Monday, January 23, 2006

In case you didn't know....

...there's an election going on today in Canada.

It hasn't gotten a ton of attention. This AP article, for example, didn't make the front page of the Times, nor have I heard the subject discussed during my (admittedly rather brief) forays into cable news watching.

Austin Bay offers a roundup, with his own perspective on the decline of the Canadian military and how that change has weakened Canada's position as a world player. Michelle Malkin also takes a comprehensive look at the election.

From the AP article:

The Conservatives are pinning most of their hopes on Ontario, Canada's most populous province and traditionally a bedrock of Liberal support. They also have a chance to make inroads in Quebec, where they were shut out in June 2004 elections.

The youngest candidate at 46, Harper has toned down the rightist rhetoric that cost him the last election and painted the Liberals as a party of corruption.

Postal worker Tim Armstrong said he is among the many Canadians tired of Liberal scandals.

''I think they lack credibility and integrity,'' he said. ''Every time you turn around, there's another scandal. It just goes on and on and on.''


If the Liberals are finally voted out of power, will it be because of backlash against the scandals? Or would it represent any sort of more basic ideological shift? I can't answer the question, but I think it's an important one in assessing what's going on with our erstwhile ally (and that former military power), Canada.

It also makes me wonder about the possible effects of the Abramoff scandal on the next elections here at home, particularly the fortunes of the heavily-implicated Republican Party.

9 Comments:

At 5:07 PM, January 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are four significant political parties in Canada, three of which are lefty, one of which is the strained marriage of a populist, socially-conservative party (the Reform Party) and a pinstriped, fiscally-conservative party (the Progressive Conservative Party).

This new Conservative Party will gain power this evening because the left is splitting its vote, and because many Canadians of all stripes are voting against the current administration to voice their displeasure with the kickback scandal. Reading a value shift into it is a stretch.

Canada's favourite political satirist

 
At 11:41 PM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The Left in Canada, the Liberals, will find it difficult to lose power. Simply because it is a vote on POPULATION and never by states or provinces.

Take the US for example, most of the population is on the east coast and the west coast in urban areas. Is there any surprise that those areas are Blue as -50 degree skin? Not to put too obvious a point on it, but it is the cities that have the most pop, the most government workers, the most transit workers, the most unions, the most economic taxes, the most economic activity, and the most power in terms of the local culture.

Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, Canadians elect their PM by popular vote ONLY. And they can't even elect their PM by candidate, if they want the PM, they have to VOTE IN THEIR PARTY PM that would represent them. The flaws are glaringly obvious.

That political system is totally wack, which is no surprise, all the draft dodgers and Crown loyalists escaped to Canada. Good riddance to them, but it really made Canada

1. dependent upon the British government.

2. No self-sufficient heritage of self-defense or anything else for that matter.

3. A distaste of all things American and efficient, which means whatever works in America will not be adopted in Canada. No electoral system, no representation by States/Provinces represented in the Senate, and no balance of powers.

This has lead to the same effect in Britain. A leeching away of national will, national character, personal virtues, and individual self-sufficiency. People who are hobbled and victims, will always need the Liberals. THey would die without government hand outs.

And most of the time, like in NO, they actually do die.

Alberta could be conservative down 95%, but they won't ever get into power. The big populous states will always exploit the smaller, fewer in people, states and tax their gains and efficient economies.

Even with the plurality by the Conservatives, they still have to form a 51% majority government. Rule by extremes. It's not the largest bloc of people in charge, it's rule by majority (add in all the extremist parties, and you have a majority) , something Enlightenment principles warned much against. We're a rule by plurality crowd, other Parliamentary systems really are rule by majorities. And I don't think it works. Technically, the Conservatives should have the PM and ALL government appointee slots, but I don't know how far NDP can dilute the Conservatives. Angelina Merkel and the Socialists had to form a grand coalition, meaning nothing gets done, the bad with the good, the bad (releasing terroists) outweighing the good ( which is a better facelift on Ami-Germi relations).

So, let's just say I don't have much hope for Canada maintaining any real sense of Conservatism. The minute the Liberals can hit back with "Stop trying to be America" against the Conservatives, the Conservatives lose power, instantaneously. They're an ally on paper, but they ain't bringing jack to the table. Their military was non-existent even before 2000 and their load capacities were a joke.

A world power? The Soviets were a world power, but I don't think Canada was ever a world power.

 
At 2:02 AM, January 24, 2006, Blogger Papashazz said...

Michelle Malkin did give a good account, but the one blogger who has made Canadian coverage in the U.S. something close to a vocation was Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters.
(http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/)

 
At 8:33 AM, January 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has lead to the same effect in Britain. A leeching away of national will, national character, personal virtues, and individual self-sufficiency. People who are hobbled and victims, will always need the Liberals. They would die without government hand outs.

All your analysis misses the point Ymarsakar: the snow taught us to collaborate. We need to clear our sidewalks.

"America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."
-- Hunter S. Thompson

 
At 2:00 PM, January 24, 2006, Blogger Sean Pelette said...

Our political system is a direct descendent of the British parliamentary system. There are currently 308 seats in parliament which means a minimum of 155 seats to govern. It's a 'first past the post' system in each riding, and other than that the popular vote means nothing. We do not elect the PM by popular vote, never have. The leaders of the various parties must be elected in their own ridings to take their seat in parliament. Just like every other aspiring MP.

The party with the most seats is traditionally the one that forms the government. Today we have a minority government; the Conservatives having 124 seats and needing a further 31 to pass legislation. The balance of power is held by the 3 remaining left and left of centre parties. Even so, there is quite a bit of common ground, especially on the issues of corruption, electoral reform, and parliamentary reform.

The big story of the election was the shift of votes in Quebec to the Conservatives. The seperatist BQ did not achieve their electoral aims, and the Liberals found themselves to be the second federalist choice. This is exceedingly good news for the Conservatives, because they can now refute charges that they are largely a regional (ie, western) party.

Its not yet a value shift, but I think we're getting there. A few years of good government by the Cons, and the left won't be able to scare the electorate anymore.

Andrew Coyne (www.andrewcoyne.com) is one of the best political analysts. He pre-election NYT article is a good primer, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/23/opinion/23coyne.html?_r=1

 
At 7:38 PM, January 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm not too confident anyone in power can easily remove social handout programs. Bush got crucified on Social Security and was horrible at MediCare. And that's in the US, after 9/11. Welfare reform, might be possible. But I don't think the vast majority of Canadians want to emulate US policies, even if it really isn't anything close to what we might do. The perception might just be enough.

If the Conservatives can make American style policies look good and appetizing, then perhaps inroads might be made to wean the public off the addiction of government handouts.

 
At 12:21 AM, January 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Conservatives can make American style policies look good and appetizing, then perhaps inroads might be made to wean the public off the addiction of government handouts.

The idea is that the citizens pool their resources to help the weakest and most vulnerable climb out of otherwise hopeless situations. It's called a social safety net. Don't try to figure it out, you'll just write something even uglier.

 
At 3:01 PM, January 25, 2006, Blogger benning said...

Gosh, anonymous, I guess we're just too dumb to understand the idea of a 'social safety net', huh?

"The idea is that the citizens pool their resources to help the weakest and most vulnerable climb out of otherwise hopeless situations."

As with any government, the resources are not pooled, they are gathered at the point of a gun. As with all governments the citizens have no say in who gets those resources, nor how they're used. You can pretty up the reality with words, but your condescending attitude displays the reality. Take from the productive, give to the takers. If you don't like that, you just keep quiet. Or else.

 
At 4:47 PM, January 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As with all governments the citizens have no say in who gets those resources, nor how they're used. Take from the productive, give to the takers. If you don't like that, you just keep quiet. Or else.

Canadians just turfed their government over a kickback scandal.

"The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens."
-- Jimmy Carter

 

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