1. I've generally been in the "no election" camp over the past two years whenever the "THE GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT TO FALL!!!" speculation has started up time and time and time again.
But, it's really looking like the moment of truth has finally arrived. I think it's safe to say Harper's ridiculous crime threat is going nowhere but, listening to the leaders this weekend, I don't see any way for the Afghanistan extension to pass. I just get the sense that the stakes are too high - both politically and for Canada - for anyone to compromise. Now, this might very well mean the budget gets rushed to ensure the Tories fall on it first but, I would be surprised if this government lives to see April.
2. Looking back at the first week of the Alberta election, it's hard to deny it's been a rocky week for Stelmach - in the words of ES: "Memo to the Premier's Staff: Don't take him "on the road" to make announcements unless you're 100% sure that the people who are present in the room will think the announcements are a *good* thing. You look like amateurs right now, and you're making your boss look like a fool in front of the cameras." It's no wonder Ed went into hiding this weekend.
And while I do think Taft has looked Premierial (what's the provincial equivalent of "Prime Ministerial" anyways?) so far, I am a bit concerned about the number of promises he's making every day. The "(insert city here) agendas" are a good idea, but the risk is always that you'll get portrayed as "tax and spend Liberals". Talking about being fiscally conservative and tossing out a few democratic reform ideas would probably net more votes than the wide range of spending promises we've seen so far. The kind of changes Kevin talked about in Democracy Derailed wouldn't cost much and go to the argument that the Tories have been corrupted by power - hopefully the focus shifts over to those sorts of promises shortly.
So, I'll reluctantly give NDP leader George Mason props for his plan to ban corporate and union donations. Especially since the NDP would be hurt a lot by the loss of the union donations.
3. Congrats to Daveberta on the trio of Canadian Blog Awards he picked up. As the runner up for two awards, I certainly don't mind losing to Dave, if only because it likely pissed off half the Tory war room. And a big thanks to everyone who voted for Calgary Grit!
4. Voting is now open in the Liblogs video contest.
5. Obama swept all four primaries this weekend and is expected to win three more on Tuesday. While Hillary does currently lead due to super delegates, I suspect many of the undeclared super delegates will go Obama's way. Most of the "hypothetical" polls out there show Obama doing better versus McCain than Hillary and when your re-election is the on the line, you certainly take a look at things like that. Personally, I think those polls are worthless, a dumb way to make a decision, and are probably what got Kerry the nom last time. But people still read them and Obama is certainly no John Kerry.
And with the momentum he's got going for him, he's certainly the one I'd be betting on right now.