So we've got another election happening up here in the Great White North.
I'll say this once: Canadians have to stop complaining about elections. If you're sick of their frequency as of late (a complaint the Iranian people certainly don't have), then give the Tories a majority government for once so you can get in your four years of shut-eye.
The government spends $300,000,000 on elections, the pundits tell us, and Canadians don't want that. Pah. The government (no matter which party is in power) spends that much when it farts. Get over it. Show me a government that executes simple fiscal responsibility, such as, oh I don't know, NOT SPENDING MORE MONEY THAN IT HAS, and once that's in place then go ahead and complain about expensive things.
For all their faults, the Conservative Party is the closest we're going to get to that model of efficiency, so they've got my vote. This is no secret to anybody who knows me or reads my blog.
One of the not-faults of the Tories is their Universal Child Care Benefit, which pays families $100 per month per child under the age of five. That benefit was an election promise the last time we hit the polls, in contrast to the Liberal promise to establish free day care for everybody. As a father to five young children (soon to be six) who delights in his wife's desire to stay at home with the kids, I gotta tell ya, the Tory deal is a better one for us. Under the Liberal plan we would get nothing. Now, ideally, no government should be giving me money just because I've had some kids. But if I gotta choose between cash in my pocket that supports our lifestyle choice, or institutionalized child farming that condescendingly suggests the government would be better at forming our progeny, the choice is clear. I can't for the life of me figure out why the Liberals think that a one-size-fits-all childcare solution is appropriate for Canada.
The pundits are also saying that this election will be 'the social media election.' Not surprisingly, they're already oohing and ahhing over how wonderfully the also-ran parties are embracing it. They do have a point there. Part of Barack Obama's disastrous election win was due to his ability to engage young voters in an unprecedented fashion, and social media was a big part of that success. Fortunately for the Tories, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May don't have near the charisma that fooled so many Americans into thinking Obama knew what he was doing. But they're on the same low-charisma playing field with Prime Minister Harper and Michael Igantieff.
A 2010 analysis showed that about 2% of Canadians are active on Twitter. I'm one of them. From what I've seen in the #cdnpoli thread, most of that 2% are left leaning folks, which isn't surprising, since the main demographic that uses Twitter is, for the most part, too young to realize how left-leaning policies have a terrible historical track record.
Ultimately, I'm of the opinion that social media won't matter very much at all in this election. I predict that the mainstream media and the left leaning parties will vastly overestimate the importance of social media over the next few months. They'll burn up their ROI by spending too much time, effort, and money preaching their liberal agendas to the liberal choir, and the Tories will quietly win the race, slow and steady.
It will be fun to watch.