Forboding Angel wrote:
I am glad I don't live in Canada. Your politics and party makeups boggle my mind at the non-sensicalness of it all. Of your 3 major parties, all 3 seems to be kinda looney bin material, as though you have ultra hard right, ultra hard left and nothing in between that makes any certifiable sense. Ungh, screw that
Nah, from what I've seen of your posts, you'd like the Conservatives. You're a center-right voter, aren't you? They're not ultra-hard-right, they're just way too far right for most Canadians, and so their leader rules them with an iron fist to keep the crazy ones silent.
Our situation with the Cons is similar to the American one in that the Republicans are divided between the Jesus-and-guns types and the old tax-cutting corporate men... they used to be two separate parties - the Reform (religion and guns) and the Progressive Conservatives (businessmen). Then Prime Minister Mulroney (of the PC) screwed the country so bad that nobody respected the PC party after that, and so the Reform took the spotlight on the right, much to the disgust of most of Canada. Seeing the writing on the wall, the remaining PC and the Reformers merged parties as the Conservative party. They put a stuffy Toronto economist named Stephen Harper up front to make themselves to Ontarians, and he runs a *very* tight ship within his party. Despite their origins (most of the party comes from the Reform side of the family and started out as angry right-wing grassroots agitators) they stay on message very well and avoid saying anything that will push them out of Canada's favour. Basically, where the Republicans celebrate the Jesus-and-guns side of the party, the Conservatives keep it under wraps.
So they survive as Canada's minority party (plurality in government, but not a majority). The Prime Minister is just the leader of the party with the most seats in the House - there is no seperate election for the position... this is actually an unwritten rule because of our gradual entrance into democracy, so there are questions about whether a coalition is a legal alternative. But I digress. A minority government means that the opposition can band together and force an election when they want to have another crack at governing... but Canadians don't *want* an election because nothing much changed last time we went to the polls, and the Liberals damned well know that Canadians don't have any more reason to vote for them this time than they did the last two times.
So the Cons actually can run like they've got a majority, since the Liberals don't want to look wimpy by opposing them *without* calling an election.
So this uneasy state of affairs has gone on since 2006, a new record for minority government in Canada.
The problem in this case is that, of course, they're being all laissez-faire supporting the big business and so they have no interest in stopping UBB.
Oh, and the Quebecers have their own party that doesn't even run in other provinces. The Bloc Quebecois gets near-unanimous representation from the Quebec ridings every election.
So we have a 4th major party, but the Bloc can never get enough seats to rule (obviously) but has massive power in government.
The math creates an ugly reality here: having a regional power-base is better than broad support. The Greens approach 7% of the popular vote but never get a seat. The NDP gets *double* the popular support of the Bloc, but substantially *less* seats. The same problems would occur in the USA if you had more parties.