Musings —03.27.2011 11:37 AM—
- Coalition in Remission: Paul Wells, I think, is the guy who once said that it is always the most-obvious, and least-complex stuff that gets you. As Election 2011 kicks off, and as you pore through the avalanche of analysis ce matin – here and here and here and here – we are all reminded how eminently wise that observation is. As regular lurkers at this site will know – and as I plan to write, shortly, for a magazine piece – I think cooperation/coalition/merger is a pretty good idea. A few somewhat successful politicians, like Messrs. Chretien, Broadbent, Romanow, etc., think it is a good idea, too. I mean, (a) Stephen Harper did it with the Reformers/Alliancers/Conservatives, and (b) he won the election that came right afterwards. But Ignatieff and his circle of advisors are against it – they think they can win by stealing NDP votes, instead of eliminating the NDP as a choice. They’re totally wrong, but whatever. All that needed to be said was this: “Harper isn’t telling the truth. He tried a secret coalition in 2000 and 2004 with the NDP and the Bloc. When that didn’t work, he merged in 2004 with the Conservatives. Me, I want to win the election on my own, fair and square. What’s going to happen after the election, you ask? Beats me. I don’t answer hypothetical questions. Maybe you can go ask Stephen Harper why he’s a liar. That isn’t hypothetical.”
- Coyne Coalition Edition: Andrew has a typically thoughtful and principled essay on the subject, here (and “thoughtful and principled” are the reasons why Andrew would be the least successful politician ever, if he ever took the plunge, that is, which he won’t). Andrew seems to be satisfied with Ignatieff’s answer, but also with the notion that coalitions are perfectly legitimate – just don’t be sneaky about it. What he doesn’t like is Harper’s aforementioned dishonesty: “…if [Harper] now believes it is “illegitimate” for one government to replace another without going back to the people, is he then formally swearing that he would never again make the kind of agreement with the other parties, whatever it was, he was so evidently prepared to make in 2004?”
- Winner-ation of the day: Gilles Duceppe. He called Harper a liar, for lying, and I can guarantee you the Conservative leader would be suing the Bloc leader for defamation were he not protected by the defence of justification. Harper needs to understand that it isn’t the coalition notion that is a club with which to beat Ignatieff – it’s the suspicion that Ignatieff isn’t being truthful about it. It’s not the break-in, it’s always the cover-up, etc. As polls have repeatedly shown, Canadians are quite okay with this coalition stuff. Go, Gilles, go.
- Loser-ation of the day: The politicians. They may be talkin’, but ain’t nobody listenin’, yet.
- The Physician Omission: I am rather slow, so you will forgive me for being more bewildered than usual by the fact that the leaders are all yammering about something that doesn’t matter to Canadians so much (cf., coalitions), and not talking at all about something that does (cf., health care). I’m not making it up: it’s the Number One Issue Thing for Canadians. So why don’t Ignatieff and the other Opposition bosses beat the stuffing out of Harper with it? Good question. I can tell you, however, that health care is going figure rather prominently in the coming Ontario provincial election – and we are going to make Timmy Hudak wear the 20-odd hospitals he shut down, as well as the thousands of nurses he fired, and thousands of hospital beds he eliminated. And we are going to win with that election, too. But to each his/her own, I guess.
- Cauchon Emotion! I was happy to see Iggy charge right into Quebec, that horrid La Presse poll notwithstanding, and start hitting the hustings with my friend Martin Cauchon. As Ivison wrote, he did quite well, and quite a few folks are cheering on Cauchon’s challenge of the rebarbative, back-stabbing Thomas Mulcair, thousands of Layton loyalists included. To do well in this national election, the Grits need to retake their former stronghold of Outremont – and I confidently predict that the progressive, smart-as-a-whip Cauchon will do just that. Here, meanwhile, is a photo a Jewish community friend took of a Cauchon sign in his ‘hood. Nice pic, Cauchon!