It Done Feel Good Tuh Be Vindicated
Politics as Usual
I called it, I did indeed: disgruntled conservatives are fielding the idea of resurrecting the Reform Party. Pete Chattaway sent me this story from the Globe and Mail and I cannot say I am surprised except that I am surprised it took them this long to get this angry. The right wing elements in this country have always been rather fractious and divisive and there is a real divide growing between traditional Canadian political views and the more American views that have been seeping in for over a century. It should also be noted that there have been disgruntled Reformers out there ever since the Reform became the Alliance and even more after the "Unite the Right" efforts that merged the Reform/Alliance party with The Progressive Conservatives to form the new Conservative Party.
I knew Stephen Harper would have to become more of a Centrist if he wanted to avoid forcing another election. Had Harper actually tried being the sort of Prime Minister that these ex-and-maybe-soon-to-be-born-again Reformers, his minority would have been toppled in no time. (also see Minority Governments in Canada ) Prior to his election, Harper was painted as a monster waiting in the wings and nothing would have validated that image more than acting like a Federal version of either Ralph Klein or Mike Harris. I happen to believe that Harper still is a monster waiting in the wings: just a monster waiting for a majority government.
And as scary as I find the wing-nuts wanting to revive the Reform Party, I hope they do it and cause another division within the right wing of this country. Even if the new Reform Party succeeds in going anywhere, they are either going to have compromise like Harper's Conservatives if they wish to achieve and hold on to power or they will just become irrelevant.
So What To Do?
I have been a malcontent for quite sometime and one thing people say to me is that you can't complain unless you have a solution. Personally I think that is crap spouted by people who don't like to think, but I do finally have a solution. For the record, I think the electoral process in this country is a joke and that the only hope for good government in Canada is to introduce two reforms to the system.
1. Proportional Representation or STV. (Single Transferable Vote) Utterly democratic, it eliminates the possibility of the Liberal Party ever dominating the Canadian political scene as ruthlessly as they did throughout the 1990's and forces governments to form coalitions and alliances, to work together.
2. Non-Confidence or None Of The Above option on all ballots. Currently, spoiled ballots are the only real way to register protests. The only other alternatives are to either hold your nose and vote for the party you dislike the least or to vote for parties like The Rhinos, Natural Law or the Communist Party of Canada. With the ability to register your protest and have it count as a blanket statement of non-confidence it would limit the various parties from claiming to have a "clear mandate from the people".
After these measures there could be more checks and balances added. I am also a firm believer in referendums and plebiscites. People have said to me before that Canadians prefer leaders who lead, take charge and make decisions - referendums are for the weak. I often chalk that up to electoral laziness and/or fear of discovering that your position isn't actually the majority position.
Referendums and plebiscites would have settled the issues like gay marriage or gun control, letting us know what the national consensus on these issues really are. In the debate over gay marriage, both sides claimed to hold the majority opinion: a plebiscite would have allowed the government ask Canadians directly whether or not they supported the issue giving them the option to frame (or not to frame) legislation accordingly. A referendum on GST would most likely have resulted in it not have being implemented.
I dunno about you but a more democratic society sounds better to me, how about you? It just means that more of us have to be willing to step up to the plate.