No Such Nonsense

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Political Leanings

I've voted Liberal in every single election since I was 18. When I went to Queen's, I joined the Young Liberals and I worked on the federal election campaign. I voted Liberal even when Chretien's arrogance turned my stomach. The closest I came to voting another way? In the next-to-last election, when I learned that the Liberal incumbent in my riding voted against same-sex marriage. Ultimately, though, what choice did I have?

Because the Tories have always been the even worse alternative. If Chretien was smug, he still couldn't hold a candle to the arrogance of Brian Mulroney. My alternative to the anti-equality Liberal in my riding? A Tory who actually put his opposition to gay marriage in his campaign literature. (As Keith Olbermann so eloquently put in reaction to the victory of Prop 8 in California, honestly "what is it to you?")

So the events on Parliament Hill this week give me a strange and giddy (but slightly guilty) glee. While it bothers me that Stephane Dion, so repudiated by voters just weeks ago, might become Prime Minister anyway, I can't help but relish the reason for his strange, small victory. It's that Stephen Harper- who called a useless and expensive election to quench his own thirst for power, who used a worldwide economic crisis as the backdrop for yet another power grab, who should have had clear sailing for at least 18 months as the Liberals elect a new leader - ultimately sank his own battleship. What amuses me most is that a politician who clearly relishes the bloodsport aspect of the political game far above the policy-making part - has been bloodied by his own mis-step.

But even I have to admit that Dion as Prime Minister is deeply undemocratic. I have nothing against coalition governments - they function well in countries around the world - but Dion was clearly never Canada's choice for Prime Minister. Surely, the Liberals could have found another custodian to keep the seat warm for Ignatieff for a few months. It's a notably strange marriage - Dion and the Bloc Quebecois. But at least it gives us something interesting to watch on Canadian TV.


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