Friday, December 17, 2010

A Few Year End Thoughts

But few, and brief, because I'm feeling a bit lazy this morning.

In the face of polls that are essentially stagnant, fans of the LPoC should remind themselves of the victories they've managed to salvage in 2010.

First off, the Harper Government's only real attempt at altering the fabric of Canadian society--Bill C-391 to repeal the long-gun registry--failed. And, not only did it fail, its failure seems to have taken the wind out of further Conservative efforts to destroy the registry. No assurances obviously, that the Harper gang won't campaign yet again on a repeal during some hypothetical Spring election campaign, but I sense a certain deflation of spirits among their faithful. For example, no less a personage than newly minted Conservative MP Julian Fantino suggested after the defeat of C-391 that it was time to move on.

What was particularly satisfying about the gun registry debate is that, as the tooing and fro-ing came to a head, polls showed a strong swing in favour of retaining the registry. This demonstrates that progressive values can still win out in our fair land if progressives are willing to fight for them.

Also, even though many Lib partisans are not particular happy with our new Afghan mission (me among them), and even though the party's strategy and tactics in the run-up to the vote on that mission were substandard, in the end I think you have to chock this one up as a win for Michael Ignatieff in that the defections in party ranks that everyone was predicting simply did not materialize. If one test of leadership is the ability to keep your troops in line, Iggy has passed this test on several occasions during the past year.

Now, as for next Spring:

Barring a total climb-down by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on all of his major priorities, the Liberal Party will oppose the Conservative government’s budget, Michael Ignatieff says, greatly increasing the likelihood of an election call in February or March.

Well, its good to know that Iggy thinks the party is ship-shape for another campaign, and god knows they're alot more fun than watching the clown-show during question period, but I suspect this is still mostly bluster: the Libs will be able to negotiate enough out of Mr. Harper to find a means of supporting the 2011 budget. Or the NDP, who have had a rough couple of months, will. Or Mr. Harper will fly a plane over Quebec and shovel loads of English money out the side, and thus secure the Bloc's support.

No. I'm still betting on 2012.

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