Canada goes to the polls

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Canada goes to the polls

Postby AJOwens » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:30 am

The Canadian government just fell in a historic vote of no confidence -- historic, because they were found to be in contempt of Parliament. That's never happened here before.
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby Caravan Ray » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:16 pm

"in contempt of Parliament"?

How does that work?
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby AJOwens » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:04 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:"in contempt of Parliament"?

How does that work?


The government put forward some "tough-on-crime" bills and a proposal to buy some big-ass jets for the military, but refused to disclose to the House of Commons how much either plan would actually cost taxpayers, on the made-up grounds that this information was protected by cabinet confidence.

One of the ministers, Bev Oda, was also in line for contempt for misleading the House of Commons. Bureaucrats in her ministry had signed off on a document approving funding for a charitable-works organization called Kairos. The funding was denied, however, because at some point someone had penned the word "NOT," along with a little "insert-here" v, in front of the word "approved." It's worth a Google Images search of "Oda Kairos" just to see how stupid it looks. Anyway, the minister said she had not put the word in, and did not know who had. Much later, she clarified what really happened: she had approved the insertion, but did not know exactly which of her staff had penned the word. There's more to the funding controversy than that, but this is the act of contempt. But the government fell before the House could actually vote on whether she was in contempt.
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby Caravan Ray » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Just saw the story on ABC news:


The main opposition Liberal Party united with two other opposition parties to bring down the Harper government over concerns about the federal budget.

The motion passed by just 11 votes, with 156 votes in favour to 145 against.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011 ... tion=world

So the government party did not have an absolute majority in Parliament. Is that right?

Interesting. We also have a minority government at the moment. The Liberal Party would only need the votes of two independents to do similar. Not going to happen soon - but if the Liberal Party changed their leader, it could be a possibility. There may be some Aus Liberal Party front-benchers sharpening their knives and watching Canada with interest in the coming weeks
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby AJOwens » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:59 am

I like ABC. They seemed to be paying more attention than most during the Iraq debacle. But here they have the facts wrong. The government could have fallen on a budget vote, but didn't. The budget vote would have been this coming Monday. They were recently found in contempt of Parliament by a House committee, and the official opposition made sure that's what they went down for yesterday.

Yes, the Conservatives have a minority. The Liberals are the official opposition. The Bloc Quebecois is next in strength; they're separatists, so they tell themselves, and they have the Quebec vote sewn up. Many in the rest of Canada figure it's more about permanent blackmail than an actual intent to separate. Then there's the New Democratic Party -- socialists!

No two parties would have been enough to defeat the government, and it's tough for them to be bedfellows without cries of "Separatist!" and "Socialist!' from the government benches and their media cheerleaders. This, along with bags of attack-ad money raised by the Conservatives, and the bloodless leadership of the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff, has allowed Stephen Harper to stay in power while permanently stuck at about 33 per cent in the popular vote because of his utter lack of charm and grace.

I don't know what useful lesson the Australian Liberals could take from this. Sounds like they have a sucky leader too.
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby Caravan Ray » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:53 am

AJOwens wrote:I like ABC. They seemed to be paying more attention than most during the Iraq debacle. But here they have the facts wrong. The government could have fallen on a budget vote, but didn't. The budget vote would have been this coming Monday. They were recently found in contempt of Parliament by a House committee, and the official opposition made sure that's what they went down for yesterday.

Yes, the Conservatives have a minority. The Liberals are the official opposition. The Bloc Quebecois is next in strength; they're separatists, so they tell themselves, and they have the Quebec vote sewn up. Many in the rest of Canada figure it's more about permanent blackmail than an actual intent to separate. Then there's the New Democratic Party -- socialists!

No two parties would have been enough to defeat the government, and it's tough for them to be bedfellows without cries of "Separatist!" and "Socialist!' from the government benches and their media cheerleaders. This, along with bags of attack-ad money raised by the Conservatives, and the bloodless leadership of the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff, has allowed Stephen Harper to stay in power while permanently stuck at about 33 per cent in the popular vote because of his utter lack of charm and grace.

I don't know what useful lesson the Australian Liberals could take from this. Sounds like they have a sucky leader too.


Little bit different here. Not sure if you are aware - but the Australian Liberal Party is the conservative party and their current leader is taking them on a path to American Tea-Partyism. It is all racism and climate denialism a-go-go. But our socialist Labor government, though having all the right ideas - is pretty incompetent - and is only in power with the help of the Greens. A slightly less Nazi Liberal leader (ie Malcolm Turnbull), would see the Libs take the middle ground
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby AJOwens » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:46 am

Caravan Ray wrote:Little bit different here. Not sure if you are aware - but the Australian Liberal Party is the conservative party and their current leader is taking them on a path to American Tea-Partyism. It is all racism and climate denialism a-go-go. But our socialist Labor government, though having all the right ideas - is pretty incompetent - and is only in power with the help of the Greens. A slightly less Nazi Liberal leader (ie Malcolm Turnbull), would see the Libs take the middle ground


I did not know that. I did gather over the years that Australia is going through the same pull to the right as much of the English-speaking world. And I was aware that your PM is kind of attractive. That's about it.I should pay more attention.

Our Conservative Party is a half-breed of the old Progressive Conservatives and a Western movement called the Reform Party that was making Tea-Party noises about small government and, uh, "Christian" values before the Americans had a Tea Party. After a prolonged "Unite the Right" campaign, Stephen Harper managed to glue them together and form a government by subduing the influence of the PC Party, but muzzling the more obvious nutjobs in the Reform Party. Since then the Prime Minister's Office has ruthlessly controlled "the message" in all government communications. The Conservatives are itching for a majority, after which, I suppose, they could safely tell us what they really think. Seriously, they regard Parliament as an inconvenience.
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Re: Canada goes to the polls

Postby AJOwens » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:18 pm

The Canadian election has become extremely interesting -- to Canadians, anyway. The left-wing New Democratic Party, which has never had more than 20% support at the best of times, has increased its popularity dramatically in the past week and is now around 30%, while the Liberals, normally regarded as the only serious party besides the Conservatives, have dropped to never-before-seen lows of 20%. The ruling Conservatives remain stuck at about 35%, as they have for the past five years of minority government.

There is a serious possibility that the NDP will form the next official opposition, and if the Conservatives go down on another non-confidence vote -- this one over the budget, not contempt of Parliament -- that the Governor-General will ask the NDP to try to form a coalition. Business interests and what we call the "ruling elite" are having a nervous breakdown over the prospect. A right-wing news organization, Sun Media, which has just started a TV Network its critics call "Fox News North," and which some believe is determined to bring "American-style" hate politics to Canada, has just broken a story that the leader of the NDP was caught naked in a massage parlor in 1996. The vote is three days away.

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