This federal election has been a weird one for us. It’s the first election campaign in quite a long time that we haven’t been knee deep in (in 2004, we campaigned during the federal, provincial, and municipal elections). Though weren’t completely uninvolved in the campaign (we spent a day at the beginning of January delivering campaign pamphlets for Anne McLellan in the Queen Mary Park area with former Liberal MLA Lance White. We’ve also been doing a certain amount of non-partisan elections stuff – punditry, etc).
1. We find it very unfortunate that there is a large chance that Edmonton and Alberta may be sending 28 Conservative MP’s to Ottawa on Monday.
This is unfortunate mainly because of the dumb first-past-the-post system (the same system that kept the Reform/PC/Alliance from winning any large amount of seats in Ontario from 1993 to 2004). A contingent of such partisan homogeny does not accurately represent the choice of Albertans and will continue to perpetuate the stereotypical image of Alberta as the Conservative motherland.
2. Michael Ignatieff – The entire fiasco surrounding Dr. Ignatieff and his academic writings highlight one of the major flaws in Canadian politics. Academic papers are not meant to be defended in 15-second media clips against people who haven’t read them in the first place.
Now, to be clear, we’re not defending this issues Dr. Ignatieff has written about (we haven’t read any of his work). Our concern is that this incident may, with the prospect of having every academic paper you’ve written taken out of context and trashed, serve to discourage other academics and intelligent people from running for parliament. Now it may just be us, but we would think that it’s people like Dr. Ignatieff who would be the type of parliamentarians who could raise the level of debate in the House of Commons, something which is desperately needed.
3. Though we enjoyed Jack Layton’s performance at the Bonnie Doon Community Hall last week (see pic), we weren’t overly impressed with any of the party leaders. Paul Martin is past his best before date, Harper is too shifty (and has a creepy smile), and Layton is too happy.
Yes, there’s just no pleasing us…
4. Just as we felt unable to connect with any of the party leaders, we had an equally hard time identifying with any of the parties. We usually float somewhere in between the Liberals and NDP, but when deciding who we would support, it had to come down to the individual candidate.
5. One of the issues we raised on the BBC website and on the CityTV election panel was that none of the parties talked about the real issues. Whoop-tee-doo, a 2% reduction in GST, tax-cuts, negative ads. NONE OF THIS STUFF REALLY MATTERS! NONE OF IT!
6. Negative ads. We still don’t like them.
7. Fun. Though we found this election low on substance, we did enjoy some of the comic relief provided by some of the parties. Special props go out to Scott “Blog Boy” Feschuk, the NDP Bingo Cards, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), and the CPC Energy dog (wtf, mate?). You left us with tones of great memories.
Liberal – 84
Bloc – 60
NDP – 24
Independent – 1
(note: we won’t be surprised if our predictions are off)