Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some Thoughts

I have been way too busy to blog in depth about what has been going on these days so I thought I would just summarize some of them.

The polls: As many have noticed the polls have not been giving any of the three national parties any love. There does seem to be a general malaise amongst the electorate.

Although this is not good news for any party right now it is the Conservatives that should be the most worried about it. It does not take long for this kind of malaise to morph into a desire for change. Once that happens there is not much the government can do to stop it and Mr. Harper's own experience should tell him that once that does take root even an Opposition Leader who has been largely written off can win an election.

The Conservatives know this as demonstrated by my second point.

The Conservative capitulation on the Afghan detainee documents: No media have characterized the deal as such but considering the lengths the government went to prevent their release, the statements, a month ago, by senior Conservative officials about calling an election before they would release them and the fact that the government agreed to each and every major demand by the Opposition would indicate they completely surrendered on this issue.

They are afraid of an election and I only hope the Opposition are aware of that fact and begin to use it to their advantage.

Abortion: This particular Djinni has been let out of the bottle and the Conservatives have been trying to stuff it back in ever since.

It still boggles my mind that the great chess master actually let it out. The Conservatives have been playing with fire for over a year by throwing red meat at their base while risking alienating the broader electorate in the process. They have more or less escaped each one of these instances without damaging themselves too much but their luck cannot hold indefinitely and they might have just run out of it this time.

I still question why the Conservatives feel the need to keep shoring up their base. I have stated in this space before that I believe they see something happening within their base that frightens them and this latest episode just reinforces that belief.

Auditor General wanting to audit Member's expences: To what end?

Sorry folks but I am going to have to disagree with the consensus.

It is very common for senior public servants to build empires and our AG has shown herself as being very adept at doing so. This is just more of her empire building and it should be nipped in the bud. There are much greater issues with how this government spends our tax dollars that should be investigated before looking at how individual Members spend their 200K a year office budgets.

The Stanley Cup playoffs: Go Habs Go!

The elections in Britain: Interesting result but it has no bearing on our politics in Canada. It is a different political culture with different values and different personalities. Our form of government may be based on theirs but that is as far as the similarities go.

As well, any similarities that are pointed out about their situation and the ones here miss the mark. For this election the Brits were actually in the same spot we were in 2006. A government that had been in power for a long time, a great desire for change amongst the electorate, but a distrust of the change presented by the only viable alternative to the government. So, the electorate opted for change but they also opted to keep the new government on a tight leash.

That is the limit of any similarities however because the winner of their election decided to enter into a formal agreement with one of its opponents as opposed to trying to govern alone. Once the British Conservatives made that agreement they and the governance of Britain started down a much different path than the ones we have been on for the last four years.

4 Comments:

Blogger Tomm said...

ottlib,

If I may...

The Polls: Harper has two years to run. The polls mean nothing to him unless the opposition votes non-confidence. I am fairly certain that the internal CPC polling is telling him that he gets a 5% boost as soon as that happens. I know you think he is an evil kitten eater, but for the general public, the bloom is off that rose.

Afghan Detainee: Is a non-issue. The LPC will help the CPC shovel this out into the back yard. As soon as Bill Graham testified, the air went out of that balloon.

Abortion: I have no idea where this is going to go but I tend to agree with you that the media is very pro-choice and will try to isolate anti-abortion advocates as mouth breathers, Mennonites, and homophobes.

The Auditor General: will get a chance to open the Parliamentary book. It is great wedge politics and at some point, it will get used this way. The media will not let this die.

Stanley Cup Playoffs: I am enjoying the show.

Elections in Britain: Really interesting. I agree that it likely won't affect Canada.

May 23, 2010 1:13 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Tomm:

In two years the desire for change that I talked about will probably have hit critical mass and the Conservatives will be done. If Mr. Harper was smart he would call an election early, hope to eke out another win, claim, rightfully, that he has won 3 straight elections, and then hand the reigns over to another.

The longer he waits the less chance he has of winning a third mandate.

Again with the detainee documents issue an election sooner rather than later is more desireable. Some damaging documents will make it into the public realm. That is inevitable.

The longer Parliament looks at these documents the greater the chance something damaging to the Conservatives comes out. Better to head that off at the pass.

The real kicker for the Conservatives though is having an early election is very risky. The electorate is not happy so an early election would be a crap shoot for them and all of the rest. But I would submit it is Stephen Harper that has the most to lose in that crap shoot. He is fast approaching a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" moment and he knows it.

Canadians are evenly split on abortion but there is a broad consensus amongst them that the matter is closed, at least for now. The political party seen to be reopening this very divisive debate is making their lives more difficult than is necessary, as the Conservatives are now seeing.

Stephen Harper should have let sleeping dogs lie but he did not. Why he chose not to is the real question and I put forward one possible reason.

Public pressure will probably allow the AG to succeed in her empire building, which for me means that this particular AG has outlived her usefulness and should be replaced at the earliest opportunity.

The Habs lost yesterday dammit!!!

May 23, 2010 10:58 AM  
Blogger Tomm said...

We'll see what happens. I can't see an election this year and cannot see the Habs winning three straight. But each day is a new one.

May 23, 2010 11:16 AM  
Blogger ιŸ‹δΊŽε€«ζˆ said...

Haste makes waste. ....................................................

May 24, 2010 1:29 PM  

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