Canadian Politics?

Hey, I know next to nothing about Canadian politics, and want to know more about it.

There’s a good number of people on the board from Canada and all they seem to do is talk about the US, and that’s odd to me.

I want to hear about the issues and concerns going on in your country. It would be educational.

What specifically do you want to hear?

We have 3-4 main parties. Liberal, PC, NDP and the bloq (quebec)

Paul Martin (liberal) was a total fuckup and so naturally everyone voted PC this year, but it’s not so much that we’re that conservative… it’s just that the NDP (more of a socialist party) doesn’t have enough support yet, even though this year they were they strongest party for the job this year, in my opinion.

You’ll have to be more specific if you want anything more…

OG,

I literally have never heard of those parties. I’m kind of shocked at myself.

If you want to you can talk about them a bit, but mostly I like to hear about what people like and dislike about what’s going on.

I have only a little idea about what Canadians care about.

To be honest I don’t know a whole lot…

Martin was involved in a bunch of scandals and stuff and so everyone is sort of wary towards the Liberals.

Like I said I like the NDP, their leader (Jack Layton) is sort of a sleeze bag, I saw him give a talk one time… but I suppose that they all are in way. He was smart enough to dodge questions with clever rhetoric when I was there so I guess he’s charismatic in that sense. Despite Layton I like the NDP because of their social policies compared to Harper and the conversatives. I’m afraid Harper will let Bush just go hog wild. Plus… under Layton the whole pot thing would speed ahead much faster.

In fact, Canada even has an official ‘Weed Party’ I mean they have no chance of winning… but they’re known countrywide.

But to be honest… I really don’t follow Canadian politics… the Doc might have some more insightful thoughts on this stuff.

I invoke your avatar in regard to that last sentence.

Well maybe the technical stuff is not your thing, but how about the qualitative aspects of life. For instance, I can go on and on about stuff that I don’t like in the US, and things that I’m proud of.

Don’t push it now though, like I said, I’m just curious to know general stuff. I hate to say it, but I’m looking for the zeitgeist, so take your time.

Yeah, O_G, I’ve got a LOT to discuss about Canadian politics. But there need to be more specific questions. However, a brief history goes like this:

Brian Mulroney (PC–>Conservative) was the US lap dog to Reagan; he sold us out, signed NAFTA, introduced the GST (a federal tax that was added to our already high taxes–it was suppoesd to REPLACE hidden taxes but it was a real confusing pain in the ass…we now pay 15% sales tax on most items, depending on the province and the provincial sales tax), fucked seniors by changing laws so that it would take many, many years before their drugs could become generic, had numerous cabinet members get caught in scandals, and jumped ship just before an election b/c he knew he had done such a horrible job in the end and was the most reviled politician in Canadian history. Because of Mulroney, the Conservative party’s number of seats dropped to essentially zero and this is why the Liberals held numerous majorities afterwards.

The Libs had to do a really bang up job of fucking us over even more to get their asses kicked by Harper and the Conservatives. But that’s what they did. Chretien got elected about 15 years ago (?) by promising to scrap NAFTA and the GST, both of which he kept. Then, every year his finance minister (Martin) would say we were in the red or our surplus was, say, 3 billion dollars. So he’d say we didn’t have enough money to do this or that, and lo and behold a few months later we’d see that our surplus was literally 300-400% higher than he claimed previously. But they had already passed their budget based on the ridiculously low surplus estimate. They did this every year and Martin carried on the tradition when he became PM.

Because of this bullshit, the Liberals’ promise to “eradicate child poverty” never happened, and in fact child poverty got worse during the Libs’ time in office, even during record years of prosperity. In some big cities, 1/4 of kids live in poverty (though we have no official level of poverty: there are at least 4 different major definitons, ranging from about $19K/year for a family of four, to $33K). They also promised every year to invest in ECE but never did. Then they began downloading services onto provinces, meaning that provinces had to pay for far more services than ever before. How did they deal with that? Downloading to cities, of course. So now many major cities in Canada are on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s pathetic.

Chretien was also extremely arrogant and insulting and loved to make jokes to cover his ass. He had this myth of being “the little guy from Chiwa_____” (I forget his Quebec hometown) but he was 6’4…no little guy in stature, finances, or anything else…stupid myth people bought blindly. He mangled names and English, made numerous international faux pas, authorized use of force against PEACEFUL Canadian protesters when the Indonesian tyrant, Suharto came to BC, choked the living daylights himself out of a tiny old protestor, and of course was in charge of the gov’t when they pulled one of the biggest scandals in Canadian history (the “save Canada” ad scandal that helped sink Chretien and Martin); Martin was the finance minister at the time and he MUST have known what was going on. He was found not to be in the loop, but that’s bullshit IMO.

This was just a quick run through off the top of my head. Oh yes, let’s not forget that the Libs have held early elections 3 times (maybe 4) b/c they felt the timing was best for them to have another majority. This cost us tens of millions of dollars wasted on egos and power plays. Fuckers…

And what about Harper and the Conservatives? They are a blend of the PC and the “Reform Party,” which used to be a racist organization from out west. Preston Manning used to be the leader–his speeches used to be total gay/black/Jew bashing…he was affiliated with the “Heritage Front,” Canada’s version of KKK-light. But then he got smart and changed his image totally. Some members still were honest enough to reveal their bigotry, so he got rid of them (or hid them for a while). He lost leadership of the party, which was really a fringe group and never was popular outside the prairie provinces (our version of red necks–gross overgeneralization, but it does apply to a good # of people in the “midwest” prairie provinces), to Stockard Day, a bible thumper who denied evolution and embarrassed himself several times. Then, Reform and PC voted to merge, since they knew they were fighting each other for votes, which helped the Libs keep get majorities. They eventually merged (called Conservatives) and Harper was the leader who got trounced first time round–mostly b/c people still despise Mulroney, and b/c a few of us remember what Reform really believe in, as well as Harper: he has essentially said he wishes he were American and wants everything about us to change to American style, including military, health care, etc.

But as mentioned, people got tired of Chretien/Martin and their sense of entitlement. People felt we need a change, as a recent survey showed. That is, Harper won not b/c of his policies but b/c the majority of people wanted to teach the Libs a lesson, and b/c people are generally stupid and believe we have only two parties. In fact, Ontario had an NDP gov’t about 15 years ago, and the leader fucked things up so badly that Ontario will never see another NDP party in power–and since Ontario is the most powerful and populous province (though Alberta’s oil makes them pretty infulential too), we won’t see the NDP in power federally for many many years. I don’t trust Layton either–he’s too slick and smug, and he and his wife (another politician) used to live in subsidized housing (a condo) till they got found out: they were both politicians at the time and basically robbed one needy family of a condo. Fucking hypocrites.

We also have the “Green party” which is an environmental party but they’ve never won any seats (I think they got 3-5% of the popular vote), the weed party as O_G said, and a few other fringe groups like the Communist party.

BTW, our politicians rank as some of the most morally bankrupt, corrupt, ethically challenged, cynical liars out there. A few examples are above, but there are too many to rattle off here. But the new PM, Harper, has already pulled off a few fuck jobs: He rightfully bitched about our Senate, which is a group of old white men who get appointed–not elected–to $100K+/year positions…they are appointed as favours for helping out the ruling party at the time…they have blocked some very important bills, such as animal cruelty laws which are over 100 fucking years old…they are useless, unappointed, and cost us millions of dollars per year as a favour to fucker politicians…so Harper wants to change such a system, which is a good thing–>scrap the Senate is what most of us have called for. So what does Harper do? He immediately appoints a friend/biz-political associate to the Senate. Fucker. What else does he do? One or two days after the election, he bribes a LIBERAL who just got elected to parliament on a LIBERAL platform to jump ship to Conservatives (bribe=cabinet position as opposed to no-name opposition party member). And Harper is the same one who bitched when one of his star party members and former rival for leadership, Belinda Stronach (gal pal of Clinton…billionaire daughter of one of Canada’s most powerful men), left his party for the Libs in order to help save the Libs from getting turfed on a no-confidence vote…fuckers all around…

Hope you enjoyed that cynical rant about Canadian politics. I’ve covered only the past 15 years, but the Canada of the past 1-2 decades truly is a different beast from what we were before…

Yeh, you’ll never hear me talk about politics, canadian or american.
Honestly, knowing a good deal about how our canadian system works both in theory and in practice, I am all for armed revolution. It’s THAT fucked up.
Barely any checks and ballances.

Anyhow, I find politics, much like team sports, to be rather useless apart from entertainment value…and I don’t find it entertaining.

I am a Canadian who is currently living overseas in Australia while my wife is studying.

I won’t comment on Canadians politics too much… I would rather discuss some important things about what I see as the Canadian character.

You make a great point about Canadians only tending to talk about Americans.

There are two major beliefs I think Canada has in relation to the U.S.

  1. We lack a cohesive definition of ourselves, so we largely define ourselves as NOT american.

Foreigner: So, you’re Canadian, what is being a Canadian all about?
Canadian: I dunno but I’m sure not an American!
Foreigner: Stupid Americans
Canadian: I know.

  1. Many Canadians are desperate to be recognised by the United States. Its almost like we have this inferiority complex. We think America is stupid, but we’re constantly trying to out do/beat/prove we’re better than them. I think this comes from feeling like America’s little brother, and a good deal of treating ourselves very softly. (We like to think we’re so much better because we’re canadian, but we do lots of stupid stuff)

I once heard a funny saying about canadian’s politeness. If you bump into a Canadian he will say sorry to you. I can admit to doing that. When someone bumps me I often do say sorry, even if it is their fault.

Of all the national stereotypes of Canada I think the one that is most accurate (but strangely rare) is our love of Tim Horton’s. There are areas of Canada where they will build 2 stores of a huge donut chain accross the street from one another just so people won’t have to turn left to get into it. Tim Horton’s is huge… especially in the East.

I dunno, maybe its some kind of visual metaphor for multiculturalism… all those different coloured delicious donuts. And the coffee, black, or equally a part of Canada the lovely creamy tan colour of the double-double.

To get back on topic (I’m having a huge Timmy’s craving now) I think that people are suffering with the exact same problem that many others are suffering around the world: we know that the path that we are on isn’t working. Pollution, starvation, violence, inequality… but we just can’t seem to get going on making anything better.

Canadians are proud of our healthcare system yet we are gutting it as we speak. We brag to everyone how kickass it is but we’re allowing it to be dismantled by our conservative government.

Election promise from the Conservatives: less tax and more services.

If we cut taxes how can we have more services? I don’t get it.

Ok, I don’t want to rant too much so I’m going to finish up with one more thing… toques
Wikipedia’s entry for toque

Beanies are what everyone else seems to call them but to me toque (tuque for you French folk) is a beautiful word. Plus, I know all the French terms for food attributes, low fat, high iron, low acid, no pulp etc because of mandatory french labelling.

Just think, I can go anywhere in the world that speaks french and ask for a low fat option. Fantastique I say.

hope that helped, or was at least a little entertaining, eh.

cheers,
gemty

i am canadian but know about nothing of our politcal system. you know it seems way easyer to follow the US politics than canadian ones. if only because future man’s rants are so amuseing.

my fields are elsewhere. i really wish i had more to say about this. great thread by the way,i am lerndbling!

Wow, this is all very interesting for me to read, it’s turning into a good thread.

As I think of it, we in the US never hear anything about you guys (it’s almost like you live in another country) and I wonder why exactly that is. Part of me assumes that it’s because you have functioning (at least I believe so) elements of socialism and the capitalists in this country don’t want us to think about it. Worse yet, it could simply be that few are interested here. Anyway, it seems rather stupid on our part.

Meanwhile, I bet that there’s a number of Canadian politicians that just love the focus placed on the US. They’re probably having a party.

Just to keep this topical, and to continue my rant: not only did PM Harper hypocritically “bribe” a rival politician to jump ship right after getting elected on another party’s platform–during which he promised to be “Harper’s worst nightmare”–but now he’s refusing to participate in any inquiry by the Ethics Commissioner to see if he broke any rules in doing so. Harper also last year refused to help the Ethics Commissioner investigate a scandal of his party: a scandal that actually involved a member of his party trying to prove that the Liberals were scandalously trying to bribe him to jump ship to save the Libs from being defeated on a non-confidence vote. #-o

Fucking hypocrites, all of them…

Actually, one more piece of news: apparently in Toronto, the gov’t has approved a plan to make the entire downtown core a “hot spot” so people can connect to the internet wherevere they are. A few cities in the US have already refused such a project b/c of the possible harm such huge wireless networks might cause. Maybe there’s no danger, but maybe there is. The fact is, the evidence has been inconclusive, just as the evidence has been inconclusive regarding the dangers of cell phones.

However, it’s been shown that–surprise surprise–studies paid for by cell phone companies or related interest groups typically find little or no harm, whereas those run by independent organizations not affiliated with companies with a stake in the outcomes have mostly reported harmful effects. Fuckers. :imp:

So, why should the gov’t trust that a huge wireless network which has never been adequately tested would have no ill effects on people exposed to it 10-12 hours/day or more, including children, newborns, people in hospitals, etc??? Double fuckers… :imp: :imp:

Ca-na-duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :angry: :imp: :angry:

All of this is just thinly veiled insult and if I love personal attacks then at least I’m not a hypocrite about it.

Personally, I hadn’t thought of the health hazards, so that’s a good one.

Anyway, I had been hearing that Philly has plans to install wireless in town in the near future, and saw a bit on the news reporting that it’s going to be carried through on. For some insane reason on my part, I thought that it was going to be free.

However, the plan is to charge twenty dollars a month in order to log on. Last time I checked, Netzero is like ten bucks a month, so what’s the big benefit of having city wireless? Anyway, I was sad and angry because I can’t exaggerate enough how poor most of the people are in the city and surrounding areas, and I thought that having free, or extremely low cost, internet would be great for low income families that manage to get a computer.

Now they can get brain cancer without the benefit of the porn. That sucks!

Comment (from an American): Canada is lucky it isn’t caught in the position of being a “superpower”.

Question: I thought Canada had a Christian Democrat Party.
Is there any moderate party there like that? (I might like to defect.)

Canadian politics is pretty central on the spectrum, where we are not too left or right.We have 4 parties as Gobbo mentioned before.

political spectrum of American and Candian parties

| ------------------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------------------|
…Democrats…Republicans
… NDP…Liberals…B…Conservatives

( B = Block Quebecois A.K.A the Frenchies) (oh and the “…” were set instead of spaces)

This is what i think, not sure if i’m right though, maybe the Doc or Gobbo can correct me

(changed the NDP more left due to popular request)

I’d put the NDP to the left of Democrats…

yeah me too

Yeh, our left is pretty left.
As is our right, ultimately.
Altogether too much leftieness for a righty like me.
Still, best place on earth to live.

So, is the NDP the strongest force in the country?

I’m aware that you guys have national healthcare and public schools like the US, but is there anything else that stands out?

No sir.
The conservatives and the liberals are the only two serious contenders.
But the ‘conservatives’ just aren’t that far right of left by any standard.

Well, look into native land claim settlements.That is some serious liberal BS there.

Not to keep up the stupid act, but do the liberals and cons have a party name?

Meanwhile, I’m for socialism if it’s providing needed services. I believe that such spending can actually improve a country as it frees up the population from poverty and stress, thus they can do and learn more.