There’s no opposition like no opposition

19May10

When will it ever end?

We’re at a political stalemate both federally and provincially. In Ottawa sits a minority government ruling like a majority with no danger of being toppled by an astoundingly disorganized and ineffective opposition. The Tories can’t lose… and they know it.

Nothing, not Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer, not the Afghan detainee affair, not the cringe-inducing redneck remarks of its MPs with regard to women and abortion, can sink them.

In Ontario, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals sit in the same position. Sure, there is much outrage about the incoming HST and some of the government’s other foibles, but essentially, McGuinty and crew face an opposition that is currently every  bit as feeble as its federal counterpart.

But, Tim Hudak and Michael Ignatieff are trying to change that by lobbing punches, albeit into thin air.

In today’s editorial, the Toronto Star says Canadians and Ontarians alike will face clear choices in the next federal and provincial elections.

Well, yes and no. I don’t disagree that Tim Hudak is positioning the provincial Tories as a clearly differentiated alternative to McGuinty and the Liberals. But I didn’t expect any less from a Mike Harris disciple. Hudak won the party leadership on the promise of bringing intolerance and tough talking Tory belligerence back to the table.

Ignatieff, on the other hand, might finally be swinging at the Tories from the bleachers on issues like the detainee papers, the cuts to the CBC, the cutting of funding to Toronto Pride and gun control, but in 18 months on the job, he’s never managed to stand firm on an issue long enough to resonate with Canadians.

As the Star admits, Ignatieff is by far the least popular federal leader, as shown by the most recent Harris-Decima poll.

So, will Canadians as a whole face  the same clear choice in the next federal election that Ontarians will provincially?

Count me among those who thinks not. I expect another watered-down performance from the Liberals with their complacent and confused leader stumbling embarrassingly through a campaign in which I expect them to lose just enough seats for the Tories to get their long-coveted majority.

Not much of a choice, if you ask me.

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