On Friday, Mar. 25, Canada made history as the first nation in the Commonwealth to have a government fall due to a non-confidence motion based on a contempt ruling. The motion, put forward by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, called Stephen Harper and the Conservative government out on being found in contempt of Parliament following a ruling by the procedure and house affairs committee that the Government was withholding vital information – such as estimated costs on corporate tax cuts, crime legislation, and the controversial purchase of a fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets – thus preventing members of parliament from being able to do their jobs.
Mar. 25 was also the 39th Keg-a-Rama, the annual Business Students’ Society fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Professional Firefighter Association Burn Fund. University of Regina students and members of the community teamed up to raise $19,100 for burn victims across Saskatchewan the best way that university students know how – by rolling a keg around and then drinking copiously.
The Carillon wanted to know what students thought of the impending election. What better time to do it than when everyone’s drunk? We asked students, and they responded; in many cases, they did so with a lot more vigour and knowledge than you’d expect from people who’ve been drinking for four hours. Last names have been omitted to protect the inebriated.
The Carillon: And what are you dressed as today, Greg?
Greg D.: I’m dressed as Risky Business. Risky Business. It’s-
TC: Risky Business?
GD: Tom Cruise, you know?
TC: Okay. So. Parliament was dissolved today and we’re going into an election. What do you think about that?
GD: I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to that shit.
TC: Okay. Fair enough. Do you think you have an obligation to for your baby? [gestures to infant doll GD is cradling in his arms]
GD: Uh, well, I dunno. I don’t even know what that means.
TC: Well, thank you very much, Greg.
TC: Sam, what are you dressed as?
Sam K.: The fraternity from Old School.
TC: Sam – today Canadian Parliament was dissolved and we’re going to an election next month. What do you think about that?
SK: I don’t agree because I’m a Conservative and Conservatives should stay in power.
TC: Do you think that Conservatives being found in contempt of Parliament was an important thing, or do you think it was something that in the big scheme of things wasn’t that important?
SK: I do think it was an important thing because I believe that Liberals are – I don’t know what the word for it is, but I would say that Conservatives are the future, Liberals are downgrading things.
TC: What are you dressed as today, Teagan? Just so I can remember when I’m writing it down.
Teagan K.: Uhhhhhhhhh, Troll. Troll.
TC: Troll? Okay. Teagan, were you paying any attention to Canadian politics today? Do you know that we’re going into an election next month?
TK: I heard that because of the budget?
TC: Right. It’s actually, they voted on a non-confidence motion after [the Conservatives] were found in contempt.
TK: So does that go to the Queen then, or how does that work?
TC: It goes to the Governor General. And now Stephen Harper’s going to ask him to dissolve Parliament and we’re going to an election.
TK: An election. Yup.
TC: What do you think of the Parliament being dissolved based on a contempt ruling?
TK: [pause] Oh, fuck.
TC: Yeah. [laughs] Just go with it.
TK: I think it’s good. I think we need change. I think a good change of governor, of government would be good. Um. Yeah. That’s my opinion on that. I think we need change. I think Canada needs to change. I think Stephen Harper has had his chance, but I dunno. I don’t think he’s done very well, but I don’t think he’s done very bad, either, so it’s hard to judge on that. Alright, so, I dunno. That’s my opinion. I’m kinda open to it, right? So. I kinda go both ways, so. It’s whatever has. Yeah.
TC: And what are you dressed as today, Michelle?
Michelle: A Troll.
TC: So, um, you heard the question but I’ll just reiterate it. Canadian Parliament was dissolved today based on a non-confidence motion put forward by Michael Ignatieff addressing the motion of contempt – er, the Conservatives being found in contempt. What do you think about that?
M: I think I agree. I don’t really fully trust Harper, you know what I mean? There’s a part of him that I don’t completely agree with, like, it’s a democracy, people should be able to say what they wanna say. But how Harper has such like a, like his party’s so whipped, it’s a bit too much, you know what I mean?
M: It’s a bit too much in the sense that they’re not allowed to speak free of will, they have to go through Harper, and then speak, you know what I mean?
TC: Okay, so do you think it’s a good thing that we’re going to an election next month?
M: I think it’s good. I think it’s good to get a change. It’s been – it’s been, like, enough time, they’ve been in government a long enough time for people to judge whether it’s been beneficial or not beneficial, so yeah. It’s been enough. It’s been enough time.
[Note: The next interviewee had what he said was a “unique” name, and requested that he be identified as “R.W.” Also, we forgot to ask what he was dressed as, but there was tie-dye involved.]
“R.W.”: So, um, first of all, stunned that the Liberals would even allow this to happen because of the fact that in the polls they’re so behind and clearly Ignatieff is the leader that is not going to bring the Liberals to new fruition and they’re not going to win. But on top of that I’m even more stunned though the NDP would allow this to happen because I don’t think with Jack Layton as a leader they’re ever going to make up for anything more than they’ve made up for right now. They’ve accomplished more in the last couple terms with Mr. Harper in power than they will if they were to go to an election again. I think they would lose more of their electoral vote. And at the end I’d just like to say that Harper is likely going to strengthen his minority. There’s no way he’s gonna make a majority but I think that a lot of people are happy with the way he dealt with the economic system and that they’re just actually pumped on him and they’re gonna continue electing him even though he is a complete fascist pig.
TC: Right. I got one quick follow-up which was you talked about the politics, like, how you are surprised that the Liberals would allow it cause they’re not up in the polls, but the motion of non-confidence was based on the government being found in contempt. Do you think that played into the motion passing?
“R.W.”: I don’t think it remotely matters. The people who support Harper are Conservatives and they don’t care what Liberals say. They were found on contempt but it was on textu – technicality unless I’m mistaken so I do not think they are going to take it as a serious detriment against Harper. And on top of that I think that a lot of the people that support the Liberals are gonna look at this and go, “Well done.” But the people who actually support the Conservatives are gonna continue voting with the lines that they had before.
TC: What are you dressed as today?
Simon K.: Robosexual.
TC: Robosexual, okay. So the Canadian government was found in contempt – the Conservatives were found in contempt of Parliament, a non-confidence motion was [put forward] and the government was dissolved. We’re going to an election next month. What do you think about that?
SK: I hate things that dissolve.
SK: I hate things that dissolve.
SK: So I think the new government will be way better.
Nearby girl: [to TC] Are you sober as fuck?
SK: Fuck Stephen Harper.
SK: Good enough?
TC: Very lucid.
Nearby girl: [leans into recorder] ‘Elloooo.
TC: Thank you.
TC: Your first names and your last-
Leah D.: Kay, I need one thing. My name is Leah D.
Linnea S.: And Linnea S.
TC: Okay so you heard the question? And you heard the question?
LS: No, repeat it.
TC: The Canadian government- the Conservatives were found in contempt of Parliament, Michael Ignatieff [put forward] a motion of non-confidence based on that, and the Parliament got dissolved, so we’re going to an election next month.
LS: Can you explain that in English?
TC: Sure, um, [launches into convoluted explanation of non-confidence motion, Conservatives being found in contempt, etc.]
LD: I think the Conservative government is a piece of shit.
LD: And for them, like, for them to lie is bogus. Like, this is someone we’re trying to trust? And for them to fuckin’ lie on something is ridiculous.
TC: That was Leah. And what’s your name again?
TC: What’s your opinion, Linnea?
LS: I don’t think it’s fair, I actually think it’s – are we allowed to swear?
TC: Yeah, yeah. It’s a university newspaper.
LS: I think it’s bullshit.
TC: Which is bullshit?
LS: Being able to say something and then- [gets distracted by someone pulling on her hair] You see that? Sidetracks me. [unintelligible]
TC: So are you saying it’s bullshit to say something and then-
LS: Go against your word. Not cool.
TC: So do you think it makes sense that we’re going to an election next month?
LS: No. Yes. No. [looks startled]
TC: Okay, thanks. Awesome.