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“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.
June 14, 2012 2:06 PM   Subscribe

It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget.

Normally, substantive amendments to legislation are proposed in the committee phase, and the amended legislation is brought before Parliament to be passed into law. But because Green Party leader Elizabeth May is both a standing MP and without a parliamentary caucus (one requires 12 MPs), her only opportunity to offer substantive amendments is on the floor of the House. She proposed over 300. The high quantity of substantive amendments limited the Speaker's ability to combine amendments into packages for voting: over 800 amendments total became 159 votes on amendments of similar import, requiring the government to conduct 159 full roll calls of all 308 current MPs. The Conservatives must maintain a majority in Parliament for the full duration of voting, so as to not risk the passing of any unwanted changes. (In classic fashion, the Liberals attempted to compromise.)
posted by mek (76 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck yeah, Elizabeth May
posted by Hoopo at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2012 [35 favorites]


It's a sad day for Canada.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2012


I've been watching her update on fbook all day. She's been kicking ass & taking names...except that none of her amendment will pass. Not blaming her though.
Her status from two hours ago:
Haven't left my seat since 1 am. Thank you all for your supportive messages. Hoping to still amend this awful bill. 12ish hours to go.

I'm reminded of this situation almost a year ago, when the NDP did the same on the back-to-work legislation for postal workers.

which makes me laugh because the first comment there (mine, admittedly) is also a fuck yeah.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck you, Stephen Harper.
posted by chugg at 2:31 PM on June 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


this is what happens when today's conservatives get into power.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:40 PM on June 14, 2012


This is what happens when today's Left starts to get its shit together. Go, Elizabeth!
posted by No Robots at 2:42 PM on June 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Paging Harry Reid... Paging Harry Reid... Are you listening?
posted by jonp72 at 2:45 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(warning: editorializing!) I'm happily surprised how thoroughly and quickly May has demonstrated her value as an MP to Canadians. She's brilliant, articulate, principled and uncompromising. Those who doubted the significance of her election are clearly in the wrong, and the Green Party will continue to get what little money I can part with.
posted by mek at 2:51 PM on June 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Elizabeth May is Exhibit A in the rebuttal to the complaint "All politicians are the same."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:02 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is what happens when today's Left starts to get its shit together.

What that that's happening? Is there any chance that the bill will actually change? With a majority government any "resistance" is no more than a publicity stunt.
posted by cdward at 3:03 PM on June 14, 2012


cdward: "With a majority government any "resistance" is no more than a publicity stunt."

No, it's a signal to the electorate that they really can have a voice in parliament, and the next chance they get, they can make it a chorus.
posted by klanawa at 3:07 PM on June 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah, mek, I definitely agree. This election was the first I didn't vote/campaign Green (went NDP, not that it matters where I live), part because I knew the candidate and part because the Greens pissed me off with some stuff (the wi-fi blathering, etc). But she has been doing very well.

This is what happens when today's Left starts to get its shit together.

The best part is that all of this is happening without any merging or (formal) coalitions. While cdward, you're right that it can't change anything with a majority, I don't think it's fair to call it a stunt. Or at least, the publicity looked-for is about the bill, which really is a change from how budget bills are normally done. By your logic the left should just what, sit down and shut up for 5 years? Because nothing can happen.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2012


With a majority government any "resistance" is no more than a publicity stunt.

Sure, there's a vanishingly small chance 13 Conservatives would sink their own careers by voting against the bill (or for any of the amendments). So in that sense it's a publicity stunt. But any stunt aimed at getting publicity towards what Harper is trying to pull is OK by me, and I think it's a bit disingenuous to imply that it's a useless move.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 3:15 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


“In the interest of democracy I ask: how can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns? We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse?”
Know who said that? Yes, that's right, Stephen Harper, when he was an opposition MP with the Reform Party in 1994.

I've heard several recent radio interviews with MPs where the interviewer reads the above quotation and then asks the MP to explain why Stephen Harper was against these sorts of omnibus bills back then but now is in favour of them. I've heard a fascinating variety of non-answers.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


This is a shameless trick to hijack the parliamentary process. As all upstanding Canadians know, the only acceptable trick to hijack the parliamentary process is to prorogue it.
posted by RobotHero at 3:22 PM on June 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


By your logic the left should just what, sit down and shut up for 5 years? Because nothing can happen.

No, my logic is that the left is much bigger than a few MPs, and focussing on purely symbolic moves in parliament distracts us from the real work we can be doing.
posted by cdward at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Stephen Harper not, essentially, a radical anarchist who has repeatedly demonstrated his utter contempt for Canadian democracy?
posted by dobie at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2012


So glad to see Ms. May come out in full force. Thanks for posting this thread, mek.
posted by Phire at 3:26 PM on June 14, 2012


There's also the off chance that 13 Tories might be out of the Commons at the same time during a vote. Unlikely, since any breaks are sure to be extremely carefully shepherded and scheduled, but it's a long 24 hours and stranger things have happened. It's really the only chance the opposition has at this point to pass even a single amendment, but it's worth holding out for.
posted by figurant at 3:27 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, my logic is that the left is much bigger than a few MPs, and focussing on purely symbolic moves in parliament distracts us from the real work we can be doing.

Erm, you mean, like, snarking about Elizabeth May on Metafilter?
posted by No Robots at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I detest omnibus bills. It seems to me that the last 20-30 years has seen a dissolution of the the post war détente between extremes that existed in many western parliaments, and has seen an increase in politics of polar extremes. In most parliamentary debates, there's a very strong tendency to play the man and not the ball, to the detriment of rational debate and decision making. Part of the response to this has been these type of omnibus bills, where the "Criminalisation of kitty-kicking Bill" gets festooned with all manner of completely unrelated legislation from union bashing to tax breaks. Anyone who votes against it is labelled a kitty-kicker and hugely important policy decisions go undebated by the public, and sometimes even unread by the legislators. It's a total steamrollering of public interest, open to flagrant abuse from all shades of the political spectrum, and should be banned by any responsible legislature
posted by Jakey at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


By your logic the left should just what, sit down and shut up for 5 years? Because nothing can happen.

That was my plan, but you've omitted the important steps of not listening to the news until 2015 and saying "told ya so" at every opportunity.
posted by Hoopo at 3:41 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stephen Harper to Parliament (1994)

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to make a procedural argument concerning the omnibus nature of this piece of legislation...Bill C-17, is of an omnibus nature. I put it to you, Mr. Speaker, that you should rule it out of order and it should not be considered by the House in the form in which it has been presented... The subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles... How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse? Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components in the bill...For all the reasons I have given, I respectfully submit that this bill is of improper omnibus nature... Mr. Speaker. I would also ask the government members, particularly those who have spoken on precisely this question in the previous Parliament with precisely the same concerns, to give serious consideration to this issue of democracy and the functionality of this Parliament now.

I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen Harper.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:45 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


this guy has a majority government. insane.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:46 PM on June 14, 2012


The federal Liberals say they are willing to back away from the omnibus budget bill fight if the Conservative government makes some changes to the legislation.

Sheesh. Justin Trudeau, please report to the NDP and turn the lights out on your way out the door.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:48 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


To add that extra-special air of illegitimacy, Ted Opitz (whose electoral victory has been quashed by a court) and Dean Del Mastro (who has just been accused of violating the Elections Act) have been voting.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:56 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to make a procedural argument concerning the omnibus nature of this piece of legislation...

Please please please please tell me someone thought to make that statement word-for-word at some point in the house.
posted by Decimask at 4:16 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen Harper.

In this case so does Elizabeth May, made the same point of order as Harper did in 1994, in regard to Harper's 2012 budget bill. It was addressed and dismissed by the Speaker.
posted by mek at 4:17 PM on June 14, 2012


"Point of order: Two members opposite used the Nazi salute directed toward our Prime Minister..."
posted by frimble at 4:18 PM on June 14, 2012


Let me see if I understand some of the snark correctly here.

The likely outcome is that after a long period of time (baring a big Conservative screwup) the bill will pass unamended. The Liberals have offered a deal whereby this process would end and the bill would be amended to remove some of the offensive sections.

But this is just the Liberals selling out and being useless as usual right?
posted by cirhosis at 4:20 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I like to believe Canadians aren't, by and large, sitting back and apathetically letting Harper do whatever he wants until he gets bored, but are actually more like that guy Milton from Office Space and are constantly getting closer and closer to the point where they finally snap and set the building on fire.
posted by Hoopo at 4:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


The Liberals have been playing softball with Harper for years. You can see how well that's done for them (and for Canada). That they would continue to try to negotiate now that he has a majority speaks volumes to me. That they would even believe it to be possible is rather pathetic.
posted by mek at 4:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm really impressed with Elizabeth May, and pretty saddened that Bob Rae won't run for the Liberal leadership - it wasn't meant to be, and he made the right choice. Not sure though, that without Rae I'll be voting Liberal again.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:35 PM on June 14, 2012


The likely outcome is that after a long period of time (baring a big Conservative screwup) the bill will pass unamended. The Liberals have offered a deal whereby this process would end and the bill would be amended to remove some of the offensive sections.

But this is just the Liberals selling out and being useless as usual right?


Fundamentally, the Conservatives are following parliamentary procedure, if not parliamentary convention. In the Canadian system, the governing party always has the ability to ram through legislation (which the Conservatives are indeed doing) but in the past convention has meant at least providing the Opposition to make symbolic and often helpful on the bills.

The Conservatives have basically abandoned any of these symbolic niceties, so the Liberal's proposed deal makes perfect sense.

The Conservatives are playing with fire here, attempting to polarize the electorate. People will remember this.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:39 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


saddened that Bob Rae won't run for the Liberal leadership

I'm not. Because he said that he wouldn't run, and because Ontario voters are still easily bamboozled into thinking that Bob Rae caused a bad economy in Ontario in the 1990s when in reality he inherited it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:41 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


>I'm not. Because he said that he wouldn't run,

I think it gives him significantly more power and leverage in the Commons, particularly because no one can make snide remarks about his hidden agenda to assume formal leadership of the Liberal party. So he can continue to contribute in a powerful and meaningful way in the Commons and help keep in check the nasty stuff the Conservative trogs are trying to do.

That said, it's all rather pointless since it's doubtful the Liberal Party will be able to rebuild in time for the next election. A new leader will be elected a year from now, leaving just two years to somehow figure out how to beat both the Conservatives and the NDP. Ain't gonna happen. Which makes me sad, because the Liberal Party has done some great things for Canada.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:51 PM on June 14, 2012


Yeah, the Liberals' attempt was reasonable. I'd be interested to know what the actual players involved were thinking - my guess is that they decided to play good cop to May/NDP filibustering; that could easily have been done with a wink-wink from the NDP. Because it clearly shows that the Conservatives are playing hardball and can't be dealt with.

That being said, my hunch is that such a point ends up being process rather than substance and as such won't have as much of an impact on people's memories as it could or in my opinion should.

The Conservatives are essentially throwing out all of the process that's normally done in the House to get at least some consensus. It's the nuclear option (I think that's the American term). Which works for now, sure, but if they lose an election they'd better hope the new government isn't willing to do the same.

....which might be a fair hope. Isn't there a definition of fair play as something to the effect of rules which provide a structural advantage to the person willing to break them?
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:55 PM on June 14, 2012


The Conservatives are playing with fire here, attempting to polarize the electorate. People will remember this.

This is also my hope, which I'm working on turning into a hunch. It'll be a conviction one day, just you wait and see.

In all honesty, though, I think they've seriously misjudged the size and strength of their support. They are in a dead heat in the polls with the NDP after it lost its charismatic leader and found only a backroom brawler to replace him. They're not even that far ahead of the weakest Liberal Party in Canadian history anymore. They're uniting their opposition move by arrogant, hubristic, anti-democratic, flagrantly anti-environmental move. In their combative, imperious way, they've all but carved the trim and hung the bunting on Elizabeth May's national stage. They're talking about a united front in Peterborough to send Dean Del Mastro packing. I have moments of delusion where I think the right star candidate could deliver Calgary Centre (Lee Richardson's just-vacated seat) to the Greens or NDP. (The Greens took 17% of the vote there in 2006 with no money or name recognition whatsoever, and one of Calgary City Council's lightest lightweights is considered a serious contender for the PC nomination.)

So yeah, this might be a moment here, a fulcrum. A budget bill has become a united, symbolic rejection of everything the Harper government stands for, mounted by the parties who more than 60 percent of Canadians preferred even at the absolute apex of the CPC's electoral power. I've been wondering for awhile if maybe hubris and good ole Shakespearian over-ambition might be the undoing of Stephen Harper. It's not guaranteed by any stretch, but I've seen little this week to convince me it's crazy talk, either.
posted by gompa at 4:57 PM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Harper is clearly betting on being able to get away with anything until election year, where he will presumably toss out tax rebates and cut gas taxes or something to coast to another majority.
posted by mek at 5:02 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the picture of Flaherty the G&M has up in the prime position on their website right now -
Budget all-nighter frustrates Flaherty: ‘This is, like, chutzpah?’

I hate that this stuff seems to slide right out of the general public's minds when they go to vote. I've been spending years now saying "Fuck, after this how can anyone vote for Harper?!" I guess in my mind he's kind of like a cockroach at this point, can't get rid of him, only comes back stronger. I don't think people remember. I don't trust that people remember, because I don't see it at all.

My parents were visiting us last week. My father used to vote Republican, but voted for Obama. We were talking about the depressing state of the world these days, you know, as you do after dinner. I asked, so how bad does it have to get before, well, people revolt, and finally things will change? Because it's starting to freak me out how bad it looks like it's going to get, yet everyone around me seems so complacent. Even those few who are worried don't seem to be worried enough.

And my father said, well, you know, in Panama under Noriega, did you know the banks were closed in Panama for three years? (I didn't know that, I was just a kid at the time.) There were sanctions from the US and the banks all closed, and they stayed closed. So everyone still got their paychecks, but no one could cash them or deposit them or anything.

So what did they do? I asked. Well, he said, people had to eat, they needed stuff, so they bartered. Your abuela, when she got paid (she's a professor), she'd take her paycheck to the grocery store and she'd endorse it to pay for her food. And then the store would keep it and they'd endorse it when they bought more stock, and then whoever they bought from would endorse it to buy from whoever they bought from, and around and around. Because they had to, there was no other way to do it.

Did they protest? I asked. Oh, they protested, they protested every day, sure. For years. It didn't matter. It didn't end until the US decided to get Noriega out and they sent in their military. That's what changed it. So, he said, people just adapt. Even in a crisis situation. The Arab Spring, he said, that's an anomaly that the protesters could make a difference, that's years building up. I don't think it's going to happen like that here. If change comes it'll be that something shifts up at the top, probably not from the people, he said.

Oh man, I thought. This isn't even that bad of a story, it's not executions and wars and that sort of thing, But it's left me pretty numb recently about change actually happening. Just in ten years I've seen Canada visibly shift to become more like the US - from the gov't level down to individual people I know. People just adapt. They're just accepting it. I appreciate making stands like this because you can't stop making them, no way, so good on Elizabeth May for doing it. It's visible, it's the right thing to do, for sure. I can't stop hoping that it'll happen that people will finally wake up and it'll happen that there's a big enough backlash to at least get the Tories out, stop the slide to the right - hope for the best - but I don't believe that people will remember. I don't think it will make a difference. I feel like there's been enough damage done by now that we're just going to keep sliding down. Expect the worst. I hate feeling that way.
posted by flex at 5:05 PM on June 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


With apologies to Alberta MeFites, out of pure political pragmatism, I honestly wish Mulcair would take a harsh stand on the oil sands, despite the worries of the G&M intelligentsia that he's being divisive. Alberta is never going to vote NDP, and with the exception of Saskatchewan, nobody in Canada believes the oil sands are helping them out, not the people in Ontario and Quebec who are out of work, or the people in BC who are going to be forced to host a goddamned oil pipeline.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:06 PM on June 14, 2012


A new leader will be elected a year from now, leaving just two years to somehow figure out how to beat both the Conservatives and the NDP. Ain't gonna happen.

Both the Liberals and the NDP need to hammer home the Anything But Conservative message over the next three years. There are a lot of seats in the GTA currently occupied by Tories that the NDP has no hope of capturing, but that the Liberals just lost (Etobicoke Centre, Don Valley East, Don Valley West, Willowdale). There are a number of seats west of Ontario currently occupied by Conservatives (mostly in B.C.) that the NDP could win but the Liberals just can't. It's more important to kick the Tories out than it is to form a Liberal or NDP majority.

After that, give Canadians a better choice by switching to alternative voting, or some other system that doesn't require amending the constitution (so anything based on nationwide proportional representation is out of the question for now).

Otherwise, you risk allowing a party that is far out of the Canadian mainstream being able to wreak havoc on the country for four years just because they managed to get a quarter of eligible voters to vote for them, again.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:06 PM on June 14, 2012


Sort of related: is it permissible under the Elections Act to run campaigns against individual candidates? Gail Shea voted against (among other things) the amendment to keep EI the way it is. I can't imagine Prince Edward Islanders viewing that very favorably in 2015.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:09 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Conservatives are playing with fire here, attempting to polarize the electorate. People will remember this.

No, they won't. I am a pessimist so that I can occasionally be happily surprised. But never with anything to do with Harper or the Conservatives.

I also would really love for any MP to quote Harper directly.
posted by jeather at 5:34 PM on June 14, 2012


May quoted Harper, as Mek. pointed to above
posted by Decimask at 6:09 PM on June 14, 2012


Wait, I take it back.
posted by Decimask at 6:14 PM on June 14, 2012


Here's the full text of May's point of order.
posted by mek at 6:40 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


flex: I can't stop hoping that it'll happen that people will finally wake up and it'll happen that there's a big enough backlash to at least get the Tories out, stop the slide to the right - hope for the best - but I don't believe that people will remember.

Me too, but my impression is that for the most part our national media continue to pretend that they're supporting the "Conservative Party of Canada", and not the fucking Reform Party. The media like to position themselves as sticking up for business, and lots of people think sports is more important than parliament. Maybe they're feeling threatened by loss of print circulation and ad revenues to the internet, and that makes them worship the status quo even more than usual.
posted by sneebler at 6:45 PM on June 14, 2012


I never understand why people think media influences public opinion so much. Newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, are merely consumed as a diversion. Television news is where you go to watch the aftermath of traffic accidents.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2012


That said, it's all rather pointless since it's doubtful the Liberal Party will be able to rebuild in time for the next election. A new leader will be elected a year from now, leaving just two years to somehow figure out how to beat both the Conservatives and the NDP. Ain't gonna happen. Which makes me sad, because the Liberal Party has done some great things for Canada.

It astonishes me that the Liberals haven't figured things out yet. The war of attrition between entrenched right wing party management and the left leaning membership has been going on now for what, 6 years? They've destroyed the party from the inside out. With the recent Bob Rae thing there is still no sign of any inclination to stop the fighting and start rebuilding. It is really disgusting to watch.

At the same time, the media seems incapable of reporting on the power struggle. If it were exposed it would probably end.

I wonder.. Maybe the PC --> CRAP re-branding ended Power Corporation's influence on the Conservative party, and so they are clinging to the last vestiges of control over the Liberal party with all they've got?
posted by Chuckles at 7:28 PM on June 14, 2012


Someone should, y'know, steal the mace or something.
posted by scruss at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2012


Here comes the final vote...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:16 PM on June 14, 2012


Just listened to Bob Rae on the Current. Classy guy.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:24 PM on June 14, 2012


C-38 has passed the House of Commons. Ladies and gentlemen, start your lawyers.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:26 PM on June 14, 2012


My Liberal friends don't understand why I squeal every time someone mentions Elizabeth May's name.
posted by Conspire at 8:27 PM on June 14, 2012


40 hours and 149 amendments rejected as a matter of course, including an attempt to reject the last 20 amendments in one go, which, of course, didn't reach consensus, as the opposition leaders asked for compromises in order to discuss voting for it.

May and 4 others stayed for the whole thing.

It closed out to shouts of '2015' from the NDP and 'Harper' from the Conservatives.
posted by frimble at 8:33 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


C-38 has passed the House of Commons.

Whoops. Jumped the gun there. But it can't be amended further, so it will be passed in its current form.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:34 PM on June 14, 2012


Harper really is a fucking disgrace.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:35 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look: one of the candidates for the Liberal party leadership is just going to say "it's time to unite with the NDP and become the Liberal Democrats or the New Liberals or whatever." And that candidate is going to come in at least second place. If it's Trudeau (and Trudeau's going to run no matter how much he says he doesn't want to, because he's a Trudeau and has a strong sense of moral obligation to the country, and the Liberal party and the country need Trudeau to run for the leadership), he'll win on that platform too.

Right now a majority of both parties looks favorably on the concept of formal union. It's time for this to happen. There won't be an election for another three years - even if Elections Canada says "whoops, we need a new election what with all the shenanigans in 2011," the Tories will just sue to prevent it and the timeframe will be exactly the same because this party does not operate on the basis of shame. So in 2015, we can have an election where the left, for once in this fucking country, is not divided four fucking ways.
posted by mightygodking at 8:39 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a complete side story, this government (and parts of this budget implementation omnibus) is a part of why I'm currently packing to leave Canada. Not in a "If the Tories get elected, I'm leaving" hissyfit, but because, with the immigration process to Canada completely up in the air, it made more sense, and was more practical, for me to emigrate to live with my wife, possibly both coming back in a few years, rather than having our future hanging on announcements from Jason Kenney.
posted by frimble at 8:44 PM on June 14, 2012


with the immigration process to Canada completely up in the air

Unless your wife is immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker and not as a family member with you as her sponsor, the process hasn't really changed in the last ten years or so.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:48 PM on June 14, 2012


Alberta is never going to vote NDP

Except that they have, twice, and that's in Edmonton. Mayor Nenshi is really turning things around in Calgary, as Gompa mentioned, there's hope yet.

But what we all should realistically be pining for are the 21 seats the Conservatives picked up in Ontario. Who cares if Trudeau supposedly can't win in Alberta, he just needs to win Ontario and Quebec, and then play nice with Redford afterwards.
posted by furtive at 9:03 PM on June 14, 2012


Elizabeth May is indeed awesome but the Green Party is not of the Left...they're Centrist-Authoritarian at best. I honestly wish they would go away and stop tipping pluralities toward the Conservatives.
posted by rocket88 at 9:05 PM on June 14, 2012


rocket88, I've laboured to quash similar nonsense arguments in past threads but I've grown tired of it (and it's not really appropriate to moderate in that fashion here, either). If you honestly believe the Green Party is a "centrist-authoritarian" party please help us who believe otherwise, and draw our attention to specific sections of their party platform that make you feel this way.
posted by mek at 9:15 PM on June 14, 2012


The Walrus has a great article on Elizabeth May for anyone looking for more into on where she's coming from and her particular situation in Parliament. It seems to be freely available on their site.
posted by marylynn at 9:20 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never understand why people think media influences public opinion so much. Newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, are merely consumed as a diversion. Television news is where you go to watch the aftermath of traffic accidents.

As the old saying goes, media can't tell you how to think but they can sure influence what you think about.

And
.

for Canadian democracy
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:31 PM on June 14, 2012


I would be able to take Elizabeth May a lot more seriously if she had not agreed with the tinfoil hat anti-smart-meter people who think any RF will fry your brain. Partially as a result of where her constituency is located, and its demographic, she will kowtow to support nearly any scientifically invalid theory (homeopathy, etc).
posted by thewalrus at 9:39 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Green Party is also against WiFi in general, not just smart meters:

Epidemiological studies (studying the human population exposed to a substance or activity and then working to assess whether a health impact is linked to that substance or behaviour) are inherently fraught with difficulties in proof.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:58 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The GPC supports income splitting to greatly reduce personal income taxes for traditional single-income families.
Why income splitting is bad.
posted by rocket88 at 5:43 AM on June 15, 2012


Similarly, their position on wind power is, frankly, batty. I'd be the definition of the GPC's effin' base were it not for this.
posted by scruss at 11:12 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is not the Green Party's position on wind power, that is a motion calling for a study that was voted on at the 2010 convention. Anyone can propose such a motion. It did not alter the party position on wind power, which is here. Some comments by May on the controversies you are alluding to are here: "There is no question that the Green Party of Canada is unequivocally in favour of wind power."
posted by mek at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2012


Still not convinced, tho', mek. Too much woo in their other recent policies.
posted by scruss at 12:13 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


They used to openly endorse a 'flat' income tax scheme, right out of the loony-right handbook, but their official platforms have been silent on that issue for at least a couple of years. Does anyone know if they officially renounced that idea, or is it still a sleeper issue?
posted by rocket88 at 1:51 PM on June 15, 2012


The platform isn't silent on tax matters at all. Heck here is a document as old as 2008 (pdf) outlining the carbon tax shift; here's the budget from 2011. This is all pretty easy to find. There aren't any significant changes to current income tax brackets, but a reduction in payroll taxes and an increase in the minimum income before taxation.
posted by mek at 1:57 PM on June 15, 2012


Ya, the anti smart meter plank was a real miss step.
posted by Mitheral at 2:27 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


mek, I've seen their policy and it doesn't answer the question. The stances of various party members and candidates, and of recent party leaders, is all over the map. There are progressives in the party for sure (May is one, and she's responsible for pulling the party from the right to the center), but there are also flat-taxers and a few advocating zero income tax in favour of consumption-only taxes. I just want to know what the official policy is on progressive vs. flat tax schemes.
posted by rocket88 at 3:19 PM on June 15, 2012


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