The latest lame gotcha moment of this campaign comes courtesy of a former Conservative candidate from Toronto who suggested on his blog that allowing Canadians to carry concealed firearms might be a good way to combat violent crime, along with some other spicy opinions. Mr. Reid graciously *volunteered* to resign his candidacy after a Liberal blogger resurrected and published his online musings.
Is Religion Fair Game in Canadian Politics?
We were subjected in the 2000 election campaign to constant mockery of Alliance leader Stockwell Day’s evangelical faith and beliefs. We got a glimpse of this tendency in the present campaign, this time from Gilles Duceppe:
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Let Politicians be Politicians
Election campaigns are great opportunities to express outrage and rain sanctimony down on politicians. But I’m a fan of politicians being politicians. I wish that we could allow them to exist in their natural environments and behave in the ways that nature intended them to.
The National Election in Surrey
More on B.C. races: Shane Edwards also has a great ongoing series on the local campaigns in Surrey (on Fleetwood – Port Kells, Surrey North, and Newton – North Delta).
Surrey’s politics at the national, provincial, and municipal levels are
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B.C. Ridings to Watch
The Georgia Straight has a "Five Ridings to Watch" column. I have to grudgingly concede that Vancouver Centre has turned into one of the most interesting local races in the province, if not the country. Hedy Fry has been around for a long time and has cultivated good relationships with most groups in the riding. But Lorne Mayencourt has been a local MLA since 2001 and has worked with the same constituents as Fry. Mayencourt has to be considered a star candidate for the Tories. Fry should hold on to this riding, but she may be battered by a weak national Liberal campaign. Fry pulled off a shocker in this riding in 1993 when she defeated Kim Campbell; Mayencourt may pull off just such a surprise victory this time around.
Impressions from Week One
First: Elizabeth May deserves congratulations for gaining entry to the leaders’ debate. I’m not so sure that she should be so happy over this, however. Many people think that May has a good speaking style. This may be true in some contexts, but I’m not sure if she will perform well in a debate with four other party leaders. Harper, Dion, Layton, and Duceppe all have significant experience in Parliament and the first three have already participated in televised debates. May has no similar experience. "Elizabeth May," argues Kevin Libin, "talks faster than an auctioneer on a caffeine buzz." And we’ve already seen that her tendency to talk quickly can get her into trouble. As Harold Jansen observed, it may be Harper who benefits from May’s inclusion in the debate, as he is left to look prime ministerial as the other four leaders natter away.