Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Canadian Elections.

Canada has made the same mistake that the United States made last year went conservative giving Stephen W. Harper his first ever majority government. In some betters news the Democratic Progressive party is he minority government for the first time. I joked I was joining the Quebec nutter party because they had such an awful night and what else could be worse for such a joke of a party than to have me as their official spokesman? So Canada has a green party, a Liberal party and a DP party? Isn't this helping the Conservative cause? Just asking I really am not an expert on Canadian Politics.

1 comment:

et said...

Here's my very amateur take on it, Count.

For the first time, the NDP (New Democratic Party, to the left of the Liberals, more genuinely "socialist") are the official Opposition party in Parliament. This is a huge paradigm shift, suggesting polarization but also a voice that is going to be, and has a mandate to be, very vocal and critical of the Conservative agenda.

Second, despite Harper's personal predilections, Conservative in Canada is a lot less Conservative than is Conservative in America. He recognizes, as Wee has said so eloquently elsewhere, that touching social issues like abortion, religion in government, etc., is off the table entirely. Will he try to get draconian about taxation and economic stuff that benefits big business? Probably. But if he's smart he won't set out to dismantle single-payer health care (which is still pretty darn popular), for example. And, again, they'll have to face continuing questioning by an Opposition voice which isn't going to roll over and beg for scraps from the table - it will bite, and bite big.

That MY riding elected the first-ever Green MP, Elizabeth May, is huge. (With over 74% turnout, by the way - compare that to any US norms.) As late as election night, they were referring to her successfully won seat not by its party name, but as "Other." She's been a long-time figure on the political scene and now she has a pulpit. We will hear more from her.

I think it's better to have a mix of parties, not a straight two-party, either-or system. That said, it really OUGHT to be proportional representation: your party gets X-percentage of the vote, you get X-percentage of the seats. Canada has a "first-past-the-post" system that unfairly rewards incumbents and long-established parties.

Again, as Wee said, it's all about silver linings at this point. I'm sure I'll be better informed, and maybe even eligible to vote, next time!

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