Saturday, January 21, 2006

Anticipating some of the post-election analysis

If the Conservatives are denied the opportunity of forming a government after Monday's election, current election predictions suggest that much of the blame (or credit depending on the partisan viewpoint) will be attributed to Toronto area voters casting their lot with Liberal or NDP candidates. If so, Terence Corcoran suggests one very plausible reason when he asks the question, why is Toronto so red?

If Canada were the old Soviet Union, Toronto would be walling in nostalgia for the glory days of Communist rule. People aren’t Communists here, of course, or at least not too many of them are, but this is a city that thinks the best way to get rid of bad Liberals — on those rare occasions when one is spotted by the locals — is to move deeper to the left for more of the same by electing New Democrats. Why?

There are many reasons, but one of the big factors is the Toronto media. Led by The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, the Pravda and Isvestia of Canadian journalism, the entrenched media in Toronto are giant fronts for the old and decrepit Liberal/NDP establishment, wellsprings of agitprop for more and bigger government. On this election alone you could write a book about Toronto journalism and the relentless anti-Conservative twist embedded in most stories and opinion.
And more here, courtesy of NealeNews. Corcoran is sound as usual, but the idea does not account for the Conservative party's difficulty breaking through into other urban centres, especially in eastern Canada, nor for the near opposite monopoly by the Conservatives in Alberta. It seems to me that an essential difference is that Albertan cities are places where people are taking advantage of and creating new opportunities to a much greater extent than residents of eastern cities, although especially of Toronto, who endeavour to little more than entrenching established opportunities. The term "reactionary" is often used as a synonym or at least a superlative qualifier for "conservative," but in cities outside of Alberta voters are much more reactionary.

Of course, if the Conservatives are denied the opportunity to form a government, it may end up being because of the Governor-General. Lona Manning writes a very interesting article in The American Thinker:
Stephen Harper and his Conservative party may manage a victory at the polls in the Canadian election this Monday, but this electoral win won’t necessarily translate into a Tory government for Canada. The Tories could win the most seats but still be shut out.

The Governor-General, the Queen’s representative in Canada and the titular head of our government, has the power to “ensure that Canada always has a Prime Minister. For example, if no party had a clear majority after an election, or if the Prime Minister were to die in office, the Governor General would have to choose a successor.”

[…] The Governor General in Canada today is an attractive young former journalist who was appointed by our current Prime Minister Paul Martin. […] To listen to her, it would seem that her credentials for the job (which used to be given to distinguished older statemen and captains of industry) are that she has overcome adversity, experienced racism, has known poverty, and distinguished herself in the peculiar postmodern manner.

[…] To this G-G, marinated in the world of the academic and journalistic left, a Tory government may well imply ”fascist” government. The prospect of opening Parliament and delivering a throne speech for a Tory government must fill her with horror. Her previous career was, after all, in the groves of academe, in the field of literature, generally the most left-leaning of all faculties.

[…] In our parliamentary system, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party can form a coalition. If their combined seats exceed the seats won by the Tories, (which is very likely), Paul Martin can visit the Governor General and ask to be recognized as the government. If Harper fails to win a majority of seats, this prospect becomes a distinct possibility.
[Link courtesy again of NealeNews".
Perish the thought, but that's how our Westminster parliamentary system works. And I have no problem with the system, except that I think it's time we again let the old dear in Buckingham Palace choose her own representative instead of having a partisan prime minister compromise the independence of the position. After all, have any politically motivated appointments given us Governors-General of the stature of Charles Stanley Monck, Julian Byng, John Buchan or Harold Alexander?


Publius said...

In answer to your last question: George Vanier.

Pietr said...

I'll be your Governor.
All I'd do is drive around Canada in a chauffeured BMW X5 with blacked-out windows, and the license plate "GUVNOR";my head would be shaven and I'd wear a huge black overcoat, even in Summer, and every time I stopped I would dispense summary judgement via a pair of mounties in ceremonial uniform and wrap-around mirrored shades.
Even in Winter.
Sometimes I'd smoke a cigar.
If I didn't like somebody, I'd beat them around the head with the original articles of confederation, while intoning in a Cockney accent, "You muppet, you slag, you muppet, you slag..."

Pete said...

"To this G-G, marinated in the world of the academic and journalistic left, a Tory government may well imply ”fascist” government. The prospect of opening Parliament and delivering a throne speech for a Tory government must fill her with horror. Her previous career was, after all, in the groves of academe, in the field of literature, generally the most left-leaning of all faculties."

This quotation is a disgusting piece of sophistry. I'd have hoped for more.

Pietr said...

Obviously a legal 'mind' at work; an allegation of 'sophistry' is a posh way of denying everything.
Faux-disappointment in the level of debate is a technique for (hopefully) inducing the speakers to seek to elevate themselves above mere sincerity and honesty of opinion.
Satisfaction is found if these people become hypocrites incapable of actual self-expression.
Maybe the day will come when every statement is vetted by lawyers for signs of meaning and only allowed into print on approval, but in the meantime Pete will have to endure his sense of disgust.

Incidentally, when people actually use words like 'disgusting', they are applying a cold value judgement and usually feel nothing at all.

MapMaster said...

Thank you, Sorehead, for the comments. Of course the article cited is opinion, and if it dressed up in loud words, it amused me very much. The essential idea to be communicated, ignored by Pete, is that the Governor-General determines who will form the government and that this obligation may result in a Liberal/NDP government even if the Conservatives were to sit more MPs. Whether or not the current G-G would have political motivation to do so or not is purely speculation — however, her political career suggests an antipathy to the Conservatives and her appointment to the position was certainly political. At this time, though, it's all fun and games guessing what's going to happen. The paragraph Pete cited I quoted for sheer entertainment purposes, although I don't disagree with the sentiment.

And Publius, I might have known you would pop up — but you have a disconcerting habit of taking all my rhetorical G-G questions as real! Yes, yes, George Vanier may have been an equally good G-G. But in the spirit of the dignity that the position now merits, the London Fog will use its considerable influence to install Sorehead in a Rideau Hall coup.