Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some Clarifications

Having read the commentary on recent posts I wish to clarify a few things:

1. I am supporting Gerard Kennedy. I have made that clear in the past. One of the principle reasons I am supporting Kennedy is that he has virtually no baggage. What? He was too generous in contract negotiations with the teachers' unions which had been robbed by Harris? That's a great attack ad! Rae, Ignatieff and Dion have a huge amount of baggage and would make the campaign about their past instead of Canada's future. That's a campaign we don't win. Our opponents are probably hoping for the following things: the Tories are hoping for Rae so that they clean up in the 905; the NDP are hoping for Ignatieff so they can clean up in Toronto and Vancouver; and the Bloc are hoping for Dion so that they can take the few francophone seats the Liberals still hold. Kennedy's positive view on Canada would expose Harper's paucity of ideas; his actual work helping the poor would put Layton to shame and finally Harper has proven that perfect French is not a prerequisite for winning in Quebec (remember that he had trouble answering questions in the French debate), so Kennedy's only glaring weakness should be manageable.

2. I respect the views of Michael Ignatieff on defence. I just wholeheartedly disagree with them. I had to read Empire Lite for my second year IR course and I just don't agree with his theories of rebuilding failed states. I do not share his faith in the ability of overwhelming hegemonic force to guarantee stability. I think the Afghan and Iraqi conflict are excellent examples of where his theory has failed. I don't know how well we do among voters from former colonial states (particularly Canadian Muslims: the Canadian Islamic Congress has already said they don't like Iggy) if we have a candidate who openly favours imperialism. His comments on torture, although I have not read all the context, are troubling and would be troubling to the electorate in a NDP attack ad. I know I couldn't explain it to my neighbours in Toronto-Danforth when I'm canvassing in the next election.

3. The majority of youth don't vote in a general election, thus, they are ignored in most polls. However, the youth which join political parties tend to be the kind that like to vote and chances are will vote in the delegate selection meetings this weekend at least once if not twice (riding association and student club). That's why I think they are important factor when predicting the results of the vote this weekend. Partisans are a very rare breed in Canada; different rules apply to predicting their behaviour.

4. Lastly, this is not in response to any comment, but, my inbox has been flooded with e-mails from the various Bob Rae delegates from Toronto-Danforth. I don't know if this is a Rae campaign strategy or whether there are more than 14 delegates for Rae in my riding and they are jockeying for position but they are the only delegates who are sending e-mails. If it is a tactic of the Rae camp, I say well done. It kind of functions as an electronic lawn sign, if I was undecided it may have moved my decision.

1 comment:

Miles Lunn said...

Generally good analysis, although living here in Vancouver, I cannot see Vancouver South or Vancouver-Quadra ever going NDP considering those ridings are pretty affluent and usually go for centre-right parties. They only go Liberal because the Conservatives are too far to the right. Likewise I don't think the NDP could ever win Willowdale, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, or Don Valley West. I think Ignatieff's greater danger is he could split the anti-Conservative vote allowing the Conservatives to come up the middle in more ridings.

As for Rae, I think he would be a huge liability in the 905 belt. That being said the 905 belt is tough to predict since although historically right wing, they are growing quite rapidly so I suspect they are a little less conservative than they were 10 years ago.

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