Sunday, September 07, 2008

Canadian Federal Election Called

We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to report on another election campaign that has just started in that far off country of Canada. Unlike the American election campaign that seems to have been going on for 2 years, ours will be just 5 weeks long, with the vote held on October 14th.

The only discussion I could find on it this morning was on CBC Radio 1. Of course, they had their usual version of a fair & balanced panel: Left, Further Left, and Extreme Left. It would be fair to surmise that not one of the panelists has ever voted for the Conservatives in their entire life. The discussion mostly centered around two issues:

  1. Should the election have been called? (aka Is Stephen Harper wasting everyone's money?)

  2. Will the environment be at the forefront of the election campaign?
#1 would never have been asked of a Liberal prime minister. Proof positive is when Jean Chretien called an election after just 3.5 years into his mandate (June 6th, 1997).

#2 will likely be an election issue, only because Stephane Dion has made it so. His Green Shift policy is nothing more than a massive tax grab at Western Canadians. How anyone in the West could vote for such a thing is beyond me!

Upon dissolution of the current Parliament, here's the breakdown of seats:
  • 127 - Conservative
  • 95 - Liberal
  • 48 - Bloc Quebecois
  • 30 - NDP
  • 3 - Independent
  • 1 - Green
  • 4 - Vacant
Total Seats: 308

So to achieve a majority, Stephen Harper's Conservatives need 155 members elected. Can they achieve this? It'll be tough. The keys to success will be these:
  • Make Westerners aware of just how incredibly punitive the Liberal's Green Shift plan will be to their bank accounts.
  • Work at bringing Quebeckers back into the fold of Canada, hoping they'll realize how pointless their vote for the Bloc Quebecois is.
  • Hope that more than a few voters in the '416' Toronto region realize that they don't have to vote Liberal to remain in Canada.
A few final thoughts:
  1. The single Green member is a controversial figure in West Vancouver named Blair Wilson. The Liberals booted him out (wisely) and so he made the desperate move to become Canada's first Green Party member. Prediction: He will not win and will lose badly.
  2. The NDP's Jack Layton announced that he is running to become Prime Minister this time round. God Bless his optimistic attitude! Prediction: The NDP's only hope is for a complete meltdown of the Liberal campaign. With Dion, anything is possible, but I don't believe the NDP can achieve any more than 50 seats.
  3. Lorne Mayencourt, previously a provincial Liberal MLA, is running for the Conservatives in my riding of Vancouver Centre. He is trying to unseat the most useless MP in the history of Canada aka Hedy Fry. But she has traditionally had a stranglehold on the large gay vote in the riding. Mayencourt himself is gay, so perhaps he'll be able to achieve electoral success just like he has done successfully at the provincial level.
  4. It'll be most interesting to see if the popularity of Sarah Palin amongst Americans has any side-effect to help the Conservatives here in Canada. Melanie Phillips, a prominent writer in Britain, has suggested that Palin's success in the U.S. may very well help the Conservatives in the UK. Interesting times!

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