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All I want for Christmas is an effective government

This Magazine Staff

Almost every year that I was in high school, I had to write an exam on my birthday. Two years ago, the Robert Pickton trial started on my birthday. Last year, Heath Ledger died (not too bad until you start receiving phone calls along the lines of “Guess what I just heard!” instead of “Happy Birthday”). This year, the week of my birthday will be marred with an unfrozen Parliament — slated for January 26, 2009 — and Harper’s last-ditch attempt to wipe the imagined horns from his forehead in the form of a new federal budget before a confidence vote decides his fate.
So let me get this straight: We Canadians have spent the last three years (almost) watching Harper’s condescending smile siphon money from worthy causes. Then, we spent five weeks and $300 million on an election that left us right where we were before (except for poor Dion, who took a serious tumble) and now we’ve got to spent the next seven weeks enduring further political propaganda while a handful of suits play tug of war with Sussex Drive.
What an excellent use of resources. Enough, boys. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. While the kiddies are bickering and the newspapers are plastered with to-the-minute updates on who’s got the biggest guns, thousands of workers will, for the first time, be buying their Christmas dinners with food stamps. Canada lost a record 70,600 jobs last month, the vast majority of which were slashed from Ontario’s already-struggling economy. This is the worst it’s been in a generation, according to the Toronto Star.
And, to put the cherry on the top of a terrific week, according to a poll commissioned by the Globe and Mail, nearly half of Canadians feel that Stephen Harper can no longer be trusted to run our country. Fifty-five percent said they feel that Canada is on the “wrong track.”
As I get older and wiser, I am quickly becoming more cynical and jaded. How is it that I live in a country where a near-majority of residents don’t trust the elected leader? I thought that was an American affliction. Perhaps North America can only have one trustworthy leader. Regardless, it’s time for change, and I don’t care who enacts it. Someone has got to stop the in-fighting and fix Canada before we stop worrying about Harper using the R-word and start tossing around the D-word.
Come on. We’ll call it my Christmas and birthday present.

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