Declaration of Independence

Vivian selects a wine for dinner

Vivian is rushing to grow up.

I know this because she has stopped enjoying her time in the high chair. More often than not, she will spurn the toddler seat, and demand to sit in a chair in front of a table, just like the big people do — even though the table goes up to about her chin.

This isn’t the only case where she wants to play in the big leagues. She’s now quite adept at crawling up, and down, our stairs. This, of course, scares the heck out of us, and we have to spot her to make sure she doesn’t take a spill going down, but she can get rather cranky if we pick her up and take her downstairs on her behalf. Oh, well. At least she hasn’t insisted in imitating our forward-facing method of going down stairs (her legs are just too small for the risers), yet.

I feel for her, because she knows what she wants, but she’s still a few weeks, if not months, of getting it. And it’s hard to explain patience to a one year old.

What I’m looking most forward to is the ability to communicate with my daughter, to tell her to trust herself, to trust us, and that things will eventually turn out all right. If nothing else, it might help her through her teething pain.

I Still Say, No Election Until this Fall, if not 2008

The Conservatives’ second budget passed at least first reading a couple of days ago, thanks to support from the Bloc Quebecois. With this in place, I see no reason for the government to fall in the coming weeks, which might be a bit of a disappointment to the foam-at-the-mouth Conservative supporters who are calling for an election now (stomping foot) now! now! now! now! now! now! now! now!

I don’t think Harper will do it, because he’s a wily politician. The Bloc is not interested in an election because the sovereigntist movement in Quebec has been dealt a body blow. And while the Liberals are hardly in freefall, Harper still has the lead and the momentum, so they’ll be wanting to bide their time as well. In that framework, Harper can pursue his own agenda — which has consisted of working out deals with the Bloc and occasionally the NDP. No need to go for a majority government if the minority is working just fine for you.

And here’s the big thing: if the minority is working just fine, you don’t need to risk the big wild card of an election until this parliament is about two years old. And a wild card it is. The election of the Parti Action Democratique to the level of official opposition in Quebec is no more indicative of a conservative realignment in that province than Bob Rae’s miraculous victory in 1990 was indicative of a socialist revolution in Ontario. People didn’t suddenly turn into conservatives; they simply got so sick of the usual choices that they picked any credible third option.

Don’t get me wrong: ADQ leader Mario Dumont has an opportunity here to sell his policies and to make his victory count. We’ll know whether he’s done that in about a year’s time. This won’t be an easy task, since most of his members are quite inexperienced, and may be as easy to shake off their game as Rae’s neophyte NDP government was, but the Quebec election does not say conservative breakthrough so much as it says voters are really pissed at the mainstream parties right now, and they’re likely to swing in new and unusual ways.

And, last time I checked, the Conservatives were a mainstream party.

The Greens shot up from zero to three percent in the Quebec election. The various federal parties are all still within the margin of error of their January 2006 results. I think right now support for all of the mainstream parties can be considered as parked rather than solid. There is a great opportunity here for a leader like Harper, but great risk as well.

He might want to let the waters cool a bit, and use his position of strength to bulk up his record in the hopes that time swirls more voters towards him.

So, no election until 2008.

…although, to be fair, I did go on record as predicting a Charest majority, so what do I know?

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