Friday, June 27, 2008

Canadian Federal election looming?

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has created the team he plans to lead into the next federal election by shuffling his cabinet to fill the critical vacancy at Foreign Affairs and provide lift in the key battlegrounds of Quebec and British Columbia.

Well that is the scenario, though it is hard to see the point. According to all the polls Harper will come out of a contest with a minority government – hardly his preferred outcome. One commentator described the cabinet reshuffle as:

“…was arguably the best selection from a shallow gene puddle of Cabinet-ready MPs.”

To make things worse for Harper, his star, the turncoat Liberal, and now Foreign Minister is highly unlikely to see re-election. Reports are that David Emerson has had a gutful of political pettiness and prefers to deploy his economics PhD and blue-chip connections in a business world featuring super-sized paycheques and perks.

Even if he runs, his reputation as the Liberal cabinet minister who crossed the floor to the Conservatives before the official election results were posted will ensure he's not re-elected in that Vancouver riding unless there's a catastrophic meltdown in Liberal support.

So that rules out and expected BC benefit for Harper. Pandering to Quebec will also count against Harper in the Western provinces. Not fatally, but certainly enough to ensure continued minority status. The big failing of Harpers government is the poor representation of women. There are just seven women in a 32-member Cabinet and most of them in junior jobs with zero visibility.

Canadian voters seem to be content with their ‘not really a government’ situation. It might seem like voters are ‘cutting off their nose to spite their face’, but the fact is they have gone through difficult periods of corruption revelations and genuinely lack lustre representatives.

Perhaps it is time for some candidates with a real fire in the belly to stand up, but then perhaps that is just not the Canadian way.

4 comments:

~kj said...

For a start, there are many of us who did not elect this Bush Admin brown noser.

He has done NOTHING for this country since being elected Prime Minister except some cabinet shuffles. He completely stays out of the media's focus. I beleive he suffers with anxiety and being in crowds brings it on. He was rushed to emergency with the problem around election in 2004 remember?

I can't stand the gutless reject at least Paul Martin had a mind of his own and was proud to be Canadian and didnt try and sell us down the creek.

Boo Hiss Stephen Harper - YOU SUCK

Cart said...

KJ, I can’t really understand why the Conservatives retain a lead, even a minority lead. Ok, the Liberals don’t stand for anything beyond the quest for power either. If Harper stirs the Quebec issue Dion rubs people’s nose right in it.
The NDP are the only ones who seem to stand for anything, and they trail the other two badly. It seems the country are not well served by their elected reps.

abi said...

It seems the country are not well served by their elected reps.

That's certainly true here in the US as well. I also can't really understand why we keep electing people who don't represent the majority of us.

Cart said...

Abi, I'm opposed to the party system. I believe it entrenches self-serving reps.
I don't believe parties exist in your constitution any more than they do in Canada or Australia. Elected representatives should represent their core constituencies first.