Monday, December 01, 2008

Yoni School Federal (Re-)Election Watch 2008 Pt. 1

I, like many Canajuns, have been watching with great interest the antics going on in Ottawa. Yessir, we live in historic times. The Constipated Government of Stephen Harpie, having been elected with a second minority only seven weeks ago, is now on the brink of being defeated by a non-confidence motion and replaced by a coalition government composed of the three opposition parties.

M. Dion & the Belmonts, pretty convincingly rejected by the electorate, is suddenly in line to become Prime Mystery...if only interim, until the Gliberal Party can choose a new leader. Jack Layoff & Gilles Deceit are his new best friends. The Nefariously Democratic Party will actually take part in the coalition government, assuming several Cabinet positions, and the Floc Quebecois will remain outside the government but support it in all the crucial votes.

How did this come about? Well, from my perspective, it's almost solely due to the stupidity, arrogance, pettiness and hubris of Constipated leader Stephen Harpie. Last week he and his bully-boy Finance Mystery Jim Blowhardy presented an economic statement which essentially said nothing, did nothing, promised nothing.

Except this:
  1. No more public funding of political parties. (The system whereby parties collected $1.95 for every vote cast in their favour. Money paid by taxpayers. A system agreed upon by all parties several years ago.)
  2. A renege on a rise in wages to the public sector union (which had reached agreement only a couple days before) and, oh by the way, we're going to take away your right to strike while we're at it.
The first was a direct shot at all the opposition parties, a way of kicking them while they were down. Completely gratuitous, at this time anyway. Not something that needed to be done immediately. But Mr. Harpie hardly ever passes up an opportunity to be mean-spirited, and try to manipulate political situations to his advantage. In this case, I think he seriously miscalculated. And it serves him right.

The second was a sort of shot at the NDP. Here we are in times of economic uncertainty, perhaps crisis, and the Constipators take a shot at workers. Nice.

Mr. Harpie most likely didn't expect the Gliberals under M. Dion & the Belmonts to suddenly develop a backbone. M. Dion & the Belmonts comes across a little more jelly-fishy than that. But I think there's more to it than this. I suspect there really is some personal animus now motivating not only M. Dion & the Belmonts but also Jack Layoff. We need not say anything about Gilles Deceit. His greatest satisfaction was to see the power of the Floc deprive Harpie of his majority government, and now to take away the Prime Mysteryship is like icing on the cake for him. But all three of them really want to stick it to Mr. Harpie. And I think he deserves it.

The situation is not without its ambiguities, however. After all, the people did vote more seats for the Constipated Party than any other. But collectively, almost twice as many voted not to have the Constipated Party as their government. The three opposition parties own a majority of the seats. And therefore, regardless of what unthinking parrot-like Constipators say, this is nowhere near being a coup. It's completely constitutional. The Canajun electorate set up this possibility by the way it voted. It's the way the Parliamentary system works.

Technically, the Harpie government has lost the confidence of the Common Bawdy House of Commons. Under ordinary circumstances, in a minority government, this would entail another election. But these are not ordinary circumstances. Now we have the three opposition parties who have just today signed a formal agreement to work in concert as an alternative to the Constipated government. Which puts the Constipators in a real minority. They will have to become the Official Opposition. (Provided of course that the Governess General agrees to let the coalition stand...)

Here's the problem: Stephen Harpie apparently did not get the message from the electorate that he had a minority government. ie. in order to forward his agenda, he required the cooperation of members of the opposition. He attempted to govern in the last Parliament as if he was a majority leader. And he practiced manipulation to humiliate and frustrate the opposition, particularly the Gliberals. This led often to acrimony. And in his arrogance, he ignored his own election law and forced an election so that he could get himself a true majority. But that didn't happen.

At first, it seemed that he and his Constipated Colleagues would embrace the spirit of cooperation in the new House. But then came the infamous economic statement last week. He completely forgot that he still needed cooperation from the opposition parties and decided instead to poke them all in the eye with a financial stick.

What he didn't count on was that the opposition parties might decide to practise cooperation without him.

So that's what we've got right now.

I admit it's a bit of an unholy alliance. I don't think, however, that it's the coming of the end times. Except maybe for Stephen Harpie.

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12 comments:

Xena said...

It's fun, huh?

Larry Keiler said...

Yeah, from a strictly political junkie point of view, it's way more fun than the barrel of monkeys residing in the Common Bawdy House of Commons!

The US election may have been more interesting to watch than the Canajun one, but the aftermath in Canaduh has got it way over the US. Too bad the Murricans couldn't have done this with Dubya...Don't like the results of the vote? Form a coalition and boot the bugger out!

wild thing said...

Seems to bring politics to life. None of that apathy anymore. Everyone is waking up and joining the conversations. It's the talk of the day, everywhere. People laugh, eyes all sparkly.

The states with a black president, surrounding himself with female help. Canada trying to boot out a just elected,conceited prime minister...

Times are exciting! Let's drink to that! (Did I say that?)

Larry Keiler said...

Yes, well, Harpie should drink the hemlock that's been prepared for him, and the rest of them should try a different flavour of Kool-Aid. One without the psycho-active substances. Because what they're drinking right now is causing all of Canaduh to hallucinate...

Xena said...

Do you think our Governor-General got a little bit more than she bargained for???

Larry Keiler said...

I don't think any Governor/Governess-General ever expects to land in a political mess like this. None of her choices are very appetizing.

(Michael Coren on CFRB, who really is a twerp, but sometimes funny, has already begun the setup for attacking her by repeatedly referring to her as that former CBC hack Liberal appointee married to a separatist...)

I think, actually, that the closest adherence to Parliamentary procedure would mean that she allows the non-confidence motion to go forward and then permits the coalition to have a go at it. In my mind, this would be less "unusual" than allowing Harpie to prorogue Parliament. There is more precedent, thin as it is.

wild thing said...

At this point in time I wish to be a talented cartoonist. Canada hallucinating speaks to the imagination, doesn't it? And duckies Harper and Dion in a quack quack, quank, quank fight, feathers flying, over a last piece of bread thrown to them from the side into their polluted pond?

Thinking back, I wonder if there is a historical pattern? Early nineteen hundreds the world economy went haywire, I think. Then came the big depression, which lasted for years. My birth was delayed by that for five years. Having been an only child so long, my sister wasn't overly delighted with me arriving at the scene. Well times only seemed better. The unrest went on. It only took another 5 years for WW2 to become a fact. It lasted 5 years. (In Holland anyway.) What's with the number 5?

What I am reluctantly thinking is, are we building up to a war as before but as never before?

wild thing said...

At this point in time I wish to be a talented cartoonist. Canada hallucinating speaks to the imagination, doesn't it? And duckies Harper and Dion in a quack quack, quank, quank fight, feathers flying, over a last piece of bread thrown to them from the side into their polluted pond?

Thinking back, I wonder if there is a historical pattern? Early nineteen hundreds the world economy went haywire, I think. Then came the big depression, which lasted for years. My birth was delayed by that for five years. Having been an only child so long, my sister wasn't overly delighted with me arriving at the scene. Well times only seemed better. The unrest went on. It only took another 5 years for WW2 to become a fact. It lasted 5 years. (In Holland anyway.) What's with the number 5?

What I am reluctantly thinking is, are we building up to a war as before but as never before?

wild thing said...

My mother was born on this day, December 4, in 1900.

w.t. said...

No clue how that comment got published twice. As far as I know I only sent it once.

Larry Keiler said...

WT, I think you are a closet Marxist. Friedrich Engels identified a cycle of about 10 years in 1845. But before he died he revised this to closer to 5 years.

However, I don't know about the war thing. The fact is, we are at war already.

Let me try some historical analysis here. I've just been reading more of Leon Trotsky, who in 1921 quoted statistics to show how WWI damaged the European economy. According to him, it was reduced by at least one-third.

Germany, however, was even worse off than that. The Versailles Treaty, which set the reparations Germany had to pay, literally brought the Germans to their knees. The French, in particular, took a huge proportion of Germany's resources and production as reparation payments, including the Saar (Germany's big coal & steel region). The only way Germany, and indeed other European countries, could keep going was to print money. And in the 1920s, massive inflation destroyed the German economy. Is it any wonder, then, that a demagogue like Hitler, could sway the German middle class by denouncing the rape of its national wealth and pride?

And now I'm going to say something maybe controversial. Really, Germany lost WWI, but the war was not strictly just Germany's fault. All European governments contributed to the mess that resulted in WWI. The Marxists all agreed that it was not Germany which caused the war, but the imperialist policies of all the European states. It was a war to decide who would own all the colonies.

Von Clausewitz, the German war theorist said that war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Well, it seems to me that WWII was the continuation of WWI by the same means. WWI did not solve anything. In fact, it may have made the ultimate situation worse.

The world, or at least some of it, partied through the 1920s, on the strength of printed money and financial bubbles (like today), but perhaps the Great Depression was only an inevitable result of the economic destruction wrought by WWI, because you can't work your way out of it just by printing money...

And the solution to the Depression was massive industrialization in preparation for the next war.

But nowadays, it seems war contributes even more directly to depression. War is a drain on economies. I can't see how it contributes anything constructive. I mean, really, you're spending money on things that you're just going to blow up! What's constructive about that?

Meanwhile, the face of the imperialists changed in WWII, but it was still an imperialist face. Didn't Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Yalta essentially to divide up the world? Will we never learn?

wild thing said...

Would you mind telling some more about the Stalin, Roosevelt, Curchill meeting at Yalt?

Thanks for writing that stuff. I was wondering how to get more info on how things worked at that time. What started what and what followed because of it.

Close to my street where I lived in Amsterdam, were 3 traffic arteries, originally named after the river Amstel, re-named Churchiil, Roosevelt, and Stalin Lane, after the war. The square that connected them was called Victory Square.

I realize that we are at war already. Not really to the extend of an outright World War?

You say it is Marxist to think cycles. Maybe I am. Smile. I sort of suspect that there are patterns around the changing from one millenium into another.

Beginning 1900's tensions led up to WW1, economic disasters, depression, WW2. A timespan of 40 years. (8 x 5 smile) Next year is 2009, going into 200 and 2 x 5.

WW1 ran from 1914-1918. (Darn, only 4 years.)

Well, what I am looking for really is the cycle thing. In nature there are a lot of seven year cycles. (Like catterpillar plagues.)Such cycles happen beyond human logic. Are thousand year cycles emerging in similar patterns? Are people acting on received impulses? Sort of in the way how it was discovered that (before computers) that there were times that all over the world, children started skipping rope, or play tops. It was not just local, because one saw the other do it.

Well, I am tiring myself out thinking. I'm giving it a break. With Scarlet O'Hara I say, "I'll think about it [again] tomorrow.

What was the time setting for that novel?

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