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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Canadian Election: Good News and the Bad

Canada survived the election.   Why not, we're certainly in practice, the third election in seven years,  and the good news is that there will NOT  be another Federal election for 4 years.  Maybe that's the best news. 
   The Conservatives and Stephen Harper now have a majority government and a mandate  to do with Canada as they will, not to be hindered,  stymied, threatened or made ineffective as they so piously  pleaded in their previous minority status whilst they ruled.
     Throughout the campaign,  with canned, planned rhetoric void of fire but hinting of  brimstone,  they attempted to instil fear in the hearts of the electorate  at the possibility of yet another minority and potential coalition conspiracies galore.   Mission accomplished.    Please, now,  with that majority, please do not repeat that canned speech one more time lest you drive us all around the bend, never to vote again.
 The Bloc Quebecois was wiped out,  left with four seats,  having occupied those many fine leather chairs in the House of Commons  for far too long --and what other destiny could be more  appropriate for a naval-gazing, regional, separatist, non-representative Canada-destroying party?  Gilles Duceppe,  their fierce leader failed to survive the NDP onslaught in Quebec, and  he is resigning.    From what he is resigning we know not, for without party status,  nothing remains but indignant whispers and a few crocodile tears.  
Smiling Jack Layton, the upstart fiery  cane-wielding New Democratic leader was the real story for the night;  wounded or not,  Jack and the NDP swept Quebec  at the expense of the Liberals and Conservatives to become the 'official' opposition with over a hundred seats.  Heady stuff for Jack.   He gave a speech that was befitting a Prime Minister.  Blew the Liberals and Michael Ignatieff out of the water like a surfacing whale.  That was  good news for him.
The bad news is that as official opposition facing a strong majority Conservative government across the floor,  even with 104 seats  he probably has less power now than he did when the government was a whining  minority suffering  the whims of aggravated opposition ---and Jack was often deal-maker of choice.

Hastily scribbled on the back cover of the Liberal Red Book is  Michael  Ignatieff's resignation;  he will likely to return to academia---and  Justin Trudeau,  yes, the son of Pierre Elliott T. himself  --is already considering  acquisition of that broken leadership and it's broken toys.   Go figure.  That didn't take long.

Thing is, with the  central-left Liberals it's either take on Justin and die or try to reinvent themselves, lick the wounds, and maintain silence and dignity if at all possible, without trying to alienate the electorate any further than they apparently already have .

Bottom line, left  with only a paltry 35 seats, for the Liberals, it's either that or conjure up a leaderless merge with the Leftist NDP,   Bob Rae seems to like that idea, visions of sugar plums at 24 Sussex Drive  dance in his head,  but  the crabby old boy's Red Tie Power  club has 4 years of vacation ahead of them  to figure out how to  politely remove Iggy from the seat of power and  put Justin in charge without offending Bob anyway. Oh, tell them not to bother;  Iggy resigned today.  That was easy.

Way out in the greenest part of B.C, out on the  Saanich-Gulf Islands , a place I always wanted to visit since it's always green on Saltspring,  there's  Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party, who made her own  history by being the first  Green member of Parliament,  let's repeat that,  the first elected member of the Green Party of Canada to be sent to Ottawa.   Watch out, boys.
     Listen up, Stephen.   Now Elizabeth can storm the  leader's debates without the stigma of being the only party leader without a seat.  Now she has one. and it's a nice  Green one  just like the dozens  conveniently vacated by the Bloc for this special occasion, and the point is,  --shall we recall,-- she whupped a Conservative to get it too.  Feisty girl.   She is going to restore civility to the House of Commons single-handed. 
That's good news. Canadians are tired of watching children at play, and  by the way,  Canadians are entering dangerous territory with a government that not only prorogued  parliament twice,  but was also ruled in contempt of parliament.  How soon we forget?  uh-uh...Will the majority status "improve" that marginal tendency to dictate?  What shall we have, a majority anarchy? 
So, that's the bad news?  That's the pointed question.  Maybe the bad news  really is that we're just facing another 4 years of the same old political partisan gamesmanship. 

As my  brilliant friend John says,  "We shall see what we shall see".   Just don't hold your breath while you wait. 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

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