Here, in my part of Canada, we're getting in to another round of elections. Later this fall, we'll be having a provincial election, and then in just a year's time, we'll be facing a federal one. Ughhh!! The politicians and their pundits are now well into spreading their usual fertilizer six feet thick!
On the provincial level, we're now heading into the final stretch, the stretch where candidates start seeing what response their best promises are getting. It is at this point that each party must review their standings in the polls, and come up with news way to coerce people into voting for them. The more desperate the political party is, the bigger the bullshit-whooper they will come up with. This is the time when they start promising free trips to the moon, where you will be able to eat all the cheesy mountains you desire, because, after all, it really is true that the moon is made of top quality Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, and Cheddar!
It is amazing how many imbeciles actually fall for it! If you can't use sex to pull in the vote (sex being the currency in all other sorts of bullshit advertising), then you gotta go with greed.
I am now going to pick on one particular promise that the ruling Quebec Liberal Party has just tossed out to the masses: free bus rides for seniors and students! Whoo-hoo!!! The CAQ (the party that is set to de-throne the Liberals) is promising more money invested in senior homes (aka nursing homes), and the best the Liberals can come up with is bus tickets!!!! You've got to laugh, except, there are people who actually believe that bus rides are supposed to be free, and who don't care that other riders (those who are not students or seniors) will have to pick up the tab for their free trips. When you consider that there really are not a lot of 80 year old people who can even manage a Montreal bus ride (yes, our transit system is that awful!), this promise is undoubtedly meant to bring in the youth vote and nothing else. But... they already have reduced fares. And, as I just mentioned, the STM bus network is utter unreliable crap. The buses are dirty (courtesy of young people who put their feet up on the seats, and mothers who let their children stand on the seats), unroadworthy (attested to by a supervisor who used the excuse that if they kept all the buses that should not be on the road in the garage, there would not be enough left to service the routes), and the drivers are sadistic bastards who slam on the breaks, or suddenly speed up, for what appears to be the express purpose of tossing passengers all over the place.
So, what would have been a better promise? How about one that allowed some competition between transit companies? Seniors would be willing to pay for a bus ride that did not land them in hospital with assorted bruises and broken bones, workers for one that got them to work on time and in clean clothes, and I am sure that some students would also appreciate a ride with a guaranteed schedule so that they'd miss fewer classes and exams - and that most people would be willing to pay a few cents more for those little luxuries. If a private bus company sprang up today which offered that, you'd hear the Hallelujah Chorus being sung on bus stops city-wide!
But, when they're down in the polls (and sometimes even when they are not), politicians pull out the senseless promises of free bon-bons that idiots seem to love so much, but that we all know will be forgotten the moment the voting is over.
Obviously there is something wrong with electoral systems on a global scale, and we all know it. It doesn't matter where you live, it is the same. Not one country has a system in place where election promises must be kept. If there was such a system, then promises would be more modest, and come complete with a detailed implementation plan, as well as a time-frame to be strictly adhered to. Sadly, people would rather be lied to than vote based on actual realities.
Which brings me to something interesting that is occurring on the federal level. A new party is about to spring forth, one that claims to want to do things the old-fashioned way. Wow! A party that wants to put the interests of Canadians ahead of the interests of ideological zealots and other assorted special interests! How refreshing!
Okay, so I am being a little sarcastic. However, I really am somewhat pleased with the possibility of actually being able to vote for someone other than the Rhinoceros Party in the upcoming federal elections. As things stand with the three major parties at the moment, there is not one of them that I could possibly vote for. The Conservative Party supports moving our embassy to Jerusalem, and is one-hundred percent behind Zionism, so, despite some good parts to their platform, they are not getting my vote. The federal Liberal Party is not in favor of moving our embassy to Jerusalem, but does support wars for Israel, as well as 50+ personal pronouns and the belief that the term 'gender' is more than a literary construct intended to differentiate between masculine and feminine particles of speech. So, no vote of mine to them. The NDP... well, I just can't figure out what the hell they're up to... . Sadly, the Bloc Quebecois has basically imploded, so not even that desperate option is open to me.
I'd gladly vote for a new populist party, provided it didn't support Israel. That issue is the make-it-or-break-it determining factor in where I cast my vote. Yes, I would even vote NDP if they take a firm stand on it that I approve of. However, this is not what I want to draw your attention to. What I want to comment on is the reaction that the possibility of a new, conservative, political party has gotten from the existing Conservative Party.
"Another conservative party is bad because it will SPLIT THE VOTE!!!!" is what they are crying. "This is how we got stuck with 12 years of the Liberals in power a couple of decades ago!!!" they are howling.
Yeah, maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. But what people who think like that are basically saying is that they don't want competition, while still refusing to give the customer (the voters) what the customer wants and needs. If you bake shit for bread, and sell it at sky-high prices, don't surprised when 'your' customers set up their own shop down the street and start selling real bread at good prices. Screaming about the rival bakery stealing 'your' business is not going to change the fact that your product is literal crap. If your product is ridden with feces, then people will look for alternative bakeries in which to spend their money.
If you don't give the customers what they want, then someone else will. Period. If no one else steps up to the plate, those people may still choose not to buy your product. They want baguettes; you try to force Italian bread on them. They will say 'no, thank you' and put their cash back in their wallets. In electoral terms, these people will either not vote, or spoil their ballots intentionally. Or, they will vote for the Rhinoceros Party in protest at the absence of a party that stands for what they believe in.
In other words, the cries of 'don't split the vote' are the cries of a baker who doesn't wash his hands after taking a crap - a baker who would rather force people to eat the garbage he produces, than produce the quality of bread that his customers are demanding. In short, it is the cry of an organization that believes people must be brow-beaten into supporting them, even when they don't represent what those people want.