Saturday, December 06, 2008

Perhaps a momentary hiatus from Canadian political intrigue is in order. I bet you never thought someone would mention the phrase "Canadian political intrigue" and mean it. In any case, this video made me smile. I had heard about Matt and even seen some of his dancing in the past. Still, it made me happy and maybe it'll work for you (even if you doubt that Stephen Harper will learn how to play well with others, despite what's gone on over the past couple of weeks).

You can find out more about Matt at:

Friday, December 05, 2008

With Parliament suspended for the next 7 weeks I honestly don't think the coalition is going to stand a chance. Stephen Harper may have made some serious tactical blunders to get into this situation but you can be sure he's not going to continue his school-yard bullying tactics when he announces their budget on January 27. I have every expectation that there will be a number of things previously requested by the opposition parties which will undermine their argument that he's not interested in making Parliament work. I also have every expectation that it won't be long before he's back to his "my way or the highway" mentality. I am disappointed that things did not continue to allow the coalition a chance to govern as I am more confident in their abilities to represent Canadians than the Conservatives.

Perhaps most disturbing though is the inclination of people providing commentary online to go to the extreme. With so much activity on news sites and the individual commentary running fast and furious, I saw a lot of comments that were unequivocally black or white, 1 or 0. In light of this I found an interesting article discussing the concept of crime occuring where there are signs of neglect, and extending it to online spaces. I think that there are so many unmoderated avenues for people to provide commentary on anything and everything (my blog is a prime example) that people feel they can say anything. Including things that they might never say in a conversation with a "real" person. That also comes with a cloak of anonymity and both seem to make consensus-building difficult. That saddens me. One might hope that democracy relies on the voice of people being heard but I'm not sure that this method is a constructive step towards true democracy.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The fun continues. As the Green's express their support, the Liberal/NDP coalition now has the support of parties that got 62% of the votes cast in Canada's 40th general election. It didn't take long for this to be a rallying point.

Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion both had time on national television this evening to share their perspective on how this process should play out. Stephen Harper didn't do much to change my perspective. I'm excited and hopeful about what the coming days will bring.

Monday, December 01, 2008

All is wild and wooly down Ottawa-way. A coalition of opposition parties is forming (a cabal if you're a Conservative-fan) and it looks like they're fixin' to knock the Conservative party out of power. I've always thought this was how minority governments were supposed to run. You know, finding middle-ground instead of bullying the smaller kids on the playground.

I've heard opinions that the Conservatives have the mandate to lead. I personally don't think that 37.6% of the popular vote gives one party the voice to speak for all Canadians. If the parties that represent 54.4% of the popular vote are working together that seems more democratic. Having said that I a) have never been a big fan of the "first-past-the-post" model and b) I can't honestly say what the likely response is going to be from the majority of Canadians. My hope is that they see it as a burden being lifted and that the parliament can function and represent the view of more Canadians and not the view of how the Conservative party sees us. Having said that, I can also see people reacting with disdain for political gamesmanship in the midst of economically trying times. Sure the (current) opposition parties can argue that they're doing this because the Conservatives aren't acting quickly enough on the economy but even I see that reason sliding by the way-side. Still, I find this an exciting time. Especially after a disappointing campaign and election. Maybe the first Canadian coalition government will surprise us all. It may be just the change we need/want/are going to get.