Still want to move to Canada?

October 15, 2008

After yesterday’s polling in the frozen tundra of Canada, the citizens of the Maple Leaf has seen fit to re-elect their current leader Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party. I thought about all the attention last year to people of the leftist persuasion who would so disgusted with the Land of Bush that they sought ways to leave for the more ‘enlightened’ climate (certainly colder) of Canada. Well, going by the results from yesterday:

  • Harper was accused by his opponents of being a ‘W’ clone. Actually over half the electorate thinks so too. Not so fast said his supporters, Harper isn’t a Bush MiniMe of the North. He stands up to Bush, on occasion.
  • Canada spent $300 million (US I believe) on the third election in four years. Harper called it because wisdom holds that he needed to be re-elected before the US election because Harper is afraid of an Obama victory.
  • Harper got about 37% of the popular vote (en Français) , resulting in 46% of the parliamentary seats (the first past the post system like in Merrie Olde England), giving him less than a majority of seats in the Canadian Parliament. He gained more seats than before, but is still a minority government. How do these coalition things work again?
  • His main opponent of the Liberal party, Stephane Dion, had three strikes against him. One, he is considered by the Conservatives to be an eco-freak who wanted Canada to adopt a carbon tax to reduce  fossil fuel (but not on gasoline) usage. This in a petrostate. Second, Dion is a “foreigner” to most Canadians. Along with his namesake Celine, he is a Francophone who sounds like a Francophone when speaking English. Québécois have served as PM before certainly, but not ones who sounded too “foreign.” Don’t know enough about politics to the North to say if that’s what did him in (give me credit for being an US citizen who even knows who the Canadian PM is!). Lastly, he comes across as an egghead. Canadians have as much use for an egghead as Americans do. Taking a leap, think Al Gore of 2000 with an unintelligible Southern accent.
  • I’ve noticed that Canadians take no offense in people in the US referring to themselves as ‘Americans.’
  • Canada is a multiparty parliamentary democracy. There are more than two parties in other words. The Conservatives’ four main opponents if you do the math got more votes collectively. Could they form a coalition government and toss out Harper? Legally and technically, yes. Practically speaking, not a chance from what I read. Think of all of these parties collectively as the “Democratic” party of Canada.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives got over 96% (all but one) of their parliamentary seats. Alberta is actually the petrostate.
  • Le Bloc Québécois did well in Québec as usual. One of these days, one of these days.. Québec will become a member of the UN.
  • Assuming that Obama wins the election in a few weeks, that will mean that the US will have a leader who opposed the Iraq War, while Canada will have one who strongly supported it.
  • Yukon voted Liberal, while its cross border neighbor Alaska, doesn’t and wouldn’t.
  • OK, maybe the election came down to personal charisma, you know, like in America.
  • Harper has claimed that his government has weathered the global economic crisis better than those people further south. Canadians politicians have to distance themselves from ‘W’ too… Now wait for falling oil prices to hit Alberta.

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