Election Musings

06.01.04

Looks like the Conservatives are running a candidate in my riding after all.

Not that it really matters or anything. The Conservatives can’t get votes in Quebec. My riding’s overwhelmingly Liberal, and will probably remain that way. But it did strike me as a little odd that, with all of Harper’s expansive talk about including Quebec and being a truly national party, that he wasn’t even planning on running candidates in so many Quebec ridings. (Maybe it just took him this long to find enough actual Conservatives in Quebec willing to run…)

The political advertising is starting to get annoying. The Liberal ads claiming that “you can’t have Canadian values at US tax levels” are the most obnoxious of all, because the Liberals actually have the audacity to campaign on a platform of higher taxes when everyone knows the money is being squandered. Stephen Harper’s ads are doing little other than attacking the credibility of the Liberals, which, while valid enough, doesn’t say much for the Conservative ability to put forth a positive platform. Harper also seems to be having trouble muzzling his own party members before they get him in big trouble.

Some bloggers seem excited as the poll percentage gap seems to be narrowing between the Libs and the Tories. I can’t share their enthusiasm. Firstly, the Conservative party, with its right-wing ideology, makes me uncomfortable in a lot of ways. To be sure, so does the Liberal party… plus, I’m just annoyed with the Liberals in general. But that doesn’t mean I think that Harper’s renamed and thinly-veiled Canadian-Alliance-Reform-whatever party is the answer either.

Plus, the Conservative gain in popular vote is unlikely to translate into seats. No party can get into power without a fair number of seats in Quebec as well as in the ROC, and the Conservatives are nowheresville here in Quebec. The Bloc is going to gain from the Liberal downturn here, while the Conservatives gain elsewhere in Canada. It may mean a minority government for Martin’s Liberals, but it’s still going to be a Liberal government.

Equally nuts are the theories speculating about cooperation between the Tories and the Bloc. One only has to give a cursory glance to their respective platforms to realize that it would be like a marriage between a bird and a fish. They say politics make for strange bedfellows, but these two parties are so far apart that it would be a ridiculous alliance. A Bloc-NDP cooperation deal is much more realistic, as both parties are far-left on most social issues.

In fact, the only party to gain significantly from a minority government is likely to be the NDP. Their far-left platform will gain visibility and importance if the Liberals need them to oppose the Conservative opposition and pass legislation. And however you spin it, that’s not good news for Canada.

28 days till the election.

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