It can be easily said that politics in Canada has become problematic.
Canada’s Prime Minister has been found guilty of more ethics breaches than any other in the history of the country.
The leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP), who claims to be someone fighting for the middle class and equability, couldn’t be more tone-deaf if he tried; over the holidays a photo surfaced of him skating with his family with his young child wearing a $500 jacket which they would grow out of in a season, or less. Previously, he’s been criticized for fighting for the people while wearing a Rolex on his wrist leaving his words to sound hollow.
Then there is Pierre Poilievre, the newly elected leader of the Canadian Conservative Party; instead of saying what the Conservative Party would do differently, Poilievre and his members of parliament spend their time bashing the Liberal party in what has become a monotonous chorus.
And these are just the three main parties in Canada. With the Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party, and others that run in elections in Canada, I can go on.
Add in the fact that a federal election is determined before the polling stations even close in Manitoba, let alone the rest of Western Canada, and it is easy to see why voters, particularly in the West, are apathetic; because, really, who does one vote for and what does it matter?
Provincially, we’re not much better off.
Premier Smith has already hit the ditch too many times to count with her various gaffes during her short tenure as leader; a leadership vote she won though it was by no means a slam dunk.
Waiting in the wings is provincial NDP leader Rachel Notley, counting all of Smith’s missteps and hoping against hope that the United Conservative Party implodes so that her party can feed off their political corpse and regain power in a few short months during the next provincial election; all the while hoping that the voters forget about the missteps the NDP themselves made when they formed government the first time.
Keeping all of this in mind, Albertans could be in for a pair of elections in 2023; according to recent history, and a quick Google search, a minority government in Canada typically lasts less than two years, and with Trudeau holding on to power solely because of his alliance with the NDP, a tenuous one at best, it is not unrealistic to see things falling apart in the coming months.
If a federal election happens in 2023, it will likely happen after the provincial election, which is currently scheduled for the spring; an election which, if polling is accurate, could see Smith being one of the shortest-tenured provincial premiers ever.
There are no easy answers, at any level.
And the problem is, due to the policies being brought in by both the left and the right the Canadian people are getting more divided than ever. The pendulum keeps swinging further and further from one side to the other, and unfortunately, if things continue this way it is only a matter of time until the whole system tumbles.
Canadians need to let their Members of Parliament, and their provincial counterparts in the legislature, know that what has become acceptable over the last decade needs to change.
Our legislators need to push for recall legislation, allowing our elected members to be removed if they are not doing the job they were elected to do — Alberta already has this, but federally Canada does not. Legislators need to push changes to the ethics rules, giving them real teeth resulting in real consequences when a politician has a “misjudgement” and falls out of line.
The only way the legislators are going to get the message is if they start hearing from the people directly.
While I am proud, and unashamed, to be Canadian and Albertan, I am disturbed that the nation’s political system has become more political theatre than it has actual leadership, and that needs to change.