Friday, January 05, 2007

Yes, yes he is.

Why I love Wikipedia: At the end of new Environment Minister John Baird's entry (dunno how long it'll stay like this) we get this bit of "trivia":
He is gayer than Liberace's poodle.
And they say it's unreliable...

[Update, a bit later: It seems there are persistent rumours that Mr. Baird is, in fact, gay. Don't bother me none of course, but I'll state for record that when I wrote the above, the idea was to mock Wikipedia's... whimsical style, not Mr. Baird. Apologies to anyone who I inadvertently offended. Now, I continue to be left short by the idea of any person siding with a party that wants to strip same-sex couples (and individuals) of their rights, but that would be the case whether Baird is gay or straight.]

Two things jump out at me about John Baird's record:
  • They call him "Mr. Fixit", but he seems more like the quintessential good soldier. Started out as a moderate in the earliest part of Harris' government here in Ontario, and swung right and saw his career advance. Backed Flaherty for leader and was beaten twice -- Eves and then Tory -- but the thing that never changes is his willingness to be a cooperative mouthpiece.

  • He opposed banning same-sex marriage, and worked to pass it here in Ontario. That, at least, marks him as one of the "sane" Conservatives. So huzzah for that.
More substantially, he was Energy Minister during Ontario's disaster of an attempt at privatizing Hydro. Nobody seriously pretends that the fiasco was his fault -- it was directed from the Premier's office start to finish -- but we're still paying the price here in Ontario for the bastardized hybrid system we've got here.

Anyway, with Khan's defection this morning, the official count for the Tories+NDP is 154, meaning that even if the Libs and the BQ vote against the government, it's possible for the Tories to stay in power. In order to do that, however, Harper needs to deal with the NDP.

Funny thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if the environment came out ahead in this scenario -- it's well known that the right always has the ability to "go to China" on some issues in a way that the centre and left never can. If Harper is so inclined (read: if he thinks it can win him the election) he could push a much stronger environmental plan than the one on the books, and stronger even than the one Dion could get away with.

The Liberals would then pretend they meant to do the same during their 11 years in power but just, kind of, y'know, never got around to it. They would then proceed to savage the NDP for agreeing to a deal whether it was good or not. Except... what happens if the deal actually is good, good enough to draw the BQ on side? Then the Liberals are in a hell of a bind.

I'm not saying it can only happen this way, but I wouldn't be surprised. Harper needs something to put him ahead in the polls, and the Bloc and NDP both have a huge interest in damaging the Liberals any way they can. There's the strong chance in this scenario of electing a Harper majority next time out, however.

1 comment:

greyburr said...

So what is exactly wrong with a senario where the environment actually wins!The libs signed Kyoto in 1998,ratified it 4 years in 2002,and did squat up to the election of 2006.Do you actually trust S.D.,"Fossil of The Year 2005."A deal with the Cons/Bloc/Dippers is only rational given the LPC history,same cabinet,backbenchers and hoodwink policys for power.