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shadowspar: Picture of Kurama lashing out with a rose whip (kurama - rose whip)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 01:14

What have we learned tonight, my friends? That you can be the only Government in a Westminster Parliament ever censured for Contempt of Parliament, that you can defend to the death Ministers who lie and present misleading documents to the House, that you can refuse to disclose the costs of your most expensive and controversial programs, that you can run the most secretive Government in memory, prevent Canadians from criticizing their Prime Minister, refuse to answer their questions, scorn our Constitution and Charter, and in return, you will be rewarded not just by being sent back to Ottawa, but returned there with a majority government.

At least there are a few bright spots. The NDP took a record number of seats, forming the Official Opposition for the first time, though they won't have much in the way of leverage faced up against a majority Government. Elizabeth May won her seat in the House, a fact about which I am thrilled. She's extremely intelligent and articulate, and is easily the party leader for whom I have the most respect.

Time to cross our fingers and see what happens in the next four years. Believe me when I say I'll be remembering which of the local pundits were stumping for the Conservatives when we see policy changes coming down the pipes. If worse comes to worse, as I fear it will, I suppose civil disobedience is the silver lining to the cloud of Conservative rule.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 23:17
  • Turnout hit an incredible low. A lot of people have mentioned the lack of charisma evinced by Harper and Dion, which may be part of the problem. I think the biggest part of the problem was that this was an election without any galvanizing issues. It wasn't called to decide on a crucial issue of the day. It was called because Harper felt that flaunting his own election date law and spending 300,000,000 taxpayer dollars was a worthwhile price to pay for a chance to shoot the dice for a majority.
  • Feeling less than enchanted with the NDP. While I think Layton by and large is pushing for the right things, he always comes off like a sanctimonious broken record. His rolled up sleeves, no doubt symbolising his solidarity with the working man, amuse me almost as much as Harper's sweater. Most of all, when the debates came around, the NDP -- a party that, historically, has bitterly complained about being excluded from the democratic process -- wasted no time in trying to shove Elizabeth May and the Greens out the door. The NDP tries to cultivate an image of being principled and not subscribing to "politics as usual", so the irony here was just waaaay over the top.
  • Speaking of whom -- I thought that Elizabeth May did a bang-up job at the English debate, pulling together eloquent and pointed passages on the fly instead of repeating talking point after talking point. Unbeknownst to some, heckles are a longstanding tradition in parliamentary debate, so while she may have come off to others as rude, I thought her verbal jabs were great (probably the best of the night was a terse "Where is it?" when Harper started going on about his platform). If only the Greens would run a decent candidate locally! It would be enough to make me at least consider them.
  • Duceppe was on top of his game in the English debate as well, delivering the most memorable line of the night. Asked what the first thing is that you would do as prime minister, he replied with the instant classic "Well, I know I won't be prime minister, and three of you won't be prime minister neither."
  • It sounds like the knives are coming out for Dion already, which isn't a surprise given that the big story of this election hasn't been the rise of any party but the weakness of the Liberals. It's too bad; he seems like a decent guy, and even someone who I'd be interested in sitting down and having a conversation with over a few drinks, but his personality just didn't electrify the electorate. Not everyone has charisma in spades. That doesn't make him a terrible human being, just someone who's on par with the rest of us schlubs.
  • While increasing the Conservative seat count, Harper could not make good on his shot at a majority, even with an incredible set of circumstances in his favour:
    • the Conservatives started off polling in majority territory,
    • the Liberals had the weakest leader in recent memory,
    • the right is united, no longer suffering the Reform/PC vote split,
    • the resurgent NDP and up-and-coming Greens are splitting the vote on the left, and
    • the economy is on everyone's mind, a topic that he and the Conservative party should be strong on.
    If he couldn't cash in for a majority this time, do you think he ever will?
  • Finally, if you wanted to find a strong argument for Proportional Representation and an equally strong indictment of FPTP, you only need look as far as the third, fourth, and fifth place results in this election. The Bloc got 10% of the popular vote and was rewarded with 50 seats. The NDP took 18.2% of the popular vote and got 37 seats in return. The Greens received 6.8% of the popular vote, an atta-boy, and no seats.