Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'm a creature of habit. (To say the least.) Unfortunately, that means being forced out of my sleepwalk of comfortable routines, even for a few days, is very nearly traumatic. I spent Christmas through Boxing Day with family outside of Toronto, and I'm still in a semi-dazed state of recovery. That wouldn't be a problem, except that it tends to lead to lapses in awareness and judgment, such as managing to misplace bus tickets, celery, or ATM receipts, all of which I managed in a span of ten minutes while out grocery shopping today. Or, for instance, failing to notice amusing quasi-Engrish until the third time leafing through the manual for my new fuzzy logic rice cooker: Honestly, the third thing hadn't really occurred to me. All of which is to say, this probably isn't the best time to lay out my perceptions of the beta phase of Campaign 2006, but it's not as though they've changed much for the past few weeks. On the subject of the election, indeed, I'm afraid I'm not holding out much hope. To be sure, I can't endorse fits of cynicism like Jay Currie's, predicting a massive Tory collapse nationwide, but I'm afraid another Liberal minority (decreased, perhaps, to a true state of deadlock) seems all too probable. It would be wonderful to end up with a Conservative minority - which I think might be necessary, at this point, to demonstrate to the more easily-frightened parts of the country that the party is mostly centrist - even if that centrism is starting to look a bit like soft-socialism. (Especially when it looks that way to Toronto Star reporters.) Yes, I know that as a tough-on-crime hawkish-foreign-policy free-market mostly-socially-liberal weakly-agnostic Anglo misanthrope (whew), I'm never going to be completely satisfied with the policies of any party, but I'm feeling less upbeat about Tory campaign policies (skillfully triangulated works of domestic realpolitik though they may be) than usual right now. Still, if it takes squishy nationalism and hard-line federalism to win votes, I can put up with a little ideological discomfort. Half a loaf is better than none, and a PM forced to the centre by polling numbers only some of the time would be an improvement on a complete weathervane.

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