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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Canucks to the polls - parliamentary style

Yep, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, called an election today (via the Governor General - ask me). We vote on October 14. Here's some quick reflections - see if my political biases are on view...

- He's calling the election because he senses the Conservatives might just pull off a majority government. For two reasons: the Liberals are weak because their new leader, Stephane Dion, is not connecting with Canadians - is perceived as a weak leader... and because the polls in Quebec show a possible breakthrough there as the Bloq Quebecois Party is weak too (majority of Quebec seats).

- He's a total control freak and muzzles every member of his caucus, even cabinet ministers. It will be interesting to see if the fundamental, right wing-nuts and general free market conservatives blab too much. Hope so. Trust me, we have lots of Conservative MPs who would fit like a glove with the US Republican Party.

- 66% of Canadians support parties that are left leaning. Sadly that includes the Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and Parti Quebecois - so the vote gets split like a piece of cake in my family growing up - down to the crumbs.

- We get an election call, campaigning and the vote - in about 6 weeks total. Our Yankee cousins get the eternal campaign that started two years ago and they still vote after us. Aren't we tricky and quick!

- Harper has embarrassed Canada on every world stage for years. We voted with the US against the UN Treaty on the Rights of Indigenous People; supported Bush's human rights abuses by not condemning Guantanamo Bay; lobbied against the new Treaty (underway) against cluster bomb munitions; fought against any substantial global commitment to climate change; and generally moved from a small power with high ideals and global influence - to a whining, fearful, conniving reflection of the Bush regime.

- My prediction: another minority government, with Harper still in power.

- My hope: Stephane Dion will surprise Canadians and communicate his ideas and beliefs more effectively - so much that the Liberals form the minority government. He has to hammer away on the environment and the abysmal record of the Conservatives on just about everything except their tiny-brain views on the family and crime.

- AND, I hope the Greens elect a bunch of members.

There. That's my morning of the election call rant.

Thanks for the prompt Susan.

P.S. Here's a funny and interesting piece on this election, by Rick Mercer.

'Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and Parti Quebecois'. I see a few have been added in my long absence but at least the Social Credit Party appears to be gone.. at least I hope so.

It sounds as if the right wing there operates pretty much the same as they do here. Raise tons of money and present a unified front.

Thanks for the update and I really did enjoy the Rick Mercer article.
I understand as much of Canadian politics as you understand of Swiss.
It is about time that I come up there and check it out first hand.
i know one couple who almost always cancel out one another's vote. he's conservative, she's liberal. he votes for tat, she votes for tit. i wonder sometimes why they even vote, but they are always fun to listen to at the dinner table.
You've captured the essence of the upcoming election and issues so well. Sigh.
I so hope Dion surprises me/us.
Mercer's article was great. I laughed out loud. Love that guy.
Without wanting to sound rather bleak I think we are in for a prolonged period of uneasiness due to the past decades where there was over reliance upon borrowings to fuel unsustainable consumerism.

This is true I think for Canada as it was for Australia, as our current government is left grappling with the consequences of over spending fuelled by the housing bubble which is yet to collapse.

At least we have a sizeable government surplus but private borrowings and house prices are still way to high, similar maybe to Canada.

So the tell tale signs will emerge in Canada which is yet to stop borrowing to sustain an unsustainable lifestyle. No Government as yet seems to be able to recognize this problem( unsustainable private borrowings) and its likely effect on the future of the economy when it reaches saturation point.
When that happens all governments will need to look at old fashioned Keynesian economic packages to regenerate their economies, now almost been forgotten over the past few decades of prosperity dependant upon increased borrowings.

I think maybe the minority parties will be more prominent as you say but do you think any are on the ball?

Best wishes
sera - I remember a couple where the wife always voted for her husband's choice so she wouldn't spoil his vote. What a rotten idea! If you believe the other person is wrong then that's your chance to set the balance. Besides, votes are counted one by one and you never know where that might make the difference.
wait a minute susan, are you sure about that? i was told my vote counted twice.
personally, i think the more you vote, the more your vote should count. for instance, each time you vote, your vote is worth 1% more the next time. so if you vote ten times, your vote counts 110%.

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