Heading for the 40th Parliament?

2007-03-19

in Canada, Politics, The environment

After 15 months with a Conservative minority government, it looks like Canada is heading for a new general election.

For those not paying overly close attention, the Liberal Party held its convention back in December, choosing Stéphane Dion as their new leader. Dion beat out Michael Ignatieff who had, at times, seemed the front-runner. Back in January 2006, the Conservative Party managed to secure a minority government, ending Y years of Liberal control over the House of Commons.

Stephen Harper is obviously trying to consolidate his earlier victory into a majority government. The election should be an interesting one, primarily because of social and environmental issues. There is a lingering suspicion that the relative moderation the Conservatives have shown in power is a tactical choice for the period until they get a majority government (though those fears may simply be stoked by Liberals hoping to frighten a few votes their way). On the environment, nobody is looking too good at the moment. The Conservatives have all but abandoned Canada’s commitment to Kyoto, which the previous Liberal government had never put a sufficient amount of effort into. The heightened level of concern about climate change will probably make the issue front-and-centre in the campaign. Whether that will lead to anything meaningful or not remains to be seen.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Brett March 19, 2007 at 8:07 am

Though you are right that the Liberals may be stoking this suspicion of a hidden agenda, they are only emphasizing a well grounded fear. There is no denying that Harper was the leader of the far-far religious right wing Reform party and that if given the opportunity he would ban both gay marriage and abortion but of course a minority(well more than just that i reckon) keeps him from doing that. I would still base my vote on stopping Harper and the Conservative from possibly enacting a ‘hidden’ conservative social agenda.

Anonymous March 19, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Speaking of politicians and climate change, have you seen that John Manley is climbing Kilimanjaro and blogging it?

Edward March 19, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I was initially pleased about Stephane Dion winning the Liberal leadership race, but I now strongly regret this. At first, Stephane seemed like an intelligent individual who could come up with positive solutions to complex problems. Unfortunately, he has none of that in the few months since his victory, choosing instead to attack Stephen Harper. Liberals do best when they get people to think about policy; leave the attack to the Conservatives, it just makes them look angry. But Stephane has looked remarkably incompetent since his December victory, even embarassingly helpless at times, and I fear this does not bode well for a future federal election.

While I would certainly not call myself a supporter of Stephen Harper, I don’t believe that he would ban abortion even with a majority government. He would have to expend an enormous amount of political capital to do so, and although Harper may not share our liberal sentiments, he isn’t stupid. Also, I’m not so sure that he has much of a “hidden” conservative social agenda. We know that he opposes gay marriage… it isn’t really all that hidden. Harper is certainly conservative, but he isn’t the kind of social conservative that Stockwell Day is – and hence, he’ll be more difficult to beat.

We liberals need to find ways to talk about the future and what our policies would be, rather than to simply tell Canadians how much of a meanie Stephen Harper is… it already cost us an election a year ago, let’s not make the same mistake again…

Anonymous March 19, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Stephane Dion – Not a Leader

Conservative ad. The editing is a bit amateur (your brother could do better).

Anonymous March 19, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Regardless of your politics, I think we can agree that the comments posted below YouTube videos are the most inane of the entire internet.

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Milan March 19, 2007 at 9:32 pm

For someone fairly liberal voting in a place like North Vancouver (where I am registered) elections are always fairly easy. The NDP doesn’t have a chance, so it’s a contest between Tories and Whigs. If you prefer the latter, and the local candidate isn’t a total muppet (as the Green Party candidates tend to be), your decision-making is essentially over.

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