After a week of political craziness I thought I would finish up on some observations. But let me start with an article which gets to the heart of the political matter. Especially for those unfamiliar of our system of government.
A few weeks ago, we had an election in Canada, a couple of weeks before yours, actually. A political party known as the Conservatives won.
Well, sort of. They didn’t win in the sense that most of you understand winning. I’ll get to that in a second.
They also aren’t what most of you would consider conservative.
They support what you call socialized medicine, they believe in protecting a Canadian-controlled banking system, they believe in government as a vehicle for transferring wealth between regions, and they’ve actually muzzled party members who tried to make abortion a campaign issue.
In fact, instead of making his Sunday trip to church a photo opportunity, our Conservative leader refuses to discuss his faith in public. (Like many Americans, he’s an evangelical Christian).
Different kettle of fish
So our Conservatives are a bit different from yours. Down here, you’d probably call them Democrats. And fairly liberal ones at that.
But, as I said, they won our last election, which is a pretty low-key affair compared to yours. The campaign lasted a few weeks instead of two years.
What’s more, they won with only 37 per cent of the vote. Now, you can do that in Canada because our Parliament has three other political parties: The Liberals (again, pay no attention to the name, they tend to adapt their worldview as needed), the Bloc Québécois (a Quebec party that says it wants to break up the country, but hasn’t actually done much about it for many years), and the NDP.
I’m not quite sure how to explain the NDP. The other parties like to call them socialists.
Some of their more doctrinaire members would like the government to nationalize or take a large financial stake in things like banks and manipulate the national economy by spending huge amounts of public money. You know, the sort of thing President George W. Bush has been doing this year.
I know, I know, it’s confusing.
Funny old world, isn’t it?
that is from this site, go read the rest it is worth it.
Next it is fascinating to see how Quebec views this whole mess, or at least some Quebecers are perceived this discussion about the role of the Separatist Bloc Quebecois as some how a slight against them. The idea that somehow we in the rest of Canada (especially Alberta) offended them because we do not want the party trying to break up the country with control of the levers of federal power is beyond the pale.
So the polls come out today, and lookie lookie the Conservatives have the support of 44% of the population, almost 20% higher than the next biggest party. Not a majority of the people but good enough in an election to win big. Amazing.
Also intriguing was watching the Liberal (lame duck) leader speaking to Canadians on a video which could have been done by Sadam in his bunker. It was grainy, washed out, some are calling it like on a video phone, and with a book (most likely about environment) called HOT AIR planted on the bookshelf by his head.
Topped off on this is the keystone cops style that saw the Liberals not even know how to get the video to the Networks to be shown after the Prime Minister spoke. It was total chaos.
In the end though the Conservatives prorogued, as I thought they would and have given us a chance to move on to Christmas instead of politics for a few weeks. Should be interesting to see where everything goes come the end of January when the Parliament resumes sitting.