Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Warren Kinsella - 10 Political Predictions for 2009

This should be fun. I know it isn't quite December yet but....

Original posted Dec 31 2008 here. My comments are the ones in bold below.

"Lots of media folks – who have never stuffed a political envelope, or walked a campaign canvass in their lives – are writing thumbsuckers about their political predictions for the year ahead. To balance out the universe, I thought I would make some media predictions for the year ahead. But I couldn’t think of ten things to predict about the media – other than the demise of the Post – so I’ll stick to ten things to predict about politics."

And what do I know, anyway."

What indeed.

1. There’ll be an election. A minority government, and a country in a near-Depression, are mutually-exclusive concepts. As things get worse, the pressure on the Opposition parties to topple the Conservative administration will be enormous. Personally, I’m all for toppling ‘em right now.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Are you still for calling an election right now Kinsella?

2. The Liberal Party of Canada will win the election, because we’ve got the most impressive leader: he’s super-smart, he’s accomplished, he’s decent, he has an extraordinary ability to bring people together. We’ve also got the best team: we’ve got a Rae, a LeBlanc, a Trudeau, a Dryden, a Garneau, a Hall-Finlay, a Dhalla…I could go on. (I will, too.)

Which really explains Ignatieff's polls.

3. The Liberals will win the election for another reason: in the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves, it is traditional “liberal” policy which makes the most sense – smart government involvement in the economy, and everything that means. Hoary old “conservative” chestnuts – tax cuts, privatization, indifference to the weak and the poor – just don’t appeal to people in times like these.

What liberal policy? I thought we were having some issues about the Liberals not releasing their platform.

4. The Reform Conservative Party of Parts of Western Canada will lose the election, because they’ve got an angry leader that people – women and young people in particular – just can’t warm up to. They’ll lose because they’ve got a pretty unremarkable team, too. Apart from Jim Prentice and a couple others, I’m guessing 99 per cent of Canadians couldn’t name five ministers in the federal cabinet. When the face of your entire political organization is one man – and a man whom voters are increasingly unenthusiastic about – you’ve got trouble, baby.

To take a Globe and Mail headline, Women and Ignatieff: What Went Wrong?

5. The economy, as I’ve suggested before, will be the answer to every political question. Foreign policy matters a bit, as we are seeing right now; so do important questions like Afghanistan and so on. Of course; that’s obvious. But, to many voters, none of that matters as much as their ability to feed their families, or pay the mortgage, or figure out how to keep the hydro on. That’s not right or wrong – it’s just the way it is. And no incumbent government has ever been elected, to my knowledge, after presiding over a deep recession and/or near-Depression. That’s why I believe the Harper Conservatives are toast. Every factory closing, every job loss, every bad economic headline is killing them. In these circumstances, their political opponents need only maintain a pulse.

Under these circumstances either the Harper conservatives are making political popularity history... or their opponents have lost pulse and are DOA.

6. The Conservatives iron communications discipline will continue to crack. Now that caucus and cabinet and staff see how many mistakes Mr. Harper has made in a very short period of time – cozying up to ADQ loser Mario Dumont and angering majority Premier Jean Charest in the process; blowing a Parliamentary majority with a ton of rookie mistakes during the election campaign; causing a constitutional crisis that united the Left and left the Conservative leader looking like a tin-eared rageaholic – they will continue to lose confidence in him and his PMO. They will start reverting to type, and showing up in print.

That would be the constitutional crisis that was to quote someone "the Christmas gift that keeps on giving" and is one of Harper's greatest assets. No one warned the Left that Canada wouldn't find their union amusing.

7. The Liberals, meanwhile, will continue to embrace communications discipline – because, as Michael Ignatieff clearly has shown them, communications discipline works. The Grits will utterly dispense of the Chr├ętien-Martin era internecine warfare, because nobody remembers anymore what they were fighting about in the first place. (I sure can’t.)

Just torn by party fighting is all.

8. I can’t predict what the Conservatives will do in their budget; they’d gotten crazier than shithouse rats, around the end of 2008, and it’s hard to predict the behavior of crazy people, let alone rats. But if they come up with a stinker, and more silly games, they’ll be defeated in the House of Commons and at the ballot box. If they figure out a way to evade the executioner, they’ll be governing during the worst of the worst economic downturn in decades. Either way, they’re screwed. Short-term, long-term, they’re hooped.

This explains why Canada has been so vehemently opposed to another election.

9. We’re overdue for some sort of environmental calamity. That, when combined with the Reform Conservatives’ complete disinterest in things like climate change, will make people angrier. John Baird will wish he had listened to Al Gore. So will everyone.

The only angry people I heard about are a laughing stock for potential lies about parliament security brutality. And I also missed the environmental calamity. Any out of the ordinary environmental calamity anyway.

10. Warren will spend quite a bit of time in Ottawa, starting, well, in just a few days. My little web site will therefore get a lot more partisan, disappointing Conservatives and delighting me in the process. Spring will come, flowers will bloom, the natural political balance will be restored. God bless us all.

Oh Mr. Kinsella you misunderstand us. The Conservatives are never more delighted than when you are spewing partisan insults. It gives us lots to blog on.

Add your own refutations in the comments please.

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