Election 42: The Leaders

The campaign leading up to Canada’s 42nd General Election is underway, and already the race – more endurance than sprint over the course of seventy-plus days – has started off with a yawn.

Media attention has focused on such pressing matters as the length of the campaign, a Netflix tax, paying back ill-gotten taxpayer money, and other vital yet otherwise low-priority issues.

But as always to the low-info voter who doesn’t bother to learn policy or platforms, it comes down to a popularity contest involving the party leaders.

Here’s a brief rundown of the contestants…

Stephen Harper
Code name: ZZZZzzzzzz
Last job: Prime Minister of Canada

The Skinny: Depending who you ask, since 2006 Harper has either guided Canada through the choppy waters of the unstable global economy with a deft touch that has placed the country at or near the top of the G8, or he is a failure as a fiscal conservative who has overseen the ballooning of our national debt.

Pros: A staunch ally of Israel at a time when many of the younger generation have been brainwashed into believing in the ‘Israeli apartheid’ lie.  Loved by the international community – even called the ‘de facto leader of the free world’ in the Obama era.

The fact he hasn’t implemented the phantom ‘hidden agenda’ of social conservative policies (abortion is still legal, as is same-sex marriage, medical marijuana, etc.) bothers his critics more than if he had governed from the far-right.

Cons: Bill C51 has been attacked by all sides including many conservatives as going overboard in an attempt to protect the nation from the never-ending threat of terror.

His style has made him a target for a ‘past due date’ public which seems to want change for the sake of change.

Thomas Mulcair
New Democrats
Code name: Angry
Last job: Leader of the Official Opposition

The Skinny: No-nonsense guy who you either like or despise. Experienced and knowledgeable, he proved many critics wrong who thought the ‘orange crush’ would fade after the passing of Jack Layton.

Pros:  Voters see him as the best party leader to replace Harper.  Has taken advantage of his time as top Op leader to hone his skills and was a more than worthy opponent for Harper in the House of Commons.

Cons: Selling socialism to the masses, even in Canada, isn’t going to be an easy task.  Like most progressive promises, the voter is left wondering how much it will cost and who exactly will pay.

Will voters trust a man with a national economy who has personally remortgaged his property numerous times and whose party was caught in the taxpayer cookie jar and apparently helped themselves to millions?

Justin Trudeau
Code name: Mimbo
Last job: Party leader; substitute teacher

The Skinny: son of former PM Pierre Trudeau, Justin (just Justin) was long thought to be the savior of the Liberals.

Pros: Charisma, charm, famous last name.

Cons: Charisma, charm, and a famous last name have done nothing to mask his lack of real life experience and have hampered his expected rise to the top.  Can’t escape his reputation as, well, a mimbo.

Elizabeth May
Code name: Space cadet
Last job: Party leader; rabid environmentalist

The Skinny: Plays to the ultra-hipster, new age crowd on the West Coast.

Pros: Totally genuine when she speaks on matters of sustainability and environmental protection.

Cons: Nuttier than a Snickers.  Outside of the granola munchers, she just isn’t taken seriously.

Horrible public relations gaffe that had media and voters wondering if she has ‘a problem’.

Gilles Duceppe
Bloc Quebecois
Code name: Ice eyes
Last job: Political analyst; former leader of BQ

The Skinny: Has returned to lead the regional party, which means he has experience and a firm grasp on issues which affect Quebec.

Pros:  He’s been there, he’s done that.  Still well respected in many Francophone circles, there is a comfort in that voters know him and what he can do.

His return might siphon some NDP and Liberal votes in la belle province.

Cons: Retreads rarely ever bring success.  The fire of Quebec separation is on a low flame, so he has to grab attention by attacking other issues, which historically hasn’t worked out too well for the BQ.

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