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Author Topic: News from the North  (Read 51676 times)

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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #120 on: December 01, 2008, 09:50:54 AM »

He does the same thing with his kids too.

And if the word 'love' ever escaped his lips, most of the country is reasonably sure that he'd  :scanners: on the spot.
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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #121 on: December 01, 2008, 12:02:17 PM »

It's official: Dion will lead the coalition.

I know so many people hate him, but while I think there are better leaders of men, I think this was entirely the right thing to do. The Liberal party is confirming the exact same decision they all agreed to only a month ago. And they're taking the high road to contrast with Harper's ditch-digging.

I won't lie though. A part of me is entirely happy to see the man get his fifteen minutes in the sun.
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François

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #122 on: December 01, 2008, 08:02:30 PM »

Dion is a tool, but he's like a screwdriver, where Harper is a sledgehammer. So yeah, step in the right direction.

What I really appreciate though, is that the NPD will have its first ever slice of power. I'm looking forward to how they handle it; this could be their ticket to greater things.
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SCD

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #123 on: December 02, 2008, 12:04:58 AM »

I really have little joy of seeing the Tories throw away their election through arrogance, but I loathe the idea of a coalition under any banner.

The problem I have with the concept of a coalition government comes specifically from what I read and listened to from my short time in Israel, and the time I continued to pay attention to their politics since.

Isreal is also a parlementary democracy which is not much unlike our own, except that the President is very much like our own Governor General in terms of role, power and entry.  However, being in the eternal land of yahoos, Israel has an extensive list of parties for their small country.  Some vary between policy lines, while others vary between ethnicity and how hard they get for their monothesic idol.   As a result, there are much more than four or five parties on the election roll at any given time.  You may have heard of some parties including Likuid, who resemble our Tories, the newish Kadima party who seems to have a liberal taste to them and the Labour who are led by someone as bald and left as Mr Layton.

Then add all the fringe parties and say goodbye to any chance of a parliamentary majority. 

So what you gain are multiple parties of multiple flags under a coalition which, who have very important interests that must be looked after.  Otherwise, they pull the plug and you lose the majority, something which has been manditory for sometime to be seen as capable of forming parliament. 

They seem to try to accomplish many many things, but in reality, they sneak some pretty sneaky stuff along with all the good, many more times resulting in multiple steps backwards.  For example, their last government was elected with the mandate to slowly pull out of the West Bank. 

The amount of settlements has instead risen with more and more crazies habiting and barracading themselves within..

I see something like this happening in relation to the economy - a fragmented pork-barrel approach to fixing the shit we're along in when only a unified response can do. 

I cannot see a superintelligent, yet polite and timid 'leader', a seperatist and a man who'd promise his own mother for political gain going well as a coalition.

I also would hate to see this as a precident for the fragmentation of parties and the increased reliance on coalitions.  I hope this one never happens.

However at this point, we're just all along for the ride.  And from where I sit, being on an island on the west coast in the far backwater is like being on the backseat of this rollercoaster.  If the thing falls apart, there will be plenty of time to jump and hope I brought a parachute.

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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #124 on: December 02, 2008, 09:06:42 AM »

I really have little joy of seeing the Tories throw away their election through arrogance, but I loathe the idea of a coalition under any banner.

The problem I have with the concept of a coalition government comes specifically from what I read and listened to from my short time in Israel, and the time I continued to pay attention to their politics since.

Israel is also a parliamentary democracy which is not much unlike our own, except that the President is very much like our own Governor General in terms of role, power and entry.  However, being in the eternal land of yahoos, Israel has an extensive list of parties for their small country.  Some vary between policy lines, while others vary between ethnicity and how hard they get for their monothesic idol.   As a result, there are much more than four or five parties on the election roll at any given time.  You may have heard of some parties including Likuid, who resemble our Tories, the newish Kadima party who seems to have a liberal taste to them and the Labour who are led by someone as bald and left as Mr Layton.

Then add all the fringe parties and say goodbye to any chance of a parliamentary majority. 

So what you gain are multiple parties of multiple flags under a coalition which, who have very important interests that must be looked after.  Otherwise, they pull the plug and you lose the majority, something which has been mandatory for sometime to be seen as capable of forming parliament. 

They seem to try to accomplish many many things, but in reality, they sneak some pretty sneaky stuff along with all the good, many more times resulting in multiple steps backwards.  For example, their last government was elected with the mandate to slowly pull out of the West Bank. 

The amount of settlements has instead risen with more and more crazies habiting and barricading themselves within..

I see something like this happening in relation to the economy - a fragmented pork-barrel approach to fixing the shit we're along in when only a unified response can do. 

I cannot see a superintelligent, yet polite and timid 'leader', a separatist and a man who'd promise his own mother for political gain going well as a coalition.

I also would hate to see this as a precedent for the fragmentation of parties and the increased reliance on coalitions.  I hope this one never happens.

However at this point, we're just all along for the ride.  And from where I sit, being on an island on the west coast in the far backwater is like being on the backseat of this rollercoaster.  If the thing falls apart, there will be plenty of time to jump and hope I brought a parachute.



Well, if it's any comfort, remember three things:

1 - The chances of a new political party splintering off are slim.

Most Canadians seeking political power in this country tend to just gravitate to the existing parties. Anyone thinking of setting up a new party realizes that there are phenomenal hurdles to introducing a new national - or even regional - party and so the temptation is far lower here. Not a single party besides the Bloc has been successfully created that achieved anything at the federal level since the NDP back in the 60's.

Everyone remembers the vast wilderness that the old PC party found itself in for over a decade. And no one looking to simply start an alternative to our existing parties wants a repeat of that.

Yes, the Reform and Green parties made a showing, but in the end I consider those both failures. The Bloc on the other hand not only has a burning ideological reason to live, but they have successfully reinvented themselves multiple times, earning solid victories for their constituents. Or, more succinctly: Whatever else you might think of them, the Bloc gets results. This is why they have survived. No other political party - not even the NDP, really - has done this.

Finally, our geography should not in fact be overlooked. The barriers created by Canada's sheer size as compared to a much smaller state like Israel should not be underestimated. In Israel, not only can a small party be started up with lesser financial wherewithal, but it is also much easier to build a new and supposedly 'national' party with the support of a small close-knit local group. Canada's regional differences make it nearly impossible to build a national party out of anything but the vaguest premises.

The greatest danger probably is from new regional parties, but again, the Bloc is not a true example to follow here. Other regions don't have nearly the burning ideological drive. Alberta or BC threatening to separate sounds more like comedic hysterics then a serious threat (even if it was a serious threat), and eventually anyone involved in such a party would be tired of being frozen out of power - if they even managed to get off the ground at all.

2 - Canada is facing an all-time nadir of leadership.

In stark contrast to the Americans who may have just elected their most able and intelligent leader in decades, we are faced with a crisis of leadership that may be unprecedented in it's dismal nature. I have racked my brains, and not once in the past century can I think of a time when Canada was faced with a worse selection of federal leaders. I find it hilariously ironic that the best party leader in Ottawa right now may in fact be Gilles Duceppe (I posted about that a while back, some of you may recall).

At this point, people like Paul Martin or Joe Clark look like GODS, because for all their ground-level tactical faults, they knew what a Prime Minster should look like and how one should behave. They knew and empathised with Canada and it's problems and knew well how to talk to the people of this country. They knew what it meant to be a Statesman. Now? We have a miserable little pissant who puts his petty two-dollar revenge before the needs of the thirty plus million people he's supposed to lead, a hopeless academic with all the people skills of a dead turbot, a beau-geste idiot who forever wants to play Don Quixote, and a cunning opportunist playing the other three to his own endless advantage.

3 - Canada has the lowest party or ideological loyalty of any democratic nation on the planet.

In a way it's ancillary to the first point, but it also stands on it's own. New parties need a burning ideological reason to be created, but in Canada the desire for that is lower than almost anywhere else on the planet (which is something I adore about us). Remember the Constitution BNA Act: It doesn't mention a damn thing about Life, Liberty, or the Pursuit of [Individual] Happiness, no it clearly states a desire for Peace, Order, and Good Government. And that still hold true today. All our parties are identical: They're all centrists. The labels are just window dressing. No party rises to anything in Canada without being blandly middle of the road.

And by god, if Canada is going to be the world's greatest embodiment of hopeless mediocrity, then at least we get the occasional benefit of that too. Now and again, mediocrity cuts both ways (see: our banking sector, right now).

***

I think that for a new party to really go anywhere in this country, the Liberals would have to be in a very bad place for a very long time. They would have to post consecutive election showings WORSE than their last, and under at least three separate leaders. Even then, it still probably wouldn't happen.
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Brentai

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #125 on: December 02, 2008, 09:10:27 AM »

Remember the Consitution BNA Act: It doesn't mention a damn thing about Life, Liberty, or the Pursuit of [Individual] Happiness, no it clearly states a desire for Peace, Order, and Good Government. And that still hold true today. All our parties are identical: They're all centrists. The labels are just window dressing. No party rises to anything in Canada without being blandly middle of the road.

This right here?  This is why we always make fun of you.
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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #126 on: December 02, 2008, 09:52:23 AM »

Hey, my government didn't have have to rush out a banking sector bailout that approached a trillion dollars.

 ::D:

Like I said... as much as I hate it, sometimes mediocrity has its upsides.
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SCD

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #127 on: December 02, 2008, 12:44:56 PM »

While I disagree with your assesment of the Reform Party - A success in it's own right, your post is making me think long and hard about my opinion.

Good post.
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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #128 on: December 02, 2008, 02:19:39 PM »

Amusing story: The only thing I ever liked about the Reform party was Preston Manning.
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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #129 on: December 02, 2008, 02:28:12 PM »

Oh and one more note: Real leadership is the single biggest barrier to defeating the Bloc in Quebec.

Until either the Liberals or Conservatives dig up a Pericles, Trudeau, or Obama who can appeal to the whole country, everyone's (not just les Québecois) just going to keep putting their petty parochial interests first.

Plenty of Québecois have shown a willingness to vote Liberal, Conservative, or NDP, but as long they have a solid fallback option, they're not going to vote for the first retard dumped in front of them. This applies outside of Québec too. Crazy as it seems, there actually ARE Albertans who vote Liberal.
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SCD

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #130 on: December 02, 2008, 06:23:02 PM »

if it wasn't for the Gun registry, the Reform party would still be 4-5 seats. 

Here's a hint:  The majority of Gun owners have money and are more upper class than you think.
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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #131 on: December 02, 2008, 07:31:19 PM »

if it wasn't for the Gun registry, the Reform party would still be 4-5 seats. 

Here's a hint:  The majority of Gun owners have money and are more upper class than you think.

Oh I have no problem believing that at all. Sounds about right to me. I have of course voiced my objections to a gun registry of any kind before.

***

Further on the Consitutional mess, one of the Globe's columnists was kind enough to list All of Harper's available options.

There are some scary things on that list my friends. The #1 option does not even bear contemplating. And the worst part of it all is that no one's sure just how far Harper would go to try and stay.

***

But wait! it gets better! In the middle of the worst consitutional crisis in... ever.

Direct evidence finally links Mulroney Office to Airbus payoffs.

The best part is that there is no chance that this was initiated to cover for the other mess, since it was initiated by everyone's favourite evil eel: Karlheinz Schreiber.

For those not keeping score, this is scandal that has been going on for over fifteen years and features such hilarious scenes as our Prime Minister taking cash payments in brown envelopes, from a midget German troll, in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere, while claiming that this was all totally legit. At one point that same Prime Minister actually sued the government for having the temerity to say that he had done anything wrong.

Hilarity!

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SCD

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #132 on: December 03, 2008, 12:47:27 AM »

Man, if this is the worst constitutional crisis ever, then on the same scale the proceeding civil war should be a game of tiddly-winks. 
 

I better get practicin'

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Mongrel

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #133 on: December 03, 2008, 06:38:19 AM »

For a cynic and a terrible political junkie this whole thing is so awesome that my brain cannot contain all the awesome.

I've been cackling with glee for four days straight now.
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François

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #134 on: December 03, 2008, 08:27:50 AM »

Harper calls the emerging coalition an "undemocratic seizure of power".

Man, I wish the coalition was formed of democratically elected representatives, instead of all those self-appointed local warlords.

oh wait
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Arc

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #135 on: December 03, 2008, 08:42:09 AM »

Regarding technicalities, the public at large didn't knowingly vote in this new coalition government. A simple newspaper-sponsored poll would do well to squash the sentiment that the voters of the respective parties oppose such a coalition, thus garnering legitimacy.


For a cynic and a terrible political junkie this whole thing is so awesome that my brain cannot contain all the awesome.

Bloody revolutions have been fought over (and achieved) less. This movement is one for the books.
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François

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #136 on: December 03, 2008, 09:34:09 AM »

The government has the ability to do a lot of stuff that the public at large never knowingly votes for. We don't vote on issues (outside of referendums, anyway), and we arguably/technically don't even vote on parties. Forming a coalition is no less democratic than just about anything else that happens in this goverment.

In fact, in the current minority government, one might say it's more democratic.
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SCD

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #137 on: December 03, 2008, 10:53:14 AM »

At this point, whatever the opposition does is fair game.  We elect the officials, and they in turn form the government.  The current government cannot govern through consensus, so the members are going to form a completely different government. 

No matter what happens, the power right now rests within the Governor General's office.  While the GG may have been an easy ride since the second decade of the 20th century, this is certainly no easy choice for her excellency to make:  To call another election, or to allow the coalition to take the other side of the aisle.  However, given her career as a prominent journalist I believe that she has the ability to make the right choice based on her ability to tap public sentiment. 

Whatever her choice may be, I will support it. 
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Arc

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #138 on: December 03, 2008, 11:11:06 AM »

Whatever her choice may be, I will support it.

:doit: Burn the bodies.
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François

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Re: News from the North
« Reply #139 on: December 03, 2008, 11:20:04 AM »

Whatever Jean's choice is, Harper can still go bug the Queen to remove her. Short of anything (more) silly like Harper declaring himself dictator for life and instituting martial law, this is certainly the least democratic outcome of all.

That's right, America. Our country's solution to this crisis may very well be "let's ask the Queen of England".
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