ELECTION DAZE

Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:54:06

Item-1 Democracy Comes To NOLA: It looks as if we finally have an election date: April 22 to be followed by a run-off on May 20. There was some moaning and whining by Council Clown Gill-Pratfall but subject to approval by the feds we finally have a date. (Given what I’ve heard from my sources that’s a shoo-in.) Hopefully Gill-Pratfall’s whining because she’s worried that her worthless ass will get thrown out of office. Btw why on earth do they style themselves Councilmembers? Oh that’s right they’re a bunch of dickheads. Never mind.

Back to the April 22nd election. There are lots of questions of the who what and where kind. We don’t  know what serious candidates will run for Mayor besides C Ray and ex-Councilwoman Peggy Wilson. The problem with the current field is that they’re *all* gadflies including the incumbent and most of them are wannabes or never wases. Peggy Wilson is a  VERY smart person and despite being a Repub is good on preservationist and neighborhood issues BUT she isn’t known for playing well with others. (When the Pegstress was on the council she and Jim Singleton were frequently sent into time-outs.) Our City needs someone who works well with others listens and knows how to build consensus: qualities that both La Peggy and C Ray lack. Other rumored potential *serious* candidates include Council Clown Eddie Bad Hair token city council grown-up Oliver Thomas The Singin’ Lt. Gov Mitch Landrieu and State AG (and former longtime Orleans Parish Sheriff) Charlie Foti. I’m sure other folks are taking  a close look at the race with C Ray so vulnerable. There’s blood in the water and professional pols are like sharks.

The strangest thing of all is that C Ray may still have a chance to eke out an election victory. He’ll be better financed than anyone else in the field. He’ll also have the oompah-loompahs stumping for him and they’re a mighty force.

Anyway anyone who tells you they knows what will happen or who will vote is just yanking your chain. We’re all flying blind on this one.

Item-2 Oh Canada: Canada held a national election on Monday; not that you’d know it from our media. It was actually a very interesting election. The Liberals had been in power for 13 years but as happens all too often they grew complacent and corrupted by power. Sound familiar eh? Like Congress eh? I need a Moosehead…

Monday’s victory by the Conservative (aka Tory) party was a very polite very mild very Canadian repudiation of  Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government.  The Tories did not win a majority in parliament  and will have to govern with the sufferance of the semi-rightist/separatist Bloc Quebecois and the mildly leftist New Democrats. In short new PM Stephen Harper will NOT be able to allow the wingnuts in his party to undo some of the great accomplishments of the Liberals: expansion of the National Health Service and legalization of gay marriage among many others. I remember when the US used to have checks and balances and limits on the excesses of the government. Canada still does. Vive la Canada.

The most worrisome thing about Stephen Harper is that if he had been PM instead of Jean Chretien in 2003 Canada would have gone to war as a part of the coalition of the bribed and subservient. Also President Beavis is mighty pleased that the right has come to power in Ottawa. And anything that makes him happy makes me nervous.

I watched the CBC’s excellent election coverage first on C-SPAN and then on streaming video from the CBC. It’s one of my quirks: following the political scenes in Canada and the United Kingdom very closely. Dr A says I never met an election I didn’t like. I dunno about that: I’m a Democrat and I can think of lots of unpleasant election nights. My track record isn’t so great anywhere these days: I’m for the Liberals in Canada and the third party Liberal Democrats in the UK. Actually if Tony (Bill Clinton’s Clone) Blair ever steps aside I might find Labour more palatable despite their authoritarian tendencies and Iraqi war folly. Of course Blair may be the only pol who smirks as much as W; now that I think of it Labour PM-in waiting Gordon Brown is the only pol who glowers as much as VP Duce. He does however have much better hair and he parts it on the left…

Anyway as interesting as Canadian elections can be they take a backseat to British elections. I love the part when the candidates all go to the constituency election office to hear the returns in person. Whoever is Prime Minister always has some really off the wall opponents in weird costumes. It’s also amusing to watch pompous pols who expected to win lose their seats. You can see their balloons pricked right before you. Schadenfreude both rocks and rules.”

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