Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Canadian Political Circus (continued)

We've all seen that "inconceivable" segment in The Princess Bride: the bad guy squares off with the good guy, and reasons that the good guy must be prepared for this, so the bad guy cooks up a clever counter-preparation, then reasons that the good guy must have thought of this, too, etc. etc. This sort of quadruple-think is the only reason I can grasp to explain what North America's politicians are up to.

Yes, I said "North American". I'm not just scratching my head over the Conservative's decision to leave their Central Ontarian brethren twisting in the wind with little to no national (read: "Albertan") support, all but conceding Toronto and environs to an uncontested Liberal stronghold. I'm not merely perplexed at Jack Layton's inability to retreat to an informed war-room, so's he can come back out with a pair of newly-grown balls, let union boss Buzz Hargrove have it with both barrels, and claim the middle-ground as the sole domain of the New Democrats. The Liberals are doing what everyone expected them to, so why hasn't someone -- Right or Left -- come up with some obvious flanking attacks?

Big puzzle, that. But then I have to wonder if Bush and his bunch aren't desperately hoping to see the Liberals return to power. How else could you explain this? Look, right now even American Republicans are dissing their president and his administration: how do you think a tart "straighten up and fly right" (or, "fly Right") is going to play abroad? I cannot -- I refuse -- to believe this hasn't been said for a very specific effect: to not just re-elect Paul Martin's Liberal government, but to give him an uncontested majority. It's Reverse Psychology 101.

But if that were the case, perhaps they've underestimated the Canadian voter. The Bush administration wasn't banking on the Canadian voter doing the opposite of the opposite it was asked to do, and actualy voting in a different government! Or maybe they have, and we just don't realize it. In which case we should really be voting the opposite of the opposite of the....

Or we could just stay home and watch the hockey game.


DarkoV said...

This is a simple(?) explanation of the difference between the Canadian and the American voter. The Canadians put so much thought into it that they end up out-thinking themselves in the end. THe Americans? Why think when you can watch the tv ads. Net result is Bush. WP, enough with the double thinking squared, that sounds like you're on the road to abstract calculus to me; who are you then putting your bet on to be sitting in Ottawa?

Whisky Prajer said...

I'm starting to think Paul Martin will walk back into office. At the outset, it very much looked like Harper's people had shown him a few new dance steps, but he's starting to hunch up his shoulders again. My politico friend sums it up like this: Harper is one of those candidates who, the more exposure he gets, the worse his numbers are - a good sign for the Liberals. Layton's "optics" aren't much of an improvement, which is bad news for him since he's already starting from behind.

Still and all, until next week's debates, I'll stick with my original assessment - a Tory minority - in the belief that Harper's strategists aren't quite as dim as they currently seem.

Trent Reimer said...

Last election I realized I wanted to vote for Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois) but he didn't seem to have anyone in my riding :)

It's pretty bad when the sharpest guy on the scene isn't even leading a true national party.

Not that Martin is a dummy. Which is why the Bush bashing has me puzzled. You can only taunt the school bully so long before he seriously takes you out behind the woodshed. And how does that serve our interests? Assuming human behaviour hasn't changed radically in the last few weeks one might wish to use a calmer manner to point out the administration's trade violations so as to keep open a door for future dialogue.

Or maybe he's decided no amount of goodwill on a foreign nation's part will sway them anyway?

US administration: what have you done for me lately Canada?

Canda: Accept risk on behalf of America by accepting every public flight turned away from the US on 9/11, lined up at the airports to take the approximately 10,000 displaced Americans into our homes, lined up for 3 days to give blood in case there were survivors pulled out of the rubble, put together the 4th largest military in the Afghanistan effort despite the fact at least 15 other nations are more powerful than we and that we didn't even have desert camoflague, sent an armada of ships, workers and dive teams to the hurricane zones and in the last 5 years contributed over $1,000,000,000 in aid to a country many times richer than ourselves... etc. etc.

US Administration: But you didn't go to Iraq! You traitors!

Whisky Prajer said...

Keeping track of this cross-border silliness gets quite wearying after a while, particularly when the larger of the two trading partners is so utterly contemptuous toward international law.

Trent Reimer said...

...and the smaller reserves the right to be self-righteous whiners!