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paul martin

Just announced during his concession speech, Paul Martin is stepping down as party leader.

No surprise there.

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The official results are more or less in: It’s a minority government for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, albeit a shaky one.

The real questions are, what now? Will Harper be able to govern? Will the NDP and the Tories combine for 155, or will they just miss? Will Harper work with Duceppe? How long can this crazy mess possibly last?

The good news:

  • The Bloc lost both popular vote and seats in Quebec. They can spin all they want, but this was a big blow to them, and is good news in the leadup to the next provincial election and sovereignty referendum.
  • Paul Martin is finished as Liberal leader. The party will now be jolted out of corruption and complacency, and will have to reorganize and revitalize itself in preparation for the future.
  • The Tories have a win but not necessarily a mandate. Their small minority will not allow them to do all the scary things that the Liberals accused them of wanting to do (and that they probably didn’t want to do in the first place).
  • Svend Robinson was defeated in Vancouver. Whew.

The bad news:

  • The Bloc Quebecois lost seats but gained power. They’ll now hold the balance of power in government, and they can exact a steep price to keep Harper’s government alive.
  • Minority government or not, Stephen Harper is now the Prime Minister of Canada. He has made a number of promises that I’m extremely uncomfortable with, and I suspect, many Canadians are too. (The silver lining here is that politicians are very good at breaking promises).
  • Had the Conservatives lost, Stephen Harper would surely have been forced out and the party might have had a chance to elect a more moderate, centrist leader and move to the left. Instead, Harper will keep his job and the Tories will remain socially conservative. Depending on your take on the situation, this is either good or bad. Regular readers here ought to understand how I feel about that one.
  • If you’re gay and planning to get married, you might want to move that date up a bit.

And yes, for posterity’s sake, I’ll say it again: I was wrong in my prediction of no gains for the Tories in Quebec.

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Some last thoughts before the election

01.22.2006

The polls are only a few hours from opening. I won’t make any definitive number “predictions”, which, in my opinion, are worth about as much as polls (that is to say, not much) other than to say that I think that the polls are overrated. But I do have a few thoughts on how things […]

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Martin’s gaffe

01.18.2006

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Martin was later forced on the defensive after a close ally — Canadian Auto Workers union President Buzz Hargrove — told reporters that Harper’s “view of the country is a separatist view” and would aid those who want independence for the French-speaking province of Quebec. “I have big […]

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Colbert mocks Liberal attack ad

01.17.2006

Stephen Colbert mock-saluted Paul Martin for “taking negative campaign ads to the next level”, based on the Liberal ad attacking Harper for being best friends with Bush. Hey Paul: When even the American comedians are mocking your ads, they have to be really awful. Then again, I suppose we should cut the Liberals some slack […]

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Only the CBC could have come up with this headline

01.17.2006

Martin attacks Layton for not attacking Harper. Catch that? And in related news, Duceppe attacks Harper for not attacking Layton for Martin’s attack on him. I’m starting to understand American politics better, where the word “attack” is usually followed by something like “Iraq”.

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Why I’m not jumping on the blue bandwagon

01.17.2006

In a democracy, I have an absolute right not to discuss how I intend to vote with anyone. However, I’m choosing to waive that right, because politics is such an important topic on this blog, to discuss why, despite the corruption, scandals and aggravation, unlike so many Canadians, I won’t be switching my vote from […]

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Reflections on the debate

01.09.2006

Update: Reflections now that the debate is over: Someone needs to buy Paul Martin a stopwatch, so he can time his statements better. There was hardly a segment in which he didn’t get cut off for nearly going over his time. Jack Layton really needs to stop phrasing every answer with his slogan that there […]

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U2 mania

11.28.2005

U2 fever has hit Montreal. Somehow they’ve managed to fit two shows – one Saturday night, a second tonight – in between blasting Paul Martin on foreign aid. Bono, as I’ve said before, we want your views on politics just as much as we want Paul Martin donning a leather jacket and belting out “Where […]

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Hey, it worked for Paul Martin

09.13.2005

Bush may be hoping that his mea culpa on the botched response to Katrina will lead to a jump in the polls, similar to what Martin experienced after apologizing for the sponsorship scandal on prime-time. However, Bush might want to consider this: there’s a world of difference between the embezzlement of a few billion dollars […]

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