Saturday, January 21, 2006

We're Having an Election

I guess I should say that Canadians are having an election, because we (our family) are not eligible to vote in Canada. This is not a regularly-scheduled election. This one was called after the government of Prime Minister Paul Martin was dissolved in a vote of no-confidence back in December. This is new to us. We're used to electing officials for a certain amount of time, and their term doesn't end before that time unless they are removed for something illegal or they die - but the entire government doesn't dissolve if one person is removed. So this has taken some adjustment, to realize that there can be an election pretty much anytime. From what I understand, you vote for the party, and the leader of that party takes the office.

Monday is election day. Prime Minister Paul Martin is the Liberal candidate, Stephen Harper is the Conservative candidate, and Jack Layton is the New Democratic Party candidate. What does all that mean? I'm not sure! LOL We've heard that the Conservative Party is closest to the Republican Party in the US (I'm kind of thickheaded - they have to explain it in US terms for me to understand it), but it's not quite that conservative. The NDP seems to be kind of between the other two, and seems to be attracting the disillusioned from the Liberal party, enough to disrupt the results that each party expects.

Some of the issues this election: government corruption (a scandal in Martin's cabinet caused the recent vote of no-confidence that began this election); gun control (gun violence is on the rise in the major cities in Canada, and each candidate has a different view of how to correct this problem); abortion and women's rights; privatized health care; and homosexual marriage (it's legal in Canada).

Another difference for us: election campaigns are only six weeks long! Hallelujah!!! LOL I wish the US would pick up on that! No more 18-month election campaigns. The candidates campaign hard and heavy for that six weeks, but it's short and . . . well, not really so sweet. The mud-slinging is no different here.

There is one party that I doubt will even have much of a presence in the polls, but I'm glad to see it there anyway. It's the Christian Heritage Party. Wes and I were pleasantly surprised to see their ad on TV. Here is a quote from their website:
The CHP is Canada's only pro-Life, pro-family federal political party, and the only federal party that endorses the principles of the Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canadian Constitution:
"Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law..."
The news media has been back and forth with who is ahead. One week it's the Liberals, the next it's the Conservatives. We'll find out Monday what the people say. Pray for Canadians as they vote on Monday!

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