Friday, April 22, 2005

The Globe DOES Buy It?

There is a distinct odour of desperation in the air, as a frightened government tries evey dodge it knows to avoid facing the voters, and hopes they won't catch on. 'Oh baby,' Sheriff Bart says to himself after fooling the town hicks with his hostage play. 'You are so talented, and they are so dumb.' Canadians aren't so gullible, whatever the Liberals may think."
Prime Minister Paul Martin made a strong case last night for delaying a federal election, even if he doesn't succeed in fending one off.

Canadians are angry, and rightly so, over the dramatic allegations about the sponsorship scandal that are emerging from the Gomery inquiry. But we won't know the full picture until Mr. Justice John Gomery submits his final report later this year. At that time, Mr. Martin has promised to go to the people and face their judgment in a general election -- an extraordinary pledge for a Canadian prime minister. "Let the facts come out," he said. "And then the people of Canada will have their say." That seems a fair bargain.

Fair Bargain? I am not so convinced. Granted I do see merit in waiting, but do we really believe that voters aren't entitled to make a judgment on what they have heard to this point? Especially since Martin won't even accept that he willingly chose to call an election himself before Gomery even got off the ground, due entirely to political considerations.

The premise of a minority is that the Government falls when it loses the confidence of the house. That confidence is surely lost now. How can the Globe think it "extraordinary" for him to promise to go to the people only 7-8 months later?

I sympathise with the idea of waiting, and sure Gomery's report is necessary for the true picture, but is he going anywhere? The report will not be abandoned if the writ is dropped, will it? Why is it so crucially important that the exact details are known before a vote? And do Canadians really want an election over Christmas?

And even if not, are there really people out there who will punish the Conservatives for a Spring election, but would vote Conservative after digesting the report in the Winter?

[I'll answer that last rhetorical question explicitly: No. And that's the reason I'll be watching the 2nd consecutive Canadian election results in Oxford in June.]


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