In the past few weeks, we have witnessed two epic political battles that have captured the imaginations of people around the globe. The much-anticipated Canadian federal election took place last month, and a nation held its collective breath to see who would have the honour of leading another minority government for the next few months. It was heart-pounding stuff – Stéphane Dion’s fiery stump speeches, Stephen Harper’s stunning collection of knit sweaters, and Jack Layton’s impeccably groomed facial hair will not soon be forgotten.
Earlier this week, the two-year campaign to become President of the United States ended with the historic election of Barack Obama. His victory was one of the defining moments of our time, and it marked a clear change in direction for American politics. It was impossible not to get drawn into the excitement – I had a bad case of Obama fever for at least six days.
After Tuesday night’s vote, I began feeling the early onset of election withdrawal. I became depressed about the prospect of going without political intrigue and debate over the effectiveness of attack ads. What would fill my time, our television news broadcasts, our right-wing talk-radio programs?
Thank God for Jean Charest. Yesterday, he announced a Quebec provincial election. Over the next five weeks, he will go toe to toe with the Parti Québécois and the Action Démocratique du Québec with the fate of an entire province at stake. I can’t wait to see Charest, Pauline Marois, and Mario Dumont face off on issues of…Quebec stuff.
Personally, I’ll be paying close attention to the race in Kamouraska-Témiscouata. No party has won a Quebec provincial election without taking this riding. In 2007, Liberal Claude Béchard narrowly defeated ADQ candidate Gérald Beaulieu, and I expect them to resume their fight over the proposed condominium development at the former Mont Orford Resort. Wow, talk about compelling issues – it doesn’t get much bigger than that.
If that doesn’t quench your thirst for elections, don’t forget about the mayoral race in Kapuskasing, the upcoming sanitation plebiscite in Liechtinstein, and the student council election at Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. FYI, if I had a vote, I’d vote for Pedro.