So here I am in Ottawa, staying a few blocks from the Parliament buildings, at a cubicle in NDP HQ. I’m in the Communications department, just down the hall from the War Room, a group of people who watch a bank of TVs day and night. Because the party arranged a hefty discount I’m staying in a swankier hotel than I’ve ever been able to afford on my own dime, which is a little strange – the pool in the basement is really nice, but I’d gladly exchange it for my small Montréal apartment where Shannon would be with me and I could go put some miso soup on the stove whenever I wanted. Working from home really is a nice deal.
The work is very busy but I wouldn’t call it stressed, or at least not yet. Overall there’s a feeling of optimism and a positive attitude, probably helped a lot by the fact that the NDP’s doing better than they have in decades and the elections still totally wide open. The Liberals and Conservatives are neck and neck at the moment, but that happened last time too and the Liberals still won. The current guess is for the Bloc & NDP to pick up several seats each, giving them the balance of power in another minority government, most likely headed by Paul Martin, which could set the stage for another few years of the NDP having a say on the budget and other bills. It’s not such a bad arrangement – it would be the closest to the Parliament we’d get under some Proportional Representation scheme that we’ve seen in a while. So hurrah for that.