing, accusations, counter-accusations,
press releases responding to said accusations and counter-accusations,
promises, broken promises, reminders of broken promises and
the professed ultimate hope that the voters know best.
Ah, those heyday qualities of federal elections, certainly
far better than any sort of fanfare that comes along with a
Canadian team competing in the Stanley Cup championship and
much more exciting than any fun-in-the-sun ideas any of us
had for spending the first few weeks of the summer.
Nope, the election is like a circus for politicos, party hacks
and the press who try to drag to entire nation into the scrum
with them. However, a little bit of cynicism cannot be helped
whenever this joyfully hypocritical time comes along, especially
when anyone discusses the party leaders, whom Canadian voters
identify with on a far more personal level then their riding
So here it is, a clumsy student journalist’s guide to
the who’s who of Canada’s party leaders.
The best way to start such a column is probably by mentioning
our vaunted prime minister, Paul Martin. Over the last several
months the man has borne a striking resemblance to Nero, the
corrupt Roman emperor who watched Rome burn so he could rebuild
it in his own image; of course, he also later blamed the infamous
blaze on Christians.
Liberals have been going up and down Parliament Hill telling
scary stories of how the corrupt PM is scorching and burning
the party to transform it into the best thing to happen to
Canadian politics since someone got that crazy idea to let “regular
Incidentally, Martin blames all of the Liberals’ problems — and
therefore the country’s problems — on a certain
former prime minister from Shawinigan.
Then there’s Stephen Harper, who’s banking on
the hope that people will feel a little tired of spending the
last eon under Liberal rule. He’s in charge of a new
and apparently healthy party; what’s more is he has not
made nearly as many mistakes as Martin has to date.
Although he has one flaw, he can’t really excite the
male voting masses the way Belinda Stronach did. Maybe it’s
just too much to ask Harper to be a good leader and a yummy
political mummy at the same time.
Of course there’s good old what’s-his-name from
the Bloc, but nobody outside of Quebec cares about him and
few in Quebec realize he still has a pulse.
We can never forget the lefties, the ones who have big hearts
and want the best for everyone: the New Democratic Party. There’s
just one thing that probably gets on everyone’s nerves.
You know that little five-year-old cousin who always is jumping
around trying to get everyone’s attention at the family
reunions, always shouting “Look what I can do”?
Well NDP leader Jack Layton is just like that: he always has
something to say to get the media’s attention, but the
voting public treats him as they would that bouncing five-year-old.
They pat him on the head, wipe the drool from around his mouth
and say, “That’s lovely, dear.”
There you have it! A guide to the Canadian election. Burn
it, put it in your wallet or wipe your bottom with it — just
make sure you vote.