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AChimp AChimp is offline
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 07:35 PM        C is for Coalition!
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/...ion-talks.html

In case anyone is paying attention (LOL!), the last Canadian election resulted in a minority Conservative government. Last week, the Conservatives unveiled an economic "update" plan to deal with the recession which was basically declared to be complete bullshit by everyone, including many right-wing economists.

As a result, the three opposition parties have decided to defeat the government at the earliest possible time and form a coalition government! :O

This hasn't happened since WWI, and it's funny to listen to Conservatives whine right now about how this is somehow "undemocratic" when the minority party is on the brink of collapsing.

Yeah, this is as exciting as it gets in Canada.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 08:41 PM       
Nice.

Down in the States, people are complaining that our President-Elect is (A) the anti-Christ, (B) not legally a US citizen, (C) communist/socialist, or (D) unfit to run the country and the undoing of us all.

So it sounds like both countries are going to be having interesting times a head.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 09:54 PM       
This is the worst thing ever. A party whose raison d'etre is to destroy the country is going to be part of the government. The prime minister is going to be a guy who fucked up so badly in the last election that his party is kicking him out in a few months when they pick a new leader. And as a redneck I'd like to point out that this coalition, which consists of three parties out of the four parties in our country has only about a fifth of Western Canada's seats. And only 1 seat in Alberta, and only 1 in Saskatchewan! How are we rednecks supposed to feel about that? Bah!

And you're forgetting that what initially made the parties unite against the government was that they were going to stop the taxpayer subsidization of federal political parties. Ri-fucking-diculous.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 10:53 PM       
I think it's actually pretty awesome. It can't get worse than Harper running around acting like he has a majority (he keeps forgetting that he does not) or a mandate (not winning a majority in the last election is a huge failure... if he couldn't truly beat Dion, you could probably run a donkey against him and he'd still come out with just a minority).

The Bloc realizes that there's no way that they'll ever get Quebec to separate. The separatist movement is dead. Economically and politically, there is no way that Quebec could ever separate from Canada... or any other province, for that matter, regardless of how much whiners in BC and Alberta complain. The Natives would simply wave their treaties around and stick with Canada... there goes 3/4 of the part of Quebec with all the natural resources. The Bloc is still a regional interest party, yes, but it's more along the lines of "what can we get for our province over and above what everyone else gets." How is that different from the Conservatives which have their base in Western Canada?

Western Canada's voice consists of what, too? Rednecks who should never be listened to under any circumstances. I live in Winnipeg, so we're right on the edge of it. Last time I checked, Manitoba is counted as part of the West and we have several Liberal and NDP seats. Everyone west of us is an uneducated hick and/or farmer.

Dion will be replaced since the rules of the Liberal party say that you have to have a leadership review or step down if you ever lose an election. Harper thought that he could make a power grab and get a majority, so he broke his own personal law mandating fixed election dates and called an election a year early. He gambled with $300M of taxpayers' dollars and lost. Complaining now about a coalition government being undemocratic is the ridiculous part of it all, since he was SPECIFICALLY asking for one a few years ago himself.
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Big Papa Goat Big Papa Goat is offline
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 11:49 AM       
The difference between the Conservatives and the Bloc (and the other parties for that matter) is that the Conservatives show up to play in every riding in the country. And ya, the Bloc won't want to seperate, especially not now that they can squeeze the rest of the country for cash through their newfound parlimentary power. I can't understand how this could be seen as a good thing, it's basically a bunch of special interests (big auto, forestry industry, Quebec) taking advantage of an economic crisis to cause a political crisis to grab more money from the taxpayer.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:39 PM       


People around here are going nuts about this. As long as I'm in Edmonton, I kinda forget that Alberta is called the "Texas of the North" because Edmonton's a pretty liberal city, overall. Then when I go home (small town) for holidays, I am reminded of our redneck status in a big way.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:55 AM       
You need to have a strong leader that can deal with the squabbles of a coalition government. Here in New Zealand they only ever have coalitions in parliament, and the times that they have a jackass ontop of the heap are always good for the opposition to win enough points to ofset the special interest bullshit that the minor coalition parties try to push through. So it really hangs on who the Liberals pick to replace Stevie D.

Hey, I was telling Colonel Flagg that Harper couldn't hold it together for long. :D
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:13 AM       
I think that the main issue right now is that the uneducated masses just finished watching the US election wrap up on TV and are under the impression that we vote directly for Prime Minister in Canada.

Everyone who is complaining about the coalition process seems to lack a basic understanding of how the parliamentary system functions. They're saying, "we didn't vote for Dion so why does he think he can be prime minister?" I tried explaining to a couple of co-workers yesterday that we vote for our MP, *not* the PM, but the concept kept sailing over their head. The largest minority gets the opportunity to attempt to form a stable government; it does not mean they get to be the government and that's the end of the story.

If all of your opponents can agree to not disagree, and they all add up to a majority, it's not hard to see what's going to happen.

It's unfortunate that the Conservative spin machine is encouraging this misconception, because I think that's the most damaging outcome of all of this in the long run. Guaranteed if things were the other way around, you can be sure that they'd be informing the public about how a coalition would work.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub Lover View Post
Hey, I was telling Colonel Flagg that Harper couldn't hold it together for long. :D
That you did, sir, and you were right.

All kidding aside, this .... thing going on with our neighbor to the north will provide us political junkies with a good fix until Mr. Obama gets it goin' on in January.

So, what's the timeline for the total collapse of the Canadian government?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:24 AM       
Canadian rednecks

Anyone have a Youtube link to one of these people?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:53 AM       
I'll take pictures and videos when I go home for Christmas break. It's pretty much what you'd expect though: lots of FAG BASHIN', HUNTIN', and the like.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:33 PM       
do they have awesome thick accents too? Like SUPER Canadians?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:52 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Flagg View Post
So, what's the timeline for the total collapse of the Canadian government?
It could happen as early as next Monday or even as late as the end of January.

Harper is probably going to ask the Governor General to prorogue the parliamentary session, which essentially means ending the session early without ending the government. This is typically only used for situations where the government's agenda is finished for the session and everyone agrees to go home early. It's never been used to actually avoid a non-confidence motion, so it would technically be an abuse of power to do so.

The other factor is that the government is required to grant at least one Opposition Day per session, which is where the opposition parties get to introduce bills and stuff. The Opposition Day was supposed to be last week, but Harper postponed it until next Monday to try and recover from this crisis. Proroguing the Parliament now would deny the opposition from it's special day, so the Governor General has to decide which rule takes precedence.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:46 PM       
Whats Canada?
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Colonel Flagg Colonel Flagg is offline
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 02:54 PM       
You canucks weren't kidding. Harper is a dick.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americ...sis/index.html

I realize that in the parliamentary system this move might be expected, even tolerated, but to me, it seems like a desperate grab for power not unlike a coup d'état. Am I wrong?

EDIT - Credit where it is due:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AChimp View Post
Harper is probably going to ask the Governor General to prorogue the parliamentary session, which essentially means ending the session early without ending the government. This is typically only used for situations where the government's agenda is finished for the session and everyone agrees to go home early. It's never been used to actually avoid a non-confidence motion, so it would technically be an abuse of power to do so.
Maybe not a coup, but certainly exploring the borders of legality.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 03:11 PM       
No, it's completely legal.

The GG prorogued Parliament today, though, which means everything is cancelled until January 26. More like proGAYED.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 03:33 PM       
You were right, also, in saying this is as exciting as it gets in Canada. I read a few blogs and ... let's just say y'all could teach us a thing or two about creative invectives.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 09:29 PM       
The funny thing is is that the parliment is ridiculously divided, with all the politicians hating each other with a fervent passion. The way some of the opposition leaders talk about Harper is really almost frightening, Bob Rae was saying that he's as bad as Nixon and the worst prime minister ever and that he absolutely can never be trusted. The fact of the matter is that the effort to topple government has little if anything to do with policy and everything to do with a hatred and fear of Harper himself. I mean, they won't even talk to him about changing the governments economic plan by January, which is ostensibly the policy issue they have an issue with. But the thing is, unlike in the US (as I can see it), there really doesn't seem to be much actual division in the population. I mean, the opposition is acting kind of like Harper is the same as Bush, but he's clearly not nearly as hated as Bush is in the states. He just doesn't do anything that contreversial. I mean, his economic plan was not that right wing, the only right wing things he did that were upsetting were a couple of sharp old reform party planks that he used to poke the opposition in the eye and get all this started. And even they were only upsetting to political parties, I don't think most people in the country cared that much at all.
It's like the arts funding debacle in the last election. Harper cut like 2 programs and actually increased total arts funding, and it got turned into this big ole political bugaboo.
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Big Papa Goat Big Papa Goat is offline
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 09:33 PM       
And Harpers proroguing the government is hardly like a coup, (it happens regularly, and the GG has never refused a PM's request for prorogation) it's quite frankly a pretty good idea. The politicians there have to calm down and figure out a way to work things out without being in the House at eachothers throats the whole time.
And lets keep in mind that defeating the government within weeks of approving its throne speech is a ridiculous kind of 'coup' as well. It's irresponsible and reckless.
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Colonel Flagg Colonel Flagg is offline
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 01:55 PM       
Well, in any event, this is certainly going to be an educational couple of months for us political junkies here in the States. We'll get to see Canadian power politics in action.
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AChimp AChimp is offline
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 04:10 PM       
Naw, politics has gone back to being boring again, except Harper has guaranteed that he'll get a minority next election again because he's pissed off Quebec.
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 03:57 AM       
It's going to be tough for there to be another majority government of any kind in the coming years I think. The Liberals are a basket-case, and nobody's going to get anywhere in Quebec now.
I forget if it was Jack Layton or Ed Broadbent or Bob Rae, or maybe all three who said that if the Harper government brings in any good ideas to the budget in January that they agree with they'll include them in their coalition's budget as well. Which is them saying explicitly that defeating the government has nothing to do with policy at this point, it's just about how Harper is completly unfit to govern in their eyes. Now I know AChimp just gave us the grade 10 social studies lesson in parlimentary democracy, but at the end of the day, most people do vote for the leader of the party when they go to the polls. It's definitely one of, and often the single most important factor in voter decisions, and it is always more important than anything to do with the particular local representative they vote for. And a fairly substantial plurality of the Canadian population thought that Harper was the best leader for the country. If the opposition wants to paint Harper like some kind of demonic meglaomaniacal tyrant that is so much the representation of evil that it has become morally impossible to compromise with him, then what does that say about the people who voted for him? It seems to me that it's always a pretty divisive move to use such harshly dualistic rhetoric about a politician. It's one thing to describe a politician as incompetent or perhaps even as corrupt, but calling your opponent evil and explicitly rejecting any possibility of compromising or negotiating with him is a dangerous thing to do.
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 04:28 AM       
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 07:08 AM       
Putting it all in perspective again, I see.
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 10:32 AM       
People who voted FOR Harper are all faggots.
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