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WTF Is Going On In Canada?

Seeing as how I live under two hours from the Canadian border, I generally try to keep tabs on what's happening up there. It's good policy to keep tabs on what's happening around the world in general.

Anyway, so I started seeing rumblings on a few blogs written by Canadians over the past week or so about something going on with Parliament. I've been a little distracted by other stuff in my life, so I didn't quite follow what was going on. Then I saw the headline this morning that Governor General has agreed to let Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspend Parliament until January 26th.

Now, I know almost jackshite about Canada's form of government even after touring Parliament in Ottawa back in 2000. However, I did vaguely recall that the Governor General (GG) represents Queen Elizabeth. Oh yeah, did you forget that the Queen still has a finger on the pulse of Canada?

So anyway, a couple groups of political parties were working to form a coalition that would force a confidence vote on Stephen Harper. Harper is a conservative, or Tory, and the groups opposing him included NDP, the bloc from Quebec that wants the Province to secede from Canada, and the Liberals. If the confidence vote happened, Harper would have gotten a no-vote of confidence, and put the coalition in power with a new Prime Minister being elected. I believe.

But wait now, Harper used a rarely used ploy in asking the GG for permission to suspend Parliament. By doing this, he avoids the whole no-vote of confidence issue until January, at least.

Since I'm probably talking out of my arse on all of this, I'll give the links to what I can find online so you can all educate yourself on the various opinions:

Gen X at 40 - has several posts on the topic and seems to have been following the action diligently.

Western Standard - The top blog for Canada's Top 25 Political Blogs as determined by this guy

Comments

Mr. Nighttime said…
For all the fuck-ups that our government can do, I'll take our form over a parliamentary system any day of the week. What is happening up there in the great white north is a perfect example, though you see it more often in places like Israel. They change governments so often, you can set your watch by it.
Toronto realtor said…
Unfortunately, you are right. We are coming towards the fifth federal election in eight years, that's crazy. Democracy works fine, when there is a big majority, able to make a deal (unless they don't start some holocaust on the minority...). But when the result is 1:1 or close to it, democratic system is getting into troubles. Systems of two parties, like you have, can be a bit helpful, but not completely - political cycles are still present...
Take care
Julie

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