Monday, May 2, 2011

Quick election thoughts

I'm generally pleased that we have a majority party in power, and look forward to the MP's getting on with the job at hand. I'm also glad that we had a slightly better voter turn out than the last go-around.

While I must say that I'm pleased with the solid thumping the Bloc took, (as well as the loss of  Duceppe's own seat), I wish we could somehow take away the pension those guys will now get.

Mr. Ignatieff was VERY gracious in light of the events that took place tonight. Perhaps if we'd have seen more of that side of him... I almost felt sorry for the humiliation he's endured, and while I don't think the campaign was "dirty" , (since much of the smearing were his own words), I do think he wanted to serve the country. To even loose his own seat. I don't think the campaign was run well.  I love the pundits asking if this is the end of the Liberals. Do none of them remember the post Mulroney years where a motorcycle and a side car were the official party vehicle for the Conservatives? I like the idea of clearing out the dead wood... this may be just what the Liberal party needs. All in all, the "scary Reform-Alliance" didn't hold water anymore. Leadership convention... Bob Rae!!! Speaking of gracious...

Anita Neville was anything but. The folks in her area felt she had passed her best before date. As a formers constituent, I think change there (of any sort) is good. Good luck Bateman.

Lamoureux over Blaikie... good. I'm glad a relatively new MP who didn't really have a chance to prove himself was narrowly elected instead of a "name" brand NDP.

Malloway, rebuffing claims of his seat being in peril by talking about all the old guys who support him, (Blakie, Schryer, Broadbent) needed to get into a time when he could drop a name that's done something RECENTLY. Dropping yesterdays names doesn't mean much, and neither does double signing yards. Good luck Toet.

Bruniooge over Duguid. Could we please STOP sending Duguid into different ridings and keep recycling this guy? He could be the poster child of the party "hack". Career politicians are not "good" for anyone.

Elizabeth May. I'll still make fun of her, and she's not an official party, able to car pool to work with the Bloc, BUT now I think she'll have earned a seat at the next debate... in 4 years. I hope not to have to listen to her go on and on (and on and on) too much before then... but we will. (She lost popular vote btw, so I'm still not sure they should be taken too seriously)

The NDP in Quebec. Now we watch Jack (Jacques) walk his tightrope. Sorry, but here I'm gonna say that the NDP was a protest vote. How else do you explain the election of a candidate who went to Vegas during the campaign? While I do think that electing bakers and bricklayers (instead of lawyers) is a good thing, he'll need to stack his "shadow caucus" heavily with Francophone and inexperienced members. I don't know that a lot of the candidates were "vetted" too stringently, as the NDP was likely just happy to get people to go through the motions of running a campaign. The NDP needs to start to groom a new leader, and set them in place in the next two years, as Jack will be retirement age by the next election, and frankly, I don't know that voters embrace older candidates.

Jacks speech was (as expected) full of the usual "I'll make a promise I know I can't deliver" stuff, like improving health care. That's a Provincial responsibility Jack, and the Conservatives simply want some accountability from the provinces. I really liked "Lifting every senior out of poverty".  Nice. Please refer to my "NDP Aunt"analogy a few posts ago. I can't say that Jack kept his crowd as polite as Gilles did. The crowd booed loudly when Jack congratulated Harper. The NDP has never been known for being "classy".

I don't think much of comparing the recent Tory "win" to Diefenbaker proportions, mostly because... I don't care about Diefenbaker era politics too much. I do think that Harper has been generally prudent and responsible in the role of PM, and that's why he was re elected, and given a majority. The "Reform Alliance" fears were not only forgotten, they were finally no longer believed by many.

It's hard to paint Harper as evil. Boring maybe. A man with uninspiring hair, yes. A control freak, sure, (I am too, it's how things get done around me, unless I KNOW you can be trusted to do a good job and not embarrass me), but evil is a tougher sell. He's always been gracious in receiving a mandate, happy to serve, respectful of the electorate, and respectful of his opponents.
I remember his last speech also stated that he would govern for all Canadians, even those who didn't vote for them. Sure, they can be empty words, or they can reinforce a willingness to be inclusive.
Work starts tomorrow (he says), which is good... we didn't need this "break", and neither did the Liberals. (The NDP did well though). Promises to increase health care funding go well beyond the empty words of Jack, because they mean something.
Graciousness towards Layton and the NDP, Ignatieff and the Liberals, and even Duceppe as worthy opponents, and reiteration of his respect for them, regardless of disagreeing.
His speech was perhaps reaching out... wanting to encourage the others to join together to work for a better Canada.

If we are to believe the people who don't like him, we'll soon see an autocratic, arrogant leader, who will soon impose his own moral values and beliefs on our nation, reducing the rights of women, and executing criminals after passing a law to reintroduce capital punishment. Doubt it.

If that happens, I'll be the first guy to take away my support, but for now, let him get on with the work at hand.

1 comment:

  1. The PCs did end as a party, I should note.

    The right uniting is certainly not the same as the PCs re-building and taking center stage again.

    I don't think that anyone would say the Liberals re-built themselves if they joined with the NDP. They would say the Liberal party ended.

    The question of the Liberal party ending completely can't be ignored. We have seen what it can look like in Manitoba and after the next provincial election, we might be back to two party politics.