So there was an election this week in Canada, and nothing really changed. The Conservatives got a few more seats, but not enough to take away unilaterally all the abortion and free speech rights of Canadians. As I thought a few posts ago, Stephane Dion's performance was a disaster, and I'd say that after a few months of party infighting, his political career will be over.
Dion spent the entire campaign trying to sell his own Green Shift tax policy (which hardly anyone liked anyway) instead of attacking the Conservatives. And he was unable to counter the Conservative attacks against him, which have already solidified for most Canadians the image of Dion as a nebbishy whining twit. Of course, Dion is actually a very intelligent, assertive, visionary leader. This is the truth, but no one will ever believe it. I thought Dion had a lot of potential and could do a lot of good for Canada. I still think this, but I also know that he has been utterly defeated.
As for the other leaders, Stephen Harper can be called a failure too, even though he won with more seats in his minority. He was running a united party against a left that was split in three directions (four directions in Quebec), with a main opposition that was disorganized and rapidly losing the respect of Canadians. Under these conditions with the political spectrum reversed, Jean Chretien won by a landslide in 1993. I think this is the best the Harper Conservatives will probably do.
Jack Layton's presumptuousness earned him a whole seven seats, and made his prime ministerial posturing look foolish in retrospect. His talk of becoming PM looked even sillier when I discovered a friend of mine going to grad school in Montreal ran for the NDP in the Abitibi district, but never actually campaigned because she didn't have time during her school schedule. How can you talk about taking over the government and winning seats (note the plural) in Quebec for the first time when you don't bother to fund candidates there, even just so they can be present on the campaign trail.
Elizabeth May might have led an increase in the vote count for them, but the Green party is still a joke who can earn a place at the debate table with the big folks, but who still can't win an actual seat. It was pretty presumptuous of her to think she could unseat Peter MacKay as well. She would do better running in a safe left seat like urban Halifax and taking votes from the NDP.
Meanwhile, Gilles Duceppe is still a sexy, sexy man.
I've been disappointed once so far this fall. Pray you do not disappoint me, Senator Obama. On the bright side, I have decided, thanks to the groundswell of support on my facebook page (seven status comments!), I've decided to begin a master plan to become Prime Minister of Canada myself. I'd certainly do a better job than any of the folks who were up for the job this month.