Shove THIS Up Your Democracy!

I’m sorry, but I have this weird tendency to just space out and completely forget events sometimes. It’s not until I find myself in the kitchen staring at a bottle of ketchup that I remember wanting grilled cheese. And when I complimented Talea on a cute pair of pyjamas, she reminded me that they had been a Christmas gift – from me. I can be forgetful. However, I’m pretty damn sure that we just had an election.

Oh wait, I’m totally right. We DID just have an election. Like, YESTERDAY.

So in case you live in America or under a Canadian rock, here’s the shakedown. We’ve got the Conservatives in power right now – right wing. And for their entire duration in office, the Liberals – our scandal-ridden nigh bankrupt left – have been nagging and bitching and criticizing. You suck! quoth the Liberals. We’ll call another election! We’ll team up with those super-left NDP guys over there, we outnumber you! But they pissed and moaned until the Conservatives finally called the damn election themselves – and won again! The Liberals lost more seats than before!

If I’m not mistaken, that’s a pretty clear sign that we’re not interested in the Liberals right this second.

But now, Stephan Dion, leader of the Liberals, who was supposed to be stepping down, has decided that Canadians are stupid. Apparently we can’t make choices for ourselves, and so the Liberals have decided to team up with the NDP to form a Coalition government.

This isn’t throwing in a vote of nonconfidence and starting another election – letting Canadians decide who they really want. This is waltzing in and taking over office, telling Canadians what we ought to be doing. This is like Canada saying “Hey mom and dad, I’m going to major in Interpretive Dance!” and mom and dad saying “Hells, no! You’re throwing your life away! Here’s your pre-filled law school application!”

There are two things wrong with that. Firstly, Interpretive Dance is probably more reflective of the Liberal party right now, since they can’t seem to make asses or elbows of themselves – not to mention a nil career. So it’s more like “Hey mom and dad, I’m going to law school!” being answered with “Hells no, you’re joining the damn circus!”

The second thing wrong here is that life-choice-muddled 17 year olds aren’t allowed to vote. This right to an elected government is being taken from clear thinking legal persons – from Canadian citizens.

Ummmm, quoi?

The last time a coalition government took over was about 90 years ago. Kinda tells you something, doesn’t it? I can almost see it happening back when we were a fairly new nation, still quite divided and maybe not the clearest of thinkers – underage, you could say. I like to think we know what we’re doing by now.

Apparently we don’t.

These are the guys arguing:

I won the election

I won the election

Sore Loser

Sore Loser

French is special, dammit!

French is special, dammit!

Piggy-Backing Hippie

Piggy-Backing Hippie

Uhhh, bit of a side note on that last one, Mr. Jack Layton there. If you don’t recall, I’m actually quite the left winger. Go hippies. This is the guy I normally vote for. But this time, I really couldn’t risk having this crybaby Liberal in charge of my country. The NDP never win anyways – sure maybe they could have if all us doubters had been convinced, but this time I needed a sure thing. I voted for security.

I must say, however, that this was quite a beneficial move on Mr. Layton’s part. Because even though it’s been agreed that it would be Dion in charge, Dion doesn’t exactly seem like the type of character to tie his shoes with much success. Layton would have quite a sweet behind-the-scenes position of power. Not cool, but well played.  

Carrying on.

Basically, it rests on our Governor General. Who? I know, I know. The position is mostly ceremonial, a lingering nod to our imperial roots. It only becomes significant a few times a century. Say, every 90 years or so? I like to think Canadians are well versed in our own political structure. There’s no “The Newfoundland or such as” for example. But even a good majority of us don’t know much about our Governor General, because it frankly just never comes up. Unbeknownst to many, the Governor General is in fact our Head of State.

So when the shit hits the fan, and oh has it ever, it rests on these shoulders.


Surprise! We're progressive too!

This is Michaelle Jean, and she’s technically in charge. I may not like it, but that’s how it is. From what little information is around, she seems calm and level headed. I hope she’s calm and level headed enough to realize that while we have maintained a parliamentary connection to the Queen, we are Canadian. When we vote it’s our voice. To take that decision away from us, for a country to silence its own citizens, is nothing less than a failure of democracy.

I’m demonstrating against this. Despite my hippiness, you may be surprised to know that it will be my first such rally. I’m more of the quietly demonstrative type – I don’t wave signs, I quietly recycle, sign petitions. But this is too important. So I’m speaking up.

And then, I’m getting the hell out. I’m getting the hell out anyways because it’s best for Josh and I if I move down south for a little bit. But the timing couldn’t be better, because I certainly don’t want to be around for this.

I’ll come back when this country has it’s head screwed on straight again.


  1. JavaQueen said,

    December 4, 2008 at 5:36 am

    I can feel your frustration through each paragraph and while I don’t know a lot about your government you did an excellent job breaking it down…. you take care!

  2. Emerald said,

    December 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    @ JavaQueen: Thank you! I do realize that the majority of my readers are American, and obviously I want people to know what I’m talking about when I’m seething with frustration. So I had to ride a fine line between explaining the sitch to Americans without dumbing it down for fellow Canadians. I’m glad the essential point is clear – I’m pissed! The latest developments imply that Jean is not keen on the idea of turning over election results, but only time will tell! Fingers crossed….

  3. romi41 said,

    December 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    you didn’t dumb it down at all, and I am just sitting here laughing in that “has the world gone mad?” kind of way? What is this…tyrant-rule? Are we going to also be told what to wear soon? (i.e. I’m picturing silver-one-piece jump-suits)…madness! I mean even if I completely disagreed with the last election and thought that the country was doomed, I would STILL respect and value the idea of democracy MORE than seeing my party of favour pull a fast one…what is our country becoming? I hope our GG wields her supposed power….sigh..

  4. Billy said,

    December 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I love America but I wish I was Canadian. Only the cool kids are Canadian.

  5. duffboy said,

    December 6, 2008 at 5:14 am

    I sometimes also wish I were Canadian, alas I’m Guatemalan, and I bet our politians’s stupidity can kick yours’s ass! Rock on Emerald Hippie 😉

  6. Emerald said,

    December 6, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    @ Romi: I know, I’m so disillusioned right now, because while I still lean left, I value the popular opinion of our country over my own. And now I don’t know what to do, because the next time I want to vote it’ll be such a conundrum – I’m left wing but I feel betrayed by my representative. At least the GG did what was right and put a stop to the madness….for now.

    @ Billy: We are quite cool, jes 😉 I went to the rally today and then had Timmy-Ho’s with Talea (Timmy-Ho’s being a quintessential Canadian coffee joint, not some kind of lewd act as the name sort of implies) and I felt all extra Canadian and awesome.

    @ Duffboy: I bet they can, and we had so many speakers at the rally today saying exactly that – we should protect the democratic system on which our country was founded and not think that injustices can’t happen here. Stupid politicians, grrrrrrrrr!

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