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Stockwell Day
November 26, 2000 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Stockwell Day and his racist pals. No wonder the Canadian Alliance fields the kind of candidates who talk about an "asian invasion".
posted by will (19 comments total)

 
Here's part one of the series.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:23 PM on November 26, 2000


What really gets me about this guy and his whole racist party is that they've actually got 20% of the popular vote ... and that makes them like the second most popular party in the country.

I thought we were through with having close-minded, bigoted people like Hitler in positions of power... at least here in North America. I really hope he gets crushed in this election. I'd hate to see their power base grow for the next election. Ugh. He completely disgusts me. Everything about him.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 11:24 PM on November 26, 2000


This wouldn't be a problem if Canada had a two-party system.
posted by Mick at 5:41 AM on November 27, 2000


lol Mick... good one. :)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 5:47 AM on November 27, 2000


It wouldn't happen if Jean Chretien would resign
posted by Haveed at 7:06 AM on November 27, 2000


What's wrong with Jean Chretien? =P
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 7:32 AM on November 27, 2000


Not a thing, that's why he's going to get elected again :) He has my vote anyway, when somebody more competent comes along they can snag it, but it ain't gonna happen this time...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 8:19 AM on November 27, 2000


I'll say upfront that I dislike the Alliance, and especially Day - he's a slimy, slimy man, and every time I see him talking I get chills of disgust up and down my spine.

There are however, many people who are in the Alliance who aren't racist, sexist, homophobic pigs. In fact, the majority of Alliance members aren't. The PC party and it's bloated, corporate, Republican ways turned off a lot of active politicians in this country, and their only recourse was to go to a party that had a whole lot of stuff (in their political views, at least) right, and a few things seriously wrong. The goal, I think, of these converts is to take what's good about the Alliance and build that into a viable party and move away from the extremist views.

The result, of course, will be another bloated, corporate-controlled party, and a new severely right-wing party in a few years.
posted by cCranium at 8:30 AM on November 27, 2000


cCranium: exactly what do you see about the Alliance doing right? I can poke holes through pretty much all of their fiscal policy, and don't even get me started with the whole racism issue. To be a part of the Alliance party in the first place means that you pledge allegiance to the leader, who has proven time and time again that his party is accepting of racist members.

Sorry, but if these other members of the party really aren't racist, sexist, homophobic pigs, they would have denounced the party a long time ago. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 8:57 AM on November 27, 2000


matt, these keystrokes rock!! :D
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 8:58 AM on November 27, 2000


Canadian politics isn't about the leader. If you think it is, you're just fooling yourself. The leader in Canadian politics is more of a figurehead than anything else.

Canadian politics is about the party's policies. In almost every vote, MPs vote with their party, they have to. As a citizen, you vote for the party who most adequately follows your preferences. While charismatic and well-spoken leaders are important when you consider our international appearance, the party leader has as much say as any other MP. The party's platform is decided by committee.

As to what I think the Alliance is doing right, it's just about nothing. I disagree with almost every element of their platform.

What traditional PC party members and "unaligned voters" see in the Alliance is changing the way the government works. One of the Alliance's most promoted platforms is changing the laws about when a MP has to vote with the party, allowing many more free votes. A lot of people like that idea, because they think they'll get a bigger voice in the House.

The referendum idea isn't all bad. The proposed number - 3% for those not following Canadian politics - is astoundingly rediculous, but it's an idea that could withstand further discussion. The Alliance is the only party to address decriminalization of Marijuana (well, other than the Marijuana party, that is, but they aren't officially recognized yet :-)

You're certainly right that their fiscal policy leaks more than a seive, and there is definetely an over-abundance of drastically right-wing members. They did come from the Reform party, after all.

All I'm saying is that there are party members, many of them, that don't hold the same beliefs as the highly publicized MPs. They're looking to take this alternative to the PC and build it into a new political party that isn't stuck on tradition, isn't in the hands of corporations (yet) and has like-minded goals, the same as any other citizen.

The reason the Alliance is so high in the polls is because the PCs proved, during the Big Bad Brian years, that they cannot run the country. They've been bought. The only option for many conservatives is to go with the other right-wing party while it's still reasonably new and build it into what they want. That's why they have around 25% of the polls.
posted by cCranium at 9:34 AM on November 27, 2000


That's the best summary of contemporary Canadian politics I've seen lately! I do disagree with you on the leader being a mere figurehead though - a canadian prime minister has a great deal of power; indeed one of the alliance's main complaints is that backbenchers are mere cannon-fodder, and a few people make all the real decisions...I agree with them on that (actually as a pure aside that's the second thing I agree with Stockwell on, the other being that dinosaurs and men walked the earth together - his social policies prove that I'm walking the earth with at least one [ok two if you count Betty Granger] dinosaur as we speak...).
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:39 AM on November 27, 2000


Okay, there's definetely power structure within the parties, and the party leaders are at the center of that power structure, for the most part.

They certainly don't dictate policy by themselves though, and if the committees making the decisions end up with something the party leader doesn't like, the party leader has to suck it up and vote with the party, just like everyone else.

Actually, the Liberal party actually works as a party suprisingly well, considering the currently branched factions. I attribute that to Paul Allen, who's essentially said "Chretien's the leader, we're a party. While things may change next time the leadership of the party comes up for debate, right now he's the leader."

That "divided-we-fall" mindset is, I think, what's kept the Liberal party, for the most part (The NDPs have a lot of the socialist vote which would go to the Liberals were there only 2 parties) as a whole, while the conservatives have gone and fragmented all over the place.

Also, I think Canada as a whole is slightly more left than the States, since we're raised in a slightly more socialist environment. That slightly-left country identity helps keep the Liberals a big party.

The reason I disagree with the Alliance stance to allow "free voting" (sub in the official term, if you can think of it. It's slipped my mind now) in the House is because of the way politics here currently work, and my slightly globalisation inclined mindset.

To be perfectly frank, I'm not terribly concerned about local issues. I know who my local Liberal MP is (and will again be tonight) but I've no idea what her goals for this area are. My ignorance is because I don't care. If she somehow is able to wield power to drive Burlington into the ground, I'll go somewhere else. Also, she has almost no political power.

I'm going to vote for her because, for the most part, I agree with the Liberal platform. (Aside: the Red Book really is the most elaborately detailed platform I've seen online, and they more directly address where money is coming from and where it's going, as opposed to the other parties who can only talk about how bad the Liberal "Power Corporation" is) I don't care about her, or her politics, she gets my vote because of her allegiance - enforced by law, if I remember correctly - to her party's platform.

If, suddenly, she has the ability to vote outside the party platform, then I have to be concerned about whether or not her explicit politics agree with mine. Lazy? Arguably, certainly, but because a vote for the Liberals means a vote for the Liberal platform, the Liberals get my vote.

If the back-benchers suddenly gain more significant power, it will change the political landscape in a way I'm not sure I agree with. Independants will have significantly more power, which is definetely a Good Thing. But the goals I used my vote to support are now not directly supported by my local Liberal MP (to continue with the analogy), maybe. Her political agenda is what's supported by her vote.

One of the things I like about politics in Canada is that it is, for the most part, not "personal". I don't have to trust that Jean Chretien's politics match my own, because the law guarantees that his politics match his party's.
posted by cCranium at 11:29 AM on November 27, 2000


That's the best summary of contemporary Canadian politics I've seen lately!

Almost forgot to say thank you. Thank you!
posted by cCranium at 11:31 AM on November 27, 2000


As usual, cCranium is thoughtful and articulate. My comment would be that although I'm not an Alliance supporter, I am a Christian and understand the culture Stockwell Day springs from. The articles linked do a shoddy job of "guilt by association." In a small town, and especially as a clergyman (or a polititician), one has an obligation to listen and befriend people; it doesn't necessarily mean you support their racist views.Let me make it clear. Stockwell Day is the wrong man for the PM's job. But it's not fair to throw mud at his religious beliefs or his place of origin. Isn't that racism of another kind?
posted by jmcnally at 12:39 PM on November 27, 2000


Did I miss the "Flatter cCranium in this thread" memo? I'm awfully flattered, thank you.

I was raised Catholic, and like jmcnally, I can see that aspect of the Alliance and understand it, though I no longer share those beliefs.

However, I don't think that using religion as an excuse for the blatant racist and anti-homosexual beliefs some Alliance members express.

My point is only that the Alliance is, as it becomes more popular, becomming a much more moderate party, which is why it's gaining popularity. I know, circular argument. Let me try and clarify.

The Alliance (nee Reform) began with a group of very like-minded Christian Coalition type people who felt their beliefs weren't being adequately represented. As time went on, they wanted to gain more popularity to further their platform, so they started to moderate their platform, moderate their public images. Move slightly more towards the middle of the political spectrum.

As they aligned themselves into a place where more conservative-minded people could agree with, those conservative-minded people started becomming active within the party, and helped it become even closer to "center" to gain even more popularity.

The party itself, even considering it's time as Reform, is quite young, and much of it's "grass-roots" organization remains, including many of the long-time supporters with their original views. So you have a party that's in a bit of a shift currently. It's moving closer to center to gain more of the vote, but retains it's connections to the far right because those members who've been with it for years haven't gotten fed up with it and started a new extreme right-wing party.

Give it a couple of decades, and the Alliance could easily wipe out, replace, or merge with the current Progressive Conservative party and fill the role the PCs filled 8 years ago - the offical "Conservative" party of Canada.

I do agree with PWA_Badboy that the Alliances connections to these racist, bigoted, homophobic Old White Men's Club folk is disgusting, and that in itself invalidates them as a choice for me to make this evening (not to mention their platform).

There are, however, some good people associated with the party, and the party raises some interesting food-for-thought on a number of topics, and not all of their policies are terrible.
posted by cCranium at 1:45 PM on November 27, 2000


Religion isn't the issue; policies and positions and history are. Stock has a 14 year history as a socially conservative, almost reactionary, Alberta cabinet minister. Being a Christian does not automatically mean one is homophobic or a creationist, but these are Day's beliefs, and I don't trust the judgement of someone with those beliefs to run the country.

But my main concern about Day is that his core constituency is the Canadian religious right. They have been very enthusiastic about him, which is understandable given his background and his record in Alberta politics.

If elected, Day will have no choice but to repay this core constituency. He has stated that his government will reopen debates on the death penalty, abortion, equalization programs, bilingualism, multiculturalism, gay rights, and countless other issues. Supposed "free votes" on these issues in an Alliance-dominated Parliament will mean that Canada will be fundamentally changed.

Stockwell Day was a terrible choice to lead the new Reform Party, and tomorrow morning I hope that will be painfully obvious. If you are going to have a "big tent" party, you need to have a leader who reflects that. And that ain't Stock.
posted by tranquileye at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2000


Yeah, but now we're stuck with Chretien. Lying, stealing, pompous, arrogant Chretien. Why oh why is there no alternative?
posted by Haveed at 10:31 AM on November 28, 2000


Because people like you won't vote a) NDP or b) PC.
posted by tranquileye at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2000


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