About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Barack Show

Tomorrow's the big day for some several million Americans, along with millions of more people worldwide, that are looking forward to some life-changing alterations in their political lives. When Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office tomorrow at around noonish eastern time, he's taking up not just the hopes and dreams of all those people, but is inheriting a whole sackful of crap from his predecessor.

He's not in an enviable position, our President Obama, and he's spent much of the last weekend "as a free man" to downplay expectations, but he's going to have to do more than talk in order to convince people that there are still rough waters ahead. But no matter the practical realities, one can't not smell the sweet scent of change in the air. Obama, a diametric opposite from George W. Bush, in oh, so many way, offers a complete sea change in (hopefully) the way America will do business.

Michael Terry wrote an interesting, and occasionally hilarious, piece on the outgoing President in this week's Echo. I have to say that I agree with a lot of what he said, but I hope to disagree on one thing, and that's that the U.S. has learned a lesson from the last eight years and that they're now on to an idea of singular importance: it DOES matter who's President. Obscure, I know, but true nonetheless. I hope to look back in four years at a promise kept, as opposed to being disappointed that nothing really changed, or rather changed at a snail's pace. As we all know, now's not the time for glacial pacing.

Speaking of progress, it's about a week now until our leaders attempt to get back down to business without metaphorically throwing feces at each other like proverbial monkeys. A week from tomorrow, the budget is going down on Parliament Hill, and it could get ugly... well, uglier. Prime Minister Harper is talking spending in order to jump-start the economy, and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff articulated his willingness to accept a small deficit if it means helping Canadians, at a caucus meeting in Ottawa yesterday. It's nice when we all agree, but the question is: will agreement last the length of the process to pass a budget, or is a confidence motion next week inevitable?

Apparently, the coalition rebellion is still in the cards, and Harper's been lately in a more conciliatory mood, clearly unwilling to go down in history as the PM with the shortest term in office. What interesting times we live in, not that anyone really seems to be noticing right now. But I suspect once Obamamania chills out after tomorrow, it's going to be show time up in here.

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