Tag Archives: coalition

MayDay 2011: The Conservative Coalition (repost)

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Stephen Harper has dropped the word ‘coalition’ of late, possibly because he and his handlers have decided to focus on backpeddling following scathing reviews from Canada’s Auditor General insinuating that they broke the law with spending for the G8/G20 summit.

However, Canadians shouldn’t let him drop the word ‘coalition’ because he lives and breathes by it.

His power depends on a coalition.

At the outset of the campaign, Stephen Harper had us believe that the word ‘coalition’ – especially when the opposition is concerned – may as well be the spawn of the Devil or something … gasp … worse:  a Canada without him at the helm.

Of course, this is OK because every time Stephen Harper speaks about the evils of coalitions, he is painting himself into a corner and he won’t be able to get himself out … or blame a low-level staffer for his mistakes.

This is because he represents and leads one of Canada’s most successful coalitions:  the CRAP coalition.

I know this term is used as a derogatory remark about the existing Conservative party and platform, but let’s take a brief look at the history of what is now the Conservative Party of Canada:

  • Progressive Conservatives dominate the scene from Confederation to the end of the Mulroney years
  • Albertans get all snippy about how we Canadians treat ‘their’ oil and form the Reform Party of Canada, a thinly veiled gang of libertarians, Gordon Gecko fanatics and Ayn Rand junkies
  • Other conservative folks decide that there isn’t enough religion in the halls of Canadian government and form the Alliance Party, a thinly-veiled ‘whites only’ group
  • These three parties split the small-c conservative vote and keep the Liberals in power from 1993 (the year Kim Campbell was defeated) to 2006, when Stephen Harper used a coalition to defeat Paul Martin
  • The tables are turned in 2003:  Stephen Harper eventually crams all three parties into one box, forms a coalition of conservative and right-leaning parties and declares that ‘progressive’ isn’t fashionable anymore
  • Voila:  The Conservative Party of Canada is born!

As you can see, ‘coalition’ is the life-blood of the Conservative Party of Canada, but a more important word might be ‘suppression‘.

It’s inevitable that folks from all walks of life – be they Libertarians, Pro-Life, religious fanatics, anti-gay, anti-feminist – will be busting to have a voice in a room where they cannot speak or have an opinion, lest they fragment the voting public that puts Stephen Harper in power.

They’ll also get more and more irritated as ‘socialists’ like Jack Layton get a seat at Stephen Harper’s table while they’re left out in the cold because Jack (and/or Ignatieff) represent Stephen Harper’s SECOND ongoing coalition:  the vacillating support from either the Liberals, NDP or even the Bloc that keeps this very sick patient alive and provides new blood when the Conservative minority is about to go into cardiac arrest because of its own largesse.

I pity the people who are in these and other groups that want to be heard, but who will never be listened to as long as the Conservative Party of Canada has Stephen Harper at the helm swearing that ‘coalitions’ in Canada are an unacceptable form of government.

The real truth to the situation is that a coalition of progressives and centre/left would represent more than 2 out of 3 votes in Canada.  This would push Stephen Harper and his corrupt crew into oblivion.

Today, the left and centre parties will not talk of a coalition, but can we at least try to convince them to create a plan to push the Conservative Party of Canada out of power and avoid damaging their own prospects in the process?

Is that too much to ask?  Maybe Jack Layton and Elizabeth May can take the lead on this since Michael Ignatieff has ruled it out?

MayDay 2011: New Seat Projection

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OK … so I’m no pollster, but I’m using two resources:

I’ve revised the spreadsheet to reflect my guess-timate of what the seat count might look like depending on the region, the approximate change in voter opinion and the odd black-box estimate for specific ridings, particularly those that are too close to call.

Here’s the total:

  • CPC = 130 seats (from approx 143 seats)
  • NDP = 100 seats (from 37 seats)
  • Liberal = 45 seats (from 77 seats)
  • Too close = 22 seats
  • Bloc = 6 (from 49 seats)

Yes, the Bloc get hammered, mainly because they are getting crushed in the polls.  For good reason:  the Bloc isn’t a national party and Quebecers have finally woken up to the reality that it would be nice to be at the table for a change.

Thank you Quebec – how ironic that you may save Canada yet.

Also, we’re now seeing that Jack Layton made a very prudent choice when he appointed the first NDP MP elected in Quebec – Thomas Mulcair – to Deputy Leader.  It gave the rest of Quebec cause to pause and reflect on the influence they might have if they voted more NDP MPs to Ottawa.

As I generated these estimates, the numbers above got me thinking about the ‘strongholds’ of the Conservatives.

In 2008, 36% of their seats (about 51) came from Ontario.  This is a substantial volume when you consider that Ontario has about 110 seats to offer up.

The greatest reason why the Conservative got so many seats?  Vote splitting.  And the CPC is betting on vote splitting to get them into a majority.

Again, I’m hopeful that this won’t happen because I believe in two major demographic groups driving positive results, particularly in Ontario:

  • the Youth Vote
  • the Baby Boomer Vote

With the Youth Vote (eg. anyone under 30), there has always been a disproportionate volume of voters that don’t make it to the polls, but also a disproportionate volume of voters that have progressive tendencies.  Yes, you might argue that this might split the vote, but they also have a critical resource that they live by:  data resources.  They’ll use tools like Project Democracy and consider voting based on projections to help ensure that the Cons are dead ducks.

The Boomers are a totally different gang of voters that many haven’t really spent enough time analyzing.  This is the year that MANY Boomers will hit the age of 65 and would like to start retiring.  However,

  • Many can’t retire yet.
  • Many don’t own businesses any more – mainly because they’ve sold off their businesses or never owned one in the first place – so they shouldn’t care about corporate tax rates.
  • Many don’t have kids in school, so they probably don’t care about education.
  • Many may feel the need to re-awaken their political destiny that they embraced in the 1960s when they came of age, but neglected in the 1980s and onward as they turned inward to their own interests.
  • Many have lived their lives accumulating debt, so they’re not too worried about passing even more debt on to their heirs.
  • Many are seeing their twilight years with the Harper-lead negotiation of the Health Act and they are scared shitless.

As a result, my prediction is that many of the Boomers will vote for the party that they want to see negotiate the Health Act.  My prediction – weak as it may sound – will be a mix of Liberal and NDP representatives.  I’d like to think that the Liberals will steal from the Cons and the NDP will steal from the Liberals, but that sounds a little too optimistic for me.

That said, there’s still a change that the Cons will be reduced to 40 or so seats in Ontario, with the Liberals and NDP taking the balance.

BC is another key province that has given the Cons their strength.  22 seats went to the CPC in 2008 and I continue to shake my head in disbelief that the folks that I know in BC would allow this to happen.  To really agitate the BC vote, we have to hammer on the fact that it was the Cons that made the HST (Harper Sales Tax) happen there.

The same goes for Ontario.  The HST was brought to us by the federal Cons more so than the provincial Liberals.

With all of these factors at play, my bet is that the final tally will be an NDP-lead NDP-Liberal coalition owning about 155-165 seats.

MayDay 2011: Enough Already! I Support A Liberal/NDP Coalition

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Stephen Harper has painted the concept of ‘coalition’ with a most painful and tragic brush that will burn all Canadians.

Obviously, Stephen Harper doesn’t work well with other people.

Obviously, Stephen Harper wants to pretend that coalitions are evil, like those in Israel, Australia, Germany, England, New Zealand, Belgium, India, Finland, and Japan.

Obviously, Stephen Harper is more afraid of a coalition than Canadians are.

Obviously, Canadians will not be that stupid on election day and they will choose the government that they want and that they deserve.

My prediction is that they will elect a collection of MPs that will be willing to work with each other and who will be responsible for investigating the crimes that the Harper Government (TM) is committing behind our backs.

They will elect a Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton coalition.

And I’m OK with that.

Here’s why:

  • People don’t trust the NDP with a majority or leadership title.  However, they also don’t know if Michael Ignatieff is ready for the job.  A Lib/NDP coalition would be best served by appointing the man with the most experience – Jack Layton – as the Prime Minister with Michael Ignatieff as Deputy PM.
  • The NDP have proven that they are willing to work with anyone, but have done this to a fault.  Their support of the Conservatives over the years has caused a lot of people a lot of frustration.  But it’s earned the trust of all Canadians.
  • A Liberal/NDP coalition would be progressive from a centre-left perspective.  It will likely be forced to reverse all corporate tax cuts, letting the Liberals save face with commitments to only return to half-way levels.
  • This coalition will represent the biggest voice in Canada:  urban voters.  It will act on that volume of voters and ensure we have progressive ideals being implemented in our biggest communities.
  • Proportional representation will become a referendum question, one which I’m hoping will be simple and direct and not manipulated by the media.

These are just a few reasons why I support a Liberal NDP coalition.  It’s time to take the fear out of this idea.  It’s time to get rid of Stephen Harper and his Conservative crooks.

MayDay 2011: The Conservative Coalition

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Stephen Harper has dropped the word ‘coalition’ of late, possibly because he and his handlers have decided to focus on backpeddling following scathing reviews from Canada’s Auditor General insinuating that they broke the law with spending for the G8/G20 summit.

However, Canadians shouldn’t let him drop the word ‘coalition’ because he lives and breathes by it.

His power depends on a coalition.

At the outset of the campaign, Stephen Harper had us believe that the word ‘coalition’ – especially when the opposition is concerned – may as well be the spawn of the Devil or something … gasp … worse:  a Canada without him at the helm.

Of course, this is OK because every time Stephen Harper speaks about the evils of coalitions, he is painting himself into a corner and he won’t be able to get himself out … or blame a low-level staffer for his mistakes.

This is because he represents and leads one of Canada’s most successful coalitions:  the CRAP coalition.

I know this term is used as a derogatory remark about the existing Conservative party and platform, but let’s take a brief look at the history of what is now the Conservative Party of Canada:

  • Progressive Conservatives dominate the scene from Confederation to the end of the Mulroney years
  • Albertans get all snippy about how we Canadians treat ‘their’ oil and form the Reform Party of Canada, a thinly veiled gang of libertarians, Gordon Gecko fanatics and Ayn Rand junkies
  • Other conservative folks decide that there isn’t enough religion in the halls of Canadian government and form the Alliance Party, a thinly-veiled ‘whites only’ group
  • These three parties split the small-c conservative vote and keep the Liberals in power from 1993 (the year Kim Campbell was defeated) to 2006, when Stephen Harper used a coalition to defeat Paul Martin
  • The tables are turned in 2003:  Stephen Harper eventually crams all three parties into one box, forms a coalition of conservative and right-leaning parties and declares that ‘progressive’ isn’t fashionable anymore
  • Voila:  The Conservative Party of Canada is born!

As you can see, ‘coalition’ is the life-blood of the Conservative Party of Canada, but a more important word might be ‘suppression‘.

It’s inevitable that folks from all walks of life – be they Libertarians, Pro-Life, religious fanatics, anti-gay, anti-feminist – will be busting to have a voice in a room where they cannot speak or have an opinion, lest they fragment the voting public that puts Stephen Harper in power.

They’ll also get more and more irritated as ‘socialists’ like Jack Layton get a seat at Stephen Harper’s table while they’re left out in the cold because Jack (and/or Ignatieff) represent Stephen Harper’s SECOND ongoing coalition:  the vacillating support from either the Liberals, NDP or even the Bloc that keeps this very sick patient alive and provides new blood when the Conservative minority is about to go into cardiac arrest because of its own largesse.

I pity the people who are in these and other groups that want to be heard, but who will never be listened to as long as the Conservative Party of Canada has Stephen Harper at the helm swearing that ‘coalitions’ in Canada are an unacceptable form of government.

The real truth to the situation is that a coalition of progressives and centre/left would represent more than 2 out of 3 votes in Canada.  This would push Stephen Harper and his corrupt crew into oblivion.

Today, the left and centre parties will not talk of a coalition, but can we at least try to convince them to create a plan to push the Conservative Party of Canada out of power and avoid damaging their own prospects in the process?

Is that too much to ask?  Maybe Jack Layton and Elizabeth May can take the lead on this since Michael Ignatieff has ruled it out?

Canada’s Political (Colour) Spectrum

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Is a Green just a yellow Blue?

Is an Orange just a yellow Red?

No. The Greens in Canada are substantially better than the Blues and the Reds can’t hold a candle to the Oranges.

In 2009, Purple will be the colour of Parliament.

With the help of Red, Blue become the furthest right on the spectrum (see below).

Canada's Political Colour Spectrum

The Reds under Ignatieff have merged with the Blues under the Harpercrites and have formed a nice shade of purple. It’s exceptionally unlikely that the hopes of a ‘progressive’ coalition will rule Canada and it’s even more unlikely that the Liberals will do what must be done to defeat the Conservative regime.

It’s because purple has long been associated with royalty, the self-appointed leaders of our free world and devotees of themselves and their family over the interests of the country at large. Purple is better known as a shade aligned with elitism and dominance as opposed to softness and congeniality.

Purples are perfectionists. Purple people are secretive, unwilling to trust and they are often known to be religious zealots. No surprise there, really.

According to one source ,

In their way of thinking, [purples] are the ones put here to enforce religion for God. These people can be just a little frightening when they start searching for their holy grail.

We’ve seen it already with the Blues. Votes against gay marriage. Policies that encourage the growth of families and discourage women from working. The potential for acts against the human fetus to be considered an act of murder. Bill C-10.

There’s little to no point in seeing the Reds (Liberals) as being anything different from the Blues (the Conservative regime). In the past few decades, their records speak for themselves. Patronage appointments. Ad Scam. The growth of the defence business in Canada. The end of EI. The strangling of small businesses in the interests of large corporate persuaders. The rise of the security state. The neglect of a little agreement called the Kyoto Accord.

Both parties stand accused. Both parties stand guilty.

Yes, Green is a yellow Blue, which means they have a sentiment that leans more towards the market when it comes to solutions for our economy, but at least they are brave enough to stand up to the bullies that ran/run the Environment portfolio. They have made their presence known on international stages when our Blues are too cowardly to show their faces.

Green is the colour of healing and health. Green personalities want to offer solutions and give without want of compensation or accolades. Greens represent a fresh sentiment and for those who are business-minded, green is the colour of money (or it was in Canada a long time ago). With that in mind, ‘Green’ opportunities are all the rage becuase the people that vote for Greens – generally a younger audience – believe in making investments in the future as opposed to propping up dying industries and carving great scars into the side of our planet that will never heal and will remind hundreds of generations of how selfish we were.

Greens are described as peacemakers and seek out harmony, but "they need to be careful not to make martyrs of themselves ".

And yes, Oranges are yellow Reds, in that they seek a more progressive solution to the woes of the world compared to the Liberals. In the past, Oranges under the leadership of Douglas or Broadbent have helped the likes of Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau or even a Conservative like John Diefenbaker rise to truly unique status as Canadian icons.

It’s no surprise that Tommy Douglas was nominated The Greatest Canadian, as he pushed for healthcare and a number of other reforms that would respect the sanctity (and sanity) of the common person. Without healthcare, we’d be in the same situation as Americans, as they sell their over-leveraged homes in order to pay grossly inflated medical bills.*

Oranges root for the underdog. They’d walk in front of a bus to save someone, if only because it’s the damned right thing to do.

And Orange people are great lovers of nature. In fact, they tend to be those that are hired to have a command over our natural bounty. Farmers. Loggers. Miners. Builders. Caregivers.

It’s no surprise that the prevalance of unions is within these professions. People that are too disparate and kind to think that other people would want to take advantage of them. But as they get the Blues and Reds walking all over them when they agree to auto bailouts or other industrial blunders the result should be obvious: don’t push an Orange. They’ll find like spirits and shut you out.

And Oranges are the most likely to seek out adventure and change. Oranges will heed the bidding of the people that hire them and elect them, including those who lead us in the Parliament of Canada.

But let’s return to the Orange passion for people and the Green roots with health.

It is with this assessment that I make this plea: the Greens must find ways to cooperate with the Oranges and vice versa.

We will never defeat the Purples if we squabble amongst ourselves. We must find a peaceful way to lead Canadians into the future.

These two parties represent the only true hope that we have for a future in this country. The Reds and Blues are far too tainted with self-interest and self-aggrandizement to worry about the concerns of the lay people of this land.

It’s a pinch of temporary pain, but my request is that the Oranges find a way to back off in select ridings when strong Green candidates are there to fight for the health of our environment and our economy. Greens must do the same in ridings that are dominated by those who will not let the Purples run roughshod over their sense of livelihood.

In the last election, really just weeks ago, the people of Canada spoke. Nearly 7% of the voting population opted for Green (and they failed to get a single seat) and more than 18% voted for Oranges. Together, this represents just 25% of the vote, not enough to defeat the Harpercrites who stole 38% of the vote with their lies and deceptions.  The reality though, is that Canadians ARE voting for softer hues of Red and Blue and this trend has been growing over the last few elections.

And if the Greens and the Oranges band together to heal this country of its democratic wounds, we will have a future. We will have change. And we will end the disgust and contempt that most Canadians feel when they think of politics in this country. That 25% will rise quickly and we will put the Purples in a corner like they’ve never felt before.

I ask anyone involved with the Greens or the Oranges (NDP) to work together and find a democratic and thoughtful way to maximize the number of seats they will get in the next election.  For many committed to democracy, the next step might be a hard pill to swallow, in that we will likely have to encourage Greens to withdraw from strong Orange ridings and likewise with strong Green ridings.  The elimination of competition will create a show of solidarity and will take the Purples off guard.

Let’s do it soon though, as we’re running out of time for other solutions.

With many thanks to this site .

*NOTE: I fully acknowledge that there are many other issues involved, but I’m hoping to make a small point about the cost of healthcare in the US compared to Canada.