Partisan accusations drowning out issues

Well, they’re off and running. Unfortunately, chances are they’ll be right back where they started when the race ends in a month from now.

Well, they’re off and running. Unfortunately, chances are they’ll be right back where they started when the race ends in a month from now.

Like it or not, Canadians are being thrust into a situation where they would rather not be, but one they are becoming all too familiar with. For the fourth time in the past seven years, the nation is heading to the polls.

But when the charges and accusations die down and the dust finally settles, Canada’s electoral map will likely remain relatively unchanged.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives head into the election with 143 seats, a dozen shy of what’s needed to form a majority government. And while some recent polls suggest the Tories could eek out a razor-thin majority, history suggests the May 2 election will bring another Conservative minority government.

The problems faced by many voters is that this election campaign has precious little to do with the many pressing issues facing the country today.

The Conservatives are hammering away at the prospect of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s secret desire to form a coalition government. This despite the fact that Harper embraced the prospect of a coalition when he was on the opposition side of the house. Only in Canadian politics could bipartisan co-operation be seen as a dirty word.

The Liberals meanwhile would like this election to focus on the contempt of Parliament ruling levelled against the governing Conservatives. But coming from the party that brought us the Sponsorship Scandal, it’s unlikely to gain a lot of traction with voters.

The accusations and allegations will drown out any significant policy differences that would help voters make an enlightened decision. Another minority government will be formed, the petty partisan bickering will continue and Canadians will be left wondering how long until they again head back to the polls.

— Penticton Western News