Post Election Notes

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By VulcanTrekkie45 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83275357

– This is how Canada voted yesterday. Red is Liberal, blue is Conservative, orange is NDP (an old labour, now progressive party), light blue is Bloc Quebecois (Quebec sovereigntist), and green is Green Party. You might be wondering why, for a Liberal victory, there is not a lot of red on the national map. Here is a better representation of the proportion of seats won by party:

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Courtesy of Canadian Press. Graphic by: Lucas Timmons

– The Liberals took the urban areas, and the more rural you got, the more you were likely to see Conservative victories. Maclean’s did an article on this in September. The urban areas where Liberals were successful have relatively high immigrant populations. Note all those cities in Saskatchewan and Alberta which went true blue. The demographic changes in Canada’s metropolitan centers has a huge effect on elections.

– Alberta went almost full conservative, and turfed its four Liberals, in part because of Trudeau’s tomfoolery with the oil and gas industry, including declaring he’ll shut it down ‘cuz muh climate change’. His father put in the National Energy Program in the early 80s, which amounted to economic rapine, and memories linger. I suspect it is also for cultural reasons. Toronto Tories (Conservatives) speak in a way more suited to the Alberta and Saskatchewan volk. The Far West does not like those damn Montreal Yankees Whigs, which is the core of Liberal power. You will likely not see any sustained Liberal presence in Alberta in the near future, except maybe the cities. Same in Saskatchewan.

– You notice the Maritimes (PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia) went mostly Liberal. My suspicion is the area was settled by folks either from or similar to those in Yankeedom, and so the Liberals fit right in.

– Newfoundland and Labrador also went almost all Liberal. You will likely never see a sustained Conservative presence in Newfoundland because that party shut down the cod fishery in the region in the early 90s, which hit Newfoundland hard. (Cod populations had collapsed and have failed to recover since.)

– I am not sure why Quebec votes Bloc Quebecois, but I suspect it is because the Conservatives are seen as the party of Ontario and the west, and Quebecers like the Bloc because they are a conservative alternative that reflect Quebec’s New France values. (I wonder if the Bloc would have any success in northern New Brunswick? Did you know New Brunswick is the only Canadian province that is officially bilingual French and English?)

– Trudeau has a minority government, which means should he face a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons, he would not have enough support to survive without help from another political party. Minority governments typically last about 2 years before another election is called (recently, Trudeau Sr. in 1972, Paul Martin in 2004, Stephen Harper in 2006 and 2008. Joe Clark’s was the exception, lasting 9 months in 1979.)

– A new election will happen if the Liberals lose a vote on a budget or other non-confidence motion. Or, Mr. Trudeau could walk up to the Governor General’s residence and ask him or her to dissolve Parliament, also forcing an election. (If in Ottawa, go see the Governor General’s (GG’s) residence. It’s quite lovely.)

– In spite of the temptation to stick it to Trudeau, there is a good chance the other parties will be very cautious about forcing an election. Voters in Canada typically punish the party that caused the government to fall and ANOTHER election. We Canadians like going to the federal polls roughly twice a decade.

– What is likely to happen is the Liberals will find an issue that voters are concerned about, and propose a solution which the other parties cannot support for whatever reasons. The Liberals could then claim they need an election to get a firm mandate to deal with the issue, meaning, “give us a majority”. Such an issue could be climate change or immigration, but it must be one that appeals to voters a mari usque ad mare. I guess that the issue will be gently ratcheted up, starting in about a year, leading to an election about this time 2021.

– Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservatives, seemed to punch right a lot before and during the campaign. There are now allegations his party hired a PR firm to go after the other right wing party in the election. This is a problem for Scheer because the Conservatives are the only strategic option for those on the right wing in Canada, and so are captive voters if they are convinced to go to the polls. Scheer however has signalled he’ll throw those voters under the bus in order to court votes from the center-left of the spectrum. Most Canadian voters are there anyway, so it’s not a bad idea per se. However, the more he punches right, the further left he pushes his party to get support, and the further left you go, the more you contend with three other political parties, the Liberals, NDP and Greens. This was a mistake on his part. He’ll have to fix this error, especially if he wants PPC voters and those to the right of center to come back into the fold.

– Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh (NDP) are most likely to lose party leadership before the next election. Scheer for his alienation of those right of center. He should also be turfed if he does not renounce his US citizenship and therefore get himself off the US draft-roll (although, being drafted is highly unlikely, but I could see Trump, for instance, pulling a stunt like that to knock Scheer off balance.) Singh, because he’s never seemed to fit into the party, and a lot of those loyal to past NDP leaders Layton and Mulcair see Singh as an inexperienced interloper.

– The Greens hardly went anywhere, the People’s Party flopped, and the NDP lost many seats, largely due to a resurgence of the nationalist Bloc Quebecois. Yet, in the media, all of these parties were supposed to surge, changing the power dynamic. I think this is a case of letting a sensationalist press manage expectations. This election was once again a struggle amongst Toronto Tories and Montreal Whigs for the keys to Confederation.

– Given the need not to rock the boat, look forward to a couple of low-risk years of milquetoast governing, baring an epic crisis, followed by an election the demos does not want.

Antifa Pass

The Council of Canadian Europeans notes the recent tactics of Antifa on the UBC campus. This will also be in the next Cantandum, but my comments turned into a blog post.

We’re seeing a lot of this lately. It’s the same old story. Two professors tried to give a talk and Anitfa showed up to stop it. Same thing in Copenhagen recently with the Scandza forum. This business about the police not enforcing the law with respect to the Antifa, Extinction Rebellion, and the Progressive Left generally, is not going away because we complain about it. The police have allegedly been told to hold off, often with excuses about respecting freedom of peaceful assembly or expression or some made up ‘right to protest’. Civil order be dammed.

This is an example of where a valid legal interpretation makes absurd results. In Canada, such rights are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. See section 2. The Charter only protects those rights against government (Canada and the provinces) or government actors (municipalities and the police, for our purposes). So, the argument goes, the police should not interfere with an Antifa or Extinction Rebellion protest because to do so breaches the Charter. However, where Antifa acts as a bunch of thugs to coerce other private actors, the Charter does not apply to protect the rights of their targets. That’s a private matter, and the only relief they can get is to ask the police to stop Antifa, which the police cannot because…Charter. This is an argument I see in the press and from protesters.

This is just wrong. First, the Charter right is for ‘peaceful’ assembly. Watch that video in Hamilton where a disabled senior citizen was blocked and called ‘Nazi scum!‘ No ‘peaceful’ happening there. It’s funny, but section 1 says the rights in the Charter are subject to “…reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. One would expect that the right to peacefully assemble means no unreasonable attempts to inhibit others freedom, such as blocking rush hour traffic in major cities for your Extinction Rebellion protest. (Note in the pictures that the police are protecting the protesters, as if people just trying to get to work, or their kids to school, are the real danger. Never mind those people pay the taxes that the police rely on for funding.) Parties are always happy to trot out the section 1 limitation when justifying some violation of the Charter which benefits them, but when it could work against them they just ignore it.

It might turn out that politicians realize that cracking down on this nonsense will get them votes from the Silent Majority. Or, Antifa could turn out to be the useful idiots that install the next totalitarian regimes in our nations. Or, something in between, like the Weather Underground. Regardless, other tactics are going to have to be found to prevent Antifa and others from shutting down dissident events in the immediate future. I wish I had some advice to give in that respect, other than moving underground. Feel free to complain to your local politicians and police departments of course, but don’t expect much to change.

The Semantic Game

Of minor note, there is a controversy in Alberta over Catholic Schools and their practice of asking Catholic teachers to sign ‘Catholicity’ Agreements as a condition of employment. The concern being that some LGBTQ teachers have expressed concerns that their employment may not be secure.[1] (Never mind that a religious school firing someone on the basis of sexual orientation was ruled illegal over 20 years ago.) Alberta Catholic schools insist they need to hire Catholic teachers. A “Catholic lifestyle” is a necessary and reasonable expectation, says the Catholic Schools, otherwise Catholic School’s existence is meaningless.*

This is a fine way to have a semantic battle, which you eventually will lose.

Some advice: do not play this semantic game. Referring to your religion as a “lifestyle”, as “Catholicity”, is playing the semantic game of the progressives. I get that you are trying to downplay any signs of oppression or intolerance, but softening your language looks like you are subordinating your faith in order to satisfy the Left. The Left’s strategy is always defect-defect, your capitulation is seen as weakness, and they will demand more, not leave you alone.

The Catholic faith is fundamental, being a connection to a higher power, providing moral guidance, and a close community. That’s not a ‘lifestyle’.  They should say so.

Señor Blanco

 

*This is a problem because Alberta (and Saskatchewan) are required to provide two school systems: one public, and one Catholic (mostly…it’s complicated). This was done on the Provinces’ creation, to make Québec happy: see section 17 of the Alberta Act, amending section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

[1] This acronym seems to change on a daily basis. How long before it’s a hate crime to use the wrong version? Kafka laughs.