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Ummm What’s the problem, folks? December 9, 2008

Posted by dreamom in Uncategorized.

The recent happening in Canadian politics have been maddening! First of all, many, many Canadians don’t know anything about how our political system is set up, how it works, or why. That is resulting in a lot of misunderstanding about the motives and happenings in the country.  The end result is that a party that has done nothing but show contempt for our system of democracy is getting public support. If some of these people would read a book – or even Wikipedia, they might change their tune…

The crux of the problem, or at least the instigating factor is the fact that we have a minority government. That is a situation in which the election resulted in less than fifty percent of the seats in the House of Commons being won by members of the governing party. The reason they became the governing party is that they won more seats than the other parties (of which there are three main ones, but really four others).

What occurred in this circumstance is that the Conservative party won a minority. Then they proceeded to present an economic update that I can only describe as a sick attempt at a joke. It included limiting women’s equality, and taking away workers rights to strike. When the opposition saw this they started in earnest to get a coalition together.

A coalition is where two ore more parties have a formal plan and agreement to work together as one political body (almost like a party) in order to allow the government to function. You see, in a minority government, the governing body are subjected to “confidence votes” in the throne speech, all money related votes, etc. If they fail, and don’t have the confidence of the House, then the government falls. To maintain power the governing party has to have more than fifty percent of the vote in the House on these votes. Now, since we JUST had an election a couple months ago the opposition parties have sat down, discussed the priorities, and made an agreement on how to work together. They have proposed a ‘coalition’ or a group that will present ideas and vote together to function as a governing party.

One of the arguments you hear about this is that “the coalition was not on the ballot.” That is technically true. Neither was the Prime Minister on the ballot.  In truth the only people on the ballot are the representatives for your given area (or riding).  As such NO party is ‘on the ballot’, but rather individuals running for office will be associated with parties.


As I post this we are creeping up on the end of the prorogue it will be interesting to see what happens…



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