Did anyone else catch the name of Harper's pick up band mentioned on CTV? Steve and the Firewalls? Really? Come on now net folks, (especially those with Photoshop). This is just crying out for parody.
Other impressions of day one? Harper had easy questions and still couldn't get through his launch without looking like a douche. "I presume he (Dion) is a family man." Really? There is some doubt in your mind, Stephen. Your best guess is that he loves his family, unless you hear otherwise? What's next "I presume he doesn't diddle sheep"?
Dion came off looking a bit better than expected. He did make one boner that the Tories will seize on. He was talking about his Green Shift and said that Canadians will see "Tremendous income taxes", when I presume he meant to say that they would see tremendous income tax cuts. His English continues to be a work in progress.
Layton was fine, but I think it was a big mistake not to take questions. It gave the press an excuse to cut away from him quickly.
Duceppe was strong, I thought and I would probably vote for him if I lived in Quebec. In fact of all the leaders, I like him best.
May has cast herself as the conscience of the election. She has, in effect taken on the role traditionally played by the NDP leader. This was made possible because the NDP is trying to take on the role of the Liberal Party in this election. I am sure the Greens, like the NDP before them, has many moral victories to come in the days ahead.
All in all, an interesting beginning. It is obvious that Harper is counting on vote splitting and I think he is right to do so. He has the absolute loyalty of his flying monkeys and will come very close to pulling out a "majority" with the lowest popular vote in Canadian history. The question will be whether the opposition vote remains fragmented enough, in just the right places, to help him out.
To say I am conflicted at this point, is an understatement. Of course I would not like to see a Stephen Harper "majority" in action. I suspect he would recreate Harris' Ontario on a grand scale. I lived through that nightmare once, so I do not eagerly anticipate it again, . However, if ever there was an opportunity to point out the sheer stupidity of our system of choosing a government, it is now. A horrible "majority" led by a sociopath like Harper, elected with a vote in the low 30s, might, just might, shake enough of our elite opinion makers to the point that electoral reform may make a comeback.
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