Sunday, June 27, 2004

The Eve of an Election

So the big day in Canada is tomorrow, and, despite a small lead for the Liberals in the polls, I'm predicting the Conservatives will edge out the Liberals by three seats. My predictions are: Conservatives - 115, Liberals - 112, Bloc Quebecois - 57, NDP - 24.

What's interesting, from a larger perspective, is the "fear factor." Paul Martin, and to some extent Jack Layton, have both tried to play the fear card against Stephen Harper as well as against Gilles Duceppe. Their arguments are that these two leaders, and especially Stephen Harper, will threaten all Canadians love. The two things that we should note here are, first that Paul Martin and Jack Layton have said nothing interesting during the whole campaign. They are the broken record of twentieth century leftist thought unaware that the world has moved on. But, as in the US and in Europe, these forces are still fighting to keep the rest of us from noticing things aren't the same anymore, and these forces are generally always leftist.

The second element of note is that when it comes to intellectual depth, in Canada at least, it's people like Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe who can wear the mantle of philosopher-king far better than Martin or Layton. And this is pretty much the same throughout the western world. The intellectual camp of today is what we used to call the right, though that label is rather useless and only really serves to reinforce the stereotypes the left uses to demonize the far more scholarly and penetrating ideas coming from the right (for lack of a better term). This is an odd development in some ways as the right has traditionally been seen as anti-intellectualist. Such is no longer the case, and it is with the right that innovation and new ideas will be born. Of course, getting these ideas accepted by the voters is another matter, even a dangerous matter. But perhaps the sheer fact that intelligence in politics now lies with the right, is itself reason to believe that the right will hold the future. But I could be wrong.


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