Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: New Politics from the North

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Politics from the North

I'll be the first to admit that my coverage and commentary on the recent Canadian elections were abysmal. I started out with the best intentions to discuss what was going on north of the border, but it just never quite worked out. Would I have any credibility if I said that I'd done that on purpose? If I said that the election just didn't seem that important to me?

As it turns out, that election wasn't as significant as it seemed at the time. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper expanded his support, but he was still left heading up a minority government. Harper was lucky, though, that he scheduled the election to come and go before the economy started into the obvious rut it's been in for the past several weeks. Would his numbers have held if the election had been delayed by even just a month? It's hard to say for sure, but the parties to Harper's left are certainly beginning to wonder. The Liberals and the New Democratic Party--neither of which are as strong as the Conservatives by themselves--have agreed to join together in a coalition government if they get the opportunity to replace Harper. And whether or not that opportunity is presented falls largely to Canada's governor-general, Michaƫlle Jean. The governor-general is the representative of Canada's sovereign, Queen Elizabeth. The Globe and Mail has a useful examination of the issues facing Governor-General Jean and the choices she might make.

This looks like it will be offering quite a bit of intrigue in the next few weeks. Will Canada move from a right-wing government to a lefty government without a new national vote? It could happen.


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