January 24, 2006

Politics: I'll Tell You Tomorrow


I just spent three hours on a post about yesterday's election, and I fucking lost it. That is to say, I just got a little grey box advising me that my time is ended, and all is lost with no hope of recovery.


Okay, nutshell version:

Liberals: They lost the government, but not by much. Martin stepping down as PM and party leader is no great surprise, but a lot of cabinet members kept their seats. Next leadership race should be interesting...

Bloc Quebecois: Got a huge majority of seats in Quebec, but lost 6.7% of the popular vote there and four total seats. Oops, looks like neither the mused-upon 50% popular vote nor the hoped-for sweep happened. Those predictions were Duceppe's only real errors.

NDP: Gained seats, lost some power. How's that? Well, the minority is so slim that Harper is not likely to try pushing anything to radical or dangerous to his party, so his social agenda is on the back burner; but in shifting power from Ottawa to the porvinces, he's got a ready ally in Quebec, meaning the NDP is not needed for those things the Conservatives are likely to try in this legeslature.

Conservatives: Gained, but not by much. The balancing act has shifted from Martin to Harper, and it's time to see how he deals with it. The biggest trick is to get Quebec to agree to the above-mentioned shift in powers: the seperatists are in power there, and they don't want to lose the only bullet in their gun. If the Conservatives suddenly look like Santa Claus, they could suddenly find themselves attacked for trying to "bribe proud Quebecers", which is exactly what he'll be trying to do. No change there, then.

The only moment that caused me concern all of last night? It happened during Harper's victory speech. For those of us who watch American politics (whether we admit it or not), there is one phrase that is utterly essential for anyone running for any office. If you hear someone not close their speech with this phrase, you can hear it's absence; it jars you, and there's a moment until you remember why. Anyone who misses using it has no chance of getting elected, no matter how qualified. We've kept England's reticence about using it in politics until quite recently, and it is, to me, not a welcome addition.

Stephen Harper's closing line:

"God bless Canada."

Excuse me while I stoke up the fire: I felt a sudden chill.


posted by Thursday at 2:15 am


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