Saturday, June 27, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know About Canada but Were Afraid to Ask

 
The Canadian system of government can be a little difficult to understand and recent political events in Canada don't make it any easier. Here's a brief and dumbed-down lesson on Canadian politics. It's intended mostly for Canadians but foreigners might also find it helpful.



Thanks to Greg Laden most readers on his blog are now much more knowledgeable about Canada than most Canadians.

13 comments :

  1. For some time, I have been convinced that Canada is a part of the United States which has figured out how to remain outside the jurisdiction of Washington DC...

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  2. play hockey, drink molson, spit on budweiser. Hug the beavers ;).

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  4. In _The Unfinished Canadian_ Andrew Cohen "argues that our mythology, our jealousy, our complacency, our apathy, our amnesia, and our moderation are all part of the unbearable lightness of being Canadian." www.mcclelland.com.

    One of the myths about Canada is that Canadians are polite. This blog contradicts that myth. The comments on Greg Ladens block are funny and thoughtful; the comments on this blog are neither, A. Vargas has managed to insult a country and 33 million people by using three words. However, he has managed to avoid the f-word, this time.

    Cubist:

    Yes, Canada has managed to avoid the jurisdiction of Washington DC, so far. However, Canada and Canadians, have not managed to avoid American influence. Sadly, Canada remains a "branch-plant" country where the local and national newspapers devote a disproportionate amount of space to the death of an American pop star and very little space to the fact that a Canadian (Alice Munro) has won the Man Booker International Prize.

    Vargas:
    You are entitled to your opinion; however, nota bene, Canada has produced (among others) Rick Mercer (native of the country's most maligned province)and Alice Munro, two Canadians who have not taken their talent and scurried across the border to ply their craft.

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  5. Hey, Canada's OK...leave it alone Vargarse.

    And compared to the tick-tock regularity (metamucil politics) of the US system, I prefer the unpredictability of the parliamentary system (except for the first-past-the-line voting).

    --
    MartinDH

    PS You guys should give up rounders (oops baseball) and play cricket.

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  6. So, you have a dishonest PM that does not get kicked out for lying about the nations finaces because an Ex-tv news reader with undue powers steps in for the queen?
    archaic, obsolete, and ultimately very corrosive
    Have you ever thought of...reforming?

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  7. Have you ever thought of...reforming?

    There is a movement of electoral reform here. And beyond that, there seems to be a general trend to caring less and less about preserving the ties to the constitutional monarchy with each generation. I think change will come, hopefully in my lifetime.

    And please fill me in on the nation where the leader(s) never lie to present a better face to the voters. Seems all politicians of all nations and cultures are quite skilled in being tangental to the truth.

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  8. To Veronica Abbass
    Sadly, Canada remains a "branch-plant" country where the local and national newspapers devote a disproportionate amount of space to the death of an American pop star and very little space to the fact that a Canadian (Alice Munro) has won the Man Booker International Prize.

    Actually, I'm currently in Stockholm, Sweden. The mourning over M. Jackson is more nauseating here than what I'm reading in the Canadian press.

    Yes, Canadians and American, having proximity and a former colonial British history*, do share a lot in terms of culture. But I am constantly told here how surprisingly different I am than the Americans that people know.

    * respectfully excluding you, 1st Nations or fracophone Canadian reader.

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  9. A government that lies about the economy is perceived as awful stupid by any politician in Chile, right or left...artificial bubbles are generated that burst sooner than later, and the countries credibility is undermined. For a country like Chile, always trying to prove itself, this is universally perceived as bad business. The country must be perceived as a 'serious" country (not that we always are, but we do try).

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  10. By the way, from what I hear from Canadian scientists, Harper's government also lies about the funding cuts. Apparently, science has heaps of money!!! yepeee!!!

    Who is lying? can regular Canadians tell?

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  11. can regular Canadians tell?

    To the message above, most Canadians can tell. But our electoral system has given his party a gift. If you can keep a motivated 30% of the population happy, and can snipe some votes from the other major party, his leadership is assured. And 65% of Canadians have nervous breakdowns during his tenure as PM.

    His job is easier, as he tends to appeal to a regional mistrust of the other major party, then has gone after the rural vote elsewhere in the country. To keep rural Canada from having no voice in government, they often have fewer people per seat than urban ridings from large cities. Therefore a smaller percent of the popular vote can equal more seats, with strategic planning of your campaign.

    Frustrating for the rest of us...

    (Please note new name... too many Jim's)

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  12. Bayesian Bouffant, FCDMonday, June 29, 2009 8:47:00 AM

    Veronica Abbass: "A. Vargas has managed to insult a country and 33 million people by using three words."

    Canadians can't count!

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