Recent polls have indicated that the Harper Conservatives are edging into majority government territory. That in itself is not significant; polls can change and there is no guarantee that the Conservative Party of Canada will win the next election let alone form a majority government. What is important is that when a Conservative majority government appeared to be a real possibility, life, such as it is in ho-hum Canada, remained the same.
There was absolutely no panic at the thought of “Scary Stephen” heading a majority government and turning the country into a Republican Party wasteland. No one took to the streets to protest the danger of Canada being headed by a George Bush clone.
In fact it seems that the moniker “Scary Stephen” has been relegated to the dustbin of history, right alongside that of Canada’s “New Government”. The Harper-as-Bush argument for returning the Liberals to power really hasn’t worked since the 2004 election, although the hapless Liberals are still using it in an attempt to rise above the level that the party is at under the fumbling leadership of Stephane Dion.
The Liberal amendment to the Throne Speech that was voted on last night was a perfect example of the situation that the Liberal Party finds itself in. Their amendment called for the Conservatives to meet the now impossible Kyoto targets. But the Libs also threw in the statement that the Liberal Party had met Canada’s Kyoto targets when they were in power. This was inserted into the amendment to ensure that the NDP and the Bloc would vote against it (which they did) so that the government would not be defeated in non-confidence motion. For those who are interested in these matters, the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals couldn’t get any better.
Another example of how the government has the Liberals on the run is in one of the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code. That amendment provides that if a person is convicted of a third violent offence, he or she is automatically designated as a dangerous offender, liable to an indefinite period of incarceration unless they can convince a judge that they are not dangerous. The Liberals have consistently portrayed this as the same as the American three strikes law that could see someone locked up for life for stealing a slice of pizza. Of course it’s nothing like that and now the desperate Liberals are backtracking on their opposition to that amendment.
The reality is Stephen Harper is not really “scary”, he never was--he’s just another politician. If he manages to win a majority, he’ll do what he has to do in order to win a second one. And when and if that happens, the Liberal Party’s reign as the Natural Governing Party may very well be at an end.
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