Monday, October 13, 2008

Krugman Wins the Nobel Prize! (Also: Closing Canada election stuff)

Best damned economic news in ages.

Not just because the man deserves it for his trade work, though he does. No, it's because it'll provide him the imprimatur to slap the holy hell out of whatever disciples Friedman's brand of economics still has left.

(Plus, hey, a Nobel prize-winning economist said that he thought my pseudonym was great, so there's that.)

As for the Canada elections, well:

Canada will probably see a Harper minority, not much different than the one already in place. A few seats here and there will change, especially in Quebec, but by and large it'll be status quo. That'll be a problem for everybody, though: Harper will have to answer questions as to why the hell he called the thing, Dion will be staving off Liberals blaming him for the situation, and Layton may have to answer for a (very expensive) full-court press that was competent but didn't deliver many more seats.

(Gilles Duceppe will be happy. He'll be retiring on a high note.)

As for whether anybody will lose their job? Harper, perhaps, perhaps not. People in his party aren't going to believe he can actually deliver a majority, and he's kept his party together on that promise. He should be around for the next election (which will either be in 2009 or 2010) but he might not be.

Dion knows the knives are out, but has said he won't resign, and has a case to make. NO party leader is going to look good after two years of character assassination, and the two men most likely to follow him have problems of their own. (Michael Ignatieff tends to put his foot in his mouth and alienates the hell out of progressives, whereas Bob Rae is still blamed for Ontario's early 1990s woes. Plus, Iggy might lose his seat.) Dion has grown over the course of the election, and the tradition in the party is that you get two shots at the prize. He's also proven a fearsome debater in French, which will likely carry over to English as his English improves.

If he is ousted, though, I'm expecting the Liberals to be in a LOT of trouble. Financially, and politically.

Layton, well, it depends. He's apparently taken out tons of loans to pay for his campaign, which spent the maximums available by law. If he can't seriously improve their seat totals, there are going to be a lot of people asking "why" when he comes around with the begging bowl for all those loans. If he does, though, he will be eagerly awaiting a Liberal leadership race; if Iggy wins, then he'll use Ignatieff's inevitable rightward shift as an excuse to move his party further to the center, scoop up disaffected progressives, increase his vote dollars, and begin conquering urban Canada in earnest. (If Rae wins, he's in much worse shape, so he's almost certainly praying for an Ignatieff win.)

And May, well, that depends on seat and vote totals. If she increases neither, she's in trouble. If they win even one seat, or increase their vote total, she'll be fine.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to watch.

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