Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canadian election

Some reflections on the Canadian election:

  1. The Conservatives won a minority government, with the Liberals as the Opposition. The Liberals were not wiped off the map, as many Conservative supporters in the media were claiming would happen. The socialist NDP party improved its seat count radically, but paradoxically now has less power than it had before the election (which it precipitated). The separatist Bloc Quebecois did not do nearly as well as it had hoped, and was blindsided by unexpected Conservative strength in Quebec.

  2. The media conspiracy to use the poll results to manipulate the election worked like a charm. The sudden rise in the Conservative poll numbers occurred so late that nobody was ready to counter the threat, and the massaged numbers made a vote for the Conservatives seem like a reasonable, rather than an odd and scary, choice. I've never seen the media so uniformly in favor of one party, and they accepted the daily list of Conservative campaign promises, which consisted mainly of offers to give out money to various groups, without even the slightest question of wider policy issues, including how the country was going to pay for the promises.

  3. The new Prime Minister of Canada is Stephen Harper. I can say, without fear of any reasonable contradiction, that Harper is the single worst human being to ever be Prime Minister of Canada. The best thing the disgusting Canadian media was able to say about him - and they were desperately looking for nice things to say - was that he doesn't suffer fools gladly. His disdain for humanity is quite obvious. He has been a life-long political policy wonk, and his biggest job prior to entering politics as a candidate was President of the National Citizens' Coalition (note the url), an extreme right-wing lobby group which was originally founded by insurance companies to destroy the Canadian health care system. Harper's entire life has been dedicated to two goals: increasing the amount of corporate control over politics and wrecking the single-payer Canadian health care system. He's a real nasty piece of shit, and the disgusting Canadian media won't be able to hide that fact for very long. His Conservative Party has nothing to do with the policies of the old Progressive Conservative Party, and is expressly modeled on the American Republicans.

  4. Harper is somewhat constrained by only having a minority government, but he will pull Canada out of the Kyoto Agreement (to satisfy his Alberta energy company pals), will certainly send Canadian troops into whatever the next disaster of a war George Bush intends to wage, will throw Canada fully behind Bush's space war programs, will end the national child-care system finally funded and negotiated by the Liberals (replacing it by small grants which will be useless as there won't be any child-care spots on which to spend the grants - typical useless conservative vouchering), will completely destroy the Liberal's successful efforts to reach out to Aboriginals, and will find a way to raise all the social issues that Canada has managed to get over (abortion, death penalty, gun control, gay marriage, and any other hateful and divisive things his Christian supporters can find in their stony little hearts). The Conservatives will almost certainly also find a way to make immigration, which has simply not been a real issue in Canadian politics, into a problem. Finally, they will wreck the Canadian government's financial prudence, and throw the country back into deficits (the general conservative plan around the world seems to be to be so financially imprudent that the party that has to clean up the mess will have to do so by cutting social programs, which is just what the Liberals in Canada did to clean up the mess left by the last Conservative government).

  5. The Liberals ran an awful campaign. Liberal leader Martin, who is sixty-eight, appeared to by eighty-six, and the whole party seemed to be intellectually exhausted. The general theory of Canadian voters seems to be that the Liberals are the best party to run the government - it's jocularly called the 'Natural Governing Party' and has clearly been the most electorally successful party in the Western world - but that it needs to be thrown out every ten or fifteen years to keep it from being too 'arrogant'. Martin conspired his whole life to become Prime Minister without ever appearing to have an idea of what he wanted to do. He surrounded himself with an unseemly bunch of ruthless corporate lobbyists, PR spinners and the right-wing edge of the usually very centrist Liberal Party, and was unwilling or unable to shake these people as their malign influence pulled him down.

  6. The Conservatives did a remarkable job, assisted again by the disgusting Canadian media, of having absolutely all their announcements come out of Harper's office. In their last election, some of their crazier social conservatives opened their mouths and spilled the truth of what they intended to do. This time, they had a complete wall of silence. Towards the end of the campaign, they even sent word to their American conservative brothers not to gloat about the upcoming Canadian election result, for fear of alerting Canadians that they were falling into a trap.

  7. The Conservatives have nothing in common with any of the other three parties, except for one very unfortunate thing. They share with the separatists a desire to break up the country. The equation of the survival of the government will be a constant series of devolutions of power from the federal government to the provinces. Since the provinces already have far too much power, this will be a bad thing, and could lead to the complete destruction of the country. I believe that the primary goal of these Conservatives is the destruction of Canadian unity so they can turn over Canadian assets - energy and water - to their American masters. Harper's Americanisms such as ending speeches, in an obvious nod to Bush, by saying 'God Bless Canada', are decidedly creepy in a Canadian political context, and he won't realize the trouble he'll get into in Canada when he gets his obligatory visit, one which Martin was never offered, down to Crawford. If you get in a car and drive along the lakes and the St. Lawrence River in Ontario from Windsor to Cornwall, you'll pass a lot of graveyards filled with dead Canadians, all killed by invading American armies. Canadians haven't quite forgotten that Canada was the first Iraq.

  8. All is not bleak. Martin and his right-wingers needed to be cleaned out, and the Liberals restored to a more centrist party. Some awful Liberals - Anne McLellan, Tony Valeri, Sam Bulte, and, in a wonderful development, Pierre Pettigrew, the globalist nut behind the Haiti coup - were defeated. The Conservative minority is about as thin as it can be, meaning that much of their worst ideas will not be enacted. While they will do irreparable damage, they will only be in power for a year or two before the next election. With the advantages of a tired Liberal Party beset by scandals, and the absolute support of the disgusting Canadian media (by the way, despite what they might tell you, bloggers had zero effect on this election), the Conservatives managed the support of not much more than a third of the voters. Non-reactionary parties - and changes in the Liberal Party should lead to it becoming more progressive as the lobbyists and failed right-wingers get cleaned out - got almost two-thirds of the votes. Canada is not a conservative country, and the Conservatives have no 'mandate'.

  9. Why do people vote dumb? Canada has always been the luckiest country in the world. Why would people vote to wreck that? I think it is the fork-in-the-eye theory. The Liberals are the most boring group of prudent managers you would not want to meet. Careful government is tedious as hell. Ninety-five percent of people who voted Conservative will be worse off because of the choice, but a fork in the eye sure ends the boredom. Canadians want to live in 'interesting times', and are about to get what they want.

  10. Finally, this election proved again the advantages of a first-past-the-post electoral system. No mathematical formulas, no votes which may lead to the opposite result of what you intended, no backroom lists. If you want to change the government, you vote the bastards out. It's so simple and profound, and such a real exercise of democratic choice by voters, that the elites are dying to change it into some abortion of a system devised by mentally-ill political scientists engineered to remove any hint of uncertainty and real choice.

  11. One other thing: the old-fashioned paper ballots worked splendidly.