WHO WON THE ELECTION
Not all that much changed but actually a lot did. The big winners last night… the Federal Liberals.
The Liberal strategists assumed that Harper was going to be re-elected in the next election campaign, that was supposed to take place two years from now by the way, and effectively allowed him to win. They were not going to spend a lot of time, effort and money to try to win an election they knew they would lose. or rather suspected they would.
Stephane Dion is and was always meant to be a one term leader of the Liberal Party. That is why no big-name Liberal ran for the Leadership of the Party and why people like Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae had a shot at the Leadership. It was expected that Dion would run and lose and that a leadership convention would be held sooner rather than later after the election. At that time, the real big names would run to be the Leader.
What was I believe totally unexpected was that Harper would not gain a majority. It is probably more likely now that an election will be held within two to three years rather than the four years if Harper had won a majority. Moreover, Harper will have to face the economic meltdown that will hit this country almost immediately after the election. In poor economic times, the Government in power suffers.
In hindsight, it was a self-fulfilling Liberal prophecy of failure. This was a tragic mistake by the Liberal brain trust. They must have discounted completely until it was too late that Harper would not be popular with voters. With a good leader, they could have beaten Harper. His reign has been a disaster and with someone credible, they could have defeated Harper easily.
I have always admired the Federal Liberals although I have never been one. They have always out-thought the other Federal parties strategically when I was involved in politics many years ago. This time around, they blew it but still are much better positioned for the next election.
Interestingly, all three major parties may have new leaders then.
BYE-BYE M. FORTIER
The fellow who has to be smiling the broadest today in the Conservative party has to be Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon. If you read the media, it is almost with glee that they are reporting the defeat of Michael Fortier. He is the one that they are blaming for the loss in Québec.
Of course, Minister Cannon’s main job for the last several years had nothing to do with Transport but everything to do with gaining seats in Québec. He can legitimately say I believe that he did his job because the expectations were that the Conservatives were going to make a breakthrough in that Province but for some stupid blunders over the last couple of weeks that destroyed their chances.
M. Fortier will take the hit for that.
As the only real big name Conservative in Québec, expect Cannon to be promoted from the Transport position into something better. Who will replace him? Who knows but it just means that a new face will be involved in the border morass.
So much for strategic voting by the Labour Council. Their stupidity allowed Jeff Watson to win. Whoever did the poll that said that the NDP could win in Essex should be asked to pay back the money.
It seems to me that the person who has worn out his welcome on election coverage is Lloyd Brown-John, professor emeritus of public administration at the University of Windsor. I thought his comments in the Star were quite offensive. I won’t repeat them. However, his comments about why Whelan lost may be more his opinion than the reality:
- “But he reserved his strongest criticism for Whelan, who held the riding for 10 years and was making her third unsuccessful campaign against Watson in a comeback attempt. Brown-John said Whelan, a lawyer, was hurt by her relationship with the Ambassador Bridge company which is opposing a publicly owned second bridge between Windsor and Detroit.
"I think Susan's worn out her welcome quite frankly," he said. "That combined with the association with the bridge company ... just about everybody I talked to here basically said the same thing, they hate the bridge company and Susan Whelan represented the bridge company and they were really taking it out on her.”
It seems pretty clear that the good professor emeritus never reads the Star Forums on the border or listens to CKLW when Dan Stamper is on the talk-in shows. Whelan lost because she started campaigning too late, had Dion as leader, Watson had a strong religious right base and the NDP took votes from her with the Labour Council support!
My own view had always been that she needed to stress her support of the Bridge Company more rather than less and make the border file the issue for her. She needed to attack Watson on his failure to achieve anything on the border, especially when the Prime Minister came down here and did not give us anything in relation to the border file.
For every “hate” vote she lost, I am sure that she picked up more “support” votes.
I wonder when our Mayor will call Jeff Watson to congratulate him on his re-election or if he will even do it. I wonder if Eddie will heed Gord's message or is he still too arrogant to do so:
- "Conservative incumbent Jeff Watson is no prize. But Essex voters would be doing us all a favour if they were to vote strategically Tuesday. With the likely outcome another minority Harper government, we need the I.O.U.s that come with a government seat...
This is no time to cut our own throats."
We all know what Eddie won't do don't we.
THE CANADIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS IS COMING
We have been immune from it so far, probably because of the election. However the pumping in by the Government of $25 billion into our banking system that has received very little notice does not bode well for us.
If our Government is forced to take the kind of financial action that other governments have taken as the stock market keeps dropping like a stone so that the value of pension funds drop as well, then where will the P3 money come from?
With their P3 financial expert, M. Fortier no longer in the Cabinet, who will the Government choose to help them out now?
PAMELA ANDERSON IS IN TEARS
Her eyes are red. No wonder she is wearing shades. Otherwise the paparazzi will want to know why!
Larry Horwitz came in third behind the Conservative candidate in Windsor West. Mistake after mistake plagued his campaign including the big story about two of his campaigners being arrested. That certainly didn't help.
Frankly, I thought the campaign that he ran was abysmal. We may find out the real story subsequently why Greg Baggio backed out in the last-minute. To be fair to Larry however, he was a last-minute candidate and really had no chance.
The accepted view about him is that he intends to run for Council in the next municipal election and that this was just a way to get his name out there, a tactic that Lisa Lumley tried when she ran provincially in the last provincial election.
This approach did not get her elected this time around federally and it won't help Larry get elected municipally either because he did not do himself any favours with the campaign that he ran.