Monday, June 08, 2009

Which Way Doth The Wind Bloweth?

It bloweth Left, at least in Canada.

While some wonder whether the latest EU result portends anything for Canada, surely the fact that Nova Scotia will wake up Wednesday morning with an NDP majority government is more indicative of the state of our national politics.

And the NS result will be a good one, too. A party can only ensure its long-term viability by governing successful in some jurisdiction. The next generation of federal NDPers (post Jack Layton, may that day come soon) will soon be able draw from a broader pool of pols with experience in actually working the levers of power, rather than standing on the sidelines and kibbitzing interminably.


Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Will be interesting. On the one hand, the NDP has probably remained truer to it's principals that either of Canada's major parties.

On the other hand, typically, NDP governments get crushed between the principals they espouse when they aren't in power and the financial realities of the cost of those principals when they are in power.

As the saying goes.. the electorate is always right. I prefer to say it thusly:

The electorate always gets what they deserve.

I think in these times of mistrust of business and financial insecurity, there will be a tendency for the electorate to support parties who offer them more "goodies".. until they see the results of being given those goodies. At that time - two things happen.. the NDP becomes more conservative, and the electorate gets upset with finding out that there is no free lunch.

Brad Dillman said...

I must say that long-term, I don't want a two-party system like the U.S. Or a one-party system like China. The NDP have historically brought some good ideas to the table. They've also added value to minority governments.

I'm a Liberal and I'd prefer a Liberal government first. However, I'd MUCH prefer an NDP government to another NS Tory one (or Conservative federal one).

And if the NDP win tomorrow, I hope the reaction of the other parties won't mirror the reaction of the Republicans to the Democratic presidential victory in the U.S. You can't win all the time, so when you lose - TRY AND LEARN SOMETHING - REALLY, DON'T JUST SPEAK AND ACT AS IF YOU DID.

For example, I'm not impressed with the NDP promise to remove tax from electricity; that seems to work against reducing electricity use (and therefore the economic oil dependency and related environmental concerns). But I'd put up with that as long as they don't spend like Tories. Wait, maybe they are... Naw, one tax doesn't ruin the whole platform.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

I think I agree with you RN.. though I wouldn't mind more locally representative democracy in Canada, as occurs in the U.S. - where a representative is the voice of his constituency more than that of his or her party.

bigcitylib said...


BC NDP sold out their principles in six months last time they were in. They know how to do it, push come to shove.

Brad Dillman said...

roblaw: re: local representatives: (GREAT topic, BTW!)

Yes, it sounds good and I think federal parties identify more with Ottawa than their ridings (CON, LIB and NDP).

However, I find the U.S. House and Senate are often a cacophony of "Me! Me! Give me my pork!" Maybe they're more united than they appear and I don't see them fairly.

The reality of our system is that you need the support (and money) from your party leadership to run a decent local campaign. In return for that help, you're expected to work and vote together as a party. If you're not united, then what does that party stand for as an entity?

Some exceptions are allowed. 2 examples: Iggy let the NL MPs vote against the Feb 09 budget (I think?); (I think) my NDP MP Peter Stoffer occasionally votes differently than the party on certain DND matters (much NDP support from local CF/DND for him, not kidding).

Maybe we do need to shift some balance back to the ridings, but careful not to go too far, and what exactly you change to adjust that balance. Qui-Gon Jin thought he was doing the right thing to bring balance to the force ;-)

More say, more votes, more representation and more democracy isn't always a good thing. Right now I don't agree with the U.S. method of electing local judges; I'd rather they were appointed. I feel directly electing judges gives too much opportunity for bias toward populist interpretation of the law. The same applies to supreme court judges - I think the American supreme court is a shove-fest between right and left. On the Canadian senate, I try to keep an open mind.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

BCL - ironic, I just posted that on Stephen Lewis's website.. the irony of the "preacher in the shiny suit" syndrome.

..casinogate, the fast ferry fiasco, the fudged pre-election budget.. you are too right. I stand corrected.