For those of you who aren’t aware – and, really, why would you be, based on the dearth of coverage here – there is an election going on in Canada today. Looking like regime change. PM Paul Martin out, Conservative leader Stephen Harper in (though who knows if it will be a majority or minority government). Though the two – count ’em, two – articles (not including wire coverage) the NYT has run today and over the past week (last one was on Jan. 16th) make that sound optimistic (one being an op-ed written by big Canadian neo-con writer Andrew Coyne), but it does represent a significant move to the right.
Quoting John Ibbitson in Canada’s The Globe & Mail (our NYT, I’d say): “It is probably fair to say that Stephen Harper is winning this election because he is less distrusted than Paul Martin.” This election is significant because it really does bust up an entrenched dynasty, the Liberal party, which has been the only alternative in Canada for years and years since the old Progressive Conservatives imploded in the mid-90’s and reformed as the right-wing populist Reform Party whose latest leader was – guess who? – Harper. His slide to the center and re-positioning himself as a moderate is what has won him support in recent weeks; that and stepping back and letting Liberal ineptitude and scandal do its own work.
In any case, not that exit polls are to be believed these days but it’s pretty much a done deal. But more than that, it’s actually interesting, exciting, and is happening pretty close to home. A few readers have asked me why the NYT didn’t have more coverage of the subject; I wondered the same thing, too.
A Conservative Evolves, And Leads a Canadian Race[NYT]*
*Canada is a very big country, which is why we think it’s hilarious that Clifford Krauss datelined this article from Huntsville, Ontario, the town nearest where this photo was taken, as well as the frequently-dropped NYC media northern hotbed of Camp Winnebagoe.