Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canada votes

Yes, Canada votes today - just in case your newspaper was too cluttered with Obamisms, Palinoms, or stockbrokers burying their head in their hands. As almost all modern democracies, Canada has a multi-party system. Currently five parties are represented in the Parliament: The Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, and the Bloc Québécois.

Just to mention it, even the USA is - theoretically - a multi-party democracy. Here is the list. Ever heard of more than the first two? And yes, there exists also a Democratic Socialist party in America.

If you're eligible to vote, chose wisely...


  1. I used to vote for the Bloc Québécois, but now that I live in Ontario I don't have that easy option anymore. Does anybody happen to know which party is most likely to win in the Waterloo region ?

    What about you Bee, if you could vote, who would you vote for ?

  2. I've had a lot harder time voting this time around compared to usual. I like the Green Shift tax plan, because I like the direction it would put our country in. Furthermore, as a vegetarian cyclist, I think it would help my bottom line.

    On the other hand, the liberals are more economically right than I am used to voting for. I don't like their corporatist agenda.

  3. Maybe, another minority Government?

    The vote as long as it's split by different agendas and thought to encourage "division," somehow this might be "a bad thing" in a democratic institution? I think the bloc are thinking this way?

    I wonder if all "barn raisers" voted the same way?:) I wonder if the Amish have their own religious political agenda? It kind of strange thinkingwhat can arise out of depressions.

    In my own family I have quite a divergence of opinion in regards to who they are all voting for.

    You would think, they would follow either the matriarch or the patriarch, but no, they follow their own point of view as individuals.

    Somehow this made sense to me that they vote not under fear or ignorance or by some "dominance that can rule in the background," but by such independence sought to make their opinion of country a free one. Then, majorities by chance win? Becareful of extremisms:)

    I like Soros too, the more I read. He seems like a really smart man and man beyond his borders:).


  4. 1) If God wanted us to vote She would supply worthy candidates.

    2) If you do not vote you have no right to complain.

    3) Thomas Jefferson maintained the mob has no right to vote (themselves rich out of the publick exchequer). Then Heinlein about a minor qualifying procedure performed in the voting booth.

  5. Vote wisely indeed!

    Today's google.ca has a celebratory graphic. First time I've noticed a non-US logo variation.

  6. "almost" all modern societies, not all of them :-)?

  7. >>Palinoms, or ....<<
    I thought the right spelling is "Palindrome"?
    Georg :=)

  8. Thanks for the news... I didn't see/note any mention of the Canadian election in the news in Germany - indeed to much US election and financial crisis.

    Cheers, Stefan

  9. I thought they were all the same, modern.:)

    The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracy

    The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracyBy Laza Kekic

    There is no consensus on how to measure democracy, definitions of democracy are contested and there is an ongoing lively debate on the subject. The issue is not only of academic interest. For example, although democracy-promotion is high on the list of American foreign-policy priorities, there is no consensus within the American government on what constitutes a democracy. As one observer recently put it, “the world’s only superpower is rhetorically and militarily promoting a political system that remains undefined—and it is staking its credibility and treasure on that pursuit” (Horowitz, 2006, p 114). See Report here.


  10. Hi Plato,

    That's interesting indeed that the US ranks only 17th. At least it's not a 'flawed democracy'. What is 'flawed' about Brazil's democracy?

    What I meant to say with my remark is that an effective two-party system as the US streamlines opinions considerably, and constrains the political spectrum noticeably. People don't vote for the party whose program is closest to their interest because they discard the biggest part of options believing they'd just throw away their vote. What's the possibility you manage to get a decent representation of people's interest under these circumstances? Best,


  11. Hi Stefan,

    “Thanks for the news... I didn't see/note any mention of the Canadian election in the news in Germany –“

    I’m not surprised for Canada has for many years been the Rodney Dangerfield of nations despite being a member of the G7.

    “I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest. “
    -Rodney Dangerfield



  12. "theoretically - a multi-party democracy"...but in practice it is a two-party quasi-democracy; still, you bet I'll be voting.

    Brasil's system is ranked as 'flawed'? Why?? Oh, apparently it's according to the 'Economist' magazine; I certainly do not take them seriously.

  13. Hi Bee,

    "People don't vote for the party whose program is closest to their interest because they discard the biggest part of options believing they'd just throw away their vote. What's the possibility you manage to get a decent representation of people's interest under these circumstances?"

    In this political election it is believed "that more can be done honestly" without writing blank checks on a majority Government? So, many voters voted strategically, to ensure this process(minority Government) was implemented again.

    Strategically, distribution of interest amongst the parties have constraints that will dictate where the minority government likes to go. Each party(representation of percentages of that population) having particular interests "it( the people)" would like to see implemented.

    I mentioned the "Bloc previously" and they were not the only ones seeking to do this. I saw it in my "own family" without interference.

    The Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. The five categories are interrelated and form a coherent conceptual whole. The condition of having free and fair competitive elections, and satisfying related aspects of political freedom, is clearly the basic requirement of all definitions.

    All modern definitions, except the most minimalist, also consider civil liberties to be a vital component of what is often called “liberal democracy”. The principle of the protection of basic human rights is widely accepted. It is embodied in constitutions throughout the world as well as in the UN Charter and international agreements such as the Helsinki Final Act. Basic human rights include freedom of speech, expression and the press; freedom of religion; freedom of assembly and association; and the right to due judicial process. All democracies are systems in which citizens freely make political decisions by majority rule. But rule by the majority is not necessarily democratic. In a democracy majority rule must be combined with guarantees of individual human rights and the rights of minorities.
    Bold added by me.

    But yes, taken further...hmmm....I wonder.

    It's beyond me, why someone would not want that link "active" above?

    “World” population refers to total population of the 167 countries that are covered. Since this excludes only micro states this is nearly equal to the entire actual estimated world population in 2006.

    Source: Economist Intelligence Unit; CIA World Factbook

    Hi CIP,

    It's a "critical examination" none the less based on a very short point of, "modernness of democracies?" Any other info that you may know of, too show statistics of relevance?


  14. Hi Phil,

    Canada has for many years been the Rodney Dangerfield of nations despite being a member of the G7.

    ... hm, I've never heard of Rodney Dangerfield either ;-). And, I have to admit, I realized Harper as Canada's prime minister for the first time when Sabine told about his visit at the PI.

    Anyway, the election was in the online news today, but quite hidden. If you didn't know it and looked for it, you probably would have missed the reports. So, Harper can continue.

    Cheer, Stefan

  15. Hi Stefan,

    Well at least they had something. In as I don’t speak German when I have the time I’ll have to plug those articles into a translator to see what they have to say. It’s of course the slant they have that I’m most interested in.

    As and example of what I'm looking to discover how about Dangerfield’s take on our national sport:

    “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.”
    --Rodney Dangerfield



  16. Why would one try, or even have too, defend themself by implication of a comment set to move perspective, to not consider a "most basic view" at the heart of what is needed in constitutions, while being cast too, an extremism?

    For those Plato buffs consider this link?:)

  17. Hi Stefan,

    Thanks again for pointing to the German news reports of our Canadian elections. For the most part I found the articles rendered a good synopsis of it all, with little perceived bias. However, in one of the articles there was one sentence which contained a word left untranslated and one which thus far I haven’t been able to track down which is “wiedererstarkten”. I would be grateful if you could explain it’s meaning and as such I have given you the whole thing below in the context it was translated.

    “The Conservatives have had their last hopes of further strengthening its position in Quebec that were there but because of the controversial proposal of cuts in cultural funding does not improve and remained after the wiedererstarkten Bloc Québécois and the Liberals only third strongest force.”



  18. Hi Phil,

    the newspaper articles have been quite informative, I think. Both FAZ and FR are leading German newspapers, though, so you can expect some reasonable coverage.

    And yes, the German language with its formidable option to create new words by just merging two exisiting ones...

    So, "wiedererstarken" means "regain strength" - "erstarken" is "gain strength" ("stark" means "strong"), and the "wieder" conveys the repetition.

    "wiedererstarkt" then is the past participle of the verb "wiedererstarken".

    For more German classes, I'll have to brush up my vocabulary needed to discuss grammer ;-)

    Cheers, Stefan

  19. Hi Stefan,

    “wiedererstarkt" then is the past participle of the verb "wiedererstarken".”

    Thanks I think I have it straight now, although when I looked at the word at first it certainly had me confused; sort of what a dangling participle does to one when read:-)




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