Election 42: Long Haul Elections

So here we are, two and a half weeks into the longest election period in modern Canadian history. And so far the most interesting thing to come up has been the total lack of interesting things to talk about. The big issue on day two of the election was Mr. Harper referring to the Liberal leader as "Justin". Cutting edge, vital stuff, I tell you. And since then? All Duffy, all the time. The only reprieve from this has been the brief interlude where a conservative supporter went off on a bunch of reporters for blowing Mr. Duffy's "cheating on his tax form" way out of proportion, and frankly everyone hopes this is merely comic relief.

My theory has long been that the only people who really care about elections are the media personalities who get paid to write and talk about them. The media likes to position themselves such that if something of historical importance occurs, they can be seen to have been there, writing the definitive commentary on the issues of the day, speaking to the future. We saw this at its most ridiculous extreme during the so-called Charlottown Accord incident of 1992, when the media was falling over each other to speak to the future in an effort explain why Canadians had, here and now, decided to accept this constitutional accord. Of course they all looked like tools when Canadians decided that they'd rather not.

The only other people who like elections are the political hobbyists who get excited over the cut and thrust of electoral combat.

Most real people don't seem to care. And given the dropping number of people actually getting out and voting, a plurality of voters are not engaged even in the slightest.

As I said up top, to me the most interesting thing to happen so far is what hasn't happened. I don't know if all the political writers are still on summer vacation or what, but there hasn't even been an effort to drum up a sense of drama. It is almost as if even those most invested in the election are admitting that even though the election has been called and the campaign is happening, it isn't really time to get going yet, so why bother.

What if they called an election and nobody cared? Because that is where we are so far with this one. Which makes me wonder what the point of calling it so early was1.


1 Just kidding. I know calling the election early was either about getting more of the party's money washed through the election reimbursement process or shutting down annoying third-party anti-government advertising campaigns.