Skip to comments.Even in victory, Paul Martin is still a loser
Posted on 06/29/2004 6:06:41 AM PDT by Clive
PAUL MARTIN lost this election. Yes, yes, he pulled off a minority -- and a bigger one than most anyone predicted, thanks to Ontario voters -- but for those who think there's more to the game than winning, he has lost plenty.
Martin may have hung on to his job, but he lost, too -- and not just because he turned what was once expected to be a fourth straight Liberal cakewalk into a squeaker.
No, what Martin lost isn't measured in votes and seats.
Think back to his glory days, as the revered finance minister, the guy who many thought made Jean Chretien look good. The second-in-command who many thought was the brains of the operation; the educated, worldly, elegant foil to the streetfighter leader.
His overthrow of "le petit gars," a decade in the making, was viewed by many as a cause to hang in there and trust the Liberals, even after the Shawinigate scandal, the HRDC mess and the gun registry fiasco surfaced. Not to worry, it was whispered (actually, the Globe and Mail said it outright in the 2000 election) -- soon Paul Martin will be in charge and the lustre of the PM's position will be restored.
Martin would be a leader Canadians could be proud of on the world stage. Martin would be a leader fiscal conservatives and lefties could love. Martin would bring the vision and hope and integrity the country so strongly craved after so many years of shrugging arrogance.
Today, that Paul Martin is dead, if he ever existed.
The distinguished millionaire statesman has been exposed as a cheap, desperate politician -- the figurehead of one of the dirtiest campaigns in memory.
He abandoned his crusade against the "democratic deficit" to appoint friends and "star" candidates. His omnipotent handlers ran anti-Conservative attack ads that were so far from true they insulted every voter's intelligence. (It's not that there was nothing about Stephen Harper's party to attack, it's that it was so, to borrow their pet term, extreme.) Through it all, Martin stammered and mangled words, at times worse than Jean Chretien and Joe Clark combined.
So what, you say -- it worked. He won. Along with the likes of Carolyn "Damn Americans" Parrish. But he lost in stature.
He promised vision but gave us only fear. Oh, and the empty vow that health care was his "No. 1 priority." Whatever.
He professed to be "mad as hell" about the sponsorship scandal and promised answers, but went trolling for votes instead. (Will we ever get to the bottom of that mess now?)
He said he would change the way things were done in Ottawa, but he resorted to the oldest, shoddiest political tricks in the book -- associating his opponents with images of gunfire, weeping women and a disintegrating Canadian flag.
He vowed to reach out to the West. That promise dissolved faster than the flag in his disgraceful ads when he lashed out at Alberta premier Ralph Klein's allegedly nefarious plan to privatize some aspect of health care. And he all but handed Quebec to the Bloc, reigniting the very separatist threat that the whole stupid sponsorship scheme was supposed to have killed.
After all that -- and his last-ditch scare campaign targeting the NDP -- how will he handle the compromises of a minority, especially one concentrated in Ontario and the East?
He told voters this election was about choosing "the kind of Canada we want." Somehow, I don't think "fractured" is what we had in mind.
Don't talk to me - I'm depressed!
Ya know, we could use some good conservatives here in the states. Just be sure to move to a motor voter state.
Um, OK...but it worked. This guy, like his Democratic Party brethren here in the US, isn't about to take seriously any criticism of his means as long as the ends were achieved. Losing an election is the only thing that gets a socialist's attention.
But I take some small comfort that we did make some inroads into Ontario, even if smaller than we hoped.
We took 24 seats, 19 of them from Liberal incumbents.
But demonizing Harper certainly worked, aided by the stupidity of some of our own troops who could not stay on message.
We are going to have to learn some party discipline.
The liberals don't care HOW they win, as long as they win. To them the ends ALWAYS justify the means.
It seems Harper's campaign team just did not have the right stuff to stop these stupid "fear" tactics by the Liberals.
The stupid thing about Ontario voters is they voted for the same very left leaning promises of the liberals but once in power the liberals always shift more to the right - may it be free trade or even debt reduction. The one thing I pray for is strong relations with the USA. I am sick and tired of liberal MPs calling Bush 43 a "bastard" etc.. I highly respect Bush43 and his efforts to protect his citizens and quite frankly, the Canadian citizens as well since we don't really have a serious military.
However, in Eastern Ontario (where I live) we managed to elect 7 conservatives. For the most part, these were old conservative seats that were held by liberals because of the split in the "right" over the last 10 years. With the uniting of the right, a lot of Eastern Ontario went back to the right.
A bright spot in a rather red province.
Overall though, I think Harper should be sitting very pretty by letting the liberals try and goovern for another year or so.
"To socialists, the purpose of elections is not to ascertain the will of the people. For them, elections are just an instrument of social control. The purpose is to create the impression of popular support for "progressive" aims."
I don't buy this argument. The will of the "loony left" people in Canuckistan was completely revealed in their continued support for the Liberals, or the Bloc Quebecois, or the NDP. The corruption and criminality of the Liberals was well documented and widely known. In the end, the people themselves made the decision in the voting booths when they pulled the lever. At what point in time do we hold the average voter responsible, as adults, for their own actions? Blaming the outcome on mendacity or chicanery is just a way to excuse the idiotic behavior and lousy judgment of the misbegotten Canucks from Canuckistan.
We have a large contingent of such idiots here in America. They're called Democrats.
I assume this means another C$ million or two for the gun roundup scheme, eh ?
Let's be serious here...Toronto will NEVER be a Conservative stronghold. Not to be derogatory here, but it's basically a little Pakistan, little China, pick a country and you can bet there's more immigrants from there in the GTA than immigrants with Anglosaxon backgrounds. These people know nothing other than Liberal. They're sheep. They don't care what's good for Canada, as long as they get their free ride at my expense.
I could go further into this rant, but I don't want to say anything I'm going to regret.
As for the results of the election...the Liberals and NDP together only picked up *gasp* 154 seats (135 Liberal, 19 NDP). Not enough for a majority coalition. Now the Bloc won't help the Conservatives...but they won't help the Liberals either. The Conservatives picked up 99 seats, the Bloc 56 (which is a record for them if I remember correctly). The Liberal seats went about 50/50 to the right and left.
Stephen Harper said it best when he said that a Liberal minority supported by the NDP and backed by the Bloc would be "Corruption, Taxation, and Separation all the in the same Administration."
Paul Martin has too much "pride" to form a coalition with the NDP, espically if it doesn't give them a majority. There will be another election in 18 to 24 months. Somewhere in there, there's a Conservative policy convention, and plenty of time for the Conservatives to pick up ammo to use against the Liberals.
I know it's not "too damn" good because the conservatives lost . . . but is it a total loss or are the Liberals now on notice at least?
The folks of Alberta . . . how are they taking the constant beating they get from the Federal Government? The Socialists who care so much about their fellow man? I'm a dreamer . . . I still think Alberta will become numero fifty-one in my lifetime -- I'm fifty-ish.
Where do the conservatives go from here?
I tended to view Canada as a lost cause. The fact that the Conservatives could unite and then shake things up like this is encouraging. I am not writing them off yet. I think they will have to keep the heat on the socialists and wait for the inevitable collapse. Hate to sound like the Bad News Bears, but "just wait till next election!!!"
The magic number here is 122, by my last reckoning. That's the summary of this election in a nutshell, no matter what the individual party totals may show.
This number represents the combined total of the Bloc Quebecois (54) and the Conservatives in ridings west of Ontario (68). This isn't close to a majority, but it tells a very intriguing story . . . because this is what I would now call the combined "separatist" element of the new Canadian parliament.
Canadians had better figure out soon that the only thing that may eventually keep the nation together is a substantial Conservative presence in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
I hear ya. I went to bed depressed and got up feeling the same way. I don't know what the hell it is going to take to wake this country up. I was disappointed to see how well the Libs did here in BC. I always tell myself that there is always next time. Only to get screwed by the east again.
But we got 24 seats in Ontario, 19 of them from Liberal incumbents, so we are starting to make gains, and we held the west. Quebec and the Maritimes were a lost cause from the beginning, but we did get 7 seats in the Maritimes, so we held our own there.
Also, this election was called a full year before it would ordinarily have been called in a majority mandate specifically to deny Harper time to consolidate the newly formed merger into the new Conservative Party. It would have been called earlier but for Martin having been set back by the burgeoning scandal. He needed the extra time to do some damage control.
The only place Albertans despise more than Ottawa is Washington, D.C.
For Alberta, it's either independence, semi-autonomy (I would make the case that it is already semi-autonomous), or the status quo.
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