Quick anatomy of elections
Canada, weary of the Liberal Party (economically corporate, but culturally to the left), and still not wanting to go the New Democratic Party (more akin to the Greens in our nation), went for the Conservative Party tonight.
It is said the Liberals were suffering from a series of scandals, financially based (sound familiar?).
The election results in Canada are why one should not read too much into the results of Latin American nations' elections: For the failures of corporate capitalism and nostrums of "free trade" in Latin America has helped economic populists and put the corporate type candidates on the defensive and ultimately defeat. Elections mostly turn on such things--and if that sounds trite, think about how often the pundits are so often surprised by elections, including the Conservative Party's success this evening.
As our nation heads into the 2006 mid-term congressional elections, Democrats should remember that scandals of a financial nature among legislatures, plus a weak economy (weak in the sense of not helping the vast majority of workers) provide an opportunity for an opposition party that has become used to losing.
Democratic Party leaders must seize the moment. Even if the leadership does not, it must at least support candidates who stand for economic populism and oppose the continuation of American troops in Iraq in those districts where the corruption scandals have hit the Republican incumbents. If the leadership does just that, the Democrats will likely pick up 15 or more seats in the House and perhaps enough to swing four seats in the Senate.
Finally, a word about my life: This weekend, I went backpack hiking (with a backpack weighing 40 pounds) with my son and his Boy Scout troop. We hiked about eight miles the first day and another two miles the next. It was also about 20 degrees Fahrenheit during the night deep in a canyon in Mason Valley and all we had was our relatively small, individual tents. Is this any way for a nice, middle-aged Jewish guy to be spending his time? Well, yes. My son is very grateful--and is learning things about nature and taking care of himself, things his Dad couldn't have taught him on his own. Oh yes, work has also been very busy, which is better than not being busy, isn't it?