And they’re off. While there are several stories about racing and riding in this week’s edition of the Strip, the real story for the month is the fact that we’re faced with another federal election after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Rideau Hall this weekend. I heard the NDP and Bloc will make the difference this time, and I hope the Green Party gains some ground. But the reality is grim for now. My (distant?) dream is that the Greens win an election some day. But Canada’s political landscape seems more fractured than ever, and this election comes down to a battle of personality as much as policy. What scares me the most is the prospect that Harper will win a majority government October 14. Why? I can’t put my finger on it, but for some reason, I just don’t trust him. That said, I’m not sure what the alternative is. If it’s supposed to be Stephane Dion, there’s something about him that makes me think his is the wrong party for which to vote. I met the prime minister once – shortly before his election win – when I worked at CKCO, and he sat beside me as he performed an interview. He’s handsome and friendly, and really seems like a regular, nice guy. That’s his real personality. So why does he come across as a jerk on television? Angela and I almost met Stephane Dion this summer in Toronto at the Green Living show, but we decided to pass up the opportunity. We just couldn’t think of something to say to him. Angela said he was handsome, and he’s taller than he looks. Apparently he’s really smart, but I can’t help thinking it shouldn’t have been him winning the leadership in 2006. There was so much hype around Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae that I can’t help thinking it should have been one of them. They’re likely both relieved and waiting for Dion to fade with a loss. Today, it seems inevitable.