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May 3, 2011
nationalpost:

National Post front page for May 3, 2011
Harper proves his doubters wrong again Quebec takes the plunge with the NDP; Duceppe quits After Bin Laden: The manhunt, the raid, the reaction and what comes next

To give you an idea of what happened with the Canadian elections last night.

nationalpost:

National Post front page for May 3, 2011

Harper proves his doubters wrong again
Quebec takes the plunge with the NDP; Duceppe quits
After Bin Laden: The manhunt, the raid, the reaction and what comes next

To give you an idea of what happened with the Canadian elections last night.

9:47 // 3 years ago
May 2, 2011
22:28 // 3 years ago
March 26, 2011
Summary: Explaining Canadian politics (and Stephen Harper) to Americans
Stephen Harper has some pretty huge problems right now. The Canadian Prime Minister’s government was found in contempt by the House of Commons — the first time that’s happened in the country’s history. The situation, pushed by a coalition led by the minority Liberal party, promises to add an interesting twist to Canadian politics over the next six weeks. “The principle at stake in this debate goes to the heart of parliamentary democracy: the obligation of a government to provide members of this House with the information they need in order to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada,” said Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff. Now, we understand that many of our readers may not know much about Canadian politics, so here’s a quick explanation of what’s going on:
What happened? Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government was found in contempt — the first time that’s happened in Canadian history. The contempt vote, pushed by minority parties, also doubled as a no-confidence vote.
What’s next? Tomorrow, Harper is expected go to the Governor-General David Johnston to dissolve parliament. In May, Canadians would vote in the country’s 41st election — the country’s fourth election in roughly seven years.
The reason The three major minority parties — Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois — say that the Harper government kept them in the dark on the budgetary elements of certain pieces of legislation, which led to the contempt vote. source
» Other frustrations: The minority parties also have shared frustrations in Harper’s corporate tax cuts and push for increased defense spending on military jets — allowing for the opposition parties to find common ground. If they were to gain control, expect these things to be targets.
How the party lines break down
A plurality government with no majority: The House of Commons — the main voter-elected body in the Canadian government — has led with a plurality government for a few years, strengthening their hold in 2008, but with the 308 seats up for grabs a little over four weeks, the body could change significantly. While polls suggest Harper’s Conservatives could gain a majority this time out, if they don’t, it’s possibile that the three main minority parties (along, possibly, with the Greens, who currently don’t have a seat in the House of Commons) could form their own coalition, forcing Harper off his perch entirely. Here’s what the House of Commons looks like now:
143 Conservatives seats in the House of Commons
77 seats are held by the Liberal Party
47 seats are held by Bloc Quebecois
36 seats are held by the New Democratic Party
» Minor members and the Senate: On top of the parties here, two of House of Commons seats are held by independent candidates, and three seats are currently empty. Also of note: The Canadian parliament also has a Senate, but it isn’t directly elected, is kind of a messy situation of its own, and holds no say over the situation with Harper or the government.  Harper’s job lies in the hands of the confidence of the House of Commons — which he just lost. (By the way, our boy Ilya Gerner has a pretty interesting take on the whole Canadian plurality system worth checking out.)
Harper’s take on the issue

Unfortunately, Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundantly clear that they had already decided they wanted an election instead, Canada’s fourth election in seven years, an election Canadians had told them clearly that they did not want. Thus the vote today, which obviously disappoints me, and will, I suspect, disappoint most Canadians.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper • Discussing his frustrations with the current contempt vote. The polls seem to suggest that many back Harper’s take on the situation — the party still holds a strong plurality in two recent polls, and in one holds over 40 percent — enough for the Conservatives to hold a technical majority. Other parties say that, either way, Harper’s uncooperative leadership style made his bed. “He made a choice,” said NDP leader Jack Layton “and that choice was to take us into an election.” source

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Stephen Harper has some pretty huge problems right now. The Canadian Prime Minister’s government was found in contempt by the House of Commons — the first time that’s happened in the country’s history. The situation, pushed by a coalition led by the minority Liberal party, promises to add an interesting twist to Canadian politics over the next six weeks. “The principle at stake in this debate goes to the heart of parliamentary democracy: the obligation of a government to provide members of this House with the information they need in order to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada,” said Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff. Now, we understand that many of our readers may not know much about Canadian politics, so here’s a quick explanation of what’s going on:

  • What happened? Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government was found in contempt — the first time that’s happened in Canadian history. The contempt vote, pushed by minority parties, also doubled as a no-confidence vote.
  • What’s next? Tomorrow, Harper is expected go to the Governor-General David Johnston to dissolve parliament. In May, Canadians would vote in the country’s 41st election — the country’s fourth election in roughly seven years.
  • The reason The three major minority parties — Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois — say that the Harper government kept them in the dark on the budgetary elements of certain pieces of legislation, which led to the contempt vote. source

» Other frustrations: The minority parties also have shared frustrations in Harper’s corporate tax cuts and push for increased defense spending on military jets — allowing for the opposition parties to find common ground. If they were to gain control, expect these things to be targets.

How the party lines break down

A plurality government with no majority: The House of Commons — the main voter-elected body in the Canadian government — has led with a plurality government for a few years, strengthening their hold in 2008, but with the 308 seats up for grabs a little over four weeks, the body could change significantly. While polls suggest Harper’s Conservatives could gain a majority this time out, if they don’t, it’s possibile that the three main minority parties (along, possibly, with the Greens, who currently don’t have a seat in the House of Commons) could form their own coalition, forcing Harper off his perch entirely. Here’s what the House of Commons looks like now:

  • 143 Conservatives seats in the House of Commons
  • 77 seats are held by the Liberal Party
  • 47 seats are held by Bloc Quebecois
  • 36 seats are held by the New Democratic Party

» Minor members and the Senate: On top of the parties here, two of House of Commons seats are held by independent candidates, and three seats are currently empty. Also of note: The Canadian parliament also has a Senate, but it isn’t directly elected, is kind of a messy situation of its own, and holds no say over the situation with Harper or the government.  Harper’s job lies in the hands of the confidence of the House of Commons — which he just lost. (By the way, our boy Ilya Gerner has a pretty interesting take on the whole Canadian plurality system worth checking out.)

Harper’s take on the issue

Unfortunately, Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundantly clear that they had already decided they wanted an election instead, Canada’s fourth election in seven years, an election Canadians had told them clearly that they did not want. Thus the vote today, which obviously disappoints me, and will, I suspect, disappoint most Canadians.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper • Discussing his frustrations with the current contempt vote. The polls seem to suggest that many back Harper’s take on the situation — the party still holds a strong plurality in two recent polls, and in one holds over 40 percent — enough for the Conservatives to hold a technical majority. Other parties say that, either way, Harper’s uncooperative leadership style made his bed. “He made a choice,” said NDP leader Jack Layton “and that choice was to take us into an election.” source

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0:29 // 3 years ago
March 25, 2011

On trying to balance the opinions of other Tumblrs

progressive-insanities:

Dear SFB,

I enjoy your blog. I just wanted to let you know that I think that the Baird quote you posted to highlight my country’s election was irresponsible because it only illustrates the Conservative opinion on the issue. Of course the committee that recommended the Harper government be found in contempt of Parliament was “opposition stacked”. Would a committee that was “Conservative stacked” recommend their own party be found in contempt of Parliament? No. Clearly, that is what the actual acts of contempt prove to us.

Oh and a little note about Government House leader Baird:

written in the Globe and Mail about Baird last August,

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has again called on John Baird to plug a hole in his cabinet, moving him Friday morning into the tricky post of Government House Leader where his job will be to push through the government’s agenda in a testy minority Parliament.

The choice of Mr. Baird is notable as he is considered a partisan attack dog. He often fills in for Mr. Harper when the Prime Minister is away from the Commons and his pointed answers tend to get under the opposition’s skin.

He is not the most likely choice for a post that requires an ability to compromise in negotiation with the opposition parties. However, by putting such a divisive politician into the job, the Prime Minister may be signalling he wants to push full-steam ahead on his agenda this sitting. 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/pm-hands-procedural-reins-to-john-baird/article1664178/

I know I can count on your glorious blog to post this ask and tell both sides of the story.

We’re putting this message in as a blockquote because we feel that people should read/reblog it, and we do want to offer some balance here. But we want to emphasize a couple of things: We admit to reblogging coeus because we know she’s libertarian-leaning and Canadian and therefore offers a certain perspective on the whole issue. Here’s the thing … I personally don’t think that we should play traffic cop in terms of other perspectives that we reblog and try to balance out everything we post. By the nature of reblogging multiple opinions over time, we can offer a broader perspective. If you disagree with the post, we’d rather see you guys debate about it. We offer opinions of our own here and don’t hide them.

Ultimately, if we reblog something without (or with a short) comment, we don’t necessarily endorse it as our own opinion. (Reblogs are not necessarily intended as endorsement. We can put that on the site if you want.) Rather, we thought it was interesting and worth a reblog. The opinion is theirs. Why undercut it?

(EDIT: PoliticalCanuck wrote a pretty good response to this. We think it’s worth your time.)

What do you think?

20:12 // 3 years ago
18:34 // 3 years ago