Tag Archives: election

Post-Election Thoughts

The election for Canada’s 41st Parliament is over and the results are in. As expected, Stephen Harper has won a majority which should allow him to further his agenda (hidden or not hidden) and that of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). And, unexpectedly, the New Democratic Party (NDP) took over as the official opposition as the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) slipped into third place. I am a liberal at heart and though I am saddened by the result, I am also relieved. This result allows some real changes to occur in the LPC so that it better reflects what it is to be liberal and Canadian.

I don’t want to focus on the election itself as that is one for history, not about what comes next.  It doesn’t matter who did or said what, who did or didn’t take part in debates or who did or didn’t answer media questions, or about the role of the media during the election or about reports not released because there was an election taking place.  The results are in and we now have to live with them for at least four years assuming Stephen Harper follows his own election law this time around.  What I want to focus on is “Now what do we do if we believe in a Canada that is inclusive, a Canada that is unified in all of its diversity?”

First steps on the level of the political party – choose a leader and hold that leader accountable.  An interim leader is being chosen at this moment and will serve until a full leadership convention.  Care has to be given to the selection of the interim leader as many would see this as an endorsement and an unfair advantage to the interim leader in the leadership convention which follows.  Given the polarity of vision in various leadership contenders, this is even more vital as it is obvious to most that certain candidates would fold the party in order to have a “united left party” with the NDP.  Obviously, this is not something that can be decided by a leader, but must be decided by the party membership as a whole, and only after enough time, resources and research have been invested, including the EDA leadership doing an extended conversation with their local LPC supporters.  Will we have the courage and the patience to do this work?  Or will we throw up our hands and admit that we are dinosaurs and cease to exist as a political party in Canada.

Our choice, I hope.

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Danny boy

I have to say that I agree with Danny Williams.  Harper is a threat to Canadian unity.  I said this in the past and I doubt that I will change my mind.  That said, it isn’t time to take down the Conservatives.  Ignatieff needs to have his party in position to win when an election is called.  It would be totally disastrous for all of Canada to have an election where Harper squeeks out a slim majority.  Think of Bush.  We don’t want to go there.  At least with a leash, Harper will act a bit better and do a bit less damage.  Canada can rebound from the damage he has and will yet inflict on our unity and our economy as long as we don’t give him a free hand in terms of a majority government.  Just think of how much he has hurt the country while being a leader of a minority government.  And no, repeat – NO! – it isn’t the time to head to the election polls.

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Prognostications for 2009

Okay, I will join the ranks of those who are peering into teacups littered with a broken tea bag leaves, or those with illusions of having paranormal abilities, and making a few predictions for Canada in 2009. 

First, when Parliament reconvenes on January 26th, there will be no surprises in terms of a minority government being turfed in a non-confidence vote regarding the Speech from the Throne.  On the following day, the vote on the budget will pass as it will be more “liberal” than Liberal.  It might even be more “liberal” than the NDP.  Who will vote for the budget?  My guess, is that only the minority government will actually vote for the budget with enough opposition members missing due to colds, flus and pressing family matters.  I don’t think anyone wants to be tagged with the fallout of that budget.  Of course, the Bloc may be convinced to vote for the budget as it WILL contain all kinds of goodies for Québec in an attempt to cobble together a fast fading support of Conservatives in that province.

Second, like most are predicting, the economy will be much worse and last much longer than has been predicted.  Market fluctuations will give false signals of encouragement, if only to sucker in more investment dollars before sucking them away as profit for a few who would sell as people begin to buy back in.  This fits the Harper advice that there is money to be made in the market.  Saskatchewan will lose, not grow, during the year.  It isn’t an island outside of the storm waters.

Third, the Liberal party will take time to heal and partly refill election coffers while the Conservatives break every rule of their ideology.  Strategic avoidance of pulling down the government while appearing to attack the government will accomplish two things, time for the healing and powerful influence on Harper’s government to stay away from ideological traps that would spell out the end of their brief rule.

Fourth, the Conservatives will make mistakes and piss off even more of their own supporters.  They will “cross the line”, likely in the late spring, resulting in the government being tossed out in a vote of non-confidence. 

Fifth, there will be no coalition government to follow this fall from power if the Conservatives can last until May or June.  If for some reason such as a death-wish policy proposals, that the government falls earlier, I do expect a coalition that will be open to NDP, Liberals and a few Conservative backbench MPs or even leader wannabees.  It would be a coalition of necessity for all parties at that point, one that would actually be welcomed by the public.

Sixth, Harper will lose his status as party leader.

Seventh, Prentice will become the next Conservative leader, not Charest.

And, I will end there.  Seven is a nice number.  Besides, the crystal ball is getting cloudy at this point, likely because the wind has picked up.  It will be interesting to watch the year unfold now that I have a measuring stick. 

Happy New Year.

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