Monday, January 23, 2006

Interestinger and interestinger

I am looking out the window of my hotel room; it looks vaguely down toward the Texas State Capitol, a very beautiful building. As my sister suggests, my guess is the spirit of Dubya there has at least a small smile on now, if he cares a wit about the sillinesses of current-day Canada.
Our election tonight has guaranteed a fascinating several months ahead. We have a new Prime Minister, almost surely, deservedly replacing the clown show that governed us over the last year, and pinned its survival strategy on demonizing Americans. On the other hand, our new prime minister, Stephen Harper, has won with a small plurality of votes and seats.
Wildly interesting times are ahead of us. Harper must produce a cabinet and government that can find a way to govern, when his party commands a minority of seats in our house, and he has a philosophy in many areas that flies in the face of that of all the other parties represented.
On the other hand, anyone who looked at the Canadian political scene two years ago and said that we could have this result tonight, at least among those I knew, would have been laughed at. Harper has proven to be far more adept than anyone could have imagined, and it will be fascinating trying to watch him try to extend those skills into this complex situation. (One should recall that he led a forced marriage of parties that seemed to me the equal in complexity here so I am willing to watch and see how real those apparent skills are.)
Some side points. Here in my hotel room I spent a half hour wasting my time trying to get conected to the CBC audio feed of the results; in the end, I found CTV to be providing a solid and entertaining TV feed I can get here. Even more curious, the CBC mere web feed seemed to collapse around 10:20 and it would not refresh here. Yet another great endorsement of this subsidized piece of nonsense (sarcasm for CBC fans who may not be able to recognize sarcasm).
Looking at the results I see that my strategic vote to help assure our Green Party may not have borne fruit. Oh well.
And a grander reflection, perhaps premature, as the CTV discussions are suggesting Paul Martin may engage yet in some delaying tactics, even to the point of getting the Governor-General he recently appointed (and elevated from her job as a TV interviewer) to somehow agree to allow him to become Prime Minister. I find his story of the last 10-15 years somewhat sad, and would consider it (Shakespearean) tragic, as I have written before, if he had actually ever reached any really high points in his career in a non-compromised way.
Harper's first job, assuming no silly monkey business from Martin, will be to appoint a cabinet, and this will be extremely interesting to watch. He has few team members who could claim to the skills of a governing party (after all he has been struggling to invent a party out of pieces), which is not to say he does not have intelligent players. His skills will be sorely tested.
He has surprised us once now, and maybe he can again.
The Liberals? Profoundly in debt, fractured.
The NDP? It will be fun to watch - Layton surprised me in this campaign, apparently minimizing his nonsense, in my view, and has had a small reward. But he has a tough position, which may depend almost totally on nonsense, so we have to wait.
But I do hope the Greens get funding as a party!
And another question - if a private TV network can provide far better service than one supported by confiscatory funding, what is the latter for?


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