Believe it or not, but it is exciting Canadian politics that actually got me back to this blog.
While the world in general and USA more specifically had their full attention on the American presidential election, Canada also held a federal election. Unfortunately, those hoity-toity Conservatives strengthened their hold in the parliament. They didn't get a majority, though, thank goodness.
Harper, the Conservative party leader and the current Canadian prime minister, AKA slimeball, started losing ground some time before the election because he somehow got it in his thick head that Canada is immune to the global economic crisis. He did nothing.
After the election, White Chocolate continued to do nothing. His budgetary proposals are a joke and an insult to Canadians. He squandered the lag time Canada had (still has a bit) before recession hits full force. Instead of acting NOW he chose not to do anything before he proposes a budget at the end of Jan 09.
So the opposition parties formed a coalition. This is what happens in parliamentary systems. It's a common occurrence in many countries with such systems. We don't elect a prime minister. So if parties can create majorities and overthrow the current government through a non-confidence vote to either call an election or form their own government, that's allowed. By law. That's the way our democratic system works. You may think it's flawed, but what system isn't.
Unable to look at Harper without hurling, I was happy that opposition leaders decided to form a coalition and act to stimulate the Canadian economy NOW. I actually felt warm and fuzzy inside to see avowed rivals acting together in an attempt to save us. They put aside more than differences, they put aside hatred, and decided it was important to act.
Harper wasn't that happy. He asked the Queen's representative in Canada -- yes, you read right -- Canada's head of state is actually the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, and she has a vice-regal here, the Governor General. Back to slimey, he asked the GG to prorogue -- that is, suspend -- the parliament!!! until the end of Jan when he presents his budget. This way he can avoid the non-confidence vote scheduled in the House of Commons next week.
He asked, she agreed.
So, I always knew I live in a constitutional monarchy, Canada being part of the Commonwealth realm. As an immigrant, I even swore an oath to Queen and Country when I became Canadian. But I always imagined this was just a cutsey role, that nothing improtant ever really materialized out of it. That it was some lingering romantical attachement and nothing more.
I know, I know. It seems I'm hiding behind "it's the law" when it suits me and condemning it when it doesn't. But I strongly believe this monarchial / dictatorial rule is a remnant that was left in place because no one ever thought it would be used. Like declaring martial law only in the most extreme of circumstances (I know, I lived through one). This is the most dangerous of precedences that would allow future prime ministers to avoid non-confidence and be overthrown in a democratic process. It allows Harper to stay in power even though he doesn't have the support of the parliament. Now, this is unconstitutional in nature, and it is undemocratic!
Meanwhile, the leaders of Canada keep squandering the lag time it had to try and keep the recession away, or at least keep it short and shallow. Canada was holding its own for a while as Canadian banks were the strongest among the G8. But, despite what Harper kept saying, Canada cannot exist -- well -- apart from the US, its biggest trading partner. The Canadian auto industry is the US auto industry. And the saving grace that was high commodity prices has all but disappeared.
I believe Canada can still avert the worst of it, but not if Harper keeps on wasting time. He's inept and his inactivity will cost us. He's got to go! As for the monarchy, I'd rather it stayed in the ceremonial realm.
Categories: Canada, politics, Dion, Harper, coalition, GG, monarchy