Split Indecision: Canada Surges In Multiple Directions Simultaneously

There's a federal election coming in Canada, and the anti-war "third parties" (New Democrats and Greens) are gaining ground fast on the pro-war "major parties" (Liberals and Conservatives) ...

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Harper the NeoCon

Harper's policies and information control tactics have a mysterious x factor until you map them to the American NeoCon model. Then everything snaps into place.

He's a NeoCon; he wants an unimpeded, corporate-run state.

McJ's picture

fingers crossed - conservative minority

I think the best we can hope for is another conservative minority government but I am very nervous about this election and as you point out, even with a minority government Harper can continue to do serious damage to the country.
Canadian elections tend to be about Ontario and Quebec. There are 306 seats in the house of commons, Ontario has 106 and Quebec has 75, the next largest are British Columbia with 36 and Alberta with 28. The other 6 provinces and 3 territories split the remaining 61 seats. I live in British Columbia, so by the time I vote the election has already been decided.
I think the NDP will pull a significant amount of seats from the Liberals. I don't think they will take a lot of seats from the Conservatives and I would be surprised to see the Greens win many seats. ( I hope I'm wrong about that!) I wouldn't characterize that as a boon for the Conservatives but more of a reshuffling of what we have right now. Fingers crossed - the Conservatives don't squeak out a majority.

"It's about the Conservatives and the Liberals against the third parties"
I am inclined to say it is about the Conservatives against the rest of the parties, and then you also have to factor in the Bloc Quebecois which currently hold 48 of the 75 seats from Quebec. I think Canadians will either vote for the Conservatives or against them. For many close ridings Canadians, as always, will be thinking about the strategic vote.
There is now a Facebook group set up that is promoting online vote swapping aimed at keeping the Conservatives from winning a majority. It's an interesting idea and you can check it out at the link below. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080911/election200...

I think your title is great: Split Indecision: Canada Surges In Multiple Directions Simultaneously and your are right that Canada will end up with a heavily fragmented minority government.

"I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." -- Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v

good points ... and I may have been vague ...

I may have been vague or misleading (which happens too often, I must admit, especially when I'm hurrying) and I was definitely oversimplifying things. So thanks for mentioning the Bloc Quebecois, which complicates stuff, as well as the other points you've raised. Wink

When I say the election is about the Conservatives and Liberals against the other parties, I don't mean that the Canadian voters necessarily see it in these terms. In fact I think it's unfortunate that they don't, in the same way I think it's unfortunate that Americans see elections as Democrats vs. Republicans rather than Dems + Repubs vs. everybody else.

And you are probably quite right that in much of the country they will be voting for or against the Conservatives.

What I meant was that the Liberals don't exactly oppose the Conservatives in the same way the smaller parties do, so electing lots of Liberals is not likely to derail (or even impede) the militarization of Canada, in the way that electing lots of Green and/or NDP MPs would (or could, or at least I still hold out some hope that it might -- IF ONLY!).

As for the BQ, how can American readers begin to understand that 15% of the national assembly is made up of separatists whose most cherished goal is breaking up the country? In the US this would be seen as treason and punished as such. But in Canada it's ok. Very odd ... and very much a wild-card in the situation (as I see it) but not one that's likely to change much in this election (unless I am way wrong).

I'm sure most of my Canadian readers know a lot more about this than I do, and I hope you'll continue to point out places where I'm wrong or misleading or vague or oversimplifying ... Wink

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