Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Canada goes to the polls

Another American election to watch: Canada's liberal government has lost a confidence vote following a split with its coalition partner, and so they'll be going to the polls sometime in January.

I don't know very much about Canadian politics - but this will be a good excuse to learn.


I meant America in its geographic sense. See here for other elections that will be taking place in the Americas in the near future.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/29/2005 04:09:00 PM

So, Canadian politics...

First off, the Liberals didn't have a coalition partner. :) It's definitely not like New Zealand with formal agreements. Agreements are very much on a confidence vote by confidence vote basis, with a lot of horse trading.

It's a first past the post system.

There is a senate, but it is appointed, not elected, so they aren't part of the election. :)

Currently parliament is very much divided on regional, instead of political boundaries. The parties are all pretty much of a muchness (slightly left or right of center). However, the NDP is more left than the others.

Instead we've got the Conservatives which are centred around western Canada and the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec.

The Bloc is very much about separatism, with the formation of an independent state as their primary goal.

The Conservatives feed on anti-Quebec feeling in the west, since Alberta, and British Columbia feel (probably rightly so) that they aren't getting a fair piece of the pie. Especially since a lot of it _appears_ to go to Quebec to keep them happy.

It's all fun when you've got a country spanning 6 time zones.

Oh, and they're probably going to be in the same situation after the election, only poorer. :)

Posted by Anonymous : 11/29/2005 04:14:00 PM


Liberals- roughly similar to the Nat social liberals of the
nineties. To the right of the UK
Lib Dems. To the left of John
Howard's Australian 'Liberals.'

Conservatives: Social and fiscal
conservatives. Strong in Western
Canada, weak elsewhere. Too
socially conservative for Eastern
Canadians. Riddled with hardcore

New Democrats: Social democratic
party. More akin to the Alliance
of the nineties here than Labour.
Strong trade union representation,
socially liberal. Third party.

Parti Quebecois: Separatist/
nationalist party of Quebec.
Francophone, socially liberal.
Aiming for a decisive referendum
on the constitutional status of
Canada. If yes, would secede from
the Confederation.

No federal proportional representation. However, Canada has a written constitution, the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which dates from 1982.

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/30/2005 02:29:00 PM

Calling a Canadian an American, it's like a Kiwi being called an Aussie.

It's just not done.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/30/2005 03:23:00 PM