I haven’t bothered to double check this little amusing fact, because I have no reason to assume it’s incorrect.
There is only one federal party in Canada that calls for the creation of a coalition. Of the four major political organizations, there is only one that has in its constitution as one of its founding principles the responsibility to develop such a union. It isn’t the Green Party, it isn’t the Liberals, it’s not even the NDP. The party that believes in coalitions so much is the same party that opposed them as undemocratic in 2009; the Conservative Party of Canada.
It should be pointed out that there is nothing undemocratic about coalition governments. They often result in majority governments, and bad laws get shot down because at least one important part of the coalition realizes they will have their electoral chances hurt if they move against the people.
The non-voting bloc won. Or might I say, they almost certainly didn’t get what they wanted, or didn’t try for what they wanted.
The federal riding of Wascana is the only Liberal seat in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, and will probably remain that way for the next 5 years. The results of it are interesting, as are many of Canada’s 308 elections, because the non-voting adults could have singularly elected a different candidate without changing other voters’ votes.
Voter turnout: 38,777 of 57,034 registered electors (68.0%) = 18,257 non-voters
Liberal Ralph Goodale 15,842 40.9%
Conservative Ian Shields 14,292 36.9%
NDP Marc Spooner 7,689 19.8%
Green Party Bill Clary 954 2.5%
My critics may say, “Yeah, but Goodale [or insert your "winning" MP in place of his name] got the single most votes of those who ran.” My critics would technically be correct, but it’s also technically correct to say that he got the most votes of the available candidates, who all failed to suitably impress at least half of the electorate enough to mark an X beside his name.
As Stephen Harper said before the election campaign, “Losers don’t get to form coalitions“.
I’ve never been less pleased to have Brad Wall as the Premier of my province, than I am today. He’s made a fool of himself for the short term political gain of his Conservative buddies in Ottawa, and placed Saskatchewan in a difficult position should the Conservatives lose power in May or later this year as polls suggest they will.
By erroneously claiming that Canada’s parliamentary democracy works in a way that does not exist, he’s done a disservice to people who look to political leaders for advice on properly functioning governments in Canada’s democratic systems. He does not get to unilaterally decide that coalitions are anti-democratic coups, because they are not. Saskatchewan had a coalition government a decade ago, and there was still another election (and another) where he democratically took power. The UK has a coalition government right now!
Brad Wall is leveraging his party’s apparently unbeatable polling numbers, and this province’s reputation, to injure Michael Ignatieff’s reputation unfairly. Brad Wall is now a disgrace to this province! He should retract his letter, and apologize to the people of Saskatchewan, and to Canadians for foisting his unfounded opinion onto us through his esteemed official title.
ADDED: Leftdog weighs in, as I expected.
ADDED: Mandryk adds more, while Gormley adds something that stinks like Wall’s brand of partisan BS.
If attack ads don’t work, then why have I heard them repeated to me by ordinary Canadians even though the ads contain fabrications and distortions that a child should be able to see through when it is explained to them?
Why is the “coalition” a “threat” or a “coup”? Why is Ignatieff not “coming back for you”? Why are the Greens a “one issue” party?
Because they’re not! Period. Each of those is an untruth (a lie) paid for sometimes with the help of your tax money (in the form of tax rebates to citizen donors, or 10%ers in the mail), and often as the result of money that should not be allowed to shape political thought in a democracy. And each I’ve heard ordinary Canadians say as if they are facts. When lies are accepted as facts, democracy dies a bit more, and that’s not my claim — it’s backed by history.
There are too many fooled people in Canada, and bad people are poised to reap the rewards of the misinformation they’ve sown into the brains of the unwitting. The question is, are Canadians going to be annoyed enough by the attack parties to do something about it before their freedom of thought is replaced by freepdom of thought?
Canadians stopped allowing cigarette advertising because we admitted it was killing people. The same realization needs to spread about political advertising that contains lies and kills our democracy. When commoners lose their ability to peacefully influence the political system in Canada, we know that people will die (rebellions and revolutions are never without casualties, and they do happen even in Canada too, sadly).
The latest In and Out scandal is brought to you by the CBC, CTV, Global, and TVA, also known as the Broadcast Consortium. They let Elizabeth May of the Green Party of Canada participate in the televised leaders debate in 2008, after initially not letting her in. Now they’ve excluded her again. It’s the Out and In and Out scandal that has swept “coalition” out of the top spot of the election buzz.
The media coalition, I mean consortium, is a toxic body of a few supposed journalists (or really the wranglers of real journalists) who have again made a cynical and grievous mistake that can only be called anti-democratic. The free press, or fourth estate, is entrusted with informing citizens with facts, so that citizens can make sound choices when choosing their leaders during an election. The free press has failed us. Our democracy is thus eroding.
It’s gotten so bad that the leading party is removed from government for CONTEMPT of Parliament, and their support isn’t justifiably decimated. A rational person can conclude that the facts surrounding the circumstances of the Conservatives defeat in Parliament, haven’t reached the ears of the majority of Canadians, and/or that most Canadian voters are now incapable of identifying important factors in keeping Canada a democratic nation. Not voting for criminals and liars seems like a good place to draw the line? The governing party not being able to lie and hide billions of dollars of expenditures, would also be a good place to start! And not stealing from taxpayers during an election is another fine issue to punish politicians on too.
In closing, I want more debates, not fewer debaters. I support Steve’s idea for new and more varied formats of debate, even one on one debates, so long as all leaders of all registered parties are entitled to participate. Their past performance may not indicate their future performance, just like mutual funds, so let’s stop basing everything on brand name, and get back to democracy and ideas. I’m calling the idea Canadian Idol, except this version would matter.
Oh Fox News, you’re so crazy funny. “Canada’s coalition minority government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper[...]“? You couldn’t be more wrong, in a more ironically funny way. Looking to American cable news for information is like looking to the Colbert Report for fairness and balance.
By the way, Harper may order the RCMP to pour hot maple syrup on people, so watch out.
As Rick says, you can enjoy something without knowing how it works. But then you don’t know if you’re being duped, do you?
He goes over why a coalition government would be okay for Canada, and it’s not something that has to go through an election to be legitimate, if people educated themselves a little bit.
Stephen Harper announced $155M worth of vote buying in the SGI riding that Elizabeth May is contesting in the next election.
Despite his claims that he doesn’t want a spring election, Stephen Harper made a campaign-style spending announcement in Elizabeth May’s riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands yesterday morning.
With Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn in tow, Harper announced $155 million worth of funding for a new helicopter base in the riding.
He’s clearly pulling out all the stops to keep Elizabeth May from becoming Canada’s first Green MP.
Why? Because she’ll be such a powerful advocate for all Canadians–not just for the environment, but on a broad range of economic and social issues.
I need your help to make sure she gets elected, despite Harper’s vote-buying tactics.
Obviously the Green Party doesn’t have $155 million to spend. Fortunately our positive message of hope is much easier to sell.
Your gift of $155, or whatever you can afford, will allow us to reach out to voters who are tired of being bribed with their own tax dollars. Voters who are fed up with the cynical opportunism of politics-as-usual. Voters who are ready for a change.
Polls show that she’s neck-and-neck with Lunn. It’s going to come down to the wire. Your donation could be the deciding factor.
Together, we can elect Elizabeth May and really change the climate in parliament.
Thank you so much for your support.
If she’s really in line with Lunn in the polls, where does that leave the Liberals and NDP? If the three parties would simply hammer out an agreement so May can be elected in that riding instead of Lunn, then the Greens could/should assist elsewhere to elect NDP and Liberals in return. After all, the NDP and Greens both claim to want proportional representation, and it’s clear that they won’t get proportional representation so long as the parties work against that very objective by splitting votes in ridings winnable by left wing and centrist candidates.