Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stephane Dion & the Giant Peach

Stephane Dion should stop talking about elections. No sooner than his leadership was shown to be an unmitigated disaster, he is back on the scene threatening to force another election. Now you might say that this is a fair response to Stephen Harper's claim that his government will treat every bill as a measure of confidence, and you'd be right. But the problem is that the Conservatives have come very close to a majority, increased their share of the urban vote, have a competent leader, and enjoy comparatively lots of cash to spend. In short, Harper can afford to be bullish, and Dion can't.

I can't help but wonder whether or not Dion's rediscovery of his courage has something to do with the American election. There's a strange meme floating about that Canadians will vote left when our American cousins do the same. So then, the logic follows that it would be in the best interests of the NDP and the left of left faction in the Liberal Party to push for an election with Canada is basking in the post-election euphoria (that I will now call Obamarama). I'm guessing that people are looking at the Chretien years that coincided with the Clinton years. But what about the Chretien/Martin years that coincided with the Bush years? Chretien spent 7 years in power with Clinton in office, and Chretien/Martin had 5 years with Bush in office. Moreover, Chretien's 7 years came as the conservative movement imploded and ceased to be a significant political force. It wasn't until 2006, when anti-Bush and anti-conservatism was at it's heyday, that the Conservatives managed to make some progress in Canada. So yea, there's a lot wrong there.

Dion should really be focused nursing the Liberal Party back to health. The Liberals are broke and are facing another bitter leadership race. The most palatable and centrist candidates, John Manley and Frank McKenna, have dropped out. This leaves Bob Rae and his NDP ghosts and Michael Ignatieff and his advocacy of torture as the remainging two choices with the suitable national exposure for an effective leadership. Gerald Kennedy will probably take this time to rebuild his image, and Ujjal Donsanjh, who barely won his riding, has perhaps the worst political history of anyone in Canada. And then there's the question of money, which the Liberals don't have.

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