From today's Post, a suggested revision to the Conservative Party slogan: "Too boring to be evil. Read more on our site."
Open question to the Stephen "Firewall" Harper campaign staff: I know your boy didn't like the populism of the old Reform party, but there's a difference between not being a populist and never actually speaking with, you know, human beings. For some reason, Harper -- who has remained pretty cool and collected throughout the campaign -- has done very little hand-shaking and baby-kissing. It could be worse, though; your handlers could keep you confined in a glass cell, as Paul Martin's apparently do.
Via On The Fence, Paul Martin pledged yesterday that he would a trustworthy PM make, saying that he would resign in two years if he breaks three campaign promises: Improving healthcare, enhancing the quality of life in cities, and maintaining social programs without running a deficit. Not to get embroiled in semantics, but OTF wonders what happens if the promise about resigning for not keeping promises is not kept. Circular logic alert! Robotic voice: Error! Error!
And the electoral outcome is a... (shakes multi-sided dice) Liberal... (shakes dice again) minority! Roy MacGregor describes the prospects of a minority government as appealing to Canadians: Liberal partisans who want to see the party punished for sponsorship transgressions, for instance, but don't want to see them out of office altogether. MacGregor suggests that Canadians' inate "collective wisdom" could allow us to "... deliberately bring about a minority government." So, minority-lovers, make sure to squeeze your eyes tightly closed and get your ESP read on the electoral intent of your fellow-voters when you enter the booth. Random government, here we come!
The Hill Times rightly bemoans that this election has seen only 199 women stand for election. Even my New Democrats, usually a equity-oriented lot, have a sparse list of female candidates, many relegated to unwinnable seats. The Conservatives, though, make everyone look good, with only 11% of their pool of candidates coming from the fairer sex.
The battle of the signs is particularly confusing in my neighbourhood of Snowdon. The publishing headquarters of Optimuscrime-Mtl (a rolling metallic fortress known as the Optodrome) is located near the intersection of four federal ridings. Walking one building away and crossing rue Queen-Mary takes you out of my riding of Westmount-Ville-Marie and into Mont-Royal. From there, walk four blocks east, and you find yourself in the Outremont riding. Signage in the neighbourhood varies depending on the side of the street you find yourself on.
If you cross back over Queen-Mary into my riding, and happen to be among the few, proud and laughably-optimistic Quebec NDP members, you can throw your support behind Eric Steedman, a consultant and former portfolio manager who boasts both an MBA and a set of sideburns that would put Thurman Munson to shame. On the Mont-Royal side of Queen-Mary -- another rock-solid Liberal stronghold -- a twentysomething UdeM politics student has taken on the NDP mantle. Sébastien Beaudet is depicted on his campaign signs as a head suspended in air, the unfortunate side-effect of a white shirt and white background, and sporting a huge, slightly mischevious ear-to-ear grin.
The Quebec race is fun to watch, as the Bloc, astonished at their rapid change of fortune, cooly picks up riding after riding from the Libs. In Fortress Montreal, where well over half the ridings are usually considered Liberal locks, I suspect the Liberals will not be greeted by a strong protest vote for the Bloc, but more likely, with complete apathy from disenchanted voters. I was at a colloquium today that was attended by Warren Allmand, who represented Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine for several decades. His only electoral prediction? An all-time record for low turnout.