Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Loser night in Canada

Oh yes, my friends, nothing but losers littering the landscape after last night's election. Losers as far as the eye can see. Let's take a closer look at our List of Losers, shall we?

The Conservatives - Yes, they have an increased majority at 143 seats. However, they managed to fall 12 short of the promised land. If you can't get a majority with a divided left and with the weakest political leader the Liberals have had in a generation then you simply have to face facts....you're never going to have a majority. At least not with Harper. Simply not enough people like or trust him.

It'll be curious to see what happens with the Conservatives in the next few months. Harper has ruled that caucus with an iron fist. If cabinet ministers start talking without permission from the Prime Minister's Office and other criticism starts leaking out from "anonymous" sources, then he's in trouble.

It was Harper's arrogance in dealing with the media, Quebec and, God help me, Newfoundland, that cost him his majority. I'll be curious to see if that lesson sinks in at all.

The Liberals - A big, whopping pack of losers. They lost a couple of dozen seats and the casualities would have been higher if so many people hadn't voted for the Liberals because they hated Harper that much. Does Dion quit before he's pushed? He's not an idiot, so I suspect he's going to quit sometimes sooner, rather than later and the May leadership review could end up becoming a leadership election.

The Bloc - Perhaps the only true winner for the evening. They fended off a possible apocolypse early in the campaign and managed to land about two-thirds of the seats in Quebec. I dream of the day when this party will be wiped from the face of the planet. In typically ironic Canadian move, they emerged from the chaos as strong as ever.

NDP - Yes, they picked up seats, but Jack Layton was making lots of big talk about winning or at least forming the official opposition. They spent lots of money. They finished fourth. Furthermore, you have to wonder how solid any of these gains are. The NDP does well when the Liberals are in chaos, which they are right now. But you've got to figure the Liberals will get their act together at some point, right? Then what happens to the NDP?

Greens - A dynamic and interesting leader, a seat in the House of Commons, a presence at the leadership debate, a larger national presence than they've ever had before - zero seats. I could be wrong, but I think we've just seen the high water mark for Green Party in Canada.

Oh, and because I can't resist, congratulations to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, who shut out the Conservatives, thereby assuring no representation at the cabinet level. That likely means Peter McKay is the respresentative for the province. Or perhaps someone appointed to the Senate to represent us.

Smooth move. There were no shortage of people saying that given what Loyola Hearn did during the last government, that we really didn't need federal representation in the government. These people are either:
a. Too stupid to know better.
b. Crazy.
c. Lying like a cheap rug to you.

Plus, Williams is now saying he's willing to bury the hatchet. WTF? Seriously. You've wrecked all this chaos and damage and now you're willing to let bygones be bygones? So what exactly was the point of the whole ABC racket if you're willing to let it die for no apparent reason. If that kind of weirdness is Newfoundland and Labrador politics in a nutshell....

sigh

Oh yes, a big ol' night of losers all the way around.

Last Five
1. What became of the likely lads - The Libertines
2. Take your partner by the hand - Robbie Robertson
3. The chamber - The Last Shadow Puppets
4. What's it gonna be - Neil Diamond*
5. Cheap champagne - Sloan

5 comments:

Jason said...

I have to say Craig; I’m sadly disappointed with how you seem to view parliamentary democracy. It seems you it’s all or nothing when it comes to democracy. By this logic we should eliminate the secret ballot so we can merely vote as we here others are voting.
I resent the implication that I am:

a. Too stupid to know better.
b. Crazy.
c. Lying like a cheap rug to you

According to your logic, principles and beliefs should have been chucked aside for the possible promise of political expedience. Newfoundlanders should have voted for beliefs such as

A) Jailing 14 year olds for life
B) Don’t think artists are spoiled brats
C) Don’t like the war in Afghanistan

It is a shame that McKay will be the provinces representation but only because he was reelected. The “geez by they’ll ignore us argument” is not worthy of your intelligence Craig, unless you plan on changing this blog to “Bayman Bastard.” This proably won’t be posted but I’ve believe ignorance should be challenged whenever I see it. Oh and the Bloc aren’t that bad a party if you read their platform it’s their provincial counterparts that are detestable.

Cheers

Jason

towniebastard said...

I wrote that post when I was annoyed and edited it when I was tired, which is never a good combination. So there are points I probably could have gotten across better.

Obviously it's impossible for people to coordinate who they're going to vote for, but through electoral magic the province has always managed to have at least one representative in the government that can represent us.

But here's the thing, Jason. I suspect most people didn't vote for the Conservatives for the reasons you cited. They're good reasons. They're among the reasons why I didn't vote for them.

No, many people in Newfoundland didn't vote for the Conservatives becausee Danny Williams told them not to. Voter turn-out was crap and many Conservatives in the province were afraid to volunteer federally for fear of reprisals from Williams (and I have my own special disgust for people that easily cowered).

It's a disgraceful state of affairs. My in-laws are saying people are calling the open lines shows and going, "ummm, well now what?" Williams is saying he's willing to bury the hatchet even though Harper has done nothing extra for Newfoundland to merit this magical change of heart. It stikes me as a very much "Oh fuck, I didn't think that would actually work" moment from Williams.

For people like you, who genuinely hate the Conservatives, Jason, I have no problem with the way you voted. But I fear far too many people voted, or didn't turn up, because of this ABC nonsense and the province may well be much worse for it.

I had a line in my original post where I said that anyone who voted ABC because Williams said so were brain-damaged sheep and I cut it at the time because I thought it was too harsh. But in retrospect, I think I might have been spot on.

Jason said...

Yeah I was a bit a harsher then I should have been. I attribute that to election anger, Qatari traffic and only one cup of coffee.

Yeah ABC isn't something I considered. Danny intimidation is disgusting but hardly new in factor for a provincial leader to bully. People who bend so easily have longer been in our province's history along with people like Danny. I think you should have kept the line. I don't hate conservatives but I don't think they bring anything to the political debates anymore but fear, hate and intolerance. Harper copied an American election strategy and he won not on issues but fear and ignorance. Newfoundlanders made the right choice proably based on the wrong reasons. Danny's time will come but Newfoundlanders will always like his kind. The worst enemy of Newfoundlanders is Newfoundlanders. Anyway didn't mean to be a pain or offensive sorry if I was.

Jason

Calvin said...

C’mon Craig, asking your readers to wonder what is going on in Newfoundland and Labrador politics. Do you really think for one minute that Mr. Williams is going to let by gone be by gone?

If you must ask, this has been Mr. Williams plan all along. Now all he needs is for Harper to appoint someone from the province to the senate or the cabinet so Williams can start another war. This time, he will want to re-open the discussion that the Grimes administration wanted to start. The renegotiation of The Terms of Union. Yup, I said it here first and you can bet the mortgage that Mr. Williams will either tackle something along this line. It’s in his character.

Lets be truthful here Craig, does Newfoundland and Labrador have a brighter future because of Mr. Williams and his style of politics or not. I would give him my vote a thousand times as long as we don’t look like lame duck in a pond to Canada. Who says the nationalists views in Newfoundland are dead Craig. They have simply forced us to move to different parts of Canada that’s all.

Ron said...

Craig:

I think your general comments on the election are correct - more losers than winners, which shouldn't really be surprising in a multiparty system. But I am also inclined to agree with Jason that characterizing anyone who didn't have much use for Loyola Hearn at the cabinet table as "lying", "crazy" or "stupid" suggests you aren't really taking the topic seriously. But I suspect that perhaps you are trying to be obtuse to make the point that of course we neeed representation at the cabinet table to protect our interests though I would have thought recent history would show this is not always how cabinet reps behave. Witness the behaviour of John Efford.

William's ABC campaign might be "inconvenient" but the only reason we can do it is because times are good. When times are bad the Feds give us as much as they want and we have to accept it because we can't afford to bargain. Williams has sent a signal for the Feds not to fuck around with the province. If he doesn't pull back now and make kissey faces he'll get boxed into the same space Peckford got himself into in the 80's. Meanwhile Harper has to already be thinking about the next election. The closer the C's are to a majority the more valuable those Newfoundland seats become. So the political calculation in Ottawa has to be do you bet on 12 extra seats in Quebec where the people have an affection for the arts and young offenders or make friends with Danny and only have to worry about picking up half that number. Even if the C's pick up more seats later in Quebec making friends with Danny is smarter than ignoring him or provoking him.

If you want to critisize Williams then critisize him for gambling. But from what I can see he has gambled and won.

Interestingly I think it was on CBC TV that the commentators were calling the political lock-out of the C's in NF a "microclimate". You could as easily call Quebec and all the major urban centres across Canada "microclimates" for the same reason - patronizing bastards.

As for the Bloc - surely their presence demonstrates the strength of democracy in Canada and the weakness of the Federal party system. Perhaps that sounds like a contradiction but politics is full of those.