To vote, or not to vote, this fall
This bit from The Globe's website is my candid response to the announcement yesterday made by Martin that the Liberals will not engineer their own defeat in Parliament this fall to bring about an early election.
In spite of the Liberal membership card which I proudly carry in my wallet, I've disagreed with Paul Martin on a number of occasions in the past year. He should have stuck to his guns and allowed the promised parliamentary debate on ballistic missile defence to occur. He should have stuck to his six-point "democratic deficit" reform promises and done more to act as the new kind of leader that he once seemed to be, instead of rewarding his insiders with plumb political postings that were a little too Chretien-esque. He should have been quicker to act against Carolyn Parrish. He should have been stronger on softwood lumber and BSE. The list goes on.
However, on this issue, I agree wholeheartedly with Paul Martin. There is no need to call an election before the Gomery Report is delivered to Canadians. There is no great debate over Canadian public policy that is calling into question the confidence of the government. It appears to me that the people who are demanding an election now are the same ones who were furious that the Liberals called an election last year, only three and a half years into the last mandate given to the Chretien-led Liberals. These are the people who want an election for the sake of having an election, because there is no good policy-, security-, or confidence-based reason to spend $250 million until we have heard from Gomery. I have long advised people that if they desire a field of study or interest that is barren of hypocrisy to stay out of politics, but this is one occasion in which the hypocrisy of the people is outweighing the hypocrisy of the politicians.