This may be the electoral upset of the year. Canada’s Conservative party has a working majority for the first time in 18 years. (There is some attempt to explain how 38% is a ‘majority’ in a parliamentary system, but I’m not sure I get it.) Excerpt:
Conservatives win their first majority in Canada since… forever?
OK, it was only 18 years.
Americans don’t have to bother with coalition governments. We have three elected sections: The presidency, the Senate and the House. If there is a tie in the Senate, the veep casts the deciding vote.
Not so in socialistland where there are greens and nationalists and sorta socialists and real socialists and conservative socialists and the various one-off groups.
In Canada, conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a rare majority after Monday’s election.
His party garnered 38% of the vote.
That’s not a majority.
Play along, Americans.
Remember our Electoral College is not explainable in less than 500 words.
From the CBC:
Canadian voters have delivered Conservative Leader Stephen Harper his first majority government after five years of governing in a minority situation, CBC News projects. Meanwhile NDP Leader Jack Layton was set to become Official Opposition leader.
More on this from the CBC here.
One of the readers comments astutely notes, “A big taxing, big spending, corrupt Liberal political party led by an ex-Harvard ‘intellectual’ with little practical experience has just been obliterated by market friendly and fiscally conservative leadership. In Canada. America are you watching?” It’s an interesting observation; I think we’ve had enough Ivy League Presidents. Of the five Presidents in office since I’ve reached adulthood, four had Ivy League educations. The fifth was Ronald Reagan. If the GOP is smart, they’ll look beyond Yale, Harvard and Oxford for the next nominee.
In other news, here is an interesting proposal to end gerrymandering, an ancient practice that pretty much guarantees safe seats for both parties and has in large part created our permanent political class. Excerpt:
Across the nation, America’s politicos are currently engaged in the artful redrawing of congressional district boundaries for their own benefit. Thus, the voting public is once again faced with the brazen practice of political corruption by its alleged representatives.
The practice of gerrymandering is technically legal, and indeed, will soon celebrate its 200th anniversary in this country. However, it remains the case that, as it is a method of rigging elections to secure office holders against the judgment of the voters, it is a crime against democracy. It is time to end it.
But how can this be done? While it is apparent that weird district shapes are clearly contrived by conspiracies of politicians desiring to disenfranchise the electorate, what objective standard is there for assigning fair boundaries?
Down side: This proposal expect politicians to enact a policy that reduces their own grasp on power. I think I have somewhat better odds of spontaneously sprouting wings and flying to Neptune.