Anyone who had taken the trouble to attend the recent election forum in Red Deer would have been rewarded by a debate that was a microcosm of the political parties.
The area around the venue was decked out with huge Conservative Party posters, which was merely a reflection of the support they receive from big business. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and big business will dictate the actions of any future Tory government — it will certainly not be the ordinary voters.
This is, if nothing else, an insight into the limits of our democracy.
The Conservatives have a loyal man in Earl Dreeshen. He faithfully followed the party line, insisting that they did not want an election; however a six-year-old can see that it has been Tory-organized for months.
The election was planned to coincide with the present unsteady upturn in the economy in order to give the present government a chance of a majority. This could work but there may be some surprises.
Whoever forms the next government will be faced with a crises of growing proportions that will expose the myth of the so-called strong Canadian economy, which is only in relatively good shape, when compared to the other OECD countries.
The countries of Europe are falling one by one into crises. The enormous cuts in their state spending are the result of the bailing out of the banking system and they are bringing real hardship to the populations.
The result is that ordinary workers who produce the wealth have less to spend on the purchase of commodities.
The fact that spending has been rising to any extent is based on more borrowing so the next credit-fueled downturn is on the way.
The biggest threat to the Canadian economy comes from our southern neighbour.
In an article on MSN (April 21, 2011 — Is America the New Greece?) Anthony Mirhaydari says, “Now it will bring a new age of austerity to the U.S.” and “The situation in America is severe.”
Considering the fact that most financial and political observers have been trying to talk up the world economy, accusing any talk of further recession as heresy, this is revealing.
The frequency of elections that we have experienced in Canada over the last period is set to continue as governments are tried and tested.
The NDP must defend ordinary working people and be prepared to implement radical socialist change when they are eventually in government.
Keith Norman Wyatt