Resolving Timeline Issues

Posts Tagged ‘Canada votes 2008

I heart Jon Stewart. And most of America seems to as well. A few weeks ago, the New York times ran a rather lengthy article on him, asking if he’s the most trusted man in America:

at a time when Fox, MSNBC and CNN routinely mix news and entertainment, larding their 24-hour schedules with bloviation fests and marathon coverage of sexual predators and dead celebrities, it’s been “The Daily Show” that has tenaciously tracked big, “super depressing” issues like the cherry-picking of prewar intelligence, the politicization of the Department of Justice and the efforts of the Bush White House to augment its executive power.

And now, Canadians, we all have a reason to heart Jon Stewart: he did a bit on the Canadian election last week.

Go. Watch. Laugh. Heart Jon Stewart.

If I had to pick one word to characterize the results of the Canadian election, it would be “anticlimactic.” We’re basically in the same boat. These are the results (courtesy of the Election Prediction Project):

    • Conservatives 143
      Liberal 76
      Bloc Quebecois 50
      NDP 37

    (Numbers corrected per Katie’s comment below -I accidentally copied the Eleciton Prediction Project’s prediction, not the actual result)

      And people are a bit pissed off at Stephen Harper for calling an election early. Straight from Katie’s blog (who is far more eloquent on it than I could be, for reasons you’ll see below):

      I think it’s a bunch of crap that Steven Harper called this election, a full year before it was due, in the first place. $290 million tax payer dollars were spent on this fiasco, funding the slam campaigns, slanderous television ads, and incessant telemarketer style phone calls.

      Well, yes. It was a year early. And probably a bad idea to call it. And I hate to say it, but it would have happened anyways. Harper got together with the other leaders, and they all decided they couldn’t work together. Depending one whose perspective you adopt (a) Harper got scared and wanted to reinvigorate his mandate, or (b) the opposition parties refused to work with the conservatives.

      Either way, the answer leads to the same answer: there would have been a confidence vote at some point, likely in the fall, that would have failed. And then there would be an election anyways. The money would have been spent anyways.

      In My Not So Humble Opinion.

      I can’t say I’m surprised at the result. The day after the election was called, I said, “Its going to be another Conservative minority.”

      And I’m happy about that. I like minority governments in the system we have. They provide another level of check and balance in our rather fucked up system (where one party can get about 8% of the popular vote and 51 seats – the Bloc – because they have the necessary concentration of votes and another party gets about 7% of the popular vote and can’t get one seat because they run candidates all across the country – the Green party). Minority governments, here, force the party in power to negotiate with the other parties and adapt their policies so that they get closer to meeting the needs and desires of the rest of the population.

      Minority governments are a bit of an aberration here (and in England). They have a deeper meaning when they occur again and again: that the electoral system is screwed and needs changing; that the traditional parties aren’t meeting changing needs and desires. So why doesn’t anyone try to fix this?

      Well, the BC Liberals tried to a few years ago by introducing a Single Transferrable Vote (STV) system for referendum on a provincial level. Other than sounding like a sexually-transmitted disease, what is an STV system? Simply put:

      The Single Transferable Vote (STV) is a system of preferential voting designed to minimize wasted votes and provide proportional representation while ensuring that votes are explicitly expressed for individual candidates rather than for party lists. It achieves this by using multi-seat constituencies (voting districts) and by transferring all votes that would otherwise be wasted to other eligible candidates. STV initially allocates an elector’s vote to his or her most preferred candidate and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, transfers surplus or unused votes according to the voter’s stated preferences.

      STV is used in places like Scotland, Ireland, and New Zealand (clicky the link above for more detail – I’m not going into it here because that’s a whole other post in itself)

      STV would have been a good thing – it provides a balance of proportional representation, without losing any votes. Its considered a happy medium between the first past the post system (current system) and proportional representation.

      In BC in 2005, the referendum required 60% of the vote to pass. This is what happened:

      A variation of STV known as BC-STV came within three points of meeting the 60% threshold the government had set for adoption in British Columbia in a 2005 referendum, but it will be put to the voters a second time in 2009.

      People demand more representation and fairness in how legislative seats are allocated, then they vote down a change to the system designed to do just that?

      Hello? McFly? Anybody home?

      So BC-ites, next year when we go to the provincial polls, vote for whoever you want, and then vote YES for STV. Because it may provide an example to Ottawa of a way to fix the fucked up federal system.

      It goes without saying that I’ve got a lot to be thankful for today – and always. The usual of a loving partner, a roof over my head, food to eat, and basically living in the lap of luxury.

      I’m also thankful for living in Canada. We’re lucky to live here – I don’t have to worry, next year when the poptart is done cooking, about how we’re going to afford doctor and hospital bills. We live an abundant life here and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

      Which, fellow Canadians, is why you need to vote tomorrow. Like I’ve said before, don’t take that right for granted. It wasn’t a right for a long time, and most of us, back when democracy started (see: Ancient Greece) would not have had the right to vote.

      So don’t you dare take it for granted and not vote or spoil your ballot on purpose.

      I don’t care which box you mark on the ballot tomorrow (make sure you mark it with an X). Just mark one, properly. And give thanks for all that you have.

      (And for those who are unaware of it, you can check out the Election Prediction Project – they’re usually pretty accurate)

      Updated: Gunfighter tweeted me the following:

      HI Nicole! How would lyou like to see the outcome of your federal elections turn out? How do you lean? Labour, NDP, BQ?, Tory?

      Note to Canadians: Gunfighter is a police officer and firearms instructor who supports Senator Obama. Hence the name.

      What outcome do I want to see?

      Well, I don’t care, by and large, especially since I fully expect another minority government. I don’t think ANY of the parties are ready or connected enough to the population to form a decent government. I fully expect another Conservative minority government. The question is, who will be the main opposition.

      I also happen to live in a bit of a swing riding where its pretty much a dead heat between the Conservative and NDP candidates. The Election Prediction Project switched its prediction today from “too close to call” to “Conservative” (usually, when in doubt, they’ll switch it day before the election to the incumbent).

      I don’t like Stephen Harper (seriously, it would help if his hair moved once in awhile) and I don’t like Stephane Dion (look, I know English isn’t his first language, but all he does is come across as the Crazy French Guy – I find him more ranty than Gilles Duceppe).

      The Greens don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Yet. Give them 10-20 years (they’re about where the NDP were 15-20 years ago).

      So I’m voting NDP. I don’t think they’re ready to form a government. But I think they’d make a damn fine opposition in a Conservative minority government.

      Look! A sneak preview of the Canadian Leadership Debate!

      November 2020
      M T W T F S S


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