Canadian Politics 101

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crazymike

Guest
Since everyone thinks Canadian vote by a show of hands, I figured I would explain rougly how our system works.

We have 3 main levels of government.

Federal - Country wide, the leader is called the Prime Minister
Provinvial - Province wide, the leader is called the Premier
Municipal - Town/City wide, called the Mayor.

We don't elect sheriffs, etc...

There are 5 main partys.

NDP - New Conservatives Party. They are left wing socialists. Not the best of partys IMO, but a lesser of two evils.

Liberal - Left wing, they are the strongest party in Canada. Not the best, but we could do worse.

Convervative - This is the equivelent to Bush. A great party to vote for if you are rich and running a large corporation. This party exists purely for the benefit of it's corporate friends. The last time we had them in power at a provincial level they destroyed our school system, job security and many other things.

Quebecois - Their primary goal is to seperate Quebec from Canada and make them their own country. They don't do well in any place but Quebec. Quebec wants to be a seperate country, we can save this for politics 201.

Green - The main focus is the environment. They are a good party with some good ideas but rarely show more than 10% of seats. They are anti war and believe in global peace.

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In Canada when you vote for Prime Minister you vote for their representitive in your area. For instance voting in Toronto, you would vote for your Liberal representitive in Toronto. The party with the most votes in Toronto is awarded a seat in the house.

Here is where things get tricky. In Canada we have two forms of government. The most common being a minority government.

A minority government is when the winning party (the one with the most seats) has less than 50% of the votes. This means that although they are put in government, all policies must be voted on by the other partys who have seats in the house.

An example of minority government is as follows.

Liberal - 40%
NDP - 30%
Green - 30%

If the liberals want to pass a policy regarding a new tax, NDP and Green must vote on it. If they vote against it, then the Liberals need to rework their policy until they all agree.

In the rare case Canada has a majority government, then the other partys have no say.

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Once the party is in power, they assign specific jobs to representitives in each area. For instance, the person you voted for in Toronto who gained a seat might be assiend Education minister, etc...



This is a very basic understand of Canadian politics. As you can tell it's very different than Americas.
 
C

crazymike

Guest
For those who don't understand pros to minority governments I will explain why I like it.

When you only have two parties in the running you are generaly forced to vote for the lesser of two evils.

With a minority government people are more free to vote for the party they believe in. Although they may not win, they will have some say for the next few years.

It is also handy when you get a real jackass in office. Bush is a good example. Bush would be able to suggest all the laws he wants, but he must convince the other partys to agree with his new policies before they pass. He couldn't simply declare war on Poland, etc...

However, minority governments suck for the lead party. It's a lot more work and they also can't get away with murder very easily.
 

wr3kt

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crazymike said:
It's not as bad as it sounds.
FIVE!

Oh sure...3/5ths is a lot easier with 5...but it's 5 parties each with there own internal interests.
Hell...2 parties is bad enough with the gray area in each, but jesus...I couldn't even begin to want to think about the gray-overlap of 5 parties.
 

APRIL

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Interesting. The parties are extremely diverse though, one year you'll get your trees saved and another you could get the corporations to burn trees down for more space.

...or am I too sleepy and talking out of my ass again.
 

wr3kt

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April23 said:
Interesting. The parties are extremely diverse though, one year you'll get your trees saved and another you could get the corporations to burn trees down for more space.

...or am I too sleepy and talking out of my ass again.
You'll never need an enima...
 
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crazymike

Guest
April23 said:
Interesting. The parties are extremely diverse though, one year you'll get your trees saved and another you could get the corporations to burn trees down for more space.

...or am I too sleepy and talking out of my ass again.

Kind of, but we rarely have a majority government. I think it's happened twice since confederation.
 
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crazymike

Guest
April23 said:
That's kind of crazy. If it wasn't so cold and desolate up there I'd try it out.
it's not that bad. I kind of like that fact we are spread out. However we measure distance in hours :p

When someone asks you how far it is to the next town, you don't say, 2-3 miles, you usually say 2-3 hours :p
 

wr3kt

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crazymike said:
it's not that bad. I kind of like that fact we are spread out. However we measure distance in hours :p

When someone asks you how far it is to the next town, you don't say, 2-3 miles, you usually say 2-3 hours :p
I bet you spread out wide...
 

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crazymike said:
it's not that bad. I kind of like that fact we are spread out. However we measure distance in hours :p

When someone asks you how far it is to the next town, you don't say, 2-3 miles, you usually say 2-3 hours :p

I couldn't live that far apart, I like people too much.

PLUS ITS COLD THERE.