Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Half-time Report

That was a short break - I didn't expect the parade du scandale to resume until at least Wednesday.

I doubt there's much left to be said about the Klander blog, so without further ado here's my half-time report:

Off the top of my head, in no particular order, these are some issues that matter to me:

Health care, the economy, national unity, national defense, human rights both in Canada and abroad.

This is the party (Liberal or CPC, for purposes of this assessment) that I feel is better able to address each issue:

Health care: don't know
Economy: don't know, but suspect, Liberal
National unity: don't know, used to think Liberal, now swinging towards CPC.
National defense: CPC
Human rights: Liberal.

(I have left out any party with virtually zero chance of forming the next government because my purpose is to figure out what I'd like to see as the outcome of this election.)

There is also the intangible trust factor of which the Liberals are completely bereft, if for no other reason than they've held power way too long. That's just the way it is, power corrupts and it's human nature. We need a change.

So, who won the first round?

I'd have to say the Conservatives. They've managed to get me to reassess my position (and that ain't easy).
On Dec. 11, I wrote that the best outcome for the Quebec federalist cause would be a Liberal win. Now I'm not so sure.
While a Conservative minority would likely have little or no Quebec representation, Harper's outlook on division of powers, and money, between Ottawa and the Provinces might be attractive from the Quebec point of view.
Maybe I'm being overly optimistic about that, maybe not, but I can't imagine anyone doing a better job of alienating Quebecers than the Liberals have sadly done.

I'm also rather partial to the CPC defense policy. Our armed forces are a disgrace.

Unfortunately I don't know enough about economics to evaluate which tax cut is better and which party would promote a healthier business environment. I think Canada has done pretty well lately but whether that's due to government policy or other factors, is beyond me.

I do have serious reservations about the Conservatives on the social policy front. My views are generally pretty progressive; for instance I strongly support same sex marriage and a more liberal policy regarding stem cell research. The possibility of the legendary hidden agenda worries me as well.

Going into the campaign, the outcome I preferred was a Liberal minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, and the Liberals keeping at least some seats in Quebec. The logical consequence of this would be for the Conservatives to have to reorganize, ideally morph into something more like the old PCs and find a leader with less of a right-wing history. Not Peter MacKay; I don't trust him after he backstabbed David Orchard.

However, after what's gone on the past three weeks, I'd like to see a Conservative minority. (It even hurts a bit to write that, but it hurts more to contemplate another government by the Liberals as they are now.)
A very thin minority with the NDP holding the balance.
That would allow for reforms that need to be introduced, and forestall more radical changes such as reopening the same sex marriage debate or moving the country towards a neo-con agenda.
This government would hang on just long enough for the Liberal Party to clean up or for the CPC to prove itself really worthy, and perhaps we'd have a positive choice in the next election, not just a which smells less disgusting choice.

Cross posted to the CTV Election Weblog

No comments: