I have remained rather quiet since the government fell last week and we here in The Great White North found ourselves embroiled in yet another federal election campaign. Five trips to the polls in a little more than ten years is more than most Canadians ever bargained. Frankly, I am weary. I am so tired of the pontificating, the brutally vicious attack ads, the robo-calls, the out and out mendacities, and the lack of civil discourse that used to be a cherished hallmark of Canadian politics. I long for the days when elections used to promise at least the hope for something new, but I have come to understand that those days are long gone. I honestly didn't think that it could get worse, until today's news that our Prime Minister is refusing to answer more than five questions a day on the campaign trail. Those five questions are being split between media from both official language media, and one question is being reserved for local press. FIVE QUESTIONS!!!!
Now it certainly isn't unusual for politicians on the trail to carefully control what is doled out to the press, nor is it unusual for press secretaries to manage every syllable that the candidates utter so as to avoid pitfalls, but it seems to me to be the height of arrogance for any leader vying for the top job to slough off the press caravan travelling with them and treat them with total disdain. It seems counter-productive to the messages that they are attempting to convey to totally piss off the reporters and attack them as the source of all of their ills. After all, isn't a free and unencumbered press a hallmark of a democratic society? With that in mind, I thought that I would pose my own five questions to the Prime Minister and I would hope that the people who actually get to pose the queries don't let up until they are adequately answered.
- How can you claim to represent all Canadians when you refuse to answer our questions?
- Can you adequately explain the spending frenzy that went toward cosmetic improvements in advance of the G20 summit of last year, and why your government was so negligent in adequately planning for the obvious security issues?
- What is your long term national child care plan given that 62% of women are now in the workforce fulltime and that Canada is one of only a handful of G20 countries without a cohesive child care initiative?
- Given that national crime statistics show a precipitous drop in violent crime, isn't the proposed massive spending on mega prisons merely a scare tactic utilized for purely electioneering?
- Où trouvez-vous ces chandails?
These are just a few of mine. I have many more but since Sweatered Stevie will only answer 5, I have used up my daily allotment. Feel free to add your own.