Andrew Coyne wrote:The two main parties, after all, could not be more different. The one, it is well known, is little more than a personality cult centred on the leader, while the other is a personality cult, minus the personality. The first is notably bereft of any governing philosophy or principles but will say and do whatever it takes to win, while the second will say and do whatever it takes to lose.
Of course, both parties have from time to time had their share of scandals, a Wright-Duffy here, an SNC-Lavalin there, but with a critical difference. For whereas the Liberals abuse power because they can — because being so often in government and so accustomed to its pleasures, no one expects them to do any differently — the Conservatives do so because they must: because being so rarely in government, they are at every disadvantage, between an uncooperative bureaucracy and a hostile media, and need recourse to every expedient just to even the scales. Or because the Liberals did it first. Or just because.
On the issues, too, voters face a profound, nay, a historic choice. It is a choice between a party that has run deficits for the last four years, and a party that would run deficits for the next five; between a party that negotiated free trade deals with the United States, Europe and Asia, and a party that negotiated free trade deals with Asia, Europe and the United States; between a party that held health-care transfers to the provinces to increase by no more than the rate of growth in GDP, and a party that has increased health-care transfers by no less than the growth in GDP.
It is a choice between a party that makes no secret of its opposition to electoral reform and a party that very successfully made a secret of it; between a party that repeatedly smuggled legislation past Parliament via gargantuan omnibus bills, invoked “time allocation” motions to cut off debate and held its members captive to the most rigid system of party discipline in the democratic world, and a party that said it would not do any of these things.
It is a choice between a party that, in its time in office, failed to build a single pipeline to tidewater, and a party that has failed, in its time in office, to build a single pipeline to tidewater; between a party that has no realistic plan to meet the targets for greenhouse gas emissions to which they both have committed, and a party that has a plan that is even less realistic.