Gambling with Other People's Money
Casino Canada is open! As MPs take a break from the drudgery of rancorous partisan debates and otherwise serving their constituents in numerous selfless ways to the much more exciting task of trying to hold onto their seats, their leaders are busy enlarging their carbon footprints and raising the stakes in a media/entertainment docudrama about so-called "democracy".
Jet stops, photo-ops and hip-hops. Spending meaningful time in numerous small towns. Watching the polls. Adjusting the message. Adjusting the tie. Feeling people's pain. Spending people's money.
Every time the big bus pulls up to the one-armed bandit called a fuel pump, there are two major tax wheels spinning—one is the taxes already levied on gasoline and diesel and the other is the steady flow of taxpayers money into the campaigns of the BIG FIVE. Yes, that's true. Even though the Greens are hopping mad (as they should be) about Elizabeth May being excluded from the biggest media debates, they at least can comfort themselves that they've been given a little gambling money to keep them occupied while Papa Steve and Uncle Iggy spend time watching the Big Wheel spin on the inside. (How many times can you pull the lever with $1.8 million burning a hole in your pocket?) Between the Bloc, the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens, there's about $30 million per year of our hard-earned bucks going into the slots. In an election year double that…double or nothing!
Every day the stakes go up. A billion here, a few hundred million there. As one American politician once said, "A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon it adds up to some real money!" Yes, the students, the infrastructure, the environment, etc., all targets of the buoyant generosity displayed by the promising leaders as they warm to the task. A round for everyone. Hurrah! This one's on the House! And where does the House get its money? That's a question too deep for voters at a time like this…
Of course, none of these wild and extravagant promises matter much because the parties that lose can't make it happen and the party that wins can only do so by placating the parties that lose. But the real thrill is the gambling itself. At the end of the day, when the big tour buses are parked, when the signs and confetti are cleaned up and the new government presents itself—nearly sober!—to the Canadian voters, all parties can say they've had a great time on the trail. The biggest loser is the Canadian taxpayer who seems to have been rolled in the alley.
Did I mention that the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, the 6th largest party on the ballot, has never received a dime of taxpayers' money? Our party is held up by the prayers and sacrifices of our members. We know the stakes are high—much higher than anything that can be measured in dollars. Nothing less than the future of our nation and the type of society our grandchildren will inherit. For us this race is not a gamble but a sure bet! We know that representing Christian values will always result in blessing—a blessing with no morning-after regrets.