The Pierogi Parliament
Another coalition - for the Stanley Cup winners

All I want for Christmas is my two front...

... political parties. I'd like to have at least two strong parties of candidates that I can choose from, I'm tired of strategic voting and picking someone because he is not the opposition, because he's not as bad as the other one. Or she. Two parties to oppose and challenge each other. Even the arrogant  Conservatives could benefit from a stronger party to oppose them and make them stronger in turn. Last election they only had to be good enough to beat a weak Liberal leader, with a weak platform. pretty low bar - yet they still didn't. Maybe the Harperites need a real challenge, to force them develop a platform that doesn't antagonize so many - and to select a new leader, one that's not consumed with defeating the opposition, and actually cares about Canada more than his ego. As for the NDP and Green- maybe they need a permanent alliance into a single party. Not sure about that last bit, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

At any rate, looks like Santa may have heard my wish already, there are strong rumors that Dion will be gone this week, and a new leader picked soon. As in before Parliament resumes January 26. The choice might be one made by caucus of an interim leader, a choice to be ratified at a later convention. That would mean that all the ridings currently without a Liberal MP - like most of those in the west - would have no say. Another other option is a phone and online vote in January, not likely to happen. I'm sure there will be yet more cries from all over of things being non-democratic and unconstitutional.

Speaking of which, I'm tired of people complaining the coalition stole their vote - nobody stole nothing, it's still there. Here's how it works - each voter selected a candidate on the ballot, and depending on the rest of their riding one of the candidates won and an MP was elected to be sent to Parliament. They did not elect a particular party as the government, they did not elect a Prime Minister. The party that has the confidence of the House is invited by the Governor general to form the government, and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister. Sounds like the majority is chosen, but that's not quite what happens - it's all about confidence, so that the country can be governed. If that party at some time later loses the confidence of the House, the PM advises the GG to dissolve Parliament and then an election is called. But it's just his advice, she could also - within the constitution - recognize another party, or coalition of parties, as having the confidence of the House. All this is democratic, and constitutional, it might not create the specific Parliament everyone wants, but this is how our goverment works. People are quite right when they say they didn't vote for a coalition, but they also didn't vote for a Conservative government - that may  well have been their hope, but they all just voted for one candidate in their riding.

I sent a  letter in to Ignatieff and Rae to add my two cents about this crisis and replacing Dion– but with all the mail they must be getting I’m sure will get lost in the pile. Would I be more effective sending to someone in my riding of Ottawa-Orleans? My problem here is that the incumbent is a Conservative - Royal Galipeau - and I don't think he really listens to people, he comes across to me as condescending and impatient at any debates I've seen him at. He talks all the time about being a humble servant of the people, but always seems to be saying it from a podium.  I did send something in to the Ottawa Citizen Letters to the Editor, maybe they will print it.

All the parties talk about listening to the people during this break, how will that happen? Conservatives will go out and talk to their supporters to confirm they are doing the right thing. Liberals here, and the NDP, have no way to poll the people, as I can see. Will there be town hall sessions over the Christmas holidays? Can I bring my mother as part of her Christmas visit? Speaking of Christmas, what will the Queen's Christmas message to us be this year? Will she just sit there and shake her head and tell us she is not amused?

While this has been called a timeout and a chance for communication to the electorate, I’m not sure how either of those things will happen. The timeout will be an opportunity for the well funded Conservatives to flood the media with their spin. Ed Broadbent recently wrote in the Globe and Mail of Harper “fanning the flames of national disunity” and he easily refuted five of the many Conservative ‘mis-speaks’.  So what about the next ones they make? The media will try to keep both sides honest, but perhaps the NDP and the Liberals should have an ongoing online section that unspin’s the spin. The danger is that their reaction might end up adding their own spin, thus calling their version in question too as being just as self serving. 

So, I’m engaged and enraged, some letters and blogging is what I’ve been up to so far to try to effect change. No marches, no protests, no donations.

BTW - I do find this site, thetastates,  keeps me pumped as I compose - some great mixes here by CPI aka Caitlyn. Buy her a present if you like them.

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