So apparently in an attempt to prove that Canadian politics can be just as interesting as America’s (even though nobody is actually paying attention) it looks like Stephane Dion has finally made a move. Any sort of move that is. What did he do? Well read for yourselves, You’re probably wondering if I still have your attention just what all of that means. Well it’s simple really, Dion, the leader of the Federal Liberal Party of Canada, if you didn’t already know, has signed a coalition pact with the leaders of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois in order to gain enough willing seats in the house to vote down the Conservative Budget during Monday’s session of parliament, which would of course force a confidence vote in which they would put through a vote of non-confidence in Harper’s ability to govern. The Governor-General would then actually have to assign an interim government and because the Liberal’s would essentially have majority support in parliament, this would make Stephane Dion the next Prime Minister until an election is called. Yeah, they can do that in a Parliamentary democracy.
Now some people seem to think otherwise and most of this seems to come from a misunderstanding of the circumstances under which this is about to occur. I’ve weathered several instances of bitching from my parents (who tried to get me to sign some stupid petition) and a friend of a friend who insists this makes Canadian democracy no better than Iraq’s. Not the case, and here’s why:
- First Harper more or less brought this on himself with his constant prodding and provoking of all the other parties and refusal to cooperate or even budge on any issues of confidence that might warrant a compromise and has essentially forced the Liberal opposition to prop him up against the best wishes of Canadians who never gave Harper an official mandate to govern. Yeah, see, Harper’s government is in itself technically an interim government because he does not command the majority of the seats in parliament. In fact, most of us voted for the other parties so it is the opposition that holds sway.
- Second, when you constantly piss off the opposition and try to pull a Bush and think you are safe from any reapproach (yeah ummm Harper, there’s no seperation of executive and legislative branchs in a Parliamentary Democracy like you seem to think their is. You want support for your policies then you’ve gotta convince parliament by putting your own ass on the line by asking Mr. Speaker to give you the floor….IN PARLIAMENT) even though you don’t actually have the popular vote you also thumb your nose in the face of the majority of Canadians who didn’t vote for you.
- Third, when those parties are so fed up with you trying to run the parliament like a king, you can’t be blamed if they start to see eye to eye and adopt a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” way of thinking and come gunning for you. With the majority of the population’s votes on their side no less.
- Fourth, there isn’t going to be any change in the members of parliament immediately as in the case of a coup d’etat style regime change, power will just shift to the side that has the new majority now, which is the Liberal Coalition.
So in a way Canada will actually have a stronger majority with more support from the population (54%) versus what we have now with Harper’s majority government. Not to mention it means cooperation and a proportional place for the NDP in the new cabinet so as not to disenfranchise the people that voted for the NDP. The Bloc isn’t actually an official part of the coalition so much as they’ve promised to back the government on confidence motions into 2010, so they get no appointments. Not that that would go over very well and they understand this, but are more than willing to do this so that we can address the budget crisis once and for all. So I ask who is at fault here? Harper for his clear inability to maintain the support of parliament (not to mention somehow managing to get the Liberals and the Bloc to cooperate), or Dion for making a grab for power when Harper clearly refused to introduce a stimulus package in order to deal with the economic turmoil that is killing the Looney. I don’t know, but I think it’s pretty clear that a stimulus package meant no justification for a non-confidence motion and it certainly wouldn’t result in easy and overnight cooperation between the opposition parties who just last week were tearing themselves and each other apart from the inside.
Now I understand that this is quite complicated though, and in order to better explain it to my target audience (or perhaps just to prove I can trivialize “serious” political happenings like the best of them), here is a different way of looking at the situation:
Stephen Harper Is
He thinks all of Canada’s problems can be solved by sitting their and doing nothing whilst provoking his enemies to come out and act so that he can call them petty and try to make them look like enemies of the state. What he doesn’t realize though is that he is pretty much a hypocrit in being more than happy to hold a proverbial Fleija to their heads by threatening to nuke the current session of parliament anytime they try to make a move to exercise their position in parliament. He also seems to have delusions of Grandeur and fitness to lead even though his sole qualification is that he thinks someone asked him too. Came to power in a coup of the previous government purely by luck and somehow convincing everybody that Paul Martin (in this case our Charles El Brittania) was no longer fit to lead. Also might be a pretty boy.
Stephane Dion Is
With his french name and book smarts he challenged Harper in a metaphorical game of chess but a month ago only to be soundly defeated and almost driven out of his own party in the process. Humiliated as long as time itself has existed he seems to have had enough and has somehow Geassed the rest of his caucus and not to mention Gilles Duceppe into following his new majority coalition. It’s the only way he could have done it. Now he’s ready to challenge Harper one last time for leadership and all he has to do is convince Michaelle jean to put down that weird flute thingy before she gives Harper the power to Fleija the current session of Parliament. Whatever, the case he seems almost destined to be crucified by either his own party in the liberal leadership convention or Duceppe if he should get upset and back out on the deal.
Michaelle Jean is
Nunally Vi Britannia
Some called her blind, maybe even a little naive, in fact we weren’t even sure she could actually walk for a while, but now she’s come back to exercise her right to govern Canada in Queen Elizabeth II’s stead. No kidding eh. She seems like a nice enough woman, even if her role is highly ceremonial and involves shaking a lot of hands (possibly to tell if the person is lying to her or not) and smiling for a camera. That’s possibly about to change now though as Harper has put the Fleija detonator in her hand now and seems to be encouraging her to fire it in the instigator Dion’s direction, shutting his charge and parliament down in the process. The ball is strangely in her court now. Who will it be, Dion or Harper that will secure Jean’s support to govern. Or will Jean pull a fast one and try to govern herself after it’s all over between Dion and Harper and Dion is left a bloody mess? Hmmm….
Jack Layton is
And Orange is the colour of his loyalty. A fighting man who always put the interests of the Canadian people first, he used to fight with Dion, but now he realizes they share the same goals and has pledged an oath of loyalty to him. However he hold the power to cancel Dion’s Geass over the House of Commons, should he run rogue by pulling his support from the Liberal party. He and his NDP have been beaten down and humiliated constantly throughout their history, but now it’s time to come into his own as Dion’s proverbial right hand man in Congress. Jack Layton, they’ve rebuilt him and his party, faster, stronger, better than before and with cabinet seats to boot. Can they make it happen?
Gilles Duceppe Is
A long while back (actually long before he was born) his home territory was taken over by the Great Empire of Britain and was brough into the Dominion of Canada. His solution like those of the forerunning Bloc Quebecois leaders has been to try and change Canada from within so that his homeland of Quebec can gain independence from their evil Canadian overlords. Historically their has been no love lost between him and Dion of the Liberal party, but he seems to have adapted to living life as a Canadian and now seems to see eye to eye with what Dion is trying to accomplish, as it is exactly what he wants barring a shot at a referendum. A better life for all Canadians including especially? Quebecers at whatever cost it takes. If that means Dion becoming the enemy of all Canada, thus forcing him to eventually crucify Dion on the throne of Parliament in a stunning withdrawal of confidence then so be it, but at least it gets rid of the dangerous Stephen Harper and potentially makes way for a better government that will at least give the people of Quebec something instead of just concerning itself with Britannia Alberta.
What the hell did I just write? Well the whole situation is a little ridiculous and deserving of some ridicule, as is much of what goes on in parliament (which often comes across as more of a warzone then an office of Government) so I don’t see I can’t have a little fun at it’s expense. Still, comparing it to the events of Code Geass? Why do I keep asking myself all of these questions when I know the answer? Please tell me it’s all going to be okay. Updates pending come Monday with a possible new government, but will it be there to stay?