Election 2011 – once again democracy triumphs!
‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ -- Albert Einstein ----- “Good morning, class. Welcome once again to Politics 101.
‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
-- Albert Einstein
“Good morning, class. Welcome once again to Politics 101.
Our first order of business is to review the assignments you handed in to offer suggestions about ways to improve Canada’s federal election process.
Some of you deserve a lot of credit for the thought you have put into your papers. Others, well, I’ll try to address your ideas today.
So, Muhammad. Do you really think that not allowing women to vote would “keep things a lot simpler”, as you so eloquently put it? Yes, maybe it does work for Saudi Arabia, but that just might be a little problematic here.
And Liam – I understand that it’s against the law to NOT vote in Australia, but I think you’ll agree that Canadians are much more conscious about their personal liberties. No offence,mate, but you’ve got to remember that your ancestors were nothing but a bunch of convicts.
Antonio, Antonio, Antonio. The last thing we need in Canada is more political parties. You Italians go to the polls more often than some people go to the bathroom!
Guns, Aristide? Really? Guns? Do you have any idea what kind of negative poll results the government could expect if people were forced to cast their ballots at gunpoint? Yeah, I know, they do things differently in the Congo! Besides, we already tried that. Sent the Mounties into Six Nations with weapons drawn in 1924 to break up their meeting of hereditary chiefs. Broke up their council meeting, even confiscated their wampum belts. All that did was make the Mohawks really cranky. They still won’t allow enumerators on their land. I’ll bet no more than a few dozen of their 15,000 eligible voters even bother.
You know, class, there were some pretty outrageous ideas submitted about how to improve voter turnout and make Canada an even greater democracy than it is. I didn’t want to centre out anyone, but Elizabeth, your paper takes the cake.
Now get this, class. She actually thinks it’s a good idea to set aside some seats in the House of Commons based on the number of votes parties receive. Sounds to me like someone’s a little GREEN with envy!
Okay, Elizabeth – so the Green Party got almost a million votes in the 2008 federal election – and no seats – and nearly 600,000 this time and only one seat. That’s because their candidates aren’t beating the candidates of other parties. That’s how it works – winners win, losers lose. That’s what democracy is all about. Majorities rule. Tories rule!
And you’d like to see a bunch of losers made Members of Parliament! Shame on you. Besides, Betty dear, I couldn’t figure out your crazy math. You came up with this cockamamey theory that if the Conservative Party got 40 per cent of the votes – which they did -- and there was a 60 per cent voter turnout – which there was -- they can only say they represent 24% of Canadians! You better be careful with that kind of talk, missy -- this isn’t Communist China, you know.
Meanwhile, hats off to Stephen for coming up with the suggestion that political parties get two extra seats in the House of Commons for every seat they win more than they need for a majority – plus an extra place in the Senate.
With that kind of ingenuity, Stephen, you just might be prime minister some day.
All right class. Here’s your next assignment: in 1,000 words or less discuss how the Governor-General, Speaker of the House, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court might function more smoothly if they were all part of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Maurice Switzer is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation. He serves as director of communications for the Union of Ontario Indians and editor of the Anishinabek News.