Skip

Canada's Government to Fall
November 23, 2005 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Canada boots out its government: the Non-confidence Vote. A binding, non-confidence vote is being tabled and the minority parties -- which collectively hold a majority of seats -- agree to support it. It's also a bit historical: it has been more than a century since a general, binding non-confidence vote has been tabled all by itself, unattached to a big-issue item like the budget.
posted by five fresh fish (134 comments total)

 
I hope against all hopes that the Alliance party does not gain any ground. Those rat bastards are of the same sort of ideals as the US Republican party. Ugh.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:46 PM on November 23, 2005


It's about time, but I will eat my hat if anything changes. Prediction - all parties end up with exactly the same number of seats they have now.

(well, except Belinda, she's toast)
posted by loquax at 12:46 PM on November 23, 2005


Man oh man, if we Yanks could only call for a national election right now...
posted by thewittyname at 12:47 PM on November 23, 2005


"We Yanks"? Americans do not talk like that? He is a spy! Get him!
posted by thirteen at 12:50 PM on November 23, 2005


I'm American...Texan actually - and yeah, we do talk like that.
posted by thewittyname at 12:51 PM on November 23, 2005


Well, I'm guessing the liberals will get their majority back. If they don't then I expect the NDP will stick to them even more than before. I don't see the conservatives gaining from this besides Harper looking even more stupid and eventually being replaced by Peter McKay. man, wikipedia just gets slower and slower :-(
posted by furtive at 12:52 PM on November 23, 2005


I can't wait until I read "Peter McKay wins the Conservative Party Leadership by a nose!"
posted by furtive at 12:54 PM on November 23, 2005


I gather that tabling a motion in Canada means just about the opposite of what it does in the US? That it means that the motion will be voted upon?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:56 PM on November 23, 2005


I'm with furtive. At the very least they will get a minority (but a stronger minority than they have now). And then Harper's out of a job.

The Conservatives simply are not a realistic alternative. Canadians just don't have any interest in electing socially conservative federal governments anymore, regardless of the faults of the various liberal (and Liberal) parties.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:57 PM on November 23, 2005


In question period yesterday I heard one Liberal minister saying "Canadians don't want an electin."

Which may be true, but when the governing party starts saying "oh you don't want to bother with all that election stuff" it creeps my out anyway.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2005


Canada boots out its government

What's with the headline? This isn't slashdot. You make it sound like Martins already sitting on the curb when they haven't voted on the motion yet.

I also think there will be little change. I suspect the NDP may gain some ground, but even that is doubtful. This will probably be a big waste of time.
posted by chunking express at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2005


Vote Conservative! The eyes of Stephen Harper COMPEL YOU!!!

What solid-one-love said.

/ gooooo NDP!!!
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't think Harper's taking the polls seriously. Not only has he dumped a Christmas campaign on us (which pretty much nobody wanted) but most people up here just don't trust him.

Of course, a lot of people don't trust Martin either. What's a Canuck to do?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2005


five fresh fish writes "I hope against all hopes that the Alliance party does not gain any ground. "

Won't happen, Canadians in general care more about the stuff the alliance would change (pot, health, sex, relations with american, religion) than they do about a few million flushed to cronies of the liberals. Besides we all know that the Alliance wouldn't be any more honest the money would just flow in Alberta rather than Quebec.

I could see the Liberals losing seats to the bloc though. An Alliance-Bloc colilition would be the wierdest goverment we've seen federally in a good long time.
posted by Mitheral at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2005


ROU_Xenophobe writes "I gather that tabling a motion in Canada means just about the opposite of what it does in the US?"

Yes, a boy it was a confusing time reading American legislative reports until I figured that out.
posted by Mitheral at 1:04 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't think Belinda's going to get the boot. My understanding was that her riding (Newmarket/Aurora) basically elected her b/c they liked *her*. The fact that she switched parties - and royally screwed over the Tories in the process - will certainly mean Conservatives won't vote for her, but you just wait & see, I bet she gets in again. After all, wouldn't you like to have a cabinet minister as your MP?

Otherwise, I think the NDP will do a little better. Fingers crossed. And no matter what happens, I think Harper had better start working on his resume.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:05 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't understand Layton. The other three, I get their reasons for/against an election right now. But the NDP? I think they'd do better in the spring. What's in it for them now?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:13 PM on November 23, 2005


Ok, so Alliance/Bloc coalition, or a Lib/NDP coalition. That's what I see coming out of this with the latter a few orders of magnitude more likely.

What I don't get is why the oppostition parties would support a measure that is just going to piss off most Candadians. We don't want a Christmas campaign, and Martin had promised elections when the final Gomery report was released. Can these jackasses not wait until February? If anything, this election is just going to strengthen the Bloc (as if they could really get any more dominant in Quebec) and perhaps the NDP. It will be a disaster for Harper, and probably his party as well. This whole thing smacks of desperation and opportunism on the part of Harper.

The best thing I could see coming out of this is a situation where the Conservatives are decimated, and we slide towards a situation where the Liberals become the centre-right party of fiscal restraint (they aren't already?) and the NDP becomes the new left wing iteration of the near permanent oppostion, replacing the old Tories.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:14 PM on November 23, 2005


Um. Alliance?
posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:19 PM on November 23, 2005


For all those that say this is a waste of time, I say "huh?"

Anything that leads to Harpers downfall is not a waste of time. And I echo the questions of what is Layton thinking. There's almost zero chance that he'll come out of this better of than he went in. I don't get it.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:20 PM on November 23, 2005


What [expletive deleted] said... what pisses me off is that an election held on the Gomery Report newsfeed will do nothing but kill the only Federal party in Quebec that doesn't have separation from Canada as one of its objectives!
posted by anthill at 1:22 PM on November 23, 2005


I'm worried that this will mean my newly elected Liberal MP will be booted out and replaced with the efficious, greasly little Reform troll he replaced. I couldn't stand having Ted White as my MP again.

Any North Vancouverites in the Blue, make damn sure you vote. It was close last time. And don't waste your time on an NDP protest vote. If this riding goes blue again, I'm puking in my hat.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:24 PM on November 23, 2005


I can't ever see a Conservative/Bloc coalition. Gilles Duceppe used to be a union organizer and was once a member of the Worker's Communist Party. Even today, his Bloc Quebecois are decidely Social Democrats. Not to mention the fact that the CPC's redneck Alberta base would never allow such a union.

On preview: Count Z: The Conservative Party of Canada has gane through many names recently, including (briefly) the Conservative-Reform Alliance Party (yes, it spells CRAP)
posted by rocket88 at 1:25 PM on November 23, 2005


officious, srry
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:26 PM on November 23, 2005


I could see the Liberals losing seats to the bloc though. An Alliance-Bloc colilition would be the weirdest government we've seen federally in a good long time.

That would be great fun! Both parties are essentially separatist (The Alliance just doesn't say it out loud) and while their explicit platform is regionalism they couldn't actually pursue it too much because, well, they are federal employees and they would be out of a job if they split and short of cash if they undermined federal power. I would like to see it happen just to watch parliamentarian heads exploding due to the double bind.

Ontario would squeal louder than Ned's pig impression in Deliverance.


My guess is that the Liberals and NDP are gambling they can get a clearer majority for their side. Right now the margin is just too thin with 4 independents holding way too much power.
posted by srboisvert at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2005


rocket88, I don't really mean a real coalition of sorts, but some kind of grotesque mockery of a government where the Bloc cooperates with the Conservatives to split Canada into Quebec and the United States of Canuckistan.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2005


My guess is that the Liberals and NDP are gambling they can get a clearer majority for their side. Right now the margin is just too thin with 4 independents holding way too much power.

This is what I see as the most likely outcome, and what the NDP are probably thinking WRT supporting this motion.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:31 PM on November 23, 2005


thanks for the clarification of the canadian meaning of "table." learn something every day. today: robert's rules are distinctly usaian.
posted by 3.2.3 at 1:36 PM on November 23, 2005


If the NDP votes for the non-confidence motion, then they will lose my vote. Hard as it is for me to believe, I may actually end up voting Liberal! (National Party-Greens-NDP... Liberal!)
posted by Elpoca at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2005


So no one else has any idea why Harper is pushing this and why Layton would go along with it? I'm quite puzzled. As far as I know, there's nothing so important going on right now that we need to force an election.

Heck, we just finished muni elections in BC. I would be very content to get a couple months break from the campaigning before having to make up my mind again.

and another Canuck item of interest: ol' Svend "five finger discount" Robinson is coming back to politics.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:44 PM on November 23, 2005


Yay Svend. I hope he gets in again. If Quebec can elect known ex-cokeheads, why can't BC elect known ex-thieves?
posted by stinkycheese at 1:47 PM on November 23, 2005


FFF: It's pretty difficult to argue the government in power is corrupt and have lost their moral right to govern and then turn around and not boot them out at first chance. And without painting the Libs as corrupt and unfit to govern, Layton doesn't have a chance to sneak away seats.
posted by Adam_S at 1:48 PM on November 23, 2005


I gather that tabling a motion in Canada means just about the opposite of what it does in the US?

Similarly obscure is "move a date forward". No idea how it breaks down country-wise but I've heard folks use this one both ways as well. Does it mean move forward in time, i.e. make it later; or does it mean bring it closer, move it up the agenda, make it more important, i.e. make it earlier?

Oh, on the election, liberal majority. Canadians don't like uncertainty and will not appreciate being disturbed over the holidays. So Ontarians primarily will do the conservative thing and elect Liberals... which is another story, doesn't mean the same in Canada where Liberal is the safe bet, not a lunatic fringe.
posted by scheptech at 1:51 PM on November 23, 2005


Seriously, stop calling it the Alliance. Everyone likes to think that this was the Reform party swallowing the PC party but it wasn't. The Alliance compromised severely on their positions (which is why they split from the PC party in the first place) in order to unite the "right" vote. The Conservatives of today are nothing like the Reform party of Preston Manning, or the Alliance of Stockwell Day. They are almost indistinguishable from the Liberal party in my opinion, and certainly nothing like the Republicans. If anything, they look like the Mulroney PC party. And the rank and file CA members that voted for the merger are furious about it, especially the Westerners.

So no one else has any idea why Harper is pushing this and why Layton would go along with it?

Harper is in big trouble with the rank and file, and has done nothing to justify being kept on as leader. He will likely be forced out soon if he doesn't become PM. He certainly would not have lasted Martin's full term. This is a no-lose proposition for him, and almost a desperate last stab at personal political success. As for Layton, he also has relatively little to lose. Polling shows the NDP up, and future coalition government talks can only end up with the Liberals giving more concessions to the NDP, with Layton looking like a hero. An election is also pretty much the only time that the NDP is seriously talked about in the media.

Further prediction: The Conservatives will never win a majority government again, unless Quebec separates or the party challenges for seats in that province at the expense of either the Liberals or the Bloc. Don't forget that until 1993, when the right became irrelevant in Federal politics, the PC party won seats in Quebec, before the Bloc was started by Bouchard, the ex-Mulroney minister. With the permaloss of 30-odd seats in Quebec, the only way for the Conservatives to win now would be to sweep Ontario. Not gonna happen, unless maybe Wayne Gretzky runs.
posted by loquax at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Vote Conservative! The eyes of Stephen Harper COMPEL YOU!!!"

My favorite picture of Harper is the one where he's dressed up like a cowboy, leather vest and all. I can't seem to find a picture of it.
posted by btwillig at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2005


"Polls show that most Canadians don't want a winter / Christmas election."

Yeah? Well polls also show that most Canadians don't want a root canal.

They're just asking the wrong question. What pollsters really should ask is, 1." Do you want to get rid of the Liberals?" followed by 2. "When?" (Most Canadians?: 1. "God yes!" 2. "As soon as bloody well possible!")

For most of us, the actual act of voting is a ten-minute diversion on the way home from work. No big deal at all. What most Canadians really don't want -- anytime -- is to have to sit through the endless hours of news channel screaming matches presented to us as "campaign debate". That's the "root canal" in the equation.

Dylan's "No Direction Home" is going to be logging serious DVD time on my TV screen in the coming weeks.
posted by Mike D at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2005


If anything, they look like the Mulroney PC party.

Ye fucking gods. That made my spine shiver.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:58 PM on November 23, 2005


What pollsters really should ask is, 1." Do you want to get rid of the Liberals?" followed by 2. "When?"

And then ask "Replace with whom", to which most Canadians say "Aw, shit. I got nothin'"
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2005


loquax writes "The Conservatives of today are nothing like the Reform party of Preston Manning, or the Alliance of Stockwell Day"

The people who run in BC/Alberta are for the most part exactly the same as were running under Preston and Stockwell. It's the whole same stuff different pile metric. And they aren't fooling anyone around here because they aren't even trying to do so.

Dipsomaniac writes "And then ask 'Replace with whom', to which most Canadians say 'Aw, shit. I got nothin"'"

Yep, Canadians don't really want to elect extremists of any stripe.
posted by Mitheral at 2:12 PM on November 23, 2005


My favorite picture of Harper is the one where he's dressed up like a cowboy, leather vest and all.

Here you go, btwillig.
posted by gompa at 2:23 PM on November 23, 2005


Yee Haw! Thanks gompa.
posted by btwillig at 2:27 PM on November 23, 2005


The people who run in BC/Alberta are for the most part exactly the same as were running under Preston and Stockwell.

But most of them were the same people who were running as PC before 1993. The party platform has changed, and the strategists at the top are all old PC people. Harper is the only vestige of the past. The next leader will undoubtedly be a Tory, and Stronach came awful close last time, and she was a Liberal for crying out loud! In Toronto and the GTA, and pretty much all of Ontario, the Conservatives of today are the PC Party of the past. This was a coup - the Alliance thought that they would eat up the PCs, but the PCs knew that they would end up running the show if the Alliance wanted any votes in Ontario. The Alliance compromised their principles (whatever you may think of them) in exchange for votes. Reprehensible, and no different than the Liberals (well, except for the fact that the Liberals haven't had principles since 1964).
posted by loquax at 2:33 PM on November 23, 2005




No thanks.
posted by davey_darling at 2:33 PM on November 23, 2005


Yeah, sure, call an election. We'll go right back to the liberals, who do people think they're kidding here? Paul Martin was clearly uninvolved in the sponsorship thing. The liberals are ahead in the polls. No one likes Stephen Harper. Jack still has that damn mustache.

And I'll still vote NDP, because I wouldn't be able to live with myself otherwise. La plus sa change...
posted by Hildegarde at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2005


Ah. I remember listening to the Royal Canadian Airfarce back in the mid-80's and totally cracked up on one skit when one politician asked another what NDP stood for and got the answer "Not Destined for Power."

I miss Max Fergusson and Alan McPhee, too. Still got some old tapes of Fergusson.

(lives in South Vancouver, aka Bellingham)
posted by warbaby at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2005


Note to non-Albertans: that photo was taken at a Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast, and it's not at all uncommon for a politician to cowpoke it up for pancake-flipping chores. It is quite uncommon, however, for a deeply conservative politician to look this creepy and uncomfortable and, you know, fuh-laming in said cowpokey duds.
posted by gompa at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2005


This will probably be a big waste of time. - chunking express

Yes. And money, no doubt.

But at least once this crap is over and done with, maybe the government can start ummm... governing? I know it's a radical idea and all....

The Conservatives had hoped to make great political hay over the sponsorship scandal. But The Auditor General's report that uncovered the mess was presented on February 11th, 2004. That's almost 2 years ago. I'm sick of hearing all the outrage and puffery about it from the opposition. Canadians are pissed about the wasted millions. But they're also sick of hearing about how pissed the opposition is, because it sounds so opportunistic and self-interested. Is that really the only thing they have to attack the Liberals about?

I'm hoping that with an election campaign we'll actually get to hear about the parties' visions for future policy directions, about their plans. But I'm not holding my breath. I get the distinct impression that the opposition's main plan is is to say "the Liberals are corrupt, we're not the Liberals" rather than actually trying to lead. And the Liberal platform has pretty much been laid out in all their big spending announcements over the last couple of weeks.
posted by raedyn at 2:58 PM on November 23, 2005


I dont think it helped the conservatives to be all super pro iraq war. You dont hear to much from them about how our troops should be in iraq anymore.
posted by Iax at 3:03 PM on November 23, 2005


How come nobody is mentioning that overt Christian Crusaderness of the reform party is the reason the Conservatives are in such dire straights?

Mention religion and you will not be elected in Canada. The P.C. merged with an overtly Christian party and now they can't wash the stigma off. Even with a new platform everybody in Ontario and Quebec wonders if there is a stealth fundamentalist agenda. I know I do.
posted by srboisvert at 3:10 PM on November 23, 2005


The conservatives will never make headway with Stephen Harper as a party chief. That being said, damn it would be nice to boot out the Liberals. They've been little but self-entitled rat bastards for the past, oh, 12 years (basically since they came back to power), but there's now way Canada would risk a Prime Minister Harper. There's just too much at stake to trust Harper with the country.
posted by clevershark at 3:11 PM on November 23, 2005


Didn't you guys just have an election not too long ago? Man, I can never keep this shit straight. Martin's your PM, I know that. He's kinda funny looking and replaced the Quebecker who was grouchy and kinda funny looking, right? I think that guy's name started with a "Ch." The Liberals are like the vast, polite armies of middling socialism, the NDP are the leftist/Green types, the BQ are the fracophonic separatists.. And the Alliance is what? Some sort of Conservative borg that lives in Calgary and hates fags?
Am I close? I feel like I should be, given that I live in Michigan and we'd vaguely like to become part of Ontario...
posted by klangklangston at 3:19 PM on November 23, 2005


klangklangston, that sounds about right to me. Canadian politics is an exciting.
posted by chunking express at 3:31 PM on November 23, 2005


Is it me or are the "Liberals" the new PC's. I haven't seen corporate backing this bad since Mulrooney. That boob Charest wants to privatize everything and CHANGED LAWS that protected workers that took years to create. The Liberals have been bought and paid for.
I am going to vote Bloc because they look like they have the most socialist intentions. I hope they don't just talk the talk. Also, they have to let go of the whole language issue. It has only turned people away from the party ( I'm a French anglophone) and now it it time for a united socialist Quebec.
posted by indifferent at 3:46 PM on November 23, 2005


The Liberals are like the vast, polite armies of middling socialism, the NDP are the leftist/Green types, the BQ are the fracophonic separatists.. And the Alliance is what? Some sort of Conservative borg that lives in Calgary and hates fags?

My opinion:

NDP = Green Party, but more relevant in Canadian politics than in US politics. Best they can hope for is to be a kingmaker. Almost nonexistent in large parts of the country - average 20 seats out of 300 (roughly)

BQ = Francophone separatists that lean pretty heavily left, but were born of old Progressive Conservative Party federal candidates in Quebec - average 50 seats out of 300 (but tend to win Quebec)

Liberal Party = Left wing of the Democratic Party of the US. Party of Trudeau and Chretien, have ruled since 1993, dominate by default, as there is no serious single party opposition. They are the only party to challenge the BQ in Quebec. A strong party in Provincial politics as well, but not as dominant as they are federally - Generally win majority governments (>150 seats) but currently stand with about 130 and govern in a coalition with the NDP.

Conservative Party = Right wing of the Democratic Party of the US (please don't dispute this). Consist of the former Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance (nee Reform Party). Have no presence in Quebec, are strong in Alberta and the West, and until recently have had no success in Ontario, but in 2004 won about 25/100 seats in that province. Generally strong in the Eastern Provinces as well. The party is not officially affiliated with provincial Progressive Conservative Parties, and does not run Provincially at all. The have been, in their various incarnations, the official opposition (2nd biggest party) since 1997 (I think). Currently about 100 seats out of 300.

Progressive Conservative Party = The average Democrat. Was the party of Mulroney which brought about Free Trade and NAFTA. Was crushed under the leadership of Kim Campbell in 1993, going from a majority government to winning 3 seats (but with 20% of the vote). This effectively killed the party and allowed Reform to claim the throne of right wing opposition to the Liberals. No longer exists Federally, as they were swallowed in the merger with the Canadian Alliance in 2004. Still exist Provincially and have several sitting Premiers. The party of Ralph Klein in Alberta and Mike Harris in Ontario, and their "common sense revolutions".

Reform/Canadian Alliance = Approaching left leaning Republicans. A party based in the West (especially Alberta) that entered the stage during the late 1980's when the West was upset at being neglected by successive governments in favour of both Ontario and Quebec. More socially and fiscally conservative than the PC party. Formed by Preston Manning, and later led by Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper before the merger with the PC party to address the vote splitting that was occurring between PC and CA candidates in the same riding, especially in Ontario (due to the Canadian parliamentary system).

A right mess is what it all adds up to.
posted by loquax at 3:48 PM on November 23, 2005


Good news for me! I served as a poll clerk in the last election, and I'm hoping to make Deputy Returns Officer this time around. It's good money for easy work.

The thing Americans have to keep in mind is "party discipline" which is key to understanding Canadian politics. Basically, everyone in a party votes the same way in Parliament unless they vote first that you don't have to. This gives leaders of the parties much more power over the rank and file MPs than they have in the US.

The result of this, which many Canucks themselves forget, is that ultimately, each party's position is really its leader's position. If the MPs don't vote his way, he can kick them out of the caucus (basically, they get stripped of their party membership and lose its backing, though they don't lose their seats).

So, the PC Party "really" wants whatever Harper "really" wants. The Liberals "really" want whatever Martin "really" wants. And so on. Now, normally, someone only gets to be leader in the first place by representing the desires of the party as a whole, so it's not quite as dictatorial and arbitrary as it seems, but it does happen that a leader and his supporters will be out of touch with one another. This is what seems to be going on with Harper and the Alliance left-overs. They want Reagan, he wants to be Clinton.

I suspect another Liberal minority government, with stronger Bloc and NDP representation (at the expense of the Liberals and PCs, respectively), and maybe a Green vote or two.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 4:03 PM on November 23, 2005


That boob Charest wants to privatize everything and CHANGED LAWS that protected workers that took years to create.

Sounds like Charest's right-wing policies (former federal PC leader, recruited to lead the Quebec Liberals) are really hurting the federal Liberals in Quebec.

To add a bit to loquax's picture:

The Liberals have governed for 78 out of the last 110 years. It's hard to characterize them, ideologically; I'd say that they're pretty opportunistic, moving left or right, but with respect to US politics, they're left of center. (Disclaimer: I'm a center-right Liberal party member.)

The only other party that has governed during that period was the Progressive Conservative party. Under Brian Mulroney, the PCs governed from 1984 to 1993, but their failure to control the deficit led to the creation of the Reform Party (destroying the PCs in the West), and the failure of the Meech Lake Accord (a constitutional agreement) led to the creation of the Bloc Quebecois (destroying the PCs in Quebec). In 1993, the PCs were reduced to two seats in the House of Commons.

Between 1993 and 2004, the Liberals were able to rule pretty much unchallenged, because none of the opposition parties (Reform, Bloc, NDP, PC) had sufficient strength across the country to be able to form a government.

A couple of years ago the Reform and PC parties merged into the Conservative party. In the 2004 election, the Liberals were reduced to a minority, but they were still able to govern with the support of the NDP and a couple of independent MPs. Until now.
posted by russilwvong at 4:17 PM on November 23, 2005


Is that pre- or post-grooming?
posted by kirkaracha at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2005


I certainly consider the Liberal Party to be the new Conservative Party.

[Conservatives were] crushed under the leadership of Kim Campbell in 1993

Under her leadership, but because of that rattiest of ratbastard bastards, Brian. Kim was just the sap left holding the bag in which he'd dropped his big, steaming loaf.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2005


I think we'd do well under a three-way split between Liberal, NDP, and Bloc.

Hell, with any luck they'd actually get serious about doing some governing, and start working cooperatively to ensure our best fiscal and social interests. I very much fear our government is losing sight of the social side of things.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:29 PM on November 23, 2005


The Canadian Alliance is a neo-con club that patterns itself along the lines of the American Republican party:

- Socially conservative in some ways (government sponsored "morality")

- Socially liberal in others (let's dismantle our healthcare system so that it's more like America's!)

- Fiscally conservative in some ways (cut money going out to social programs)

- Fiscally liberal in others (let's spend money on our military so that it's more like America's!)

Collapse the middle-class and sell out to the states.

I always get the impression that they're going to work the pump-n-dump sell-out scheme like SCO. I guess I'm never going to get over Brian Mulroney, no matter how far he stays away from conservative politics.

I hope that it turns into a strong Liberal/NDP coalition. They'll act as good counterweights to the other and perhaps acheive balance between fiscal and social responsibility.
posted by C.Batt at 5:05 PM on November 23, 2005


The Canadian Alliance is a neo-con club that patterns itself along the lines of the American Republican party:

It doesn't exist!!! Stop talking about!! You're confusing Americans! We don't talk about the Whigs or Social Credit anymore either. Say CPC instead. Please, for my sanity if for nothing else?
posted by loquax at 5:13 PM on November 23, 2005


(I'm chagrined as an expat Canuck how little I know about politics back home every time it comes up. Thanks for the commentary, all.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 PM on November 23, 2005


Yeah, these dudes (and dudettes) really know their Canadian stuff. Like the CBC blog. Great blog.
posted by indifferent at 5:40 PM on November 23, 2005


Have I mentioned how much I loathe Brian Mulroney? I mean really loathe him. I shut off the TV if I ever see him on it, because I can't stand how my blood pressure spikes. Every little aspect of that criminal bastard makes me angry or hateful. His voice, that smirk, the shape of his face, his delusions of grandeur, his smarmy looks, his hair, his weird little evil eyes, oooh, every little bit of him. I will be joyful the day he dies..

Ahem.

Wait. Was that my outside voice?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:54 PM on November 23, 2005


It sounds like the voice I use when I talk about Trudeau.
posted by loquax at 5:56 PM on November 23, 2005


Alberta Premier Ralph Klein said the country will probably be left with another Liberal minority, largely because Stephen Harper won't be able to muster enough support in Ontario.
...
"It's a damn shame."
posted by loquax at 6:07 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't think Harper's taking the polls seriously. Not only has he dumped a Christmas campaign on us (which pretty much nobody wanted) but most people up here just don't trust him.

And from another post

This is a no-lose proposition for him

It'd be more accurate to characterize it as a lose-lose proposition for him. If he succeeds in bringing down the government (and that's still an if - the Liberals are nothing but not well-versed in obscure parliamentary procedures), then he'll gift wrap several issues for the Libs to hammer him with in any campaign.

First, Martin has already said he'd call an election as soon as the final Gomery report has been made. Harper pushing the issue will make him seem power hungry rather than righteous. Canadians won't appreciate an election fought over the Christmas season either; for that matter I suspect his own MPs could do without campaign over Christmas and hoofing door to door during the coldest months of the year.

Second, the Liberals just introduced a fat 'honest it's not a budget' budget, which Harper would kill if successful in bringing down the government. Canadians are cynical enough to recognize it as a ploy, but I think that about midway through the campaign when we've heard enough of the conservatives "we hate everybody and Canada sucks the way it is right now" campaign platform, Canadians will say "You know, I think I would have preferred a piece of that action the Libs were going to offer..."
posted by Zinger at 6:27 PM on November 23, 2005


It'd be more accurate to characterize it as a lose-lose proposition for him.

Well, I don't totally disagree, but there exists the possibility that the CPC could pull off something rather dramatic. If you assume that they will lose no seats, and pick up close seats from the last election, things could get very tight. In 2004, there were 21 seats in Ontario alone that the Liberals won by less than 3,000 votes. Across the rest of the country, there are maybe 15 more that were similarly close. If you give the CPC 17 more seats and take away that many and more from the Liberals (handing extra seats to the BQ and the NDP), the CPC is in the driver's seat when it comes to forming coalitions and Harper is PM (maybe). Not out of the realm of possibility.

That being said, the polls have looked good for the Conservatives before, and they've failed to take advantage. The only edge they now have is that the aura that surrounded Martin last year seems to have faded rather dramatically. If they lose, or fail to improve, Harper ambles off into the sunset, and the CPC move further to the centre to try pacify the general fear about their policies.
posted by loquax at 6:44 PM on November 23, 2005


Reform party at least had genuine populist ideals,, this new monster doesn't deserve even that comparison.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:00 PM on November 23, 2005


For those who don't live in Canada but want to learn a bit about its politics, here's the man who brought the Conservative party from 165 seats in Parliament down to .... 2.
That was kind of a fun election. This one is going to be less so, methinks.
posted by anthill at 7:29 PM on November 23, 2005


Zinger writes "the Liberals are nothing but not well-versed in obscure parliamentary procedures"

That may well be true, but the current PMO residents are running the show like fucking amateurs, and I expect that to show up during the campaign. Case in point the Commonwealth Heads of Goverment meeting this week. It's been on the official events calender for 2 years, but some nimrod scheduled the First Nations summit WITHOUT consulting Foreign Affairs. Why the urgency for this First Nations summit? A knee jerk reaction to the water problems on Indian reserves. Now we find out that our Foreign Minister will not be attending the summit, meaning that in one of the multilateral events where we actually have some weight to throw around we'll be represented by the Speaker of the Senate and a Deputy Minister or Assistant Deputy Minister.

Martin's fart-catchers spent so much time trying to unseat the King that they didn't plan for when they would be Top Dog.

Nope, I think the Liberals are going to drop the ball on this campaign (and I say this as a person whose extended family has been solid Grit supporters for decades). They might make some positive movement seats wise, but I personally think that they'll stay at the same count or drop a bit. NDP will make some gains, but not enough for a Lib/NDP majority. We'll probably head to the polls again in late 2006 or early 2007.
posted by smcniven at 7:47 PM on November 23, 2005


here's the man who brought the Conservative party from 165 seats in Parliament down to .... 2.

Technically speaking, Kim Campbell did that, as she was PM and head of the Conservatives during that election. As much as I hate to say it about the first Canuck woman PM, she ran a rubbish campaign. Didn't help that she was up against Jean Chretien, a far more experienced politician with lots of excellent connections.

Whatever you think/thought of Mulroney, don't forget that he won two solid, back to back majority governments; one of those campaigns was on the highly contentious Free Trade agreement. As I recall the Conservative party was still polling respectably when he left.
posted by Zinger at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2005


I will be joyful the day he dies.

That's crossing the line, five fresh fish. I'm no fan of Mulroney, but that's disrespectful. Beyond disrespectful. Let's not be crass.
posted by Dasein at 8:02 PM on November 23, 2005


Technically speaking, Kim Campbell did that, as she was PM and head of the Conservatives during that election.

I think the point of those who have brought it up is that she inherited an unwinnable campaign from Mulroney, although that's being generous considering that many accuse Mulroney of actively sabotaging her.

I am one of the few Mulroney boosters on here, but there are more among the general population than one would assume, given his reputation. He was, after all, the PM with the highest approval rating of all time. Don't forget that the Liberals never bothered to throw out the "hated" GST, or overturn Free Trade (which Mulroney went to the polls for in order to get voters support - imagine Chretien or Martin doing that) , or do pretty much anything to change Canada from how Mulroney left it. His efforts at fixing the constitution ultimately failed, but they were efforts to solve the problems Trudeau had created by shoving it down Quebecer's throats in 1981. If you like Canada as it is today, thank him. Here's a comment I wrote a while ago in a thread that I spent most of my time defending him in (against FFF's sharp tongue), for anyone who's curious.
posted by loquax at 8:05 PM on November 23, 2005


Reading this thread, you might think that another Liberal minority (or majority) was a done deal. However, I don't believe that to be the case, especially if voter turn-out is low. The problem is a whole lot of people don't care about the Liberals, while a significant minority really hate them. If the latter votes and the former does not, who knows what the result will be.

And really, if you like Canada today, thank Mulroney?? Huh?? Thank Trudeau (charter of rights, Canada's place in the world) and thank Chretien (deficit free, robust economy). The only thing I can thank Mulroney for is saying all the shite that ended up in Peter C. Newman's book...
posted by Elpoca at 8:56 PM on November 23, 2005


The amazing thing about this is that the Conservatives really SHOULD have wrapped this whole thing up months ago.

It was a tough thing they tried to do. The Reform and its following incarnations seriously skeeved out anyone east of Brandon, while the Progressive Conservatives were widely considered as no more ethical or "clean" than the sitting Liberals. Nevertheless, they put them together and it started to work - they elected some members in Ontario, they got a little closer....

And promptly blew it.

They had a serious job to do to sell this new party, to differentiate it from the old Conservatives, whose mantle they took on. They failed. Everyone knows that the Liberals are lying corrupt politicians, and I don't think anyone seriously thinks the "new" Conservatives would be any better. They also had to differentiate this from the old Reform to safeguard their gains in Ontario, which clearly they have neglected to do (hint: Stronach wasn't pulled, she was pushed).

Anyhow, it's pretty clear that the Conservatives have failed miserably at every simple task that has been before them. They still may get the opportunity to form a minority government, but it's in spite of themselves, not any kind of vindication of Harper's leadership.
posted by mikel at 9:49 PM on November 23, 2005


Canadians are so damn apathetic none of this really matters just look at last weeks city council elections where I live: 15% voter turn out, all council members were re-elected and no one bothered running against the mayor ...
posted by squeak at 10:27 PM on November 23, 2005


No. No. No. Fellow Canadians, do not vote for the Liberals. They should not even be allowed to exist as a political party for the crime of funneling taxpayers' money into their election campaigns. Where is Jean-Pierre Kingsley? Why has he not deregistered the Liberal Party of Canada and liquidated all of their assets?

Here's hoping for a PC-style knockout punch to Paulie Walnuts and Co.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:33 PM on November 23, 2005


Hrmm... Time to look into how the heck I vote from over here in Ireland I guess...
posted by antifuse at 2:44 AM on November 24, 2005


No. No. No. Fellow Canadians, do not vote for the Liberals.

Sorry mate, I consider the alternative of Conservatives in power to be far, far worse.

It'd be time to look at moving elsewhere for me.
posted by juiceCake at 5:01 AM on November 24, 2005


the Liberals just introduced a fat 'honest it's not a budget' budget ... Canadians are cynical enough to recognize it as a ploy - Zinger

Yeah. We aren't thick. But most of what they've proposed is either widely supported, or very important to a particular segment of the population and no one else cares. When the Conservatives were complaining about the Liberal spending promises in Question period yesterday* Anne McLellan had a great response: What would the Conservatives cut? Of these proposals, which are not worthy? What would the deny Canadians?

* Thank you to CPAC for late-night reruns of question period

I think the fact that Canadians keep calling the Conservative Party "the Alliance" or "new Reform" is pretty telling. As several posters here have commented, there is a suspicion that there's some sinister socially regressive master plan that they're just trying to cover up to make themselves seem presentable. Doesn't mean they couldn't sneak into power when everyone is sleeping. But it doesn't explain (in part) why polls don't put them in the lead.
posted by raedyn at 6:25 AM on November 24, 2005


It's funny... the Conservatives in Canada appear to be using the US Democrat's playbook.

Here's a hint: in an election, you strike your opponent's weaknesses as the coup de grace, not your opening salvo. The Liberals (and just enough Canadians) are looking at the opposition and saying, "is that the best you got?". Even the wording of the motion is pathetic... "confidence of the house"? What about "confidence and support of the people of Canada"? And that whole "timing of the election" bit - it's TWO months, people. You can't wait another friggin' two months?

Harper lost his chance when he couldn't trigger an election during the Gomery hearings. That gave the Liberals just enough room to wash just enough of the taint off. It's not gone, but the heat of the moment has passed. And most Canadians (well, most people in any nation) know a certain amount of corruption is likely with any government.

Low voter turnout swings both ways. It favours the highly motivated (Quebec separatists and core Conservatives out west, but not Ontario or Atlantic) and the incumbent, so it's a wash.

Liberals on top again, possibly with a majority. A very, very small majority. And it'll be at the expense of the Conservatives.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:26 AM on November 24, 2005


A little historical revision, eh loquax? Kim Campbell lost all those seats? I think not. She may not have run a great campaign (she was in love, after all, or something), but you could have reanimated the corpse of John A. MacDonald & had him run, and the Tories would've still lost. Let's face it - Byron Muldoon destroyed the Conservatives in this country. For that, and that only, we owe him gratitude.

If Mulroney had had the courage of his convictions, he would have run again in '93, & those two seats that the PCs hung onto? In all likelihood, they would've gone to the Liberals too. Canadians were united in that election as rarely before or since because that "lantern-jawed" jackass just made them SO MAD. Why do you think he's all but absent from the present-day maneuvers of the CRAP party? As I recall, he made one brief appearance in the last election, and sort of said, "oh, Chretien is awful, vote for Harper" & then disappeared again.

As much as you may want to slowly transform Mulroney into the sort of idealised superman that Reagan is now considered to be by many in the US, it's not going to happen loquax. I'll thank Trudeau for the Canada I live in, and I'll thank Peter C. Newman for the laughs.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:26 AM on November 24, 2005 [1 favorite]


A little historical revision, eh loquax? Kim Campbell lost all those seats? I think not.

I agree with you. My comment said so. And that Mulroney sabotaged her. It wasn't her fault. But she was incompetant to run government or a campaign.

Why do you think he's all but absent from the present-day maneuvers of the CRAP party?

He was instrumental in the merger, and currently is quite ill.

that "lantern-jawed" jackass just made them SO MAD

In the end yes, but that was after he won two majority governments, polled the best numbers a Canadian PM has ever polled and initiated major changes to Canadian infrastructure that were long overdue, universally regarded as necessary, but very very painful.

The number of seats won in 1993 is embarrassing but irrelevant. The PC party still received 20% of the popular vote, and they lost everything in Quebec to the BQ and lot in the West to Reform. They should have had 60, if our system made any sense. So it wasn't quite the disaster everyone calls it, but a hefty dose of illogical government as a result of our parliamentary system.

And (some) people were upset about the GST and Free Trade, both programs that the Liberals promised to repeal. What happened? They decided that they were pretty good programs after all, and kept them, breaking all kinds of election promises. Imagine that, Chretien and the Liberals taking credit for the good economic years of the 1990's that were built on the reforms introduced by Mulroney in the 1980s.

As much as you may want to slowly transform Mulroney into the sort of idealized superman

No, I just think it's absurd that he's vilified the way he is, and I believe that it's because most people have no idea what he did and just buy into the vaguest rumours and allegations of his supreme evil

I'll thank Trudeau for the Canada I live in

Thank him for ostracizing both Quebec and the West (ask anyone in either region what they think of him). The Charter is a severely flawed document, and not the source of any Canadian freedom. The Patriation of the Constitution was a disaster, resulting in the outright betrayal of Quebec. Trudeau started us down the path of huge deficits and you can think him for the debt. Mulroney had little choice but to continue those spending programs and raise taxes in order for the country to remain solvent. Thank Trudeau for destroying Canada's place in the world by eviscerating the military and ensuring that the Peacekeeping role envisioned by Pearson became dead in the water. Canada is not taken seriously by the rest of the world today because we are not involved in the affairs of the rest of the world, largely thanks to PET. Don't even get me started on "official multiculturalism" or "bribes to voter blocs directly from the Liberal Party".
posted by loquax at 7:47 AM on November 24, 2005


Thank him for ostracizing both Quebec and the West (ask anyone in either region what they think of him). - loquax

Hey guess what, in any region of our great nation there is a diversity of opinion on every topic. I grew up in the West and I continute to live here, and I know many western Canadians who appreicate many of the things that Trudeau did for Canada. No one's saying he's perfect. But neither is/was any other person perfect. Even Mother Theresa wasn't perfect, for goodness sake.
posted by raedyn at 8:17 AM on November 24, 2005


You're right. I should have said "ask the vast majority of people in either region what they think of him".
posted by loquax at 8:20 AM on November 24, 2005


loquax writes "In the end yes, but that was after he won two majority governments, polled the best numbers a Canadian PM has ever polled and initiated major changes to Canadian infrastructure that were long overdue, universally regarded as necessary, but very very painful. "

Most of the people with a seething hate of Mulroney have that hate because of either NAFTA or the GST. I've mixed feeling about NAFTA but the GST replacing the MST was a vital piece of tax reform. The fact that The Liberals didn't axe it and yet blew half a billion cancelling that helicopter contract is a good pointer of how good the GST is compared to alternatives.

Here in Alberta I'd bet the Liberals would be getting a lot more votes if we weren't still irrationally holding a grudge over the NEP. It's amazing. People are still spitting mad about it. But it is very telling why Reform rose like a rocket: Can't vote PC, they imposed a sales tax and can't vote Liberal they foisted the National Energy Policy on us. Let's go with the whack jobs in the corner. We're as much single issue voters as all the pro-(choice/life) voters in the States.

One of the things really hurting the PC/Alliance/Reform/whatever chances are their gung-ho support of Bush at the start of the Iraq "war". Canadians may not field a huge amount of equipment and man power overseas but we like to think we're making things better and not out bombing the hell out of brown people.
posted by Mitheral at 8:21 AM on November 24, 2005


I'm guessing that Layton's game is to get more NDP policies into a future minority Liberal government; i.e. he's not very effective if the Liberals think he doesn't have the cojones to go against them if he doesn't get what he wants.
posted by transient at 8:22 AM on November 24, 2005


Thank Trudeau for destroying Canada's place in the world by eviscerating the military and ensuring that the Peacekeeping role envisioned by Pearson became dead in the water.

I truly want no part in this Trudeau-Mulroney pillow fight, but this is 24-carat bullshit and deserves to be labelled so. The large-scale evisceration of the military began under Mulroney and continued under Chretien.

I say this as the son of a career Air Force officer who first had his pay freezed under the former and oversaw the closing of two bases under the latter. And, to boot, as the nephew of a moderate conservative career Army officer (a vet of peacekeeping operations in Cyprus and the disarming of Contras in Honduras) who thinks the Liberals are congenital thieves and liars (his rant about the gun registry takes a whole evening and most of a bottle of scotch) but still prefers them to the Conservatives under any name, because he will never forgive Mulroney till the day he dies for what he did to the Canadian military.
posted by gompa at 8:49 AM on November 24, 2005


I agree with transient. Of all the people vying for PM, Layton has to play the trickiest game: getting tough with the Liberals, while at the same time angling to (almost certainly) prop their minority government up, and yet still appealing to their traditional leftist base.

The NDP's recent changes to the budget were the most input they've had in national politics in a very long time, and most Canadians were supportive of their input. They need to work on expanding that appeal, losing their 'fringe' image, and hopefully getting Canadian voters to see that they are not tied at the waist to Big Unions.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:53 AM on November 24, 2005


CBC today.

Globe & Mail

G&M has some great resources today, including audio.

Also, it looks like PM is going to negative-campaign. American-style politics, oh that will serve us well. Sheesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 AM on November 24, 2005


That's crossing the line, five fresh fish. I'm no fan of Mulroney, but that's disrespectful. Beyond disrespectful. Let's not be crass.

Of course it is disrespectful. I have no respect for that malicious creep, none whatsoever. The man defines crass in riveting Technicolour 3D and Dolby Surround.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:11 AM on November 24, 2005


That's crossing the line, five fresh fish. I'm no fan of Mulroney, but that's disrespectful. Beyond disrespectful. Let's not be crass.

Of course it is disrespectful. I have no respect for that malicious creep, none whatsoever. The man defines crass in riveting Technicolour 3D and Dolby Surround.

If you like Canada as it is today, thank him [B.M.].

Thing of it is, I don't much like Canada as it is today. It's very good, to be sure, but it could be so much more. And I lay the fault directly at the feet of Mulroney: he sold Canada to the USA instead of encouraging our corporations to seek global markets, he screwed our boys in the military to no end, he implemented a tax that is an endless pain in the ass for all businesses, and started us down the road to screwing up our healthcare system.

Brian Mulroney was all about enriching his business buddies. He was nothing at all about making sure the ordinary people of Canada derive maximum benefits from our incredible resources, which are so great as to make it possible for each and every citizen to have access to exemplary healthcare, top-notch education, and an employment support system that maximizes their earning ability. He sold us out, fucked us over, and headed for the hills.

He has earned my loathing and disgust.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:25 AM on November 24, 2005


Word up, FFF. He is no friend of Canada.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:54 AM on November 24, 2005


I guess this as good a place as any to remind everyone about the Election Prediction site, always a fun exercise in the run-up to our elections.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2005


As much as I dislike Mulroney, I can't agree that the GST was a bad decision. Indeed, it's one of the fairest forms of taxation out there. Basically, if you can afford to spend money (on non-essentials, but not let's get started on that), then you can afford to pay tax. Certainly, it has far fewer loopholes than income tax.

With regards to the elections, I find it depressing that the conservatives have a much larger war chest than the Liberals. However, knowing them it will be spent on a series of ridiculously negative personal ads which go down like lead bricks...
posted by Elpoca at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2005


Elpoca writes "Indeed, it's one of the fairest forms of taxation out there."

Actually any sales tax is fairly regressive, the GST is no exception. The quarterly GST credits handed out are a fairly good compensation measure for the regression of the GST.

However the GST is vastly superior to the manufacturers tax that it replaced. Not only does it make our companies more competitive overseas it avoids (with the exception of gasline tarrifs) having a tax charged on a tax. It was the right thing to do but of course it was both wildly unpopular and very visible.
posted by Mitheral at 1:45 PM on November 24, 2005


Actually any sales tax is fairly regressive

This depends on where the line is drawn between essentials and luxuries. With the GST, this obviously needs improvement. However, like I indicated, a loop-hole filled income tax scheme is also regressive.
posted by Elpoca at 2:05 PM on November 24, 2005


I don't have much problem with the idea of the GST, just it's implementation: I don't think it was done well. Too much overhead cost to business, too much complication in the rules, and some very silly taxed and untaxed items.

I also suspect the wealthy dodge the tax far better than the poor, as is always the case. That is unfair. We can do better.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:36 PM on November 24, 2005


The quarterly GST credits handed out are a fairly good compensation measure for the regression of the GST. - Mitheral

Well, it's a start. But there's some problems with it. Before I had a kid, my SO and I (who were living together) were each entitled to GST cheques. When we had a child together we were no longer entitled to GST rebate cheques. Yes, that's right. Having a child meant we were entitled to less. Made no sense at all.
posted by raedyn at 2:53 PM on November 24, 2005


five fresh fish writes "some very silly taxed and untaxed items."

True that. They should have made it 7% across the board and increased the rebate checks.

five fresh fish writes "I also suspect the wealthy dodge the tax far better than the poor, as is always the case. That is unfair. We can do better."

Sales taxes tax the poor; income taxes tax the middle class; and capital gains and estate taxes tax the wealthly. It's one of the reasons all those flat/single tax schemes are inherently unfair to someone.
posted by Mitheral at 2:57 PM on November 24, 2005


True that. They should have made it 7% across the board and increased the rebate checks.

If you're living month to month, then the rebate checks don't have the same benefit. Of course, that would have it made it much simpler for businesses.
posted by Elpoca at 3:24 PM on November 24, 2005


You know what bugs me the most about the GST? That it's not included in the sticker price! (Compare to the way that gas taxes are included in gas prices, for example.) It's unbelievably irritating.
posted by russilwvong at 3:56 PM on November 24, 2005


Canada is not taken seriously by the rest of the world today because we are not involved in the affairs of the rest of the world, largely thanks to PET.

As a Canadian who's spent almost all of the last 17 years out in 'the rest of the world' I can tell you that Canada is almost universally loved, respected and envied for that very reason (amongst others). It's pointless and silly to wish to be 'taken seriously' as a nation, in that context, I believe.

I'd argue that your characterization is flat-out incorrect outside of the halls of governments (and possibly inside, though I have no personal knowledge there), regardless.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:24 PM on November 24, 2005


loquax made the comment that NDP = green, and i should therefore point out that canada does in fact have its own Green party, which in the last election made some significant gains, particularly in Alberta. In my opinion, they present a much more sensible approach to governmental reform (which i just have to trust is on everyone's minds these days). The NDP have had far too long to settle into the role of the opposition, imo...
that said im not sure if theyve had time to get their shit together (which might be an intended result of the early election call). Meh...
posted by pucklermuskau at 6:02 PM on November 24, 2005


I'd argue that your characterization is flat-out incorrect outside of the halls of governments (and possibly inside, though I have no personal knowledge there), regardless.

I agree, and I also don't necessarily think it's either a good or a bad thing to "be a player" on the world stage. My comment was in response to someone who had said "Thank Trudeau (charter of rights, Canada's place in the world)".

Certainly the average person outside of Canada has a very good opinion of the country and the people (as they should), but in terms of international relations and global power structures, our stock has dropped considerably since 1945, and especially since the 1960's for a variety of reasons (including and particularly Trudeau, if you ask me). Without getting into a whole discussion about it, I think that the average Canadian overestimates the amount of weight our reputation carries overseas, which does have an impact when it comes to trade relations (like the softwood lumber dispute, the spat with Denmark, the Turbot war, aerospace subsidies with Brazil, beef bans, trade with China...), influence with the UN, the IMF and the World Bank and so on. Which is fine as long as we accept it and plan accordingly, but it seems as though we don't, and expect that we should be listened to simply because we are Canadian (see the Live 8 concert and symposium). Not to mention the world-famous Canadian inferiority complex

loquax made the comment that NDP = green,

Oh yes, good catch, thanks very much pucklermuskau, I didn't meant to put it like that. Only as a frame of reference for people who were confused by Canadian politics. Sorry.
posted by loquax at 6:24 PM on November 24, 2005


How do the Greens stand on social welfare services, aka healthcare, education, employment assistance, etc?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2005


five fresh fish...
from their platform
* Restoring democracy in Canada by implementing a proportional representation voting system.
* Making wise investments for better health, better education and clean energy.
* Ending subsidies that result in more pollution and increased health risks.
* Creating "green collar" jobs for Canadians.
* Opposing an Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense system on Canadian soil.

however, this might be a more interesting answer...
posted by pucklermuskau at 6:32 PM on November 24, 2005


Health

Education

Employment (well, economics really)

From their platform.

Not too many details though.
posted by loquax at 6:34 PM on November 24, 2005


Their "Economics" page sounds like a utopian pipe-dream. I'm very curious as to whether they have an actually workable plan, or if it's all tutti-fruiti dreams.

In the end, I get all sorts of suspicious about the Greens. They come across to me as a bunch of fruitcakes with no experience in dealing with reality. I don't know why I get that feeling... something about their idealism and innocence and very slick marketing doesn't jive quite true for me.

I'd be happy to be convinced that they're a real and viable alternative.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:44 PM on November 24, 2005


Canada is not taken seriously by the rest of the world today because we are not involved in the affairs of the rest of the world, largely thanks to PET.

Wow... I missed that one. In reality, the truth is almost the complete opposite. Canada's place and stature in the world is almost entire due to Trudeau. Naturally, you prefer Mulroney's in-bed with the Americans approach to foreign policy. Happily, most Canadians don't agree.

Our "stock dropping considerably" is simply not true, and shows an alarming revisionist's view of history. By virture of our small population and relative neutrality, Canada has never had a particularly significant place in the world, and nor could we expect to. In any case, the trade and economic issues you highlight have arisen not because of any decline in stature. Rather, they are the result of scarcity, globalisation and the increasing technological and economic power of other countries.

I also must address your comments about Mulroney. One the one hand is a golden saviour for "major changes to Canadian infrastructure", on the other hand, you acknowledge his inaction (indeed, the opposite) on the deficit, but blame it on Trudeau. That's an interesting argument. I guess we're fortunate then that the Chretien Liberals didn't just try blaming everything on Mulroney, and instead set upon fixing the problems that he (oh wait, I mean Kim Campbell..) had left behind.
posted by Elpoca at 6:46 PM on November 24, 2005


fff..."They [the Greens] come across to me as a bunch of fruitcakes with no experience in dealing with reality"

interesting, as thats how both the ndp and the conservatives come off to me. The greens at least appear to have some economic grounding, and if they choose to present an optimistic face i wont fault them. Better than the greasy face of the liberal party...

At this point im much more concerned with diversifying the debate, and getting the green party on peoples radar screens can only help. Id like to see them on a national cbc debate, but who knows...
posted by pucklermuskau at 7:06 PM on November 24, 2005


Canada's place and stature in the world is almost entire due to Trudeau.

How so?

Naturally, you prefer Mulroney's in-bed with the Americans approach to foreign policy.

Please don't talk down to me or put words in my mouth, and I won't do the same to you. I'm really not trying to insult you by stating my position.

By virtue of our small population and relative neutrality, Canada has never had a particularly significant place in the world, and nor could we expect to.

Not true. Our population is large compared to many developed countries that we "compete" with on the international stage. We are bigger than Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, and so on. England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy are only larger than us by a factor of 2-2.5. The only major developed countries that truly dwarf us are the US and Japan. And no country can touch us in terms of relative access to natural wealth and resources. Not even close.

After WW2, Canada had one of the largest armies and navies in the world, and was one of the key allied countries involved in the liberation of Europe. Canada was integral in the creation of the UN and the drafting of the UN's Charter of Human Rights. This continued with our involvement under UN auspices in Korea, and our massive foreign aid (direct and indirect) efforts during the 50's and 60's, culminating in Pearson's establishment of peacekeeping forces, with Canada at the forefront.

At the same time, Canada was a relative economic and technological leader then in a way that can only be dreamed of today. Granted, much of our loss of prestige in this area can be blamed on factors other than poor government, but if they were reforming the G8 today instead of in 1975 do you think we'd get in (and we only were included in the G7 back then at the insistence of Gerry Ford)?

It's impossible to look back and say what would have been, but I definitely think that Canada squandered an amazing opportunity to be not "one of the best countries in the world", but the best, bar none. Why on Earth does any country have a higher standard of living than we do? And frankly, I do place a lot of blame at the feet of Trudeau, who began the era of massive government program spending with questionable goals and even more questionable chances of achieving those goals.

As for Mulroney, I wish he would have cut the deficit, and I acknowledge that it's one of his failings that he didn't. At the same time, I have trouble believing that he would have had a chance in hell of doing the other things that he did had he cut the programs that Canadians had been conditioned to expect from their Federal government.

And now the facts - the debt-GDP ratio for the Federal government went from 21.4 in 1969 to 45.5 in 1984. Under Mulroney, it went to 60 by 1993. Trudeau more than doubled the ratio during his tenure, and Mulroney had to deal with it during some of the most trying economic times the country has ever had in the late 80's/early 90's, and still only raised it by 30% compared to Trudeau's 210%. Not only that, but the cost of servicing Trudeau's debt was so significant in terms of the interest payments that it was nearly impossible for anybody to do anything about the debt without either dramatically raising taxes or cutting almost all discretionary spending. The Chretien and Martin governments have just now succeeding in reducing the ratio back to the level that Trudeau left it at, and they're still paying out almost 20% of Federal revenues on interest payments. They did this thanks to (in my opinion) the FTA, NAFTA, the GST, a general period of world (and in particular US) growth, some sound economic policy, no major crisis and due to the wealth of Canadian resources, both materially and in terms of human capital. Keep in mind that they didn't really cut anything, or manage that much - what happened was that tax revenues rose quickly, putting them in the happy position of cutting the deficit, servicing the debt and even paying it down a little on the strength of Canadian industriousness, without paying a political price.

Chretien Liberals didn't just try blaming everything on Mulroney, and instead set upon fixing the problems that he (oh wait, I mean Kim Campbell..) had left behind.

Name one problem Mulroney left behind that the Liberals fixed (or even tried to fix).
posted by loquax at 7:30 PM on November 24, 2005



Please don't talk down to me or put words in my mouth


Yes, I apologise for my snide remark.

Our population is large compared to many developed countries that we "compete" with on the international stage.

None of the countries you state have any more international pull then us. Indeed, they all have less.

if they were reforming the G8 today instead of in 1975 do you think we'd get in

Probably not, but what's your point? As you acknowledge, we were only let in because the Americans wanted a counterweight to European numbers. This has nothing to do with Trudeau.

Name one problem Mulroney left behind that the Liberals fixed (or even tried to fix).


The deficit springs to mind...

Your arguments against Chretien's successes seem to be that basically he was a lucky benefactor of external factors. Yet, at the same time, you don't acknowledge that Canada's (arguably) significant role in the post-war period was also mostly due to external factors.
posted by Elpoca at 8:33 PM on November 24, 2005


No harm done. Thanks for the apology.

None of the countries you state have any more international pull then us. Indeed, they all have less.

It's not good enough that we have more international clout than each of them individually, we should have more by an order of magnitude. Can you really argue that we aren't lumped into that group of second (or third) tier developed countries?

As you acknowledge, we were only let in because the Americans wanted a counterweight to European numbers. This has nothing to do with Trudeau.

I would argue that at the time, we deserved to be included, and if the group were formed in 1960, we wouldn't have need American pull to get us in. In 1984, no amount of pull would have gotten us in.

The deficit springs to mind...

Like I said, in 1985, Mulroney inherited a debt that had more than doubled over the past 20 years, largely due to Trudeau. Along with a huge increase in debt come a huge increase in interest payments required to service that debt and deficit spending to pay for all the programs Trudeau initiated. All things being equal, Mulrony had two choices - raise revenue in order to pay for programs and the interest payments (which would have required a dramatic and fundamentally unsound tax increase), raise revenue some other way (which was very difficult considering the state of the world economy and the Canadian economy by the late 80's) or cut spending to the point where EI, the CPP, most programs and even healthcare may have been in serious jeopardy (political suicide). I wish he would have cut more non-essential programs and I wish he would have done a better job controlling the deficit, but the FTA, NAFTA and the GST went a long way towards giving Canada a chance to recover in the future. He wasn't around long enough to get any credit for those programs - the Chretien Liberals reaped the rewards of the repositioning of the Canadian economy with an eye towards globalism and competitiveness, and the corresponding huge increase in Federal government revenues in the 90's that allowed them to reduce the deficit. The deficit issues that Chretien addressed were essentially caused by Trudeau, and the tools Chretien used to address them were the tools Mulroney left him.


Your arguments against Chretien's successes seem to be that basically he was a lucky benefactor of external factors. Yet, at the same time, you don't acknowledge that Canada's (arguably) significant role in the post-war period was also mostly due to external factors.


Don't get me wrong, I give full credit to Chretien for not screwing things up. This is the essential difference between him and Trudeau in my eyes - both inherited strong (or at least strengthening) positions - Trudeau squandered Canada's advantages for the sake of personal popularity, vote buying and short-term superficial success. Chretien didn't have to because his political position was so secure with the opposition in shambles. He didn't blow everything by wasting surpluses or spending our way back into deficit. He was a moron in other ways, but I credit him for taking advantage of external factors to the benefit of the country (of course, I think he should have done more). If Trudeau had done the same, Our standard of living would be what, double what it is today? Triple? How much is roughly $200 billion in interest payments from the 70's and 80's in today's dollars?
posted by loquax at 9:04 PM on November 24, 2005


I agree, and I also don't necessarily think it's either a good or a bad thing to "be a player" on the world stage.

Fair enough, and I do appreciate your measured and lucid arguments, even if I'm not entirely certain I agree with all of them.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:39 PM on November 24, 2005


I can't say as I much agree with you, Loquax.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 PM on November 24, 2005


re the Green Party of Canada.

WARNING, WARNING, despite their laudable thoughts on proportional gvmt and the environment, they are wolves in sheep clothing. Conservative voters should consider them as an alternative, but NDP voters would probably not be happy with a Green government.

"It is intriguing to watch the coverage of the Green Party in the federal election because the conventional wisdom -- that it will take votes from the NDP -- is confounded by the party's actual policies. While the analysis is likely correct, a look at Green policies reveals that this party is really a Conservative alternative, not a social democratic one. Its fiscal, economic and even environmental policies would be a near perfect fit for the old Progressive Conservative party.
[Murray Dobbin in the Globe & Mail, June 2004.]
posted by Marquis at 5:47 AM on November 25, 2005


Our standard of living would be what, double what it is today? Triple? How much is roughly $200 billion in interest payments from the 70's and 80's in today's dollars

This type of statement really intrigues me. I mean I look around and the people around me seem to be doing well. I personally think that I'm very lucky to be in the situation I'm in. I don't think I pay excessive taxes, and I think I get decent value for those taxes (my most recent experiences with health care have been fairly good, I've got infrastructure projects ongoing in my city, my MPP handled a birth certificate issue for me in short order, etc..)

Of course there are always people who are not well off, and the numbers seem to be increasing. But I don't that this is unique to Canada. This is a huge problem, and a lot of work still needs to be done on this front. And the Feds (read Libs) and Provinces need to get their acts in gear and solve the problems

Frankly, at the end of the day I have pretty much everything I could ask for. Of course money always seems to be a bit tight, but that seems to be the norm regardless of what my household income level is.

So I ask you (and I'm being very sincere here, not trying to snark) what makes you think that your standard of living isn't high already? Are you basing your belief on the often touted UN index (Which we have now dropped to the mid-level top ten on)? If so, should we be emulating the Scandanavian states that have surpassed us? Or is there something intangible that you are striving for?
posted by smcniven at 6:16 AM on November 25, 2005


You know the stereotype of the polite Canadian? I always thought it was overblown. But look at this thread. Can you imagine the Americans around here having a similar discussion of their political leaders of the past few decades sounding like this:

- Let's not be crass.
- Please don't talk down to me or put words in my mouth
- Yes, I apologise for my snide remark.
- No harm done. Thanks for the apology.
- I do appreciate your measured and lucid arguments, even if I'm not entirely certain I agree with all of them.


Thanks guys. The tone really helps us have a conversation rather than a screaming match. I'm glad to know that some portions of MeFi can do politics well, even when they disagree.

Cheers.
posted by raedyn at 6:24 AM on November 25, 2005


It should be so easy for me to like the Greens. It's like a gauzy dream: there's Jim Harris standing in a field all fiscal responsibility and so very progressive on the environment and social issues. But why is he smiling so much? (I'm with fff. I wish I wasn't so creeped out.)
posted by ~ at 6:49 AM on November 25, 2005


about the greens, marquis said "despite their laudable thoughts on proportional gvmt and the environment, they are wolves in sheep clothing. Conservative voters should consider them as an alternative, but NDP voters would probably not be happy with a Green government."

thats pretty partisan talk there buddy. The goal is to get a working, sensible government in place, with the support of the entire nation. Getting the socalled conservative vote is an absolutely essential, which is why we wont be seeing an ndp govt. The established parties have way too much history in place, a party without the baggage is just what we need.
posted by pucklermuskau at 7:39 AM on November 25, 2005


So I ask you (and I'm being very sincere here, not trying to snark) what makes you think that your standard of living isn't high already?

No doubt it is. We are some of the luckiest people on the planet to be living in Canada, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, for all the reasons you mention and then some.

For starters, I find this list absurd. How and why exactly does the US have 30% more GDP per capita than we do? Why are we ranked similarly to countries that have fought bloody wars over natural resources equivalent to what we have in say, Nova Scotia alone? For that matter, why aren't we number 1 in those UN rankings every year, by default? In my opinion, it's because of mismanagement, squandered opportunity, complacency, and enforced mediocrity. Some of this is due to our political system (and in particular some leaders that I won't mention again), and some of it is due to our own laziness and reliance on our natural wealth to bail us out of any serious jam.

We should be parlaying our immense advantages and relatively large economy into a standard of living that is first in the world, bar none. Better than Luxembourg's, or Norway's, or Sweden's. I don't understand the acceptance that accompanies the announcement that we have fallen behind these countries. I would expect outrage that our government has allowed this to happen. What's our excuse? Are Norwegians better than us? Smarter? Luckier? Do they know how to run a country better? Do they have more resources? If there is a reason why they're better, let's understand it and emulate it. If not, let's tar and feather the people in government that have allowed the inhabitants of a much smaller but similar country to surpass us in terms of most objective standards of quality of life. Our healthcare system should be attracting doctors rather than losing them, companies should want to be headquartered in Toronto, not New York, our universities should be at least competitive with the top American schools, we should be projecting our benevolence and our aid out to the rest of the world, and using our influence as we did in the 50's and 60's, to make the world a better place. All of this is not to say that Canada is a miserable place to live, far from it. Just that I believe it could be so much better.

To expand my criticism of our political system, I think a lot of the fault lies with our brand of decentralized federalism. Federal politics in Canada boils down to an eternal struggle with the provinces and using tax dollars to justify the immense and unnecessary scope that the federal government has. The Provinces are so powerful, and so involved in the aspects of government that actually affect people's lives on a day to day basis that the Federal government has to spend immense resources "controlling" the provinces towards the aim of "unity". In my opinion, this is extremely wasteful, counter-intuitive and ultimately counter-productive. I mentioned above the debt figures for the federal government - they were bad enough. The Provincial figures are worse. There were actually provinces that were in a net asset position in the 1960's, and debt across the board was fairly negligible. The introduction of the CHST (and its predecessors) emasculated the provinces and led to competitive overspending and over taxing at that level in order to compete with the federal government. Not only that, but as any Canadian knows, the existence of a Federal government within our system of federalism makes for the most perfect scapegoat in history for any premier that faces voter anger. Sadly, most Canadian's don't understand that Provincial politics and Provincial government drives the country, and administers pretty much every program of significance. If the Federal government were to disappear tomorrow, you probably wouldn't notice until March. In some ways, we're more like the EU than the EU itself.

Sorry, rant over.

And the Feds (read Libs) and Provinces need to get their acts in gear and solve the problems

What problems? I say this honestly. I don't believe Canada has any problems. Anything that looks like a bug is actually a feature of the system.
posted by loquax at 8:44 AM on November 25, 2005


What problems? I say this honestly

I'll have to defer answering this for now, as I think (to me at least) it's more a perception of problems that exist. Perhaps someone else will take up the mantle and provide some examples.

BTW, I suspect that we are are different sides of the political spectrum but I thought that was a very good comment.
posted by smcniven at 9:46 AM on November 25, 2005


I do agree with that rant, loquax.

We are a fortunate country, with natural resources that are the envy of all the world. And we virtually give those resources away.

I think our Feds could learn a lot from the Nunavut Inuit. They didn't execute flawlessly, but they sure as heck made some significant strides toward maximizing the wealth inherit in their diamond mines. The Inuit have been involved at every level of the project development and have essentially maintained ownership and control of the entire shebang.

I would love to see our Feds start managing our resources similarly. We should be insisting on getting maximum dollar payment for access to our resources, insisting on priority placement of Canadians at all levels of the corporations that win the bid, and using the bid monies to fund our hospitals, schools, social services, and infrastructure. Access to our resources should also require commitment to a high level of workplace safety, environmental standards, sustainability, etc.

There are about thirty million Canadians. We have a smaller population than the world's megacities. Management of this country should not be a difficult task. We should be capable of attaining a near-utopian country.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on November 25, 2005


I would also like to see Canada start really working on developing global peace. I think we are among the most rational and just countries, and we should be leaders in creating peace.

I am extremely proud of the role of our military in peacekeeping. I am extremely proud of how we negotiate equitable international settlements, and how we generally focus on mutually-beneficial outcomes. I think we could use those skills in helping other countries settle their differences with their neighbours.

As long as our military funding goes toward peacekeeping and sovereignty protection, I'm all for it. I think we've treated our military shabbily these past decades, and I think we need to make up for it big-time.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on November 25, 2005


I find this list absurd.

The list you linked to is, perhaps, not the best tool for arguing your point. The countries ranked above us are nearly all either superpowers, small tax havens, industrialised city states, or have a small population supported by petro-dollars. It isn't realistic to expect Canada to have a superior per-capita GDP to such countries.

So, yes, by being next to the North Sea and having a smaller population the Norwegians are lucky! Even with that, we do quite well against them by any measure.

In any case, GDP is hardly the best measure of a country. I'm happy having a lower GDP and a more equitable society than the US. This is precisely why I won't be voting for the Conservatives, as they advocate the sort of winner-take-all society that has been such a failure in the states.
posted by Elpoca at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2005


The list you linked to is, perhaps, not the best tool for arguing your point.

I agree - supplant it with that UN index, which we topped for a time, but are now slipping further down. But I still believe that our per capita GDP should still be number one. I think we could easily generate another $900 billion in economic activity. Well, based on faith anyways. It sounds like a lot, to double our per capita GDP, but we would be number one on that list if our economic productivity would have been only 50% more efficient since 1960 (taking a quick look at the numbers). Definitely doable in my books.

I'm happy having a lower GDP and a more equitable society than the US.

Can't you have both?

We should be capable of attaining a near-utopian country.

Agreed, no matter what your definition of utopian is.
posted by loquax at 10:47 AM on November 25, 2005


While I, too, think there are things Canada could do better, overall I fell pretty damn lucky to be born here, and I'm very proud of my home.
posted by raedyn at 11:50 AM on November 25, 2005


I agree - supplant it with that UN index

Where, apart from petro-fuelled Norway and tax-haven Luxembourg, we are only beaten by two countries, both of which are running budgetary deficits.

It sounds like a lot, to double our per capita GDP

It does indeed. Only through ridiculously simple extrapolations can such a possibility be envisioned.

Can't you have both?

No!
posted by Elpoca at 12:05 PM on November 25, 2005


Elpoca - I fully acknowledged that Canada is one of the very best countries in the world, there's no doubt in my mind about that. I just think we could be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else instead of around the top. Maybe it's being greedy, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that in this context. In our case, doubling our GDP over the last 40 years would have come mostly at the expense of the US, say 5-8% of their GDP, which would reduce their per capita GDP to about 36-38k from 40k, while bumping ours up to 60k from about 30k. And yes, all of my back-of-envelope calculations have been simplistic, but I wasn't trying to prove economic facts, only to give a broad and entirely fantastic and hypothetical outline of what could have been.

And yes you can have both! Demand both or you'll get neither!
posted by loquax at 12:37 PM on November 25, 2005


loquax: Keep in mind that [the Chretien government] didn't really cut anything, or manage that much - what happened was that tax revenues rose quickly, putting them in the happy position of cutting the deficit, servicing the debt and even paying it down a little on the strength of Canadian industriousness, without paying a political price.

Sorry, I'm afraid that's wrong.

I'm looking at page 70 of Retooling the Welfare State, by John Richards (published by the C. D. Howe Institute). It's a set of graphs titled "Overcoming Debt Denial in Canada, fiscal years 1993/94 to 1997/98". It shows the program spending, debt-service costs, and revenues projected by the Conservative government in 1993, and what actually happened.

Revenues were projected to rise from 128 billion in 1993/94 to 164 billion in 1997/98.

Debt-service costs were expected to be 40 billion in 1993/94, slowly rising to 43 billion in 1997/98.

Program spending was to slowly increase from 120 billion in 1993/94 to 128 billion in 1997/98. This would have resulted in a roughly balanced budget.

So what actually happened?

Revenues, far from being vastly increased by the GST or by the strength of the US economy, were far below the projections.

Actual revenue in 1993/94 was 118 billion (10 billion below the Conservative projection); by 1997/98, it was 140 billion (24 billion below the projection).

Debt-service costs had already reached 47 billion by 1995/96.

If the government had followed the Conservative spending plan, there'd have been a deficit of $25 billion or more.

Instead, the Liberals cut transfers to the provinces by 23%, and cut federal spending (excluding seniors, labor market adjustment, and aboriginal programs) by 18%.


I voted Conservative in 1993, because I thought the Conservatives were more serious about the deficit than the Liberals. But I was impressed enough by the Chretien government's fiscal performance that I've voted Liberal since then.

More on Canadian taxes: how much do we pay? What do we spend it on?
posted by russilwvong at 9:12 PM on November 25, 2005


Today's Gaffe.

If Layton had balls, he'd make hay with this. Bad-mouth Harper for being an vulgar hothead who lacks the common sense to participate in Commons, let alone lead -- and then withdraw NDP support for the non-confidence vote.

But he won't.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2005


How Harper could lose the election... and become the Prime Minister
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 AM on November 26, 2005


« Older weblog as translation   |   32 Hours 7 Minutes Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post