Elections

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Subject: Elections
  I know this doesn´t directly relate to Canada immigration, but it may be useful for those of us new to this country and political system. Many of us want to stay informed on the politics of our intended country, currently overshadowed by U.S. elections.

As the U.S. gears up for it´s predential election in 2008, what ever happened to Canada´s parliamentary election that was supposed to have already happened in 2007? I remember some in the Canadian media last year even predicted a Spring, 2007 vote?

If I recall correctly, the opposition parties (Liberals, NDP) can call for an election at their choosing? Or is it only the party in power (Conservatives) who can do that? I checked CBC News and not a peep on this.

In any event, is Harper in such a strong position or Dion in such a weak position to account for why it´s not happening? Maybe some of our Canadian colleagues here can shed light on this for us.

[05-01-2008,17:32]
[**.47.168.9]
Richard
(in reply to: Elections)
nobody ever imagined this minority government would survive this long - hence the predictions of a 2007 vote.

I will used the current situation as my example - an election generally happens after 4 years but the timing is at the discretion of the governing party. In some instances they choose to go to the electorate earlier - especially if there is some perceived advantage.

There is much discussion about fixed election dates to eliminate some of this posturing that occurs (I hope they do it)

However - all ´sitting´ parliaments are at the mercy of ´votes of confidence´. Specific legislations such as budgets are confidence votes. Should the budget be defeated, it triggers an election. Because Harper does not hold a majority... this is far more likely and why they have been predicting an election any day now for 2 years.

There is a lot of posturing going on at the moment. The NDP, Liberals etc all want to manipulate the budget to suit their own policies and therefore threaten to defeat the budget if they don´t get their own way. It is a basic game of chicken. Truth is, there is a limit to the threat ability. Elections are expensive and there is no point in spending the money if your seat count does not improve. This is where the fun begins.

If there was an election today, would the liberals and NDP gain or lose seat. Because the mix is so tight at the moment, one or two seat shifts in power can change everything.

it is all a little bit wild west style!

but then again, I am still trying to wrap my brain around what a Caucas is. Bizarre.

[05-01-2008,18:11]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: Elections)
Ok thanks, very informative, although the process is still somewhat confusing for us outside novices. I guess the fixed election schedule of the American system makes it hard to understand the more nebulous and variable Canadian election cycle.

But then again, we´ve been stuck with that White House disaster for 4 years because of the damned fixed schedule!

Pundits here call caucuses the candidate petting zoos. It is bizarre. You get to meet, greet, and feel the candidates or their reps. in person, then stand next to them to be counted as voting for them.

[05-01-2008,18:22]
[**.47.168.9]
Richard
(in reply to: Elections)
BC has moved to fixed election dates at a provincial level. This is our first round and I think we are going to like the result. Far less theatrics.

candidate petty zoo - now that is hysterical.

my new prediction. Obama with Edwards as his VP. I had a horrible feeling last night as I was watching CNN where he is shaking hands with people. I really hope Obama has good security. He is an assasination waiting to happen. He has alot of that Kennedy charisma but I think he would run academic circles around JFK. in my mind that makes him
dangerous.

I am finding Hillary disappointing. I had bigger expectations of her.

[05-01-2008,18:33]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: Elections)
Same thing struck me yesterday. Obama is such a threat to the establishment, it makes me fear for his safety. Along the lines of Kennedy, King, Ghandi, even Bhutto. Prophetic historic figures seem to be prime targets, often with alarming success, in modern times.

Obama with Edwards a good chance. Richardson also a possibility with western states and Latino outreach. Hillary seems more and more disingenuous and out of the past every passing day. And just too shrill. Predicting an Obama win in NH here.

[05-01-2008,20:29]
[**.47.168.9]
Richard
(in reply to: Elections)
it is distressing that both of us had the same thoughts.

Richardson is not as familiar to me.

As much as I would like to see a woman bust into the boy´s club, Hillary is not the woman to do it. (IMO) If Condi was a democrat... maybe?

Can we bring back Jimmy Carter???


[05-01-2008,20:55]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: Elections)
What I find alarming (yet totally understandable) is the general disinterest in the candidates, not to mention the year long process. Personally, I am so disillusioned by the entire election process and by all presidential candidates in general that I just can´t find the energy to figure out which one is least evil. Obama, probably, fits the bill, but only because he´s had less time in American politics to get his hands dirty. The whole situation here is such a joke (see last election) that it´s really difficult get passionate about it, even given the current (dismal) state of affairs. I mean honestly, on one side we have a young, inexperience black man (shocking!)who doesn´t stand a chance to practice what he preaches, and on the other, an older, white, evangelical minister spouting biblical opinions and calling them truths by which to run a (still sort of) democratic country.

Pathetic.

That´s my rant tonight; sorry if it offends anyone. I used to be really active in politics and held a true optimism that goodness could be had in the American system. This time around, such optimism no longer exists.

[05-01-2008,21:38]
[**.72.65.164]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: Elections)
Good to have you chime in Wannabe. Sounds like you´re a candidate for Canadian immigration, like me.

I´ve been fairly disillusioned with the American system as well. But I do see a huge difference in Obama, and that gives me hope. And I see him energizing a public that´s had it with the people in charge these past 8 years. He´s educated, understands the world, and has a fresh view. Because he´s black and and doesn´t come from decades of Washington "experience" in my book is extremely positive, not negative.

Have to agree that the evangelical side of politics here is disturbing. I think we´ve seen that with the current guy talking with and inspired by God in fighting overseas wars. Fortunately, I don´t that would be possible in Canadian politics.


[05-01-2008,22:47]
[**.47.168.9]
Richard
(in reply to: Elections)
as a Canadian, I find it almost shocking how obsessed the US electorate is with religion and past personal history.

I have a personal faith but don´t ask me if my favourite Canadian politicians do - I have no idea and it is none of my business. I also don´t give a rats a%#% if they inhaled in college or if they are divorced or gay or orange or blue.

Can they do the job. That is all we are paying them for. We are not hiring their spouse or their kids. Believe what you want at home and uphold the law of the land when you get to work in the morning.

I don´t imagine I would cope with US politics very well.

I spend a lot of time tangled in civic politics and a small dabling in provincial stuff. You could not pay me a million dollars to become a politician.

[05-01-2008,23:03]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: Elections)
I have been watching the New Hampshire debates. I now put a name to a face - Richardson. I can see why you like him. I have seen him in other settings and have been impressed.

Hillary is obviously feeling a little desperate. no nicey nicey tonight. I like her less than I did yesterday :)

[06-01-2008,03:29]
[***.121.220.199]
Sharon
(in reply to: Elections)
Here here, Sharon. It´s an unbelievable waste of money, talent, and resources to have a country so obsessed with tearing each other down rather than looking at a candidate´s true ability to lead--and represent more than just his special interest group of the day. It´s sickening and it´s sad, and it turns an awful lot of people off from caring about politics in the first place. No wonder!

Now I can´t pretend to understand the Canadian political system yet, and as still-an-outsider I might not agree with everything (like calling an election when it looks beneficial for you), but in general I get the feeling that
Canadians hold their politicians reasonably accountable, and I can get behind that all the way.

[06-01-2008,09:01]
[**.72.65.164]
wannabecanadian