Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Allow me one political post this week. Thank you.

Well, it is now official; John McCain will be the Republican candidate in November and is hopefully one step closer to becoming President of the United States. His comeback was really pretty amazing, as was the whole Republican primary season. Rudy Giuliani runs one of the worst campaigns in history, Fred Thompson takes his sweet-ass time to enter the race and then doesn't seem to care and two previously obscure former governors do rather well. But the Republicans really have picked the best candidate, the one who absolutely gives them the best chance at winning in the fall. Much of the problems many conservatives had with him seem to be evaporating and it looks like the party is doing well to unite behind Senator McCain. I never understood what their problem was anyways. Here's a guy with a solid conservative voting record, hawkish stances on foreign policy and defense, a strong pro-lifer etc. I think it always just boiled down to his (refreshing) willingness to follow his own principles, even when they didn't gel with the majority of the party (i.e. campaign finance reform, immigration) and the fact he's always been one to work with the other side to achieve results in the Senate. Sort of like the disgraceful way the Democrats treated Joe Lieberman, though certainly not as extreme in this care. What they did was nothing short of disgusting, basically running him out of the party after many years of loyal service because he didn't agree on them with one issue. You can tow the party line on every other issue, but if you don't agree with us on Iraq, you're out. How closed minded, though coming from liberals that shouldn't be a shock.

But for all the talk (mostly from the liberal media) of how 'fractured' the Republican Party is, they have their nominee. It's now looking very likely that the Democratic race is going all the way to the convention, something that is great news for Republicans. The longer their race goes on, the more time McCain has to focus on the general election. Just when it seemed as if Obama was going to pull far ahead, Clinton storms back. It looks like a clear case of buyer’s remorse, with a lot of Democrats starting to wonder if this guy really has what it takes. Surely Hilary's attack ads had some effect, but I think people are beginning to wonder if there's any real substance behind this guy. I mean he certainly is a very fine speaker and at least sounds presidential. But he very well may be another Gary Hart, someone who looks good and sounds good, promising a lot of 'change' and 'new ideas'. But I'm beginning to to suspect that "Where's the beef?" might ring true here as well. Plus the fact that he's even to the left of Ted Kennedy is somewhat disconcerting. I was remiss in mentioning a great line he had a few weeks back when he said something like "George Bush won't be running again in November" (applause and pause). "My cousin, Dick Cheney, won't be running again in November!". Very funny line. Whoever wrote that deserves a raise.

At any rate, the election should be a lot of fun, much better than any scripted television out there (which have returned, though I don't care). One thing that struck me as interesting was the fact that the turnout for Democratic Primaries has been consistently much higher across the board. But one of CNN's (very hot) political analysts, Amy Holmes, pointed out that the same thing was the case in 1988 and we didn't have no President Dukakis. So there is hope yet!

Even though I would have thought so, it doesn't look like there's a federal election likely to happen in Canada, though that certainly could change. The Conservative Budget has passed, so if the minority government is to be brought down, it will be over something else. In a way I sort of want an election, seeing as I'd really like to get more involved than in the past and of course I'd love to see Stephen Harper with an increased majority mandate. But it looks like the people of Canada are fairly content with the current state of things and don't want another election. As minority governments go, this one really has been around for quite a long time, something I attribute to the fact that the Harper government has done a very good job of working across party lines and achieving compromise. Granted, this is something which would likely disappear with a majority. It still boggles my mind that the polling usually places the two big parties pretty even or the Conservatives with a lead, but not a huge one. I really do think this country is so fucked up when it comes to voter sensibility. We have a government that's doing a very good job, has lowered taxes, kept OUR economy strong, cleaned up Ottawa and yet there's a real danger they could be turfed by a Liberal party that's led by a total dud (who doesn't speak English!) and just came off a major corruption scandal. The Conservatives could discover the cure for cancer and find a way to spin straw into gold and still people would be ambivalent towards them. Why don't people here realize that we have more than one political party? This isn't communist Russia, though if we're not careful we might just wind up to the left of them one day.

And no, I'm not even going to give any consideration to the ridiculous accusations that (then opposition leader) Harper tried to bribe independent M.P. Chuck Cadman by offering the terminally-ill man a $1,000,000 life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in helping bring down the (then) Liberal minority government. Cadman's widow has denied that Harper knew anything about it and the whole story defies any logic. Would any insurance company in the history of time grant a man dying man a $1,000,000 or even $100 life insurance policy? There's as much to this as there is the disgusting N.Y. Times McCain-Lobbyist thing. What amazes me is not that this is America's most read newspaper, but that it even calls itself a newspaper. It has almost as much credibility as the The Onion. And I thought The Toronto Star was bad.


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