Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The morning after reaction

The Toronto Sun is, shall we say, pleased at last night. "They're done - stick a fork in 'em!" reads the headline on their editorial.

After 12 years, four governments and two prime ministers, it's not just time to boot the federal Liberals out of office.

It's time to drive a stake through their hearts, before they rise up again and bleed this country dry.

The Sun gives its reasons, including Adscam, the pitiful state of healthcare, revivial of seperatism in Quebec, softness on criminals and wastrelism with taxpayers money.

The Toronto Star is considerably more charitable towards Paul Martin and the Liberals, predicting a new Parliament not much different from the old, and saying that

Martin can credibly claim to be a good steward who delivered economic growth, job growth, big tax cuts, low inflation and surpluses.

That's disputable, of course. The Star goes on to list its choice of the issues in the election with its opinion, including preserving state healthcare and blocking private choices, national unity, poverty (a regular Star favourite), and foreign affairs (being unco-operative with the US and kowtowing to the UN). Can you tell I don't think much of the Toronto Star?

Don Martin in the National Post decries the election as basically a waste of time.

Welcome to the Christmas campaign nobody wants and nobody can decisively win, featuring three grown men punching it up and dragging each other down in a frantic fight to save their own leadership necks.

There is something to be said for this, it must be said. But Martin gives a reason why this election is necessary in his own column, that being the Liberal's reckless spending over the past month or so. Could Canada afford to have kept them in office for another three months? Thankfully, we wont have to find out.

John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail says that the two key questions of the coming campaign are "do you want change? Or are you afraid of where change could lead?"

He echoes a fairly common theme: the low quality of the leaders of the parties.

Every now and then, a political candidate is able to capture the hope factor: a new and compelling vision for the future that voters embrace. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney all managed it, at one time or another. Hope campaigns trump fear and anger campaigns, and usually presage a generational shift in political leadership.

Somewhere out there, there may be another hope politician, someone who speaks to the aspirations of the young, diverse, urban, post-national state that Canada is becoming, someone impatient with, and willing to go beyond, the tired debates of the old men who captain us.


Unfortunately, no-one seems on the horizon.

So with the same old leaders, and the same old themes of fear and anger, we shall endure another election campaign, while some of us wait, and others search, for new leaders who will send the old feuds scuttling.

We'll let you know if we find anyone.


Please do!

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