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Ignatieff In The News

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Halasz, May 5, 2009.

  1. Halasz Gems: 7/31
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    So, as of late there has been a Liberal Leadership convention. The ballots gave the option for Ignatieff, Ignatieff, or Ignatieff, but regardless, there has recently been talk about having a platform ready by June. In addition to this the Liberals have said that if the PCs don't play ball with their EI reform that they're taking it to the polls. This means a possible summer election. Recent polls have also showed slipping support for the Tories and a climb in Grit approval ratings. What are everyone's thoughts on a summer election? My guess, for the most part would be, that no one wants to go through this once again. Especially since there has been much scrutiny over spending in light of the "global economic recession". I'm a little biased in the matter since a June election would mean that I can vote for the first time, since I was excluded from the last one; something I want to be a part of. And, maybe I'm just being a little partisan, but I really want to see Harper out of power.

    Anyone else care to rant?
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    This is in what country? Canada? Britain? I've never heard of this politician.
     
  3. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Well, Halasz' location is 'little town ontario'. One of the tags is Canada. And ignatatatiatjaitjiej is apparently Canadian (not that you should be expected to be able to plug the words ignatieff and liberal into a search engine. Aldeth. You lazy bum :p).
     
  4. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    ... How many elections would this make for Canada in the past few years? Seems like someone's decided they like stirring the political soup up there.
     
  5. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    At the present time, Canada has a minority government in power, meaning that the Conservatives hold more seats in the House of Commons than any other one party, but not more than all the other parties combined. TYhis means that if those other parties all vote together against an important piece of legislation, we say that the Conservatives have "lost the confidence of the House" and a new election is held.

    This sort of thing is very stressful, expensive, and also wasteful, as resources that should be spent on the betterment of the country are instead diverted to electioneering.

    Michael Ignatieff is the leader of the Liberal party, which lost 10 seats in the last election under the weak leadership of Stephane Dion. Many Liberals think that with a new election Ignatieff could regain seats and perhaps gain a majority (or at least helm a minority government.) I think those Liberals are mistaken, though. New leader notwithstanding, it's still too early, and I think that many Canadians would see it as a power grab.

    Still, the question isn't if the Liberals and NDP will bring the current government down with a confidence vote, but rather when they will choose to do so. I would rather they not do it in the middle of a financial crisis -- Harper's numbers may be slipping a little but he's not doing that badly.
     
  6. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    It seems like the current Canadian situation is a good illustration of the main weakness of a proportional multi-party system. The American majority two party style system may give the citizens a lack of choice but it is generally stable. Now, I favour the proportional multi party system but it is not without its flaws.
     
  7. Equester Gems: 18/31
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    well to be fair, the conservatives could "just" find another party that have largely the same views on the important issues and then work with compromises to insure it self and it's partner a majority. if there truly isn't such a party and they at the same time are so big that no other government can form, then there is a big problem.*

    *mind you I know nothing about Canadian politics, but the system seems to largely function as it do here in Denmark and our current government (consisting of two right wing parties) is only in majority do to the help of a party that technically isn't in the government, but supports it.
     
  8. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Sadly, Joa, our system isn't a proportional one -- it's a "first past the post" race in every constituency. This leads to some serious lack of balance (at least according to some.) For example, in True Blue Tory country where I live (Alberta) there really is no point to voting other than Conservative. There's quite a few Liberals and even some NDP (extreme socialists) but their presence is so diffuse they never gain gain a seat. If we had Proportional Rep things would be different and, IMHO, more democratic.

    I would really love to see an overhaul of the system in that regionalism is also a huge factor. If a party captures most seats in both Ontario and Quebec, the rest of the country is largely irrelevant, as the majority of the population of the country lives in those two central provinces -- the VAST majority. Were our Senate designed to actually provide some regional representation as the American version does, Alberta and the Maritimes wouldn't feel like the <female dogs> of Central Canada as much. As it is, the power groups and interests in Central Canada regularly stick it to their fellow citizens in the other 8 provinces (and 3 territories).
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, don't forget that the American Congress does it both ways. In the Seante all states are equally represented regardless of population, while the representation of the House is based entirely upon a state's population.

    So you are saying there is no Senate equivalent in Canada, and your representation is entirely based on the population of the various provinces?
     
  10. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    There is a Senate here, but it's not elected. They're appointed by the Governor General after consultation with the Prime Minister, which brings obvious problems. The composition is similar to the US Senate, so that all provinces are represented equally, but that doesn't really work when none of the members are elected in the first place.
     
  11. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Yes but unless I'm very badly mistaken the Canadian upper house is next to insignificant compared to the US senate. Most parliamentarian systems have a weak upper house and most legistlation passed in the lower house will be rubbes stamped in the upper house, sometimes the consent is not even necessary or simply delays the process. There certainly is not anything like the fillibuster in Canada and the cabinet is only responisble to the lower house.
     
  12. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    Just curious, most of what I've read on Canadian politics (which is very little) seems to talk of the biggest party forming a minority government. Is there a reluctance for coalitions to form to govern or is it just that there doesn't happen to be one now? A minority government would seem inherently unstable to me.
     
  13. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Morgoroth, Canada's upper house in indeed nothing more than a lame-assed rubber stamp. Because it is not elected, it has very little actual authority and even less respect. When the Reform Party spawned in the 90s, one of its talking points was a "Triple E" Senate, meaning Equal, Elected and Effective. Basically, a Senate like that of our American neighbours. That was killed right quick by the fat cats in Ontario and Quebec, who like nothing better than to screw over less populated areas. They said the idea of Prince Edward Island having as much authority as Ontario was ludicrous based on the huge population differential. They are obviously retarded because the US gets along just fine with Rhode Island having the same authority as Texas or California. Man, I hate Ontario.

    Deise, official coalitions are difficult to form because Canadians are opposed to them quite strongly. De facto coalitions are quite common, however. At the present moment the Bloc Quebecois, a separatist party with roots in terrorism and murder, holds the balance of power and is propping up the Conservative government. As long as the Conservatives don't do anything really stupid and also pander to the extortionist demands of the Francophone elites, the government will stand. It sucks, and I'm really not happy with a bunch of traitors holding the balance of power in my belived country, but I suppose Charles Dudley Warner was right about politics making for strange bedfellows.
     
  14. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    Yeah I thought that might have been it. Coalitions have become the norm here, with the obvious exceptions that the two main parties can't go in together and nobody will touch Sinn Fein (aka the IRA). We've certianly had some, em, interesting characters propping up governments. It's commonplace to see independents getting in and insisting on massive funds being pumped into tiny rural areas. Their refusal to even pretend to take an interest in any form of political issue is staggering.
     
  15. Halasz Gems: 7/31
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    Its really sad that our system is first past the post, which I feel does not represent the people. Proportional representation is the obvious choice IMO. With that system the Bloc really can't exist since you can't play the political game region-specific. Coalitions don't work very well in this system because it makes people think that parliament is "undemocratic". Teamwork is apparently not a virtue in Canada...

    Looking at voter trends in the last election many votes simply got thrown away. Heres a link to wikipedia and the popular vote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_Canadian_federal_election. As you can see some of the parties get more representation for their number of votes, and some get less. The Green Party for example got nearly a million votes, and no seats. In my riding it is pointless to vote anything but Liberal or NDP since its always a race between the two.

    As an aside, there was a proposal for reform in the 80s I believe that talked about adding 100 seats to parliament to be selected from proportionate representation, while still leaving the current 308 to be slotted on a regional basis.

    But back on topic, the Liberals might very well do it since most of their moves politically have been seen as powergrabs overall by the public. Its really tough for the Conservative party to lead with a minority government, since all other parties in the house are left leaning. Yes, elections may be expensive and stressful with powergrabs occurring frequently, however, a defective parliament is not a good thing; especially in lieu of the Canadian recession. Ignatieff wants a platform ready by June, we'll see what he does with it.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    That is stunning. I cannot believe that this hasn't been addressed already. Having two separate chambers of Congress was one the major compromises made in the formation of the US. It was a means to get everyone to ratify the Constitution - one chamber was population based to make the big states happy, while the other chamber called for equal representation by state to make the little states feel like they still had a voice in government. That this very Solomon-styled compromise is not present in Canada is very surprising to me. Since the US Senate is considered the more prestigious chamber, it can be said that the US is the exact opposite of Canada, and that the little states "won".
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I feel compelled to point out that the compromise in the US occurred because, at the time, we were dealing with a group of sovereign nations that didn't want their autonomy limited any more than necessary. Our bi-cameral system has often been argued to be obsolete. The differences between the US and Canada would be more aptly attributed to our two-party system than Canada's rubber-stamping Senate.
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I'm not as educated on American history as the Americans here, but from where I am standing, the American Senate provides strong and effective regional representation, and is equal in power to both the house of Representatives and the office of the President (I'm pretty sure I'm right there, correct me if I'm wrong.)

    The Canadian Senate is a feeble dinosaur that is neither strong, effective nor even seen as legitimate in a modern democracy.

    I would say that those are pretty big honking differences, Drew! I would argue that those are the truly telling differences between the Presidential system of government that you Yanks pioneered and the Parliamentary system we are stuck with in the great white North.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    While I think it is appropriate to compare the Senate as equal in power to the House (if not exceeding it a bit), I don't think you can compare it to the Presidency. It's the whole legislative versus executive branch thing, not to mention that the power of the presidency is concentrated in one person, whereas the power of the Senate is spread over 100 individuals (although technically only 99 at the moment until they finally seat Al Franken).

    I agree with the first part of Drew's statement regarding why we have two houses, but I stand by my earlier statement that the compromise was enacted to get both the smaller and larger states on board.
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I'm not sure if a powerful upper house is very appropriate in a country without a presidental system. While it certainly gives regional representation it also becomes very troublesome to balance the houses against each other and avoiding deadlocks from forming. In short I doubt it would be a very good idea to reform the Canadian system towards that direction for various reasons. Not that I think it will be done either, the parties in power rarely wish to see a redistribution of power which very well might end up going against them.
     
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