No winners, no losers

The first and only English leadership debate yielded no winners or losers.

Sure there were many jabs and pokes about telling the “truth” on certain issues, but we saw little to suggest any shift in voting. Certainly no knock-out punch was landed. If anything, voters are more entrenched than ever before on whom they choose to support.

One concept that was touched on was the notion of a healthy democracy. The word democracy is thrown about regularly, but what it means to those involved or is perceived ultimately by voters, ranges from an academic theory to an almost philosophical if not intangible ideal.

In a rudimentary sense, democracy is about votes. Basically, whoever has the most votes on an issue wins.

Such was the case with the contempt motion tabled by the opposition in the House, triggering this election.  The majority no longer had confidence in Stephen Harper’s government. It had the votes and it pulled the plug. Just as elements of the opposition propped up Harper’s minority government, those same elements conspired in a sense to bring the government down.

More than once, the opposition’s explanation for Mr. Harper being found in contempt was dismissed by him as bickering. It’s pretty easy to paint others as complainers whilst manning the controls, hence the argument or claim that he does not listen. When people do not get along there is generally a reason and that perhaps explains the level of dysfunction with which Canadians view their government.

It can only be hoped that this level of exasperation does not see Canadians walk away from trying to make a good choice this election. Numerous voters we spoke with after the debate did not sense a hint of optimism that the present stalemate will be any different after the next election results roll in.

Locally, in the two ridings in Wellington County, little in the way of change here is suspected. Both Conservative candidates, Michael Chong and Gary Schellenberger, have been responsive and attentive to residents’ needs. Both men have years of experience and constituency staff that are very effective.

Any substantive change of government in Ottawa, we believe, rests elsewhere.