Reading Politics

Jan 16, 2006 21:13 # 41391

Bunk *** posts about...

The Liberals Must Lose

92% | 2

If poll results are any indication, the Conservatives, led by Steven Harper, will win the election one week from today; defeating Paul Martin's incumbent Liberals. The time for a change in governing party has come. I don't intend to vote Conservative, or support a Conservative agenda, so why do I think they should win the election?

1) Canada generally leans to the left politically, and for the last 12 years, since the decimation of the old PC party, the Liberals have ruled accordingly. But after unquestioned support, they became lax and corrupt. Scandals began surfacing a few years ago and have continued in a steady stream since. A change in leader, and a reduction to a minority government did little to change that. The only thing I feel that will clean house and restore honesty to the Liberal party is a big electoral defeat.

2) Harper's Conservatives, unfortunatly, are the only other party mainstream enough to form a government. But their agenda can be held in check in Parliment by a strong New Democratic Party presence in the opposition. The Liberals, in an obvious stab at fear-mongering, try to associate Harper with neocon elements in the USA. First of all, Harper's written agenda isn't remotely that far right, and even if it was, implementation would be political suicide. I don't think Harper is that unwilling to compromise. There's really no reason not to at least give him a chance to strike a balance.

3) Paul Martin must go. I can no longer stand to hear him talk. Every patronizing and condescending word he utters sounds like a lie. He always tries to tell people exactly what they want to hear, but none of it is believable. Every impression I get is that every moment he's in office he will spend trying to maintain his power any way he knows how. That's not how to lead a country.

As to my vote, it will go to the Green Party, not just because of their environmental position, but also their approach to building their platform. They reject the left vs. right paradigm; instead, they pull ideas from both sides of the traditional spectrum, mixed with their own creative approach to sustainability. It's the only truly normative approach out there. Support for and interest in the Greens is on the rise in Canada, which I think is a good sign; people may be finally starting to look for alternatives to the same old junk.

http://www.greenparty.ca/

Campaign coverage: http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

Jan 17, 2006 18:29 # 41398

mace *** replies...

Re: The Liberals Must Lose

65% | 2

Voting NDP will actually help the Green Party more than a vote for the Green Party will. The NDP has resolved to fight for proportional representation and electoral reform. The Green Party simply won't gain the kind of influence to be able to make that kind of change.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051227/ELXN_jack_layton_051227/20051227?s_name=election2006&no_ads=

Proportional representation is a type of voting system that gives parties seats in proportion to their total national vote count.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

How does our current system compare? Well... take a look at this:

http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/realitycheck/electoral_reform.html

in the 2004 election, the Liberals got 37 per cent of the vote across the country but ended up with a disproportionate 44 per cent of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. They got 135 seats when a proportionate share would have been 113 seats.

In the same election, the New Democrats got 16 per cent of the vote and won just 19 seats. The Bloc Québécois, in contrast, won 12 per cent of the vote but got 54 seats.

The reason for the disparity is that the NDP vote is scattered in 308 ridings across the country while the Bloc does not even bother to contest ridings outside Quebec. But in Quebec's 75 ridings, the Bloc got 49 per cent of the vote.

There are other even more startling imbalances. In the 1997 federal election, the Liberals won 99 of Ontario's 101 seats, yet they won less than half the vote. In Prince Edward Island the Liberals won all four seats with 45 per cent of the vote.

Doesn't that piss you off? The Fucking Bloc Québécois. I wouldn't mind seeing their leader hung for treason. Sorry, I'm digressing.

Steven Harper won't fix the Liberals. If he gets in power and starts fucking over healthcare and shit, he'll just be filling the Liberals with a sense of affirmation.

I can't vote Green Party. I don't agree with some of their core values. They're pacifists. And feminists. They're catering to the smelly hippy demographic. Yeah, I said it. Tree huggin', peace lovin', bra burnin' hippies.

NDP seems to be the only viable option.

Jan 18, 2006 05:03 # 41401

Sigma_7 *** replies...

Re: The Liberals Must Lose

?% | 1

SomethingAwful has a thread listing all the political parties and their platforms.
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s=ce74f18afa3262084a22e12eeaebd6dc&threadid=1765884

It's interesting how the Liberal party and Conservative party are sharing very similar ideologies... the major difference is implementation.

1) Canada generally leans to the left politically, and for the last 12 years, since the decimation of the old PC party, the Liberals have ruled accordingly. But after unquestioned support, they became lax and corrupt. Scandals began surfacing a few years ago and have continued in a steady stream since. A change in leader, and a reduction to a minority government did little to change that. The only thing I feel that will clean house and restore honesty to the Liberal party is a big electoral defeat.

Actually, Canada has a relativly balanced political demographic. The only thing that makes it appear that Canada is a bit to the left was the larger concentrations of Liberal supporters in Urban areas.

It's the same reason why Alberta is assumed to have a "right" tilt - they have a larger concentratian of concervative voters.

2) Harper's Conservatives, unfortunatly, are the only other party mainstream enough to form a government. But their agenda can be held in check in Parliment by a strong New Democratic Party presence in the opposition.

The same applies to the Liberal minority government. However, a liberal minority will have better progress, since they are more able to obtain support from NDP and Bloc on some key issues.

On this issue alone, this almost convinces me on my vote for the election. If there is corruption in the government, why can't the other parties band together to remove it as opposed to forcing a new election? I can understand if there is no confidence on progression, but not on a single issue that can be corrected.

As a side note, I would prefer voting for the "Progressive Canadian Party" party over the now-called "Conservative Party". My main reason is that they aren't honest about themselves - they should have stayed with "Reform Party", or the "Canadian Alliance Party" (and actually remaining an alliance in that case.) That, and the Conservative party was receiving the greatest amount of flak from 22 Minutes (including the famous Doris petition.)

3) Paul Martin must go. I can no longer stand to hear him talk. Every patronizing and condescending word he utters sounds like a lie.

Welcome to politics. Everybody does that. :)

The only way to take out Martin is to move to LaSalle--Émard and to vote him out. However, he is considered a very high-profile candidate and is practically guarenteed a seat.

In my riding, the Liberal incumbant appears have a strong chance of winning - he and the NDP candidate have been campaining for at least a few elections. I sense that there will be strategic voting as was done in the last election, but will be in the opposite direction. Basically, he's also bound to stay.

All I have to do is determing how other voters are going to vote...

As to my vote, it will go to the Green Party, not just because of their environmental position, but also their approach to building their platform.

Voting for that party also gives them additional funding that they can use. Even if they don't get a seat, it is still useful for lobbying for specific causes.

I'd prefer voting for the NDP, as they are much more likely to break into the mainstream political arena - especially since they managed to get a legitimate complaing against the CFRA for because of political bias (as opposed to the Green party, as their complaint was deflected because they never obtained a seat in parliment.)

As always, it's a tough decision between two candidates - my focus is generally on the defecit, and Paul Martin was the only leader that managed to create a surplus. Given that the debt slipped to very high values before the liberals entered power, it would naturally be the highest issue for me.

Jan 28, 2006 04:22 # 41498

Bunk *** replies...

The Results

?% | 1

Well, as predicted, the Conservatives won a minority government. Here's the breakdown in Parliment:

Conservatives - 124 seats
Liberals - 103
Bloc Quebecois - 51
NDP - 29
Independent - 1

Although the NDP gained ten seats, their position in this parliament might be weaker than it was before; Con. + NDP is not enough to pass anything, so Harper will try to negotiate more with the Bloc & Liberals.

Overall, I have no problem with this result. I just can't bring myself to hate Harper. He's calm, collected, and seems to speak his mind without pretense. If he wasn't a conservative, he'd be just right. :p

The only thing that annoys me in all this is that Independent. Who the hell is that bozo? From what I can tell, he's just a blowhard radio personality, who had his contract terminated for being a racist bigot. Appearently he also enjoyed bitching about dishonest politicians, which in his eyes (and the eyes of those who voted for him) qualifies him to run for office. In such a closely divided parliament, his vote could tip the balance. Hooray for democracy in action. :p

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

Jan 31, 2006 19:16 # 41513

Sigma_7 *** replies...

Re: The Results

Appearently he also enjoyed bitching about dishonest politicians, which in his eyes (and the eyes of those who voted for him) qualifies him to run for office. In such a closely divided parliament, his vote could tip the balance.

Based on those numbers, the independant is merely an independant.

123+51 = 174 seats, a majority coalition between the reform party and the Bloc Quebecois. As long as this coalition is held, there won't be any issue.

Another combination is the reform party + NDP (Ha! as if!), where 123+29 seats is 152 seats, versus 103+51 = 154. In this case, the independant might be enough to do pass or block something, but only when there are a few absences.

In reality, it's the Bloc Quebecois that holds balance in power. Naturally, they vote in favour of Quebec.


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