Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Three Strikes?

    Happy, happy, happy
The Canadian election is over.  The circling begins.  The leadership of three parties may be in play.  Stephan Dion is obviouly vulnerable, the sharks have smelled blood since he gained the leadership.  His potential replacements are well known and barely conceal their ambitions.  I like Dion, but he is not strong.  I doubt he has the skill to fend off the rivals and keep his job.  Jack Layton of the NDP is less vulnerable, but has not delivered the expected electoral breakthrough.  At some point, he's got to start thinking about getting a real job.  Although the Greens gained no traction, they pulled in almost 1 million votes the NDP should have had sewn up.  The NDP has to ask themselves where they want to go now.

Gilles Duceppe, who's skill I admire more than any other Canadian politician, is safe for the moment.  But the Bloc likewise has an existential problem.  What, besides stopping the Conservatives, are they good for?

    Shadow of a doubt? 
Most interesting, however, will be the fate of Stephen Harper.  He has now failed to deliver a decisive win for the 3rd time.  But, he remains Prime Minister, has extended his seat count, and the opposition cannot force another election anytime soon.  It may be as good as a majority as far as his career is concerned.  His Stalinist approach to the caucus has assured there are no obvious successors.  Nevertheless, the former Harris acolytes in his cabinet are not civilized people and will not sit on their hands forever.  Can they conjure an opening for a leadership review?  That's going to be the most interesting question in Canadian politics for the next two or three years.
Note: despite an extensive search, the above photo was the only one I could find of Stephen Harper un-posed.  He controls his coverage more effectively than any other politician I've ever seen.