Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I need to lie down...

So my world seems to be ending right now. Not only are the Braves making ridiculous trades, but my country, my homeland, is ending as I know it. I don't want to get political here, so turn your head if you need to... I'll be back later with cards. It'll be the only thing that'll keep me sane.

For those of you who don't know, a political party in Canada whose only goal is to seperate Quebec from the rest of Canada has joined forces with two other parties to overthrow the elected government. Yes. In Canada, we are having a coup.


Steve Janke: What if Canada had a coalition government and nobody came?

Posted: December 02, 2008, 7:00 PM by Kelly McParland
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So there's this idea floating around of having all the Conservative MPs resign in case this coup takes place.
I admit to scratching my head about this one. Then slowly it started to make sense.
If the Liberal-NDP-Bloc plotters succeed in taking over the government, what should the Conservatives do?
Normally they would walk across the floor and sit in opposition.
But there is this idea of mass resignations. All 143 Conservative MPs resign, effective immediately.
Weird. And yet, I see where this is going.

It is an act of honour. We were elected to be the government, and not even two months in, we're out. The people deserve to have a say in this. It's hard to argue that point.
It delegitimizes the coalition. Without a functioning opposition, the coalition would be unencumbered by dissent within Parliament, either on the floor of the House, or in committee. But the more radical programs brought in by the coalition would seem all the more unilateral and illegitimate, brought in not only by a mutant party not elected to be in government, but one that is presiding over a broken House.

The Conservatives could play this up in a big way. An opposition in protest? The media would pay a lot of attention to Stephen Harper's statements and criticisms just because of the sheer theatre. Stephane Dion, who is miserable in media events, would be at a disadvantage. And without a functioning Question Period, there would be no carefully crafted statements for Dion to deliver against the backdrop of hooting and hollering NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs voicing their support. Dion would be forced to respond in media scrums, where he performs badly.

The Liberals can't afford to fight 143 by-elections, while Conservative supporters would be energized. That could be extremely interesting. Would the Liberals, the NDP, and the Bloc Quebecois split up the 143 by-elections between them? It would save the Liberals a lot of money, but it would look terrible, as the coalition continues to play games with democracy by eliminating choices for the Canadian voter. Nevertheless, there would be those like the Green Party who would be demanding that they be given ridings to run in unopposed. Regardless of the outcome of the by-elections, divvying up ridings ahead of the votes would eliminate any shreds of respectability held by the coalition. And yet what sort of coalition runs against itself?

In 143 by-elections, there would be ample opportunity for both local candidates and coalition party leaders to defend the legitimacy of their takeover. The Conservative message would be simple: You elected us but they decided that they knew better. The coalition message would have to be nuanced: We knew we'd be better, so we took over. How many times do you think they could deliver that message without someone flubbing a line and coming off as either arrogant or dictatorial? I don't even know if it is possible to defend this coup without sounding arrogant and dictatorial in the first place.

There are risks, of course. The by-elections would happen, and there could be a backlash against the Conservatives. In any case, there is no guarantee that the Conservatives would get all 143 seats back. Also, the act of having by-elections would partially legitimize the coalition, especially if they won seats.

On the other hand, if the coalition governs badly, riven by internal dissent and floundering in difficult economic times, and if the coalition is seen as a government of panderers, handing out money by the truckload to Quebec separatists and unelected environmentalists, and (safest bet of all) if their leftist interventionist policies hurt Canadians in the pocketbook, there is every reason to believe that those 143 by-elections would be a referendum on the coalition, and that the coalition would not like the results.

Oh, and the Liberals would be broke fighting up to 50% of a general election. Unless, of course, the Liberals found another source of cash, one that would easily be tapped into once they were in power...

National Post

What the hell, man?
An actual card post to follow later tonight.....

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