Monday, April 4, 2011

 

SHOWDOWN IN PARLIAMENT - REDUX

HARD NEWS, STRAIGHT TALK: Meet the new signature tag for Sun News Network which launches on Monday, April 18th just as the dust begins to settle over next week's televised leaders' debate(s); and 2 weeks to Federal Election day. Pundit, blogger and former Jean Chretien campaign chief Warren Kinsella will assume a starring role over at Sun News as the web's token Liberal. Let it not be said that Quebecor's foray into English language all-news television won't be "fair and balanced" just like America's Fox News on whose template it's being propped.

SCARY EVEN TO LITTLE CHILDREN: Pundit Kinsella opines that the Harper Conservative campaign is flawed from the git-go. Mr. Kinsella has suggested that the Tory attack ads against Michael Ignatieff have been built..."on too many exaggerations, too many out of context quotes and too many falsehoods." And; as electors become increasingly exposed to the reality of the Liberal Leader, the Conservative contradictions become painfully obvious. With the campaign now well under way, Canadians tuning-in have seen that Ignatieff,(perhaps) unlike his predecessor Stephane Dion, isn't nearly as bad as he's been made out to be.

HECK! THE SAME OLD SAME OLD: The "Harper Headed to Majority" headlines have the Prime Minister's handlers fretting that the campaign efforts may be peaking too soon. They've had Mr. Harper launch the week's campaigning assuring his audience in Welland that..."the Conservatives would govern the same with a majority as they have in a minority." Implying that there is no hidden socially conservative agenda. It's the unspoken fear that derailed Mr. Harper's three previous campaigns and eventually scared enough voters away to deny his party a ruling majority.

ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING: The Prime Minister has successfully ignored his own suggestion of a "one-on-one" debate with the Liberal Leader. Neither politician is a scintillating spell-binder. Still there's a sense that (...here I hesitate) an American-style debate between the two front-runners would have injected considerable interest into a otherwise moribund campaign. Of course, the downside of a campaign debate moderated by Rick Mercer is that the CBC Comedian and current 'McLean's Magazine' pundit may himself have ended-up being elected Prime-Minister.

WHEN A MAJORITY IS NOT A MAJORITY: In the May 2nd election there are roughly 16-million eligible voters. If (as they say on election night coverage) the trend persists: Perhaps no more than 8-million people will be voting in this Federal Election. Regardless of which party wins on election night...if 40% of votes cast represent the magic majority of seats in Parliament: Under 4-million Canadians could elect the country's first majority government in eleven years. More than 40% of eligible Canadian adults did not bother to vote in 2008, the lowest turnout since Confederation, and there's little indication that next month's election will yield better results. I guess we'll get the government we deserve.

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