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Beyond the Border
December 8, 2011 2:19 AM   Subscribe

The U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border agreement is wide-ranging in its impact. Indeed, Prime Minister Harper referred to it Wednesday as "the most significant step forward in Canada-U.S. co-operation since (NAFTA)". This deal promises regulatory alignment (including the food and automotive sectors), quicker border crossings for business or travel (with pre-clearance options), and "screened once, accepted twice" cargo. Perhaps the biggest concern for Canadians however are the changes this agreement could have for their privacy.

BTB's 'action plan' aims to bring the two countries under one continental security blanket - this involves more sharing of information between governments (including entry-exit controls), greater law enforcement co-operation programs (including U.S. police operating in Canada for the first time), Canada's adoption of U.S. screening measures (including bomb detection equipment), and integrated investigations.
posted by stinkycheese (130 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Once this happens, Canada, don't drink milk from the grocery store, it will be foul.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:24 AM on December 8, 2011


Fuck you, Stephen Harper.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:50 AM on December 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Does it also involve adding another star to the stars and stripes?
posted by -harlequin- at 2:58 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


This used to be a helluva good country.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:27 AM on December 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Regulatory alignment? Christ, what an asshole.
posted by mek at 3:35 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope Canadians are looking forward to using ugly, antiquated US dollars for cash purchases, 'cos that's next on the agenda.
posted by cmonkey at 3:37 AM on December 8, 2011


Those people worried about a North American Union don't sound quite so crazy today...
posted by jhandey at 3:45 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bit of a tangent from the rest of this fuckery, but from the star article, this "harmonized product standards, intelligence-gathering" don't sound so good to me. Hello bgh in milk, and goodbye whatever privacy controls bound the RCMP or CSE?
posted by ~ at 3:58 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh sorry. Didn't see the links about regulatory alignment in the FPP. Heckuva job, Harper.
posted by ~ at 4:00 AM on December 8, 2011


I hope Canadians are looking forward to using ugly, antiquated US dollars for cash purchases, 'cos that's next on the agenda.

...yeah, that's worked out so well in Europe, multiple states with individual sovereignty but the same currency. i can't imagine the slightest potential for conflict there.
posted by fetamelter at 4:03 AM on December 8, 2011


Well I think this is a great step forward for two of the most vibrating nations on the Earth-o-Sphere. My hearty congratulations go out to Primal Minisir Stephen Harper and Precedent Barack Obama for taking their countries in hand and squeezing them together into a tighter and rounder ball-mass. Hooray for free trade, hooray for bi-national partnerships and hip-hip-hooray for "CanadUsa", the freshly created supranational entity that this glorious copulation has begotten.

'Course, most of you globe-hating extremo-localists despise any hint of political/economic fornication between Canada and America. I say: shame on thou. Don't you realise that when CanadUsa gets together, there's nothing that it "canna do, sir"? That should be the jingle for this deal, actually - and if only every international agreement had a theme song, there would probably be less odious snuffling from you whinernetters.

"Oh Can-adusa! It's more beautiful that Medusa! /
It's brought us all together, 'cause we used to be diffuser! /
And if you don't appreciate it, there's just no excuse-a /
We will stuff your stupid head right inside a juicer /
And grind you to a pulpy mass, something like a mousse-a /
Unless you're under eighteen, 'cause that'd be child abuse-a /
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! CAAAAN-A-DUUUUSA!!!!

That's my main thought on this anyway.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:22 AM on December 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Hands up everyone who thinks that 'regulatory alignment' will mean standards are raised to the highest common denominator!

Anyone? Anyone?
posted by unSane at 4:25 AM on December 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Regulatory alignment" means that Washington will set policy and Canada will follow it.

Also, if U.S. law enforcement can legally operate and arrest people in Canada, if Canadian citizens can be detained at checkpoints on the say-so of U.S. Homeland Security and if Canadian citizens and business are subject to U.S. laws and regulations, then it becomes very clear that "Canada", as an independent sovereign nation, no longer exists.

I think in the next few years Canadians will have to make some tough decisions about the nature of their country -- not only about what it means to be "Canadian" but also what exactly a politically independent Canada would look like in the 21st century and whether or not a politically independent nation called "Canada" is even a viable option when you have another nation's law enforcement running around and enforcing their laws in "your" country.
posted by Avenger at 4:34 AM on December 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


I also want to say "fuck you" to Stephen. I can't wait for the new harmonized cross border police actions! I feel safer already!
posted by Meatbomb at 4:35 AM on December 8, 2011


I need to say it again. FUCK YOU STEPHEN HARPER STOP DESTROYING MY COUNTRY.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:36 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess those running to Canada in the times of Dubya didn't run far enough.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 4:38 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, if U.S. law enforcement can legally operate and arrest people in Canada, if Canadian citizens can be detained at checkpoints on the say-so of U.S. Homeland Security and if Canadian citizens and business are subject to U.S. laws and regulations, then it becomes very clear that "Canada", as an independent sovereign nation, no longer exists.

Quoted for emphasis - and how incredible is it that a "Conservative" government is surrendering the nation's sovereignty without a second thought? Just in case you had any doubt that the right-wing weren't mindless authoritarians, here we are.
posted by mek at 4:39 AM on December 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe if this passes, people will hate Harper enough that we will get a . . . wait, who else could even form the government? Elizabeth May? If this goes far enough, maybe there will be a resurgence in sovereignty in Quebec. And if sovereignty stops being so xenophobic and anti-English (yeah, sure) maybe I will think about it as something I want, too.
posted by jeather at 4:40 AM on December 8, 2011


jeather, one way to read all of Harper's actions is exactly that: to shatter the Federation. He certainly spent a great deal of time hating it in the 90s.
posted by mek at 4:42 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Canadusa? Surely it would be USanada, and we would all be USanadians.

But I really hope the Canadian people don't have to endure this.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


This makes me so sad.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:43 AM on December 8, 2011


With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!*

* Offer may not apply where US standards of law deny freedom.
posted by jaduncan at 4:56 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do Canadians see the US like we see Mexico?
posted by Renoroc at 5:12 AM on December 8, 2011


WTF Canadians, was it that hard to get rid of Harper?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Christ, where am I supposed to flee to now?
posted by rtha at 5:29 AM on December 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Opium den.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on December 8, 2011


This, by the way, is what you get when you combine first-past-the-post with a third party: an extremist agenda imposed on a country by less than 25% of eligible voters.

This is exactly what unwaveringly voting for your preferred party, when the local candidate had no hope of actually beating the Conservative, gets you: a majority government that works against the interests of a majority of Canadians.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:38 AM on December 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


(And this is exactly the result that you'd get if the U.S. had the third party a number of people on MetaFilter seem to think will fix everything: the center-left would split the vote, and you wouldn't recognize America once the Republicans were done with it.)
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:42 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, Stephen Harper, the man who wants to destroy Canada at the U.S.'s behest but has convinced enough people that he wants what's best for them and Canada. As I like to say, a used parking lot is missing its salesman. FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! (since Harper abolished the three-to-five year window for calling a vote. Even our voting cycle is now a big suck up to the Americans)
posted by Yowser at 5:50 AM on December 8, 2011


I agree, and I feel bad for the Liberals - I feel bad that they didn't revise our electoral system when they had the chance. Talk about hubris. Now they've made their bed, they can lie in it.
posted by mek at 5:52 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I donno if you noticed but America's rigid two party system works against the interests of a majority of Americans too.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:54 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


majority government that works against the interests of a majority

This seems to be the trend, eh?
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 5:56 AM on December 8, 2011


Do Canadians see the US like we see Mexico?

Yes, by looking South.


...you wouldn't recognize America once the Republicans were done with it.

I already don't recognize it, and they aren't done with it yet. They did it all without the third parties you're trying so hard to blame.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:56 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


All these years, I never really noticed that we were in between the US and Russia. I blame the way maps are laid out. But once they started looking for oil in the arctic and I noticed where we were, I've been pretty much waiting for the redeploy from Iraq to end up lining our northern perimeter. (Not that I think the US would bother invading us - but for everyone's 'security'...)
posted by ServSci at 5:59 AM on December 8, 2011


When Harper won the election, I said to my husband and friends, "Welcome to YOUR Bush years. I am sorry."

Fuck me, the country I'm from is now the country I'm glad I no longer live in. Still, if this shit keeps up, it will like I never left.
posted by Kitteh at 6:05 AM on December 8, 2011


Is this an insidious plot to get a hold of cheap US maple syrup by conforming it to Canadian regulations? If so you will have to pry it from my cold, dead, sticky hands.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:28 AM on December 8, 2011


"Beyond the Border" is the best name ever, since this would pretty much obsolete the whole thing.
posted by rokusan at 6:50 AM on December 8, 2011


No, they'd keep the bad parts.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:51 AM on December 8, 2011


So when do we get to vote on this?
posted by mazola at 7:00 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So when this information sharing whatzit is all implemented, the U.S. Government will have access to my tax returns, but I still can't watch videos on Hulu?

Fuck you, Stephen Harper.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:17 AM on December 8, 2011


As Canada’s former envoy to the U.S. Derek Burney put it, “the U.S. priority is security, while the Canadian priority is access.”

The priority of Canadian businesses, maybe. Canadians? Most of us would rather stay out of the U.S. if possible.

"Regulatory alignment" means that Washington will set policy and Canada will follow it.

That has been in the works for awhile (to a lesser extent), but no one was in a kid-in-a-candy-store position until now.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2011


Remember, these are the people who said the long-form census was an intolerable invasion of privacy.

I'm frightened for the future of my country (and my city, but that's another clusterfuck), but I don't know what to do. All this shit, and the Reform Party is still polling at 36%.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:28 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is exactly what unwaveringly voting for your preferred party, when the local candidate had no hope of actually beating the Conservative, gets you: a majority government that works against the interests of a majority of Canadians.

I still talk to people that think the NDP has formed "a strong minority" that can help hold the Conservatives in check. They're not mentally in Canada; they're living in a fantasy land. I try to tell them that once a strong majority is in place, everyone else basically turns their Parliamentary votes in for monopoly money, but they refuse to believe that Layton's last work could have resulted in this, and they're not too sure what "this" is, given the lack of critical press coverage and near-complete absence of real debate in the House.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:29 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


BUY EMPIRE WASTE DISPOSAL STOCK RIGHT NOW.
posted by COBRA! at 7:29 AM on December 8, 2011


Sorry, "a strong opposition", that is.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:31 AM on December 8, 2011


"Beyond the Border" is the best name ever

Far catchier than Security and Prosperity Plan, or deep integration.
posted by squeak at 7:31 AM on December 8, 2011


I'll just leave this Propagandhi song here...
A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel. Cut all diplomatic ties as we expel all American dignitaries, and issue a nation-wide travel advisory for any others left inside. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. The burned out shells of south-bound traffic lay strewn across a cold stretch of would-be interstate. Still visible below their charred remains: Pax Americana plates. Your stupid fucking laser-pucks were just the start. And while you may stand six full cubits and a span, we got a shepard's sling and five stones in our hand and the battle of 1812 lives in our heart.
posted by symbioid at 7:38 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also? I can imagine what Alex Jones is ranting right now...
posted by symbioid at 7:39 AM on December 8, 2011


This is exactly what unwaveringly voting for your preferred party, when the local candidate had no hope of actually beating the Conservative, gets you: a majority government that works against the interests of a majority of Canadians.

I'd just like to point out that the NDP's precursor party is the reason Canadians have health care. Third parties suck so hard they are responsible for some of the things that Canadians are most proud of.
posted by srboisvert at 7:57 AM on December 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also to add to srboisvert's rebuttal: I know a lot of people who wavered a lot in their support for their preferred party (usually NDP)/candidate. Some of them voted Liberal because they thought that "only a Liberal could beat the Conservative". Then those Liberal candidates came in a distance third, so they would have had a better chance unseating the Conservative if they had stayed true to their original preference. Strategic voting is a fool's game - you're more than likely to be wrong.
posted by Kurichina at 8:09 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strategic voting is a fool's game - you're more than likely to be wrong.

And I was that fool, exactly once. Never again. Voted for the Grits in '93 just to make absolutely, positively sure that the Conservatives were booted. Spent the next few years regretting my decision, knowing that my temporary, strategic support was interpreted by the government as actual support, without the slightest concession to my own interests.

Never again. I vote for the party and candidate that best represents my own views, regardless of their standing in the polls, and I sleep much better for it.

It's a shitty system, is what it is. Strategic voting only entrenches it.

posted by Capt. Renault at 8:23 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know who else sleeps well? The fellow I talked to who thinks the "strong opposition" is keeping the Conservatives in check.

Not sleeping well is a sign of paying attention.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:33 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Leftie Canadians need to boycott companies who advertise on right wing media.

I've noticed TD bank and Hakim Optical advertising on Sun TV. I'd love to know if there's a comprehensive list someplace.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:35 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


54 / 40 and no fight!
posted by wcfields at 8:44 AM on December 8, 2011


How can it be easier than it was in the '70's? I Remember pulling up in the family car at Windsor Canada where a nice man in a uniform asked us what we were there for and my dad said a few hours visit. He asked us if we had illegal drugs or guns in the car and my dad said no. Guy said OK and we drove through.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:46 AM on December 8, 2011


I'd just like to point out that the NDP's precursor party is the reason Canadians have health care. Third parties suck so hard they are responsible for some of the things that Canadians are most proud of.

The NDP brought about health care only because it was able to put the screws to a minority Liberal government (and note that when Pearson was prime minister, the right was split into two or three parties). Now that the NDP has won more votes, and more seats, than ever before, it is utterly powerless. With first-past-the-post, a split left and a united right will only guarantee that the Tories will continue to do as they please, regardless of what most Canadians want.

Absent a change in the voting system, strategic voting is about your only option short of merging the NDP and the Liberals.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:47 AM on December 8, 2011


Not sleeping well is a sign of paying attention.

I support the change I believe in. I refuse to do the opposite, which is what strategic voting requires -- actively supporting an agenda I do not believe in, and not supporting the one I do.

I guess we have different ideas as what constitutes "paying attention".

posted by Capt. Renault at 8:49 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree about the people voting for fringe minority parties ruining the last election. Everyone who voted liberal should be ashamed of themselves.
posted by ServSci at 8:52 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, to add further support to my "we're grasping for innocence" theory: the new somewhat tongue-in-cheek 'trend' this week is "seapunk", an aesthetic inspired pretty much exclusively by Ecco the Dolphin and Lisa Frank trapper keepers. Seriously.

The original Ecco or Tides of Time? THIS IS IMPORTANT.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:53 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well shit this is the wrong thread for that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:53 AM on December 8, 2011


I support the change I believe in. I refuse to do the opposite, which is what strategic voting requires -- actively supporting an agenda I do not believe in, and not supporting the one I do.

So you'd prefer the outcome that's furthest from what you actually want to happen because you can't stomach voting for something that's farther from what you want but actually possible?

That strategy is unsafe at any speed.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:55 AM on December 8, 2011


My fellow Canadians, there's no need for alarm. This is the Royal* Canadian Regulatory Alignment, a return to the proud colonial traditions that have long made us a great place to extract resources from. This will move us boldly forward by going backward - and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

I'm frightened for the future of my country (and my city, but that's another clusterfuck), but I don't know what to do. All this shit, and the Reform Party is still polling at 36%.

Call me overly optimistic, Card Cheat, but "still" is the wrong way to think of it. In the first giddy phase of their hard-won majority, when they're plowing through all the stuff that won them that slim sliver of victory, their polling numbers are down three points. Don't think that doesn't freak Steve out - indeed polling data is the only thing that makes his liquid fuel pump accelerate its rate of circulation to the porous tissues of his advanced polymer coating.

In the face of the weakest Liberal Party in Canadian history and an NDP that lost its charismatic leader and is currently being run by someone 9 in 10 Canadians could neither name nor pick out of a police line up, he's back treading water in minority government territory.

The Harper majority was a scaredy-cat economy blip - we thought we'd dodged the global catastrophe and rewarded the guy who slapped his name on every public works project for the last three years for his message discipline. The economy's looking rougher, and Steve and his crew of smirking pricks are back on the defensive again, despite their posturing. (Incidentally, having witnessed in person the appalling spectacle that is Question Period for the first time a few weeks back, I have to say I'd rather live the rest of my life on a desert isle with our Steve than share a cab ride to the airport with John Baird, who is the most palpably smug and arrogant humanoid I've ever had the misfortune of being in the same room as.)

Call me an eternal optimist, but I think we're seeing them begin to recede from their highwater mark. Sad part is we'll have to live with a few more years of catastrophic mismanagement before we can start doing things the Canadian way again.

(* - note to non-Canuck Mefites: One of the Harper government's weirder bits of policy fancy has been the returning of "Royal" to Canadian institutions such as the military.)
posted by gompa at 8:59 AM on December 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I agree about the people voting for fringe minority parties ruining the last election. Everyone who voted liberal should be ashamed of themselves.

Not really. A lot of seats (especially in the GTA) saw the Liberals lose votes to the NDP in numbers small enough that the NDP remained in third place, but large enough that the Conservative won the seat. And now you get to have U.S. product regulations imposed on you, but no say in the matter.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:01 AM on December 8, 2011


So you'd prefer the outcome that's furthest from what you actually want to happen...

That's quite an assumption about this voter's intentions.

And yet strategic voting requires each voter to guess what every other voter's intentions are, no?

posted by Capt. Renault at 9:03 AM on December 8, 2011


That's quite an assumption about this voter's intentions.

It's not going out on a limb to say that if the NDP is your first choice, and the Tories are your second choice, you aren't a typical Canadian voter.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:11 AM on December 8, 2011


Thanks, gompa. God damn, I hope you're right. But you could argue in the other direction; they're plowing through all the red-meat stuff now and taking a hit in the polls for it, but could ease up prior to the next election, when all of today's events are a dim memory, in order to attract enough moderates to cobble together another majority/minority government. These guys seem to be masters of playing the electorate off against itself, and that sort of thing is easier when economic times are tough.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2011


could ease up prior to the next election, when all of today's events are a dim memory, in order to attract enough moderates to cobble together another majority/minority government

Yeah, my optimism rests on the hope - backed up, for what it's worth, by public opinion surveys - that Canada remains an overwhelmingly middle-of-the-road place politically, and that it will be impossible for Harper to stand in front of the authoritarian nightmare he's created and pose convincingly as a moderate.

Dan Gardner is an excellent guy to read (and follow on Twitter) to track the CPC's abandonment of its centrist posturing. I don't always agree with him, but I think his point of view is much closer to the Canadian mainstream than Stephen Harper's is, despite what happened at the voting booth this year.
posted by gompa at 9:23 AM on December 8, 2011


Call me an eternal optimist, but I think we're seeing them begin to recede from their highwater mark. Sad part is we'll have to live with a few more years of catastrophic mismanagement before we can start doing things the Canadian way again.

The thing is, the damage may already be done by that point. If the agreement is cancelled, do you think the U.S. will just delete the data it's gathered on Canadians?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:24 AM on December 8, 2011


...you aren't a typical Canadian voter.

Strategic voting requires you to assume who is and who isn't a "typical Canadian voter", and what their preferences are, and then base your voting preferences on those assumptions, when everyone else is doing the same. It's guesswork upon guesswork.

I can have no confidence in an approach like that. So, I vote for the party most in line with my own agenda.

...if the NDP is your first choice, and the Tories are your second choice...

I don't believe I said that, either. It's a secret ballot, and I preserve my right to secrecy. Read into my voting intentions what you will.

posted by Capt. Renault at 9:26 AM on December 8, 2011


Before I fell in love with an American girl, got married and settled down in California I was saving up like crazy to go spend some time in another country for a little while.

Canada was at the top of my list back then. Public health care, relatively sane immigration regulations, polite and proud people with a strong leftist streak, QE2 on the money. It seemed to be just like Australia except I wouldn't have to put up with 40 degree heat in the summer.

I sure dodged that bullet.
posted by Talez at 9:42 AM on December 8, 2011


Strategic voting requires you to assume who is and who isn't a "typical Canadian voter", and what their preferences are, and then base your voting preferences on those assumptions, when everyone else is doing the same. It's guesswork upon guesswork.

Research is not guesswork.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada was at the top of my list back then. Public health care, relatively sane immigration regulations, polite and proud people with a strong leftist streak, QE2 on the money. It seemed to be just like Australia except I wouldn't have to put up with 40 degree heat in the summer.

For the record, all of these things remain as true today as they were five years ago or ten or whatever. The NDP, which on the American political spectrum would reside in its very own Maoist camp at Gitmo, won 32 percent of the popular vote in May. Alas, Harper's boys beat 'em by five whole percentage points, and now we have a colossally shitty government for a few years.
posted by gompa at 10:07 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not going out on a limb to say that if the NDP is your first choice, and the Tories are your second choice, you aren't a typical Canadian voter.

This (or the reverse) describes many people in rural BC and Saskatchewan.
posted by Kurichina at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2011


Research is not guesswork.

OK, I'll bite -- how do you research?

I will note that the experts and pollsters didn't know what was going to happen in any real degree of certainty.

What did your research show?

posted by Capt. Renault at 10:16 AM on December 8, 2011


Reseach for my riding showed Liberal-Conservative neck and neck for a couple of decades, with a Conservative incumbent and new Liberal candidate, and Green + NDP votes usually tripling the difference between the two frontrunners, but nowhere near a threat to either. It also showed me that my preferred party (the Greens) the election before last threw in the towel and told their supporters to, for the love of the issues on which they even half-way agree, vote Liberal.

So this time around... we sent another Conservative to Parliament. A handful less of those and the majority wouldn't be issue proof, as it is. So everyone can go back to playing monopoly.

But this is one of those subjects that I have to mostly sit out.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:24 AM on December 8, 2011


At least I'm not going up to my in-laws' place for Christmas this year. My wife's uncle, who always hosts a meal, is a proud former Reform Party member and his smug level was already at 9 Bairds out of 10 when Harper only had a minority.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:28 AM on December 8, 2011


Leftie Canadians need to boycott companies who advertise on right wing media.

I've noticed TD bank and Hakim Optical advertising on Sun TV. I'd love to know if there's a comprehensive list someplace.


TD-Canada Trust is awesome. Best hours of any bank in the world and the best customer service I've ever had. So no.

And you're the only person who watches Sun TV. They're light years from FOX News.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:31 AM on December 8, 2011


Before I fell in love with an American girl, got married and settled down in California I was saving up like crazy to go spend some time in another country for a little while.

Canada was at the top of my list back then. Public health care, relatively sane immigration regulations, polite and proud people with a strong leftist streak, QE2 on the money. It seemed to be just like Australia except I wouldn't have to put up with 40 degree heat in the summer.

I sure dodged that bullet.


I fell in love with a Canadian boy in 1995 and emigrated to Canada in 1997.

We have every one of the things you just listed and the most important thing for me- same sex marriage in every part of the country.

I'm unhappy with this agreement but think this alarmism and your frankly ignorant assessment of Canada is sort of ridiulous. The vast majority of Canadians haven't lived in the US and never did in the deep south as I did before emigrating. You have no perspective, even under Harper, of how incredibly different (and better) Canada is from the US- and I should add with us under Harper and the US under Obama, whom Canadians adulated so much that I got screamed (by Canadians0 at for not voting in US elections since emigrating- now you all see Harper on stage kowtowing to Obama, standing right next to him, and it's Harper who's the great satan. Which he is, I guess, relatively speaking, but the notion that the world ends now is something I'll have to see to believe- because I live in what's stereotyped as the most conservative and most "American" city in Canada, and I never get the sense I'm in the US, at all. But like I say, I have a perspective that most of you lack and you should shut the hell up and listen to me when I say this.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:39 AM on December 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't blame us for Harper, we voted against him at around 60% each year.

Its just that we voted for two different moderate/leftist parties and split the vote. Every. Single. Year.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:42 AM on December 8, 2011


I will note that the experts and pollsters didn't know what was going to happen in any real degree of certainty.

Those are nationwide projections. I'm talking about individual seats (which is the only meaningful metric when you're talking about individual voters trying to determine whether they're voting for a candidate who can't win and therefore are doing no better than staying home and not voting).

Take Don Valley West. The NDP has never polled better than 13.8% there. This would require the rest of the vote to be split among eight other candidates for the NDP to have a hope of winning the riding. The Liberals and Conservatives/PCs have always been at 23% or better. Realistically, voting NDP in that riding does nothing but send $2 to the NDP (and doesn't even do that anymore).

In May's election, the Conservative beat the incumbent liberal by 611 votes. 6,280 people voted for the NDP. The NDP garnered more support than it did in 2008, and all that did was send the Tory to Parliament Hill.

Lather, rinse, and repeat for Don Valley East, Etobicoke Centre, Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Willowdale, Scarborough Centre, and Eglinton—Lawrence. And that's just in Toronto.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:46 AM on December 8, 2011


I'm unhappy with this agreement but think this alarmism and your frankly ignorant assessment of Canada is sort of ridiulous. The vast majority of Canadians haven't lived in the US and never did in the deep south as I did before emigrating. You have no perspective, even under Harper, of how incredibly different (and better) Canada is from the US- and I should add with us under Harper and the US under Obama, whom Canadians adulated so much that I got screamed (by Canadians0 at for not voting in US elections since emigrating- now you all see Harper on stage kowtowing to Obama, standing right next to him, and it's Harper who's the great satan. Which he is, I guess, relatively speaking, but the notion that the world ends now is something I'll have to see to believe- because I live in what's stereotyped as the most conservative and most "American" city in Canada, and I never get the sense I'm in the US, at all. But like I say, I have a perspective that most of you lack and you should shut the hell up and listen to me when I say this.

You're not wrong but I was being semi-facetious about the conservatives ripping into Canadian society.

Just FYI.
posted by Talez at 10:52 AM on December 8, 2011


Maybe I am stupid but how is blaming the NDP for coming in second accurate? It seems like this happens a lot. The Conservatives do something stupid and it is portrayed as the NDP's fault for not winning the election or losing it or not being Liberals. I don't get that.

Also NDP being first in people's choice is quite common here in BC. But then again we don't count according to a lot of people as we are not Ontario.
posted by kanata at 11:00 AM on December 8, 2011


But then again we don't count according to a lot of people as we are not Ontario.

This is pretty much how Quebec feels too.

Yes, I am displeased that the Harper government is quick to conform to American safety standards but for all that, I still think I have it better up here with my Canadian husband than if we were to have moved back down South like we originally planned.
posted by Kitteh at 11:09 AM on December 8, 2011


"Any mistake can have grave consequences, including stranding travellers at airports or branding them as terrorists," said Jennifer Stoddard.

And we move one step closer to living in Terry Gilliam's Brazil.
posted by nTeleKy at 11:09 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quebec keeps talking about starting to run its own criminal justice system because it's so horrified by the new plans. But then you get the PQ saying stupid stuff like "let's give more power to the resource-rich regions" which means "let's further marginalise Montreal because it's not like the regions don't already have much more political power".

I don't know, this whole thing just saddens me. It's unlikely that any of it will have any specific impact on me or my life, but it's not the country I want to live in.

I live in what's stereotyped as the most conservative and most "American" city in Canada

Aren't those two different cities in two different provinces in two different regions?
posted by jeather at 11:41 AM on December 8, 2011



Take Don Valley West. The NDP has never polled better than 13.8% there.


The NDP has also never completely swept Quebec. I am so tired of this entitled crap from Liberals where they're owed votes and their catastrophic collapse is everyone else's fault. The fact that the Liberals are reduced to dishing out guilt trips should tell you something about the where this party stands these days. They're pathetic, and I say this as someone who just watched the NDP's "leaders" debate (never thought I'd say this but fuck, someone get Pat Martin in the race already.) Less than 20% of the popular vote to the NDP's 30% and somehow it's the fault of NDP supporters.

Don Valley West? It was Conservative before it was Liberal, and not that long ago either. The support for Conservatives has always been there. The Liberals have lost almost 8000 votes since 2004. The Conservatives have gained almost 8000. The narrative that the NDP voters cannibalised the Left is bullshit, the Liberals have been hemorrhaging votes to the Conservatives for years. You're losing to the Right, not the Left. The fact that you can add up the votes for other parties and make it bigger that what the Conservatives had doesn't mean the Liberals were robbed or anyone was wrong to vote for who they pretty much always had (the NDP's gains are fairly insiginificant in the last 10 years). It means they failed, have been failing for years and failed to stop it while they lost a lot of votes to the Conservatives.
posted by Hoopo at 12:02 PM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if only all those foolish NDP voters had put their votes behind the liberals, Canada could now have been ruled by Michael Ignatieff, War on Iraq cheerleader and yankee groupie, that really would've been an improvement over Harper.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am so tired of this entitled crap from Liberals where they're owed votes and their catastrophic collapse is everyone else's fault.

That's nice, but that's not what you're seeing from me. Saying you shouldn't vote for a candidate who can't win the seat is not the same thing as saying you should blindly vote Liberal. Don't pretend it is. Voting for a candidate who cannot win is, from an electoral perspective, identical to staying home. (This applies equally to Liberal voters in two-way NDP/Conservative races.)

Less than 20% of the popular vote to the NDP's 30% and somehow it's the fault of NDP supporters.

We are not talking about the popular vote. We are talking about individual ridings. The national popular vote does not matter, other than that you can combine it with the way a riding typically leans to figure out which candidates might actually win the seat.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:25 PM on December 8, 2011


Voting for a candidate who cannot win is, from an electoral perspective, identical to staying home

Voting for any candidate who does not win is no different by this logic.
posted by Hoopo at 12:30 PM on December 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe I am stupid but how is blaming the NDP for coming in second accurate?

I don't know if anyone is doing anything quite as broad as "blame the NDP" (Layton? Party strategists? Voters?).

For my part, hearing Layton actually tell people to not vote strategically was an unpleasant shock. Not "look at your riding numbers, and except where it's a close call only between Liberal and Conservative, vote your conscience". But that would apparently be expecting too much of voters, who even without doing a drop of research hate hate hate returning to the polls.

When you're shouting "vote your conscience" across from your Conservative opponent who is also shouting "vote your conscience", it's time to take stock. Apparently the Conservatives are the only ones cynical enough to do the math.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:30 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if only all those foolish NDP voters had put their votes behind the liberals, Canada could now have been ruled by Michael Ignatieff, War on Iraq cheerleader and yankee groupie, that really would've been an improvement over Harper.

That, of course, is not the choice that presented itself, and it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise. The only two likely results were Conservative majority and Conservative minority. A Conservative minority would have allowed the opposition to deny Harper the ability to do some of the really stupid stuff we're seeing. Instead, we have the NDP as an Official Opposition that can't actually do anything but say "we don't like the government." Mission accomplished.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:33 PM on December 8, 2011


Voting for any candidate who does not win is no different by this logic.

That's just silly. I'm talking about candidates who could not conceivably do better than third place. Even if the two front-runners devoured live kittens on live television.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:35 PM on December 8, 2011


A Conservative minority would have allowed the opposition to deny Harper the ability to do some of the really stupid stuff we're seeing.

This was not the story of the Harper minority governments that preceded his current majority.
posted by Hoopo at 12:36 PM on December 8, 2011


This was not the story of the Harper minority governments that preceded his current majority.

This is why I need to not visit threads like this.

I'll buy you a drink three years hence and we can (potentially) talk about it. In concrete detail. I'm out.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:52 PM on December 8, 2011


You have to hand it to Harper. Apparently he scrapped the long-form census and the long-gun registry, removed the per-vote subsidy for political parties, dismantled the Canadian Wheat Board, sold out Canadian sovereignty to Washington, stopped legal strikes by trade unions and imposed labor contracts favorable to management, increased mandatory minimum prison sentences, and started to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, all with a minority government!
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:55 PM on December 8, 2011


Apparently he scrapped the long-form census

This was done in 2010, was it not? Also a lot of this is just making things formal. The Kyoto Protocol targets have been ignored for ages, and a lot of Canada's inaction predates the Conservative government.

and the long-gun registry, removed the per-vote subsidy for political parties, dismantled the Canadian Wheat Board, sold out Canadian sovereignty to Washington, stopped legal strikes by trade unions and imposed labor contracts favorable to management, increased mandatory minimum prison sentences, and started to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, all with a minority government!

Yes, he's done a lot of crazy shit, exactly as he said he would, and there's nothing to stop him. I'm not disagreeing with you that this is terrifying. People voted him in on a platform that made a lot of these things known in advance. That's what really scares me. Harper's minority governments did pretty whatever they wanted, baited the opposition to try and stop them, dared them to force an election, and they backed down, and failed to form any sort of coalition. When the Conservatives were finally busted with contempt of parliament, Canadians rewarded Harper with even greater support and a majority government. People wanted these things.
posted by Hoopo at 1:43 PM on December 8, 2011


I'm talking about candidates who could not conceivably do better than third place.

This kind of conventional logic is exactly what entrenches a two-party system (which Canada does not have). The last election proved that these sorts of assumptions are completely bunk; sometimes the natural third choice is actually the second or even first choice, and will suddenly win a riding it has never, ever won before. Both the NDP and the Greens proved this, and will continue to do so. This "logic"'s stupidity is proven by its uselessness in the hypothetical next election: The NDP has lost its status as obvious third place in virtually every riding.
posted by mek at 2:05 PM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


People wanted these things.

And they indicated it by voting 60% for the Liberals or further left?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:20 PM on December 8, 2011


This kind of conventional logic is exactly what entrenches a two-party system

No, math is what entrenches a two-party system. Not conventional wisdom. Math.

Change the voting system, or have the Liberals and the NDP agree not to run candidates against each other in close ridings. But don't pretend that they aren't taking votes from one another and handing the Tories a number of seats in the process. Sometimes all you can hope for is to block your least favorite candidate instead of electing your favorite. And yet people continue to blindly insist that refusing to vote strategically can't possibly work against you, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

The left in North America is really quite inept when it comes to realpolitik.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:01 PM on December 8, 2011


I'm thrilled the Liberal/NDP have not made any such agreements, because such an agreement would ensure that centrist Liberals would continue their rightward drift under Ignatieff without consequence, by entrenching the hard left as guaranteed votes because of the terrifying spectre of the alternative.

We've seen exactly what allowing the natural ruling "left" party to run roughshod over their progressive base results in: just look at the American Democrats, their spineless, ineffectual governments and their center-right policies. Practicing that kind of realpolitik is exactly what has gotten the States to the brink of complete political failure. Despite the current tragedy of the Harper majority, Canada is now in a position to capitalize on those inevitable losses by electing a genuinely progressive government in the NDP next time around, a government which actually will build a coalition of the left, and maybe even give us a shot at electoral reform. If the NDP had signed their souls away to the Liberals just to prevent a Harper majority, none of that would have happened - we'd all be sleepwalking through another Liberal minority lead by an incompetent aristocrat, and who knows what would happen after that.

Consigning yourself to a two-party system simply guarantees progressives will always snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I can't think of any better proof of that than the Obama administration. All real progressive gains have been gained through resistance and extrapolitical action, not backroom dealing by political parties.
posted by mek at 5:34 PM on December 8, 2011


And they indicated it by voting 60% for the Liberals or further left?

Ummm, yes...as far as these things go. 40% is about the size of the popular vote the Chretien Liberals had. 50% or more of the popular vote is rare even in majority parliaments. Also Liberal voters are not particularly of the Left, which is why so many of them went blue instead of orange when they got sick of Chretien mismanaging ad money.


despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.


I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Show me evidence of where there's been a successful strategic voting initiative that has turned an election. I am not convinced this could be implemented in a way people would get on board with it. Frankly if people came to me as part of an organized campaign where we've all gotta promise to forget voting who we support and vote so-and-so instead to avert the Conservapocalypse? I think people would have reason to be suspicious of such an effort.


The left in North America is really quite inept when it comes to realpolitik.


Only a small part of the Liberals are part of the left. It's the "centrists" who have fucked themselves, hard, and now have to choose to go further left or become the new millenium's PC party.
posted by Hoopo at 5:38 PM on December 8, 2011


terrifying spectre of the alternative

Well, it's real now. Enjoy.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:07 PM on December 8, 2011


A few quick thoughts:

I don't recall anyone here complaining about Canada's electoral system when the Libranos had their (most recent) dynasty, while plenty of vote-splitting was happening on the "right" in the 90's. Policy aside, I believe a change in government was necessary due to the systemic corruption in the Liberal party.

Anyone who says Stephen Harper is out to destroy Canada hasn't been paying attention. Disagree with the current government's initiatives/policies all you want but Harper is undeniably a patriot. He's writing a book on the history of hockey ferchrissake.

Back to the subject at hand, what exactly is the problem? I've crossed the border many times and don't see anything that would change things next year. In fact I'm surprised that more information wasn't shared already and I'm happy that crossings can be expedited for individuals and business.
posted by raider at 8:14 PM on December 8, 2011


Raider, the most terrifying thing by far (to me) is "regulatory harmonization" for the food industry, as one of the starkest differences between Canada and the USA is our significantly stricter policies on food additives, livestock raising, etc. Canada doesn't have HFCS products and (like Europe) it doesn't allow the use of antibiotics and growth hormone in livestock. The first comment in the thread touches on this, but food regulation is already a huge issue in many provinces (pressure for GMO labelling, etc) and this is the exact wrong direction for the country to go.

I agree that the border has been a huge PITA since 9/11 and any reduction in security theatre is a good thing for both countries. But that's a minor effect compared to the free-trade shenanigans that the government is trying to sneak through via this deal. This will effectively make the CFIA subservient to the FDA, which should terrify everyone.
posted by mek at 8:53 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Disagree with the current government's initiatives/policies all you want but Harper is undeniably a patriot.

Which, if true, makes me even more suspicious of him.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:00 PM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


3,410 more votes in Don Valley West than in the 2008 election. Conservatives improve on their 2008 numbers by 3,521. And the story is about how the left should have voted Liberal? The answer is strategic voting? How's this instead--Do what the Conservatives did: get new people in the riding out to vote. For you. Connect with them and get them on board. Sounds crazy, I know, but it's far less crazy than asking the 10% of people who consistently vote NDP in that riding to vote for a party they don't support.
posted by Hoopo at 9:39 PM on December 8, 2011


Opposition demands answers on cost, privacy issues in U.S. border deal
posted by stinkycheese at 9:54 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone who says Stephen Harper is out to destroy Canada hasn't been paying attention.


Whether or not he is a patriot has fuck all to do with anything. Harper may be a patriot, but it's a bizarro world version of this country that exists in his head that he's a patriot for. Get rid of the long form census, motorcades to the parliament buildings from his residence, proroging, gutting a lot of the civil service institutions that make Canada what it is, alternative reality crime bill, etc etc etc. So, yes he does hate this country; or at least the country that exists in reality on the ground as opposed to the mythological fantasy land he inhabits where evidence means nothing and ideology trumps reason and logic.

I know it's tricky on the blue to use the 'F' word, among others, but the following is from Umberto Eco's 'Eternal Fascism: 14 Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt'. This kind of paranoid talk crops up repeatedly in Harper's discourse of control. Silencing government scientists who have opposing opinions or referring to people critical of the tar sands as traitors are just two examples that immediately pop to mind.

4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:20 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sounds crazy, I know, but it's far less crazy than asking the 10% of people who consistently vote NDP in that riding to vote for a party they don't support.

That would be nice, but the least I'm asking of them is to admit that their vote has no hope of increasing the NDP's seat count, which is the truth. If you're going to throw your vote away, at least be funny and vote Rhinoceros.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:23 AM on December 9, 2011


...admit that their vote has no hope of increasing the NDP's seat count, which is the truth.

I don't accept that as true at all. If it were, nowhere would it have been more true than in Quebec prior to the last election. Prior to, and for a good chunk during it.

In my opinion, strategic voting implies that the differences between whatever two frontrunner parties are substantial enough to overcome my supporting an agenda most in line with my own. I simply don't accept that premise.

posted by Capt. Renault at 6:55 AM on December 9, 2011


Anyone who says Stephen Harper is out to destroy Canada hasn't been paying attention.

I don't think he's out to destroy Canada but I disagree that he's acting out of any sense of patriotism. He is an egomaniac and he is out to settle personal scores and leave his mark. What kind of patriot makes changes to public service correspondence so that it refers to "The Harper Government" instead of the Government of Canada? What kind of patriot exploits every conceivable loophole in a parliamentary system, and gets found in contempt of parliament while refusing to disclose how it spends money? What kind of patriot enacts measures that cut vital campaign funding to pretty much every political party except his own in an effort to consolidate power? This man is acting out of pure self-interest, period.
posted by Hoopo at 12:18 PM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


CAW President Raises Concerns about Scope of Canada- U.S. Border Deal: "This is not about a supposed 'trade-off' between border efficiency and Canadian sovereignty.  This is about rewriting Canadian regulations to make them more convenient to corporations."
posted by stinkycheese at 4:52 PM on December 9, 2011


In my opinion, strategic voting implies that the differences between whatever two frontrunner parties are substantial enough to overcome my supporting an agenda most in line with my own. I simply don't accept that premise.

This is exactly the mentality that led people to vote for Nader instead of Gore. We know how that turned out (hint: not for the better).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:18 PM on December 9, 2011


I'd agree that first-past-the-post voting should always be replaces with a proportional ranked ballot system, but you're dead wrong that endorsing the two-party system solves any problems. You'll only make Canada more like the U.S. by telling Canadians to vote like Americans. In truth, parliamentary systems have more resistance to Duverger's law than U.S. style systems.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:41 PM on December 9, 2011


In truth, parliamentary systems have more resistance to Duverger's law than U.S. style systems.

That is just plain false. Congress is elected in exactly the same manner as the House of Commons.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:50 PM on December 9, 2011


Yes, they are elected using the same procedure, but the practice of forming coalitions changes the dynamic radically. You cannot deny that both Canada and the U.K. maintained more than two parties throughout most of their histories, while the U.S.'s two party system established itself almost immediately.

In reality, people are more engaged with the political system when they aren't forced into this artificial left v right axis. In particular, Canadian voter turnout runs about 10% higher than American voter turnout, even during presidential years, more like 30% higher off years. People don't necessarily vote if their views aren't being represented.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:29 PM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


You cannot deny that both Canada and the U.K. maintained more than two parties throughout most of their histories, while the U.S.'s two party system established itself almost immediately.

Yes, I can.

Canada and the U.K. have not maintained more than two parties that actually had a chance of forming the government for any extended period of time.

The U.S.'s two-party system is particularly hard to break out of at this point because the districts are so damn huge. Because they're so big, the candidates have to win many more votes than any candidates elected in the U.K. or Canada, and they have to play to the center of their individual districts. This means you're voting for the individual candidate, not for John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi. You'd probably see more third parties if the House had 4,000 members.

This isn't possible in Canada, where voting against the party leader gets you thrown out of the caucus and costs you the seat the next time around. Since party committees don't select candidates in the U.S., it's actually possible to have one party that contains Barney Frank and Ben Nelson.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:53 AM on December 10, 2011


I'm sorry this turned into a thread about two party systems vs. more-than-two party systems. That's really not the point of the post.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:46 AM on December 11, 2011


Canada and the U.K. have not maintained more than two parties that actually had a chance of forming the government for any extended period of time.

This is totally fucking inane, if you'll pardon my French. Third parties don't have a chance of forming a government if you frame the analysis in terms of the period of time they do not form a government. True, but utterly meaningless. The key point here is that third parties DO trump the two party binary, and have done so repeatedly, and are continuing to do so. Parties are born and parties die in these multiple party systems, and that simply doesn't happen in the USA.
posted by mek at 3:26 AM on December 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson acknowledged Friday that a key motivation for the border deal was to ensure the Canadian and U.S. economies keep up with others in Asia and elsewhere: “We are in a very global economy... We have to do as much as we can to make the economies of our two countries as competitive as we can make them. This is a part of it.”
posted by stinkycheese at 4:29 AM on December 11, 2011


Parties are born and parties die in these multiple party systems, and that simply doesn't happen in the USA.

For reasons I've explained above, not because Congress is somehow different from the House of Commons.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2011


Third parties' greatest effect, by the way, is to make it more likely that you get a perverse result by splitting the vote. Margaret Thatcher stayed in power for as long as she did despite the fact that a majority of British voters voted for Labour or the Lib Dems every time. This is a result of the first-past-the-post system, not some sort of mythical difference with voters in the U.S.

As for the supposed birth and death of parties in the system, the youngest of the three British parties (Labour) dates back to 1900.

Fix the voting system, and you won't wind up with a group that represents a tiny minority coming in and giving handouts to their friends, turning over national sovereignty to a foreign power, and otherwise wrecking the country despite the actual will of the people.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:39 AM on December 11, 2011


As for the supposed birth and death of parties in the system, the youngest of the three British parties (Labour) dates back to 1900.

Uh, what? The Lib Dems were formed in 1988 from the old Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party which was founded in 1981.
posted by unSane at 10:56 AM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're leaving out the fact that the Liberal Party was formed in 1859, and the Social Democrats were in an alliance with the Liberals (not running against one another) the entire time the latter existed as a separate party. That's a symptom of first-past-the-post and proves my point that third-party spoilers that allow a fringe party to gain power are a serious bug, not a feature.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2011


Oh, I see. No true scotsman. Gotcha.
posted by unSane at 2:19 PM on December 11, 2011


Oh, I see. You didn't read my comment at all. Gotcha.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:57 PM on December 11, 2011


Meanwhile, on the actual subject of the post...

Xinhuanet: Canada-U.S. border agreement draws mixed reactions from Canadians
posted by stinkycheese at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


One more dead town's last parade, yours are 20% of total comments on this post. The horse is dead, stop flogging it already.
posted by mek at 10:29 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


How the U.S. blackmailed Canada: Canada sold its national security independence in exchange for hoped-for minor changes to American border restrictions.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:00 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada-U.S. deal could close small border crossings
posted by stinkycheese at 7:50 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


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