Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Unseasonable Election

With all this talk of a fall election, it behoves us to consider the merits of an autumnal trip to the polling booth. Is that really the best time?

Personally, I love the fall. Crisp, clear, sunny days with cool nights perfect for sleeping. But is it a good time for an election?

I would say no. After all, why would we want to take away any days from this delightful season? Given our short summers, it would be a crime to reduce our opportunities to enjoy the fall colors and the fall harvest.

Plus we’re pretty busy this time of year. The kids are back at school, the workplace is in post-vacation mode and Halloween preparations are already under way.

So if a fall election is out, what about a winter election? Who would care if a campaign interrupted our six-month annual hibernation?

Well, I would for one. It’s true that there’s not a lot to look forward to during winter. Our time is taken up with such horrid chores as shovelling snow, changing winter tires, washing dirty cars and endlessly putting on and taking off layers of heavy clothing.

Why would we want to insert another unwanted chore in the middle of this season from hell? Canadian winters are depressing enough as it is without throwing in an election campaign to boot. It’s tough enough to make it to spring without listening to Messrs. Harper, Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe for five straight weeks.

So what about spring? It’s the season of renewal, of new life, new hopes and new beginnings. Surely those metaphors alone should auger well for an election.

Not so fast. Yes, spring is great. But remember, this is Canada. Spring generally lasts all of five weeks which it just so happens is the typical length of a federal election campaign.

Do you want to remember spring as a five-week, coast-to-coast gabfest by our feckless leaders? I didn’t think so.

Which leaves us summer. A lovely season when it occasionally decides to show up. But not the time to hold an election.

Summer is our one chance to get away from it all. And "all" includes politics in general and elections in particular.

As Vivaldi might have said: "So much for the four seasons." So when should we have an election? Personally, I’d say let’s hold an election any time so long as it’s not in the spring, summer, winter or fall. I think most Canadians would be on board with such a seasonable proposal.

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