Get over it; there won’t be an election this year

By Ivan Morgan / September 1, 2023

Nobody wants an election this year. By this year I mean Fall, Winter, and Spring 23/24. And by nobody, I mean most people. Yet wherever I go people say to me “Election this year, coming up for sure!”

This is the last weekend of the summer; while we all get serious again after Labour Day, there is still a little summer silliness in the air. A lot of people have been telling me there will be an election soon. Some say federal, some say provincial, but soon, they warn.

That’s silly.  I am old and wise enough to know by now that people like saying it for the shock value. “Guaranteed, buddy.” 

No way, Jose. Not federally, not provincially and municipal elections are fixed and years away.

In the province we have legislation that stipulates the second Tuesday in October of every fourth year is election day, but legislation can easily be changed when you have the most votes in the House. As the Liberals were elected on March 25, 2021 (well, the results were announced on the 27th), they are not even halfway through their four-year mandate, so why would they take us all to the polls?

The Tories are having a leadership convention this fall and whoever wins will need time in the harness. The Liberals could call an election to catch the Tories off guard, but that has backfired in the past.

Nope – no election this year.

Federally the Trudeau Liberals hold on to power because the NDP vote with them. It’s an interesting arrangement but my guess is it won’t end well for the NDP. Prime Minister Trudeau has been around a while, with more and more people wondering about his Best Before date. He is just about to celebrate his second anniversary of this mandate. The last election, for those who remember, was pretty much pointless. Why would he risk going to the polls for another pointless election?

The country is a mess, but Canada has always been a mess. Canada is pretty much ungovernable, but here we are. I was once lucky enough to have supper with Jeffrey Simpson, who is an award-winning writer, columnist and journalist who has covered national affairs for many decades. He told me he had been criss-crossing Canada for over 20 years, and he had learned two national truths. The first truth was wherever you went in Canada they would present you with their local beer, telling you it was the best in the nation. The second truth? When you were comfortable sipping that cold brew, they would set about angrily telling you how the rest of Canada was screwing them (he used a more graphic term, but this is a community paper.)  Oh Canada…

The province is a mess, but the province has always been a mess. Health care is close to a disaster, housing is a disaster, there’s a spiralling drug crisis, people are finding it difficult to pay for food. We are going to have to start paying for Muskrat Falls, which doesn’t seem to work very well, while spending billions more to increase generating capacity on the island, something I was told to my face during the push for Muskrat Falls was not possible. No one knows what rate mitigation means other than “your power bill could be even worse than it is.” No politician has made any kind of sensible suggestion to solve any of these issues, (except give us back our money, which, as I have said before, shows they have no idea what to do.)

As I said, a mess. No need to face us angry voters quite yet. What would the slogans be? Vote for us, we haven’t done anything, but we want to stay in power. Or “Vote for us, the last time we were in power we made a royal hash of it, but give us another chance?” Nope, there won’t be an election any time soon. When folks say there will be, they’re just blowing smoke.

Mind you, all this can change very quickly. When I was a pup there was an expression: A week can be a lifetime in politics. Today, with social media, I think that’s come down to a day, so who knows? 

Maybe you should cut this column out of the paper and put it away so if there is an election you can rub my nose in it.

Ivan Morgan can be reached at ivan.morgan@gmail.com

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