That wasn't so hard, was it?
The government introduced measures some of the opposition parties support. They said they would vote for them. Parliament gets on with its work.
Who knew you could do that in Canada?
And so in the result, for the time being, until further notice, it would seem that an election has been taken away from the shrinking number of people who pay attention to federal politics, a level of government that has otherwise put itself out of business as it affects the lives of most citizens.
Now comes the periodic torturing of the opposition parties to see if they can still be bullied into triggering a new political crisis -- the avoidance of which was part of the basic case for the NDP's coalition proposal last year.
But in between rounds of that game, just possibly there might be some room for a bit of light on some of the issues facing the country.
Here are a few examples:
A substantial minority -- possibly a majority -- of Canadians currently working will retire without an adequate pension.
Their employers ran away from defined benefit plans over the past twenty years. Defined contribution plans are no substitute. Most Canadians don't save in RRSPs, a program that therefore amounts to a regressive transfer. The Canada Pension Plan in its current form will not provide dignified retirement on its own. Even Conservative provincial governments worry about this issue.
What is the federal government going to do about it, while there is still time (if there is)?
Canada is committed to a losing war in Afghanistan, one that our coalition leader, the United States, wants to plunge into more deeply.
In principle, Parliament has made a hard decision to withdraw from this conflict in 2011. In practice, if that is all we're going to do, we will be abandoning an ally and our comrades-in-arms in a morass. A point our American friends will perhaps put to us at some point soon.
Withdraw we must do, the sooner the better.
So how can Canada contribute to a form of peace in Afghanistan while we still has some sort of influence on events there, which will allow all the members of our alliance to join us in leaving this growing fiasco in some reasonable way?
A continental cap-and-trade system is coming, sooner or later, to reduce carbon emissions. This will have numerous difficult consequences.
It will, to begin, create a steadily-growing, first-class fiscal crisis for the federal government as well as for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, all of whom are to a greater or lesser extent addicted to carbon (in the case of the first two governments, relying on petro-chemical royalties to temporarily mask artificially low income and sales taxes). And it's not like budget balances are in great shape now, even before this inevitable adjustment occurs. The federal and inter-regional fiscal issues are extremely tricky to say the least. What's the plan?
Led by right-wing governments in British Columbia and Quebec, Canada's public health care system is being stealthily undermined by private for-profit health providers, services and clinics, who are introducing the inequities, inefficiencies and bloated over-investment in health services that blight our neighbour to the south.
The current government in Ottawa welcomes this and will do nothing to stop it. What is the majority in Parliament going to do about it?
English-language Canadian film occupies less than 3 per cent of Canadian theatre screens. English-language Canadian television shows are enjoying an impressive renaissance, but are still the poor cousins of rebroadcasted American shows on our own screens.
Cable providers are awash in regulated profit. Meanwhile, Canadian television networks are ground in the recession. Eyeballs are migrating to the internet (eyeballs like yours, dear reader).
What is the plan to ensure that Canada still has a cultural village square five years from now, in our most compelling media (probably this one)?
What Jean de Grandpre had to say twenty years or so ago about Canadian companies going into the free trade agreement remains true: too many Canadian firms are undercapitalized, underinvested in R & D, and underinvested in workforce training.
And so, among many other results, too many are prey to foreign takeover.
Will there be anything important left in Canadian hands other than our banks (protected by good, shamelessly-interfering-in-the-market federal legislation, at least for the time being)? In a globalized, free trading economy, how can you rebuild a national economy?
I could go on. Perhaps I will.
But my point today is that there is much serious business before our national Parliament.
Having demanded that our political leadership leave us alone with their elections for awhile, Canadians should demand some serious work instead, as well as some political gaming peace and quiet.