The woman on the right is the former Prime Minister of Canada, Avril Phaedra Douglas "Kim" Campbell. The man on the left is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, James Gordon Brown.
Both succeeded extremely successful and charismatic leaders, Tony Blair and Brian Mulroney respectively.
Both were committed student politicians and pioneers in their respective Universities.
Both had strong roots in their local politics- BC and Scotland respectively and both took with them some of the attitudes of their local politics to their respective national capitals which made them unpopular in the country at large.
Both struggled to cope with the constitutional mess that their predecessors had created: the failure of the Meech Lake accord for Campbell, the incomplete transformation of the UK into a Federation for Brown.
Both had a tin ear for what the country was asking of them and both faced economic crises. despite leading the most successful political machines of their generation, both have squandered their inheritance. Initially popular with their party, they were faced with increasingly powerful internal dissent.
The first past the post electoral system in Canada exaggerated the scale of the Progressive Conservative defeat, but the defeat had already become inevitable. It was crushing. The Progressive Conservatives lost all but 2 seats, including Campbell's own seat. The Liberals won, with just under 42% of the vote, the Separatist Bloc Quebecois won 13.52% but 54 seats to become the official opposition. The more right wing Reform party won more votes- 18.69%, but only 52 seats. Next came the Socialist New Democrats who gained nine seats on 7% of the votes.
The PCs with 16.04% actually gained the second highest number of votes, but the split under first past the post was catastrophic- an almost complete wipe out. It was the end of the Progressive Conservatives as a political force.
As Labour supporters clutch to the comfort of "core votes", it is as well to remember that first past the post can exaggerate the mood of the electorate. The massacre of the British Conservatives in 1997 was more complete because of the electoral system.
As Mr. Brown contemplates the wreckage of the disastrous budget, and as Harriet Harman polishes her invincible vanity, the outlook for Labour could be very bleak indeed.