"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, June 29, 2004

OH CANADA!: You'd think that a magazine with all the Canadian ties that the Spectator enjoys would be able to get a genuine Canadian to comment on the election, wouldn't you? Alas, you're stuck all stuck with my meanderings on a dissapointing night:

Election night can be brutal. All that organization and enthusiasm coalesces into one jittery evening. If the race is close, volunteers linger into the pre-dawn hours at campaign headquarters, hoping that some last minute outlying cluster of votes will swing the election their way. Even before the verdict is rendered, the second-guessing begins: What could we have done differently? What would have put us over the top? What if we hadn't made those missteps along the way? What if we'd been able to scrape together a few more campaign dollars? What if...? Like I said, brutal.

I know whereof I speak. I've been on the losing end of only two elections that I gave a toss about, but they were doozies. The first was Bill Clinton's election in 1992. I was only in middle school but I'd gotten so into the contest that I refused to go to school the next day. I imagine the note from my mother read "Jeremy...was not feeling well."

The second was in '96. Washington state congressman Randy Tate was one of the young conservative firebrands who helped take Congress in '94 and he had really refused to back down or temporize. His staff, including this intern, was unrepentantly right wing. We wanted to roll back government, cut taxes, and stop another runway from being installed at a local airport. Per usual, all the papers editorialized against us, but it was not a Republican year. Tate lost narrowly.

These losses finished off any visceral interest I had in electoral politics. But I sure wouldn't blame most of my Canadian friends for crying into their beers over the piss poor performance of the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada. At press time, Conservatives won between 90 and 100 ridings vs. about 160 seats for the center left Liberals and their likely coalition partner, the stridently left-wing NDP. Conservatives even did poorly in Alberta and B.C. The only party that really stung the Liberals was the French separatist Bloc Québécois, and, trust me on this, an alliance between the now very Western Conservatives and the pea soup eaters isn't going to happen. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 8:27 AM