Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{October 14, 2008}   Election Night

Been watching the election coverage all evening.  So depressing.  I mean, I’m trying to look on the bright side – at least it wasn’t a majority for Evil Stephen Harper.  And the polls were pretty clear that the Evil Conservatives were going to form the government, so I don’t know why I was holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, people would come to their senses and vote to keep the Conservatives out.  I don’t want a Conservative government. And neither do most Canadians.  But thanks to our first-past-the-post system, and our splitting of the vote on the left, here we are with something we don’t want.

Other thoughts on tonight’s developments:

  • After spending $300 million on an election, we essentially have the same Parliament.  Sure there was the shifting of a few seats, but we still have an Evil Conservative minority government lead by Evil Stephen Harper.  Evil Harper still can’t do anything without votes from at least one of the other parties.  He claimed to have called an election because Parliament was “broken.”  I’d argue that Parliament is just as “broken” now as it was 300 million election dollars ago.
  • The Conservatives still do not have a candidate in any of Canada’s three biggest cities – Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.  Leading Peter Mansbridge to ask, ““Are there any David Emersons1 out there for Stephen Harper to pick off?”  Let’s hope not!
  • There’s been lots of talk tonight on Dion’s inability to lead the party. I like Dion – I think he’s intelligent and I think he really does care about the country and about the environment. But I don’t think he can lead the Liberals to win an election. I think the Liberals need to regroup and pick a leader who will resonate with the public.
  • Jack Layton pointed out that, given this minority government, no party has been given the mandate to do anything without agreement from the other parties.  Personally, I don’t think Evil Harper is naturally inclined to compromise.  Apparently, he’s a terrible micromanager and doesn’t even trust anyone on his own team to do anything without him watching over the shoulder, so how is he going to compromise with the other parties?  Not to mention the fact that that Evil Harper is a righty-righty and the other parties are all centre or left of centre.  Is Harper likely to make compromises that will be acceptable to lefties? (Of course, the left parties had been letting Evil Harper continue to rule without making any real compromises up until now).
  • Why did Elizabeth May and Adrienne Carr – the two biggest names in the Green Party – run in ridings against very, very tough competitors (against Peter MacKay and Hedy Fry, respectively)?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to run in ridings where they have a good shot at winning?
  • The voter turnout for this election was the lowest in history.  Roughly half of the population voted. Meaning that roughly half of the population did notvote.  Lame, people. So lame.
  • Ian Hanomansing is hot. I’m just sayin’

1You know how I feel about David Emerson.

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Kalev says:

Ian Handsomemanthing is definitely hot.

Harper isn’t going to compromise at all because none of the other parties will want an election anytime soon.

Dion needs to go; he’s a bad leader. Good person, no doubt, and smart, but not scrappy and not politically adept.

Ignatieff seems like he’s slightly evil/hardcore, so maybe he’d be good to thwart ESH.

Yes, the left being split 3 ways must just make the Conservatives* cream their pants. We need to encourage the reformation of the Reform party.

The well-known Greens running in those ridings was pretty stupid. I’m like… uhm, Adrienne Carr, are you a moron?

I think that Tyee article you sent me about how Harper has made Canadians more fearful of minority governments than a Conservative* majority is pretty spot on. Now he’ll be able to continue to govern as if he had a majority and when things don’t work, he’ll blame the opposition. And Dion, bless his idiotic soul, stupidly played right into his hands with the quote that CBC kept showing about how the Liberals will do everything in their power to make this Parliament work. What he should have said is that the Liberals will cooperate with the NDP and the Bloc to protect Canadians from the incredibly authoritarian and dangerous Conservative* Party and their fascist leader. It was a perfect opportunity to hammer home how out-of-touch, completely unsympathetic the Conservatives* are and he blew it.

The historically low turnout, of course, only benefits the hivemind, so of course it is a defintely factor in the Conservatives* improved performance. It’s so disgusting that, what with all the media attention on this campaign and the economy that we couldn’t even get 6 out of 10 Canadians to vote. Of course, since 9.9 out of 10 Canadians are woefully uninformed about politics, maybe a higher turnout wouldn’t have helped. *sigh*

I’m going to cry myself to sleep now. Although at least that rat bastard Mayencourt is out of politics for the time being. I cannot wait to vote in the by-election in two weeks and get an NDP MLA in.



Raul says:

I am disappointed in Canada, definitely 😦



Dan says:

I once asked how it was possible for the Americans to ‘vote’ Bush in twice. Of course, I also felt proud that Canada wasn’t as ignorant. I can’t claim anything close to that anymore. In fact, with Harper, we have something worse than Bush. Not only is he far right, I think he’s also far smarter than Bush. You know, in that evil, calculating sort of way. I guess the only conciliation is that it’s another minority. Well, that is until Harper decides to go against one of his promises again and have an election in the next 2 months. I mean, it’s only 300 million. That’s pennies in our current economic situation.

So, what do we now have to look forward to:
– ignored environmental concerns
– more money for oil companies
– lack of concern for the economic crisis
– less money for arts and culture
– less money for science (you know this is going to happen)
– further removal of science and logic from policy
– less transparency (um, your platform is released 1 week before an election you called Mr Harper? HOW ARE YOU IN OFFICE STILL?)

I too was hoping for something miraculous to happen. I guess I have to look to the silver lining and remember that it’s a minority.

sigh.

D



Jorge says:

I’m severely disappointed in our country.

First of all, it’s true, parliament REALLY hasn’t changed that much. And we wasted a lot of money doing so. I can think of a lot of better uses that money could have had, and considering we’re in an economic slump, it seems frivolous to hold such a money-hungry event.

Secondly, in the riding I am a part of, the NDP incumbent – who has done an incredible job I have to say – was ousted by a Liberal candidate. This candidate used to be MPP for the area and was appointed Minister of Education in 2003. He eventually bailed to run at the Federal level (for whatever reason) and now he’s back.

Our NDP candidate has done a lot for local business as well as raising awareness for a lot of important issues. It just seems to me that people are really ungrateful, and it saddens me.

Our first-past-the-post system is broken.
I would gladly vote for the NDP candidate in our area and Gilles Duceppe for PM, because that man is intelligent and can really light a fire under your ass. And yes, I know he’s a separatist, but he has passion that the other politicians don’t have.



Dave says:

You know, a lot of analysts are saying that the election was jinxed a long time ago.



Beth says:

@Dave – Lousy superstitious analysts..



shihtzustaff says:

I am a lesbian and I think Ian Hannomansing is hot. I could listen to him talk forever!!!

The election results were predictable. Harper is a control freak and the Liberals need someone to save them from themselves. Where is Brian Tobin? Perhaps Justin will be the next leader. Maybe they can bring Chretien out of retirement. He is a scrapper – he would mop the floor with Harper.



Beth says:

@shihtzustaff I know! Oh for the good ole days of Chretien!

I think you might be right about Trudeau. People seem to really like him and the Liberals need a leader who people like. Gerard Kennedy is another possibility – from the little bit I’ve seen of him, he’s seems charismatic. Someone save us from control freak Evil Stephen Harper!

@Dan – It is sad that we now have to admit that our country elected Bush Lite twice. Sigh.



Demonweed says:

I offer commiserations on your national plight. Though we see some light at the end of the tunnel in the U.S., the media seems determined to twist our thing into a close race — worrisome if that should become a self-fulfilling narrative. In fact, I wonder if the media environment in the Great White North has changed much this century. If our Republican Party’s propaganda channel is also widely available up there, it could be rotting legions of minds that might otherwise be in touch with political realities.

Curiously enough, Canadian elections have enjoyed virtually no coverage down here. Digging in U.S. papers provides some basic facts, but the TV folks right across the board just don’t seem to have time for it (though they do have time for everything from long segments on the case of a single missing infant to thorough analysis of Madonna’s latest break-up.) I realize great international coverage was always scarce down here, but I’m certain around fifteen years ago when I was a competitive public speaker with a focus on extemporaneous performance (the current events category) major media outlets all had enough sense to at least spend a little time covering the broad strokes of Canadian national elections.

I also recall how much more shocking Dubya’s 2004 win was contrasted with his 2000 win (which itself was shocking on account of its unconventional and thoroughly corrupt adjudication.) No doubt things will get better there as I hope they soon will here, but I do wish such a charming and polite people did not have to wait so long to see real change for the better.



Trudeau should definitely be the Liberal leader. I’ve also heard Ujjal Dosanjh’s name being thrown into the mix. However, it should be noted that he barely won in his riding this time around.



Sarah says:

Mmm…Ian Hanomansing. I was, however, not pleased to see him reporting in Calgary at ESH headquarters. I know that it is closest to his geographic homebase, but Boo!

In our riding, the NDP and Liberals (who had NEVER BEFORE lost in back-to-back elections due to the high francophone population) split the vote again and we once again have the Con incumbent. And my favourite MPs (Garth, and the NDP incumbent on Vancouver Island North) lost in a tight races to other Cons. All-around sucky.

I am somewhat consoled by the minority and the fact that a righty government here in Canada is NOT THE SAME as one in the US. Case in point – ESH refused point blank to re-open the abortion debate. Church and state are firmly separate here (as they should be, says the left-leaning, church-going RC). And Dan, I am not convinced that there will be cuts to scientific research but more of a focus on the commercialization of some of our technological advances, and area that will boost our economic fortunes and one where we are sorely lacking.

I am less happy about the fact that an secretive autocrat who doesn’t trust anyone (including his caucus colleagues and his civil service experts) is once again running the show. This article in the Ottawa Citizen: http://tinyurl.com/5yhb5e explains some of my preoccupations.

The Liberals need a new leader who has both the common touch and a vision. I am not convinced that they have ANYONE who fits that bill. I cannot stand Justin Trudeau (with his shit-eating grin and his overconfidence). I don’t trust Ignatieff after he spent most of his career outside of Canada, and while I like Rae he will struggle to deliver ON because of the same reasons that Dosanjh would struggle in BC – unpopular former NDP premier who is now a Lib.

It is so incredibly depressing — there is NO ONE on the horizon in any of the parties who I find inspiring like Sir John A. or Laurier or Pearson or Trudeau 1.0. Or Obama. No one wanted this election and no one liked the choices so no wonder voter turn-out was so low. I am hoping for a repeat of the “Three wise men” (Trudeau and co.) coming seemingly from nowhere to capture the country’s interest and heart. From where they will come, I cannot begin to imagine. And the horrible pressures of public life, the lack of respect and the rigid “get in good with the riding association” nomination process are a deterrent for many talented people who don’t want the headache.



Kalev says:

All of us here should be concerned about the Conservative’s* take on copyright law, which I’m sure they will now re-push.

As for GWB’s 2004 “win,” I will only say, “Ohio.”

Justin Trudeau is just too young and untested in politics. I can’t see him being leader soon. Maybe in 10 years.

I think Sarah’s on the money about Ujjal and Rae. I don’t really trust Ignatieff either but he seems like he could hold his own with ESH.

But as for ESH having shut down the abortion debate, I think that far more reflects the fact he knew he was going to call an election than it does proof the Conservatives* feel church and state are separate (or ought to be) in Canada. I suspect if they had a majority they would work hard to curtail abortion rights. And while it’s true ESH and the Cons* are not the same as the right wing in the South, don’t think for a second they don’t hunger to be EXACTLY like the neo-con, neo-liberal Republicans. They would (and will) gleefully jump at any chance to further Americanise us.

I just wish I didn’t agree that ESH is far smarter than Bush. It would be comforting to think he would arrogantly try something outrageous in the next few months that the other 3 parties could band together to reject and not have to worry about Con* attempts to paint them as “uncooperative” and at fault for triggering another election. But honestly, I think he’s too smart. I don’t think he remotely likes having to go slowly with his evil plans but I think he’s more than willing to.

And since I was at a queer discussion group the other day and someone there didn’t know this, it’s probably worth repeating that him having a minority is hardly without seriously negative implications for government policy, as clearly evinced by the recent ban on gay organ donors shows. I know, how could one possibly think that policy decision by an administrative body was ideologically-driven? *sigh*

P.S. Beth, is there some way to add a manner to preview our comments before we submit them? It’s quite a serious drawback to posting anything lengthy on your blog. It’s also (you know I had to add this) something that LiveJournal has (as does I think every web forum software package I’ve ever used) that makes WordPress seem backwards.



[…] the recipe from my friend Rebecca, who baked (and, I believe, invented?) this delicious delicacy on election night.  In her words: “Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is made like normal apple […]



[…] the pathetic voter turnout in our recent election, maybe Canada needs to look into this free-ice-cream-and-sex-toys-for-voters […]



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