Tuesday, December 9, 2008
And You Thought That Canada was a Progressive Country: HA!!
Seriously, most of the time, we talk about Madonna. That's the impression you get anyway by glancing over national newspapers and web sites here in "next to Palin" country. (I'm sure she can see us from her window, just like Russia!)
We just had one of the most exciting exercise in democracy Canada has ever seen - before it was killed off very adroitly by Stephen "The Automaton" Harper. Evil Stephen called in the Great Gal herself - governor general Michaelle Jean - to stop a perfectly logical coalition to be formed out of the 3 opposition parties. It would have been fantastic! It would have opened new ways to articulate and created political pressure when a political party is barely viable but have non proportionate yield of power in the commune.
Harper only got 37% of the popular vote and the opposition combined have more than enough seat to create a majority: his is a very fragile minority indeed. But Harper could count on Stephane Dion incredible bad luck (or false hope syndrome).
If another guy- Layton, for example - would have taken the lead of this non-confidence vote and hired an army of intelligent, articulate PR bunnies to explain it to the slumbering Canadian population in a calm, adult voice, the opposition might have had a chance to topple Harper's repug wannabees. But they had Stephane Dion: a man that look and sound like Looney Tunes' Foghorn Leghorn's weasel. The catch is some of his ideas on environmental issues are actually worth an attentive ear but most won't listen as The Independent resumed here:
" Dion's campaign was hindered by his unpopular plan to tax all fossil fuels except gasoline and by perceptions he is a weak leader. A former professor from French-speaking Quebec, Dion also suffered in other regions because he frequently mangles English grammar and his accent makes him hard to understand."
So the word on all media was a Conservative friendly "the opposition wants power while we're an economic crisis!" tape on an eternal loop. And the opposition was not even strong enough to make the case that this was all legitimate and logical political option. It was a sound, wise even prudent action that would benefit the population since the coalition policies were aimed at the middle class and not at "Drill, baby, drill" Alberta nutcases.
In the end Canadian were afraid of the untried, of the unknown and the different. The coalition didn't know how to defend their ideas and position and lost credibility in the eyes of a majority of the population. Worse of all, the coalition bargaining chip was diminished and they , not Harper, will have to show a willingness to cooperate with the Conservative agenda which is a carbon copy of Bush lite Rovian Paradise Creation guide but highly concentrated.
The only good news in all this is that the guy that should have had the job to save us from all this mess - Michael Ignatieff - is still a candidate to the Liberal Party Leadership. He'll get it as soon as Dion finds the door.