Throw National Post a Lifeline

I haven’t encountered a Kelly McParland article that I can say I agree with. His latest, about Elizabeth May’s attempt to subvert the stalemate in Parliament amongst the opposition parties, is missing the point. May isn’t just out to help the Green Party, which of course is a given, despite McParland’s ridiculous claim that he’s revealed a dastardly, secret trap that the NDP or Liberals could fall into. May’s insistence that she’s putting the country before partisanship isn’t hot air, she’s attempting to win the next election using co-operation. Co-operation was not tried on a grand enough scale the last 3 elections, and the Liberals, NDP, and Greens have come out the losers in them as a result. (Widespread election fraud by Conservative supporters, didn’t help either, of course.)

“Should the other parties agree to pool resources with her in some ridings, as Ms. May suggests, her troops are likely to gain far more than they can contribute.”
This notion that McParland puts forward is built upon the opinion that it’s unfair for Canadians to be represented proportionally in the House of Commons, based upon popular vote election results. May isn’t only out to help the Greens take seats from Conservative MPs, she’s offered to help Liberals and NDP MPs win in place of Conservatives also. The result from another First Past the Post (FPTP) election could very well be totally unbalanced, where the NDP, Liberals, and Greens win all but a dozen seats, and the Conservatives end up under-represented in the House. The next step isn’t to hold onto power unfairly, but to change the electoral system so Canadians can decide and feel more satisfied with the resulting Parliament.

The dull, partisan point McParland is trying to have people agree with, is that it’s better for Canadians to be subjected to FPTP perpetually, than it is to support Greens who oppose it. May is seeking a functional, practical solution to overcoming the system, but McParland wants to protect that system, along with Mulcair, and other power hungry political leaders who think they are better off with all or nothing. The Greens hold a sort of ‘nuclear option’ as does any other national party that can get a million votes or more. If co-operation isn’t reached in time, the Conservatives can basically win by default (or so it seems). This means the NDP and Liberals have more to lose by failing to talk with the Greens, than they have to gain by ignoring co-operation. If it’s more important to Mulcair that May’s Greens not pick up any more seats, than it is for him to win his party a fair amount of power, then McParland and the Conservatives get what they argue for.

So how does a national newspaper writer get national politics so very wrong? Probably intentionally, right? It’s hard to see how his analysis supports the progression of a fair democratic country, unless we assume that’s not his mark.


22 responses to “Throw National Post a Lifeline

  1. Not sure why you centered out Mulcair when the interm liberal leader – Rae – also declined. May should have used “common courtesy” and contacted both leaders first. Instead, she is doing a grandstand and that is not a leader. Process is important if the end result is what one really wants. And May knows that too.
    Remind me, in 2011 the total Green vote was what nationally – 3.5 percent?

    • Jan, don’t get sucked into the folly that the NDP can win a majority next time, without Green voter support across the country.

      McParland focused on Mulcair which is why I did too.

  2. I still don’t really see the point of this approach. The other parties don’t need one of them to get a majority in order to enact proportional representation. They just need to deny the Conservatives a majority, something that has happened I believe in three out of four 21st century Canadian elections.
    More to the point would be agreeing on electoral reform before the next election and getting the details hammered out as well as possible, so that a bill is basically ready to pass. So, an agreement in principle by all the leaders, and something like an all-parties-except-Cons committee to research and hammer out a proposed system and some enabling legislation.

  3. All this heavy thinking makes me wonder who actually believes the next so called federal election will be legitimate, honest or democratic .. or that an individual Canadian’s vote will register during another seismic election suppression and fraud. The current vision of Stephen Harper, his backers and the sappy cereal brand Conservative party and their dirtbag back room boyz certainly aren’t supportive of that outdated idea.

    Does anyone think the previous election hijacking and democratic sacking in any way reflected the Canada a majority of its citizens wish for, believe in, voted for or stand on guard for? Or the biblical rain of advance polls, pundits falling from the televised sky. It never was a battle for Canada.. it was a struggle for Power and Control. It never was about us, or Canada. It was all about Them, Ideology.. Control.. It was all about The Money …. a Smash and Grab..

    2011 was the great fraud, the no electoral rules oil rush for territories and franchises of Big Oil, the Rapture, the Stock Market, Pro Life.. Some really nasty electoral fraud was organized, funded & set up in advance.. perfectly aided by the preceding buffalo jump of the Liberal Party from their exalted cliff to the rocks below.

    Jack Layton tried .. then he died .. and an f’twit asshat summed it all up for Conswervative World by flaunting an orange wig and flapping his rubbery ethical lips. Ezra, who gave up his riding for leige lord of the Northern Alliance Harper. It was and still is, classic droog kabuki theatre nonsense in the public square.

    Its like watching a classic Kurosawa film. A bunch of fat faced feudal lords command their forces into battle. The only way to tell the hordes apart, what they stand for or are fighting for.. is the flags they wave with splashes of color or a stripe or a star on them. The dust settles, the bodies (the unelected) lie there, the birds (media) arrive. Peck peck. The victors burn and pillage the earth, or sow it with bitumen or fracking fluids.. and shuffle along with the eager ass kiss media .. Hey ! Let’s be friends !

    The country (peasantry) moves on, eyes averted downwards.. at the discretion of the victorious, unctuous & sanctimonious liege lord. Spies and manipulations and propaganda and privacy threats abound, the wealth of the country is spirited from one vault to another, dissent is trampled, cheery photo ops of das evangelistic leader and his ambitious capos abound.

    All is well in the field of opportunism .. and new legislations to protect opportunism and das leader’s ‘vision’ are announced. Its also like Game of Thrones light. Treachery abounds in the land of jobs, the holy economy, and Good King Stevie, lorde of the oily sands & now a grand viscount of Chinee …

    In five years, we will have no Orca in Canadian waters, replaced by Chinese tankers & Canadian tugboats. No boreal caribou, no great whales, no wild Pacific Salmon, Steve will re-embrace Carbon Cap n Tax because its good for jobs, the holy economy and Stevie’s good government.

    Hysterical freaks like Jason Kenney, the lard lorde of immigration and the John Baird Ministry of Thunderous n Wondrous Religious Freedom will have advertising blimps over Newfoundlande with loudspeakers. Goodbye coastal bears, polar bears, First Nations. Bye bye treaties, climate.

    Hello our fleet of three F-35’s (austerity y’know) and a single stealth drone kayak in the melted arctic.. Drought in the prairies is Gawd’s Plan.. sayonara Quebec sez King Steve and viva les pipelines !

    And on a prancing white horse come Justin Trudeau and lo .. Mulcair on a ponderous bay charger, to do chivalrous battle with the dark vanguard of Van Loan, Poilievre, De Lorey and Toews.. who already ensured extremely healthy doses of laxative and LSD were added to the alfalfa and oats of the trusty steeds of any such challengers.

    The nakid emperor Stevie rules .. bow before his exalted goodness n wisdoom

  4. Priceless!!!!! I wonder if the irony is lost on the Greenlibdipp Alliance….

    Here you all are blethering like babies about how power was ‘stolen’ from you, you the only true legitimate rulers (at least in your own minds) of our land. How the democratic process was hijacked, how because YOU didn’t get your way the system is broken.

    You then go on to propose how you would rig the democratic process using new laws and backroom deals to perpetuate your stranglehold on power… irrespective of your fellow Canadians beliefs who don’t ideologically agree with you.

    Just priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just a note, when 3 or more gang up on 1 it’s called bullying. From the bully’s point of view I guess it’s not really a problem. Is it.

    • You trying to speak for me or any other Canadian
      (‘here you all .. blethering’) ?
      That’s Canada to you ? Nice try ..

      That’s what I get from Harper, Del Mastro,
      ‘here you all’ and zombie Kent n the rest of the defunct, bereft., quack quack followers.. n here it comes again .. echoed by you…

      You think I whine or report like you, of something ‘stolen’ ?

      Enjoy your twisted dreamland .. f ass

      I grew up on a farm .. wuz no dream
      we worked our arses off
      lived with the weather
      paid the vet to save our steers
      baled hay, combined n never looked up to see if it would rain
      and that vet was our neighbor when his barn caught fire
      I lived this n saw this across Canada….

      Thanks for your featherweight pontifications

      n F off with your smarmy irony .. as if it would feed my family
      Legitimate rulers.. ?? what pompous shallow assumptions ..
      What do you really know of Canada or Canadians in distress

      Speak up loudly there !!!! Or retreat .. no harm, no foul
      If you’re broke or more destitute than me or others
      as Canadians we’ll reach out for you..

      I won’t hold my breath
      to see if you’ll reach out to to us

      Salamander sez you suck eggs

      Go away .. be silent .. heal yourself

      • Actually Diamond, sorry but I didn’t read your comment. You tend to ramble with little cohesion or coherence. The subject is back room politics where political party’s conspire to disregard the electorate. Lizzy May with a nudge, nudge, wink, wink to Boob Rae and Tommy-Boy Mulcair. I know it’s not lost on you because as you say yourself “Conservative party and their dirtbag back room boyz”.

        Yeah, back room deals. That’s democracy alright.

        PS. I don’t think swearing makes your points any more lucid. Just a suggestion.

    • Huh. Five paragraphs opposing proportional representation.
      Not one word about the merits of proportional vs. first-past-the-post. Pretty much nothing that rises above irrelevant insult.
      That’s the modern right for you.

      • Hi Purple. There are no merits to proportional representation. look no further than the EUssr to see the financial devastation of feeding sooooo many political pigs at the trough. Instead of merely paying for one ruling party’s special ‘friends’ the populace must now pay off each member party of the ‘coalition’.

        Proportionate representation also breeds regionalism and the weakening of our central federal authority. Quebec special interest parties ie THE BLOC again, is all the proof necessary. Such regional special interest groups ultimately fail when confronted with first past the post political structure. I’m not a fan of special interest groups. I’m wondering how you would feel if religious groups decided to vote strategically together… how would you like it if a political party of like minded members, say the hypothetical Christian Conservative Coalition, became a member of a ruling government and who wanted laws enacted based on their religious belief system. Hmmmmmm, the ruling party needs their support. What to do, what to do.

        Lastly, proportionate representation by definition will include members of parliament who were never elected by the citizens of our country. Parliamentarians who never had to face the will of the people. Parliamentarians to govern us who were chosen by their political party’s not the will of the electorate. If you think this, unelected Members of Parliament, is a step forward in giving voice to ‘the people’ you are sadly deluded.

        I hope this has added some clarity for you.

      • Redjefff, the main problems the EU is having right now are due to precisely the opposite of “feeding so many political pigs at the trough”. Rather, they are the result of successful class warfare by very narrow interests, specifically the banking/financial sector. That’s who’s mostly driving the “austerity” agenda with associated union-busting and privatization which has been thrashing the economy of much of the EU, creating completely unnecessary deep recessions and mass unemployment. So the problem there is one particular group of very fat pigs getting a near monopoly on the trough; Europe has foundered in almost direct proportion to how much it has shut out the breadth of voices PR systems were intended to include.
        Of course the EU as a broader entity is not marked by democracy at all much less proportional representation, it is controlled largely by unaccountable, unelected technocrats (including, not least, the European Central Bank). So yeah, you’re about as dead wrong there as it is possible to be.

        Your notion about regionalism is pretty much an inverse thing, too. The Bloc and Reform parties under PR would have had a far smaller proportion of seats and likely never have become effective power-brokers or displaced the Progressive Conservatives. At their height, the Bloc never had more than 10% of the vote nationally, but well over 10% of the seats. The NDP on the other hand, and the PCs in decline, always had a noticeable % of the popular vote, but since it was spread nationally rather than concentrated in a regional base they both got relatively few seats. PR would allow medium-sized but truly national parties to get their fair share of seats, and stop over-representation by parties with good support in regional bases. So you’ve got that exactly backwards too.

        Lastly, there are many forms of proportional representation. Not all even include lists. So for instance, the “best losers” variant of Mixed-Member Proportional gives “top-up” seats to party candidates in the region who came closest to winning their seat. But even with other variants, given that most people vote for party more than for individuals, the systematic way FPTP frustrates voter intentions as to which party they want to have win has far greater democratic consequences than even a not-very-good approach to top-up MPs. So you’re as wrong as rain.

        I hope this has added some clarity for you.

      • Well done PLG, but as you said, RedJefff is as wrong as rain (in December, in Saskatchewan), and he keeps turning up like a Canadian penny (obsolete, and next to worthless). If you correct all of his mistakes, you’ll literally run out of time in the day, which appears to be his trolling technique since he left an average of more than one comment per day at my blog in 2012, despite me not posting a new blog every day.

      • Sorry Purple, you’re wrong. You accidently acknowledge this yourself in your first line… “the main problems the EU is having right now are due to…”. The problems “right now” are a result of massive overspending that has been going on for decades! AUSTERITY is the response, not the cause of the problem.

        Rather than spout on of “class warfare” and such I would recommend brushing up on Integrated Monetary Policy.

        One more thing, you said “The Bloc and Reform parties under PR would have had a far smaller proportion of seats and likely never have become effective power-brokers”. This, again, is backward. What you fail to realize is that in a minority, or coalition, government you make the Bloc and Reform perpetual power brokers! I know, I know, math is hard.

        I hope this has added some clarity for you.

      • One key point in keeping a democracy functioning peacefully is that power holders allow reasonable input from minorities who sometimes serve as power brokers.

      • Which is a very quaint way of saying more pigs feeding at the trough. Which is what I said right off the bat. And it’s only taken 24 hours to sink in!!!!!

        Now, if we could only teach you lefties the difference between cause and effect we’ll start to make progress!!!!!

      • Massive overspending my ass. To the extent that debt levels are even high in EU countries it’s mostly post-crisis; the one exception would be Greece, where private sector lenders were falling over each other to pour money in. Lenders to Greece, in short, didn’t do due diligence. But even there, Greek spending wasn’t on social programs, it was on corruption, wealthy tax avoidance, military, Olympics etc.
        Another interesting correlation actually–the European countries in the worst shape are uniformly the ones that had the most inequality and the most limited welfare state before the crisis. The Nordics and Germany are doing relatively well.

        Integrated Monetary Policy? A quick google doesn’t indicate that this is a particularly influential term. Perhaps you should study up on Modern Monetary Theory. I mean, as long as we’re gonna sling buzzwords without backing up what they’re supposed to be good for. Or maybe keep it simpler and spend ten seconds thinking about Keynes.

        I know, math is hard. But I’ll try to simplify things for you. OK, when it comes to the number of seats held by a regional party, and the amount of influence they can gain, this is all the math you need to be able to handle:
        3x > x
        It’s really true. Wrap your mind around that for a minute. Think of the implications.
        If a regionally based party under FPTP gets local pluralities it can get 3x seats or so, compared to just x under a proportional system which would get them a number of seats representing the number of people who actually voted for them. The regional party is entitled to x seats, because people’s votes should be reflected in how they are represented. They are not democratically entitled to 3x seats. But also, 3x seats will allow a party to be bigger power-brokers than x seats will. Now realize that the current party mix in Canada seems to lead to minority governments more often than not even under FPTP. Thus, regional parties will be power-brokers.
        Proportional representation will tend to allow more small parties to grow, but that’s not a bad thing. They will however be less likely to be regionally based, not more, because votes spread across the country will be just as efficient as votes concentrated in a region. Right now that isn’t true.

      • It may be your ass but it doesn’t change the facts. Overspending and the credit crunch stopped the political pigs from feeding. You mention Greece but exempt the rest of the PIIGS of Europe… Portugal, Ireland and Iceland. You avoid France and it’s wanted 75% tax rate. You ignore Germany’s request for the return of it’s gold held in New York and London. You fail to mention England and it’s pound sterling, how their currency is devaluing daily. Spanish riots? Sound familiar? How about Italy’s issuance of bonds paying 7% interest that had the unintended consequence of killing the German bond market paying 2% which was being sold at the same time. Italy can’t afford to pay out 7% but they are desperate for money. Screwed over the rationally acting Germans tho.

        But hey, if you want to believe it was “class warfare” that caused economic collapse… more power to you. I would recommend you learn about Integrated Monetary Policy, you will learn why it is impossible for Euro currency countries to bail themselves out.

        Interestingly are you aware that the European Union Constitution expressly forbids any member country from financially bailing out any other member country? That’s why the EUssr flows the bail out monies through the European Central Bank and Lichtenstein… Lichy ain’t a member of the EU so it’s not illegal.

        As for your 3x and x analysis… what a complete waste of words. Here I’ll make it simple for you, look at ANY country that is in coalition governance right now! Britain, Oz, Israel, Germany… Theories are great but I think looking at real life may offer, again, real clarity. But as you say yourself it’s the appointed ‘technocrats’ of the EU causing the problem… not the appointed ‘technocrats’ of proportionate representation!!!

      • For Purple… I know it’s “class warfare”, but let’s see what France’s socialist Minister of Labour sez…

        “Just half a year since his party came to power, Mr Sapin yesterday told radio listeners: ‘There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state… ‘That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.'”
        “…the minister said the government’s tax-and-spend policies are just not working.”

        What to do, what to do???

        “Since Mr Hollande came to power, unemployment and the cost of living have continued to spiral, while ‘anti-rich’ measures have provoked entrepreneurs to leave the country.
        “The Bank of France has already produced data showing that capital investment is leaving the country every day, along with the business people who helped to build it.”

        Not to worry tho’, O’Barmy sez “you didn’t build that”!!!!!!! Class warfare indeed.

      • RedTurd, … all we would have to do to counter your stupid drivel is to quote from neoliberal politicians and academic hacks predicting economic nirvana if we’d only cut taxes, deregulate, free enterprise, sign this free trade deal, bust unions, etc., etc., … You’re outgunned boy. You’re most certainly outclassed. Nobody else here is the intellectual degenerate you are.

  5. Right on diamondwalker.

    There are no morals nor ethics left in this country, what-so-ever. Harper is a cesspool of lies, deceit, corruption, thefts, dirty tactics, dirty politics and cheating to win.

    On Harper’s x-mas interview, he declared himself a devout Christian. He said, he prays every day for guidance. I really think he meant “preys” for guidance. When Harper was Policy Chief of his, Northern Foundation Party in 1989. He was linked with Christian Fundamentalists and Nazi-Intellectuals, so it was said. I’m not sure what kind of a religion that is? I guess that’s why Harper called himself a devout Christian, as in his party of 1989.

  6. Seems to me that destroying FPTP is a good, in and of itself. And, furthermore, that an electoral arrangement of the pro-parliament parties against the anti-democracy party would also be a good, in and of itself.

  7. All good arguments .. and well said purple guy ..
    We can hold other, better elections, replace MP’s etc
    But how do we replace the salmon and the caribou ?
    And the rest of the natural food chain as it all collapses ?

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