Can Canadian Democracy Begin A New Era?
There are a couple things I’ve had on my writing stack for a while that have yet to be popped, but time is an ever contracting resource. So a call out to ask for people’s opinions on how to fix our democracy, a rant about my frustration over the 5-way train wreck that is the Toronto Mayoral election and a plea to the media to stop stereotyping Canadians based on their coffee choices will all have to wait.
But I couldn’t let today go by without a comment. Today is the day that the progressive/centrist/reasonablist voice of Canadians was heard and the gun registry was saved from the chopping block. Congratulations to the opposition parties for saving it even though it was a hard thing to do for many of your members. And thank you.
Now, since you appear to still be reading Pop The Stack closely evidenced by being in line with step one of my Simple Solution to the Gun Registry you should have no problem proceeding to step two. As you’ll no doubt recall I proposed that the Liberals and NDP make a solemn or even legal pact that you’d both save the registry as long as legislation was put forward and passed forthwith to remedy most of the problems people have with it. Get rid of registration fees, make not being registered a ticketing offense with no criminal record and get the level of registration up so that it’s actually comprehensive. It does not seem the NDP actually got such a public contract from the Liberals in order to swing their vote. So today’s result is all the more impressive since Jack Layton will no doubt be soon tabling his motion to remedy the registry as stated above with the additional icing of allowing cities to choose to completely ban handguns is they so wish. Capital idea I say.
I expect the Liberals will have no trouble passing such a bill and ferrying it through parliament with all possible speed. There will be none of this silly talk about how the Liberal party will introduce their own fix when and if the Canadian people come to their senses and give them a majority government (small giggle). There won’t even be drawn out counter proposals and recriminations against the NDP for this or that detail which isn’t absolutely perfect about their proposal. I expect you’ve all got the trade offs worked out already and will show as united a front as is decent when the bill comes forward.
Both your parties are fully aware, I needn’t tell you, that a decisive, clear fix to the problems with the registry is absolutely vital to resist the wall to wall marketing that the Conservative party will present, as they already are, to the public about how horrible your insane-crypto-communist-socialist-separatist coalition will be for the country. You realize, of course, that the only way to battle this is with action, with showing that the NDP and the Liberal party can work together to provide reasonable solutions to Canada’s problems. That you don’t need to sign deals with the Bloc to do so and whether those solutions pass is up to the Bloc and in a later election Quebeckers would have their say about whether they are happy with constantly being a non player in parliament or would rather have someone else representing them who actually can participate fully in a governing coalition.
Only by demonstrating this soon in parliament will Canadians see that there actually is a progressive, reasonable alternative to Conservative minority rule. If the NDP and Liberals together can be given more seats than the Conservatives, then there will be a clear path forward to rule by a minority coalition that represents more Canadians (but I repeat myself). It will be a more stable minority government because the Bloc will agree with it more than it does with the Conservatives and it will be no more beholden to the Bloc to avoid elections than the Conservative minority has been beholden to the Liberals and Bloc for the past five years. That is, reasonable concessions will be made, but lines will be drawn in the sand and to go past them will require an election.
This is the only way forward for our democracy in the short term and today the two federalist opposition parties have a chance to begin this new chapter in our history. The day politicians in Ottawa admitted, openly, that in order to do the work of Canadians they would have to actually work together towards a common purpose.
This my new bumper sticker (ok its a bit nerdy, but its twitterable):
(NDP + Lib > CPC) –> Canada Wins
Sing it to the hills.