Only in Canada, you say?

Ok, this is something you would only hear in Canada – a senior political correspondant and anchor on the CBC, referring to the Prime Minister of the country as “raggin’ the puck”.

Only in Canada – classic!

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Fiddling while Rome burns Part 2…

Ok, I posted a while back on the political circus to the south. It is embarrassing now to watch the kids in Ottawa try very, very hard to out do them.

I am not going to go through the details of what is happening in Ottawa right now, since you can read about it on any Canadian news site. I do have a few points to make about it, however:

  • In reading various forum posts, blog posts, etc. it frightening to see how little Canadians know about their own political system. People ranting about the coalition being treason, a “coup”, etc. I am afraid not folks – this is the way our system is designed. What they are doing is perfectly legal (though not too bright, politically). Also, people going on that Stephen Harper has some kind of “mandate”. We do not elect a prime minister. We elect representatives. The majority in the house decides the leader. If the majority changes, the leader changes. This whole party leader=prime minister thing is just a side effect of this atrocity known as “party politics”, which is the biggest enemy of true democracy.
  • the conservatives are ranting about the coalition’s deal with the BQ. Funny how they forget about 2004, isn’t it? They are doing far more to harm national unity than the coalition is.
  • the Conservative party in its current form is only marginally more a “national” party than the BQ. Sure they have candidates in a broader geography, but thier actual support is nearly as narrow. And they are really only interested in keeping their power base out west happy.
  • the current situation has nothing to due with economics, financial crises, social programs, or anything of the sort. This is all about power, and playing political games to keep or get power. And all four party leaders are to blame (maybe not Duceppe – as much as I disapprove of the BQ, at least they are very clear, honest and open about their goals).

As far as I am concerned, there is only one credible way out of this mess now:

  1. Like it or not, we need to have another election. Harper should pre-emptively call an election (does he have that option right now? I am not sure). The Conservatives have lost the confidence of the current house, and probably cannot regain it. This would, however, stop the coalition from taking power – although the coalition is legal, it is bad for the country due to the division and instability it is creating.
  2. Mr. Harper needs to resign. He has demonstrated through 2 elections now that he is unable to achieve a majority. In addition, his judgement and credibility are somewhat questionable now.
  3. Mr. Dion should also resign. I do not think anyone in the country (his own party included) believes he has what it takes to lead the country.
  4. Mr. Layton should resign because his visible involvement in the coalition will severely harm his party’s future.

So, what would an election look like if none of the parties had leaders? Kind of like the last election, I guess.

I am so completely embarassed by and ashamed of our government right now. I do not know how any of them have the nerve to show their faces in public at the moment.

Fiddling While Rome Burns

I find it amusing (or would if so many real people were not suffering) to watch lawmakers in the United States continue to play the same old partisan games while their country tumbles towards economic disaster (or through economic disaster, more correctly). It would seem that they are all far too interested in their own personal agendas and philosophical obsessions to act in a way that protects the people who elected them (as opposed to the people who pay for them).

And this not just about the current fiasco over the proposed $700 million bailout. It has been obvious for a long time that a collapse like this was inevitable. All of our leaders, however, have been completely obsessed with political manoeuvring in order to gain or retain power. 

(as an aside, I have no better opinion of our government here in Canada – which has acted in such a secretive, cloistered manner that it is really hard to see what, if anything, it has done during its current mandate)

At what point will elected officials in both of our countries realize that they do not work for the lobbyists, corporations, and others who pay them to believe in and vote for what they are told.

They work for us – or should. They are not in office to vote their beliefs. They are not in office to vote the party line. They are not in office to vote their “conscience.” They are there to vote the way their constituents want them to. If they do not do so, they should be thrown the hell out!

(if only there were a viable alternative to the idiots we have now)

Apple Marketing and Political Mud-slinging

I was wathing one of Apple’s “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials last night, and noticed how much Apple’s marketing campaign resembles the mindless mud-slinging which permeates the political campaign process. I cannot remember the last time any of these commercials actually mentioned anything good about the Mac, or even mentioned anything about the Mac’s capabilities.

I am sorry, but saying “you should buy my product because XYZ sucks” is a pretty lazy marketing campaign – especially from an organization that pretends to be innovative.