Can we please, please, stop the post-election fingerpointing? Haven't we given the Dark Side enough to chortle over? With every bitter blog post, every recriminating tweet, they're just signalling the waiter for another round and exchanging high fives.
Herewith, therefore, an exhortation to my friends in the progressive blogosphere, regardless of party affiliation. You know I respect you and value your observations and analyses, even if we don't always agree. You know who you are.
Let us, please, forswear any narrative that seeks to blame Liberals or New Democrats or anyone other than Conservatives and their zombie supporters for the results of yesterday's election. Perhaps there's some merit in examining the effect of vote-splitting in close ridings, but I'm resolved to use that only for whatever tactical advantages may be realized therefrom, and not as a springboard for blame and bitterness. As always, this little corner will stay resolutely non-partisan.
My dear Liberal friends, what do you expect? Do you want the New Democrats to apologize for running a good campaign? For trying to win the election? Isn't that the whole idea of party politics? Is it their fault that they made their best-ever showing? That they managed to convince voters that they were a better choice than you were? That they established a solid, progressive federalist presence in Quebec after you couldn't? Are these things they should feel bad about? You're not entitled to govern, and you're not entitled to Official Opposition status. In the long term, you need to decide what kind of party you want to be: a genuinely progressive party or an empty shell that spouts platitudes about "centrism" while doing Bay Street's bidding.
And my dear NDP friends: perhaps you might give the self-congratulation a rest? OK, you broke the 100-seat barrier, and you've supplanted the Liberals as the Official Opposition. Good for you, but so what? Harper's got his majority now. He can do whatever he wants and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. The Official Opposition might as well be staffed by howler monkeys for all the effect it's going to have. And while you're at it, try reaching out to your Liberal comrades. Whatever you may think of their party as an institution, there are individuals within the group with genuine social consciences and a commitment to progressive ideas. Start looking for common ground.
Much has been written about the numbers, and I'm no happier about them than any of you. The low turnout, the disfiguring corruptions of the gangrenous First-Past-The-Post system, and the enervating cynicism and disaffection that it breeds. Unfortunately, it's what we're stuck with for the next four years, so while I can sympathize with the suggestions that the result would be different if we had proportional representation, or weighted voting, or runoffs or whatever, it's not going to do a lot of good. If we had PR, Harper wouldn't have his majority, no, but then if your grandmother had balls she'd be your grandfather.
We're in for a long haul (no, really?). FPTP is what we're stuck with, and to the extent that party politics are even worthwhile any more, the campaign's got to go street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, riding by riding. But if we don't put the backbiting to bed, we're going to make party politics irrelevant.
- Wow. Just ... wow.
- When Liberals and New Democrats snipe at each other, who wins?
- To my dear Liberal and NDP friends ...