Onward to the Second Term

I was mostly pleasantly surprised last night to find that my predictions of the day before had proven themselves to be a touch too cautious.

The myths that people surround our Prime Minister with — that he cannot work with others, for instance — are about to be dissolved. Another minority (a larger one, so that any one other party can provide the necessary votes to carry a bill forward) was no doubt anticipated. Of course, a majority would have been easier: I do not doubt, however, that a minority government was planned for. With this next term offering the chance to fade yet another anti-Harper myth, moving forward on the plan to become a new “natural governing party” becomes quite plausible.

Expect, therefore, to see a Prime Minister who operates a very different Government in this second term, one that makes more use of Ministers (and allows other strong figures to emerge), and which is attentive to finding allies on an issue-by-issue basis.

I was appalled this morning to hear Ujjal Dosanjh (Lib., Vancouver South) beating the war drums of “never vote with the government, defeat them as quickly as possible”. It rang not only hollow, but as out of touch with the spirit of “the True North, strong and free” that the Prime Minister spoke of last night. (Canada as the economic guiding light of the G-8, the frontier of the North and our remembering of our traditional partnership with the First Nations, and as the land of opportunity sought by people from all over the world — these are strong and resonant themes of hope, not of bitterness and despair at the result. Most other Liberals were far more gracious.)

The losers this morning, of course, are actually Premiers: McGuinty, Charest and Williams, all of whom ran counter-campaigns in their provinces. (Williams is no doubt taking pride in the 0-6-1 outcome in Newfoundland & Labrador: allow him his petty and small-minded “triumph”.) Far more so than Stéphane Dion (who also has gambled all, and now will either fall on his own sword, or be stabbed in the front by the many who have wanted him out) who at least ran on some actual beliefs, the Premiers in question merely ran against the Government on grudges.

Low turnout, of course, remains a key issue for the future. But that is for another day, when there’s been time to digest it.

So, too, my own personal disappointment that my lackadasical and self-centred MP was returned (Joyce Murray, Lib., Vancouver Quadra). One cannot have everything. Perhaps now she will buckle down and do her job rather than abstain and shriek in Question Period. Hope springeth eternal.

In any event, a good night for Canada, and one that brings promise to the next few years.

2 responses to “Onward to the Second Term

  1. I like Dosanjh, but this time is seriously off-base. Every single commentator I listened to last night during the election coverage agreed that this government will last at least two and, perhaps, even a full four years. The Liberals have no leader, and they are bankrupt after this election.

    If the opposition brought down the Harper government within a year or so, Harper would get a super majority for sure, and the Liberals may well find themselves where the Tories were in 1993: reduced to two or three seats.

    I doubt this is the scenario that Dosanjh has in mind ….

  2. Of course, Dosanjh is a little “all over the map” these days. He is facing a judicial recount, having won Vancouver South by around 300 votes vs his Conservative opponent. He has mused aloud about “this being his time to become the leader” in the post-Dion battle. In this, he does not have support from the other Liberal MPs in the region (all two of them).

    Then there’s the rumours surfacing today of Dion pulling a Trudeau on a fast fall of the Government (probably in February when the budget comes down).

    Given that if the Liberals won 100% of the ridings where they lost by 20% or less they still would only form a minority of 133 or so seats it seems clear to me that sabre-rattling and nights of the long knives inside the party should be the last thing on their minds. Alas, bankruptcy will not focus those who believe that their success is a matter of “divine right”…

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