Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Chilliwack Times week of April  4, 2011)


End subsidy to Bloc party


  By John Martin


With yet another federal election underway we might want to prepare ourselves for a uniquely Canadian phenomenon, previously unheard of--election fatigue. No matter how important an issue or event may be, people have a limited amount of intellectual energy to spread around at any one given time.

Relief and humanitarian workers have long encountered something called "compassion fatigue." Sadly, people can only take so many infommercials of starving toddlers or news footage of natural disasters before they lose interest. After two or three earthquakes, famines and floods half way around the world, people tend to be reluctant to write a check or even focus their attention on the tragedy.

We're starting to see the same dynamic with federal elections. The prominence of the Bloc in Quebec has pretty well confined us to minority Parliaments with a typically brief life span. This is our fourth election in seven years. It hasn't been uncommon for just one federal campaign to take place during some seven year spans in this country.

Almost 10 million eligible voters stayed home in that last election, resulting in the lowest voter turnout ever--59.1 per cent. It's highly likely it will drop again on May 2. In fact, the only thing that's even keeping voter turnout this high is the aging demographics in this country. Older people are more likely to make the effort to vote, having some history of what's actually involved in securing democracy and political freedom.

Some commentators argue that a nasty political tone turns voters off. I don't buy that excuse any more than I believe fighting turns off hockey fans. One of the few occasions people do tune in to politics is when things get down and dirty. Canadians were more than politically engaged a few years ago when we heard of political operatives exchanging paper bags of money with gangsters in Italian restaurants after closing hours.

So, what would it take to get the vote back up over the 75 per cent level that showed up to elect Brian Mulroney in 1984?

The short answer is to squeeze out the Bloc. If the separatists are out of the picture then every election poses the strong possibility of a majority government where the stakes are always high.

It's ludicrous that a gang of traitors intent on destroying the country should be part of parliament to begin with. If the Conservatives do squeak out a majority this time round there is a chance this could signal the end of the Bloc. Stephen Harper has already committed a majority Conservative government to eliminating the voter subsidy that the Bloc is totally dependent on. None of the Bloc's supporters contribute to the party. They rely completely on the rest of Canada to finance their diabolical plans to break up the country.

This would be unheard of in any other part of the world. But in Canada, we're different.

If there's a more important issue than terminating the subsidy that keeps the Bloc on life support in this campaign, I've yet to hear about it.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at


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