Tuesday morning I awoke to the sight of an upside down Maple-Leaf on the facebook profile picture of one of my Canadian friends. My heart sank for her, and for millions of her compatriots, many of whom were venting on Twitter and Facebook, ’sobbing into their Cheerios’ and hoping ‘it was all a bad dream’. The previous night, in a cosy downtown loft in Edmonton, I watched that voting counter tick over into history, with the victory of a majority Conservative Government, led by Stephen Harper. A couple of years ago, this would have meant nothing to me, but my burgeoning interest in Canadian politics has coincided with my affection for all things Canadian. Reflecting on my own emotional response to the prospect of four years of a “Harper Government”, I realised that my empathy and angst stem from a deep seated fear that the same fate could await my homeland, Australia, in the ominous form of our opposition leader, Tony Abbott.
At the end of 2009, a Canadian journalist described Abbott as ‘Harper’s model from down under’. I’m certain he wasn’t referring to his physique, despite the fact that Tony likes to get his gear off and be photographed in those infamous ‘budgie smugglers’ (speedos). According to this article, one Canadian Conservative said of Tony Abbott, “he combines Stockwell Day’s religiosity and athleticism with Stephen Harper’s ideology and intellect”.
Causes Cindy Sullivan Supports
Plan: 'Because I'm a Girl'
Fred Hollows Foundation