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Canadian Politics: Revenge of the small minds

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1 hour ago, Aemon Stark said:

(Citation needed)

The NDP voted repeatedly against the Harper government during the minority governments of 2006-2008 and 2008-2011. The same cannot be said of the Liberals under either Dion or Ignatieff. 

Jack Layton often stated that the NDP would support whichever party got the most seats in 2006 in order to get a chance to carry out the NDP agenda. A bit weird, since it was Jack that pulled the plug on Martin in the no confidence vote, after which Martin resigned and called the election. The Cons got 124 seats (127 at dissolution) and the Liberals 103,(96) the Bloc 51 (48) and the NDP 29 (30).  Minority governments generally last about 2 years, though they have been as short as 6 months or a year.

Now, the problem with minority governments is that if you vote against the government you can trigger an election. The 2006 parliament was a game playing parliament where the NDP and the Bloc united to force the Liberals to vote with the government by voting against the government on virtually every single important matter. The Liberals would otherwise be painted as the irresponsible party that triggerred an election. The Liberals, iirc, reached the point where they weren't showing up in the House to force the NDP and the Bloc to vote with the governement. Is that propping up the government in a devious way? There were no flies on Jack.

In any event, Harper passed a law setting fixed election dates because "the Liberals abused election calls". But it was at one point expected that the Cons would call an election in 2007, and they even fund-raised their base asking them to support a pre-election fund. The election was supposed to be in 2009, but since they had inherited a country in great fiscal shape they continually polled the public to see if they could call an election at a good time for Harper, and they did, a year before the date they had mandated by law. They then ran straight into the financial crisis.

Just as an aside here, Dion made promises that added up to $80 B in spending over 4 years. Harper attacked the Liberals vociferously as bad fiscal managers (lol, just like a Conservative, after Chretien and Martin had put Canada back into good financial condition) and said he would spend no more than $2 B a year. I have said this before, that when Flaherty brought down his economic package in October after the election and announced huge cuts in response to the financial crisis I almost drove my car into a ditch. I was listening to his speech live in my car on the way home from work. Harper, of course, ended up adding about $145 B to the deficit over the course of his years in office. And proroguing parliament to save his government.

The 2008 election saw Harper get 143 seats, the Liberals 77, the Bloc 49 and the NDP 37. I think all the bullshit that went on in Parliament in 2006/7/8 annoyed people so much it led to the lowest turnout in Canadian history, 58%. This is the parliament where the NDP really propped up the Conservatioves, simply because 143 and 37 gave a majority, after the 77+49+37 coalition got killed in the prorogue.

The next election gave Harper his majority, of course. Pretty sad, when you think about it, because the opposition saved Harper's butt by giving him permission to spend money.

Also note, the Conservatives got 36.3% of the vote in 2008 and had a minority wih 124 seats, and 39.6% in 2011 and got a majority with 166 seats, a whopping 42 more seats for 3.3% more votes. This is why there is no way the Conservatives will ever support electoral reform, and why Trudeau's (I believe) sincere promise to change our systm was likey savaged by the party behind closed doors. 

Aemon, I kinda got way off topic here, but in conclusion I'd say yes, NDP tactics with the Bloc propped up the Conservatives in 2006/8 and then after 2008 Jack kept the Conservatives going because he had the power to do so without needing help from the Bloc or the LIberals.

Edited by Fragile Bird

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So it turns out one of the biggest guys attacking the Liberals with made up horseshit had been hired by the CPC to help them destroy the PPC. Took a while, but now people in the media (at least the not owned by Americans media) starting to actually ask questions and not accept bullshit answers.

Side note American owned postmedia is fucked and we should really see about not allowing a whole bunch of the "news" media in Canada to be owned by foreign interests.

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The self styled Prince of Darkness lol

Kinsella did this tweet to an anonymous poster about [paraphrased] 'using their real name so he could wreck their life.' I, who use my real name, challenged him on it-- he blocked me. Later, when it was announced he'd been hired by the *Green campaign he unblocked everyone as a show of good faith, so I let him know if he was still afraid of me my 9 year might/could take him out with a flick of her wrist, and within two hours of being unblocked I got blocked again.  

 

*someone really needs to do a deep dive on Kinsella. Secretly working for the CPC, open [though short lived] work for the Greens, the Raybould shitshow, etc ad nauseam, I'd love to wake up one day and find out he transgressed just a little too far and got his duplicitous, cowardly ass disbarred 

Edited by JEORDHl

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Prediction of Conservative people's reaction:

1. if they somehow win: some variation of "The people have spoken. Liberals/leftists need to accept it / get over it!"

2. if they lose: some variation of "Our nation is deeply divided, and the onus is on the liberals/leftists to reach out and listen to the people that did not vote for them!"

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8 hours ago, Ser Reptitious said:

2. if they lose: some variation of "Our nation is deeply divided, and the onus is on the liberals/leftists to reach out and listen to the people that did not vote for them!"

I actually get the sense (though admit I'm a newcomer!) that there is not much separating the parties in this election. Apart from perhaps climate change, voters have to look pretty carefully at the major parties to spot the difference.

 

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While that's arguably true of the NDP/Liberals/Greens, which has always been somewhat true and therefore rather infuriating, there's a wide gulf between them and the Conservatives.

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55 minutes ago, Paxter said:

I actually get the sense (though admit I'm a newcomer!) that there is not much separating the parties in this election. Apart from perhaps climate change, voters have to look pretty carefully at the major parties to spot the difference.

 

What TrueMetis said. Also, climate change is a pretty major issue. 

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I am off to vote now. My sitting member is a nonentity who was voted in as a Lib and switched to the Conservative party, where she is still a nonentity. 

Jane Philpott is running in a neighbourhood riding and worked at the same hospital I recently retired from. She is well liked but so is her Lib opponent. 

Two ridings are in play and I suppose the result in both will be down to personal taste in the candidate rather than party affiliation. For me the choice is to vote Green as I usually do or to vote strategically for the Libs. Choices, choices. 

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The reason why the Conservatives are so dead-set against electoral reform is because the two main parties currently have bases of about the same size, about 34% and most of the remaining third vote for parties on the left. A minority government is elected when enough voters are lured over from that 32% a mere 2-3% or so, and a majority if a mere 4-5% are lured over. Since Canadians eventually get pissed off with a government, luring a couple of percent isn’t that hard. 

That third (and fourth and fifth) party voting section is larger than it used to be. Historically speaking the Liberals had a larger base and won more elections. In fact, I understand, some Liberals thought of themselves as the ‘natural ruling party’, though I can’t remember anyone saying it. Perhaps past leaders have.

The Conservatives know that every now and then the odds will swing to their favor and they will form a government, even a majority government, but if the percentage of votes counts the natural alliances form further to the left of the Conservatives. They’d rather have a regular chance to form a government than risk never forming a government.

eta: the wild card these days is Quebec, a province that often radically changes it’s vote, from Liberal to Conservative to Bloc, and evening NDP once.

Edited by Fragile Bird

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1 hour ago, TrueMetis said:

While that's arguably true of the NDP/Liberals/Greens, which has always been somewhat true and therefore rather infuriating, there's a wide gulf between them and the Conservatives.

I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I wouldn't say the gap between Liberal and Conservative in Canada is anywhere near, say, the gap between the Tories and Labour in the UK or Liberal and Labor in Australia. 

@Ser Reptitious: I wasn't trying to diminish the importance of climate change (I'm a greens voter myself in my country of origin). Just trying to make the point that "deeply divided" might be an overreach if the policy divide is primarily in one area. 

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20 minutes ago, Paxter said:

I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I wouldn't say the gap between Liberal and Conservative in Canada is anywhere near, say, the gap between the Tories and Labour in the UK or Liberal and Labor in Australia. 

@Ser Reptitious: I wasn't trying to diminish the importance of climate change (I'm a greens voter myself in my country of origin). Just trying to make the point that "deeply divided" might be an overreach if the policy divide is primarily in one area. 

I remember a quote from someone whose name I now forget about fights in Academia. " The battles are so vicious because the stakes are so small."

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Just voted. Would've preferred to vote NDP but meh, they have no chance in my riding. It was an unexciting election overall but I prefer that to the existential elections in other countries lol. 

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2 minutes ago, aromaticanalysis said:

Just voted. Would've preferred to vote NDP but meh, they have no chance in my riding. It was an unexciting election overall but I prefer that to the existential elections in other countries lol. 

I had the same conundrum myself. My riding tends to seesaw between Lib and Con.  Our current MP was Lib and switched to Con. I hope she loses badly.

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Anyone downplaying how important this election is for Canada is lost in the warren of privilege, imo.

Ford in Ontario, Kenney in Alberta, these were just trailers. Deregulation, cancelling the carbon tax, relaxed gun laws, near-criminal underfunding [ie: infrastructure, family planning-- sure we won't make abortion illegal, but we'll make it next to impossible to get one] the regression goes on and on. 

US 2016, HRC vs Trump didn't seem existential either, and there they are.

---

Anywho, at least we have paper ballots. Going to be a crazy night.

  

Edited by JEORDHl

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5 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

US 2016, HRC vs Trump didn't seem existential either, and there they are.

I think there were a lot more identity/culture politics at play in that one. It seems to me that there was also more at stake on that front in the 2015 Harper v Justin contest. This year's battle is still important on policy grounds as you say, but I don't see it as having as many ramifications from an overall social standpoint. As an example, Scheer isn't proposing the kind of immigration overhaul that we have seen under Trump. 

Anyway you can all discount my views by a factor of 100% as a newcomer and non-Canadian!

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Sorry, didn't mean to seem dismissive, Pax. I've had anxiety about this vote for a several months, I see it as a possible turning point should the Cons form Gov, however unlikely that looks right now. A gateway election, if you will. :p

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13 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

Sorry, didn't mean to seem dismissive, Pax. I've had anxiety about this vote for a several months, I see it as a possible turning point should the Cons form Gov, however unlikely that looks right now. A gateway election, if you will. :p

No need to apologise! I can see how flipping back to the Conservatives after they were in already in power for nearly ten years would hurt.

A similar thing happened back in Aus when the centre-right party returned to power in 2013 after they had already been in power from 1996-2007. Now we are stuck with them until at least 2022. 

Edited by Paxter

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I’m learning a lot about Atlantic Canada haha.

Looks tight so far (as expected) but still a long way to go. The first past the post system infuriates me a bit...

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