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    So Tell Me About Canada

    So Tell Me About Canada

    I don’t follow Canadian politics very much.  I don’t even have a “Canada” post tag, there’s no need to.  [insert obligatory Canada joke here]

    Conservatives in Canada apparently won a huge victory.  But “conservative” elsewhere does not always mean what it means here.

    So tell me about what happened in Canada.

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    This is the first majority government the 'new' Conservative party has had. We know that they have been careful and disciplined while leading Minority governments. They have a number of objectives that they will probably move forward on. The long-gun registry will likely be ended, they will move towards a balanced budget, and will probably take some action on reforming the senate.

    On social matters, the CPC is committed to allowing free votes. (Which means that they will not bring forth such legislation, and will not exert party discipline on such matters if they are brought forth as private members bills.
    7
    The NDP has a major challenge, as they have a large & inexperienced Quebec wing that comprises half their caucus. Will they be able to remain relevant to the rest of the country and retain their new popularity in Quebec?

    Interesting days.

    Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have just won a majority of seats in the Canadian Parliamentary election and therefore, after nearly five years of leading a minority government constantly at the mercy of votes of no confidence from other parties, he will be Prime Minister with a good working majority and beholden to nobody else except his own supporters.
    Strangely enough very few people expect to see massive policy changes or initiatives because, despite lacking an overall majority, Harper has already transformed the Canadian political and economic landscape as the BBC, in a surprisingly honest assessment , has been forced to admit.
    Analysts say the prime minister has slowly nudged the country further to the right during his five-year tenure.
    He has lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided signing climate change legislation and become a stark advocate of Arctic sovereignty.
    He has also increased military spending and extended Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.
    He campaigned on his record of economic management. Since Canada has come out of the recession with one of the strongest and healthiest economies of the G7 he was able to make a very effective case. However he promised to focus on lowering taxes even further and reducing the deficit.
    Read more here http://www.theagedp.com/?p=2651

    Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have just won a majority of seats in the Canadian Parliamentary election and therefore, after nearly five years of leading a minority government constantly at the mercy of votes of no confidence from other parties, he will be Prime Minister with a good working majority and beholden to nobody else except his own supporters.
    Strangely enough very few people expect to see massive policy changes or initiatives because, despite lacking an overall majority, Harper has already transformed the Canadian political and economic landscape as the BBC, in a surprisingly honest assessment , has been forced to admit.
    Analysts say the prime minister has slowly nudged the country further to the right during his five-year tenure.
    He has lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided signing climate change legislation and become a stark advocate of Arctic sovereignty.
    He has also increased military spending and extended Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.
    He campaigned on his record of economic management. Since Canada has come out of the recession with one of the strongest and healthiest economies of the G7 he was able to make a very effective case. However he promised to focus on lowering taxes even further and reducing the deficit.
    Read more here http://www.theagedp.com/?p=2651

    Obligatory Canadian joke:

    The standard for "the most boring headline ever", according to an annual contest in The New Republic, was "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative".

    My reply was too long, so I'll have to break it down into bite-size pieces:

    Stephen Harper, the leader of the Conservatives, and Prime Minister, finally won enough seats to form a majority — that is, he can govern without having to form an alliance with one of the opposition parties.

    Stephen Harper is a true Conservative, and hails from Calgary, AB. He is an economist by trade and fiscal hawk, hews to the principle of small government, and is very sensitive to the energy sector, since he is/was an MP from Alberta. (The Cdn equivalent of Texas 😉 ). He is also pro-military and a strong proponent of maintaining the NATO alliance.

    What many Americans do not know is, Stephen Harper was also one of the founding members of the "Reform Party", headed by Preston Manning. After the dissolution of the Reform Party, there was a messy battle between the mushy "Progressive Conservatives" (think RINO) and the more rightist small-government "Reform" members (think Tea Party).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Party_of_Canada

    The Reform Party, which originated in Alberta, was like a precursor to the US-Tea Party. They split the Conservative party into two competing factions. The Reform party wing of the Conservative movement did eventually win enough seats to become the loyal Opposition, but fell apart around 2000. Stephen Harper was instrumental in reuniting/healing the various factions of the Conservative/Reform/Alliance movement on the right to constitute the new, "improved" Conservative party (no "Progressive label").


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