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I think it’s pretty obvious. There’s going to be an election this year.

The Tories have had over two years now, well above the life-expectancy of a minority government of about a year and a half (as far as I’ve heard, anyway), and already today I’ve heard of two entirely different ways the government could fall this session.

Of course, there’s the budget, but that’s always a good excuse to topple a government. So maybe that’s not so exciting. I haven’t even heard rumours about any ultimatums or back-room deals yet.

Then there’s the other thing. Afghanistan. There’s a motion to extend Canada’s mission there until 2011, extending the current 2009 timeline. Those confident Conservatives have gone and made it a vote of confidence, so if the parliament doesn’t pass the motion, we all head to the polls.

All this talk about whether Canada should stick with the mission until “it’s finished” or pull out now and save our troops from an unending struggle sounds very much like a conversation I’ve heard south of the border, swapping one middle eastern country for another. I often suspect Canadian politics just saw something exciting going on and wanted its own.

As far as I know, nobody’s saying that we should never have started a war with Afghanistan in the first place, unlike that other country. So whereas that’s one of the principle reasons cited for the American withdrawal from Iraq, it doesn’t exactly fly in the case of Afghanistan.

Now, I’ll admit, I know nothing about what sort of progress is going on or what sort of mission our mission actually is. I like to picture it as peace-keepers building schools, playing with children, and picking daisies, but I know that isn’t right, so I also try to picture it like Afghanada, which a slight bit more realistic. What I do know is that this is not an issue of Canada mucking around in another country uninvited, it’s a NATO mission. In fact, one of the stipulations of the current motion to extend our participation in the mission is that NATO needs to send more troops from other countries to help.

That’s about all I have for an argument for staying in Afghanistan. The reason we’re all reminded of by this sort of conversation doesn’t actually apply here, and, also, go team NATO. Clearly, not a very firm, lucid, or well justified argument by any means. Nonetheless, it certainly doesn’t seem like something the Liberals (who agreed to it in the first place), the NDP, or the Bloc should mutiny over. Sure, it’s more dramatic than the budget, but I’m not going to be inspired to vote for the dissenting parties over it.

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