Monday, September 29, 2008

Not again...

Two solitudes: left vs. right

...there's a federal election coming. A side effect of having a minority government with no real opposition - they might as well call an election, with the best case scenario (for the government, not necessarily for Canada) being a majority victory, and the worst case scenario being another couple of years added on to the current term. It's not like anyone else is likely to win.


As I understand it, the parties can be described pretty much like this:

1) Conservative. Mostly blue. Used to be called Progressive Conservatives until they were slaughtered in a previous election, merged with the Reform Party (a bunch of ultra-conservatives from out west) and changed their name. Also, they weren't really fooling anyone with the "Progressive" tag anyway. Currently in power. Policy seems to be somewhat lacking. Led by a not-so-very-charismatic Prime Minister who is now best known for wearing a friendly, homey sweater vest in his TV commercial.

2) Liberal. A cheerful shade of red. Slightly less conservative than the Conservatives. Roundly slaughtered last time around by a combination of the Conservatives and the NDP (see below). Now led by some guy who a) is widely seen as an intellectual egghead, b) at the last leadership convention defeated another guy who is also widely seen as an intellectual egghead, and c) allegedly sounds like the Swedish Chef when he speaks English quickly. Absolutely no clear policy on anything, as far as I can tell.

3) New Democratic Party. Orange. Not new, not democratic. Occasionally described as pinko commies, by people just slightly less charitable than me. Led by a guy who is famous for living in community housing while in office as a highly-paid municipal politician. Platform based around a complex mix of carbon credits, expensive social programs, and national bankruptcy.

4) Bloc Quebecois. Kind of dark blue with white fleur-de-lis on it, or something. Nobody outside of La Belle Province cares, but that didn't stop them from getting enough seats in recent memory to form the official opposition. Led by some French-Canadian guy. Platform is based on separation from English Canada, determined defence of the French language and culture (France could probably learn something from this), and not a whole lot else.

5) Green Party. Green; somewhat fuzzy around the edges. Running in every single bloody riding in the country; unlikely to win any of them. Led by some person or other who talks a lot about the environment and rides around the country on a train, or a bicycle, or a hang-glider, or something.

And not to forget:

6) The usual grab-bag of independents, party dissenters, embezzling, criticizing and/or adultering ex-government ministers who've been booted out of caucus, street musicians, ex-hockey players (don't laugh, there are at least two in the Senate) and the like.

Now you know everything you need to. October 14th - go out and vote.*

*This public service announcement may not actually be very useful for anything. You've been warned.


Aled said...

A very good analysis methinks. Not much choice of who will be in charge of the asylum?
This Bloc Quebecois bunch fascinate me. Only in the sense that they influence Canada so much. Why do the Canadians insist having every sign in French and English. I've had to endure a flight from Toronto (which is English speaking as far I could tell, apart from the Vietnamese and the Greeks) with every announcement in very poor French and even poorer English.
In answer to my own question as to why the Canadians tolerate these loonies, a guy in Toronto told me that if the Bloc Quebecois get their wish, and set up their own country, they will kill Canada's economy as they will tax everything coming into Canada from the East.
How about setting up a Bloc Naturel? English only speaking, conservative policies, no liberals, no tree-huggers, no commies, no French, oh, and an end to Canada's awful 'Beer Stores'. Are their staff especially trained to be rude, moronic and unsociable? In civilized countries, one can buy beer in any supermarket.
PS I love Canada. It has great potential. We need a Ricardipus as their PM to fulfill this potential.

Corey said...

Canada doesn't really have beer stores. It depends on what province you're in.

#Debi said...

"Why do the Canadians insist having every sign in French and English?" Aled, I'm guessing they have more logic for that than we do for having (seemingly) every sign in Spanish and English. At least their French are all citizens... Also, I find it interesting that in Canada, the conservatives are blue and the liberals are red--in the US, it's the opposite. Who assigns these things?

Ricardipus said...

Corey is right - it's only in fascist states like Ontario that we have provincially-run, union-operated, brewery cartel-owned "beer stores". Well, actually, probably in a few other provinces too come to think of it.

The French/English thing goes back to the original saw-off between the English and French conquerors-I-mean-colonists, and/or the much-loathed British North America Act. For the same reason we have both Catholic and Public school boards.

Debi - last time I was in France, I kept picking up things in the supermarket and turning them around, expecting to see English on the other side of the package. 100% true story.

john.g. said...

Where can I vote?

Ricardipus said...

John - Canada. Or maybe the consulate.

You might need to do some citizenship paperwork first though.

Corey said...

In (communist?) Saskatchewan we have province run "Liquor Stores" which we kids somewhat confusingly refer to as LBs. As well, we have offsales, or "cold beer and wine stores".

The Wrath of Dawn said...

Aled, your mistake was in going to Ontario.

You need to try a visit to the Maritimes. Nicer people and no silly beer stores.

And in Newfoundland, you can buy beer in any corner store although you CAN see the end of the world from here and some find that disconcerting. Hence the need for easy-access beers.

Can't speak for out west or up north, they'll have to defend themselves.