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Nicholl: Predictions about the federal election campaign fallout
I’m going out on a limb and predicting what will happen in this federal election.
• Barn burner No. 1: MP Ron Cannan will be re-elected. I know. What a shocker. We elect Conservatives. What else is new? It doesn’t help that he’s a nice guy, works hard and brought us a passport office. Still, the other candidates need to keep him accountable. So, fire the shots. Bring up the dirt. Tell him he spells his name funny. Whatever it takes. Democracy must still plod on.
• Barn burner No. 1A: The Conservative candidate who was shot-gunned into the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding to replace Stockwell Day will also get elected. Darn those Conservatives, um, I mean Liberals…or NDP…or Bloc…for triggering an election so quickly.
• Prophesy No. 2: The Green Party will not get an MP. By the numbers, the Greens should have a person or two in Parliament. But, they won’t. Green may be keen, but it’s not enough to knock out the big guys. It’s especially frustrating, however, when a party that doesn’t field MP candidates outside a certain province can fill seats on the national level.
• Prediction No. 3: Voter turnout will be pretty dismal, like last time and the time before and next time. Unfortunately, it’s more exciting to go to Walmart than the polling station and watch American Idol rather than election results. We whine, we complain and we curse the leaders, but one-third of us don’t even bother to vote. The non-voters say things like “I hate all the bums.” That may be true, but we still have to elect one of them. Rotten democracy. It would easier to live in a dictatorship.
• Prediction No. 4: Prime Minister Stephen Harper will say “coalition” 183,879 times before we vote. I believe he’s already up to 15,807.
• Prediction No. 5: Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will not say coalition, ever, and never respond directly to the question. I believe that’s already not happened, 3,809 times.
• Prediction No. 6: NDP leader Jack Layton will put on a jacket only eight times. Maybe seven.
• Prediction No. 7: Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe will disagree—with something.
• Prediction No. 8: Has already come about: The televised debate was boring without Green leader Elizabeth May.
• Prediction No. 9: Former Liberal leader Stephane Dion will laugh when Ignatieff doesn’t win.
• Prediction No. 10: Dion will laugh again when Harper doesn’t get a majority.
• Prediction No. 11: We will discover dirty bits about candidates, like: There’s an MP who has stolen money. We will discover a potential MP who has posted too many risqué photos on Facebook. We will find out that MP Ruby Dhalla is really a Russian spy.
• Prediction No. 12: There will not be a rally in Ottawa to overthrow the government before the election. While popular in the Middle East and Africa, Canadians don’t have access to enough weapons.
• Prediction No. 13: We will hear statistics that contradict each other.
• Prediction No. 14: The Liberals will say, if the Conservatives stay in power, the expected debt in years ahead will be larger than what the Conservatives are saying. Likewise, the other way around.
• Prediction No. 15: We will hear promises that we’ve heard before.
• Prediction No. 16: We will hear promises that have been broken before.
• Prediction No. 17: We will promise not to listen to promises.
• Prediction No. 18: Child care will not be addressed properly.
• Prediction No. 19: The party leaders will say we should have fixed election dates.
• Prediction No. 20: On May 3, the earth will not have shifted. Canada will go on as before. That’s not a bad thing.
Shelley Nicholl owns Mad Squid Ink, a professional writing service, www.madsquidink.com.