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Monday, November 21, 2005

Elections, Retirements and U-Hauls - It's Christmas in Ottawa

Well folks the buzz these days seems to all be about the pending non-confidence vote in the House of Commons on November 28 and by extension the general election to follow early in the New Year. The big question is what will the political landscape look like after the polls close?

Will Stephen Harper be backing the U-Haul up to the door of 24 Sussex Drive? Will Paul Martin dither his way through yet another term, perhaps with a majority this time? Will Jack Layton have to hang up his peacock costume and stop strutting around Ottawa like he owns the place, or will he continue to carry the big stick of a government killer? These questions and many more are running through the minds of political groupies across the Country.

Most people I’ve spoken with are of the opinion that in spite of their record of corruption, cronyism and patronage, the Liberals will hang on and win this election. Its sad that we as Canadians don’t have the sense to punish a government like this one, but like it or not, the conservative powerbase continues to primarily live in the West. Atlantic Canada is still reeling from Harper’s less than friendly comments a few years ago. Ontario is not going to change its stripes and if you wear conservative blue you have about as much chance of winning a seat in Quebec as a skunk does of making it all the way across the 401 at rush hour.

The real question we should be asking is whether the Liberals can gain a majority or will continue as a minority government. If the former happens then we have 4 more years of the same old tired story to look forward to. Conversely, if a minority government is the order of the day then we will have lived through endless months of dysfunctional politics, name calling and even a winter election, only to start the whole process over again at square one.

Not exactly a win / win situation is it, but regardless of the overall outcome, there will be some changes following the election. One of those changes may see an increase in seats for the NDP party. With the general public being sick and tired of the red and the blue snapping at each other everyday since the last election, some people may decide its time to give the little guy a boost. It’s doubtful this will translate into anything other than an extra handful of seats, but hey Jack’s not proud right?

Another change, more directly related to Atlantic Canada and specifically to Newfoundland and Labrador is the impending decision by John Effordless not to run in this election. John is not saying anything just yet (I guess Paul Martin has to proof read his statement and untangle his marionette strings first) but the word on the street is that he has decided, for health reasons, to retire.

Apparently his decision has nothing to do with all the heat he has been taking for pulling down a $213,000.00 salary while soaking up the sun in Florida, or for his long list of shortcomings in dealing with issues in his home province, like the Atlantic Accord and the listing of cod on the endangered species list. No, according to insiders his retirement is due to his health, not the fact that although he was once considered unbeatable, these days he couldn’t get elected as a dog catcher.

There will be new faces in the new and improved House of Commons and some old ones will no longer be around. Either way, the machine will continue to grind and the machinations of politics in Canada will continue to provide grist for the news mills on a daily basis. It’s just a matter of what the next scandal or the next issue will be, of that there is no doubt.

It might be nice as well if, somewhere along the way, our elected officials actually manage to get something accomplished this time around. Now that would make for good headlines.

1 comment:

funkypretty said...

I certainly hope the Conservatives don't win, because Harper is way to sleazy. He'll try to cozy right up to Bush a la Tony Blair. As much as the Liberals need out of power, I'd rather them back in than to see PM Harper.