On May 2nd, 2011, the Conservative Party of Canada won the majority of seats in the House of Commons.
On the bright side, it’s not theÂ literalÂ end of the world.
I could tell you that this is a result of the split Left, or that the Conservatives rode in on boosted credentials from the recession, or that this might signal a fundamental change in Canadian politics. But let’s face it, you probably don’t care.
Let me tell you why you should.
Are you an immigrant? Under Harper’s minority government, the average time it takes for an immigrant to become Canadian has increased by six months to a year, fewer family reunification visas were issued, and the citizenship test got harder. Sorry Grandma Choi, doesn’t look like you’ll be able to live with us here anymore.
Are you a woman? Harper government has refused to fund Planned Parenthood, the biggest health service provider to women all around the world. Reason? 3% of its services are aimed to aid abortion. Well, I’m sure without Planned Parenthood to provide sex education and contraception, women will need to get fewer abortions. Not only this, but funding for various women’s organizations have been cut under the Conservative rule.
Do you care about the environment? The Harper government is famous worldwide for ignoring the Kyoto accords, and was ranked 51st out of 56 countries in terms of committing to its environmental goals. Instead, the Conservatives gave tax breaks and subsidies to the gas and oil industries, the most profitable businesses in the history of the planet.
On the other hand, 39 billion dollars will go to buying and maintaining new fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. There will also be construction of new battleships. It’s a long way towards Canadian military dominance, but Harper sure is taking us there step by step.
Some crimes committed by youth are going to be treated as adult crimes. And despite the fact that Canadian crime rates have been falling for the last 20 years, Harper is building US-style megaprisons. You know, the kind Americans have stopped building now because it proved ineffective in controlling crime. Don’t worry about it though; once family planning programs and education programs are cut, the crime rates will spike back up after 15 years or so, and those prisons will become useful.
Am I being unfair to the Conservative party? Maybe. Am I being a bad journalist by providing a one-sided view of politics? Yes. Do you care a bit more about politics now?
I hope, yes.