Thank you Quebec. We have you to thank for preventing a Conservative majority government. Thank you for saving us from 4 (or perhaps more depending on whether Stevie decides to follow his own law) years of an arrogant, right-wing dickwad running roughshod over our rights. Stephen Harper has proven that he has the ability to control his candidates – no one really said anything too nutty. This time the gaffes were left to his Highness and his staff.

So, what did we learn? Well, we confirmed that Stephen Harper really is a control freak. How else do you keep the rabid right-wing nutbars from saying something stupid other than keeping them under your thumb? The CBC was reporting earlier that many of the Cons candidates were very hard to talk to at anytime. They singled out Dona Cadman as one of the most elusive candidates. Clearly the Conservative candidates were kept on tight leashes and party ‘stalwarts’ were trotted out to spew the doctrine according to Stephen. Lucky for us he made some key mistakes in Quebec particularly around funding for the arts.

What did we learn about Stephane Dion? Sadly, nothing. He can’t lead. He is a policy wonk who cannot speak perfect English. Someone pundit pointed out that it is acceptable in Canadian politics for English speaking leaders to get away with bad French but not the other way around. It is too bad that Stephane cannot express himself better in English and that we English speakers are not patient enough to listen. I suspect he has great things to say but his message is lost in the delivery. The backroom henchpeople are no doubt sharpening the knives to a very fine point even as we speak.

If there is one bright spot it is Jack Layton. The man is charismatic and he has something to say. He is passionate about Canada returning to a peace-keeping role, strengthening families, medicare and pharmacare. The NDP has increased their number of seats and are now within striking distance of the 43 won by Ed Broadbent at the NDP’s height. This is the best showing for the NDP in many, many years. I am buoyed by this result.

So, at the end of this very costly election what has changed? Not much. Just as I predicted we still have a Conservative minority government (I bow down to Quebec in gratitude) and the NDP made gains. The Cons made some gains too but not enough to put them in majority land. Merci bien Province de Quebec!

PS: Thank you Vancouver Central for re-electing Hedy Fry and sending Lorne Mayencourt packing back to his hell hole. Plus, to make Hedy’s victory even sweeter, Mayencourt had to resign his provincial seat to run!!

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4 thoughts on “Federal Election 2008: Thank you Quebec

  1. So, here we are, we still have a Prime Minister with a Napoleonic Complex, a very intelligent but tragically flawed Leader of the Opposition, and a charismatic, untested third banana who will likely never get to prove his mettle.
    Business as usual in Canada.

    What is interesting are the vast possibilities that can come out of Little Stevie Wonder’s slap in the face. This was Harper’s election to lose, and lose it he did (thanks, eh, I can’t wait for the next unwanted, unnecessary, and illegal election). Will he take his ball and go home? (Please God) Will he dig in his heels and try to fight another battle? The man is just not a team player, and in the vicious game that is politics, someone needs to have his back.

    What I’m looking forward to is the Liberal Leadership Review. Clearly Monsieur Dion is not cut out to lead. He’s too soft and gentle a man to be the kind of leader the Liberals need to get them out of the pit Paul Martin left them in (I can just hear Jean Chretien cackling….) Too bad being a gentleman can be considered a negative trait, but he’s just so out of his league.

    Which brings me to Justin Trudeau.

    If the minority government remains stable, and if the Liberal party puts off the leadership convention that will no doubt come as a result of the mandatory leadership review for a year or two (so they can pay for it), our next Prime Minister could well be Justin Trudeau. He’s 36 now, no longer a kid with a famous father and nothing to show for his own life. He won a hard fought battle in Papineau, his victory was not guaranteed, as a matter of fact, many people totally ruled him out, calling him a “lightweight”.

    He speaks french and english flawlessly. He’s intelligent. He is aware of the social, economic and legal ills of the country. He is charismatic. He’s a Trudeau. Once he gets some on the ground experience as an MP, the guy will be hard to stop. I am a devoted supporter of the NDP, but would I vote Liberal to get Justin Trudeau into office if it meant unbyrdening Canada of the Conservative menace in power?

    Mais oui! In a heartbeat.

  2. Good analysis.

    The biggest losers were the Liberals. The Bloc didn’t gain but didn’t really lose. The Cons and NDP gained. The Liberals declined. I don’t know when the next leadership convention is (I ought to), but we won’t see Stéphane Dion running the next election. I wonder if the next leader will be Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff or someone brand new. I don’t know enough about Justin Trudeau to judge whether he has leadership potential. I’m glad he won his riding.

    Personally I don’t find Jack Layton to be charismatic, and under him NDP policies are just as unworkable as ever. The NDP always has its heart in the right place but its head nowhere to be found. As Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail says, if anyone thought the NDP stood a real chance of forming government, they would look a lot more closely at NDP policy positions, and most of them wouldn’t bear scrutiny. I would guess, however, this Layton’s job is safe. The party loves him, and so do many voters.

    I am disheartened by the Cons’ increased minority, but at least it’s not a majority. Harper pledges cooperation? Why would I ever believe such a thing? This leopard hasn’t changed his spots.

    I wonder if there are any in the Cons who are unhappy with only two minorities in a row. Harper has not shown himself to be a winner with the populace at large. I bet someone, at least, sees him as a liability who will never get the Cons a majority. One can only hope.

  3. Of course, if Brian Tobin or Frank McKenna would return from the political hinterlands, the Liberal party could really get it together. Either one could capably run the party for 10 years, maybe 12, then retire an elder statesman and let Justin be the second Trudeau Prime Minister. He’d be more than ready by then, and wouldn’t be inheriting an unqualified disaster.

  4. I don’t think the next leader of the Libs will be Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff. There is no way anyone in Ontario would vote for a Bob Rae government.They have long memories. I think Michael Ignatieff is too busy enjoying his rarefied air to really connect with people.

    I am thinking they may attempt to trot out Jean Chretien as an interim leader. Stranger things have happened. Trudeau came back after he retired.

    Failing that I hope Brian Tobin returns. We can wish. I love Brian Tobin. He is charismatic, he speaks well and people listen to him.

    I agree, Dion will not be at the helm for the next election provided it is held after at least 2 years. Not hearing from him today is an indication that something is afoot in the Liberal Party.

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