Friday, September 24, 2010

The democratic circus.

Provincial election Monday!

It's been an insane campaign, with the two major parties, the incumbent Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives promising an orgy of spending on campaign promises in spite of our $8.5b debt and growing deficit. The Liberals' campaign slogan is "The Future Matters". They better hope it does, as the electorate is so enormously pissed of at them for how The Past has been handled for the last four years. The PC slogan is "Putting New Brunswick First... For a Change", which strikes me as kind of snotty and which is designed to distract you from the fact that most of their platform is a plan to hire some people to study things and make a plan.

The NDP, meanwhile, normally the most left-leaning of the three largest parties, has restyled itself "the Voice of the Middle Class" (really? who, then, is advocating loudly in this election for the poor, the NDP's traditional role?) Coming up in the rear are the Green Party, which was coasting along inoffensively until yesterday when its leader claimed that there had been an agreement that if all five provincial parties weren't invited to appear at a debate, nobody would participate - and the three main parties broke that agreement when they appeared at a debate on CTV last night to which the two smallest parties were not invited. The brass at those three parties say there was no such agreement. Finally, there's the upstart People's Alliance of New Brunswick, of whom I wrote earlier, who have managed to shake off a significant amount of the whiff of being a bunch of crackpots, but not nearly so much as to poll provincially higher than 2% at any time during the campaign and usually flatlining at 0%.

Husband texted me yesterday that the campaign platform that worries him the most is that of a party that has promised to cut costs by shrinking the civil service. "I'm only 5'10" now," he fretted. I replied that at 5'4", I'd be in danger of disappearing completely.

We will get together at the pub on Monday evening to watch the returns with C., as we always do. "We're policy wonks," husband noted once. "These are our Olympics."




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