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Ztolk
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(Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:10:58 PM)
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Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has called for a federal election. He became prime minister in 2006. The election before that was in 2004. Canadian prime ministerial terms I believe are supposed to be five years.

So why do we have such frequent elections? Basically the prime minister can call an election whenever he wants (if the governor general, aka vice queen, approves it). The reason they call mid-term elections is often because they have a minority government (the party has less than 50% of seats in parliament [kind of like the US house of representatives]), and want to have another election with the hopes they get a majority, which would allow them to do whatever the hell they wanted. Stephen Harper currently has a minority, and is holding an election to try to get a majority.

Here's what annoys me, beyond the frivolous elections. Stephen Harper introduced a motion to reduce frivolous election calling (not sure how far it got). Now, he's calling a frivolous election. That annoys me. I voted for him in the last election (his party member, anyway), and I think he's doing a bangup job running the country, but that stunt with the elections pissed me off. So basically I can vote for him, or the leader of the Liberal party, Stephane Dion. I don't really want to vote for a French guy though. There are two other major parties, but one doesn't have a chance of winning and one only runs in Quebec.

The one good thing about this is that the election was called today, and we're voting October 14. That's like 5 weeks. Not like the US election where the guys campaign for like two years before the actual election starts.

Anyway, use this thread to discuss the upcoming election and Canadian politics in general.
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Reply 1 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:16:20 PM)
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I didnt read the thread, but man...
don't hate on stephen.

He's got a friendly demeanour big grin
Ztolk
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Reply 2 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:17:42 PM)
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Quote:
I voted for him in the last election (his party member, anyway), and I think he's doing a bangup job running the country

"I used the internet to get laid once. That is not a shining moment of pride for me. The worst thing? She evidently gave me chlamydia, which I evidently got cleared up."
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Reply 3 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:18:22 PM)
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kthx. You should have included a tl;dr summary
Ztolk
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Reply 4 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:20:29 PM)
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Quote:
Anyway, use this thread to discuss the upcoming election and Canadian politics in general.

"I used the internet to get laid once. That is not a shining moment of pride for me. The worst thing? She evidently gave me chlamydia, which I evidently got cleared up."
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Reply 5 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 04:26:18 PM)
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I like where this thread is going so far.
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Reply 6 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 05:20:27 PM)
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Technically the way our political system works is that there's no fixed term limit, per se. There's a maximum amount of time one party (not person, the party can change leaders at any time) can stay in power before an election has to be called. That's 5 or 6 years from what I recall, and that rarely ever happens. This is not like the American system where the President and his administration is required to be in power for 4 years per term, and where senators and representatives have term limits. Presidents, also, are elected separately from the representatives, and by an entirely different electoral system headed by factions within the same party. Canada also doesn't have personal limits. A party can stay in power for as long as it can survive in power, and its leader can stay in power as long as the party decides they can stay in power.

The thing about Canadian politics is it's not so much about the leaders, as it is about the party. The party inevitably can decide any minister's position, even while in power. In the American system this is a bit more difficult, since the presidential and representative portions of the party are innately separated, and any relations between either/or can be complicated. Presidents could veto and be overridden by factions of the representatives of the same party (though that is, of course, perceived as political suicide). Nor, as it's really apparent, is the agenda and policies of the President followed strictly by the representatives. More often than not, both can go in different directions, and when they conflict there are checks and balances. For what it's worth, the American presidential system has its problems with the enacting of power; the representatives typically control domestic issues, and the President has a greater say in foreign issues. Yet, because both domestic and foreign issues are tied together, and both sides want to be involved in both, there is often political intrigue and meandering between both to try to find a solution. It leaves each side with a less powerful position, partly because compromises have to be reached.

The Canadian system is different, in that the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the leading party of the Parliament are all one in the same; there is no difference and the Prime Minister is appointed the leading minister of his party's representatives, not (as generally perceived) popularly elected into that position. A PM has a greater ability to get his or her agenda through parliament, and vice-versa. Issues of domestic and foreign policy are dealt with by the same group of people, through the same personnel with a cohesive and singular voice. It's partly why parties in majority positions often do whatever they want, and have the power to enact far reaching policies in such a short amount of time. All its members must agree to party policies, and those policies (as set by the party and its leaders - not just the PM) are to be adhered to or else the party kicks you out.

There are two ways that this system can change, through a loss of confidence or a call for an election. When a leading party either feels that it can take advantage of its opponent's weaknesses, or that a vote of confidence will be declared, it will call an election. The same could be said for an opposition party (or coalition) which feels either that its position could be strengthened, or that the leading party is taking too great an advantage of its position. This confidence vote, which typically occurs on major issues of debate (the budget, for example) really only occurs with minority governments. Otherwise, the majority party can easily override any confidence vote, and push their agenda through.

Then of course, you have to contend that Canada is more than two major parties and that when it comes to politics, Canadians are usually more undecided; we don't have to register for specific parties, for one. This all is made more apparent lately because of the nature of our current parties.

The Bloc have little chance outside of Quebec and potentially New Brunswick. The NDP are typically deemed as unable to gain power, and as too leftist. Their members even acknowledge that they will never get into power, that they are the "principles" party: the party of social activism, more or less. The Green Party has changed substantially from its environmental activist roots, and while a distant contender, is still linked to unworkable radical environmentalist factions within the mind of many Canadians. The Liberals' leaders have been proven to be corrupt, and the Conservatives have that distinct edginess that many Canadians are unsure about. The feeling of 'distrust' and as much of the same to the Liberal party actions become apparent feelings for the party. Then of course, the issues of West vs. East, and Quebec vs. Canada, Canada vs. America, Sustainability vs. Exploitation, Privacy vs. Intervention and other issues make the divisions between parties both difficult to ascertain and also more populist than they seem to be.

With this election, polls (and general sentiment, from what I have experienced) suggest that most Canadians prefer Stephen Harper (the douchebag) as a leader compared to Stephane Dion (the French nerd), but that support for the Conservative party as a whole is about the same or slightly lower to that of the Liberal party. This means that it more than likely will mean another minority government. Which I don't mind, actually. I'm reasonably content as to how Canada is currently operated, and if another minority government means few massive changes and increased indecisiveness in the House of Commons, then I am all for it. The election has arrived now because both sides believe they have the advantage in this election; the Conservatives see Quebec as their main battleground, while the Liberals feel they can retake the East. I would be content if they continue this drama and nothing major changes.

I more than likely will be voting Liberal in my constituency, not because I like the Liberal party or its leaders, but because they represent the only viable option (and a slim one at that) against a man whose policies I truly despise - Jim Prentice. Even if he wont lose, which I highly doubt he would ever here (as he is one of the main leaders of the Conservative party and this is Alberta, the Conservative stronghold), I just feel personally vindicated for adding another notch to his opposition. The bigger picture in this party does not matter to me, for the reasons already given in the previous paragraph.

tl;dr --> Political systems vary, Canada has too much political intrigue for what it's worth, and that a minority gov't is likely. I will vote liberal (if its the opposition in this riding), cause Jim Prentice is a dick.
This reply was last edited on 09-07-08 05:35:10 PM by Sunn O))).
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Reply 7 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 05:41:47 PM)
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Quoted from Sunflake:
Technically the way our political system works is that there's no fixed term limit, per se. There's a maximum amount of time one party (not person, the party can change leaders at any time) can stay in power before an election has to be called. That's 5 or 6 years from what I recall, and that rarely ever happens. This is not like the American system where the President and his administration is required to be in power for 4 years per term, and where senators and representatives have term limits. Presidents, also, are elected separately from the representatives, and by an entirely different electoral system headed by factions within the same party. Canada also doesn't have personal limits. A party can stay in power for as long as it can survive in power, and its leader can stay in power as long as the party decides they can stay in power.

The thing about Canadian politics is it's not so much about the leaders, as it is about the party. The party inevitably can decide any minister's position, even while in power. In the American system this is a bit more difficult, since the presidential and representative portions of the party are innately separated, and any relations between either/or can be complicated. Presidents could veto and be overridden by factions of the representatives of the same party (though that is, of course, perceived as political suicide). Nor, as it's really apparent, is the agenda and policies of the President followed strictly by the representatives. More often than not, both can go in different directions, and when they conflict there are checks and balances. For what it's worth, the American presidential system has its problems with the enacting of power; the representatives typically control domestic issues, and the President has a greater say in foreign issues. Yet, because both domestic and foreign issues are tied together, and both sides want to be involved in both, there is often political intrigue and meandering between both to try to find a solution. It leaves each side with a less powerful position, partly because compromises have to be reached.

The Canadian system is different, in that the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the leading party of the Parliament are all one in the same; there is no difference and the Prime Minister is appointed the leading minister of his party's representatives, not (as generally perceived) popularly elected into that position. A PM has a greater ability to get his or her agenda through parliament, and vice-versa. Issues of domestic and foreign policy are dealt with by the same group of people, through the same personnel with a cohesive and singular voice. It's partly why parties in majority positions often do whatever they want, and have the power to enact far reaching policies in such a short amount of time. All its members must agree to party policies, and those policies (as set by the party and its leaders - not just the PM) are to be adhered to or else the party kicks you out.

There are two ways that this system can change, through a loss of confidence or a call for an election. When a leading party either feels that it can take advantage of its opponent's weaknesses, or that a vote of confidence will be declared, it will call an election. The same could be said for an opposition party (or coalition) which feels either that its position could be strengthened, or that the leading party is taking too great an advantage of its position. This confidence vote, which typically occurs on major issues of debate (the budget, for example) really only occurs with minority governments. Otherwise, the majority party can easily override any confidence vote, and push their agenda through.

Then of course, you have to contend that Canada is more than two major parties and that when it comes to politics, Canadians are usually more undecided; we don't have to register for specific parties, for one. This all is made more apparent lately because of the nature of our current parties.

The Bloc have little chance outside of Quebec and potentially New Brunswick. The NDP are typically deemed as unable to gain power, and as too leftist. Their members even acknowledge that they will never get into power, that they are the "principles" party: the party of social activism, more or less. The Green Party has changed substantially from its environmental activist roots, and while a distant contender, is still linked to unworkable radical environmentalist factions within the mind of many Canadians. The Liberals' leaders have been proven to be corrupt, and the Conservatives have that distinct edginess that many Canadians are unsure about. The feeling of 'distrust' and as much of the same to the Liberal party actions become apparent feelings for the party. Then of course, the issues of West vs. East, and Quebec vs. Canada, Canada vs. America, Sustainability vs. Exploitation, Privacy vs. Intervention and other issues make the divisions between parties both difficult to ascertain and also more populist than they seem to be.

With this election, polls (and general sentiment, from what I have experienced) suggest that most Canadians prefer Stephen Harper (the douchebag) as a leader compared to Stephane Dion (the French nerd), but that support for the Conservative party as a whole is about the same or slightly lower to that of the Liberal party. This means that it more than likely will mean another minority government. Which I don't mind, actually. I'm reasonably content as to how Canada is currently operated, and if another minority government means few massive changes and increased indecisiveness in the House of Commons, then I am all for it. The election has arrived now because both sides believe they have the advantage in this election; the Conservatives see Quebec as their main battleground, while the Liberals feel they can retake the East. I would be content if they continue this drama and nothing major changes.

I more than likely will be voting Liberal in my constituency, not because I like the Liberal party or its leaders, but because they represent the only viable option (and a slim one at that) against a man whose policies I truly despise - Jim Prentice. Even if he wont lose, which I highly doubt he would ever here (as he is one of the main leaders of the Conservative party and this is Alberta, the Conservative stronghold), I just feel personally vindicated for adding another notch to his opposition. The bigger picture in this party does not matter to me, for the reasons already given in the previous paragraph.

tl;dr --> Political systems vary, Canada has too much political intrigue for what it's worth, and that a minority gov't is likely. I will vote liberal (if its the opposition in this riding), cause Jim Prentice is a dick.


i didnt read any of this....not even the tl;dr

do you think he has a friendly face? yes/no
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Reply 8 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 06:15:20 PM)
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Stephen Harper is a scary man, and so are most goverment officials. I've voted Green since I was able to vote. It's not so much that I want the Green Party in power, I just want to see the environmentalist view given voice in parliament.

Frankly, I'm pretty disappointed with both the Liberals and Conservatives. NDP is seeming more decent, but they're no better than the rest the more I look at it.

Voting for the communist party just seems pretty backward, and I'm becoming increasingly concerned with the environmental state of the country, especially in urban areas, which are rapidly expanding into farmland for increased housing.
how is this for a quote
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Reply 9 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 06:27:19 PM)
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Quoted from Hasty Penguin:
Stephen Harper is a friendly man

Fixed.
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Reply 10 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-07-08 07:45:24 PM)
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all canadians are socialists
I'm the conjurer of demons,
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I instigate your misfortune,
With the birth of killing trolls.
I awaken armageddon,
Feeding on a thousand souls.
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Reply 11 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-08-08 06:45:18 AM)
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In all honesty, Canada is not important enough to be talked about on a forum not dedicated specifically to Canadiennne politics.
Ztolk
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Reply 12 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-08-08 06:46:24 AM)
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Go away
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Reply 13 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 09:58:17 AM)
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See, Ztolk, was I not correct? People don't care about Canada because it only has some 36 or so million people and a weak and ineffectual military.

You guys really need to start annexing parts of the Northern United States (start with Detroit, all those nice black folks could benefit from your less racist government) and colonizing small brown-people countries in the Pacific and Africa.
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Reply 14 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 10:11:28 AM)
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Now the Green party is suing to get included in televised prime ministerial debates. They got zero seats last time, and 4% of the vote, so there's really know reason to consider them a serious party. But the whole hubbub of them trying to get into the debate is giving them more publicity than they can buy.
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Reply 15 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 10:14:38 AM)
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I don't see why they shouldn't be included. It's just debates, which inevitably don't matter all that much in this election.
Ztolk
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Reply 16 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 10:16:18 AM)
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Where do you draw the line though? The Animal Alliance Environmentalist Party got 72 votes in the last election.
If you're going to arbitrarily draw a line, why not make it based on whether you won seats?
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Reply 17 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 10:20:20 AM)
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4% of the popular vote, is still 665 940 votes. That's leagues beyond 72 votes. The next party with the most votes below the Green Party received 28000 votes. That's out of 15 million people who had voted.

It should also be noted that the Green Party currently holds a seat in Parliament. And, if precedence matters, when the Bloc was formed in 1993, it was in the same position - having a member who held a seat who was never voted in as a Bloc member. Yet, they were still included in the debates in 1993 regardless.
This reply was last edited on 09-11-08 10:28:38 AM by Sunn O))).
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Reply 18 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 10:50:56 AM)
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The Green Party has also increased from something like 1.4% of the vote to that 4% of the vote over the past eight years or so, which is a pretty big jump. I think that number will increase again this election.

I saw on CBC last night, though, that Conservatives, NDP and Liberal were not being shown in great light - and the Green party looked victimized. I wonder if that has anything to do with the following:

I read this letter earlier today, which was printed in a Quebec newspaper - and will probably generate some interest in larger newspapers later, written by Wajdi Mouawad, a playwright and it is a fascinating and very well written read and as I am a theatre student and artist, I especially enjoyed it. Some links here (although they're all blogs, unfortunately):

http://cardboardheartimaginationlaboratory.blogspot.com/2008/09/open-letter-to-prime-minister.html

http://thewreckingball.ca/

http://summerworks.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/wajdi-mouawads-open-letter-to-stephen-harper/

I'm actually interested in a sick kind of way, in seeing the Conservatives reach power, because it will force the artists to work harder than ever, falling on even harder times - and that has historically produced a lot of powerful and important theatre.

However, Harper is insane for trying to take funding out of arts and culture. As this country has become controlled by corporations, I think the number of artists and people looking for ways to express themselves beyond a cubicle has risen drastically - many of them are already involved in community art projects.

But back to the election... there really hasn't been a good choice available for a long time. Just a lesser evil. And we failed to choose it last time.
how is this for a quote
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Reply 19 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 11:42:35 AM)
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What has Harper done that's so evil?
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Reply 20 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 04:53:38 PM)
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Took $45 million out of arts and culture funding. vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
how is this for a quote
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Reply 21 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-11-08 06:02:41 PM)
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Fuck arts and culture, more science and math for all
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Reply 22 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-12-08 08:14:16 PM)
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The green party is a joke. It was just born out of the liberals and NDP. I talked to a green party member. He told me when elected he would lobby to have the local mill shut down because it pollutes the area.

I just looked at him and said thanks, you just laid off 2000 people and probably got yourself dragged into the street and shot.

They are disorganized and run as a way to steal votes. We don't need a new federal party. We as a country can't make up our fucking minds, the N.D.P has been around since the 50s and they never ruled.

Why the hell does the Green party think its going to offer anything alternative.
Tackle 'em all. Let the referee sort it out later.
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Reply 23 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-13-08 11:59:57 AM)
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It's true. I don't ever expect to see them in power. My cause in voting for them is moreso for the government to see an increasing concern for environmental issues.

However, the current government has no difficulty shipping jobs overseas and buying foreign product, costing plenty of people their jobs - or at least a more profitable livelihood.

The big problem is that we're starting to face the same problem as the United States in that we don't have a choice when it comes to the government. They're all melding into the same pot - so I have no problem seeing new parties forming.

Granted, it'd be nice if there was one that could please a vast majority of people. But good luck, considering Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland alone. Pretty tough.
how is this for a quote
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Reg. Date: Sep 2002
Location: Funen Island
Gender: Male
Reply 24 of 44 (Originally posted on: 09-13-08 01:32:51 PM)
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rock da vote y'all
Tough, Unique, Bad, Bodacious, and Sassy.
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