13 October 2008

Election 2008: The End of the Line

With tomorrow being election day and today being turkey day, I'm not expecting to see a lot going down in the next 24 hours that will radically alter where we're at right now. So it's time for some end-of-the-line thoughts and the fearless predictions.

First, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will be victorious on election night with a stronger minority than they had during the 39th Parliament. This will result in more of the same fractitious politics of the last two and a half years.

Second, Stephane Dion will see his party fare better than expected despite his horrid campaign and poor leadership. I'm not sure if the knives will come out and the Party will start down the path to yet another leadership convention, but they'll need at least 80 seats I think in order for him to keep his job for any length of time.

Third, the sham that has been the Green Party's campaign will result in precisely 0 Green MPs when the 40th Parliament is inaugurated. Elizabeth May will be defeated handily by Peter Mackay, at which time she'll make the argument that under a proportional representation system they'd have achieved true electoral justice. Never mind the fact that they would have lost handily in all 300+ electoral districts. She herself could have been elected had she opted to run to win instead of to run against a very popular incumbent Cabinet minister so that she could get on TV a bunch.

Fourth, the Bloc will see its seat total go down as its slide towards irrelevance continues.

Fifth, Jack Layton and the NDP will see their seat total go up thanks to the aforementioned weakness of the Liberals and, let's be fair to Jack! here, because he ran a pretty good campaign.

I said before this campaign that the result would, in all likelihood, largely be an affirmation of the status quo ante. After a brief flirtation with majority territory, the Conservatives saw that slip away because their leader doesn't speak the language of Canadians, that highly idealistic, give me a hug and it'll be OK, empty rhetoric that not coincidentally has made Barack Obama so popular in this country. When asked about the economy, he spoke like the economist that he is and didn't give Canadians the pat on the head talk that Dion did; for some inexplicable reason, people started to turn to the Liberals in the belief that Dion had a better plan for the economy. It's a good thing that Steve Murphy is such a heavyweight journalist asking the very difficult question (can ya feel the sarcasm?) about Dion's plan or else the madness may have continued until Tuesday. Sociology is a lovely discipline, political science lite in its approach. But we need an economist to get us through these troubled waters, not someone who wants to hold 50 meetings in 30 days to get an idea of what to do. Ultimately, as I've said many times before, if you're happy with the way the last two years have gone as far as Canadian governance goes, your obvious rational choice is Stephen Harper. Government has been less visible, efficient, and made the right decisions more often than not. I vote for more of the same.

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