In my previous posting I itemized several statistical observations that jumped out at me when I looked at the data. But here are two of the most critical high-level facts that I learned from doing the research:
- The notion that political parties in Canada "normally" get over 50% of the vote is pure nonsense. If one wants to argue the point that our political system needs to now be altered after 141 years to better represent small parties then that's one thing and a discussion that we should all have. But to twist this around to say that "the majority of Canadians voted against the Conservatives" is disingenuous to the extreme. It's the kind of argument an anarchist might make.
- Nowhere in our country's federal electoral history is there any direct precedent for what the Liberals, NDP, & Bloc ("Le Cabal de Trois") are contemplating doing. The King-Byng Affair in 1926 is often cited. When someone says that, please ask them specifically what are the commonalities between what occurred back then and what is occurring now. Prepare to grab something firmly anchored to the ground because you're going to get a whole lot of S-P-I-N!!! Or more often than not you'll just get utter silence because all they're doing is echoing a talking point without any understanding of what it means.
As a complete aside, doing the research actually calmed my outrage at this clear breach of democratic tradition. Why? Because reading in detail about all the past elections, the governments that have come & gone, we as people will get through this. I choose my words very carefully. Canada as a country may very well be destroyed by this action because many in the West, starting in Alberta, will wonder what on earth is the point of being part of Canada if the parties [predominately] elected in the East won't even let an elected party get to its first budget. But we, individually as people, will survive, no matter what nation we call home.
I also believe that Stephen Harper & co. suspected something like this could happen. They clearly didn't want it to happen but realized it was a possibility. For it's not too difficult to figure out how Liberals think. If the government handouts to them were pulled then they could either do some hard work and ask their grassroots supporters to put their money where there mouths are -OR- they could throw a hissy fit and threaten to do something so far afield from the Spirit of Democracy that no other political party has ever attempted it in our nation's history. And clearly for good reason.
The NDP are going along because they can finally taste the power and feel they have nothing to lose. The Bloc Quebecois is going along because they will get any "gifts" they ask for and also, this can only heighten the chances of Canada breaking up. They have absolutely nothing to lose.
Harper is a smart man and a long term strategist. Even his most fervent opponents realize this. Note: I'm talking about the intelligent ones, not the Radical Left twits who inhabit the CBC News message boards (Canada's own version of the DailyKos Kooks). So worst case for the Conservatives, they may lose the next "quarter" but Harper is counting on many Canadians to be rightly outraged. It won't actually take that many more voters to come out to give the Conservatives a clear majority in the next election, very much at the expense of the Liberals.
Interesting times ahead.