Superfluous Matter

I know I'm a bit late blogging about this, but some crazy stuff happened recently in Canadian politics! And by crazy I mean, "wow, a lot of people are really dumb."

I can't say I supported anybody in the craziness that was last week and I think the fact that parliament was prorogued was probably the best possible outcome. It should give everybody some time to come to their senses. Of course the best case would be everyone working together but that clearly wasn't going to happen.

Seriously, what did Stephen Harper expect the other parties to do when he introduced that economic update? Hello! You don't have a majority government! That means you need to avoid completely pissing off everyone else. I mean he could have at least tried to work with them a little bit.

Next problem, what the hell is wrong with everyone who thinks that the coalition was pulling some sort of sneaky, underhanded, "undemocratic" maneuver? A lot of people kept talking about "who the Canadian public voted for." But that was never a question. Each riding voted for their candidate and those candidates went to parliament. That hasn't changed at all. The executive power in government is then formed by the largest group of elected candidates that can agree to work together. In a minority situation (ie. the largest such group does not have the majority of the seats), if the rest of the house loses confidence then it's either time for a new election OR a different group can take over (if asked to by the governor general). That's the way it works! Nobody votes for a party, nobody votes for a Prime Minister. You vote for a candidate to represent your riding. That's it. Statements like "the Canadian people did not vote for a Liberal-NDP coalition" are meaningless. The Canadian people voted for 308 different people to come together and run the country.

Next, and this relates to the previous point, I think that the Bloc Quebecois were treated extremely shabbily in this process. I don't want Quebec to separate but as I mentioned above, the elected candidates of that party were chosen by the people of their riding. Those ridings feel that the members of the Bloc are the best people to represent them in parliament. By bashing the party and its members, Stephen Harper is saying, "Hey, Quebecers, everyone can have democracy except you. Your members of parliament should not have a say in the running of the country and thus you should not have a say." I couldn't believe how many times Stephen Harper made harsh comments about the Bloc in his speech to the country. It just blew my mind. It is irrelevant that the Bloc has a mission (or maybe it's just a vague goal at this point) to separate from Canada. They have legally elected members whose duty is to represent their constituents. Those members deserve as much respect as any other member of parliament. To do otherwise is to pay massive disrespect to all of the people represented by those members.

The last point I'd like to make is that there has been a bit too much emphasis on the leader of the various parties lately. This is not the United States. We do not vote for our Prime Minister. The Prime Minister just happens to be the leader of the largest group of MPs who agree to work together in parliament. A strong leader is important, but I see no need to put them up on a pedestal. They're only human. What matters is your local MP and how they represent you in parliament.

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