The federal election will anger many when the result we get will be so like what we had; another term for Stephen Harper to be prime minister without a Conservative majority. I will not be angry, just very unsatisfied that nothing changed despite the opportunities for a new regime.
Michael Ignatieff showed himself unequal to a task of political intelligence by declaring no prospect of a coalition. We all knew the best Liberals could win was a big enough seat total to join the NDP in a formal coalition sans BQ, to give us a stable government.
He fudged the issue. He was intimidated by Harper’s anti-coalition attacks, though Harper abandoned that line early on. Harper was shown to be hypocritical on the topic of coalitions by his own past actions in 2004.
What I will remember of this election is how Harper loyalists do not swerve from their attachment to him regardless of good reasons to want him out of the highest office in the land.
He lost the undecided middle voters, by several campaign events and exposure of his defective leadership (e.g. being found in contempt of Parliament — an historic first in parliamentary history the world over; his treatment of Helena Guergis; the G8 budget scandal; his severe control bubble to keep people away from him).
Thank Canada’s political providence for young voters finding electoral sense, and their good instincts against handing Harper a majority.
Congratulations to Jack Layton most, and Ignatieff less so, for good campaigns. Condolences to Elizabeth May; she deserves seats as much as the Bloc, but our system is defective.
Harper wanted this election, make no mistake. He had a real possibility going in, of a majority. Harper’s base is slavishly loyal and responds well to his attack ads against other parties. He can count on 36 to 40 per cent of the voters.
Somehow Canada has become more like the U.S., with red and blue communities of voters loyal to parties as if to tribal gods. This election was not about a choice of policies. It was like sports contests, each voter loyal to their team no matter its record.
Not a great election in the history of Canadian political evolution, in my opinion. Harperism, not conservatism, will rule again.
And it is Harperism that will have to deal with a Quebec ruled by the PQ that will bring on Referendum No. 3 on separation.
Charles Jeanes, Nelson