Monday, November 28, 2005

Nasty and Nippy up North

U.S. voters disgusted with our president may look wistfully to Canada. The parliamentary confidence votes and relatively sudden swapping of those in power can seem attractive to us.

Already, journalists are promising the collapse of the Liberal coalition government today, "plunging the nation into a nasty, nippy Christmas campaign just 17 months after the last vote." This report from Sun Media notes a non-confidence motion coming to the table at 6:45 p.m.

Liberals are up against an itchy set of Tories, New Democrats and Bloc Qu├ębecois. The Conservatives are as eager as our Republicans to show everyone that only they know the truth. The others want more of their issues up front.

New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jack Layton put the pending vote in his own subtle terms. "(W)e'll embark on a winter election because these arrogant Liberals refuse to compromise."

Both sides want to stress that the other is out of touch with Canadians. Tories and their lampreys will speak of tax cuts and crime, and Tories in particularly will play the same-sex-marriage card again and again. Liberals will parade their achievements, which as Prime Minister Paul Martin puts it, includes taking the nation from "pauper to powerhouse." Liberals too will play the out-of-touch card, noting that most Canadians favor same-sex marriage and strongly support the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Whether the Tories can carry anyone else into their fetid anti-SSM stew as part of this remains to be seen.

In the eight to ten weeks before the election, the opposition gets to do an ethics dance. Some Liberals were mired in bribery and money scandals. Former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent said, "As far as you can quantify these things, I would guess somewhere about a third to a half of the campaign" will concentrate on ethics.

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