If you have taken your eyes off the watch for gas prices rising at the end of the week, and the election warfare raging above and below the border, you might realize that most Americans have for the moment had their attention diverted from Sarah Palin (even before that interest waned of its own accord).
While the inability of opticians to provide copies of her frameless rectangular lenses might be one of the main crises of supply and demand for some people south of the border, many others have no doubt glanced at newspapers or accidentally landed on a news channel long enough to realize that their country stands at the precipice of what could be the worst financial failure since the Depression. According to some analysts, it could even be worse than the Great Depression, and with the global implications of the American economy in today’s world, it could be recession/depression almost worldwide.
I once heard the difference between Recession and Depression explained this way: when your neighbor loses his job, it’s a Recession. When you lose yours, it’s a Depression.
The fighters are in the ring and the bell has sounded for the election bouts both north and south of the border. Although we anticipated a lot of low blows from both sides, so far that kind of approach seems to be coming mainly from one side in each election.
Despite the family man image of Harper in the sweater, his followers don’t seem to have fully accepted that look any more than the voters, and have blundered ahead into several errors in judgment as they coordinate attacks on Stephane Dion with few holds barred. The famous Puffin-Poop-Gate stumble will probably go down in the folklore of elections (link below) as just one of those things that “seemed right at the time”, blamed on an over-zealous web ad artist who got carried away. At least that’s where the blame landed, and if you can imagine an ad like that gets put on the air without someone much higher up approving it, you’re naïve indeed.
Harder to find humor in the slip-up where an important Harper staffer emailed Canada AM following the show appearance of the father of a Nova Scotia soldier lost in Afghanistan. The father decried Harper’s announcement of a 2011 pull-out, and argued that a fixed pull-out date made his son’s death in vain. The staffer responded that the father was motivated as a known Liberal supporter. I can imagine Harper’s comment when that story came out in the Conservative camp: “It could well be that his comments are politically motivated, but you just don’t say that about a father who has lost his son!”
We hope Harper is going to actually announce it at some point, but since all parties have started the campaign ball rolling, it seems obvious now to Canadians that we will be at the polls again about October 14th. I anticipate our being in Edmonton at that time, so my wife and I will see what the business of “advance polls” is all about.
In the States, where it seems to have been a land of constant campaigning for the last two years, finally they are down to actual party against party electioneering, since the Democrats have settled on Obama. Whether there will be any knives in the back of Obama, courtesy of the Clinton camp remains to be seen. Hillary might see a win for her in 2012 to be easier against an older McCain looking for a second term (with Obama faded from the picture) than against a possibly successful Obama.
So it’s fall elections all around. I’ve never been one to hold back on predictions on these things, though I conveniently forget what my accuracy record has been. On occasion I do recall making the comment, “I never saw that coming!”