Thursday, January 26, 2006

Summary of the recent election

These are more or less random bits of thought in the wake of the election.

If we had proportional representation in this country, the makeup of the House of Commons would look entirely different.

Snipping a bit from Fair Vote Canada's assessment of the election results:
"Had the same votes been cast under a proportional voting system, Fair Vote Canada projected that the seats allocation would have been approximately as follows:
# Conservatives - 36.3% of the popular vote: 113 seats (not 124)
# Liberals - 30.1% of the popular vote: 93 seats (not 103)
# NDP - 17.5% of the popular vote: 59 seats (not 29)
# Bloc Quebecois - 10.5% of the popular vote: 31 seats (not 51)
# Greens - 4.5% of the popular vote: 12 seats (not 0)"

The links to the various party websites inside the quote are something I added. I apologize to all the english only speakers out there on behalf of the appallingly rude Bloc Quebecois, who apparently couldn't be bothered to have an english translation of their website. You would think they would want to make their point of view available to the rest of Canada, as part of the process of cordial separation.

Good Gods, even the fledgling Green Party website is fully bilingual, and my computer geek husband assures me that full bilingualism in a website is no cheap endeavor.

But I'll leave the issue of Quebec seperation for another day, when I'm truly bored in the middle of winter without my garden and pics thereof to keep us all entertained.

Memorable bits:

- The sick to my stomach feeling of encountering what can only be described as Hate in the middle of an otherwise at least superficially polite all candidate's debate. In Canada. We of the world-wide reputation for politeness. Unless, apparently, you are gay.

- The admiration/compassion/something listening to the lesbian woman who stood up in the midst of it and challenged attitudes.

- Joe, the political guy at work, who more or less said that 'The Man' wants us to become disillusioned with the process, to give up and stop participating, to feel like we can't make changes.

- The ...."it's okay to be afraid of our country becoming like the Right Wing World-Dominating USA*, but it's not okay to speak of it to the public at large" thing that gripped us. The Liberals were rounded criticized for their fear-mongering ads against the Conservatives.

*My apologies to all the Americans out there who are just as disgusted with their current Goverment as the rest of the world.

- The feeling that the whole lot of them need to stop acting like children and grow the hell up. But that would be that disillusionment that Joe spoke of again, wouldn't it?

- Vote Marriage Canada claims that 'over 60%' of their 209 endorsed candidates were elected. When I compared the list of their endorsements to the list of newly-elected Members of Parliament, I got closer to 53.8%, but what's a little quibbling here and there? That means that approximately 112 of the 308 elected MPs will vote against same-sex marriage when the Conservatives fulfil their promise of having a free vote in Parliament on the issue. Now, just because the other 196 winning MPs weren't endorsed by this organization, it doesn't mean that they disagree with it's stance, but it seems unlikely that same sex marriage will be disallowed so shortly after being made legal by the previous government.

- Still being pissed off with Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP for making the call to side with the Conservatives on a vote of confidence and bringing down the previous government. I didn't want this election to happen in the first place.

- And finally, back to where I started commenting on the election a few months ago - I want to decline my vote. I want to be able to walk into a polling station, accept my ballot and say 'I decline to vote. I do not support any of the Parties at this time, but I continue to support this process.' I want my ballot to be counted separately as the civil act of protest that it is. I don't want to have my ballot counted amongst the spoiled ballots, the ballots of people too stupid to mark them correctly.

There, I think I'm done.

I promise to return to more peaceful topics shortly.

Maybe I'll even get off my butt and post a picture of something again someday.


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