Monday, December 05, 2005

Harper's "Canadian Alliance"?!

Wow, the Guardian's Canadian correspondent really needs some help:
The same four men, including the Liberal leader and prime minister, Paul Martin, and Stephen Harper, the leader of the official opposition Canadian Alliance, are leading the four major parties.
Or maybe not. Maybe Anne McIlroy's breaking some news :) Oh! please tell me they're resurrecting the "CRAP" brand! That would be sweet...

I'm not generally crazy with McIlroy's dispatches from Canada; they often strike me as cobbled together from other 'headlines' and caricatures of goings-on. They don't usually bring any new analysis to the table. For e.g.:
Mr Martin, who appeared decisive and capable during his decade as finance minister, has been less sure-footed as the prime minister. He has gained a reputation for dithering over even small decisions and spending tax dollars on any programme that could help him to get re-elected. His party has also been hit by allegations of corruption.
However, voters don't seem quite ready to trust Mr Harper, a brainy Conservative who is battling an image problem. He can come across as angry and intense, and is working hard to appear more likeable.
[...] Both the Liberals and the Canadian Alliance need to win in Ontario to form a government. Canada's most populous province has been solidly Liberal in the past few elections, and the voters there are the ones that most need to be convinced Mr Harper can be trusted. The Canadian Alliance's strongest support is still in western Canada, especially Alberta.
Of course, the article is entitled "Cold calling." Get it? Get it? It's cold in Canada! What article about Canada would be complete without this extraordinary insight:
Candidates are having trouble hammering their lawn signs into frozen ground, and are building the possibility of travel delays into their schedules. In the far north, where temperatures have already dipped below -40 degrees Celsius, campaigning is proving particularly difficult at this time of year.
Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta run over to the Igloo Depot and beat the rush on block-heaters :)

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