Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where has the summer gone?

Well, what summer we had here in Eastern Ontario (cool and wet, except when I took my holidays when it turned hot and muggy) will pretty much end with the young ones going back to school on Monday.

So how do we assess the summer from a political standpoint?

If you look at the polling, not much has changed from the beginning of the summer. The Liberals and the Conservatives are still very close to each other, some polls saying the Liberals hold a slim lead, some saying the two parties are tied and others saying the Conservatives hold a slim lead. In other words the polls can be ignored.

Not alot happened during the summer with regard to the various leaders either. Mr. Harper virtually disappeared until his great northern adventure. If you are to believe our MSM, Mr. Ignatieff did not tour the country talking to Canadians. Jack Layton did not show up until he had a little talk with Stephen Harper last week. Gilles Duceppe...?

The greatest events of the summer was the saga of Ms. Mohamed, the media's where's Iggy meme and the virtual begging by Mr. Harper, to Mr. Ignatieff, to not force an election.

The treatment of Ms. Mohamed by this government highlighted just how much this government believes there are two or more class of citizens in this country and it has not been lost on many immigrant communities that their members are not members of the first class. That perception will only get worse as Ms. Mohamed's lawsuit winds through the courts, although I suspect the government will settle just days before any election. The upshot of all of that is the diligent efforts of the Conservatives to court the immigrant vote these last three or so years has been destroyed.

The media's treatment of Mr. Ignatieff was predictable but not over damaging. Some would point to some recent polls to say he has faded in popularity but I would point out that always happens to opposition leaders during long Parliamentary breaks and I would also point out that he is much closer to Mr. Harper than Mr. Harper ever was to Mr. Martin, in between elections.

Mr. Harper's begging has been telling. Gone is the belligerent and arrogant Stephen Harper who made bathroom breaks confidence motions. Instead he has given us a very good demonstration that him and his government are vulnerable and afraid of the Liberals. That should make Liberals very happy and hopefully between now and the next election (June 2010) they can use that weakness and fear to their advantage.

So, no dramatic changes occured this summer. The government is still progressing towards the point where winning the next election will be impossible for them regardless of what they do, a process that started when Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament. The Liberals, who are still considered the only other party trustworthy enough to govern, continue their progression back to government.

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