Today’s news: Most Canadians are opposed to a coalition government. Presently the only party with the word “coalition” in its founding documents is the Conservative Party of Canada, and yes it’s true as Trudeau said today, that most Canadians are opposed to the Conservative government.
The problem is, if you have a real conversation with Canadians, you’ll learn they aren’t really opposed to a coalition government, they are just afraid of political instability they’ve associated with coalition and proportional representation electoral systems. They’ll unfailingly mutter about Italy having so many elections, and overlook the countries with proportional systems that are not unstable, and have better social programs and democratic participation than Canada manages.
I’ve felt badly for a while now that conservative voters have no ethical right wing party to vote for in Canada (or the USA, for that matter). The Conservative Party of Canada is the only Canadian political party with the word “coalition” in its Constitution. The CPC coalition of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, removed right wing voters’ choice, so Harper’s new CPC could more easily cheat their way to victory.
Rathgeber: "There is speculative talk about starting a new political party and even reviving old ones." http://t.co/qyyYjrKXTq
I’m opposed to the Liberals, NDP, and Greens merging their distinct parties, since electoral cooperation can be achieved without uniting under one (corruptible) banner. Putting all eggs into one basket is an efficient means to move them from point A to Ottawa, but you’ll never unpack those eggs when they get to Ottawa. They’ll be “Ottawashed”, says Rathgeber. A multi-party system serves Canada best, since there are many distinct regions with their own interests. The problems have been a lack of electoral reform (to keep pace with technology), and a centralization of power in party leaders, the unelected staff of the PMO, and an antiquated, unaccountable, appointed Senate.
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.
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.
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.
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.