Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Canada outside of Quebec

If we look at the last election and take Quebec out of the mix, here is what we end up with

  • Conservatives 133 seats and 43.5% of the vote
  • Liberals 63 seats and 27.2% of the vote
  • NDP 36 seats and 20.4% of the vote
  • Independents 1 seat
  • Greens 0 seats and 8% of the vote

What you can see here is that outside of Quebec the Conservatives have a strong majority of the seats and hold a comfortable level of support - 43.5% is strong endorsement in our current electoral system.

This is relevant because a the public outside of Quebec did make a reasonably strong vote in favour of the Conservatives. A coalition government will have to deal with anger in many parts of Canada because they are not what people were looking for.

In general we have a problem in Canadian politics as long as there is a political party holding between 12% and 17% of the seats in parliament but is not interested on any level in governing Canada or the very concept of a Canadian state. As long as the Bloc sits in Ottawa and holds as many seats as it does, governance in Canada will be difficult.

Yes, Jean Chretien managed it in three elections, but he only achieved this because there were two parties to the right that ensured he won almost all the seats in Ontario.

The sooner more seats are added to Ontario, Alberta and BC, the sooner the negative effect of the Bloc on governance will be reduced.

In Wiemar Germany there was a problem with governance that came from having two major parties elected representatives that were not interested in good governance - the communists and the Nazis. By the late 1920s the nation had become ungovernable and this lead to the Hitler being able to seize power. In a democracy the representatives elected have to be interested in constructively governing for the whole, the Bloc does not meet this test.

It is time in Ottawa for parliament to create some different rules for how political parties are supported to ensure that we see better governance, here are my suggested changes:
  • A caucus is only recognized if it has MPs from at least three provinces
  • Research and other support funding for a parliamentary caucus is tied not only to how many MPs they have, but also to how many provinces they are elected from
  • Taxpayer support dollars only flow to parties running in at least 2/3s of the ridings of Canada. Drop the % support completely.
If our national parliament is to be effective, all the MPs elected have to be focused on governing well for the nation and not just one part of the nation. Having 49 MPs in Ottawa that are not interested in the concerns or issues of most of Canada is an impediment to the rest of the MPs being able to govern well.
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