Canadian Politics

It seems like it was only the other day that I went to cast a ballot in the Canadian federal elections. The Conservative party won another minority government and we were ready to settle for more of the same when suddenly, in a matter of days, everything has changed. Basically, the opposition was so incensed by the government’s backhanded tactics and inability to govern in a non-partisan manner (as minority governments should if they want to last in a parliamentarian system) that they have united in a coalition and it looks like they will table a non-confidence vote next week. It was all supposed to happen today but PM Harper has moved the vote until next week to gain some time.

There’s been a flurry of activities all weekend with the government accusing the opposition of being “undemocratic,” which is nonsense. Anybody who knows anything about parlamentarian system knows it is well within the rights of opposition parties to unite in a coallition in order to offer an alternative to the party who holds the government when the majority of the members of parliament feel that they have lost confidence in the government. As a friend of mine has written recently to the PM himself, “If parliament represents the will of the people, is it really democratic to accuse a coalition/arrangement that would represent the majority of parliamentary seats as being undemocratic?”

PM Harper has nobody but himself to blame for the mess he’s in.

If you want to know more, there’s plenty to go by on the CBC and the Globe and Mail.

Update: There’s a really interesting discussion at the Agenda, a TVO show presented by Steve Paikin

Check also Prof. Peter Russell’s explanation of the whole affair. He was one of the guests at the Agenda and has been rightfully appalled at the way Harper and his government are misinforming the public about the legal basis of the opposition’s move.

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

6 thoughts on “Canadian Politics”

  1. que loucura essa reviravolta, nao? Acho que por essa os conservadores nao esperavam.
    talvez seja sonhar muito, mas espero que melhore alguma coisa para a imigracao.
    bjs

  2. All I have to say is I love parliamentarism!
    The election is much more “objective” – only one month and we can see the chief of government having to explain himself before the opposition in a daily basis. And, if needed, the government can change overnight, like what happened now.
    Stephen Harper really didn’t know how to handle a minority government, and he seemed to trust more in luck than in politics.
    Of course so many Canadians are complaining. The last time they had a change in government without an election was more than 90 years ago, and most of them see it as just “unfair”. Are they getting too “accustomed” with the presidentialism south of the border? Did they notice how the Americans had to moan about the republicans for two long years before being able to kick them out of the office?
    Anyway, they’re saying that Harper “won” the election, and Chretien “lost” it. So it’s just not fair that Chretien gets to govern and not Harper. But I don’t believe that those who complain are the majority. After all, only a minority voted for the conservatives. This means that the majority wanted some change, which Mr. Harper wasn’t able to produce. And here, thanks to the parliamentary system, the majority may have the change they want RIGHT NOW! And as soon as their representatives notice that this change is going in the wrong direction, the coalition will broken (or weakened) and the system will readjust itself once again.
    Isn’t that beautiful?

  3. Oi Alexandra, lembrei do seu blog, quando vi esse livro abaixo (dá para fazer o download), sei que não é sua area de atuaçao, mas vc me parece sempre interessada em entender e conhecer mais sobre o Canadá, seja atraves da historia, politica, economica, sociedade, etc. E o Canadá é sempre referencia, aqui no Brasil, da gestao metropolitana das suas cidades.

    http://www.fee.tche.br/sitefee/pt/content/publicacoes/pg_gestao_metropolitana_canada.php

    Bjos
    Paula

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