Wither the progressive choice in a dispiriting election? Take heart, there is hope!

We are currently on an inexorable march towards a Canadian federal election, which will more than likely take place on May 2 or 9th. Despite the seeming strength of the Harper Conservatives, chinks are beginning to appear in his armour. One revelation of unethical behaviour after another has left Our Glorious Leader facing down the barrel of a finding of contempt of parliament.

Parliament is likely to find the Harper government in contempt as a result of senior government officials lying to parliament and otherwise carrying on like mafia dons rather than public servants. In the face of this unprecedented action, which has never happened in the history of our nation, was Our Glorious Leader duly cowed? Apologetic?

Hardly, his response “you win some, you lose some” smacks of the arrogance and thinly veiled contempt for long-standing democratic principles and practices that has so many Canadians itching to oust him from power.

So, on the eve of another election, what options do we have? Well there’s the good ol’ Liberals under the leadership of our man Iggy. The same man who supported the Iraq war, wholeheartedly supports torture and loved corporate tax cuts until his pollsters told him to oppose them (for the election campaign only of course).

Business as usual? Chretien and Ignatieff

What can we expect from Iggy this time around? Well pretty much business as usual for the Liberals, who always campaign to the left and govern to the right. A campaign that shows the cuddly-feely side of the Liberals as they try to convince NDP voters that the Libs have their best interests at heart. Of course if they win you can forget about all that progressive stuff as the Libs pay back their buddies on Bay Street with corporate tax cuts of their own and devastating cuts to the social programs Canadians elected them to protect. We saw it with Chretien and Martin and you can bet we’ll see the same script play out if we elect Iggy.

Meanwhile, as much as we love the NDP, no one has illusions that they will be forming a government when the dust clears from this election. So what would qualify as a best-case scenario for a long-suffering and beleaguered progressive?

Quite simply, the best we can hope for is a coalition government. Ideally one in which the Liberals need the support of the NDP to govern without needing the politically touchy support of the Bloc.

So keep your fingers crossed and work your tails off to elect as many NDP MPs as possible.   After all, some of the best days of Canadian government, including the introduction of Medicare, were the result of Liberal minority governments supported by the NDP.

Hope in Gatineau: Francoise Boivin with Jack Layton

Meanwhile, here in Quebec, the fortunes of the NDP are brighter than they have been since, well, ever. Over the last eight or nine polls of voting intentions in Quebec, the NDP has held steady at around 20%. This is not only a huge jump over the 12% they earned in the 2008 election but also puts them in the rarefied air of second place behind the Bloc. That’s right, the NDP is more popular in Quebec than either the Liberals or Conservatives.

With numbers like that it looks like Francoise Boivin in Gatineau and Nycole Turmel in Hull are sitting pretty and we have a serious shot at taking some ridings in the Montreal area that were hopelessly out of reach even a year ago.

So if you ever thought of getting involved with the NDP, now would be the time. Let’s elect some more NDP MP’s here and hope the chips fall right in the rest of the country to have a minority Liberal government propped up by the NDP.

It’s the best case for a country already scarred by an overdose of Harper and his fanatical quest to dismantle the Canada we hold dear and bring us in line with the disaster down south.

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