Longtime readers know that a bitch adores Canada.
Not only is there great hockey…and Tim Horton’s…and an abundance of Smarties…but Canada also has some of the best political theater in North America!
Did y’all think we have the only show ‘round?
This bitch has been following the drama facing Canadian PM Harper and my ass is fascinated. Harper is on the ropes now that Liberal and New Democratic parties have joined Bloc Quebecois in an attempt to unseat Tories…so Harper has suspended Parliament!
Confession – a bitch has always been a wee bit jealous of that dissolve government and no confidence shit. That would have come in handy as a motherfucker down here...more than once...sigh.
Anyhoo, this bitch wants details!
What’s the status?
What’s going to happen?
Is this a good thing or is all hell about to break out?
And when is the price of Smarties going to go down (wink)?
Friday, December 05, 2008
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I was reading about this business last night and thinking I should pop some popcorn and settle back for the show. A healthy handful of Smarties sprinkled in would be nice, no?
While viewing our situation in Canada from the outside might be intriguing, on the inside it is a little worrying. If I may, I would like to explain to you the situation as seen through the eyes of a Canadian as a way which might curb your zeal for this type of political maneuvering, and in the process, maybe educate a few of your readers regarding their neighbours to the north. To do so may take a bit of writing, so bear with me.
Our Prime Minister, an arrogant bugger to say the least, is being taken to task by a joint effort from all three opposition parties, basically a left/right war. Added to the equation is the fact that the political platform of one of those opposition parties is to split Quebec off from Canada and have it become an independent country.
This is the first time this has ever happened in the history of Canada. We have had minority governments in the past that have fallen due to a non-confidence motion. Opposition parties during these times have refused to vote in favour of an important bill and as a result, the government has fallen. When this has happened, though, an election has been called and the people have made the final decision.
In this case, though, the opposition parties have decided that they don't agree with the government's position on the economy, have reached an agreement between themselves to work together, and instead of returning to the people to let them decide, plan to continue on running the government together.
Politicians being politicians; one thing they state as being the reason for their actions usually has another, hidden, which is catalyst. In this case, there are a few.
In Canada, each party receives $1.50 for each vote cast for them in an election. We just went through an election 6 weeks ago. To each party, this means millions of dollars in the coffers. As part of an economic update from the government, this stipend was proposed to be eliminated. The two strongest opposition parties are broke - flat broke, while the leading party has money hand over fist. Do you see a reason for the action here? On top of that, the leader of the major opposition party, a Liberal, is scheduled to be replaced at a leadership convention this coming May. Do you think there may be some grandstanding here by him and his opponents for the upcoming race? Another opposition party leader is one of the most aggressive and power-hungry politicians Canada has ever seen, and he is the orchestra leader in all of this. Finally, the third opposition party is having some problems with support from Quebecers and sees this as an opportunity to advance their cause of separation.
The main thing in all of this that bothers a majority of Canadians is the inclusion of the Bloc Quebecois in this coalition. In the history of this party they have never ran a candidate outside of Quebec and as mentioned previously, their sole reason for existence is to split Quebec off from Canada. When you take their members out of the equation, the remaining two opposition parties do not have enough votes to do what they are trying to do, so to do it, they have to climb into bed with a party that wants to break apart Canada. In fact, while two of the opposition parties were holding a press scrums on one side of the hall when all this came public, telling Canadians that they were doing this for the good of the country, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois was standing on the other side telling the press that being part of this coalition was good for Quebec and would help them to establish their own sovereign country.
As we all know, the economy is not healthy world-wide. The reason the coalition is giving to support their agenda is that the government is not doing enough to stimulate the economy. This is where many rational Canadians have a problem. If you were looking to invest in a country, would you choose one that has had its government removed and replaced by one that has a leader that is expected to be replaced in less than 6 months, a deputy leader that only received 14% of the entire country's vote and a behind-the-scenes leader who wants to divide the country?
Do you see a problem for Canadians with all of this?
Just a little history, something I have learned most Canadians don't even know; while this is the first time in history we have had this coalition situation, it is not unheard of. In 1864, while our American cousins were at war with themselves, the British Colonies at the time, known as the Provinces of Canada, were going through some serious political unrest. The opposition party of the day was putting serious pressure on the ruling party to accept Representation by Population, the government and the people of the United States were talking about annexing Canada, by force if necessary, once their Civil War was over, and England, still smarting from the War of 1812, really didn't want to have to deal with Canada again militarily. As a result of all of this, the two parties formed a coalition to find a way to solve all of the colony's woes. The result was Confederation and our country was born. This may possibly be the first time a coalition has existed in Canada's government, but it was a coalition that established Canada in the first place.
Peace, (and pray for us)
Ooohhh! I love Smarties! Used to get a 5lb bag of them online somewhere for about $14.00
Thanks for the run-down, Mitchell.
I need to digest this. I have a couple of online friends from Canada and they have just been sputtering. I haven't had it explained this well before.
It has been a long while, but Canadian Kit-Kats are MUCH better than the US version.
Why does Canada have the better candies??
I'm not sure I totally agree with Mitchell's entire assessment but he's close.
(And if it weren't for the Bloc Quebecois, Harper's last term would have been shorter. Hypocrite. Quebeckers aren't dumb. They know what's what. They also know that it's damn hard to get a majority without a single seat in Quebec.)
Anyway,... bring on the coalition I say.(But can we get rid of Dion first?)
The core of it is based on a very cynical view of the world, and a Harper power grab through blatant lies and disinformation. We need to get loud and right fucking now. Sound familiar... it's like we're going to wake up in four years and not know why we aren't wearing our panties.
Sound familiar. Happy to send smarties. Just drop me a line.
As much as many believe the coalition should allow Canadians to vote on the coalition of the NDP Liberals and BQ, it isn't so necessary, when Canadians voted Harper into a MINORITY government they gave the opposition parties the mandate to form a government if Harper was ever to receive a vote of no confidence from the house. Pulling a "rabbit out of the hat" Harper pro-rogue'd (shutdown) parliament before the house could vote on his proposal to handle the "recession" ( In Canada we apparently are not officially in a recession). The oppositions weakest point is they are supported by the BQ; a separatist party at the core. Harper has painted this as the vilest betrayal, although it's not like he hasn't tried to climb into bed with them before. Either way, with Parliament shutdown for 6 weeks, nothing can get down, but that's okay because it's not like Canada is in an official recession (according to Harper).
Just an addendum to this as well:
Stephen Harper seems to be horrified that the Bloc Quebecois (those scary separatists) are being included in this attempt to create a coalition government.
But, it seems that Steve-o has a bad memory and forgotten that in 2004 (when the Liberal Party was ruling in Canada) he tried to create a coalition government with the same Gilles Duceppe he is villanizing in our press today.
I just started blogging when this whole mess started, and myself and another Canuck I blog with have been writing a ton about this. So, links!
I'm totally in favour of the coalition, even if it means Dion leads it for a few months. I want my government to be more concerned with stimulating the economy than making sure the books balance. (Canada's been deficit-free for more than a decade. The Tory finance minister seems determined to continue the trend, even though we're in the middle of a coddamn recession. Book balancing is also dependant on economic growth, which some sources say we might not see, or might not see nearly as much as the government is hoping. Ugh.)
What Mitchell is saying is bullshit and has errors in it.
Firstly, the Bloc Quebecois is not part of the coalition. They have agreed to support it. Also, apart from being separatist, they Bloc are actually a left wing party, and if you listen to Duceppe, he's actually quite an intelligent guy. Also, anyone who lives in Quebec like me know that Quebec will never separate. The Quebecois (French Canadians) are certainly a nation, but not all of them are separatists. There is not enough support in Quebec for this idea for us to seperate- many of the native nations are opposed, most Montrealers like me are opposed. Harper is scaremongering- it's the only card he's got, he's clawing to power. He likes being PM. His budget proposal was bad, he's insulted Quebequers by saying one thing in English that plays to English Canada and another thing in French that plays to French Canadians.
Another important fact is that the coalitions combined make up 62% of the vote- that 's62% of the population that did not support the Conservative government. Canadians elect MP's ( their rep in parliament) not parties or directly elect their Prime Minister. It's not undemocratic- it's the majority will of the country.
You also have to consider that this government proposed to cut off funding for the opposition while it sits flush in cash. They said that it could save millions of dollars- which is great since they already are flush with cash.
Thirdly, in this budget, the Conservatives wanted to end the public sectors right to strike as well as pay equity or the right to go to the human rights commission for public workers to address these complaints. These are violations of the Canadian charter of rights and the Human Rights act.
Thisis also the government under which bil c-484 came inot - thois was a bill that would have made abortion illegal. It has cut funding to women's advocacy, closed most of the Status of Women Canada offices ( they are the office that deals with women in Canada), changed the the mission statement form "equality" to "participation", cut the national day care plan before it couls even start and decided to give ppl 100.00 a day instead (which doesn't even cover a day or two)- I could go on and on. Needless to say the Conservatives are not good for Canadian women. Their party has the fewest number of women in it.
All of the union, feminist organizations and other lefty organization support this coalition. This coalition is really what is best for Canada's future. See here for some examples http://www.62percentmajority.ca/endorsements
See here for thorough coverage by the pro-coalition side : http://www.rabble.ca/coalition
Audrey in Montreal, Quebec
So funny. I just ate smarties. I kinda like M&Ms better though. We have coffee crisp too. That's not in America right? Ah Tim Hortons. I like their soups and donuts but now I am getting into lattes so I like Second Cup.
Are smarties expensive there?
Whether this is a good thing, remains to be seen. At the moment, I'm seeing it as a no win situation. One good thing is instead of doing this really long process that is usually done to select a leader which would mean the liberal leader would not be gone until May, they are talking about doing a much quicker process. This time I believe the only people running are the two who got second and third last time. The vote was split between the two and Stephane Dion unexpectedly won.
I think both Stephens need to go and then maybe people will regain faith in the liberal party or the conservatives will have a better leader but either way I will have more confidence in our government than I do now.
Ignatief seems likely to win, which I don't like..this is a man who supported the Iraq war and torture at one point. Bob Rae isn't so bad. Dion is actually supposed to resign this week.It doesn't look like there'll be a May Liberal party caucus meeting to elect a new leader.
All have quit the liberal race except Michael Ignatieff. I don't know much about this guy but he sounds very smart at least. Maybe the interview with him that I'm reading will reveal good things about him. If not, he's still gotta be better than Harper. I quite like the premier of Ontario. I wish he'd run for PM someday.
First time poster here, although I've visited a few times. This time, I've brought you a pressie:
Second video down.
Do you have a post on the Favreau incident? I'd be interested in your point of view of the mimed sexual assault of the incoming Secretary of State. Probably you know that upwards of one-third of U.S. college women report similar assaults. Get her drunk, rape her. Say she made it up. (the Duke dancer?)
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