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#87160 - 12/03/08 05:32 PM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: ken_m]
setara
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Alberta/Canada

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 Originally Posted By: ken_m

I have very little comment to make on this news except YIPPEEE!!!!!


Ken_m,this is far from how I feel. I did not vote conservative in the last election, but I assure you that I would not be voting liberal or NDP in a next election. The timing of this in the middle of an economic crisis is ridiculous. There was not a political crisis here to allow for this mockery of the democratic process.

This is, at the end, just men hungry for power playing games in backrooms. Games that may endanger the notion of democracy itself.

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME is what I feel right now.

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#87161 - 12/03/08 09:10 PM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: setara]
LaSalleUGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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setara, could you explain what kind of political crisis would justify the non-confidence method, in your view? I've been following this thread with great interest, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the nuances. Thanks!
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#87162 - 12/03/08 10:02 PM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
ken_m
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 503

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setara, I am genuinely baffled by the talk of this situation being in any way a violation of the democratic process. (My opinion of the Harper spin machine screeching that it is a "coup d'etat" cannot be expressed without profanity.) Canadians do not vote for prime ministers or governments. Each member of parliament is elected by a riding to enact a set of policies, as laid out in their parties' respective platform statements. In a minority parliament, that is necessarily limited to a subset of those policies, because minority governments do not have the limited-term dictatorship powers of majorities.

So, here we have a case of the members of the three parties in opposition acting to enact a platform as close as possible to the set of policies on which they ran and were elected. The alternative is for them to hold their noses and vote with a government who is trying to force them to support policies exactly opposed to the platforms on which they were elected. To me, it seems obvious which choice best represents the interest of the people who voted for them.

This coalition, in my opinion, is more democratic, and less ethically questionable, than members of parliament crossing the floor from one party (in which they were elected) to another party (in which they were not elected). Crossing the floor goes clearly against the wishes of one's electors. This coalition is just making the best of a bad situation.

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#87166 - 12/04/08 11:04 AM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: ken_m]
setara
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Alberta/Canada

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Ken_m I did not call it a violation of the democratic process, but a mockery of the process. That the constitution allows for a coalition government is, in my opinion, an insightful tool for a situation of crisis. What I don’t agree is that there was a crisis at hand here to sanction the use of this tool.

LaSalleUGirl, you asked when I think this could be used? Well, the last time it was used in Canada was during WWI. But we are not in the middle of such a war, we have not been attacked by terrorists, Canada’s financial institutions are not bankrupted, … If there had been any situation here which had brought out great public outcry against the governing party, I would had understand the call for a coalition. But there has been nothing here other than the bickering of the Members of Parliament. When they call crisis what I hear is childish tantrum.

I seem to be in the odd spot of defending the conservatives – a party which I did not support – but this coalition was called before a budged was brought in to a parliament vote. They did win an election! As much as I viscerally dislike them, they had the majority of the votes of any other individual party. Democracy has problems – it is by definition the dictatorship of the majority – but it is to this day the best system we have.

When these parties in this coalition say we together add to the majority, I question it because they have very distinct platforms. I did not vote for a coalition. And I doubt they would unit under one party under the next election. So I become very skeptical of the reasons for this said coalition.

Maybe my reaction to it all comes from my experience growing up and still closely watching politics in Brazil. What happened here shuttered my view of politics in Canada, which I regarded as being much above the opportunism I see in my native country. Yes, my skepticism has deep roots, but I think that it has also made me less naïve of the fact that the people involved in politics don’t leave their egos at home when they are dealing with matters of public interest.

This coalition is the fruit of Mr. Dion’s inability to admit he did not capture to heart and mind of Canadians. Harper is portrait as dictatorial, but Dion is worst. Any man that believes he alone has the answer to a country’s problem is to be feared to no end. And, worst of all, the belief that the end justifies the means is at the root of all great political tragedies since beginning of times.

Then, there is the timing of this. In the middle of the worst economic disaster in 80 years, the only thing that Canada really had was stability. And this coalition did not have the foresight to see it. When they put themselves ahead of the whole, I doubt I want them leading this country through it. Who will be the Prime-minister in 4 months? We don’t even know that.

Among the population in general what I see is disrespect to the fact that a majority did put in power a party with very conservative economic views. The more liberal voters see this coalition as a way to get to power and disregard the opinion of those voters on the way the county should be run. Us, the smart, left-wing, liberal, intellectual can argue that the policies of the Conservative party are sexist, non ecological, small minded, etc… but we should accept – even if personally we don’t agree – that most voters do believe in them more than in us. Again, to think we only have the answers, and that it is permissible to impose our answers through a constitutional mechanism that we are subverting in its core meaning, is very dangerous to the democratic process.

I am sorry this got so lengthy. But I am emotionally very upset with what I see happening.

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#87167 - 12/04/08 12:46 PM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: setara]
LaSalleUGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Thank you, setara! That definitely helped put things into context and flesh out my (admittedly still fragmentary) understanding of this situation.
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#87176 - 12/05/08 01:32 PM Re: Parliamentary democracy [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
setara
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Alberta/Canada

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LaSalleUgirl, here is a link to an article from The Economist. It certantly should explain things better to you than my ramblings.
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