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  1. #1
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    Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    I thought it might be interesting to compare the federal political systems / voter paradigms of Canada and the USA. I am Canadian. I freely admit my knowledge of politics on either side of the border is limited. Having said that, feel free to correct anything I might get wrong.

    I take issue with the two party system in the USA. I find it bizarre that voters in the world's largest democracy have only two options to vote for @ election time. I do not understand how something as complex as politics can be lumped into one of two categories. You are either a "con" or a "lib" and must vote accordingly.
    I think the Canadian system is more democratic in the sense that we have multiple parties / options to vote for. This does cause minority governments. But I don't think that is a bad thing as it keeps whichever party is in power in check. There is more balance in the decision making.

    I am impressed with the average American's engagement in their politics. Canadian's (as a whole) tend to not care about politics. Our voter turnout is brutal. We tend to make a party pay the price @ the polls if they have the audacity to force an election. It's almost like Canadian's view the democratic process as a pain in the ass. Most Canadians I talk to in everyday life don't even know who our Prime Minister is or how our system works.
    I had a co worker tell me during the last election he was voting for the Green Party. When I asked him why, he told me because he seen a deer run across the road in front of him on the highway. I'm not making that up, it's scary. He didn't know anything about what the party stands for. Maybe we are complacent / ignorant because the majority of us have it good?

    One thing I like about the American system is you can go online and look up a politician's voting record. I wish we could do that in Canada. I think being able to do this allows a voter to separate what the politician is saying to get elected from what their voting record is.

    In closing I would like to say that I am neither a "con" or a "lib". I guess I would be a moderate if I was American. I like things from both sides of the fence. I tend to lean Conservative in financial matters and Liberal in social matters.

    Thoughts? And please, if you are going to respond leave the tired old dogma of "Lib" vs "Con" @ the door.

  2. #2
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    It's not even two distinct parties in America. There isn't much difference between the Republicans and Democrats, not matter how much the right scream about stuff. All Obama is doing is a bit of mild tinkering. Even Bush did bailouts. It was inevitable. Both parties are just interested in the survival of capitalism and looking after their rich backers. The Republicans are more ostensibly the party of the rich, the Democrats make a bit thing out of some tiny left policy. Just to keep everything strictly right of centre, the Tea Party have been unleashed to confuse all the issues and spread misinformation.

    We have the same problem here in the UK, with the third party in bed with the Tories, much to the surprise of their utterly misinformed and gullible supporters who quite frankly hardly deserve a ballot paper. To express surprise is to express total lack of any political awareness.

    Anyway, so Obama is discredited from the point of view of the working class, because, as we Marxists explained, he would do very little, and yet the Tea Party try to discredit him from the right for attempting even the slightest token changes to give a nod to the millions who voted him in in the (futile) hope of chance.

    I remember arguing with my sister a couple of years ago. 'Give him a chance!' she would say. Don't waste your time I would reply. His hand are tied by the strings that bind him to the ruling class.

    So, what's the score with Canadian politics? I used to have a Canadian girlfriend actually, I converted her to Marxism. He he!

  3. #3
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    I think that the two big problems with politics in Canada is the apathy and, in part, the electoral system. The electoral system needs to incorporate a little bit of proportional representation, an additional 30-40 seats in Parliament. The reason being that the first-past-the-post system doesn't allow for full representation of the views held by Canadians, the most obvious example being the Green Party of Canada. In the last election they took 4.5% of the vote and haven't polled below 5% since, but because their supporters are spread across the country they can never take a single riding and seat. In a system that incorporated proportional representation though they would be able to take a seat or two and have a voice in Parliament and the Legislative process.

    With regards to the apathy, it really is a big problem in Canada and its politics, a problem that I believe is currently being exploited (as opposed to attempts being made to fix it), perhaps even encouraged, by our current PM, Stephen Harper. It should be noted that it's not all a result of Harper or his actions; there's also the much more widely reported on and more sensational American politics that we like to follow, there's the fact that the Liberals are still generally seen as corrupt and unscrupulous bastards after the sponsorship scandal, that Jack Layton is a slimeball and the NDP are fairly fiscally ridiculous, and that the PQ only cares for and is only cared about by Quebecers. Back to Harper though. It's my personal opinion that he encourages the apathy so that he can continue to govern unchecked, namely by putting on an intentionally boring, stiff-suited, airbrushed persona; the guy shook his kids' hands as he dropped them off for their first day of school in Rockliffe. Occaisonally he'll do something a little bit ridiculous, like butchering a Beatles song on stage at the National Arts Center during a Yo Yo Ma concert, so that the public can laugh at and criticize him (instead of his policies?) for a bit. This all personal conjecture of course. He also only takes questions from reporters of his choosing and his government often gives the Ottawa press and news media short notice of his leaving on trips, resulting in many journalists being unable to make travel arrangements and go and report on his doings.

    With regards to governing unchecked, there are several examples in just the past year of how Harper has used Canadian apathy to do as he pleases. For starters, last December(09)/January news broke in Canada that some prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan had been tortured after being turned over to Afghan security forces; alot of people, especially in Parliament, were pretty pissed. Harper's response: he prorogues Parliament for a month or two and we all forget about it a week into the Olympics. In the summer, Harper authorized Canada's biggest defence purchase ever for some new fighter jets while Parliament wasn't even sitting. Admittedly, the jets are pretty cool, but then again so is not being on a three month waiting list for treatment in Ontario hospitals because we don't have enough beds or CT Scanners. The Liberals and the NDP started making a stink about it. Shortly after, the Conservatives picked a stupid fight over the long-form census and the Liberals and NDP jumped on it, because being the Liberals and the NDP they'll take any oppurtunity to try and make the Conservatives look dumb. They also promptly forgot about the purchase of the fighter jets as they focused on the census form. So, Harper got his planes and the Liberals got a long-form census that I would wager Harper never cared about to start with. Even right now Harper is keeping things on the dl. There is a bill, S-10, that will be introduced to Parliament next month that will, if passed, amend Canada's drug laws to introduce mandatory minimum sentencing for a number of offences, many of them marijuana related. For example, a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in the bin if you're caught growing six or more plants. Six. That mandatory minimum isn't even if you had the intent to traffic, just if you had six plants. Another addition to Canada's drug laws if this passes through Parliament, if you and two of your buddies are caught growing then you are considered organized crime, the same as being affiliated with the Hell's Angels. Another addition, 18 months for making brownies. This Bill takes away away all discretionary powers of judges when dealing with drug offences and gives them instead to the Crown lawyers prosecuting you. Harper didn't even introduce this Bill to the Commons, he introduced it into the Senate first (not the way things are done) where he knows he has a majority after having recently appointed 16 new Senators. Try doing a google news search of Bill S-10 and you get 27 results, not one of which is from a major Canadian media outlet. I can't wait until the next election.


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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Smiling View Post
    I am impressed with the average American's engagement in their politics. Canadian's (as a whole) tend to not care about politics.
    I don't think you guys are kept in a perpetual state of fear that the world will end if your side doesn't win like we are.

    True we get wrapped up in politics but there's allot of misinformation out there we fall victim too as well. And with the two party system what you're left with is if something's wrong, it has to be the side with the most seats fault. Even if it's things like economical issues, foreign affairs, and healthcare reform which sometimes lag behind many years, or take as long to go into affect, and in actuality may be lingering remnants of the previous parties power. It is not all too uncommon to see political parties blame the other side for their own mistakes, or at least for the results of their own policies.

    It's like watching a bad movie where McDonald's, and Burger King are the only places in the world to get food. There's no real competition, and no matter how bad they mess up their meat, at the end of the day, you're still going to eat from one of them.
    If Jesus came back, he might not want to see so many crosses...

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    The lack of voter turnout in recent Canadian elections (especially our most recent Federal Election in '08) can be attributed to voter apathy likely due to election fatigue. Since 2000, Canada has averaged 4 elections every 10 years (in contrast to 2 federal elections every eight years in the United States). Canada has nearly averaged a federal election every two years since 2004 (with the exception of 2010, however an election is expected this spring). Over and over, the Conservatives have pulled off a win (albeit continually producing minority governments, but Canadians have recently dealt with three consecutive minority governments, initially beginning with the Liberals in '04, and continuing with the Conservatives in '06 and '08). In any case, I'd wager that our minority government is stronger and more stable than any Liberal-NDP-BQ Coalition that would've potentially been formed. But in relative terms, the American political and electoral system is more stable than ours, considering that the United States is governed by only two major political parties, and considering the relative ease there is of toppling the government in Canada (especially if it is a minority government) through a motion of no confidence by the other political parties in Parliament. There have also been less federal elections in the United States than in Canada, thus the governing party in Canada has a lower chance of staying in power.

    In terms of voter turnout, the last Presidential election in the United States (in '08) was 61.6% in comparison to Canada's '08 federal election which amounted to a 58.8% turnout rate (if we were comparing the mid-term election in the United States last November, it would be 40.9% turnout rate). There isn't a considerable difference between them (keeping in mind that the last federal election in Canada was the lowest voter turnout in history, and the last Presidential election in the United States was the highest since 1960, yet both the voter turnout rates, respectively, were still not that far apart).

    In terms of third-parties in the United States, the two party systems has been deeply established in the United States which makes it difficult for any third-party to make a viable challenge during elections. There are many reasons for this: one is that voters make a rational choice by understanding that third-party candidates have a very low chance of getting elected. A vote for a third-party is usually considered equivalent to a spoiled ballot, therefore, voters which generally prefer a third-party candidate may rather vote for either a Republican or Democrat who has a much better chance of getting elected.

    Secondly, the two major political parties in the United States have managed, quite successfully, to hinder the chances of any viable third party. The Democratic and Republican parties have successfully done this by positioning themselves as centre-left or centre-right, respectively. Their ideological stance has managed to divide the electorate fairly evenly. Imagine if a candidate for the Green Party makes a significant run in an election. This effectively means he/she would be diverting votes away from their closest ideological political party (i.e. the Democrats) who would've otherwise likely voted Democrat. This would mean an almost definite Republican victory (this is a reason why liberals urged Ralph Nader in 2004 not to run because a significant amount of liberal votes were going to Nader, rather than to Kerry who had a much better chance of winning). This reason, coupled with the plurality system in which a candidate need only receive the most votes of all candidates to win, rather than a majority system (which requires 50% + 1 in order to win an election), is the reason why third-parties have failed to mount competitive and successful electoral campaigns.
    Last edited by KingOfTheEast; January 29th, 2011 at 05:46 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast
    The lack of voter turnout in recent Canadian elections (especially our most recent Federal Election in '08) can be attributed to voter apathy likely due to election fatigue. Since 2000, Canada has averaged 4 elections every 10 years (in contrast to 2 federal elections every eight years in the United States). Canada has nearly averaged a federal election every two years since 2004 (with the exception of 2010, however an election is expected this spring).
    The US House of Representatives are elected for two year terms, so we have federal elections every two years.
    Secondly, the two major political parties in the United States have managed, quite successfully, to hinder the chances of any viable third party. The Democratic and Republican parties have successfully done this by positioning themselves as centre-left or centre-right, respectively. Their ideological stance has managed to divide the electorate fairly evenly. Imagine if a candidate for the Green Party makes a significant run in an election. This effectively means he/she would be diverting votes away from their closest ideological political party (i.e. the Democrats) who would've otherwise likely voted Democrat. This would mean an almost definite Republican victory (this is a reason why liberals urged Ralph Nader in 2004 not to run because a significant amount of liberal votes were going to Nader, rather than to Kerry who had a much better chance of winning). This reason, coupled with the plurality system in which a candidate need only receive the most votes of all candidates to win, rather than a majority system (which requires 50% + 1 in order to win an election), is the reason why third-parties have failed to mount competitive and successful electoral campaigns.
    Even though the US has a two party system, it is a mistake to think of the two parties as uniform in their ideologies. For example, the Republican party is actually an alliance of those who are very much Libertarians, both in economic, foreign policy, and social issues, but also includes the Neo-cons who are socially conservative, have an aggressive foreign policy, and tend to be quite expansive on federal programs and power. Every other combination that can be conceived to lie between is also found. The Democrats are similar in their combination of a center-left to far left voters. Essentially the American two party system can be seen as a permanent formation of the sorts of coalition governments one sees formed in parliamentary nations.

  7. #7
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    TEssentially the American two party system can be seen as a permanent formation of the sorts of coalition governments one sees formed in parliamentary nations.
    Except in a coalition government you have representatives that make up the entire spectrum of political views, to avoid 1 party domination, and in America you have the entire spectrum of political views voting on which 1 of 2 bland center aligned candidates are the least farthest from their ideology, specifically to achieve 1 party domination.
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    The US House of Representatives are elected for two year terms, so we have federal elections every two years.
    I was referring to 'Presidential elections' when I said '2 federal elections every 8 years...', but I stand to be corrected. There are federal elections for the House of Representatives every two years, and one-third of the Senate is also up for election every two years (that is, after they have served their six year terms).

    Nonetheless, I think election fatigue is also a reason why there are such low voter turnout rates during mid-term elections in the United States. Voters just don't have the enthusiasm to vote in federal elections every two years, not to mention the various gubernatorial and local mayoral elections within their district.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Even though the US has a two party system, it is a mistake to think of the two parties as uniform in their ideologies. For example, the Republican party is actually an alliance of those who are very much Libertarians, both in economic, foreign policy, and social issues, but also includes the Neo-cons who are socially conservative, have an aggressive foreign policy, and tend to be quite expansive on federal programs and power. Every other combination that can be conceived to lie between is also found. The Democrats are similar in their combination of a center-left to far left voters. Essentially the American two party system can be seen as a permanent formation of the sorts of coalition governments one sees formed in parliamentary nations.
    Right, in principle (and rhetoric) yes, both parties manage to appeal to, and gain the support of, those voters that are farther to the right or left of the spectrum. But you'll find libertarians, for example, much less represented in the broader Republican party base (apart from the principles that libertarians and (traditional) conservatives may share).

    Most Republicans still support broad Presidential powers domestically to combat terrorism (whereas most libertarians would question the constitutionality of those powers, and might argue that those powers intrude on civil liberties). Most Republicans were for the PATRIOT Act (whereas most Libertarians in the Republican party were more likely against it). Most Republicans would not eliminate Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security (whereas libertarians generally oppose government social spending since they see it as an increase in the size of the federal government). Most Republicans favour various forms of regulation (albeit less in the extent than Democrats), whereas libertarians generally oppose most forms of government regulation, and support a laissez-faire, non-regulatory state, where the government is only involved in enforcing contracts, settling disputes and so forth. Most Republicans were supportive of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (whereas libertarians were generally opposed to those wars and generally advocate a non-interventionist foreign policy).

    You'll even find liberal Republicans (e.g. Colin Powell, (arguably) John McCain, and formerly Arnold Schwarznegger and Arlen Specter and a few others), hence the pejorative term: "Republican In Name Only (RINO)." But ultimately, while the Republican Party has also managed to appeal to the more far-right faction of its party, it is, at its core (despite all the rhetoric), still a centre-right party. Both parties, at times when they are not in office, may advocate farther right (if they're Republican), or farther left policies (if they're Democrats) to appeal more to their base by critically positioning themselves in opposition to the policies of the opposing candidate/party in office, or during times when the political system is polarized. But in policy, they usually implement measures or vote on bills that will appeal to the broader base (rather than the fringe (far-left/right) elements within their party). This is because they understand that most within their party are not on either sides of the extremes, and they are usually competing for the coveted votes of the (moderate) independents.
    Last edited by KingOfTheEast; January 30th, 2011 at 10:24 AM.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    We certainly have more choice in Party names, to vote for, but do we really have any more choice in ideology than the States?

    Not counting the Bloc, which is strictly for Quebec , how do we really have any more choice than America?

    We have the NDP and we have Conservatives, which both stake claims due to ideology some what. But do the Liberals?

    Since PET, has there really been Liberal policies that were staked to a position, because of ideology?

    They were against Free trade, then for it and expanded it. They were against the GST, then supported and expanded it.

    Lets face facts here, they have no idealogy other than what the current polls say voters like at any particlar moment.

    They are not anti military, like the NDP in their ideology, but just don`t mind sending our Guys and girls to war in open worn out Iftus Jeeps. That is their policy on that. We are for the Military and support it, just wont spend money on them.

    So, I would argue, we do not really have any more choice than Americans when it comes to voting, as it pertains to ideology.

    Now, because the NDP insists on staking a claim ridculously left on all issues, they will never be a choice for most Canadians, even if they are Socialist in nature. Unfortunately, they are just too Anti Israel, too anti military, too anti American and our Allies, to ever attract very much more support than they already have.

    So, we still only have 2 parties really, to vote for.

    But as already mentioned, the Liberals are not a choice for ideology, since the PET days anyway. They just plain, are for and against every thing. Depending on the poll. Hey, if you dont like this policy? No problem, here is another one in our other pocket.

    Probably the most right wing financially wise, arguably, was the Jean Chretien / Paul Martin as Finance Minister one. Jean Chreitien`s dislike of our Military, sure didn`t stop him from sending F18`s to support Clintons idiotic bombing campaign in Yugoslavia.He committed troops to Afaghanistan and later, Martin expanded our role.

    No different, than what our Conservatives would have done ( I support the Afghan decision). The only differnce is,Liberals could care less if our Troops have the right equipment is all.

    So, I dont think, we have any more choice than Americans do. That shows in our voting patterns, which 9 times out of ten, shows such a huge gap or difference between the large Metropolitan mega Cities and rural voters.

    Even though we have more parties here, I still think most vote not for a party, but simply against the one of the two they dislike the most.

    So on this issue, I dont think we have any advantage over Americans.

    I had a co worker tell me during the last election he was voting for the Green Party. When I asked him why, he told me because he seen a deer run across the road in front of him on the highway. I'm not making that up, it's scary. He didn't know anything about what the party stands for. Maybe we are complacent / ignorant because the majority of us have it good?
    Aye, now on this I can agree some what.

    What amazes me is, how the wrong Government gets blamed for stuff they had nothing to with. There is a huge lack of knowledge over what Provincial Governments are responsible for and what the Federal one is.

    I worked with one guy, who blamed Harper for a fence denying access to the River here in one spot, that was completly a Municipal policy.

    But are we really worse than Americans?

    I sure have read some doozy posts by some on the last site I was on.

    I also notice, Brits and Canadians seem to have more knowledge of world Politics than many Americans.

    LOL, I think we all have our winners in that department though.

    Its why, I do not support the sentiment : ' it doesn`t matter who you vote for, as long as you do".

    Low voter turn out, does not bother me in the slightest. Having worked elections? I am quite happy some volunteer not to participate.

    In closing I would like to say that I am neither a "con" or a "lib". I guess I would be a moderate if I was American. I like things from both sides of the fence. I tend to lean Conservative in financial matters and Liberal in social matters.
    I would probably be a swing voter in the States, I knda fit between the two parties.

    Here, I tend to be to the left of our Conservatives, but always end up voting for them. Simply, because Liberal leaders since PET, have been terrible in my oponion and their treatment of our Military so poorly, supersedes other policies for me.

    ( If the Liiberals would get Manley to run for leader, I would be ecstatic to have a chance to vote for them. But Chretien, Martin, and good grief, Dion? Iggy is not showing any thing either, sadly )

    So in a way, I would probably be better represented ideal wise, in the States.

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    In closing I would like to say that I am neither a "con" or a "lib". I guess I would be a moderate if I was American. I like things from both sides of the fence. I tend to lean Conservative in financial matters and Liberal in social matters.
    With an Election now called officially, I thought I would re visit this thread.

    For me, this is one of the first elections that I can actually vote for what reflects my political values, rather than just to stop one or another from getting in. You have to like long Minority governments I think. It proves that even poor Politicians can run a relativley smooth government. Because they have to be accountable.

    I think I am going to be moving way left in this election.Depending of course what starts popping up.

    My main criteria will be who has the best vison for the future in regards to Enviroment. Also, Social programs. I am not interterested at all in the tired and worn nonsence of cap and trade etc. I want to see debate on progressive, real change.

    This is one of the first ones in years, where I feel I have a choice on who to vvote for, rather than simply voting to keep some one out.

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    This was the first time any government was found in contempt of Parliament in the history of all commonwealths. But this seems to be good timing for the Tories considering that polls have them at a majority. If they manage to only get a minority, you can bet that the other parties will form a coalition. Harper and his Tories are trying to pounce on that and claim that a coalition would be bad and unstable for the country but it would be inevitable if they aren't elected by a majority. The only way the Libs will truly make a good run in the future and give the Tories a run for their money is if Iggy goes and they replace him. Canadians have continually showed their displeasure with him as the opposition leader. They have continually questioned his commitment towards working in the best interests of this country (he seemingly enjoyed calling the US is home and country. He only entered Canadian politics after being guaranteed a seat in Parliament and he stated that if he didn't make it far in Canada, he'd ask Harvard for his job back). Though I'd like to see the Tories be more open and more inclusive, and they were criticized for acting like a majority government when they didn't have one. As of right now, a Conservative majority government would be leaps and bounds better, more stable and more functional than a coalition of the Libs, New-Dems and Bloc.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    This was the first time any government was found in contempt of Parliament in the history of all commonwealths.
    Yes, that is a joke. But I think it will back fire on them, and also think Harper is rather pleased this happened. He can point that out and show, that it was not he that wanted the election,,, the Oppoosition went to ridculous lengths to push one even when votes are coming up where he could have been defeated.

    But this seems to be good timing for the Tories considering that polls have them at a majority. If they manage to only get a minority, you can bet that the other parties will form a coalition. Harper and his Tories are trying to pounce on that and claim that a coalition would be bad and unstable for the country but it would be inevitable if they aren't elected by a majority.
    I am not sure the Liberals could join a coaltion that included the Bloc. I think they would pay big time doen the road with Federalists in Quebec and Ontario voters. Which the Liberrals need real bad.

    Also, I am pretty sure it wouldnt llast long. The power would really make Layton pushy I think. Go over board. How long would, right of centre ideal wise Iggy, could tolerate that?

    Plus Duceppe, is even left of Layton.

    The only way the Libs will truly make a good run in the future and give the Tories a run for their money is if Iggy goes and they replace him. Canadians have continually showed their displeasure with him as the opposition leader. They have continually questioned his commitment towards working in the best interests of this country (he seemingly enjoyed calling the US is home and country. He only entered Canadian politics after being guaranteed a seat in Parliament and he stated that if he didn't make it far in Canada, he'd ask Harvard for his job back).
    Who else do they have though, Bob Rae?

    I my self like Manley, I wish he had have run.

    The Chretien/ Martin in fighting, really took a toll and it remains to this day I think.

    Though I'd like to see the Tories be more open and more inclusive, and they were criticized for acting like a majority government when they didn't have one. As of right now, a Conservative majority government would be leaps and bounds better, more stable and more functional than a coalition of the Libs, New-Dems and Bloc.
    I am 100 % against a coaltion, yes.

    But, I prefer Harper, over his actual politics. So am not that displeased about a minority govenment. It "moderates" his politics I thinnk.

    I cant see any one, pushing for another election any time in the future, it would be political suicide I think.

    LOL, its going to be fun and intersting I think!

    ---------- Post added at 12:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:03 PM ----------

    Oh I forgot to tie this in with the thread.

    I guess if we are to emulate American politics, one leader will have to be accused of being the Anti Christ. Lets see, ,,,, lol, but who? Elizabeth May?

    How come all are leaders come across as too incompetant to be demonized like in American Politics?

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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    Yes, that is a joke. But I think it will back fire on them, and also think Harper is rather pleased this happened.
    Definitely. This was a very good outcome for Harper, and I am certain that he wanted it. It makes a good campaign statement to say that the opposition is merely looking to gain power at the expense of Canadian stability by continually pushing for an election (and I believe there is merit in such a statement).

    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    I am not sure the Liberals could join a coaltion that included the Bloc. I think they would pay big time doen the road with Federalists in Quebec and Ontario voters. Which the Liberrals need real bad.
    Well they seemed perfectly fine with that in December of 2008 when they agreed to form a coalition if Harper's minority government were to fall from a non-confidence vote. Of course, Harper managed to get the GG to dissolve Parliament and effectively saved his party from defeat. Now that they've been out of power for five years, they'll definitely be inclined to join one if Harper's Conservative fail to gain a majority.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    Who else do they have though, Bob Rae?
    At this point, anyone that has managed to stay in Canada for at least ten consecutive years is qualified.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    The Chretien/ Martin in fighting, really took a toll and it remains to this day I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    But, I prefer Harper, over his actual politics. So am not that displeased about a minority govenment. It "moderates" his politics I thinnk.
    Yeah there are definitely advantages and detriments to a minority government. It can produce unstable and short-lived governments because of the greater potential for the government to collapse at the hands of the opposition. But it can also act as a check on the ruling party's power by ensuring that the bills they introduce reflect even the interests of the opposition's constituents, and to ensure that the policies the PM enacts are in line with the general will. When the opposition staunchly opposes the PM's proposal (e.g. the budget), they have a better chance of forcing the PM to cooperate and make concessions, otherwise they can plan to topple it with a non-confidence vote, which is what happened. Though I'd still favour a majority government over a minority one. The last three consecutive governments have produced minorities and because of it, there have been four elections in only seven years, and two prorogations of Parliament in only two years (one in '08 and one in '10). Things aren't as shaky when there's a majority government in power.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunrich View Post
    I cant see any one, pushing for another election any time in the future, it would be political suicide I think.
    Yeah, four elections in seven years. Not to mention that the voter turnout tends to decline with each election. If there is any election after this spring in a short period of time, I think the party that caused it is going to actually cost them the election (perhaps we might see that affect against the Liberal Party in this election).
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  14. #14
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Yeah there are definitely advantages and detriments to a minority government. It can produce unstable and short-lived governments because of the greater potential for the government to collapse at the hands of the opposition. But it can also act as a check on the ruling party's power by ensuring that the bills they introduce reflect even the interests of the opposition's constituents, and to ensure that the policies the PM enacts are in line with the general will. When the opposition staunchly opposes the PM's proposal (e.g. the budget), they have a better chance of forcing the PM to cooperate and make concessions, otherwise they can plan to topple it with a non-confidence vote, which is what happened. Though I'd still favour a majority government over a minority one. The last three consecutive governments have produced minorities and because of it, there have been four elections in only seven years, and two prorogations of Parliament in only two years (one in '08 and one in '10). Things aren't as shaky when there's a majority government in power.
    Very true, we have increased elecctions and also the prorogations of Parliament.

    But when I view the corruption that has been rampant in the majority Governmnets of Chetien, and prior to him Mulroney,,, I cant help feel its preferable to that.

    How much of a democracy do we have in majoroty government?

    Absoloute power does tend to lead to corruption, I think. I find it ironic, that when we look at the advantages between majority governmnets verse minority,,,, the ssame things pop up as they do in argumnets about democracy and non democracy.

    In a way, I havn`t found the minority governmnet , the last few years all that bad. Even with the silly nonsene. They had to work togther. Sure I got annoyed at legislation being held up.{ Especially from the non elected Senate.} But, I prefer that to the abuse of a majority government.

  15. #15
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    Re: Canadian Politics vs US Politics

    Well now the election is over, what can one say but wow, in how the Political land sacpe has changed so much.

    I never saw the complete rout of the Bloc in Quebec, and especially by the NDP. Also, what happened to the Liberals.

    This concerns me greatly. Yes people say, well the Separatists lost. But does this mean and end to Separatism? Not in any way I think.

    First off, not even the NDP expceted a break through in Quebec. They wanted to run a full slate in every riding, but not expecting to get any seats in Quebec, they took any candidate they could find. Many, elected last night, actually live 200 kliks away from the riding they ran in. Others, purely Anglo speaking, now represent completly Francophone ridings.

    The NDP, is going to have difficulties, and I can see, where this increased polarization between left and right, might fuel more separatist sentiment down the road.

    My second concern, is this polarization. Canada has always been in the centre. Either slightly to the right under the Prgressive Conservatives or slightly left under the Liberals.

    What do we now have? We have the extreme left wing NDP as official Opposition, and the Conservatives with a magority govt. Now, in minority govt, Harper stayed close to the centre. He had too. But, remember he was a Reformer/ Alliance prior to the unification with the Pc`S. I have a hard time believeing, the reformer wont come out in him with a majority govt. like he has now.

    Yanks have their Tea Party types, we have our CRAP ( Conservative, Reform, Alliance Party) ones. I think for sure, we are going to see the extreme side show its self now they have a magority. Especially, with the Official Opposition being made up with the etreme left wing NDP`ers.{ Man, if people only knew what Layton was like when he was a Toronto City Counsillor.)

    Anyway, I find this reminiscent of what happened in the UK 80 years ago, when their liberals were decimated, and now we have the Labour and Conservatives. Sadly I think, Canada is going to end up with the polarization found in American politics.

    I am going to miss, the centre being represented up here, and know I will be getting a sore butt sitting on the razor wire dividing the two extremes.

    LOL, pity.

    In closing I would like to say that I am neither a "con" or a "lib". I guess I would be a moderate if I was American. I like things from both sides of the fence. I tend to lean Conservative in financial matters and Liberal in social matters.
    Well that option is gone I think now, at least for the next 4 years. We have only the two extremes. I guess we are becoming closer to American style polarization now.

  16. #16
    lighthouse
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    Canada's Light Bulb Moment

    At least the Canadian Government, unlike the US Government, is re-considering the silly ban on what light bulbs people can or can't use in their homes....

    ---------- Post added at 06:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:27 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by lighthouse View Post
    At least the Canadian Government, unlike the US Government, is re-considering the silly ban on what light bulbs people can or can't use in their homes....
    Re Light Bulb Regulations, link to Canadian 2 year delay proposal and article,
    and to the 7 US states with repeal bills against the federal 2012 ban: http://ceolas.net/#li01inx

    A list of reasons why the ban is particularly wrong for Canada: http://ceolas.net/#li11x

    There are plenty of good ways to save energy and emissions.
    Banning what people want to use is not one of them....
    ( http://freedomlightbulb.blogspot.com )

 

 

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