That's right, my homeland appears to be acting like a banana republic with abuses of democracy running rampant. Well technically it is not a republic, rather being loyal to the parliamentary system of government, which is (part of the) why chaos runs rampant through the land to our north.
Let me attempt to break down the issues at hand:
- Canada elected a minority Conservative government in October.
- The opposition parties, consisting of the Liberals (Moderates), New Democratic Party / NDP (Socialists) and Bloc Quebecois (Separatists) objected to the perceived lack of economic stimulus in a statement made by the Conservatives. (Apparently the Canadian economy is not immune to the toilet bowl swirl of the US market, although there are some differences: a viable banking sector, no real estate market collapse, record airline transportation rates, low government deficits . . . but I digress).
- Many claim the real reason, in addition to pure politics, is that the Conservatives are planning to eliminate public funding of political parties (which is something I'm against - despite what Obama was able to accomplish here without public financing).
- The unholy alliance of Liberals, Socialists and Separatists . . . oh my. . . (where's a good Green Party Member of Parliament when you could use one?) have signed a pact to vote down the government and asked the Governor General (my friend Bucky claims "she's hot" but he drank a lot of beer in his youth) to allow them to form the next government. Yes, in Canada they still have to ask a figurehead representative of the Queen (of England that is) permission to rule the land (and use the potty).
- In response the Conservatives have asked the Governor General to delay the opening of parliament until late January. As of today, it appears she has decided that not allowing anyone to legislate or debate in a legitimate forum is the right course of action for Canada.
So what have we learned from this quick look into the Canadian political landscape?
- Why bother having elections?
- Why have a legislative body, if it doesn't meet?
- When facing dire economic prospects, the best thing to do is to politic and get nothing accomplished.
- Thank goodness the Queen can still rule over the land - "God save her" and all that - without getting on an aeroplane or steamship.
- Why does a separatist party elect members to national institution that its prime purpose in life is to undo?
- When leading a revolution (or at least a rag tag coalition), rather than having a dynamic leader that captivates all, it is best to be lead by the equivalent of a meek and bumbling 3rd grade math teacher (see Stephane Dion who, by the way, is planning on stepping down from his leadership post in March, 2009).
- Canadians are getting no change they can't believe in.
See John Stewart's now prophetic summary of the lamo cast of Canadian politicians who are playing out this drama . . . . ironically not available in Canada, pity.