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October, 2008:

How Canada’s divided left can get it right

Here’s an insightful article by G&M columnist Rod Love on uniting the left in Canada.

The vital question is – who will blink first? Who will be the first party leader (or leadership candidate, as the case may be) to seriously broach the need for a merger?

That person will have my unrelenting respect.

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I love Killer Rabbits

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Uniting the Left – a prospect that the neocons truly fear

Jonathan Kay writes for the ReformCons version of Pravda and is generally a pretty good analyst – albeit from the right-leaning side of the spectrum. I have found his columns to be informative and well-written and they often reveal what may be going on in the marbalised minds of the neocon elite.

Take this article for example. He puts forth the premise that, as evidenced by the election results where a large majority of Canadians voted for a vision other than that espoused by the Conservatives, the left would do well to form a new amalgamated party of the Left. Just like the ReformCons did a few years back.

He says:

About two-thirds of Canadians voted for this vision on Tuesday. Canadian conservatives, who long complained under the Liberals that a left-wing government was betraying the country’s true character, must now face an unsettling truth: Our government now skews right compared to the Canadian political centre. Only thanks to vote splitting does Mr. Harper remain this country’s Prime Minister.

Which invites the question: Why doesn’t the left get rid of a few parties, so they can make their nightmarish nanny state a reality?

Well put Jon. You state the obvious. Good ol’ democracy does not quite work the way it should in the first-past-the-post system. We will be governed for the next couple of years (at least) by a party that does not represent the interests of the vast majority of the electorate.

As with the unite-the-right movement, the obstacles are essentially cultural. Bloc folk would bristle at integrating into a project run by federalists. The NDP would resent surrendering its dedicated union support base into a larger left-wing consortium that includes a lot of Bay Street lawyers and money men. Ditto the Liberals and their various ethno-political fiefdoms.
Moreover, what would the new party be called? It can’t simply be The Liberal Party — the junior partners would insist on that as a matter of pride and principle. Instead, we’d get something like The New Liberal Democratic Coalition (or some such), thereby erasing (or at least diluting) the Grits’ powerful brand.

Absolutely. The obstacles are many and lots of egos would have to be parked at the door.

But let me put it to you this way: if the neocon press is starting to openly fret about the prospect of a united Left, then should we of the Left give this some serious thought?

As for a name – how about the Liberal Democrat Environmental Party?

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Good points made by east coast writer

I’m a bit biased since the author is one of my oldest friends. But Michael has always been insightful and this skill is once again at the forefront in this piece that he recently penned for The Telegram.

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BOOK SALE NEXT SATURDAY!

There will be a huge, monstrous, enormous used book sale at Pleasant Park School on Pleasant Park Drive.

Saturday, October 25th.

Hundreds and hundreds of books to choose from. All tastes and ages!

And while you’re there, check out our bake sale for some yummy treats!

All proceeds will benefit the children of Pleasant Park School.

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Without a concerted approach… we be doomed

Quick post.

I’m going to comment in detail about the results of the 14th a little later… have lots to say.

But one realisation that has bashed me full on in the noggin has been that we of the left of the spectrum are screwed unless we combine our efforts.  We Grits, Dippers and Greens have to unite in a common cause on a common front. There is not an alternative. Seriously.

For what it’s worth, I set up a Facebook group : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35183086127

More importantly, I want to start a dialogue between like minded minds over the next little while.

We have to quickly and honestly confront some tough questions.

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Electoral dysfunction – for real!

This is most telling.

We need to change the way we pick the folks who represent our interests. It has never been so clear.

Is no one listening?

Electoral dysfunction, yet again

Greens deserved more than 20 seats – voting system also punished New Democrats, western Liberals and urban Conservatives

Once again, Canada’s antiquated first-past-the-post system wasted millions of votes, distorted results, severely punished large blocks of voters, exaggerated regional differences, created an unrepresentative Parliament and contributed to a record low voter turnout.

[Note: The following commentary is based on returns at 2am ET.]

The chief victims of the October 14 federal election were:

Green Party: 940,000 voters supporting the Green Party sent no one to Parliament, setting a new record for the most votes cast for any party that gained no parliamentary representation. By comparison, 813,000 Conservative voters in Alberta alone were able to elect 27 MPs.

Prairie Liberals and New Democrats: In the prairie provinces, Conservatives received roughly twice the vote of the Liberals and NDP, but took seven times as many seats.

Urban Conservatives: Similar to the last election, a quarter-million Conservative voters in Toronto elected no one and neither did Conservative voters in Montreal.

New Democrats: The NDP attracted 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 50 seats, the NDP 37.

“How can anyone consider this democratic representation?” asked Barbara Odenwald, President of Fair Vote Canada.

Had the votes on October 14 been cast under a fair and proportional voting system, Fair Vote Canada projected that the seats allocation would have been approximately as follows:

Conservatives – 38% of the popular vote: 117 seats (not 143)

Liberals – 26% of the popular vote: 81 seats (not 76)

NDP – 18% of the popular vote: 57 seats (not 37)

Bloc – 10% of the popular vote: 28 seats (not 50)

Greens – 7% of the popular vote: 23 seats (not 0)

Fair Vote Canada also has data for each province on the number of seats won and number of seats actually deserved by each party.

Odenwald emphasized that any projection on the use of other voting systems must be qualified, as specific system features would affect the exact seat allocations.

“With a different voting system, people would also have voted differently,” said Larry Gordon, Executive Director of Fair Vote Canada. “There would have been no need for strategic voting. We would likely have seen higher voter turnout. We would have had different candidates – more women, and more diversity of all kinds. We would have had more real choices.”

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a national multi-partisan citizens’ campaign to promote voting system reform. FVC was founded in 2001 and has a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum

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Regarding Stephane Dion

A Quebecois commentator on CBC just said the following:

“You don’t keep a symptom just so you can scratch yourself.”

I’m sure it translates better – but you get the drift….

I tink Canada just barely dodged a bullet.

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Election night!

The night that all of we political junkies live for!

It’s bigger than all of the holidays. Bigger than my birthday! Bigger than the Leafs Winning The Cup!

ok – THE LAST ONE IS OVER THE TOP.

Anyhoo… I’m (im)patiently waiting for the the first results and frustrated by the election law stating that thou shalt not transmit results to those who shalt occupy said territories to the west – without having first clostest thy said latter polls.

SIGH.

Been looking for a blog so I can cheat but no luck so far.

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Why to NOT vote for Harper – one last entry

I have pointed out a few reasons why the Canadian electorate should mark any box other than the one beside the ReformCon candidate. Harper has lied and deceived us. He has called an unnecessary election purely out of spite and political convenience. And he continues to represent interests that are counter to the majority of we Canucks.

That being said – please DO vote. We have no voice unless we march to the booth and mark our ballot beside the candidate who you think will best represent your interests. If you have thought that ol’ Trashy here has been full of hot air over the past few weeks – fair ’nuff. We can agree to disagree. After all, isn’t it just that freedom to hold contrary opinions that we are defending when we mark our “X”?

Happy voting!

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