Thursday, June 03, 2010

Stephen Harper's Distaste For Democracy

Some good reading over at the Scott Ross this morning... Talking about coaltions, cooperation, and such...

Still, in all this discussion, we tend to miss a central theme... A point to be made about modern democracies, Parliamentary systems, and democracy in general.

Throughout Commonwealth Parliaments, there have been coaltions, and many of them have not involved the party with the most seats.

What do you do if the Cons have 100 seats, the Liberals 99, and the Dippers 78?

The FACT remains that in our system the MPs have the RIGHT to elect their own "leader in the House", or PM if you will. And.. NOTHING states that you have to talk to the "first place" party. Nothing. Nada. It is only for "appearances" that comments are made about "talking to so-and-so first".

Just like in the case of any vote in the House, the majority rules. It is the most simple of democratic principles.

But - Harper doesn't really like democracy does he? How else can a right wing, Prairie-centric religious fringe group - a small minority of Canadians - dictate to the rest of us how we should live our lives?

It's kind of pathetic, really, that the rest of us haven't stood up and decided to take back our government.

edit: And I'm no big supporter of a pre-election coalition here. Pre-election "cooperation/pact" maybe. We forget that we are not two "polar opposite" parties (that would be the NDP and Conservatives). We sit on the center of the political system in Canada. Most Canadians do to. We have enjoyed more governments than any other party - by ADHERING to that center. We have "run from the left" to be sure, but also "governed from a position of responsibility". We can agree with the NDP on most of their "social" issues/moral issues. We WOULD have differences on economic ones... but only SOME economic ones.

This is one area the Liberal Party does not differentiate itself enough in the public eye. We are a party that supports business - but its small and medium sized businesses that are home-grown. We do support large Canadian companies. We traditionally haven't supported "global corporate overlords" or foreign ownership - although we've been dragged into WTO/NAFTA, and like all nations (pretty much) have had to go along, or be left out.

Our support for any big businesses is usually paired with a strong concern for the impact on Canadians. The Conservatives, on the other hand, have always looked at "friendships" with large MNCs as a way to improve the bottom line of the "shareholder class"...

These are only some of the miriad differences between the Liberal economic/world view and that of the NDP and Cons... While we may agree on a small number of points, economically, we have FAR more common ground with the NDP on social issues. If we do end up cooperating with the NDP in some way, it should be made clear to the public that it is on one of these social issues - which the Conservatives take very un-Canadian views on - that we stand and fight. The NDP must kowtow to us on the economic front - perhaps with the promise of some job-creation strategies in the Green Sector as a compromise.

post signatureVICTORY FUND


Anonymous said...

The Libs as far as I know no longer want to form a coalition.

You miss the point.

Canadians are not stupid.They know coalitions are democratic.

The one that tried to form last year was and weak and disorganized.Canadians rejected it; And for good reason.Part of the reason for the rejection was that the NDP+Lib numbers were still less than the tories.They needed the signature of Sepratists just to make it an option.Another was that it was done quickly after the Tories were allowed by parliament to form a new gov't.

There is nothing stopping the three oppositon parties from trying it again.So, do it.

Just quit whining and do it.

Gene Rayburn said...

Always the tough guy that cowers behind the anonymous moniker.

Raymond Dundas said...

The hidden Liberal agenda:

Prime Minister Jack Layton.

WesternGrit said...

I think anon "missed the point", considering I don't support a coalition with the NDP... only a little electoral "cooperation" perhaps. Still, our argument is that coalitions are a viable and useful part of our democracy.

Rather than resulting in "broken/hung" Parliaments, elections can bring in stability, and a moderation of ideas under one tent. Israel has survived for 7 decades with a variety of coalitions. They are the most stable nation in Western Asia.

Coalitions are perhaps the logical evolution of democracy. As democracies mature, they earn more political groupings and more interests running for office. A good comparison is the age-old European nations vs. the US. More years of maturity lead to a diverse spread of ideas. These ideals come together to form governing blocks. In the relatively new USA, a fledgling democracy, there is - rather - a polarizing of ideals. Part of this is due to the very nature of the system, but much is due to the youth of the American system.

Coalitions WILL BE the future of Canadian democracy, and it will lead to the result of healthy exchange of ideas.