December 2, 2005


Gift from Canada? (Patrick Basham, December 2, 2005, Washington Times)

Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year? Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative. Move over Tony Blair: If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader. [...]

If Martin's Liberal Party is re-elected for the fourth consecutive time, Canadian taxpayers will continue footing the bill for an expensive welfare state epitomized by its archaic government-run health-care system. Social policy experimentation on issues such as drugs and homosexual rights will continue in an incremental but decidedly progressive direction.

What will happen if Mr. Harper's Conservatives win? Most important, Canada will have its first leader in living memory who actually believes Big Government is a real problem.

Where is the evidence that Canadians aren't perfectly happy on their way to oblivion?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2005 2:30 PM

I hope Harper wins but he ain't no Maggie Thatcher. The Conservative Party in Canada is still pretty liberal.

Posted by: pchuck at December 2, 2005 2:46 PM

I'm with OJ: There ain't no way the Quebecois will stand for a change in government that will leave more money in the Western Provinces. Ditto for the Citizens of Ontario. Martin and the CBC will make sure everyone understands this.

Posted by: Ptah at December 2, 2005 2:59 PM

The evidence will be if Harper is elected.

I'm so vague on Canada. Are there more votes on the right or left coasts?

Posted by: erp at December 2, 2005 3:26 PM

"Mr Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader. "

If by some miracle he's elected, the only poster he'd appear on would protray him as Chimpy McBushitler's incontinent poodle. CBC shows like This Hour has 22 Minutes and Royal Canadian Air Farce will find ways to be nastier to Harper than they have ever been with Bush. Which doesn't seem humanly possible, but they'll find a way. (Is there a law in Canada, like the content laws, that says that Rick Mercer must appear in half of what are labeled comedy shows on the CBC?)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 2, 2005 3:32 PM

I believe over a third of parliament comes from Ontario, which last time sent, what, like, two Conservatives to Parliament? Quebec didn't send any, because the Bloc is the all purpose Anti-Liberal party, and this will be an Anti-Liberal election, so they will actually have something to stand for besides separation. Add in the Maritimes and Territories dependence on subsidies and the welfare state (people who vote NDP because the Libs are too rightwing).You do the math...

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 2, 2005 3:43 PM

any time i hear rick mercer and the kyoto one tonne challange i feel like burning some more drums of oil.......he is sniveling twit

Posted by: patrick at December 2, 2005 4:40 PM


I'm disappointed in you. You are usually much better informed. The Conservatives elected 24 in Ontario versus 75 for the Libs, but at least twenty to twenty-five they lost were very tight suburban ridings. I'm not holding my breath, but a Conservative minority government is definitely a possibility. If that happens, I will look forward to your warm congratulations and the big party at Orrin's house welcoming us back into the Anglosphere.

The only certainties are that the Conservatives will sweep Alberta, be blanked in Quebec and do lousy in urban Toronto and Vancouver.


As much as some around here are praying the Libs will do a huge oil or money grab on the West and "drive" them into a separatist frenzy, it ain't going to happen.

Posted by: Peter B at December 2, 2005 4:42 PM

Okay, I stand corrected. That's what happens when you rely on memory instead of checking the facts. But still, I can't see the Conservatives getting 155 seats (that's a safety margin to account for the Speaker, vacancies, Belindas, etc..)

To me the real question is will the non-Quebec anti-Liberal vote go Left or Right. Not being up on the election laws, but in those close races, if that vote goes NDP while the Conservatives stay the same, the C's win, right? And how would that affect their choice of minority partners? C's + NDP seems to average out to the status quo but without the corruption, and that seems to be what the polls say Canadians want, but can the parties sell it and the voters buy it? Is this the Bloc's one chance to ever get a few Ministers, and how does having a party whose avowed purpose is to split the country (in multiple ways) change things when one of their own is the Minister for Silly Walks. This is intellectually entertaining even (or because) if it really doesn't affect me. (And I do miss Preston Manning and his "herniated cat voice." Now there'd been a PM as entertaining as Chretien.)

If Harper does win, El Gran Blanco Mexico del Norte will still be on probation, as all signs point to backsliding. (Because the Conservatives are just as much the Stupid Party as the GOP is here.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 2, 2005 5:07 PM

I might add that, while Harper is ok and worthy of a shot, pchuck is right that he is no Maggie Thatcher or John Howard. Don't forget he's the guy who told Bush he couldn't back him on missile defence right then because, while he himself knew it was important and necessary, his internal party polls told him those wild and crazy Canucks wouldn't support it. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall to see Bush's reaction to that. Actually, I don't.

Posted by: Peter B at December 2, 2005 5:08 PM

"Where is the evidence that Canadians aren't perfectly happy on their way to oblivion?"

The smart and talented ones have been extremely happy - on their way to the USA.

Posted by: obc at December 2, 2005 5:26 PM

What is this "Canada" of which you speak?

Posted by: Noel at December 2, 2005 5:28 PM

BTW, Orrin, your crack the other day about Canadian governments falling in softwood lumber forests is being much savoured up here--even on the decent left.

Posted by: Peter B at December 2, 2005 5:57 PM

We could put a stop to this farce. The real question is whther we want anything other than Alberta, and BC (because it is between Alberta and Alaska).

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at December 2, 2005 9:10 PM

We can divide BC between the southern socialist section and the northern part which contains the oil and natural gas - and the Alaska connection.

Posted by: obc at December 2, 2005 11:08 PM

Harper's good, but I'll agree that John Howard's more pro-American and more in position to act upon it.

The likely result come January 23rd is that the Conservatives will have a plurality of the seats, but far from a majority, and will need to work with either the BQ or the Liberals to patch together a majority.

We're still a few election cycles away, and probably Quebec independence, from a Conservative majority government in Canada. What we might get is a government that's a bit less statist and a bit less reflexively US-skeptic.

Posted by: Mark Byron at December 2, 2005 11:37 PM

I'd also like Yukon please.

Posted by: Dave W. at December 3, 2005 5:24 PM
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