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"...and I felt EVEN BETTER."

I thought I'd posted about this before, but I must just have linked it at The Other McCain.

Canada just had another election, forced on it by the Bloc Quebecois, Liberals and NDP, and to nobody's surprise (save for the chattering classes of Canada, who were all Pauline Kael about it), PM Stephen Harper's Conservatives utterly crushed both the Liberals and BQ to win a solid majority for the next four years. And by "utterly crushed", I mean kicked their asses. The BQ was reduced to four seats in the House of Commons, and the Liberals have gone from the "Natural Governing Party" to holding a mere 33 seats, which makes them the third party, far behind the radical-left New Democratic Party.

Obviously I find this encouraging. While Harper would be considered a RINO down here, up north he's considered somewhat of a slavering reactionary by the press. Well, most of them, anyway; as you can see in the video below, Rex Murphy sees PMSH for what he actually is*, the heir to Preston Manning's Reform Party, and that's no bad thing. This is what makes me hope Tim Pawlenty does well in the primaries and caucuses; he's a quiet, competent fellow who isn't afraid to admit he made a mistake, and I think we need that more than a firebrand.


Post title taken from the chapter in P.J. O'Rourke's All The Trouble In The World dealing with the Nicaraguan elections of 1990, which ends with O'Rourke passing Bianca Jagger in a hotel lobby, where Jagger is sobbing brokenly over he defeat of the FSLN at the polls.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Canada is not the United States. Because of this, the Harper government should not necessarily be lauded. The Canadians who did not vote for him (and I would have been one of them; I always staunchly voted Liberal) often do so because "he and his party want Canada to be more like the US". At a time when the US isn't doing well at all, that's not a paltry fear. Unemployment in Canada is currently lower, there hasn't been a deficit for years, and if Canada pulls out of Afghanistan, as it should, its financial situation will be better yet again. Canada is strong right now because of the times it acted like CANADA and not America Jr.
May. 11th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
You assume that I don't understand Canadian politics, and you are incorrect.

I'm well aware that Canada is not the US; I refer to it as "the old country" for a reason, since I still have relatives that never left PEI or Montreal. I admire Harper for what he's been able to accomplish, mainly giving the West a larger voice in Canadian affairs than it's traditionally had.
May. 11th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
I agree that all of Canada isn't Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto, but if "giving the west a voice" is all he has to point to, that's not much. It explains how he was elected of course (I saw the electoral map) but what's good for the Prairies isn't necessarily what's good for Canada and Canadianism.

Edited at 2011-05-11 10:49 pm (UTC)
May. 12th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
Oh, of course not, any more than sectional politics in general is good for a country; I think the problem is even more acute in a parliamentary system where there's really no check on what the House of Commons can do. I don't think that's all PMSH has to boast about, though; Murphy's comment about the CPC taking the effective veto power of Quebec (via the BQ) out of play is well taken.

TBQH, I'm not sure there is a good definition of "Canadianism" other than the Grits' knee-jerk "not the US" attitude. I'm not sure you can really have a good definition of Canada as a nation so long as Quebec is off sulking in a corner and periodically throwing a tantrum about leaving if it doesn't get its way; I mean, are they in or are they out? Is Canada one nation or an uneasy federation of ethnically heterogeneous provinces? I don't have an answer to that question myself, and admit that my thoughts on the matter are largely influenced by Kate McMillan and other Reform/Conservative bloggers up there.
May. 12th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
"Quebec is off sulking in a corner and periodically throwing a tantrum...."

Um, you haven't been there in a while, have you? The separatists are dying out fast. Plus I loved living in Montreal...would still be there if Steve had enjoyed the weather.

That history, though, is part of the Canadiansm I'm talking about. Being Canadian is not "just like being an American". There's a je ne sais quoi that is just different. Canada has its own music, film and literary scenes, which is part of it, but overall attitudes aren't the same.
May. 12th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
No, I haven't been in Canada since 1967, and even then I was just passing through with my parents on the way to Tyndall AFB from Alaska. I am aware that the separatists are dying out, but I'm not willing to say the movement is dead and buried until the BQ has been gone for at least a decade. Either that, or there are pictures involving stakes through the heart. (HHOK)

I agree that Canada is different from the US, but it's not all that easy to distinguish the differences aside from the history, politics and some cultural artifacts. One has to pay close attention to notice those, too, if you're not living there.
May. 12th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
I voted BQ when I lived in Canada, although it seems the NDP has moved into that niche in Montreal. I did it because I wanted strong representation in Parliament. They're also more moderate than the NDP, or they were at the time; the NDP may be less hardline socialist now than they were then.

I also like to point out to Americans who get hostile about Quebec they reasons WHY Quebec is taking such a long time to stop being mad. Before 1970, francophone Quebecois could not use banks. They were not allowed to go to universities. They often could not find doctors who spoke French, even though they were the majority. It was apartheid based on religion and language. The craziness of the 1970s was the result of generations of anger and it's only now that the pendulum is swinging back.

Even in Toronto I find it quite easy to tell you're not in the United States, and it's more than having to "pay close attention". Steve commented, the first time I drove him down the 401, that "reality is skewed an inch to the left" at all times.
May. 12th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
If anything, the Dippers seem to have become increasingly radical in their socialism, but all I know is what I read in the blogs and the occasional article from the National Post.

Wow, that business about the Francophones being shut out like that is new to me - don't think it shows up anywhere in the Wikipedia articles on Canadian history. It definitely explains a lot.

Sure, if you're in Canada it's easy to spot the differences - but if you're not there, as I haven't been in decades, it's not so obvious. Much like the differences between the US, UK, Scotland and Australia, funny accents aside.
May. 12th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
The National Post is just a teensy bit biased to the far right, so keep that in mind. I refused to support the NDP because of their strong approval of euthanasia. That's a surefire way of getting me to turn my back on anyone's political movement.

Also Dippers, I've never heard that term before.

Edited at 2011-05-12 10:05 pm (UTC)
May. 12th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I realize the NP is (editorially) not much different than the WSJ here in the States. Lord Black's influence and all that. This makes it easier reading for me than, say, the Grope & Flail or the Toronto (Red) Star.* I do take that into account.

The conservative blogs up north almost all refer to the NDP as Dippers. I don't know if that's common slang for Canadians in general or not.

*[insert "LOL, Conservatives are stoopid and need small words" joke here]
May. 12th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
"And I felt even better."

I thought I recognized that quote. I remember an editorial cartoon, I think in the Washington Times, from then. Castro is standing on the beach, and the Ortegas are approaching shore in a life raft. Castro is yelling,

"You lost a WHAT??!".

May. 12th, 2011 09:50 am (UTC)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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