Great white elections

Rachel Faber

The national leader has just unexpectedly dissolved the legislature. A career politician, he is taking a huge gamble. He has demanded a snap election to be held in a month.

The election campaign begins officially at this moment, he declared. There is nothing more democratic than calling an election.

The reason he is anxious for a national vote is that he is riding on the wings of popular sympathy since the death of a beloved former leader. The current leader is ahead in the polls and the economy is good and he thinks a vote now will ensure his victory.

Of course, the opposition denies these claims for an easy win. The opposition consists of a new political party that formed when the opposition leadership consolidated many of the smaller conservative parties.

It’s a rags to riches story. He rose from being the eighth kid in family of 19 to the highest office in the land. He battled poverty and health problems, but he is finally at the top, and wants to stay there with a vote in the snap election.

All these unpredictable factors surrounding the election seem to point to a dictator in a developing world; maybe it is someone who rose to power through generous U.S. foreign assistance and wants to hang on.

Here is the kicker. This is the current state of election affairs in Canada.

They can do that?

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien of the Liberal Party has called for a snap election to be held Nov. 27, even though he has over a year remaining in his term. He just dissolved the Parliament and began the national election.

The opposition, the Canadian Alliance, has quite a bit to say about the sudden move. They are suspicious about his motives and appeal to the Canadian people that Chretien is treating them like fools. The Canadian Alliance is so new it doesn’t even have an election track record, but they are presenting the strongest opposition to the ruling Liberal Party.

The Canadian Alliance certainly has an up-hill task to buck the popular Liberal majority. Not only do the Liberals have the upper hand in parliamentary seats, but they are riding on the same wave of economic prosperity the Clinton administration has enjoyed. With the recent death of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the emotional outpouring of support for the Liberal party has only increased.

After the initial shock of the snap election subsided, I began to savor the moment. A functioning Western government with unpredictable, dramatic elections. A newly formed party providing the strongest opposition to the status quo. Candidates for national leadership who have not been groomed for executive office since they were in the womb.

How novel.

The upcoming Canadian national election holds all the promise and drama that the election in the U.S. does not. For example, they are not subjected to eighteen months of mind-numbing orchestrated garbage before the WWF-caliber theatrics of the national showdown. Canadians have not set their biological clocks to coincide with the national elections; the timing is not so predictable.

They even get to watch a newly formed party take its baby steps in the five weeks it has to prepare for a national election.

Even though the U.S. has a vested interest in the political leadership of our largest trading partner and border nation, the World Series has propelled any concerns of our national safety and well being to the remotest corners of our minds.

The Canadians could not have planned this kind of timing. It is not as if the Yankees and the Mets are being paid off by the Canadian government to prolong the series to keep America focused on the national pastime in lieu of national interests.

Even if the World Series did not coincide with pivotal moments in Canadian political history, it is doubtful that many Americans would know of or care about their prime minister.

My mind is made up. The perfect solution to the nauseating pageantry of the U.S. elections is to move to Canada and hop on a bandwagon. Even if it is a shorter ride, it will certainly be more exciting than waiting for the predestined predictability of the U.S. political process.