Today Kenneth H. Young analyzes how the leaders appeared to veterans in their Tuesday-night English debate. Little was mentioned about veterans’ issues in the cross thrusts between the leaders. That disappointed me because either Ignatieff or Layton may have enticed Harper out of his tight personal control. Our issues did not come in the questions from the public, but in Ignatieff’s place, I would have snuck it in when he was talking about education — he has proposed a universal education award to veterans similar to the U.S. — in answer to the question asking him to tell Canadians about his vision for Canada. BONNIE
When the dust settles, who will remain as party leaders?
Canadians are expressing disdain about the actions and personal political attacks during this election campaign, and rightfully so. We watch two arguable not so democratic debates, well really one debate in French and an English squabble fest the day before the real debate. But to be fair, this time around the national pastime game of, “King of the Castle,” may well be a do or die for all five of the top party leaders.
Harper: This is his third kick at the can and if he does not achieve a majority, the party will need to replace him as un-electable. Even if he gets a minority, his prospects of remaining as leader are not all that good and if he doesn’t even get a minority… there will be calls for his blood before the election dust settles.
Ignatieff: Well he has always been on the cusp even within his own party. In my opinion voted in solely because they didn’t really have any other candidate which Canada would or could support. Basically the only Liberal in the running who wasn’t carrying too much past political baggage. If he doesn’t do well in this election, I doubt that his name will be remembered longer then six months down the road.
Layton: Although the best statesman and most trustworthy of all the leaders, can not afford to lose any seats while at the same time gaining some such as in Quebec. He has also had three kicks at the can.
Duceppe: Can’t afford to lose either seats or popular vote, in Quebec or his chances of remaining as leader is slim at best. His campaign is already being criticized by the Bloc hardliners, for its lack of expected and standard separation theme.
May: This is her third try at being elected herself and if she fails this time she may well be on her way out also, regardless of whether the Green does manage to elect a member or two elsewhere in Canada.
This may well be the first time in the History of Canadian politics, where we could have an election outcome where all the party leaders are shortly thereafter removed or replaced. But in either case not all of them, if any, will survive this battle, so can we really blame them from being a bit more than normally negative when talking about other leaders?
This time around it is do or die for every leader. We must always remember that just like in the kids game, “King of the Castle,” there is no prize for second place and until the game is over, every player is their potential rival. Only this time the losers may well get the political equivalent of being beheaded.
Canadian Veterans Advocacy
Agent Orange Association of Canada