Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who knew Canadian politics could be interesting?

So, keeping in mind the statement in my first post in which I say I know little about politics, I'm going to try to sum up my thoughts on what's going on in Canada at the moment.

From what I understand, there is nothing un-constitutional about the possible coalition government. It's not my favorite idea, either. However, it seems to me that PM Harper really really overstepped his bounds with his first budget proposal. The suggestion that parties lose the $1.95 per vote received in an election was an obvious *middle finger* to the opposition. The money it would save is minimal, especially in comparison to the amount of money that PM Harper made the country spend on the last election (which went against the spirit of his new pet law requiring 4-year governments). Plus, it seems that other fiscal points of the budget (which requires a confidence vote, always), totally went against what the opposition parties would have wanted.

So what, exactly, was the PM thinking? I guess he must have thought the Liberals were so weakened from their recent poor electoral performance that they would just lay down and take whatever table scraps he felt they deserved.

But PM Harper does not have a majority--the opposition does. So they've decided to band together (though the Bloc will not in an official way--apparently they've just agreed to vote with the coalition on confidence motions).

Harper is trying to paint this as not being his fault...but I think I have to disagree. He put together a budget that was so offensive, it actually caused the 3 other opposition parties to band together, just to spite him. To me that means that whatever he did was pretty intense, since the opposition parties are not exactly buddy-buddy, ya know?

Apparently the Liberals said in their campaign that they would not push for a coalition. However, Harper campaigned on a promise to work together with the other parties of Canada. He has utterly failed in that regard, and the Commons has lost confidence in the ability of his party to lead. While a coalition is not a situation that anyone is really comfortable with, I see it as positive that the opposition parties are willing to cooperate, when the PM is obviously not.

Finally, I feel the need to address the deceitful rhetoric that has been coming from PM Harper these past few days. I understand his need to frame this debate to his advantage, but that does not give him permission to lie to the Canadian people. His claims that the coalition would be undemocratic or that Canadian's voted him in as PM are false, and they confuse the electorate. See Dawg's Blawg for a breakdown of the incorrect statemtents made by the PM recently, and take a look here and here for some great explanations of how Canadian politics actually work. Also, PM Harper's tendency to reduce the NDP to "socialists" and the BQ to "seperatists" is childish and insulting to the intelligence of Canadians. I for one, don't care to hear name-calling from my PM. I want substansive, logical reasons as to why the coalition would be bad for Canada, or why the Progressive Conservatives deserve to keep power.

UPDATE: The Governer General has just agreed to prorogue the government. Not really sure what that means... I guess the Government won't sit again until Jan. 26? At that point the PC's will present their budget, which will (finally) be up for a (confidence) vote. Seems kinda sketchy for the Commons to be on va-cay while a recession looms. 'Specially since they've already been out of commission since the last election was called...
So far, I have not heard anything of the sort.

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