Here in Canada we are in the midst of an election campaign that will not end until January 23rd. I of course have my convictions about who the governing party should be. I am a Conservative to the bone, and will almost certainly vote for them in any election.
Once in my life I voted NDP. That time around Bob Rae became Premier of Ontario, and it may be that we are still dealing withthe imapct of that. Never agani will I vote NDP.
Once I voted Liberal. I really didn't want NAFTA. That didn't accomplish anything. Mulroney still won and as it turns out NAFTA has been good for the country on balance.
This time around, with AdScam, the same-sex marriage issue, and the fact that the Conservatives have managed to put out policies which are easy for average canadians to relate to, I fully expect a Conservative government.
But for the moment I want to turn my attention to the local riding. The incumbent is a Conservative, the first federal conservative in a very long time for this area. The Liberal challenger is the guy who was the MP for many years. Clearly he is counting on the riding going back to its traditional colors.
But there are good reasons to keep Diane Finley as our MP.
I think we all know that the real power in government is in the Cabinet. Being out of the cabinet, even if in government, doesn't count for much. Whoever your MP is, you want that person to be in the Cabinet. That being the case, we can see that Diane Finley is the person to elect over Liberal Bob Speller. Why?
The Liberals are not a slam dunk to form the next government. Even if they do, Speller is not liekly to be in cabinet. Yes, he was a cabinet minister the last time he was an MP, but that had little to do with Speller's ability. PM Martin chose Speller because he needed to create a cabinet that was not a Chretien cabinet. Speller had been an MP for many years under Chretien, but never considered for a cabinet post. Speller then was chosen less for what he is than for what he never was.
Finley on the other hand in her first term as an MP has been a member of the shadow cabinet as the Agriculture critic. It is not uncommon for MPs to assume a cabinet post in the same area in which they were the critic while in Opposition. Unlike Martin, who had relatively few chices from which to make his "not-Chretien Cabinet", Conservative Leader Stephen Harper had many choices. He could have overlooked Finley altogether but did not do so.
In short then, Finley is more likely cabinet material than Speller, meaning she is more likely to be able to represent this riding at the highest level.
In terms of voting strategically, and in the interest of this riding, that should speak volumes.