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Thread: Conservative Canada

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Conservative Canada

    While nobody was looking (apparently), Canada had a federal parliamentary election on Monday, 2011-05-02 and put a Conservative-majority government (under Prime Minister Stephen Harper) into place. Since this time they have a clear majority of the seats, it will likely be there for a full term (now four years, IIRC). How can we reasonably expect things to go in the land of Red Green?

    Any harbinger for us here in the USofA next year?



    One item of contention in some Canadian circles was that a number of the local Conservative seats were won with only pluralities of the vote, with two or more left-wing party candidates splitting the vote on their side.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    One item of contention in some Canadian circles was that a number of the local Conservative seats were won with only pluralities of the vote, with two or more left-wing party candidates splitting the vote on their side.

    Mike
    I noticed that too and I haven't looked much deeper than a few headline stories today but I think that the Conservatives now having a majority of the seats came off as a bit of a shocker to quite a few of the pundits over in the Snowy North. Or maybe the shock was that they were able to actually gain seats after the party lost a no-confidence vote in parliament just a few weeks ago. Of course, when you have so many left-leaning parties splitting the vote, something like this was bound to happen.

    In the end, Canadian-style conservatism is still quite a bit to left of what we are used to with the term here in the states (though not as far to the left as a typical British conservative) and I wouldn't expect the government to start axing taxes, closing the borders, or ending public health care any time soon.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post

    In the end, Canadian-style conservatism is still quite a bit to left of what we are used to with the term here in the states (though not as far to the left as a typical British conservative) and I wouldn't expect the government to start axing taxes, closing the borders, or ending public health care any time soon.
    My understanding is that Canadian conservatives are generally to teh left of American democrats. Admittedly I don't know as much as I would like - maybe tranplanner or some other canadians can comment
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    My understanding is that Canadian conservatives are generally to teh left of American democrats. Admittedly I don't know as much as I would like - maybe tranplanner or some other canadians can comment
    I think typically you are correct but Stephen Harper and the current crop of Conservatives in Parliament have been much further to the right than previous Conservatives.

    I agree though - I would love to hear TranPlanner's input.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
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    So, you get me instead of Tranplanner - he may be still dealing with the shock of last night.

    As a Cdn living in the US, but still following politics since I still can vote - I was gobsmacked by the results on several fronts:

    - the voter turnout was low - 61% despite huge efforts by all parties to get the vote out

    - the Bloc Quebecois was decimated down from 40-50 seats to just 4 and their leader lost his seat and resigned - most of that vote went to the New Democrats

    - the Liberal Party was also trounced picking up only 34 seats down from 77 and their leader also lost his seat and resigned today

    - the NDP getting enough seats to form the official opposition

    - the Conservatives picking up enough seats to form a majority government


    I would say that the current Conservatives in Canada are somewhere between the two big American parties but much more conservative the previous Conservatives. To me it feels a little like they are channeling the 1950s - I am not sure what demographic is voting for them - it certainly isn't anybody I know.

    For me the positives are:

    - the stability of a majority government (we have had 3 elections in 5 years) [I just hope the NDP can keep the Conservatives in line]

    - the NDP making major gains

    - the bloc being demoted from official party status - this means they cannot participate in the pre-election debates (As my husband says, only in Canada can you have a party whose sole strategy is to break up the country)

    So, that is my take on it today - ask me again when Pariliament is back in session - I may change my tune.

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmf View post
    So, you get me instead of Tranplanner - he may be still dealing with the shock of last night...
    Somebody just told me that you can only vote for the Bloc if you actually live in Quebec. Is this true?

    If I lived in Vancouver or Winterpeg and really hated those poutine-loving Québécois I'd want to vote for the Bloc just to help get them out of my country!

    God save the Queen!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Somebody just told me that you can only vote for the Bloc if you actually live in Quebec. Is this true?

    If I lived in Vancouver or Winterpeg and really hated those poutine-loving Québécois I'd want to vote for the Bloc just to help get them out of my country!

    God save the Queen!
    I'm no expert, but I think they only run candidates for the seats in Quebec.
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    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Somebody just told me that you can only vote for the Bloc if you actually live in Quebec. Is this true?
    In Canada, our ballots are very short listing only the candidates running in the riding with their affiliated party. So we go in mark an x by the candidate of our choice and that is it.

    So, yes, since the Bloc only runs candidates in Quebec only Quebecois can vote for the Bloc.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I looked at the electoral map of Canada.

    Impressive. Southern Ontario/Toronto region went heavily blue, including pretty much all of the Toronto suburbs.

    Ironic situation for the conservatives. A huge governing majority but with only 40% of the national vote. On the other hand, it's very much the norm in many parliamentary system for the ruling party to have a decisive victory but with far less than an outright majority of the vote. Britain's New Labour always had large majorities in parliament but the highest vote share they received was 43% in 1997. In 2005 Labour only received 35% to the Tories 32% but still managed to have 150 more seats than the Tories in a 600 seat chamber.

    Point is? People cope with odd political situations. Harpur's power is very much legitimate.

  10. #10
    maudit anglais
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    I wouldn't say I was shocked by the election results, though I did expect another minority government. I am somewhat relieved we have a majority parliament again, though perhaps I won't be as happy if the conservatives suddenly decide to veer far right and start re-opening social issues (abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment, gun control). I expect the gun registry is dead, but that doesn't necessarily mean that gun control rules will be relaxed.

    I am hopeful that the larger number of urban conservative MPs will balance out the more socially conservative rural voices who traditionally formed the rump of the conservative power base. Who knows, maybe we'll even see a return of the traditional "progressive" conservative party. Conversely, with the defeat of the Liberals, we may see a much more polarized political landscape. I am very happy to see the Bloc obliterated - I've always found it curious that the NDP never did better in Quebec traditionally. Hopefully they can hang on there...a lot of new NDP MPs from Quebec were very surprised to be elected! Must be nice to go from being a student to making $150,000 a year before you even graduate.

    I would not say that the typical conservative is to the left of a typical American democrat, but definitely far to the left of a typical republican. Liberals and NDP would be quite left of the democrats.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I likely would have voted C('big 'C')onservative if I were a Canadian and I am glad that they won a majority. As for the official opposition, from what I saw of them when they were majorities in a couple of provinces a decade or two ago, I would be legitimately fearing for the future of Canada had the NDP won even a minority in the federal parliament - they nearly spent their provinces into oblivion and from how their party leader was talking on election night (I watched some of it on cbc.ca), they would be quickly on their way to spending the entire country into insolvency at a far faster pace than even the BHO administration is doing here in the USA.

    It will be interesting indeed to see how Harper governs for a full term with a totally friendly parliament.

    Mike

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