03 May 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #39: Canada's Election

I will start this post by saying I am nowhere near getting a handle on Canadian politics.  Canadians went to the polls yesterday following a short bout of campaigning by the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberals, and the Conservatives (the front-running parties in the election).  At the end of the day, the Conservatives came out on top with Stephen Harper retaining his seat and, for the first time in a long time, a majority of seats in the House of Commons.  While all of that was happening, the NDP made a huge dent and is now the official "opposition party," beating out the Liberals.  AND, I can hear you waiting for it...what of the Bloc Québécois, the Green Party, and the Independents?!?!

Yes, folks, its a circus, although from my vantage point a much more subdued and peaceful circus than the one that surrounds our U.S. election process.  This will be the 41st Canadian Parliament following the 40th which was dissolved back in March following a no-confidence vote in the government by the House of Commons.  Following the dissolution, the politicians hit the trail, moving from riding to riding (kind of like the U.S. congressional districts), making their speeches, and pledging to bring Canada wealth, prosperity, goodness, and light.

It could be argued that there are six primary parties in Canada (listed in order by the number of seats they hold):
  • Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper (167 seats)
  • New Democratic Party, led by Jack Layton (102 seats)
  • Liberals, formerly led by Michael Ignatieff (34 seats)
  • Bloc Québécois (4 seats)
  • Green (1 seat)
  • Independents (whoops, no seats after this election -- they formerly held 2)

In addition, there are a variety of minor parties, including (and I kid you not):
  • Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party
  • Canadian Action Party
  • Christian Heritage Party
  • Communist Party
  • First Peoples National Party
  • Libertarian Party
  • Marijuana Party
  • Marxist-Leninist Party
  • Progressive Canadian Party
  • Pirate Party
  • Rhinoceros Party
  • United Party
  • Western Block Party

The PIRATE PARTY?!?!  How cool is that!  When I first heard about them, I had visions of hooks and swashbucklers making their way to Parliament to talk about stolen pirate booty and sing some songs with a glass of mead while adjusting their eye patches!  In fact, I know one special someone that would love to give it a try:

My nephew as a Pirate at Walt Disney World!

Alas, they focus on copyrighting, net neutrality and government reform...all which could be made much more interesting with an eye patch...just saying is all.

Saskatchewan went all Conservative save for one riding, Wascana, that went Liberal.  As a side note, it is interesting to me that on the map from CBC showing the ridings, Conservative is shown in blue and Liberal is shown in red...different from the Red and Blue states we know so well in the U.S. 

So, we wait to see what Harper is going to do with a majority government.  Maybe his tactics would be a little easier to swallow with some mead and a good song...and some pirate booty, with a Rhinoceros on the side.

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