Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ten election thoughts

An assortment of random thoughts about the election that will have to tide election junkies over for the next four years.

1. Cleary and Penashue, Newfoundland? Really? I mean, it's not as mind-boggling as electing Bonnie Hickey back in '93, but all right, sure. If that's the way you want to go.

2. By all accounts Siobhan Coady was a hell of an MP. And while it sucks to lose, given the current state of the federal Liberal party, I suspect more than one are glad to be out of Ottawa for the next four years. Also, tell me she wouldn't make an interesting pick as the next leader of the provincial Liberal party. With due respect to Yvonne Jones, I don't think she's going to stick around long after the next provincial election. Coady is an interesting choice. If nothing else, if you've stood up to John Baird, I imagine Kathy Dunderdale and Jerome Kennedy are not exactly scary people to have yelling at you in the House of Assembly.

3. Humour is not something that translates from culture to culture well. I remember being in South Korea and the audience would not laugh at Men in Black until the group of English teachers I was with laughed first. Because they didn't get the jokes (they did laugh a lot at weird moments during Romeo + Juliet, though, including the death scene at the end). It's why Hollywood likes action movies more than comedies these days. It's easier to sell tickets on shit blowing up with minimal dialogue than trying to explain why Zach Galifianakis is funny.

All of which is a preamble to I'm sure there's a punchline to last night's election results in Quebec, but I've never really got French humour. For example, Ruth Ellen Brosseau won her seat despite:
A. Not living in the riding.
B. Going to Vegas in the middle of the campaign.
C. Her riding is 98% French and she can't really speak it that well.
D. Appears to have not even visited the riding during the election.

Yet she got 40% of the vote, won the seat and now gets a $150,000+ a year job, which is a bit of a step up from assistant manager at a pub.

So yes, there's a punchline here somewhere, I just don't get it. Can someone explain French humour to me, please?

4. Although, seriously, the day I would see that much orange on a map of Canada I would assume I had a stroke and was hallucinating.

5. I have something like 170 friends on Facebook. Of those, I have about two who admit to supporting the Conservatives. Most were supporting the NDP and were giddily ecstatic for a chunk of the evening. And I swear, most of them must have went to bed early, because the amount of shock and bile on Facebook this morning to discover that, yes the NDP have a historic high number of seats, but one of the results of that is the Conservatives got a majority.

Why this is a shock is beyond me. I saw enough projections that said if the NDP got 100+ seats it was all but certain they were going to take them from the Liberals and the Bloc and not the Conservatives. Reading Facebook it looked like a bunch of people went to bed with the hot babe and woke up to something....not quite what they were expecting....in the morning.

6. What's the over/under on how much longer Michael Ignatieff stays in Canada? I give it a year.

7. I'm disappointed the Hasselhoff Party didn't make more inroads in this election, but I'm bitter to discover there was a Pirate Party and they got 3,198 votes. I seriously would have been tempted to run for the Pirate Party in Nunavut. Arrrr. Although apparently they're about copyright instead of, you know, actually talking like a pirate and plundering, which is kind of disappointing. Clearly this needs to be addressed at their next national convention.

8. And, you know, the Communists and the Marxist-Leninist Party are never going to form a government if they keep vote splitting like that. 

9. Quote of the day, making the rounds on Twitter: "The Conservatives are like Nickelback. No one you know likes them, but they always seem to do very well." - Anonymous

10. The next federal election isn't until October 19, 2015. For those of you who hate federal elections, this is a break. However, you will pay for it with interest as I believe there will be several provincial and territorial elections scheduled for the same time. For example, the next election in Newfoundland after this fall is, I think, October 12, 2015.

Try not to think about the campaign signs.

Last Five
1. Vow - Garbage
2. Pinball wizard - The Who
3. Subterranean homesick alien - Radiohead
4. Semi suite - Tom Waits
5. The long day is over - Norah Jones


Megan said...

The fix was in for Hasselhoff Party supporters as soon as we were told we had to wear pants in the voting booths. Many of us turned back at that point: pantslessness is part of our official platform.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for your book. I hope it is as insightful and saucy as this post. Carry on!

Anonymous said...

You no longer have to live in your riding to run; check Elections Canada. Even if that is counterproductive.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Chretin run in Atlantic Canada once?

The Perfect Storm said...

..."yes the NDP have a historic high number of seats, but one of the results of that is the Conservatives got a majority"

According to an analysis of the voting data, the Conservatives and NDP won more of their ridings outright, and did not benefit from one or the other getting on the "right" side of a vote split.

There were more Liberal victories (as few and far between as they were) that benefited from squeaking through the middle of a vote split and not forced to win their seats outright.

"Who really benefited from vote splits": http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/who-really-benefited-from-vote-splits-this-election/article2015619/

As little as I will ever find myself voting NDP I never the less congratulate them on tapping a rich vein of under-appreciated nationalism in Quebec and making enough of the right sounds that they expropriated the Bloc's purpose for existence, while exploiting the Liberal leader's inability to connect with the electorate.

I don't expect Jack will be able to keep a national party together for long that now has in its body politic a Quebec nationalist heart beating away inside. Witness Brian Mulroney's history-making destruction of the federal PC party after courting nationalism in Quebec and disappointing it too much. We got 20 years of the Bloc, and the various conservative elements of Canadian society wandered in the desert for 10 of them before finding their way back to a single party again.

This game of Jack's ended in tears for the Liberals (they were "progressively" shut out of Quebec after Trudeau), the PCs, and now the Bloc. I doubt Mr. Layton has what they did not to make a go of it before disappointment sets in again. Especially with candidates that never ran in the election to begin with but now find they are the elected representatives of nationalists and weekend separatists.

Bon chance Jack!

Well done Stephen (if you don't screw it up with your pettiness, again).

Michael? For goodness sakes do not leave Canada. History itself will start running those stupid Conservative ads and say "in the end, they were right". I never want to hear another attack ad like those ever again.


dochri said...

We miss you!