Meanwhile, Back in the Provinces….

It’s been a good while since we checked in on the Canadian elections, which are culminating a week from Monday. What had been a close three-way race involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tories, the lefty New Democratic Party, and the center-left Liberals is now devolving into a more traditional Tory/Liberal contest with the NDP fading down the stretch. The other dynamic element is that Harper has definitely and characteristically introduced culture-war themes to the campaign via some Islamophobic comments that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows in Tennessee but do sound strange to many Canadians.

Charlie Pierce had some fun this week contrasting Harper’s very Middle Eastern energy policies with his distaste for Muslims, suggesting he wants to be the first “Christian oil sheikh.”

While the apparent NDP fade interferes with lumping Canada into the Year of the Insurgent Left narrative, Liberal strenght means the odds of Harper once again defying anti-incumbent sentiment are a bit lower, though it could all depend on the intricacies of three-way races in individual districts, or “ridings.”

We’ll check back in shortly before the big day, when Canada again shows its superiority via a brief and relatively well-attended election.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.