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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
With the Conservative party sending missives around indicating that they’re going to take the current government of Canada down on the 15th of May, Vancouver’s already busy political scene is all atwitter.
Predictably, Conservatives think they’ve got it nailed, and Liberals think they do.
None of this matters, of course, as one man’s career as leader will end and we will, naturally, end up with another inherently temporary minority government.
The Gomery equiry, while titilating, hasn’t revealed anything substantially new about the Liberal’s internal corruption problems: the inquiry hasn’tfound substantially more money missing and there has not yet been a smoking gun drawing a direct line to Paul Martin. Without either one of these things, the Liberals are, essentially, in exactly the same place as they were a year ago.
The Bloc, it’s clear (at least to most observers, including the Canada West Foundation) that the Bloc will pick up seats in Quebec, is there actually a serious threat to the cluster of Liberal red around Montreal? The Conservative took not a single seat in the province, and a repeat should be expected.
In British Columbia hopes are high for picking up seats, despite the fact that the Conservatives lost 300,000 voters last election - are these votes going to come back? I agree that there are a couple of strategic ridings that might be winnable again…Don Bell has been haunted by the landslide problems in North Vancouver, which his civic government may have aggravated. John Reynolds, on the other hand, very nearly lost his seat in West Vancouver, and if Blair Wilson runs again this is going to be a serious dogfight. Randy White is retiring in Abbotsford and while he will not be missed, this puts a very safe Conservative seat into play, and Canadian’s memories are long enough that the legacy of this ultra-conservative’s viewpoints will linger for at least a couple of elections. Bill Siksay in Burnaby is probably not all that vulnerable, and with rumours of Svend Robinson running in Vancouver Centre this puts a Liberal in jeopardy but doesn’t increase Conservative chances very much. I can’t see any of the Vancouver minister’s losing. Cadman will probably formally rejoin the Conservative party, but that’s only one seat.
Alberta could be an interesting clean sweep for the Conservatives - perhaps we’ll finally see the end of Anne McLellan that the Conservative campaign manager promised at the outset of the last election, but fundamentally we’re still playing a zero sum game here.
Have Conservatives become more palatable where it matters - Ontario? Somehow, with Mr. Harper as leader I doubt it. I suspect that Ontario will remain predominantly Liberal, and that perhaps Jack Layton’s NDP could benefit from the scandal, at least until the aforementioned stench of Randy White is gone from the electoral winds - those on the West Coast who don’t know anybody in Ontario don’t realize how much of an impact those comments had. It was serious.
So an election now? Liberal minority, as I predicted for the last one. It’s my sense that even if a formal Bloc Quebecois / Conservative coalition emerges, this rumoured election will retain Paul Martin as Prime Minister.
Of course, given the quality of polling I saw the Conservative party release during the last election suggests that Mr. Harper and his crowd don’t read it this way; I suspect that Doug Findlay is planting numbers - real or fabricated? - that suggest that Mr. Harper is a sure thing for our next Prime Minister.
Sadly, I suspect that Mr. Harper will believe every word, and that this election will happen.
I’m sitting it out - the future of my province is on the line in our own election, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that it stays healthy.