Temas Especiales

08 de Jun de 2023


Tonight’s debate will be nasty

I suspect Jake has been coaching Stephen Harper John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin? Canada will reluctantly go to the polls on Octob...

I suspect Jake has been coaching Stephen Harper John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin? Canada will reluctantly go to the polls on October 14th. Just two days after the Canadian Association of Panama’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at 7 pm friday at the Miramar Hotel

Two national debates in French and English have been carried by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and they were boringly decent, with no clear winners or ‘burning’ issues. There were five different party leaders seated around a huge conference table, just short of strangling distance. The leaders made the debate more a brawl than a boxing match. The participants, were Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Stephen Dion, Bloc Quebecois Separatist Gilles Duceppe, New Democratic Party Jack Layton and Green Party Elizabeth May.

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS. To understand the debate, you have to plumb the Canadian psyche. Canadians are democratic socialists. They believe in cradle to the grave government assistance as long as they can vote for or against it. The Conservatives are closet Liberals. The Liberals are the number two party and can be likened to Clinton Democrats. The New Democratic Party (my old alma mater when I was an MP) are Liberals in a hurry, or McGovern Democrats, if you will. The Bloc is more of a Noah’s Ark for opportunistic Quebec separatists than a political party. Quebec Bloc separatists go to Ottawa preaching the breakup of Canada. I know that’s confusing, but Quebecers understand. Furthermore, the Bloc has been a surprisingly good opposition party,

GREENS SPROUT AND THEN SPOIL. And, finally, we have the Green Party, relative newcomers to Canada ’s national political scene. The Party has 9000 registered members and was founded in 1983. Greens haven’t elected anyone to national office, even though they have scored in the low teens during this federal election. Elizabeth Mays has been feisty and spoken well in both French and English, though Liberal Leader Dion still struggles with English after eight years in Ottawa. Still the latest polling, shows the Party falling to its traditional single-digit support. The Bloc, NDP, and Green parties are likely to tear away enough traditional Liberal support to hand Harper a majority government. That will likely be the CBC story election night.

NO CHANGE ‘THANK YOU’. Canadians are suspicious of excessive government regulation, which may be the undoing of the Liberals and the NDP. While the American electorate cries out for “CHANGE”, and both Obama and McCain adopt ‘change’ as their mantra, Canadians are asking for “NO CHANGE”, and collectively hope Harper is returned to power with another minority government.

My prediction: A majority Conservative government knockout produced by a deeply-divided electorate flirting with third-party candidates.

NOVEMBER 4. Presently, presidential contender Barack Obama is beating McCain in the polls as the rotten American economy breathes new life into Democratic races everywhere.

This is why the recent Obama-McCain debates have been so uninteresting. As McCain wrapped himself in the flag and bobbed and weaved on the economy (“not my strong suit”), Obama took a ‘rope-a-dope’ professorial approach that won the bout on points, but put many voters to sleep.

A SPIRITED ENCOUNTER. The Palin-Biden debate was much more spirited, as a restrained Biden skillfully put Palin on the ropes over foreign policy. Biden also showed genuine emotion when he choked up after speaking of his family.

Of all the debaters, I liked underdog Palin the best. She’s a gutsy, , street fighter who ‘covered up’ well and brought the debate down to the average voters’ level by calling Wall Street corrupt and clothing herself on the card as “Maverick Mom”. Her emotions seemed rehearsed, but her enthusiasm was real. Yes, she was out-pointed by Biden, but her appearance shored up McCain’s support among deeply conservative Republicans who distrust McCain when he says he’s a Republican My prediction: An Obama-Biden win in a ‘squeaker’ and a Democrats sweep of the House and Senate. That is, unless the Reps bring Bin Laden out of Vice-President Cheney’s closet and take him duck-hunting.