[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Friday Feature 2000-16Fr -- Post-Election Post-Mortem(s)
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Post-Election Post-Mortem(s).

December 8, 2000.

This week we turn up the heat a little, giving Mike a little rope with which to hang himself. While editorializing is not the focus of our endeavour, we will publish them occasionally.


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Post-Election Post-Mortem(s)
By Michael Hora (mike@factscanada.ca)


We are about to enter the 21st century. As Canadians everywhere gather their thoughts -- and gather them we surely will -- it may well be that some of what transpires below will be first and foremost on their minds.

The recent election of the Liberal majority speaks volumes for the recent mood of the nation as it forges toward the new millennium. What does the result really portend for us?

I think that with these results, as deposited in the laps of every district across the nation, we are about to enter a period of great introspection... and even greater comment. I do think Canadians will be waking up and asking questions. As to how these queries are manifested, only time will tell, but I think that will happen sooner rather than later. Patient we are, but not to a fault.

Even though Messrs. Chretien and company managed to increase their numbers, as far as the total number of ridings won went, and thereby their subsequent hold on this country, they have failed to take its true pulse. The patient is alive but not doing well. Evidence of this shows in the fact that, even though the Grits were returned in a hurry, they failed to garner a majority in the popular vote. This fact does not bode well for the incumbents. There are clouds on the horizon.

The continuing whiff, a la Shakespeare and a certain smell of rottenness coming from Denmark, lingers over the cronyism and favouritism displayed by the "little guy from Shawinigan". His home riding, rocked before, during, and now surely after the election, by the Human Resources Department grants fiasco, will continue to bear the scrutiny of the opposition and the electorate. I can assure you that some of the press, especially the National Post, home of the one-time Conrad Black fiefdom, will not let this one go by the way without a tussle. After all, Black does have a personal axe to grind with "de Preme". Remember the "I want to be knighted but Jean wouldn't let me" scenario? Connie does. He is an intelligent and articulate type, and a bulldog with a long memory. He also owns a few people in the newspaper and big media business. Watch for this to be on the top of his agenda for the new year. It may even be on his Santa stationery.

Canada's economy continues to be a gadfly that won't quit buzzing, and around the business community there are plenty who would like to give it a swat. Now that the election is settled, no doubt more than a few of these heavy hitters will be asking to be paid the bill, and mark my words, the bill will come due. The Liberal party owes its existence to the Bay Street types, and without them there would be no Liberal majority. Look for enough of an increase in lobby traffic on Capital Hill to warrant a traffic light.

The dark horse in this year's leadership sideshow arena is Paul Martin. The ever-so-popular-but-doomed-to-second-place minister is sure to show his hand later this year or early into next. How long can the guy stand being Canada's most popular politician who is not a prime minister? Also in this vein, what about the shameless and self-serving actions taken by the former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Brian Tobin has abandoned and re-joined just about every level and political stripe of government there is in his desperate and venal bid to acquire the reins of power. His shameless jump from the helm of the rightfully proud province that he once swore to lead for at least the term of his first mandate, to a federal plum riding shows him to be the crass and self-serving mutt he is. This is a dog that might run too far. More's the pity to him if he strays too far away. It may well take him right out of the electorate's eye. Memories go back a long way in the east.

On the other side of the political hustings, look for everyone else in the race but Joe Clark to take a rough ride. The now-recognized-as-a-statesman Clark, who earned the title fair and square during the political debates as the only one to keep his head about him as others didn't, will bow out gracefully. As Canada's elder statesman, he deserves a dignified sendoff. He, at least, was always sure that he did represent a chance well worth taking. Kudos to you, Joe.

Stockwell Day and his separatist counterpart, Gilles Duceppe, will not fare so well. With the falling apart of the great expectations set up for these two bookends (who are not so different in philosophy and style after all) that were supposed to have seen them installed and firmly in place for a ruling part in the great Canadian election play (the better for them to enter the House as triumphant whiners), look for the long knives to come out. Soon.

So where will the press be in all this? Where they usually are -- on the sidelines, with a few notable exceptions, and bellying up to the trough. One of the saddest things I hope I never live to experience is the kowtowing and forelock tugging that goes on just prior to the seating arrangements for the official delegates' entourages being announced on the election trail. Let me tell you, there is nothing more shameful than to see a so-called independent and unbiased journalist turning belly-up in return for a seat on the Prime Minister's jet. This too is an occasion for the PM to exercise his subjective memory as to who was naughty and who was nice in the house on the hill. Question period can do that to a politico's memory... and a journalist's career.

In the end, it will be the questions of ordinary Canadians that can change this awful travesty, but only if they care. I think they do.


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== PREVIEW ==

On Sunday I review the life and times of Emily Carr, profile Midland, Ontario, resort to blond(e) jokes, and give you some turkey preparation and cooking tips.


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As this is our first foray into the realm of editorials, we really would appreciate any feedback from you. Incensed? Outraged? Delirious? Can't stop laughing / crying / shaking? Let me know at john@factscanada.ca. I look forward to hearing from you.


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