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OT: Canada 101

Do you hate political ads? Sound bites taken totally out of context? Photo caricatures of the opponent? Mt. Rushmore-esque photos of the protagonist?

Follow the link to Stephen Harper's primer for a select American audience. In his own words, here's everything the Council for National Policy would ever need to know about Canada and its politics:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/SpecialEvent7/20051213/elxn_harper_speech_text_051214/

Without further comment, I find his synopsis on Canadian "civics" illuminating. The excerpt, verbatim:

"On the surface, you can make a comparison between our political system and yours. We have an executive, we have two legislative houses, and we have a Supreme Court. However, our executive is the Queen, who doesn't live here. Her representative is the Governor General, who is an appointed buddy of the Prime Minister. Of our two legislative houses, the Senate, our upper house, is appointed, also by the Prime Minister, where he puts buddies, fundraisers and the like. So the Senate also is not very important in our political system. And we have a Supreme Court, like yours, which, since we put a charter of rights in our constitution in 1982, is becoming increasingly arbitrary and important. It is also appointed by the Prime Minister. Unlike your Supreme Court, we have no ratification process. So if you sort of remove three of the four elements, what you see is a system of checks and balances which quickly becomes a system that's described as unpaid checks and political imbalances. What we have is the House of Commons. The House of Commons, the bastion of the Prime Minister's power, the body that selects the Prime Minister, is an elected body. I really emphasize this to you as an American group: It's not like your House of Representatives. Don't make that comparison. What the House of Commons is really like is the United States electoral college. Imagine if the electoral college which selects your president once every four years were to continue sitting in Washington for the next four years. And imagine its having the same vote on every issue. That is how our political system operates. In our election last Monday, the Liberal party won a majority of seats. The four opposition parties divided up the rest, with some very, very rough parity. But the important thing to know is that this is how it will be until the Prime Minister calls the next election. The same majority vote on every issue. So if you ask me, "What's the vote going to be on gun control?'' or on the budget, we know already."

2centsworth, 4/23/2011
CCRS member since: 10/20/2005
Posts: 1333


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Postings in this thread

OT: Canada 101 (2centsworth, 4/23/2011)
 Re: OT: Canada 101 (Alan_in_Tennessee, 4/23/2011)
  Re: OT: Canada 101 (Paccoin, 4/23/2011)
   [this post has been deleted by its author] (4/24/2011)
    Re: OT: Canada 101 whats your problem? (Paccoin, 4/25/2011)
  Re: OT: Canada 101 (2centsworth, 4/23/2011)
   Re: OT: Canada 101 (Dick, 4/23/2011)
   Re: OT: Canada 101 (Alan_in_Tennessee, 4/23/2011)

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