Election Time in Toronto
And with a simple vote earlier today in the House of Commons, everything changed. The government has been dissolved, the parties sent to their strategy bunkers, and an election is upon us. This is where things start getting interesting.
Due to Liberal intransigence and unwillingness to agree to a compromise solution proposed by the other three parties, the election campaign will be overlapping with Xmas. There has been much caterwauling from certain quarters as of late regarding this timing, and in my not at all humble opinion, these complaint are completely unjustified. Canada is not - and The City even less so - a Xtian country. It is a multicultural, multireligious amalgam. Given the multitude of peoples, it is to be expected that any campaign would necessarily overlap with at least one religion's major holidays - it should not make any difference that this year it happens to be Xmas rather than Passover, Eid, Bikarami Samvat, or even my own Birthday (which this one actually does overlap) should not be cause for any great upheaval.
The 2005/2006 campaign is going to be an important one for Toronto. Of the five major parties (four in Ontario), two of the leaders, Jim Harris of the Green Party, and Jack Layton of the NDP consider Toronto their home. With the NDP looking to increase their seat total and the Greens hoping that this will be the election where they finally break through the trapdoor of the House of Commons, all eyes are on Toronto.
Early predictions? Since you asked, here they are, subject to massive change over the next month and a half: A Liberal Minority with a Tory Opposition (although if anybody other than Harper is leader, look for a possible Tory-NDP coalition goverment, focusing on government reform). Both Martin and Harper will be on their way out by June. The Grits will drop 11 seats, the Bloc will pick up six, the NDP and the Tories will each get three more chairs in Parliament, and the Green Party will break 5% and win a seat either here or in Vancouver.
It's going to get interesting, and possibly dirty - lets hope it's more of the former than the latter.
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