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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
She used to work in a diner / never saw a woman look finer / I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
— Neil Young, Unknown Legend
November 8, 2005
Why vote at all?

This, according to today’s Toronto Star:

OTTAWA — Jack Layton sent the Conservatives the clarion signal they have been demanding, stating unequivocally today that he is committed to helping them bring down the government at the next available opportunity.

So why do we keep talking about an election?

Two things have surprised me in the last couple of days.

The first is that the media has just figured out that an election writ period in Canada can last longer than 35 days. That’s a minimum. Harper could drop the government today, and Paul Martin could call a vote for January 31st. There’s a practical upper limit, but it’s great to watch the media suddenly remember that this thing could run for longer than 35 days.

The second is the complete and utter lack of discussion about whether we need an election at all. Layton knows he’s not going to form government; Duceppe knows it too. These guys could get together, drop the government and put their confidence in the Conservative Party under its current leader.

Why wouldn’t they?

For starters, Deceppe is almost certain to pick up seats and is probably playing a game wherein securing yet another mandate for the Bloc helps his provincial allies in the Parti Quebecois with their goal of securing a mandate for a referendum on soveriegnty. Thanks guys - I’m thinking about moving to Montreal, and there you go sending the economy into the dumps again.

Whether Layton gains seats or not is a bigger question: I’ve only got a solid grasp of BC, and I could only see one Liberal dropping and converting to the NDP - that would be Vancouver Centre where Hedy Fry is vulnerable, and Svend Robinson is potential pickup. In Toronto, my picture is less clear. In the macro picture, I see a lot of soft NDP/Liberal swing voters voting strategically in order to avoid electing a Conservative - this means keeping seats in Liberal hands. I don’t think Jack has much to gain in the big picture.

So the answer, my friends, is ego. Hubris. Vanity. Pride. That most heinous of the seven deadly sins, an excess of which the Liberals are usually noted for.

It will be interesting to see whether a discussion about this last possibility emerges. It’s a possibility, but I doubt it. I think we’re going to spend that quarter of a billion dollars it takes to run an election in this great country of ours, probably around about January time.

Posted by skooter at 9:13 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

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