To add to my roommate’s complaint, I just have to say this:
I came to political consciousness in the age of the worst, most brutal government cutbacks at the federal level. I watched first Mulroney, then the Chrétien-Martin tagteam gut all the necessary programs in favour of their goddamn religion of Chicago School economics.
They chopped Medicare until sick people are lying in corridors, and people turned away from emergency rooms! They cancelled AIDS programs. They reduced transfer payments until the provinces sliced their welfare programs to the bone. The number of homeless in Toronto tripled in the 90s while the percentage doubled in Montreal.
They let the banks merge and screw over the public, while the one-two punch of the GST and reductions in income tax shifted the tax burden to the poor. And Bank of Canada president John Crow’s obsession with inflation brought about a death of the Canadian economy that left us with a legacy of massive unemployment.
The one thing that allowed me to keep my sanity during the Age of Nightmare that the Mulroney/Chrétien/Martin years constitute – during which I was almost homeless once, and on welfare for about two years, and during which I accumulated $14,000 in student loans while a friend in Germany got to go to school for free – is the realization that most politicians in most parties are evil – rotten to their cores, prepared to burn their own grandmothers at the stake to boost their percentages by one or two points.
And now they’re willing to take stands?
A couple of papers are rporting that some cabinet ministers may quit rather than be forced to vote for same-sex marriage. The Liberal party, of course, will be allowing a free vote, because they know that some of their party will turn against them otherwise. These people, many of them the same drones who rubber-stamped all of Chrétien’s bad policies, are suddenly people of principle.
And now this latest cave-in, because Cotler, Martin, et al are frightened that the bureaucracy – which played Nazgul to Mulroney’s-and-Chrétien’s Sauron and implemented all the evil policies those two brought in – might revolt if, Goddess forbid, two guys might want to get married and register their china patterns at the Bay.
I am sick – it wrenches my stomach – that my right to equality suddenly arouses “Christian moral sentiment” when 20 years of cruelty towards the poor and the sick do not. I am disgusted that it could be considered “principled” to make me a second-class citizen, but not to take a stand on a real moral issue – making sure that the sick have medical care, and the hungry have food and a roof over their heads.