Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Analysis of a Conservative Majority vs a Conservative Minority

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Conservative majority or Conservative minority? If Canadians opt for a Conservative government on January 23rd, here's what moderates can look forward to, and what the center might apprehend.

  • Majority Pros:
  1. Guaranteed GST tax break. The Bloc wants specific items targeted, while the Libs and NDP oppose it outright.
  2. Passage of the Federal Accountability Act. I have the impression it might be controversial, and people will criticize it as going too far. IMHO, it's a good plan, and deals with the revolving-door policy of government officials and lobbying groups.
  3. Relative to a minority government, we'd have some stablity.
  4. A budget not aimed at winning votes, or that shows artificial surpluses. Consider the case of immigration minister Joe Volpe who found 700 million in November, but could only muster 72 million in April. Expressing the Liberal approach, Liberal MP Raymonde Folco said of the 72 vs 700: it doesn't matter when it was done, simply that it was done. The immigrants and their families, who linger for ages in a slow and ineffectual process -something Folco herself recognized- didn't mind waiting from April to November for the extra bucks, I'm sure.
  5. We don't need to go back to the polls in a year and a half.
  6. Kyoto being an ineffective treaty based on political correctness, a CPC majority can scrap the BS agreement signed in Japan and proceed to really work on protecting the environment. I'd personally care for them to adopt the Green Party's free market idea of removing subsidies from oil and energy companies, and instead tax these companies on their pollution. They could just pass the buck to consumers, but ultimately, intelligent companies would spend on green technology to save on taxes. Doing this while passing the buck to the consumer increases profits.
  • Minority Pros:
  1. A greater margin of error in protecting gay marriage. A majority government with a free vote on the definition of marriage would keep it as it currently is, but a minority makes this even more certain.
  2. The government has to compromise with the opposition (thought this can be said of any minority government). I think particularly of the dossier of crime, and wouldn't be surprised to see the opposition slip through a few loonies to dealing with what Jack Layton's introduced into our national lingo as the "causes of crime." Ultimately, our justice holds each person accountable for their own actions, which I think is fair, but the problem is that our environments have an influence on us which we don't hold anyone accountable for.
  3. The social policies of the NDP are more likely to get signed into law. The Dippers are clueless outside social policy, but they do know their social policies down pat.
  4. We go back to the polls in a year and a half. The intervening time is like a tryout for the CPC, which, if failed, leads us back to another minority government as people choose between so-so governance; a Liberal party in a 'transition' or 'building' year, as we say in sports; and separatism (or Jack Layton for PM... haha, yeah, right). Oh, and since it'd be a minority, another vote a year and a half later. If the CPC passes, they get a majority (maybe).
Though I listed a few more pros than cons, if the CPC do win on January 23rd, I'd like to see them get a percentage of seats in the low 50s ... say 52-55% would be about right. Enough to do the important stuff, not so much that they can ram anything through and mute the opposition. Stability with checks and balances.
I'm not endorsing the CPC, so we're clear on this. But if they should win, 52-55% of the seats in the House of Commons is the ideal situation, where I'm concerned.


At 4:22 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Rob Good said:

A mojority is the best option. Canada needs to move forwards.

At 10:29 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

In hindsight, I'm not so sure. Relative to a minority, it's a good option, but I'm already being dissapointed by the government they have. I voted Conservative for foreign policy, and the foreign policy critic wasn't given Foreign Affairs (Peter Mackay as Minister of Foreign Affairs? huh? If Harper were casting for a porn flick, he'd probably end up casting a guy in the female lead, he screwed up the cabinet picks so badly). Monte Solberg was Finance critic, but he's not the Finance Minister. Rona Ambrose is an ex-oil lobbyist, and she's going to defend the Environment?
Maybe the cabinet would have been easier choosing with a majority, and Day would have gotten Foreign Affairs, but this cabinet's ticked me off.
I like the idea of reinforcing our commitment to stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan, however, not to mention Harper actually wants to kick Talibutt.
Sorry for the delay in answering, but thanks for the comment.

At 12:57 a.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Rob Good said:

I think that the Emerson floor crossing was an interesting move. Hopefully it wont distract the PM from the job at hand. Canada needs to strenghten up, and I am sure that the Conservatives will do it. Just waiting for something to happen to cause the NDP to have a tanty fit and throw the toys out of the cot. So far so good though.

At 11:58 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

So far ... Emerson was lowly motivated revenge for Stronach, Solberg missed the Finance portfolio, Day didn't get Foreign Affairs, and that imbecile Mackay is offering aid to terrorists. I'd say this government's gotten off on the wrong foot... not 'so far so good' as you suggest. Canada does need to strengthen up, like you said, but giving money to people you recognize as terrorists is not the way to do it.


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