Further to Mischa’s link yesterday about potential Liberal candidate Omar Alghabra being accused of having made “pro-Muslim remarks” (which he denies, see here), there’s a possibility I would like to suggest…
During the federal election of 2004, my then-girlfriend was volunteering on the campaign of NDP candidate Monia Mazigh, wife of tortured Syrian-Canadian Maher Arar. While canvassing door-to-door, my ex-gf discovered that many of the new immigrant households had been told by representatives of Liberal candidate David McGuinty (yes, the Premier’s brother) that if they voted for Monia, the feds would think they were terrorists and they would be deported.
Clearly, this is illegal and unethical behaviour. It’s also intrinsicly moronic, since to vote federally one must bea citizen, and a citizen cannot be deported. (Well, technically a citizen can’t be deported, but tell it to Arar.)
My point is that there are many dirty shenanigans that go on beneath the radar during Canadian elections. It would not surprise me if one of Alghabra’s enemies is deliberately spreading falsehoods about him. All par for the course in this honourable pursuit we call politics?
In other news, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is recovering from a stroke and is not expected to be able to again pursue political life ever. If you’ve not been following Israeli politics, Sharon recently left his ruling Likud party to form a new centrist party –Kadima– leaving Likud for that Bush-parroting uber-warhawk Netanyahu. But Kadima is considered to be solely the force of Sharon’s personality; without him, will the party persist? The other major party is Labour, which I am told has drifted more to the Left since it last held power. General elections are happening this season, and will not be postponed because of the stroke.
So where does this leave the country and the world? In my opinion, Israelis have become more centrist in recent years. They are not prepared to re-elect the marginalizing Netanyahu— unless some of the more militant Palestinian groups do something really stupid and galvanize the Israeli voting public. So I am predicting a new coalition government, headed either by Nobel laureate Shimon Perez or Ehud Olmert, and made up of both the Labour and Kadima parties. I don’t think this bodes well for the peace process, since Netanyahu is himself a force of nature who will, as official opposition, push the hard right agenda against a ruling coalition that is without a balancing strongman. In short, win or lose, Netanyahu becomes the de facto voice of Israel.
I hope the Palestinians are smart enough to just sit back and wait.