The holidays are almost over, our guest has gone home, and I’ve just been notified I’m no longer needed for jury duty later this month. Not totally out of the woods yet, but can finally turn some attention to the new year!
And here in Canada, it will certainly be an interesting one, particularly with the federal election to come by mid October. A bit surprised it hasn’t come sooner with some of the legal laundry coming out to air in a few months that will mostly be a headache for the ruling Conservatives, but the Parliamentary system here allows the government to pick its date for the election to its advantage, so it can still come anytime between now and the fall.
This election will certainly test the character of the electorate given recent events in Canadian politics. Lingering financial and economic insecurities, particularly through Canada’s dependence on resource trade, and security questions in the wake of several violent incidents, including the lone gunman’s attack on the Parliament Buildings in October, are contrasted by continuing developments on contemporary social issues such as marijuana legalisation, euthanasia, and sexual orientation rights.
The Conservative Party, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s leadership, has run the Federal Government since 2006, initially under a minority position before achieving a majority after the 2011 election. In addition to the aforementioned issues, the party’s strategy will be one to watch especially in the wake of the rapid fall of the Alberta Wildrose Party which has led to the stunning defection of several of its members, including its leader. The party had been expected to be a strong and growing political force a couple of years ago, but its fortunes quickly changed partly due to its firm positions on many social issues. For this post, will rely on a National Post article for further detail and comment on the weakening of the social conservative movement in Canada,
Not that I believe that the social conservative movement will go far away (the Wildrose members did join the ruling Alberta Conservative Party in their defection), but at least it is one positive sign of what could be a less polarized political campaign than what has been seen in US elections. Then again, a Vancouver Sun article yesterday reminded us the need for patience and thought in the face of the widespread questionable tactics that will be undoubtedly deployed up to election day (I’ll have more to say on that article and polarized politics in an upcoming post).
One final note: acknowledging the crafty lady in combat boot’s promotion of National Blood Donor month in the US since I’ve seen a fair number of views of my blog south of the border. Giving blood is always a worthwhile cause. The number in Canada to schedule an appointment is 1-888-2donate or visit www.blood.ca .