Archive for December, 2008

Jack and Gilles run up the hill

I like reading the comment sections at the Globe and CBC but I can’t read for too long.  There are just so many idiots it makes you wonder about the state of democratic discourse in this country.

A great many people are calling the recent moves by the opposition undemocratic.  It doesn’t fly entirely.  There is an argument to be made that the combined Liberal/NDP vote handily exceeded that of the Conservatives.  Most of Canada didn’t vote for Stephen Harper. 

Arguably one could say that Stephane Dion doesn’t have a mandate from the Canadian voters and that itself is undemocratic.  True enough, there are lots of things that are undemocratic about our first-past-the-post system.  Normally the top two parties get far more representation in parliament than their actual vote would account for and smaller parties like the Greens who had 7% of the vote wind up with no representation.  Our system favours the top two parties.  While the Conservatives normally enjoy all the advantages our system offers our top two parties now they are presented with a disadvantage and are crying foul. 

The government has to have the confidence of the house.  If the house decides a different leader and a different party has the confidence of the house and they get to lead under certain circumstances.  We don’t elect the Prime Minister, we elect representatives in a parliament.  Harper understood this well when Paul Martin was PM as we was doing “backroom” deals to take over. 

In the last parliament he played a continual game of political chicken.  The battered Liberals played along but this time they were threatened with their very existence.  Harper put forward such a terrible poison pill he all but forced the opposition to unite against him. 

Is this coalition viable?  The Bloc are not the demons people make them out to be.  Every move they make that actually contributes to the functioning of our government undermines their argument that Canada doesn’t work.  With a signed agreement this thing could work out.  I think the coalition’s economic advisors (Paul Martin, Frank McKenna, John Manley and Roy Romanow) are among the best we could assemble and offer much more than what rolls around the Conservative benches.  It is especially heart warming to see former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow on that list.

Many Conservatives will focus on how bad this coalition with the Bloc could be on how undemocratic this all is.  Despite the legitimacy of these questions they are overshadowed by bigger ones. They should consider who got them in to this mess and is he able to function in a minority parliament without falling to the temptation of trying to run the other parties off the road.  Apparently some people are one step ahead of me.

Bob Granastien writes:

While Jack and Gilles running up the Hill to make Stephane Dion the prime minister have the left aflutter, there’s another key angle.

This is Stephen Harper’s fault. If he loses power next week, Harper must be replaced as leader of the Conservative party. And even if he survives, his days should be numbered.

Really, what the #$%^& was he thinking?

No matter how ridiculous or wrong you think a coalition government of losing parties propped up by the Bloc Quebecois is — and it’s wrong for so many reasons — we need to ask this: Who led us into this mess?

Specifically, who led us into this mess while our country and the world are facing a global recession?

Two men at the top of what now looks like a Conservative garbage heap are responsible for what’s happened to the (for now) ruling party: Harper and his fellow fight-picker, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Everything the Tories do is run by Harper. He’s a power monger, a one-man wrecking machine that’s now leaking oil badly.

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The Liberal/NDP coalition emerges

I can’t stop giggling. This is really happening. Already thousands of Libs, Dippers and probably Greens are singing:

The rest of Canada is probably thinking this crazy frog is what we are in for.

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The Simpsons on Apple

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