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The Future is Full of Moderate Possibilities

December 20, 2010

So it sounds like Iggy is building up the courage to strike out on his own and risk sending the country to an election in the spring.  Well I say, it’s about time.

After three years of Conservative disregard for the institutions of democracy, embarrassing delinquency on climate change and international diplomacy, debasing of rational, science based decision making and the reckless use of the power of government fan the flames of a culture war to keep the country divided; finally we, the voters might have the chance, however flawed, to make our voice heard.   The Liberals seem to be more inspired about corporate tax cuts and fighter planes, but hey, whatever works for you.

An election will be good for the country, but not necessarily because it will actually lead to a different makeup in parliament, because that’s not very likely to happen.

One possibility is that the results of the recent by-elections will be part of  a trend of voters aggressively voting strategically and abandoning the NDP and Greens to defeat (or try to defeat) conservatives.  The election could really turn into more of a two way fight in most of the country.  This could conceivably lead to a Liberal minority government.  Maybe.  Or maybe the NDP will rebound and build on recent gains in Quebec.

But even if that doesn’t happen there could still be a change if Gilles Duceppe jumps for the Premier’s job in Quebec and the Bloc does significantly worse as a result.  Then it might be possible that the Liberals and NDP form a coalition to enable coalition majority rule. But you know, probably not.

If none of that happens and Stephen Harper doesn’t implode by say, trying to branch out with his burgeoning singing career into Lady Gaga tunes, then we’ll likely get similar results to last election.

If the NDP+Libs somehow win more seats than the Cons, a Coalition will be possible, although a very weak one with only informal support from the Bloc.  But hey, that’s better than nothing, which is what 75% have right now in parliament, nothing.

If that isn’t even possible, then Iggy will have had his chance and will be expected to resign forthwith.  Would Jack step aside if the NDP get less seats than last election?  Would the Bloc implode in ‘nobody-wants-to-talk-about-sovereignty-Quebec’ when Gilles leaves to slay the provincial Liberals? Maybe even Harper will get tired of weak mandates and lack of progress and throw a bone to someone more able to rile old Progressive Conservative voters now sitting in the Liberal camp.  Nah, sorry, I’ve gone too far now, don’t know what I was thinking there.

No matter what, after the next election change would at the very least come in the form of new blood  somewhere or a change from weak rule by one party to weak rule by another.  At this point in the extended stalemate that is Canadian politics, that might be the biggest change we can hope for.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2010 12:10 pm

    Iggy is certainly damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, isn’t he? That has been his story since the first time he dropped the gauntlet in the fall of 2009 when the NDP ended up propping the Harpercons. Iggy’s numbers plummetted back then, and we saw some rather vicious headlines in the now Harper friendly papers. Like How dare he get, well, oppositional!! It was certainly the message the blogging tories brought out.

    Iggy then lies low, holds his nose to prop the Harpercons up because Harper’s numbers on any number of occasion teetered on majority territory, and he would get lambasted by progressives and ridiculed by the Harpercon cheerleaders.

    Now, he’s not taking so much of a beating as he did in the Fall of 2009, which is a relief.

    No, he is nowhere ready for an election, given how broke the party is and how poor his polling numbers are, but, given that he’s proven capable of travelling and engaging with Canadians from his Open Mike & LPCX tours, and can put together a good team, he might prove to be a good campaigner.

    Plus, Harper could easily make a gaffe mid campaign. Remember 2008, when he was poised to get that majority, then he announced he would pull the plug on arts and culture funding??

    Truth is, it’s not a bad move for Iggy, especially, since I think he knows something. I think it’s also his way of letting both the NDP & the Bloc know that he won’t be counted on to prop the Harpercons; that it’ll be up to them to do so. Will they? I think it’s more likely for the Bloc to do so, than the NDP. The Bloc already supported Harper in the purchase of those F35s, and the purchase will surely be in there. Furthermore, Raymond Bachand, our finance minister, is supporting Flaherty’s new grandiose legal ponzi private pension scheme, and I think it’s quite possible that there could be that HST cash Quebec has been looking for.

    Or perhaps Iggy wants to put himself out of his misery sooner rather than later.

    As for that coalition idea, best to be rid of it. It’s a bad idea, particularly with the Bloc playing any role. They’re the most hated party outside of Quebec. One thing I’ve noticed about Progressives, we tend to be reluctant to leave our comfort zones and think that most of the country is progressive. Let’s dispell that myth right now. Jane and Joe Six-Pack are not progressive; They’re center and are being shifted to the right, thanks to the media today, which happens to be Harper friendly for the most part. I assure you, they’re easier to find than progressives. They’re the ones who don’t like coalitions and have under no uncertain terms demonstrated this. If you want to sway Jane and Joe away from Harper, best not to try forcing things like coalitions down their throats. Truth be told, Harper relishes the idea of a coalition. He knows it’s an easy majority for him. That’s why he always campaigns on it. If it didn’t work, he wouldn’t bother. Steve is too much of a tactician to continue with tactics that don’t work.

  2. December 20, 2010 1:03 pm

    great response ck the only thing I disagree a bit with you on is the usefulness of coalitions. Paul Wells has a great article about why he thinks harper attacks the idea of coalitions so constantly. He thinks it has more to do with the conservatives seeing that the only threat to them losing is a structural changing the political alignments, such as a lasting coalition.

    Perhaps Joe and Jane are against it, but I think its dangerous to over generalize about what the ‘average’ Canadian means. While most Canadians wouldn’t call themselves progressive necessarily, there is a large majority of voters who do not vote for the Conservatives and will not. They simply need to be given an option that makes sense. But I agree the Bloc make it all much harder than it needs to be.

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