May 19, 2005

The Maelstrom

A significant political event here in Canada is bring all the cockroaches out from under their rocks... Canada's Liberal government is hanging by a thread as two of the three opposition parties have enough votes to vote them down and trigger an election. At least they did until a prominent Conservative, Belinda Stronach, crossed the floor to join the Liberals. Now it seems to be a tie. Her old party is shocked and enraged by her decision.

The horrible part of this is that her old colleagues are now calling her things like "a whore", a "blonde dipstick" and "a little rich girl who is basically whoring herself out to the Liberals". And I mean literally. Unbelievable that they could be so profoundly sexist and vicious. Even the Conservative leader said "I've never really noticed complexity to be Belinda's strong point."

My take on the situation is this: The Conservatives are trying to exploit a serious Liberal political scandal in Quebec ("Adscam") before a public inquiry can reach an informed conclusion. To get the votes needed to defeat the budget (which they actually support) and bring down the government they have struck a deal with the Bloc Quebecois, a French Canadian party dedicated to breaking Canada apart. Hardly a position of moral clarity. Their attacks on Belinda show that they'll stop a nothing to achieve their goal.

Regarding Belinda Stronach's motives I'm a bit undecided. She was a poor fit with the Conservatives, as she is quite "liberal" on social issues such as gay rights and abortion. It seems that watching her party ally itself with the Separatists was also painful for her. Her switch seems pretty logical in retrospect. I think the Conservatives were very pleased to have a prominent young businesswoman from Ontario like her in the party as it camouflaged their reactionary nature. Her departure exposes all that.

However, Belinda is a bit of a dilettante. Her business experience was with a family business handed to her by her billionaire father, she only finished one year of university, she's been married and divorced twice at 36, dates Bill Clinton, and only entered politics when she ran for the leadership of the new Conservative party last year. Hard to get a proper read on her...

Listening to: Sucks To Be You by Prozzak from Hot Show.

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