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Today was the day of a provincial election here in Québec. I chose not to vote, because I’m still maintaining my official New Brunswicker status for such things, but I did watch the coverage on TV tonight. I noticed two things:

1) Each of the three english networks are so desperate for results and something to talk about early in the evening mere minutes after the polls have closed, they put up results from some ridings with only 5 or 6 votes counted and say what a surprise the standings are so far. Come on guys. When the frontrunner only has 3 votes so far, each of his opponents have 2, and there are still several thousand votes to be counted, I think it’s a little early to talk about what a surprise it is that Mr. So-and-so is winning the seat. I think everybody needs to calm down.

2) When I say I watched the election coverage I actually mean I watched the two minute updates during the commercial breaks in 24, but I loved the way the anchor tried to tailor the coverage to 24 fans.

“Well everybody, while Jack tries to solve his latest problem, Jean Charest is facing a problem of his own here tonight….”

“The Liberal Party needs to get some more seats fast, because time is ticking, just like on 24.”

“And from one thrilling drama to another, welcome back to our election coverage.”

“Looks like it’s going to be a minority government here tonight, which means once and for all that Charest is definitely not as cool as Jack Bauer.”

Ok, I made that last one up. None of them are exact quotes anyway. I wasn’t paying that much attention. Really what I’ve been doing is working with a computer program my lab partner and I have put together for our research project. We call the latest version “the puffy plotter”, and that alone I think is more entertaining than the election.

The disturbing thing is that, according to one pundit on CBC Radio, this is one of the best outcomes Stephen Harper could have hoped for. He doesn’t have to worry about a referendum, his federalist buddy is still in power, and there’s huge support for the closest thing this province has to the Conservative Party, the right-wing ADQ. Combined with rumours at the federal level of poll numbers turning significantly in favour of the Conservatives and an election looming in the spring, this makes another term with Prime Minister Harper seem all the more likely.

I’m going back to play with the puffy plotter.

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