Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Conservative minority: a contradiction in terms?
You know, I was consiering letting this one go and sparing the reading audience from another anti-Conservative political rant, but, at my friend Kristen's request, I'll post.
The Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper won a minority government last night.
That stinks, expected as it was.
But at least we're not completely screwed, as we would have been had the right-wing (remember folks: "right is wrong") party cleaned up and earned a majority.
The Conservatives ran a much better campaign, as I have noted before. Harper kept his nose more or less clean, convincing enough people that he wasn't a complete redneck and dodging the tough questions about his stance on gay marriage and abortion. You'll note that the vast majority of the seats were won in ridings outside Ontario - where many people have never heard of Mike Harris, let alone remember the destructive and arrogant provincial government he and his crony Ernie Eves ran a few years back.
On the plus side, Jim Flaherty won his seat in Whitby-Oshawa. For those unaware, Jim is my brother-in-law's uncle. I met him at my sister's wedding and played golf with him the morning of (we were almost late for the wedding as a result! Men.). Although I'm pleased to see that Jim's political career is being revived after a brief hiatus, I would be much happier if he weren't a member of the Harper klan...oops, sorry, clan.
Looking at the big picture, though, you have to wonder what this government is going to manage to get done. They'll need support from other parties to pass any bills, which, if I understand correctly, may not be too difficult for things like election reform and government accountability, issues the NDP supports as well.
But what about a budget? I mean, it's the first order of business, really, and it's a confidence issue. If the government's budget is defeated, the government is defeated. It has to pass. What kind of budget can the Conservatives pass? It would have to appease at least one of the other parties (not including the Bloq, if you know what's good for you - yes, once again Quebec voters have managed to shoot themselves in the foot). So much for the right-wing agenda, right?
Not so fast. See, the Liberals are going to be doing some soul-searching and house-cleaning for a while as they try to elect a new leader. This will take time. Once the new leader is in place, they'll need time to establish themselves as a viable option to voters. This will take more time. Bottom line: the Liberals won't be looking to pick a fight anytime soon. A quick election could be disastrous to them.
This might have the NDP salivating, though...The left may swing to them if the Liberals don't have proven leadership in place by the next election. Jack Layton might look a lot stronger given a neophyte Liberal leader.
And just who will be that Liberal leader? Some are saying Ralph Goodale, but how about Belinda Stronach or Michael Ignatieff? Forget the fact Stronach is a total MILF, she has a head on her shoulders (ambitious as it may be) and knows how to speak her mind in front of a camera. Besides, I have no qualms with her floor-crossing (I myself am socially liberal, fiscally conservative - no, that doesn't mean I try to woo women into a threesome using cheap wine) so long as she is honest about her reasons for doing so (Harper being just a little too far right). Of course, that would be a pretty big hurdle to overcome and may detract from the campaign. She might want to wait for the next go-around.
So, for now, I figure we don't have too much to fear besides the prospect of having to listen to Harper on a regular basis and having his portrait hang forever in the Parliament some time down the road.
Prime Minister Harper....ugh.
He won't be able to cram through too many anti-humanity bills; he won't have the power. But you can bank on the fact that he'll be around until fall 2007.
Until then, strap on your seatbelts - it's gonna be a rough ride.
"Hold onto your butts."
Samuel L. Jackson, Jurassic Park (1993)