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June 28, 2004

Election Day


International Flea-readers have a ring-side seat for more mind-grippingly fascinating Canadian federal election coverage! Watch this space for evening updates. In the meantime, spare a thought for Shania Twain. An Alberta rose (hint hint) and an exemplar of that largest group of Canada's famous and talented: ex-Canadians.

And then... The Secret Chief of the VRWC has posted his election predictions (via Colby Cosh).

And then... My downtown Toronto riding just re-elected Liberal Tony Ianno. To all the SoCons out there who care so much about keeping other Canadians from making decisions about their own lives: congratulations. You now have another Liberal who agrees with you.

This makes me sick.

And then... One of the most irritating things to me in political commentary is the kind of talk that makes inevitable what had been unclear until moments before. The messianic talk about Jack Layton has already begun despite the fact he appears to have taken his seat by the narrowest of margins. For what it is worth, I think Mr. Layton is good for the country and I am glad to learn he has been elected. We need clear choices and he offers a principled alternative for the left.

And then... Not that it makes a huge difference. Our choices were always limited to a handful of authoritarian perspectives. At least a minority makes it marginally more difficult to legislate. I confess my enthusiasm for the Canadian project is limited this evening. The propagandists of the CBC and the rest of the establishment did a good job convincing Ontario that the new Conservative party would not roll back hard won personal liberties. If I was not convinced they were wrong it is hard to see why most of the rest of Ontario would be.

And then... A supporter at Mr. Harper's event this evening yells "Speak English!" at the monitor when M. Duceppe speaks. Many Québécois(e) do not feel welcome in Canada. Connect the dots. The question should not be how to resurrect Mr. Mulroney's devil's bargain with the sovereigntists. The question should be why Quebec federalists vote Liberal or NDP and not Conservative. We have our answer.

Laurent offers informed commentary.

And then... The gloom at Canadians are smug was born out by the results.

And then... You will not be shocked to learn I agree with everything Chris Taylor has to say about support for Canada's armed forces. I have one caveat to add. I believe Canadians are willing to elect a reasonable Conservative alternative. I also believe many Canadians have yet to be convinced this new Conservative party presents such an alternative. I am also much less sanguine at the prospect of any potential Conservative government doing much more for our military than the rest. In this respect I believe they only represent the least worst alternative.

The USA or the UK. Quite right. But I am adding Mexico to the list of alternatives.

And then... I have said before that there is no Liberal coalition that does not work to the advantage of the Conservatives in the next election. It is worth repeating. The Liberals have to protect their left flank while the Conservatives represent the only alternative for anyone to the left of Mr. Martin's version of establishment technocracy.

Two considerations have yet to be decided this evening. First, will Belinda Stronach take her seat and in so doing stand for that part of the new Conservative party that is libertarian leaning on social issues. Second, will the Greens qualify for federal funds that could make them viable contenders for NDP seats the next time around. The first would strengthen voices of moderation in the Conservative party that would make them acceptable to Ontario conservatives and the second would force the NDP to fight a two front battle they have previously been spared.

And then... Time to put on the asbestos suit. The socon/libertarian catfight has started at The Shotgun. I am part of the problem.

And then... Mr. Harper is speaking to his party. I was glad to see he resisted the "coast to coast to coast" homily the rest have engaged in this evening. Note to Conservatives: when your leader congratulates his opponents and you jeer you look like dicks. NDP and BQ supporters managed a cheer. The rest of the country is watching, they will note the difference and it will only add to broadly held conceptions of a mean-spirited political movement that has yet to earn a mandate. Mr. Harper reacted to the room by encouraging applause. That, my friends, is a class act and an example for the rest of the new party to follow.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 28, 2004 08:59 AM

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Ahhhhh, Shania...
(Jim snaps out of it)You were saying something about an election, Nick? :)

Posted by: Jim at June 28, 2004 12:37 PM

How do you do it, Flea? The seamless merging of intelligent political discourse and gratuitous images of beautiful women... ...I'm SO tempted to follow in your footsteps.

Posted by: Kelvin at June 28, 2004 12:38 PM

Mmmm. Gratuitous.

Posted by: Flea at June 28, 2004 01:39 PM

That don't impressa me much.

Posted by: Bill from INDC Journal at June 28, 2004 03:11 PM

Flea, what is it with you and breasts squished by tight clothing? This is about the fourth or fifth picture incorporating that theme that you've posted! That picture of the archeress chick from the upcoming King Arthur movie is still giving me disturbing visions ;)

Posted by: Varenius at June 28, 2004 03:21 PM

Shush you. Keira will not tolerate such insolence.

Posted by: Kelvin at June 28, 2004 03:26 PM

I am just trying to figure out how much I can get away with before Rue is finished unpacking.

Posted by: Flea at June 28, 2004 05:39 PM

Psst! He's not a secret chief if you blow his cover!! Now we'll have to elect a new Grand Poobah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes.

Posted by: Chris Taylor at June 28, 2004 09:53 PM

But that's the beauty of it. We can tell whoever we like and they will never believe us! Hide in plain sight, etc. and so forth.

Posted by: Flea at June 28, 2004 10:09 PM

Good analysis, Flea-ster. It is too bad the right cannot put together a group that can earn my respect from the left that the NDP may earn from your view to the right. Until they attract quality and ditch the flakes, there will be no break through east of Manitoba and the rot will set in further to the west of Ontario.

Posted by: Alan at June 29, 2004 06:53 AM

As an Ontario Conservative, I agree with Alan: Harper struck me as being better than some of his party. His speech struck the right-note of statesmanlike generosity. If he follows through on that (and disciplines the flakes), the Conservatives will be well placed for the next election. As for the election as a whole, believe with the person who said that democracy is the theory that the voters know what they want...and deserve to get it, good and hard. We'll see how the public enjoys a Liberal-NDP rule.
We still have to hope, otherwise we'd give in to despair. A Liberal can practically commit open murder in the House and still be re-elected in this country. If we can't hope for better from the CPC, we might as well make the Liberals the permanent party, this election seemed just an excercise in futility.

Posted by: Jim at June 29, 2004 08:55 AM

Good article on what went wrong:

Posted by: Sean at June 29, 2004 03:25 PM

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