UPDATE WITH TWO DAYS TO GO: Looks Like Canada Will Not Go Over The Same Cliff
Latest polls show some very interesting developments in the conservative v non conservative block .http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/cv11-poll-tracker/ Mainly votes have shifted within the non conservative block away from the Bloc & Green parties and toward the NDP. A big block of votes seems to have also shifted away from the Liberal Party and toward the NDP. The upshot is that together the NDP and Liberal Party have made a 7% gain in total votes now commading about 52% of the votes. But even more interesting, while the conservative block is virtually unchanged at 37% to 38% since the 2008 election, the spread between the NDP and the Conservative block is now only 5%. An astonishing devlopment. It seems very clear the conservatives will not get a conservative majority..so Canada didn’t follow the U.S. over that cliff and if present trends continue to build it is very possible that Canada will have a truly pluralistic modern democarcy at the end of the day May2..or at least a mandate to create such a thing through appointment of the new Prime MInsiter.
I’ll bring the champagne!!! You Bring the oysters!!!
I hope Americans are watching all this..
Cove Meadow April 29, 2011
Yesterday’s no confidence vote against Conservative P.M. Harper, which cited ethics issues and influence peddling, will result in new national elections on May 2nd. It was a unitedmulti-party vote ,but its not clear that Canada will not go over the same cliff the U.S. fell from in its recent mid term elections. It may very well end up with a Conservative majority in parliament. And for the same fundamental reason it happened in the U.S. The poor, working and middle income people who are the majority of voters hear the words” jobs” and “economic growth” promised by conservatives and assume it means jobs for them..growth for them. The blue vs red electoral process is framed as a choice between services and bale outs or jobs and a chance to move ahead. Non-conservative leaders, in each of Canada’s many opposition parties, have to start communicating that historically non-conservative leadership has brought lower unemployment rates, faster and greater economic advances for poor working and middle class people. Each of the opposition leaders has to start explaining to the majority of voters..the poor, working and middle income voters.. what their situation actually is right now..there is no more upward mobility, those who thought they had a foot hold in the middle class will slide back to a different standard of living and those born in poverty and their children will die in poverty. In Canada the Red V Blue is the Conservative Party vs. a diverse multi party conservative opposition who happened to agree on a vote of no-confidence in Harper.. The two major opposition parties, Liberal and NDP, represent a combined 48% of Canadian voters while 38% of Canadian voters .are Conservative Party. In this election the Green Party is also hoping to emerge strongly and the separatists are hoping the need for multi party cooperation will give them some clout in the process.
If the party that holds the most seats in the House of Commons still holds less than the opposition parties combined, which is a possible outcome of the May2 election, a party leader is selected by the Governor General to lead the government, however, to attempt to create stability, the person chosen must command the support of at least one other party.
So, if the elections do not result in a Conservative Majority, the Canadians have a second major hurdle which is to unite beyond party affiliation behind a single opposition leader that trasncends party lines. That would be an imporhant benchmark for all the big modern democracies..to have a very pluralistic multi party parliament working for the people of Canada coordinated through a PM who rules not by party majority but multi party support. It’s a model that reforming democracies like Egypt might look to , a model that seems most suited to modern pluralistic large democracies.I like to imagine that Canada will emerge from the May 2nd elecions with the world ‘s first truly modern democracy r that will awaken and mobilize the collective wisdom of Canada’s people and show the world’s democratic nation’s..
If Canada can make it’s multi-party system work, not just for the election on May 2nd but as a working,productive multi-party parliament ( not a coalition government) that would be very hopeful for all of us.
Cove Meadow March 26,2011