Losing Faith in the Electorate

In both Canada and the U.S., the political scene is utterly dismal. As I survey the ongoing debacle in my own country, it is hard not to lose faith in the mental competence of an electorate that swept a flawed but generally competent Conservative government out of power and replaced it with a corrupt, cynical and hopelessly inept Liberal administration that is busy running the country into the ground. Former Conservative PM Stephen Harper made his share of mistakes, but he was a fundamentally decent leader who left the country in sound economic shape. The argument advanced by many anti-Harperites that bottom-line thinking violates the greater desiderata of compassion—a uniquely Canadian value, apparently—is sanctimonious hogwash. A stable economy is the best antidote to the spread of statist-driven destitution, rising unemployment and government dependency. Harper’s successor, the vapid and emptily speechifying Justin Trudeau, has budgeted the country into a $30 billion debt—which, according to a just released Toronto-Dominion Bank report, will jump by an additional $5 billion this year.