September 21, 2021

Canadian election meant nothing, and American pundits getting it wrong

The votes are still being counted so there may be a small shift of one or two here and there, but Canada has just completed a snap election that did absolutely nothing, despite high turnout. You'll likely see news clips of Prime Minister Trudeau claiming he has a mandate, it's a lie. I'm not just saying that as a disgruntled conservative who had been hoping for a better outcome (though that does describe me).  Take a look at the graph below.

Every party has almost exactly the same number of seats as it did after the 2019 election.  The changes were insignificant.  The net effect of this election was basically to revert to the results of the previous election and remove the impact of minor changes including members of parliament who left the liberal party after Trudeau's mistreatment of female party members.  Trudeau called a snap election unnecessarily, hoping to capitalize on great polling numbers, that faded quickly after he called the election. People it seems did not care for his opportunism.

In Canada, the executive and legislative branches of government are the same.   In order to have a majority government and control all legislation, a party needs 170 seats of the 338 seat available. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the most seats, whether they form a majority government or have to create a coalition with another party.  The Liberals had a minority government prior to yesterday's election, so they worked with the socialist New Democrat Party to get legislation passed. They had hoped to change that, but they failed. The Conservatives hoped for much more success with a new leader, he was so forgettable that they too failed. 

Unfortunately, the status quo is bad for Canada, as it ensures that the Liberal Party will continue to work with the socialist NDP party and continue to drift the country ever further leftward.

I have seen a lot of American pundits claim that Canada's Conservative Party is still a left leaning party when compared to Republicans. That is a gross inaccuracy.  The conservative voters in Canada in large part would be considered conservatives in America.  The same is true of the members in the Conservative Party.  But there is a significant problem.  Canada is dominated by left-leaning liberals and when combined with socialists, that represents the majority of the electorate.  Conservatives have won majority governments in parliament as recently as Stephen Harper's leadership less than a decade ago. But in order to do so, they have had to moderate their conservative values. The high-water mark for conservative voters in Canada is about 40%. So in winning, the Conservative Party have had to moderate their platforms to be palatable enough to hit that 38% to 40% range.  But when they win, they have been able to push the center back towards the right somewhat.  Stephen Harper lowered taxes, pushed conservative values but had to walk a thin line to do so.  The difficulty with that is that in order to get back to where a right-leaning Republican would feel at home living in Canada, it would take about 40 consecutive years of Conservative Party leadership and slow change.

That sucks, but it is the reality of the situation.  Canadian Conservatives are like Democrats in the U.S., they have to be dishonest about their positions in order to have any chance to win.  We don't love it, so don't judge us.  Saying I am not as conservative as Lisa Murkowski is offensive (don't worry it doesn't bother me) but more importantly it's outright wrong (that does bother me).

One more aside on this, in order to vote I either need an election card or two pieces of identification, one of which must have a photo and both must have my current address.  Why does that seem so difficult to do in some states? (I know the answer, but it really should be a big focus for Republicans nationally).

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