For me there are two issues of overwhelming importance in this election. The first is the economy, not only in its own right but for what it means for our ability to finance the social programs we have created for ourselves. The second is the alarming state of our democracy: the decaying of Parliament’s ability to hold governments to account, and the decline, not unrelated, in Parliament’s own accountability to the people.This is what I try to tell people about Kingston. We are a moderate, Conservative, military town. People here usually see two options: Liberal or Conservative. I don't see a major shift to the NDP.
I can eliminate two options off the top. While both the NDP and the Greens offer appealing proposals for democratic reform, I can’t bring myself to vote for either. It isn’t only their policies—the enormous increases in spending and taxes, the ill-judged market interventions—but their personnel. Simply put, neither party is ready for government.
So the choice for me is between the Conservatives and the Liberals. And as I have wrestled with it, the ballot question that has occurred to me is this: would the Liberals do more harm to the economy than the Conservatives would do to democracy? Or perhaps: would the Liberals harm the economy more than the Conservatives would? Would re-electing the Conservatives do greater harm to our democracy than electing the Liberals? And: which concern should weigh more heavily in the balance?
At the end of the day, with so many problems facing the country today, are we really prepared to go with an untested party? Neither the NDP nor the Green are prepared to govern.
As Coyne says, the economy is important, but our democracy is worth more. The Liberals already have a good record on the economy, and it was the Liberals who put things in place that safeguarded us from economic collapse.
Michael Ignatieff is still standing and I have faith in the Canadian people that they will do the right thing.
We're not looking for people to just fill seats. We need a realistic replacement to the Harper government. Coyne made the right choice.