Thursday, September 17, 2015
Are Progressives Winning or Losing the Election Campaign?
Well there is now just over a month to go before the election. And in the leafy lanes of Ward's Island it's easy to relax, for everything is so peaceful, progressive, and mostly orange.
In this riding the battle is between the NDP and the Liberals, and the Cons don't stand a chance.
But that can give you a false sense of security, so I thought it might be a good idea to take a wider look at the way the campaign to defeat Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime is going.
And in that regard I see that two writers who I admire, have very different opinions.
For the Star's Richard Gwynn the battle is already decided and the dictator is done.
This election is over. Its details, such as the counting of the votes and the official declarations of the winners in each riding, have of course still to be completed. The election’s essence, though, is already part of our history. And this is that as soon as the election is held, Stephen Harper will cease to be Canada’s prime minister.
While for the Globe's Lawrence Martin the Cons are down but not out.
Beware of conventional wisdom. The prevailing prattle has it that the Conservatives are doing dismally this election season, when in fact they have lost no ground since their campaign began. The latest supposition was that they would take a hit in opinion polls from the Syrian refugee crisis. They haven’t.
And we should be worried.
The Tories aren’t toast. It’s the progressive parties who need worry about getting burned. Talk to liberally minded voters and you can sense fear and frustration growing. The Liberals and the New Democratic Party are backed by close to two-thirds of the Canadian electorate. But there’s a strong chance they’ll lose because they divide up that support in equal measure. That is precisely the formula Stephen Harper’s Conservatives need to win.
And I find myself caught somewhere between both writers.
For while I believe that Gwynn is right, there is a sense of loss:
For some time now many amongst us have feared that this country — in essence, a kinder, gentler one — has been vanishing inexorably.
And a desire for something better, which amounts to a wind for change.
He is wrong to think that the death of this poor little boy changed everything.
For while many Canadians were moved by the death of Alan Kurdi, it did not move them to bring in many refugees.
And as Martin writes, progressives were wrong. It did not hurt Harper, it helped him.
They assumed the issue was hurting the Harper party. But the Tories’ stance against a major increase in refugee intake has the backing of more than one-third of the population. That’s all they need. Given the electoral math, given our democracy’s deformities, the Tories can bring in policies that 65 per cent of Canadians oppose and still be popping champagne corks.
And when you add that to the ghastly niqab issue that I wrote about in my last post, it's clear that there is a bigot wind threatening to sweep across this country and poison everything it touches.
Like the cold wind sweeping in from the lake is slowly killing these flowers...
And then there is the nature of the campaign, which sometimes seems so bland, so fixated with numbers and budgets balanced or not, that it's more numbing than inspiring.
This is supposed to the battle to save Canada and its values, but you'd never know it.
That is making it hard for Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair to break away from each other, which as Martin points out could be dangerous.
With a virtual three-way tie at the top, the progressives need one of their parties to break away. If their combined 60-per-cent support were split 40-20, the Tories would be doomed. But such a separation is unlikely to happen.
And the sight of the NDP and the Liberals spending more time attacking each other than they do attacking the Cons couldn't be more depressing.
But it's no good moping like many progressives I know are doing. And no reason to feel down either.
Harper can only still hope to win a minority. And there are many things we can do to try to ensure that even that eludes him.
We can volunteer to work with the parties, answer phones, stuff envelopes, or put up signs...
We can make sure that we are registered to vote, by checking out this Elections Canada website.
And mailing it to everyone we know.
And above all we can remember that we are not alone, and that there are millions of Canadians out there who are desperately hoping to defeat the ghastly Con regime.
And that they are some of the best of people in this country, scientists, students, seniors, veterans, unions.
Who together have the power to defeat Harper....
And that we still have time to reach out to them, and encourage them, and build that movement for change that so many of us have dreamed about for so long.
And one way to do that today is to join the Harperman sing-a- long.
Or just sing these lyrics wherever you are.
We want you gone (gone, gone)
You and your pawn (pawn, pawns)
No more con (con, cons)
Time to move on (on, on)
Get out of town (town, town )
Don’t want you round (round, round)
Harperman, it’s time for you to go.
Because we are going to defeat him, and he is going to go.
We have all the energy and the creativity we need to confront that bigot wind...
And expose Harper as a hatemonger and a fraud...
Or as the depraved leader of a corrupt and rotting party...
Summer may be ending.
But the tide of change is coming in.
It will sweep all before it.
And it will be a glorious fall...
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