Source : Ottawa Sun
Canadian politics, of late, is rife with intriguing questions.
Will there be a federal election this fall? Will voters embrace the Liberal Party's controversial "Green Shift" plan? Is anybody in the federal cabinet dating large-breasted biker chicks?
OK, so maybe these aren't exactly edge-of-your-seat-in-suspense type questions, but it's nice to have at least some uncertainty in Canada's political scene, which is usually less exciting than a David Suzuki lecture on the evils of air conditioning.
That's not to say Canadian politics is boring; it's just mind-numbingly predictable.
For instance, it doesn't take the Amazing Kreskin to predict the strategy of each political party in the next federal election.
The Conservatives will say something like, "Don't vote for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion because he is a wimp" and to prove it they will run TV ads showing a photograph of Dion shrugging his shoulders in a very wimp-like manner.
The Liberals will counter this attack by claiming Dion is not a wimp and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a "big, mean bully" who is making their leader cry.
Meanwhile, the NDP will stick to its traditional message, "Yes we have lots of crazy, misguided and downright dangerous ideas. But it's OK to vote for us because we aren't going to win anyway."
Equally predictable about the next election is what politicians won't talk about.
No party, for instance, will talk about cutting back on the size of government, which is so big right now that the entire city of Ottawa actually has sunk three inches under its weight.
Politicians are afraid to talk about cutting government because they know every government department has some special interest group ready to wage a jihad in its defence.
Take, for example, the CBC.
Making government smaller by getting rid of the state-owned CBC should be a no-brainer.
Why should the government be in the business of producing lame dramas, inane comedies and terrible reality shows?
After all, we already get a dose of lame drama, inane comedy and terrible reality from the other networks -- most notably the Parliamentary channel.
Yet if any politician were to suggest turning the CBC into a private network, Canada's "cultural elite" (elite in the sense they get lots of government subsidies) would scream bloody murder.
Outraged, these elitists would launch a "Save the CBC" campaign featuring teary-eyed celebrities wailing about how "profit-hungry" private broadcasters simply can't provide for Canada's cultural needs.
What cultural needs does the non-profit hungry CBC fulfil?
Well the CBC works hard to make sure the Liberal Party looks good and the Conservative Party looks bad; it airs all sorts of anti-American documentaries and it ensures comedian Rick Mercer remains gainfully employed.
The pro-CBC crowd also will play the nationalist card arguing a public broadcaster helps to maintain Canadian unity.
That's certainly true: According to the ratings, Canadians are united in their desire not to watch the CBC.
But just because big-government advocates are vocal and strident doesn't mean Canadians will buy their arguments.
In fact, maybe Canadians are ready to put government on a diet.
Maybe they are just waiting for a leader who has the courage to take on the special interest groups.
So far no politician has shown such courage, which is quite sad but also quite predictable.
© Ottawa Sun