Tomorrow is the day when Canadians go to the polls. This is significant because it’s just possible that the Liberal Party, which has held sway over Canada for so long, might just lose it’s majority. In fact, that’s what Collin May over at Innocents Abroad is predicting.
So what may happen if the Conservative Party wins? To an American I doubt it will look like much will change. That won’t be the best of all possible outcomes but it’s better than if the Liberals get another chance at mucking things up.
What did they do that was so bad? Pretty much they promised the voters the Moon and (surprise surprise) couldn’t deliver.
The subject that’s near and dear to me, and the one that I know the most about, is the draconian gun control laws that Canada has enacted over the past decade or so. The latest is a national registry of all guns in the country, something that was supposed to cost the voters no more than $2 million Canadian Dollars (CD). Instead it’s going to cost more than $1 billion CD, and the cost just keeps climbing.
Don’t want to accept that incredible figure for what is nothing more than paperwork? Hey, don’t look at me! It comes from Canada’s very own Auditor General.
There’s 32.5 millions people in Canada. So the Liberal government has spent at least $31 CDs per person for the registry. But only 7 million people in Canada own guns, which means that they’ve actually spent $143 CDs per gun owner. And the registry is so far from complete that it’s not even funny. If the costs double before they get their heads screwed on straight (a distinct possibility) then each gun owner in Canada could have had a nifty surplus gun for the same money.
(And what was the AG’s reward for deciding that honesty and service to the public came before all else? The Liberals tried to smear her name.)
Okay, so the Canadians are a bunch of incompetent boobs for spending that much money on what should have been a large though uncomplicated national survey. So what? What does this have to do with the US?
Why should we care?
There’s two reasons why. One is that the favorite whipping boy for Canadian pundits (both politicians and the media) is the US. If something goes wrong in Canada then it HAS to be the fault of the Americans. To distract the voters from their own failure, it appears that Canada might just come down here in an effort to affect our own political choices.
(I have to admit that it would simply be fair play if they did. After all, bloated windbag Michael Moore has already appeared on Canadian TV to encourage votes for the Liberals.)
The second reason for voting the Liberals out is due to projection of force. Canada has allowed their military to literally rust away, money needed for maintenance and replacing worn equipment instead being allocated to ever-hungry Socialist programs.
This has seriously eroded the Canadians ability to protect themselves by projecting force outside of the country. Canadians are very proud of their contribution to peace keeping forces in Afghanistan, but read between the lines and you can see that they can only airlift their troops to Asia with substantial US help. (This page says that Canada only has 24,000 troops that it can send outside of the country. For comparison I would like to point out that the gaming convention I attend every year has more people showing up than that, although they admittedly don’t have to travel to another country.)
It could very well be that the Canadians would have protested our invasion of Iraq even if the Conservatives were in power at the time. That’s not the point. The point is that all aspects of the military has been cut back, including military intelligence. This means that the Canadians can’t even help track down those terrorists who are wanted for mass murder.
So far the Canadian government has felt that it’s a safe bet that America would assume the bruden for their defense. This is true, since we here in the US realize that any attack against a single liberal democracy is an attack on us as well. But we’re stretched thin, and it would be welcome if the Canadians stop hitching a free ride on our coattails and started top stand on their own two feet again.
24 thoughts on “This is Important Even if Most People Don’t Care”
Very minor point. The post says that the election is tomorrow, but is dated June 28, the day of the election.
The Globe and Mail says they will have live coverage at their site beginning 4 PM EDT.
Sorry for the confusion. I wrote it yesterday but wasn’t able to finish and post until today.
RE “… it’s just possible that the Liberal Party, which has held sway over Canada for so long, might just lose it’s majority.”
Possessives are not formed as hi’s, her’s, it’s.
“Possessives are not formed as hi’s, her’s, it’s.”
Go away, Alex.
Canada’s reducing Afghan troops, too. And possibly Iraq.
Sometimes I wonder how much damage renegade satellite owners who want to watch FoxNews are doing.
Actually, all renegade satellite owners in Canada.
I’ve been saying for at least 2 years now, make Alberta an offer it can’t refuse, 51st state. Especially since the Quebec separatist bloc might do well. Let them such frogistan dry.
“I’ve been saying for at least 2 years now, make Alberta an offer it can’t refuse, 51st state.”
So what does Alberta bring to the table to make this attractive to the US?
Alberta’s population are a bunch of Canadians. Which means that they’d scream bloody murder when the Socialist programs are cut off, they’d vote draconian gun laws in place, and they’d insist that every single one of their problems were caused by the other 49 states to the south.
Alberta boasts Canada’s best farmland, which isn’t saying a whole lot compared to, say, Kansas and Ohio and Iowa and California and Illinois and…well, you get the picture.
Seriously, Alberta’s a big ol’ chunk of real estate that’s really too cold to be comfortable most of the time. Besides making the rest of Canada an enemy for the next 100 years, why should the US want it?
Mitch meant to post the following comment here:
“As an example of what is happening to their military, check out the substitution of the Stryker for their main battle tank. Their navy is even more starved. It looks like the Liberal party has followed the European lead in freeloading on US military spending for NATO.”
So what does Alberta bring to the table to make this attractive to the US?
ALberta’s political culture is conservative. you’re treating Canada as a unified culture. How valid would an analysis of the US be when you compared California to Alabama?
The old Reform Party (a populist conservative party) formed and broke up the Progressive Conservatives of Mulroney. They since dumped the Progressives and the rest of Canada is afraid that they are like Republicans and too far right for traditional Canadian tastes.
Alberta is floating on a sea of oil. I think that Alberta is the source for most of US imports, or near the top. Independent, little gov’t coddling, small gov’t , balanced budget and surpluses, privatizing medicare, rancher culture . . . that’s Alberta. You can’t tell me that that mindset doesn’t match up closely to Montana.
If you’re looking to annex, look at BC as well. Big oil discovery off-shore, big, big. Corridor right up to Alaska. Already has closer affinity to Cascadia (BC, WA, OR, CA) than to central Canada. Alrady feels alienated from the rest of Canada. Is consitutionaly shortchanged in terms of democratic representation – gets less seats per pop. than the Atlantic provinces. Wants electoral reform like elected and equal Senate but that would upset Quebec, so BC is shafted.
Culturally the two Western provinces are closer to the US. Ontario is the heart of Canada and needs to be anti-American in order to feel more Canadian. It’s the power center of Canada so it’s the heart of Canada.
BC and ALerta have the lowest taxes, most entrepreneurial cultures, abundant resources, low population, and hey have you seen Vancouver, imagine being able to move there and still be in the US. Get off your sailboat, no snow in the city, and be skiing overlooking the city 40 minutes later. Getting the picture :)
TangoMan, you’re absolutely correct. I was in Seattle in 1995 when Quebec held its referendum on secession, and I remember reading that BC, Alberta and maybe Manitoba were all prepared to petition Congress for statehood if Quebec left Canada. Basically, Quebec is the only thing keeping Ontario from bleeding the western provinces completely dry. Without Quebec, Ontario would dominate Parliament completely.
Anyway, I’d love to see BC and Alberta join the fold.
We would have a funny looking map if they did join the union. I kinda like our current shape. But hey, it’s just aesthetics.
Look at the size of just BC and Alberta, and then look at the population.
And it’s a good long term bet if global warming really does turn kansas into a desert, then the north will be just right.
Seriously though, the long term resource will be water. It’s illegal to export water but all of the western states are facing water restrictions, California most severely.
As more idiots (just joking) decide to move to deserts and have swimming pools and lawns, the water issue between cities and farmers is going to get bad. Look north for salvation. Hmm, how do you form OPEC for water?
It would be OK if the western provinces joined the US. Would we have to reapportion congressional seats, or add to the 435? Many such important details would need to be worked out. Agreed that the westerners are not “Canadian”, thinking of it as a pathological condition, quite so badly as Ontario. Then Quebec could be its own country, which is fine, really. It could probably be in NAFTA if it asked nicely. Then “Canada” would be Ontario plus a few Eastern appendages, which is a viable small country. I see nothing alarming in any of this.
“you’re treating Canada as a unified culture. How valid would an analysis of the US be when you compared California to Alabama?”
Oh, very good point there! You’re dead on target with that one.
Obviously Rummel hasn’t been in Alberta. As an Albertan (and slowly watching the election results roll across the screen) I can say that the Liberals will be lucky to land one seat in this province. Alberta is VERY anti-gun control and despise the eastern establishment (hence the Reform party formation after the Mulroney speed bump). If the uniformed Conservative party doesn’t get in tonight watch for talk of separation to come up again.
If the corruption of Adscam (Liberals lining the pockets of friends and friendly ad firms in Quebec) doesn’t evict these collectivist bums then nothing will.
Why should the U.S. want Alberta, Rummel? Because it’s warmer than Minnesota in the winter and it sits on an ocean of oil. It’s got great mountains and is more conservative than the majority of your states.
You’d have a tougher time with B.C. because, like Washington, it has its fair share of socialist, greenie whack-jobs. But there’s a real divide between East and West – look at the voting results and you’ll see it.
Consider this your invitation to check out Calgary during the Stampede in a couple weeks and then tell me this is a socialist wasteland that has nothing to offer…
It looks a bit grim. CBC forecasts Liberal + NDP at 164 seats if they hold all their leads. This is a slim, but probably comfortable, coalition majority.
Which is a shame. Martin certainly was trying to work with the US (and particularly Bush 43) more actively, rather than Chretien’s hostility. The NDP has no great love of Martin’s fiscal policies. And they really, really want a proportional representation component in the government to improve the representation for the splinter parties.
Life … is not fair.
Matya no baka
Here’s a primer on Canadian politics for those who don’t live close to the Canadian border.
Total of 308 seats in Parliament and a party needs 155 to have a majority and follow its own policies. Less than 155 seats and the party needs to make a coalition with another party in order to muster the votes to pass legislation.
Here’s the final vote:
Liberals – 135
Conservatives – 98
New Democrats – 20
Bloc Quebecois – 54
Independent – 1
The Liberals have to make a deal with the NDP, who are the socialists-lite. The leader of the Liberals, Prime Minister Martin, wanted to foster closer ties with the US, was agreeable to joining the US on Missile Defense. Sadly, these closer ties will not come to be for the price of forming a coalition with the NDP will be disowning and fighting against Missile Defense, more anti-Americanism to make the socialists happy, more social spending, less fiscal prudence, basically moves towards socialist nirvana and away from reality. However, a saving grace in this is that Martin doesn’t really have a gun to his head. The NDP can push but Martin can also resist, both to a point. They need to find common ground and make it work for a year or maybe two, before there is another election.
What did the Conservatives in was allusions to a hidden agenda because they are a recently merged party and haven’t had a constitutional cnvention, so they had to run without a party platform and just on the assurances of their leader, Steven Harper. If he had won, then the Canadian public could have been surprised by a forthcoming convention where the ring wings-nuts (hey, every party has their extremes) would have pushed forward an agenda that the public would find distasteful. The Conservatives are a party borne of the West, which is a culture more fiscally and socially conservative than the rest of Canada. Stand on your own two feet, etc. This philosophy is working it’s way eastward but slowly. Now the Conservatives have time to have a convention, rid themselves of the charge of a “hidden agenda” and make the platform palitable to the rest of Canada but still holding to their core principles.
Some interesting observations. The separatist Party in Quebec won a lot of seats not because people are voting vote separation but as a place to park their votes and not vote for the Liberals. Because the Conservatives are a Western borne party they really had no presence in Quebec, so the historical choice (for the last decade or so) has between Liberals or separatists. This time, because the Conservatives had candidates in every riding, they did garner a surprising number of votes in Quebec, splitting the “Federalist vote” and actually putting more separatists into office. This doesn’t bode well for the Liberals in the next election when the Conservatives will be more formidible.
The Separatists won only 7% of the popular vote and got 11% of the seats. The Liberals got 36% of the vote and 44% of the seats. The Conservatives got 30% of the vote and 32% of the seats. Now this is important, the NDP got 16% of the seats and only 6% of the seats. They are the ones that are pushing for proportional representation. If the Liberals agree to this demand as a price for NDP support in forming a government, then at the next election the influence of the NDP willl increase and the influence of the Liberals will decrease. Now don’t think that there really are 16% socialists on our border because much of the vote was a protest vote and not a vote of validation. It’s hard for me to believe Martin will pruposely slit his own throat with PR, and more likely he’ll opt to keeps things chilly with the Americans and that’ll keep the anti-American NDP nuts happy enough. Afterall, the thinking will be that the Canadians can always make nice with us after they dump the NDP after the next election.
In the most Western province, the NDp made some gains, and this is most likely a response to the the performance of their provincial gov’t, which is very pro-market, and with the exception of two seats in their provincial legislature held by the NDP, they hold all of the other seats. However, that prov. gov’t is more ideologically sound than competent. Their moves towards privatization pleases the ideologues but they always have chosen services which are better performed by gov’t. In order to make the deal attractive to the private sector the gov’t offers bargain basement terms and this gets the people wondering why you’ve got to give away the store in order to get a public-private-partnership. This incompetence and adherence to blind ideology is alienating the citizens and many think that the gains of the NDP in BC is a result of a protest at this incompetence and blind ideology.
So, 135 Liberals and 20 NDP gives EXACTLY the MINIMUM number of seats needed to form a government but if they lose even one person then they have to go to the Bloc or poach one Conservative vote. That could get dicey, for making common cause with the Bloc tends to piss off the real Canadians.
Another point – the Conservatives are big on electoral reform. Here are the stats on the number of ridings, followed by the population and then the population per Member of Parliament.
Alberta: 28 / 3,164,400 / 113,014
BC: 36 / 4,158,649 / 115,518
Manitoba: 14 / 1,164,135 / 83,152
New Brunswick: 10 / 750,460 / 75,046
Newfoundland and Labrador: 7 / 520,170 / 74,310
Northwest Territories: 1 / 42,040 / 42,040
Nova Scotia: 11 / 936,878 / 85,170
Nunavut: 1 / 29,357 / 29,357
Ontario: 106 / 12,280,731 / 115,856
Prince Edward Island: 4 / 137,941 / 34,485
Quebec: 75 / 7,503,502 / 100,046
Saskatchewan: 14 / 995,003 / 71,071
Yukon: 1 / 31,371 / 31,371
Considering that Alberta, BC and Ontario give more tax revenue to the Federal Government and the remainder of the provinces are recipients, you can understand why the culture of BC and Alberta are at odds with the powers of the East. Ontario, although it pays unfairly, compensates for this by the sheer dominance afforded it by population.
Look at how Alberta and BC are bled dry, are shortchanged by the other provinces in how many elected representatives they can send to Parliament, one MP per 115,000 for BC compared to one MP per 34,000-100,000 for Quebec and East) and then factor in the cultural distance (they pay and the rest gets the socialist dream – hey, it’s always great to have aspirations for social welfare programs when someone else foots the bill) and growing ties with Cascadia and tell me why anyone wouldn’t feel alientated.
Hope that gives you an insight as to what’s happening, why and what we can expect in our relations with Canada over the next few years
Here are some links that I’ve been following. CBC, Canadian Electoral Reform
Just a quick follow-up on the diversity of political thought and a rough comparison to US states.
This site breaks down Alberta votes for Conservatives to be 61.64% of the popular vote. 26 Conservatives and 2 Liberals elected.
In the 2000 Election, the percentage of the popular vote that went for President Bush was Wyoming 68%, Utah 67%, Nebraska 62%, Idaho 67% and all of the other states voted at a lower proportion than that of Alberta for Conservative principles. Only 4 states. Doesn’t llok to me like Alberta is too socialist. It might even be argued that they’re too right-wing to join the US. Not really, because Canadian right and US right are on two different scales.
The bottom line is that the divide between the West and the East in Canada is wide. Hidden agenda? The Ontario ninnies buy the scaremongering of the Libs every time and ultimately registered a vote for corruption rather than change. The Maritimes predictably voted for the Liberals so they can continue collecting their welfare cheques. I’m not sure if one can describe the feelings of disgust and anger in Alberta…
Some greasy pundit from down east can put whatever spin they want on this but the reality?
Why not dump liberal New York and Californian against conservative Alberta! you are just another Conservative doctor Stangelove.
The New American Revolution… ;)
I can see the point of Quebec separating and the same for the West of Canada, but Ontario fashions itself as the heart of Canada. This is quite a nutty idea me thinks. What would the rest of Canada look like with a huge chunk of the middle of the country going to the US? Ontario, unlike the other regions doesn’t feel alienated from Canada. Quebec feels that they are another nation because of their French culture. The West doesn’t get any political voice but gets its oil confiscated and has to pay taxes to the rest of Canada. Ontario is the cultural, financial and political being of Canada. Why separate and step down to being only a part of the US?
“Step down to being only a part of the US”? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU BABBLING ABOUT YOU IDIOT? Maybe you’d better read the OntarioUSA website carefully, its written in PLAIN ENGLISH but this time sound out the bigger words and look them up in a dictionary if you’re having trouble understanding…
Now I see, this is your nutty idea, isn’t it? Touched a raw nerve did I? Perhaps you’re used to this type of reaction because everyone who reads it can’t see the sense in it. You didn’t respond to the questions and are only able to hurl invective. Can you do better or are you a graduate of Ontario public schooling?
“Why step down to being a part of the U.S.”? Again, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU BABBLING ABOUT YOU IDIOT? YOU are the one who neglected to answer THIS question.
This might take some time and attention on your part. Reread the site CAREFULLY. YOUR question is addressed on the site. Try pointing to the bigger words, and phonetically SOUND THEM OUT, THEN LOOK THEM UP in a dictionary, douchebag…
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