Election 2008: Disappointing parties for all

Hyde Park

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With the federal election just around the corner, the pundits have been feverishly speculating on which leader or leaders will end up with electoral dysfunction on the big night. The race to disappoint the electorate is on, and so far only one leader is set for a solid finish. Believe it or not, come election night on October 14, Stephane Dion will be the least disappointing contender for Prime Minister.

The Dion strategy is eloquent: by already disappointing party faithful and Canadians alike, electoral doom is expected. Not only that, but if the Liberals aren’t completely trampled, they’re likely to breathe a sigh of relief before they neatly package Dion into a historical footnote and ship him to Thomson-Nelson for their next volume of Canadian history.

With Dion’s masterful plan, the only way he could possibly disappoint is if he somehow wins the election. Think about it: a Dion victory would mean Canadians will wake up with one of the most awkward and pouty Prime Ministers in history – not to mention that Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff would have spent all that money sharpening their knives for nothing. If you really appreciate a good dose of impending disappointment, then look no further than the NDP, Bloc Québécois, Greens, or even the Conservatives.

Since Jack Layton’s ascension to party leader, the NDP has been making small gains in popular support and seats in the House of Commons. The most recent edition was Thomas Mulcair in the riding of Outremont, located right next to the downtown campus.

Now it seems Layton is prepared to make a huge splash in the Canadian electoral pool – the largest in NDP history. But the Liberals and Greens may drain most of his support enough by election night. Unfortunately, the result would not just leave an incapacitated Layton unable to lead his party, but would contaminate the waters for future NDP leaders.

Next, there’s Elizabeth May’s quest to bring the Green Party of Canada into the House of Commons. This includes the anticipated duel between her and Peter MacKay in the Central Nova Scotia riding. The Greens are hoping for a David versus Goliath scenario in which May unseats MacKay with her trusty slingshot – made, of course, from recyclable materials picked out of MacKay’s garbage bin. Unfortunately for May and the Greens, this is more likely to quickly turn into a modern remake of Godzilla versus Bambi. This tragic trampling of Bambi could end May’s political career and would send a clear message to the other Greens as well – if she couldn’t do it then you little chipmunks can’t either! Sure, the leaders’ debate could prove to be May’s slingshot, but she may end slaying Dion rather than the Conservatives.

Then there’s Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Québécois who some political observers argue are being overshadowed by the Conservatives, and are guaranteed to prove disappointing on October 14.

Finally, consider if the Conservatives lose: Canadians will quickly have to adapt to complaining about the new government after finally getting used to that no-good-Republican-style-anti-abortion-hawkish-mean-spirited-oil-loving-homophopic-misogynistic-corporatist Harper regime. Still, the most disappointing outcome yet would be to give those no-good-Republican-style-anti-abortion-hawkish-mean-spirited-oil-loving-homophopic-misogynistic-corporatist Conservatives a second mandate or even a majority government!

Yes, this election will be a big disappointment. That is of course unless you already expect the worst, as the Liberals do. Keep in mind that similar disappointments happen in every election, so just make sure you avoid the greatest disappointment of all – wondering “what-if” the day after, just because you waived your right to vote on election night. At the very least, vote – so we can all be disappointed and complain about our next government together.

Jacob Stromberg is a U1 African Studies student, and he’s voting Independent. Check out elections.ca to figure out that voting thing, cuz, y’know, it’s sorta important.