No one narrative describes the last month, but three things in the post-election analysis stand out for me:
1. Nobody really wants a better kind of politician. Dion was a candidate for the future, idealism, and relatively civil conduct. Haper’s a bully but he gets things done. Point: Harper. Everyone wants a person like Dion (except maybe more English and articulate) in charge of the country, but we won’t risk voting for him.
2. The Liberal Party is sick in so many ways even Trudeau couldn’t have sweet-talked his way into the government. Among other things, they’re poor as dirt and are lucky so many people live in Toronto and Montreal. Actually, Trudeau is part of the problem, what with there being so few Liberals west of Kenora that I can count them on my fingers. Andrew Coyne made this point on the CBC last night, but I don’t think it’s been blogged yet (or at least post-election).
3. Canada remains, on the whole, a small-l liberal country. We are not finished test driving Stephen Harper. There is a lot of work ahead for the Conservatives if they want to convince a big chunk of Canadian that their party is a long-term, moderate possibility. They might squeak past the majority threshold next election if the Liberals stay down and the Bloc stumbles, but I don’t think Stephen Harper is the kind of guy to leave these things to chance.