Monday, May 9, 2011

We Have to Stop Looking for Excuses and Start Looking for Reasons

Other counties have their natural disasters, hurricanes, earth quakes, volcanoes... We call ours federal elections. It's been a week since our man made natural disaster occurred. As of yet, things have not turned entirely into shit. But four years is a long time to mess with a countries internal organs and I have little faith in the surgeon.

Be that as it may. The Government of Harper won fair and square. To say that the outcome is illegitimate is, at the very least, an expression of sour grapes. Our "first past the post" method of electing our Members of Parliament (remember, we elect MPs, not PMs) has been in existence since day one (if you start counting time at 1867 that is) and has benefited parties on both the right and the left.

As popular as he was and with the majority governments he had, Pierre Trudeau never had more than 45% of the popular vote. But no one (well not many anyway) called his governments "illegitimate". So blaming the Con victory on a flawed process is...well...flawed. As well, claiming that the Cons won because of vote splitting on the left is also in error. Remember, all the other parties combined won fewer seats then the Cons, so it doesn't matter HOW people on the left voted, they just shuffled votes and seats among themselves.

Simply put, The Cons were just more able to elect more MPS than anyone else. Why? I'm still coming to grips with this, but the Cons were able to persuade more voters that they were the better party to lead them as we recover from the global recession. Meaning on a day to day, community by community basis, The Cons appealed to more voters as the ones to best look after their interests.

So was this then an indictment on all the other parties, including the notion of a coalition government? or is this simply a matter of the Cons being able to do a better job of marketing? They knew their base, they knew the audience they needed to capture and went after them full bore. Which ever way it is, it's up for the other parties to decide and to act accordingly.

But until that happens, we are stuck with an ultra right wing theocracy of a government because the majority of their MPs won their respective elections fair and square. Ok, maybe not so fair or not so square, but they won them anyway. So we need to stop looking at flawed systems and vote splitting and concentrating on what it was that made the Cons appealing to so many Canadians. Again, still coming to grips with this one. But until this can be identified, we will be doomed to perpetual Right wing dogma.

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