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Exciting Canadian Politics! December 4, 2008

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

No, the title is not an oxymoron. The politics in Canada this past week have been pretty interesting, a contrast to the dull two-party bickering and lack of any creativity in those partisan battles.

The prime minister, Stephen Harper, leads a minority government, possible only because there is a four-way split in Canada’s parliament. His Conservative party hold the plurality and the other three, the Liberals, the New Democrats, and the Bloc Quebecois,  have rarely shown any cohesion. That is usually akin to putting three tomcats into a burlap sack.

But last week, the three agreed to vote together in a no-confidence vote this coming Monday. That would force Harper to resign. The options would be either to have the three form a coalition government or hold elections only a short time after parliamentary elections.

The Conservatives accuse the Liberals and New Democrats of treason because the Bloc Quebecois advocates independence for Quebec, the partitioning of Canada (which could get really complex and ugly, as the native Americans in much of the north of Quebec say they would secede from Quebec and rejoin Canada.)

So today, Harper asked the governor general to suspend parliament to avoid the no-confidence vote. (since Canada still recognizes Elizabeth II or whoever is the British sovereign as head of state, her representative there, the governor general “rules” in her stead – an anachronism we in the US do not have to deal with.)

So what normally is a rather bland political scene has gotten very, very interesting.



1. Engramic - December 5, 2008

It’s quite clear the new coalition is determined to bring Harper down and they’ll do so in January 27 (Harper managed to get the parliament suspended until then). I doubt they will all reach consensus on the buget because of these new political ambitions, and that’s going to be really bad for the Canadian economy.

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