03.21.2011 05:58 AM

Great David Olive column (updated)

He’s off the mark on a few things – the true state of the numbers, the competence of senior staff – but it’s a fun read because David Olive always is.

Thing is, I don’t recall voters ever itching to get to the polls. Yet the day of an election call, this great spectator sport of politics eclipses talk even of sports (!) in the nation’s farm-supply depots, yoga classes, university lecture halls, Canadian Tire check-out lines and donut emporia.

And why not? Our opinion is about to be solicited – our verdict – and leaders of five national parties will show us the stuff they’re made of. Few things are more testing of a pol than an inevitably gruelling coast-to-coast campaign, studded with gaffes, transparent pandering, horserace-like daily poll monitoring (did that speech make a difference; did that crazy song she sang yesterday at a country fair go viral?) and, yes, occasional moments of eloquence and passion, even anger. (“You had an option, sir!”, Brian Mulroney told a hapless John Turner in the 1984 leadership debates. And a Tory landslide of record size for any party was secured that moment.

Oh, we do like elections, so enough of that nonsense.

UPDATE: And more fun reading bits from Senator Olive, here.


  1. David Olive says:

    Many thanks, Warren, you’re too kind as always. Could you straighten me (us?) out about the exact numbers (so fluid) and staff. Can’t imagine it’s Donolo since you were a winning team, unless he’s gone Cheney on us. (That would be the post-heart treatment transformation into someone your closest friends no longer recognize.) Cheers, David

    • Warren says:

      Senator Olive! Welcome.

      My read of the numbers is that the gap has been wider for some time, now – with Harper consistently capturing upper 30s and Ignatieff mid-20s. If the campaign ends up like that, Then (a) Harper is likely to score a majority and (b) the Bloc is likely to score Official Opposition status. Thus my ongoing criticism of OLO senior staff: they came in promising to do way better, but didn’t.

  2. I have a feeling that several Liberal MPs will catch the parliamentary flu during the first and second vote on the budget if both take place before Friday. The Liberals want a vote on the Conservatives’ contempt of Parliament. However, I will predict that Harper will pull the plug on Parliament Thursday evening or Friday morning so that the Liberals can’t present their motion of non-confidence on the Conservative government. Harper will just claim that since the opposition MPs didn’t want to support the budget and are working to paralyze the budget bill process with a “silly” non-confidence motion, Harper will have had no choice but to see the governor-general and ask him to dissolve Parliament and hold an election.

  3. Dr.J says:

    After seeing an angry Liberal leader yesterday on QP, it was just another “me,me,me” situation and not a “PM in waiting” performance.

    • smelter rat says:

      Uh huh. Try taking your Tory blinders off once in a while, you’ll be surprised at what you see.

      • Brian says:

        I’m quite certain I don’t have my Tory blinders on. Yet I have to agree that PM Ignatieff isn’t exactly motivating me to show up either. The CPC jibes, much as I hate them, do ring true on one front: what is MI’s motive for wanting to run the country, exactly? What is it he’s in such a hurry to change?

    • Greg says:

      I am no fan of Iggy but, to be fair, the Conservatives were smearing his grandfather. So, I can forgive him for being a bit touchy.

  4. bigcitylib says:

    Assuming the NDP or Bloc get bought off and nothing happens this Spring, would anyone be interested in organizing an informal “pickup” election, just for fun?

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