Posted by: nastylittletruths | October 30, 2008

Canada Had Elections?

With the US media concentrating on their elections (piped 24/7 into our homes via cable TV), I am sure most of us missed the fact that Canada went to the polls on Tuesday 14th October. Thank the Lord for cbc.ca or I would have learnt nothing heading up to polling day. Imagine even on election day I couldn’t get a hit on Google about exit polls. Even in Google News there was not one headline about Canada. It’s true… no one cares about Canada. It’s just… there…

But my interest in their elections was the minority Government issue. Stephen Harper, the sitting PM, made some gain in his party’s count of seats, but he still does not have a majority in the house. This forces any minority government to work with the opposition members to pass legislation and I’ve dreamt of having that here in Trinidad to see how it would work.

For the sake of argument (or should I say, constructive debate?), let’s put four parties in the Red House, but not with any clear majority. Based on a proportional representation of votes cast in 2007, I’ll give PNM 19, UNC 12, COP 9 and DAC 1 (Tobago must have a voice too). Granted that Patrick has 19, he’ll still be Prime Minister because Bas and Dooks can’t come together, even though if they did, they’ll have a clear majority. Too much hatred and campaigned on their differences. (Not too much artistic licence needed here!)

Now this story can end right here with Patrick buying two seats and that’s it – back to being the Emperor… But I want to beg your indulgence and consider that that doesn’t happen. How do you think it will play out? Will the minority government carry on as if they really have to consider the representatives on the other side? Will the opposition behave themselves and not be obstructionists since the voters will turn on them? Having to go to the polls too often makes for a very disenchanted electorate. And politicians like to get people out to vote – they may stand a chance…

So while PM Harper may be ruing the fact that he’s about 12 seats short of a majority, here’s a li’l Trini dreaming about seeing big men and women getting an opportunity to really work for the country and not themselves… No constitutionally elected dictators and no whining and obstructionist opposition. We can certainly dream, can’t we?

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