With all of the attention being focused on the U.S. election it is hard to believe that there is actually an election going on north of the border. Up here in the great white north we like to have our elections like we like to have our sex – quick.
Instead of the rambling twenty month endurance test that our American cousins call the “election process”, we have fast campaigns usually running about a month or so.
Our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ruling for the past few years with a minority government, saw the opportunity to call a snap election and grab a majority government, which would allow him to get on with his conservative agenda.
The main opposition led by Stephane Dion, a bumbling, absent minded professor type, looked certain to go down hard. They had saddled themselves with Dion’s concept of a Carbon Tax which, frankly no one understood. The only thing that jumped out was the “tax” part.
The Conservative campaign was mostly a “unfit to lead” attack on Dion. And it appeared to be working. Polls, two weeks ago, showed the Conservatives were firmly in majority territory.
And then the sky fell…
Or rather the stock market dropped like Paris Hilton’s knickers and suddenly we were in undiscovered country. Stephen Harper, a trained economist, insisted like John McCain did that everything was fine and the fundamentals were sound. Ironically, in Canada that appears to be true. Our banks, which are run on a Scottish Presbyterian tradition, were on sound footing. Our employment rate actually increased dramatically last month. We are not carrying much debt.
All good news. Except for the Conservatives, who began to drop in the polls. Now, just a few days from the election they seem poised to win a diminished minority again.
So after all of the campaigning, name calling and public debates we appear to be heading for exactly where we started out from.
But at least it was quick.