Sunday, November 06, 2005

Let's Do This Thing

So, my Liberal brethren and sistren, I've been thinking... the next election does stand a chance of producing a Tory victory. While this is frightening out of context, when put in the larger context of things, it doesn't seem so painful.

First off, if they do win, it will only be a minority - there is no way they can get a majority without Quebec, especially considering that the NDP is likely to sweep up a bunch of their seats in BC, off-setting any gains they make in Ontario. Indeed, if an election victory happens for the Tories, it will most likely be because the Liberals LOST seats to the Bloc in Quebec and the NDP in BC, and to the Tories in Ontario, not because the Tories made any substantial gains. So while the make-up of the House of Commons would give the Tories the most seats, they would most likely still only have about 100-115, with the Bloc at about 60, Liberals at about 100, and the NDP at Ed Broadbent-levels, around 45. So if we're worried about the Tories doing anything particularly damaging, well, there's no real need to worry, since they wouldn't be able to govern without the support of either the Liberals or the Bloc, and you know which one they WOULDN'T choose.

Second, it's not like they can do any damage even if they have a substantial minority victory, anyway. Any attempts to pass any particularly nasty legislation - I'm thinking in particular a reversal of the Civil Marriage Act - would be killed in committee by the opposition majority.

Third, the Liberals would most likely turn on Paul Martin. Well... boo-hoo. He hasn't even approached living up to what I was expecting of him, so I wouldn't miss him. He was a good finance minister, but he's been a lacklustre prime minister. I know the excuse can be made, "Well, he's got a minority, so there's not a lot he can do." Well, I've gotta call bullshit on that one. There's plenty he could do, he just doesn't WANT to. For example, if he wanted to do some work on Senate Reform (like he promised), the Tories would be onside. If he wanted to do some work on Electoral Reform, the NDP, the Bloc and possibly the Tories would all be onside. If he wanted to liberalize laws on any of the major social issues, he'd have both the NDP and the Bloc onside. Those are the areas that I care about, and frankly, if he's not willing to do it, then I have no problem dumping him. I'd much rather have Michael Ignatieff or Scott Brison take a run at the leadership than have Martin there for the next 8 years doing nothing.

Which leads right into my next point. Fourth, I'm a Liberal supporter because - and only because - I care more about social issues than about other issues. I'm willing to put up with the more leftist elements of the party only because we share common goals with regards to gay rights, marijuana liberalization, prostitution, abortion and capital punishment. I disagree with them wholeheartidly when it comes to healthcare, the war in Iraq, and taxes. Now, since there's clealy been very little progress on the social front (they could decriminalize pot today if they felt like it, even in a de facto way by instructing crown attoneys not to prosecute it or granting pardons to convicted pot smokers, for example), and the only reason they did the gay marriage thing was because they were forced to, I kind of want to see the Liberals out of power for a while. I want them to develop a new platform under some younger and/or more daring leadership, a platform that isn't afraid of and is unapologetic about its promises to implement some of these Liberal youth wing proposals. It would also serve to root out the social conservatives in the Liberal Party like Dan McTeague and Tom Wappell, since the only reason they're there is because the Liberals are currently in power. Basically, the Liberals could redefine themselves, unhindered by concerns of not pissing people off.

Speaking of pissing people off, fifth, I'm tired of the sponsorship issue. If the Liberals take an electoral defeat over it, well, at least it'll be over. They can lick their wounds, dump the old guard, and present a fresh, scandal-free face to Canadians for judgment. Guilty or not, anyone who was in the Liberal cabinet from 1995-2002 is permanently tarnished by this, including Paul Martin. Is it fair? No. Did the vast majority of them have no part in it? Absolutely. But that's just politics.

So, anyway, what I'm getting at is, the only way that I will worry about the results of the next election is in the extremely unlikely event of a Tory majority. But unless that happens, I'm pretty much indifferent to what happens. So let's bring it on. Government can be defeated on the 15th. I say go for it.


At 11/08/2005 4:24 p.m., Blogger Bill said...

Never underestimate the stupidity of the masses under the influence of conservative propaganda. I say we should wait till the polls are a bit more sympathetic.


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