Arial Sharon has suffered a major stroke and severe bleeding in his brain. He's been under heavy sedation for a couple of days in an effort to control the pressure and swelling of his brain. It now appears that Sharon will not recover fully and will not be able to lead Israel any longer. This has been a hard hit for the Kadima party which Sharon newly established after leaving the hard right Likud. However, Kadima is still showing strongly in polls and has said it is willing to give more land back to the Palestinians, stopping short of what's needed however by refusing any claim over Jerusalem and maintaining large settlements in the West Bank.
Because of his proposed move to a centrist platform and withdrawal from Gaza, some have called Sharon a peacemaker, while others have criticized his concessions. In reality, there are still far more zettlers in the West Bank which will not be removed and the Palestinians do not have control of the Gaza borders. Moreover construction of the illegal wall continues and more land is annexed to Israel. Even without his past crimes (which should not be forgotten) Sharon is hardly a peacemaker.
Still that didn't stop Pat Robertson from shooting his mouth off again. He said that this ill health was punishment from God for 'dividing Israel' which Robertson believes to be God's land. The Israeli government was surprised by the harsh remark from Robertson, though I don't know why. The man is either psychotic, delusional or both.
There's really no love lost between Sharon and the Palestinians (many of whom consider him a war criminal). But Abu Mazen sent condolences for Sharon's poor health.
At home, Stephen Harper has been musing about a majority government with his latest slight increase in the polls. With the large number of anti-Liberal protest votes going to the Conservatives, they may yet overcome the fear inspired by Harper's hard right persona. Though to be honest, the people who keep saying that the Liberals have destroyed Canada's faith in their party seem to have a short memory. Brian Mulroney and his conservatives... now *they* destroyed Canada's faith in their party. After two consecutive majorities, the Conservatives were decimated and never recovered as a party. And, incidentally, the Bloq became the official opposition.
It's sad to see the state of Canadian politics. I totally understand people's distrust of the incumbent Liberal regime, but still fear more the hard-right masquerading as centrist-right Conservatives like Stephen Harper. As much as I hate to say it, I'd rather throw away a vote than have it contribute towards the adoption of US-style conservative economic and political policies, to the detriment of all Canadians.