Thursday, October 16, 2008

The more things change...

We had a Federal election up here in Canada this week Oh, didn’t hear about it? Many of us didn’t either.

Nothing changed. It’s still the same play with the same cast of characters. There were a few extras that were changed, but no one noticed.

While the US has been in election campaign for years, in Canada an election can be called at any time. For a general election, the Governor General (at the request of the Prime Minister) dissolves Parliament, and the Governor in Council (the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet) sets the date of the election and the date by which returning officers must return the writs. A writ is a formal document directing a returning officer to conduct an election in his or her electoral district, and on which the returning officer writes the name of the winning candidate after election day. By law, the time between the issue of the writs and election day must be at least 36 days. In practice, general elections usually last 36 days. An exception was the 39th general election, which included the 2005 Christmas and New Year holiday period and lasted 55 days. The 2008 election lasted 37 days.

Although the present (and past) Prime Minister declared he would not call another election for 4 years (the twig trying to be as much as the shrub that he can), he suddenly felt the need to have one much earlier. With no change. It cost us over $300 million. Oh, well.

One of the good things about our system in Canada is that we can boot out an undesirable PM at any time – we don’t have to put up with an incompetent leader for 4 years! Sometimes, we’ve only kept our PM for 3 months, but that was a very special case.

It was difficult to know that there was an election here. If it wasn’t for the mandatory 396 minutes that each broadcaster must make available for political parties to purchase for advertising during the 2008 election campaign, there would have been nothing on the media at all. I never did see any posters, lawn signs, or billboards anywhere during these 37 days. It was all very subdued – very Canadian.

The rest of the population apparently didn’t know there was an election either, for there were less than 60% of the eligible voters that actually voted – the lowest ever in the history of Canada. And the governing party was only elected by 36.6% of the votes! The other 63.4% was divided up by all the other 6 parties… there’s just too many. At least in the US, you only have a choice between two – not very much of a choice, in reality. Does that mean that 21.6% of the voting population chose our government?!

So nothing has changed. Everything is still the same. *sigh*

I did some spinning and Navajo plying-on-the-go with my CD spindle today. It was fun!


Dave said...

Interesting. We were smeared with placards and lawn signs and such here (Ottawa). I guess they felt safe enough out West that they concentrated on the ridings where they thought things might change. Umm, they didn't.

Ply on the fly is fun, but I get occasional hard or sharp spots where the chains join. Probably means I'm overspinning? Overall, I think I prefer to ply later. Doing it on the fly kind of interferes with the flow/zen/whatever. LOL!

Der Geezer von Tampadorf said...

Tallguy! Nice to see you on again. HOpe all is well up there.

Alwen said...

"While the US has been in election campaign for years, . . ."

And it seems like much longer!