We were in the US this past long weekend, so we only got news of last night’s election when I logged into the AT&T wifi at SeaTac. To no one’s surprise, we got ourselves another Conservative minority government. I have read just about zero analysis of the results, but it seems to me that most of the parties hopped on the fail boat:
- The Liberals, obviously, were the biggest failure. They haven’t won so few seats since 1984. Adieu, Monsieur Dion.
- The Conservatives failed to secure a majority.
- The Greens failed, yet again, to win a single seat.
- Jack Layton failed to become Prime Minister. Though, admittedly, the NDP’s showing was one of its strongest ever.
I guess the Bloc QuÃƒÂ©bÃƒÂ©cois has to be reasonably happy with their 50 seats, as the best they’ve ever done is 54.
Personally, I don’t mind minority governments. They feel democratic. And I don’t mind that the average Canadian is asked to pay attention to national issues every couple of years. Is it really that much of a burden to have to vote every 18 months instead of every five years?
UPDATE: Apparently the folks at Comedy Central agree with me.
I rarely weigh in on political discussions, because it usually gets me in trouble, but I have to share how I feel about this one.
I have no problem with minority governments, either. The problem I have is the cost associated with going to an election every couple of years. $300 million would be far better spent on things we NEED — Especially when the result changed nothing, really.
Also… Although our electoral system allows for short campaign periods, there’s still very little done for months leading up to the election. That more governmental waste, due to an unnecessary election.
So, do we get more questioning and balance with the power of the governing minority? Yes. But, at what cost?
I agree with Darren on both points.
Elections cost money. Indeed, Canada’s federal elections cost substantially more to run (per capita) than US elections.
As for what changed after this election, I think M. Dion has found that many things have changed rather dramatically.
And there’s this basic problem: hands up everybody who knew the outcome of this election when the PM visited the G-G?
Yep, not much has changed.
I love your point about it bringing national issues out for more Canadians. I’m happy with voting every couple years, but I agree with Ryan that it shouldn’t run such a high cost to us to do so.
Personally I would have preferred a majority government; I think the government is a little too ineffectual and unproductive when it’s a minority government. It’s hard to enact actual change and a long term plan with a minority government.
Honestly, the only people I hear complaining about election frequency is the media, and CBC especially seems to love portraying the populace as just being crushed every time an election is called.
As for the cost, not knowing or being able to do this would cost us more in many ways, to my mind, than being locked into crap governments for at least 4 years, like they are in the US. A big part of that cost comes from serving sparse populations in widely-dispersed locations, but again that we make the effort is a demonstration of a nation’s commitment to democratic votes.
To rile up anger at elections for their frequency or their dollar cost is just ratings-trolling, but it’s also decidedly anti-democratic.
I do feel that way (meh). I think Canada could have done better. But elections are necessary for democracy, IMHO.
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