600 million dollars later and not much has changed — but stop complaining about the cost

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Now that the political battleground has become relatively calm following the recent federal election, we can survey the scene to see what actually happened. In just a few words, not much. No party had a change larger than two seats after the dust settled. This has left many Canadians asking whether the 600 million spent to facilitate this federal election was money well spent. 

I’m always careful when speaking about money spent to uphold a democratic system that I adore so deeply. If the government is going to spend money, I can think of few areas where they would receive little pushback. Upholding democratic ideals is one of them. We are extremely lucky to live in a country that has its people vote for its leaders and representatives. If that costs a significant amount of money, we can consider it well spent. 

Making a fuss about money spent on an election is a little like being very upset that judges and government lawyers have large compensation packages. We wish to attract the best minds to the legal profession not just so that we can pay them high wages. We offer high wages with the hope that great minds uphold the principles and quality of our legal system. This is a sacrifice many people understand. The election cost sacrifice is more difficult to comprehend.

The difficulty arises because almost nothing has changed. A liberal minority, again. Shocker. I’d imagine that the same calls for fiscal responsibility and cries of reckless spending would quiet to a whisper if a different party had dethroned the Liberals. Or if the NDP had made huge gains. Or if Maxime Bernier had won back his seat. Taking this kind of partisan view to election spending doesn’t really work, because everyone knows you’ll only hold your ground until the political winds move in your favour. 

Two years between elections isn’t much time. Based on this, I can understand the argument that the election was a rushed power grab that emerged from  Liberal dissatisfaction. However, COVID-19 led the government to become more involved in daily life than many had anticipated. Calling an election seemed like a fair move to see what policies Canadians were comfortable with. 

I would be extremely critical of this Liberal government if they were to call another election in the next two years. You now have your mandate. Most Canadians agree with you, but they don’t trust you enough to make laws alone. Collaborate with other parties and get on with it. Please don’t call an election for some time. You’ll just look desperate. 

I’m no friend of the current government. I’ll criticize them when they deserve it. However, I believe the government’s money was spent wisely on the election.

Here’s the litmus test for whether you should be upset about the 600 million dollars being spent. If the election results had fulfilled all of your whims, would you still complain? If you’d still complain, then rant and rave until you’re blue in the face about what a  useless endeavor this was. If you answered no, then take the advice I gave to the Liberal party, and just get on with it. Accept that this is just the price we pay to live in a beautiful Canadian democracy.

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