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I have long thought that Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, is a bit of an idiot. It’s not that I’m really knowledgeable about Canadian politics, but anyone who steals other world leaders’ speeches is obviously a bit dim. But, then again, it was apparently a speechwriter who stole that speech, and Stephen Harper protested that he didn’t pay attention to Australian parliamentary debates. So perhaps that could be forgiven. This latest turmoil, however?

Canada’s current political crisis stems from the make-up of its parliament. No party has a majority; Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have a plurality (~45% of seats), and thus formed government. The opposition parties (~55%) don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the Conservatives, and since the opposition has more seats than the government, Stephen Harper finds parliament really difficult to control. Canada keeps holding election after election, trying to get together a more stable parliament than this, but it doesn’t work. The Canadian people really want their parliament to look like that.

Over the last few days, the opposition parties decided enough was enough. They announced their intention to pass a vote of no confidence. When such a vote is passed, it means that the government is automatically removed from office, and the governor-general gets to decide what to do. She could decide to hold yet another election, but since Canadians keep voting for that unstable parliament, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Alternatively, the governor-general could simply hand over power to the entire opposition, without an election.

Stephen Harper couldn’t tolerate this rebellion from his parliament, and decided to whinge about it. His whinging is where, I think, he demonstrated his idiocy. He said something along the lines of:

I think the opposition parties are being really undemocratic! Canada didn’t vote for them, they voted for me, which is why I’m prime minister and they’re not. Since 45% of Canada thinks I’m great, these opposition parties — especially that Bloc Quebecois, which is just a bunch of separatists anyway — have no reason to vote that I’m not! Besides, I really am! Unlike those stupid opposition parties, who don’t even consult the Canadian people before voting against me, I am very democratic. So democratic, in fact, that I’m going to ask the governor-general to suspend parliament for two months. The ONLY WAY to protect our democracy is to ensure this undemocratic vote does not go ahead!

Sure, I paraphrased, but that’s pretty much what he said — and he really did claim he wanted to “protect our democracy” ((BBC: Canada PM vows to stop opposition.)). Democracy FAIL, Harper. Even worse, the governor-general agreed to his selfish, undemocratic proposal, and parliament now won’t open until January 27.

I guess a coalition government of the entire opposition wouldn’t be very stable, but that’s not the point. The point is, Stephen Harper is an idiot. You can’t protect democracy by suspending parliament. That’s not protecting democracy, that’s protecting your own rule! What does he think the Liberals, New Democrats and Quebecois would do in government? They’re not about to outlaw the Conservatives, abolish elections, or anything. How would would this parliamentary vote threaten democracy? Is he too stupid to see this, or does he think the Canadian people are too stupid to see this?

Either way, I think he really needs new speechwriters.




    (CAPS WIN Y/Y?)

  2. see january 27 is such a special day that the canadian parliament won’t even open till that day because they want to try and make that special day even more special.

    and they might…just might…be something EXTREMELY important happening that day.

    and you may just know what that is.

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