Friday, June 19, 2009

At Issue Issues

As is done elsewhere this time of year, I will provide my answers to the questions posed to the at issue panel last night.

Most Underrated Politician: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Okay, loyal readers know my distaste of the NDP knows few bounds, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Horwath may never be Premier of Ontario but she is clearly more of a politician than people give her credit for. First, she won a leadership that was supposed to be Peter Tabuns' to lose. Since then she's been a competent leader in the house. It may not be high standards, but the bar is so low for Horwath after Hampton and Rae that she's leapt over it.

Most Overrated Politician: Elizabeth May

Who? You remember the lady nobody talked to in the debates? Yes, the Green leader has fallen off the face of the earth. So much for the breath of fresh air everyone was raving about a few months back.

Honourable Mention: I know the rules say one, but what the heck happened to the once bright electoral prospects of BC NDP leader in Carole James?

Most Underreported News Story: Free Trade With The EU

This has the potential to signal a shift Canadian trade policy and were entrusting it to be managed by Stockwell Day with no discussion? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for free trade with Europe, but can we talk about it? Anyone?

Political Play of the Year: Iggy Takes Charge

I agree with Rex on this one. Taking over the Liberal Party of Canada without a fight may be the political play of the century.

Political Misplay of the Year: The YLC Amendment to OMOV

This may seem harsh but I'll explain. A lot of the other nominees (Harper in Quebec; Iggy's quasi-ultimatum) in this category rely on future events punishing their stupidity which is impossible to predict. This one is in the books. The YLC made itself less relevant while failing to stop OMOV from passing as is. It is yet another reminder of how pointless it can be for an organization to act when its membership isn't fully behind it.
Honourable Mention: Fair Vote Canada and the Vote STV folks for turning almost sixty percent to almost thirty percent in only four years.

Most Shamelessly Exploited News Story: Barack Obama's Visit

Both Harper and Ignatieff are guilty. Although bonus marks to Iggy for the advertising in Times Square.

Next Election: Fall 2009, E-Day November 16

Hey, pointless prognostication is useless unless it's impossibly specific. Seriously, I don't buy that either the NDP or the Bloc see their political fortunes in serious jeopardy. The Bloc should be able to hold on to most of its seats as should the Dippers save maybe one or two. I also don't see Jack Layton or Gilles Duceppe saving the government just to save Canadians the indignity of yet another election.

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