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.

Democracy, eh.

The SNC Lavalin affair has led me to think about democracy in Canada. I’m lightweight on this kind of stuff, but this needs to come out.

We do not have rule by the people in Canada, otherwise called ‘democracy’ ( ‘δεμοσ’ – the people; and ‘κρατια‘ – power, rule.)

Look at any election in Canada. The ‘δεμοσ’ are not calling the shots. Justin Trudeau himself was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Papineau in [the Current Year], with 51.98% of the votes cast in his riding. This was 26,931 votes, out of 78,515 electors, in a riding with 110,750 people. That means 34.3% of potential voters selected him. Those who did not vote are deemed acquiescent to the decisions of his government. The ones who did vote for him are also deemed to agree with all decisions made by the government. The rest…meh.

Nationwide, [the Current Year] vote was 39.47% for liberals, with a turn out of 58.8%. So, 23.21% percent of voters actually voted Liberal. And for that, everything the Liberals do is now deemed to be what the ‘δεμοσ’ wants. That’s great! They get to do whatever they want and blame it on us. And if they screw up, they get punished by losing power and getting high paying jobs in the private sector. They do not even have to fix their mistakes. Sweet deal.

Further, the decisions made in Ottawa by the bureaucracy are also deemed to be ‘δεμοσ’ endorsed. If you don’t like it, complain all you like. The odds of you voting in politicians who will change what you don’t like is nominal. You’ll likely forget by the next election.

What Canada actually has is rule by an aristocracy. A member of the aristocracy, SNC Lavalin, demands the law be changed and applied in their favour. The ‘δεμοσ’ need not opine.

Justin Trudeau, another aristocrat, happens to have the job of convincing the ‘δεμοσ’ this is what they wanted all along (saving jobs of course…maybe…well, the right kind of jobs…in a province that matters.)

So, democracy is not the right to have your voice heard in politics. Your choice is to vote for who feeds you the propaganda that what was decided in Ottawa (which may be hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away) was actually what you wanted.

All this business about Justice Committee hearings and Minister resignations is not about accountability to the ‘δεμοσ’. It’s about deciding which narrative gets fed to the ‘δεμοσ’ about decisions which are largely made by unelected bureaucrats.

I’d be slightly less grumpy if I could say that Canadian democracy at least gets the aristocracy to play by a set of rules, and to play nice with the common folk. But it does not. It’s about getting the common folk to believe they created rules which make them subservient to the aristocracy. I suppose it’s ‘same old, same old’. And the inevitable conclusion is that nothing about an SNC Lavalin level scandal is going to bring down an aristocrat like Trudeau until the aristocrats want it to.

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.