Thursday, January 26, 2006


Canada turns right... or does it?

Many are discussing the Canadian election results as if it were the equivalent of the Reagan Revolution in this country. I think there's a lot less to it than that.

Paul Martin's liberal government dripped scandal and corruption, leading to a no-confidence vote in Parliament and the resulting election, won by Conservative Stephen Harper. The liberal government had become so bad that during the campaign it was revealed that yet another investigation was underway: government officials were alleged to have leaked information that effected the Canadian stock market.

Wearied of one scandal after another, much of it looking like intentional graft and corruption, Canadian voters opted to do what people in democratic societies can do: throw the bums out.

I don't think there's any real doubt that the election represented a vote against the corruption of the liberals more than a shift in public opinion to the conservative viewpoint. Consider, for example, the way Harper toned down his anti-abortion and other socially conservative stances and drifted toward the center somewhat.

On the other hand, Harper has made no bones about his intention to increase defense spending and broaden Canada's role in Nato, reconsider the strategic defense umbrella, and improve relations with the US. He has also pledged to overhaul Canada's socialized medical system, which is at this point a real mess, and cut taxes.

One lesson should be learned from the Canadian election, and the election in Germany which saw Gerhard Schroeder tossed out: governments which make a mess of things at home can't save themselves by relentlessly bashing President Bush and the US.

Perhaps the anti-Bush and anti-US sentiment these guys were banking on doesn't run quite as deep as they, and the mainstream media, would like us all to believe.

[also posted at BabbleFest]

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