I spotted this post on SDA this morning:
While I have my own thoughts on this recent gong show, it has been striking how little Canadians know about their own system of governance, and the Parliamentary system.
We do not have representative democracy in this country. Never have.
So when I see really dumb statements like "But it wouldn't matter, 'cause they will not have been elected!", it truly strikes me how much ignorance exists among citizens.
Guess its the way of the world. That, and one generation of politically correct civics classes teaching nothing.
I do trust and hope the Cons will go through, political instability at a time like this is idiotic. But Harper's cowardly climbdown from Party financing was - to say the least - inelegant.
Doing something that is right, is always right, no matter what the timing.
Clearly some good thought went into this fellow's words. I felt compelled to respond with some of my own:
I fully understand that we do not have a representative democracy in this country. BUT I am adamant that beyond Constitutional Legitimacy there is also Democratic Legitimacy, which is arguably even more important that the former.
If voters in a democracy do not have the perception of their vote counting then the democracy is doomed. Period. Don't believe me? Talk with the "voters" in Zimbabwe.
The fact is that collectively Canadians elected a Conservative minority government. Period. Full stop. One can be a Radical Leftist CBC News Kool Aid Drinker and playing "62% mind games" but such talk is all nonsense and completely flies in the face of 141 years of our history.
For me, the primary reason there is no Democratic Legitimacy to Le Coalition is the timing. It's not even 2 months after the recent election. A budget hasn't even been presented. Yet now our vote is going to be discarded?
The secondary reason is the revelation that Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe, and possibly Stephane Dion had this all planned long ago. Whether or not we all should have heard the NDP Conference Call is up for debate but we did and heard in Layton's own words what he & the others had cooked up.
On these two reasons alone, what historical precedent is there for the government being overthrown in Canada? 1985 in Ontario and 1926 federally are frequently cited by Le Coalition supporters. Neither are remotely similar to what is going on now. So there is no precedent. And there's an obvious reason why there's no precedent: Because if it were commonplace then minority governments would be thrown out of office every few months and the stability we've all enjoyed and prospered from would be thrown into ruin.
The tertiary reason is the 3rd pillar of Le Coalition, the Bloc Quebecois. I find it rather peculiar/perverted that a party dedicated to removing Quebec from Canada (which would likely lead to the breakup of the rest of Canada btw) is now going to be part of the government. I concede that this is a weaker argument than the other two but is still very real in the minds of many, especially Western Canadians it seems.
You can argue that there's no such thing as Democratic Legitimacy in a Parliamentary System. But I will absolutely & vehemently disagree for the rest of my days on this planet.