Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Some observations on the 2006 vote

Despite the disappointment of some that Monday's Conservative win was not great enough to garner a majority, most of us would agree that a minority government is a mandate nonetheless. It gets us out of the cheap seats and, after more than a decade, it's nice to be out of the cold.

Election day, for me, was a non-stop relay race between scruitineering, doing some domestic duties on my "day off" from work, and trying to find any off-shore blog that spilled the beans before 9:30 p.m.

The last 48 have been a time of rest, relaxation, and reflection. So here's what I've come up with.

First, this government has legs. Until the Grits resolve their ascendancy issues, their legal problems, and win the Super 7 draw, they will sit tight. Ditto for the Bloc, as the writing is on the wall for them. Quebec voters are the most savvy in the country, and Duceppe's worst nightmare is that they clue in that beyond providing some cushy jobs for Pequiste hacks, they serve no purpose whatsoever. In fact, they have been a greater waste of federal tax dollars than the Sponsorship program. As for the Dippers, Jack "the 'stache" Layton also has to know that it doesn't get any better than this for him and the missus.

Second, Toronto mayor David Miller, and others who bet their paycheques on the Liberal horse are now trying to cover their losses by talking tough. Build a bridge, Prime Minister Harper, or you'll never see a seat in the GTA, or a majority mandate, which to these geniuses, is interchangable.

All I can say to Miller, McGuinty, and the Liberal cabal is to keep their hair on. Harper will build you a bridge, not because of your false bravado, but because, SURPRISE, he takes his job seriously. He wants seats there, and will earn earn them honestly.

Harper's no fool - he knows turning Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver into economic black holes might satisfy short-term penchants for vendictiveness among some Tories, but it is suicidal public policy.

The Liberal doyens of the GTA, of course, know that Harper knows. That's why they got up on their hind legs and began to bark. When Harper does what he was intending to do all along, they can claim that it was their pressure and empty threats that did it. It's about as lame as commanding your Cocker Spaniel to lay down when he is already doing so, then follow up with a "Good boy."

Finally, we have learned that politically, there is no such thing as Ontario - there are three, in fact. There is the north, where the three or four odd ridings bounce from Liberal to NDP and back again; there is the GTA, bastion of Canadian Liberalism. Most important to Mr. Harper, there is the remainder of the province, stretching from Windsor to the Quebec border. This area is painted Blue, with at least a half dozen ridings where Conservatives won with 45 to 55 percent of the popular vote.

Some call it rural and suburban Ontario, they used to call it the "Loyalist Belt", Sir John A. Macdonald used to call it home, and so do I.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Ontoryo.


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