I’m a smart person. I know a lot about a lot of stuff. However, there’s also lots of stuff I know little to nothing about. Politics is one of those things. Sure I can follow the headlines, I can read Wikipedia, and I can gain a general understanding of the workings of parliamentary government, but I will never truly understand it because it’s just not my field. So imagine my confusion when the 3 major parties opposing the Progressive Conservatives (the Liberals, the NDP, and the Bloc Quebecois) decided to put forward a vote of no confidence in Harper and run a coalition government. What the… So please take my following comments on the situation here in Canada with a grain of salt and provide corrections if you know better than me (which is entirely likely).
A vote of no confidence is a parliamentary vote pretty much designed to dissolve government. Essentially, they’re saying “Harper, your financial plans suck and we don’t want you running things anymore, even though you were elected through the process of democracy, because you weren’t elected enough” and then if the vote passes the PM has to resign, calm everyone the hell down to be friends again, or yay another election. Oh and the Governor General is involved in there in some way I don’t fully comprehend — she’s sort of like the pretend queen.
This is somewhat of a controversy because the Liberals and NDP are suggesting that rather than calling another election after the no confidence vote, they just run the government together with the support of the Bloc because they think that the PM’s financial ideas (prevent people from striking, et al) are undemocratic. Seeing as the majority of the country didn’t see either of them fit to be prime minister, and seeing as the Bloc are a separatist movement, this relatively undemocratic move of theirs is not sitting well with a lot of people either. Particularly as Jack Layton (NDP) contacted Chretien (i.e., NOT Dion, the proposed future PM until 2011) to discuss the matter. More info on the Wiki page about the event (and probably more coherent than I am).
Aside: Ok, so I see skeptics getting a lot of flack for talking politics on their skeptical blogs and whatnot. But the way I see it, no topic is immune from skepticism. There’s a difference between saying “you should vote for so and so” and saying “so and so’s statements are fallacious” or whatnot. So when something like this comes a long, I’m going to comment on it. I labeled the post “politics” so anyone who doesn’t want to read about politics on a skeptical blog can feel free to skip it.
Anyway, my thoughts are thus:
Canadian voters have demonstrated pretty clearly this last election that they think Stephane Dion is unfit to lead his party, much less this country. The NDP have been doing well, but they’re too new and Jack Layton has yet to build trust with voters. The Bloc? Seriously? So these 3 clowns think that the best thing to do right before a possible recession is to dismantle the elected government and run it themselves with Stephane Dion (remember the incompetent boob who lost a bunch of seats this last election to the PC and the NDP) as the interim PM. And if this all goes to shit because these squabbling babies can’t get along, the governor general has to step in and make a decision — election, let this happen, or stall for time.
But here’s the thing – we don’t elect people. We elect seats. The NDP/Liberal government (with the support of the Bloc) has more seats than the PCs. That’s why we have a minority government. That’s what that means. So people are essentially pissed off because they don’t understand the government of the place in which they live. Who’s fault is that?
BUT leadership was still decided with an election, not some back door deal. The election is based on the assumption that a seat has a vote in the government and that a party made of those seats would run the government alone if they won enough. It was not with the understanding that they would be running a government together (ex: a voter checking off NDP did not check off Liberal-run coalition with NDP — those are 2 different things). The proposed coalition is trying to use the popular vote as a justification for their move, but they are basing this on the combined party votes from the last election and not on a poll asking Canadians about a coalition specifically.
I’m a moron when it comes to politics. So I can’t even have an opinion on this. I’m a little pissed off, but I’m not even sure why. I’m a little annoyed at the stupidity of people, but can I be when I don’t really know anything myself? All I can do is hope that a democratic decision is made that is best for Canada and we don’t end up homeless because I can’t find a job after graduation.