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election thoughts

First off, this is just funny:

And so, another Canadian election has come and gone. To be honest, while I’m no particular fan of the Tories, I think the outcome we got was the best available. I may not agree with or even personally like Harper, but I do think he’s a competent and committed servant of the people and not the closet ideologue he’s sometimes made out to be. And I think he’s done the right thing in not overreacting on the financial crisis, given that the foundations of our financial system really do seem to be relatively sound. However, I’m not ready yet to think Stephen Harper should be given a majority, and far and away the number one reason for that is his short-sighted view on climate change. I predict that as a nation, we will increasingly come to see our inaction as a major political, economic and moral failing in years to come. Particularly since even if John McCain manages, against all odds, to win, the US will still have a greener chief executive than Canada. Hopefully, pressure from the opposition parties, the provinces, the EU, and the post-Bush US, combined with the drop in oil prices, will tip the political scales in favour of an aggressive Tory environmental plan. It may make the base unhappy, but seriously, where are they going to go? It could even be what the Tories need to pick up some extra seats in the cities and the east.

I have a lot of respect for Dion as a person, and even as a politician, but I’ve never once seen him giving a speech or interview and thought, “now, he would be a good leader”. Hopefully he’ll be able to act as environment minister in a future Liberal government under… Prime Minister Ignatieff, perhaps? The Grits need more than just a leadership change, but having an effective leader who isn’t the compromise choice looks to me like an essential first step back to power. Ignatieff is looking less and less like an American carpetbagger, and I suspect the idea of a eloquent, slightly glamorous intellectual as leader is only going to look better when Barak Obama wins. Plus, he’s ruthless and arrogant enough to just feel right as a Liberal PM.

No, the real disappointment this election has been, as it has been for years, the Green party. Canada’s electoral system essentially disenfranchises people who chose to vote according to their conscience rather than strategically. Under this system, the Greens are pretty much destined to lose. They’ve had several elections now to find a way to turn their support into actual political power and the fact they haven’t been able to do it yet kind of suggests to me that it can’t be done. I’ve usually voted Green in the past, despite serious misgivings over their anti-science and slacktivist tendencies. But I didn’t this time, and barring a sudden leap to a sensible, Australian-style preferential ballot, I don’t know if I will again (sorry, mom and dad!).


  1. One hundred percent agreement, especially on the Greens comments. See also this article about why the green movement needs to abandon some myths.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink
  2. Thank for the link. Interesting article. I kind of think at this point the best possible outcome would be for the Green party to be dissolved and its members join the Liberals and Conservatives and work to further the agenda from the inside. That’s probably unlikely, but I suppose if May gets the boot and nobody suitable is found to replace her, that might be the de facto outcome anyway.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  3. dad of mom and dad wrote:

    I do have to say that Elizabeth May would have my vote for the political leader of the country if we were able to vote for an executive office in our system. That said, greenhouse gas does not need its own political party. The issue is too important to leave to partisan politics and economic crack heads. I did find that Harper’s poise in the face of the banking business refreshing and because I have harbored my dislike of the man’s blind side, lets call it environmental unawareness, for so long and so deeply that I was quite invigorated by the election.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Permalink