Canada's Conservative government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on the brink of collapse. The centre-left opposition Liberal Party is in talks with the democratic socialist New Democratic Party with the aim of forming a coalition government. The vote which would bring down the government and set this scenario in motion is slated for Monday.
Okay, so I'm grumpy. I woke up an hour and a half earlier than I wanted to, and found myself uncharacteristically seething over this blog I occasionally read and comment on - "The Daily Kos."
I am tired of the manipulation and the outright lying. The pimping of diaries in the titles, thus hooking you into reading them - only to find out that the stunning claim was hyperbole or - worse yet! - a complete and total fabrication. Oh, and please don't get me started on the diaries promising analysis but offering fluff or froth instead.
I am, quite unlike Keith Olbermann last night, in tears.
La belle province, Québec, has elected its first minority provincial government in 130 years. The results are:
Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) - 48
Action Démocratique (ADQ) - 41
Parti Québécois (PQ) - 36
The results signal that the old federalist-sovereigntist dichotomy between the Liberals and the PQ, which has defined Québec provincial and federal politics for more than thirty years, is dead. It is a sign of hope for the upstart, right-of-centre ADQ...but also, I believe, for the provincial Liberals and the federal Tories. Why? Because the separatist provincial PQ and federal BQ are in danger of losing their reason for being.
I admire Stephane Dion, the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Opposition.
Dr. Dion is an accomplished political scientist and economist, whose bona fides as a professor and senior fellow of the Brookings Institute speaks for itself.
He is a courageous Canadian federalist, who was instrumental as Chretien's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in the passage of the Clarity Act, which helped to make Quebec secession much more difficult.
He is a vocal environmentalist, who made sustainable development the keystone of his leadership campaign, and was an important figure in passage of the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change in Canada, an important piece of international law.
He is a voice for Canadian independence in international relations, and was part of the Chretien cabinet when that government decided to stay out of the American invasion of Iraq.
It's bad enough that we're held up (or derided) as an icon of respectability, the squeaky-clean welfare state where everything works, everyone's happy and healthy, and the only thing that ever goes wrong is that we might trip over a beaver turd whilst skipping through the heathery meadows. But to claim Canada has not suffered its share of terrorism and violence - or worse, that we don't know how to deal with it, is either ignorance or wanton revisionism.
Secondly, Gore let drop a few comments that caused me to reassess my earlier conclusion that he was readying himself for a second run at the White House. Which would be unfortunate.
Stephen Harper's honeymoon ended the same day his government was sworn in last week, with the announcement that he had appointed an unelected Conservative
organizer bagman to the unelected Canadian Senate, so that he could serve as Minister of Public Works Pork; and that the former Liberal cabinet minister, David Emerson, had switched parties to serve as Tory International Trade Minister.
The shit hasn't stopped hitting the fan since, as the Canadian media and the public begin to squeeze the new government on three fronts: Its pledge to abandon the old politics of patronage and cronyism, to be a more moderate, mainstream party than its Alliance/Reform progenitor, and to provide continued support for Canada's important social programmes.
With this announcement, what last week appeared to be a headlong rush to crown McKenna as Paul Martin's natural successor as the twelfth leader of the Liberal Party of Canada came to a screeching halt. Liberal Leader is not a trivial position. As the party that has governed Canada for over seventy of the past 100 years, it has earned its nickname as "The Natural Governing Party." With Canada's new Conservative government shakily sitting 32 seats short of a majority in the House of Commons, whoever replaces Martin is likely poised to be the next Prime Minister of Canada - the giant killer, who will stick a stake in the heart of Stephen Harper's dreams to remold the Tories as a SoCon shell.
So who does McKenna's decision benefit?
What will the Tories do in office?
How will they try to expand their appeal?
Who are the contenders for the Liberal leadership, and how will that party rebuild?
Who won the pool?
More below the fold.
What are your predictions for Monday's election? Will the Conservatives, as expected, pull off a minority? Or will they surpass expectation and get <shudder> a majority? Will people have an "Omigod! Stephen Harper!" moment in the voting booth, and actually return a Liberal minority? Oh. My. Gawd. I'm going to pee myself I'm ao excited!
More below the fold...
Scary, eh? Well, certainly to read the scenarios being painted by many dKos correspondents writing in anticipation of next Monday's Canadian election, you'd certainly think so. The theme is the same: George Bush's Canadian agent is about to take the reins in Canada and make-over Canada into a northern version of Bushco's United States. To that scenario, I have six short words:
CANADA IS NOT THE UNITED STATES
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