Sunday, August 10, 2008

Canada and an Election

There is much speculation about Canada facing a fall election. The rationale goes something like this:

1. Harper was elected with a minority and has governed much longer than anticipated by the party - they need a fresh mandate and need to smarten up, an election will do it.

2. Dion wants an election mainly to settle internal party rumblings about his leadership, which sees him essentially not making progress and likely to lose an election. By having one, they can have a leadership convention or race.

3, No one in Canada other than journalists or politicians wants an election, since we have realized in the last24 months that the Federal government doesn't matter much at all ("it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets it).

4. The country is involved in an unpopular military/humanitarian campaign in Afghanistan as part of NATO. People appear upset that the military are losing people in battle. We're close to the 100 person mark after several years - about the same that was lost in 8 minutes of fighting in World War 1 or 10 minutes in the Italian campaign in World War 2. Apart from this, there is nothing significant to talk about.

5. Some people think that climate change is the issue for the election - Dion is trying to make it so. Trouble is he can't proununce "Green Shift" - his name for the challenge to the Tories - when he says it, it sounds like Climate Shit (which is about right).

6. Ontario will be key. Here it seems that the Liberals are playing quiet in exchange for cash - $6 billion so far - to help them cope with their failing economy. Watch for the Ontario Liberals supporting Harper at the next election.

7. Quebec is confused (no change there). Harper has done everything he can to give away Federalism in the hope of a Tory breakthrough in the Province - its not happening. The Block is on the block and the Alliance cant get anyone to talk to.

So, we could go to the polls to confirm the status quo. It will help bankrupt the Liberals, cause a leadership race and lead to a lot of interesting newspaper content. It could also mean the end for Harper - if he fails to get a majority, his party may look for someone else - someone with a personality and maybe an ability to inspire,

Meantime, keep an eye on Bob Rae - the man to watch for the Liberals. As for the Conservatives, well Peter Mac or, or, eh,,well anyone but Stockwell Day!

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