Our politics haven’t historically been famous for gripping drama; after all, the national motto is “Peace, Order, and good Government”. But the current edition is getting really interesting. I’m neither terribly enthusiastic nor disillusioned about our political system, a typical first-past-the-post Parliamentary elected dictatorship. One thing, though, is absolutely wonderful: our elections are over in a few weeks. The current edition, with the Christmas break in the middle, is unusually long. I had to feel sorry for the politicos out campaigning in December; not only is the weather brutal, but in most of the country, most of the voters were busy getting ready for Christmas and thus totally not paying attention. If you want to follow, I find that journoblogger Andrew Coyne provides a good vantage-point on the campaign. What’s happening is that the Liberals, often regarded as the Natural Governing Party, have fallen behind in the polls. The Conservatives (“Tories”) have done poorly in recent elections because the Liberals successfully painted them in scary GOP-clone colours, creating fear that they’d privatize healthcare, ban abortion, oppress gays, end gun control, get us into Republican wars, and shut down immigration. They were helped by the fact that the Tories had a few outspoken dinosaurs who apparently wanted to do precisely those things. This time, there are two big differences. First, most of the country is really, really irritated at the Liberals for their long-time culture of insider patronage and for recently having been caught engaging in overt bribery and kickbacks. In fact, if they hadn’t been doing a reasonably competent job of running the country, they’d be on their way to the political graveyard. Second, the Tories have their right-wing crazies firmly under control and are sounding level-headed, sensible, and un-radical. It looks like the voters may well give ’em a chance. Mind you, there are still 16 days of campaigning and a lot can change.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
January 07, 2006
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