One week down and just over four to go in Canada’s federal election. Some quick thoughts: while the ‘mainstream media’ expresses universal surprise and admiration at The Igster’s start out of the blocks, nothing has really changed in the polls. Steve’s Conservatives are still perched at a near majority with a small increase in their 144 seats predicted. Monsieur Layton, leader of Canada’s kinda democratic socialists, on the other hand, may have reason to worry. One must concede that The Igster and his team have made some inroads in framing the election, in ‘English Canada’, as a choice between the Grits and Steve’s hellcats.
Meanwhile, le suave Gilles is on cruise control in Quebec. Barring a Grit breakthrough, the BQ will win 50+ seats on May 2. The Quebec independence movement is dead you say? Just couple that result with a likely PQ victory over the decaying Jean Charest in Quebec’s next provincial election. Then, we’ll talk.
If you ever wondered just how dead environmentalism actually is in Canada witness the lack of collective moral outrage over the exclusion of Elizabeth May from the planned leaders’ debate. The Greens are officially a political non-entity on the federal scene. If they ever win a seat, we’ll talk.
Finally, regarding the debate: that will be The Igster’s one real chance. Basically, all he needs to do is stand there and not drool in order to belie the Tories’ devastatingly brilliant caricature. If, in addition, the Harvard prof turns Pierre Trudeau for 90 minutes or so in both English and French – that is, an intellectual Canadians can stomach and admire, he could catch lightning in a bottle. Very slim odds, but a possibility.
Failing the above, Canadian political junkies will spend the night of May 2 counting to 155.