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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are there really "losers" in a democracy?

Harper's constant "loser parties" discourse, repeated once again this week in the 5-year-summary interview for CBC, really got me thinking whether he understands how a parliamentary democracy is supposed to work (no doubt, he does understand how he makes it work for his and his banks/corporations advantage).
Does a party really "win" if they get less than half of the votes? To follow the same line of thought, does the party really "win" if it gets 100% minus 1 vote? I'm really sorry for Stephen Harper (and Michael Ignatieff, for that matter), as one day the truth will manifest itself to them, the fact that unless we are in a 2-party system or a 1-party system, both of which are made specifically for those rulers and groups that cannot stand to be called or considered "losers", there are, actually, no "losers" in a truly democratic and equal and fair parliamentary system. A party that gets 1% of the vote is a winner as much as the party that gets 45% or, however unlikely, 60%.
If each Canadian's vote is of equal value and we all build this country together, then why would the opinions expressed by groups be evaluated only on the basis of numbers, percentages, seats?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Civilized political discourse is still possible

With the persistent Harper-Ignatieff "coalition partners" and "boutique parties" discourse picking up within their parties and splashing over into the language of the media, it is difficult to see a different way in which we could hold discussions of what is happening to Canada and how we see the steps necessary in the future. It seems sometimes that this Us vs. Them or Us vs. Losers or Liberal vs. Boutique or Tory vs. Non-Canadians discourse is the only way to go. The reasons for that are understandable - it's easy to split the world into dichotomies that don't really ring true and don't really last, but work for the beauty of one's phraseology or the value of one's self-appreciation. Harper and Ignatieff's tragedy is, perhaps, that they appear to honestly (erm... what's the word? "Sincerely"? No, that's not it either...) think that this kind of kindergarten talk in politics does them and their parties a favor or that it's even good for Canada. I beg to differ. Yes, with these two bully-like individuals around it's becoming increasingly tough to stay within the boundaries of civilized, respectful, reasonable conversation. Does that mean we should all give up trying?