Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Personal preferences

Everybody's talking about the federal election these days -- at work today, I had three separate conversations with decidedly apolitical colleagues about the various likely outcomes on June 28th. If you want to know about how likely one outcome is over another, well, you'll have to check out the latest numbers yourself. As for me, in lieu of astute political analysis I'm bringing you the only four possible outcomes in descending order of my personal preference:

1. Liberal minority government: This is what everybody on the left has been salivating over ever since the news of the sponsorship scandal broke. From die-hard leftists who just want a greater role for the NDP (as the partner in a presumed coalition) to small-l liberals who essentially like what we've got but want to shake up the status quo a little, we'd all be thrilled with this. Now, making it happen given the latest blows to the Liberals, well, that's another story.

2. Conservative minority government: Yeah, you're reading that right; I'd prefer a Conservative minority to a Liberal majority. Think about it: they have no coalition partners, so they'd have to work with three (or maybe four) parties who hate everything they stand for, on an issue-by-issue basis. It would stumble, it would fall. It would last a year, maybe two on the outside. It would accomplish nothing but being a fascinating spectator sport. So all of you Canadian lefties who are quaking in your boots at the thought of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister, you can relax. The biggest drawback of this outcome is the way the American left would laugh at us for moving to the right just as they're (*fingers crossed*) moving to the left.

3. Liberal majority government: The status quo. The cons: more of the same complacency, more of the same arrogance. The pros: well, with a few notable exceptions, their policies don't *entirely* suck. I mean, they've run the country for eleven years, and we haven't fallen apart at the seams. This would be the most boring outcome, but by no means the worst one.

4. Conservative majority government: Remember how I said you could relax about the thought of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister? That's unless this happens. This ... well, this you may feel free to fear. I certainly do.

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