Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I guess they're trying.

As you've probably heard by now, there are rallies being planned across Canada, both for and against the proposed coalition. Well, in Edmonton, the "anti" folks are said to be rallying at "Duncan Office," which I have to imagine is shorthand for "Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan's constituency office."

But there's a funny thing about that--I was just talking to the divine Ms. Duncan, and she told me that her constituency office is still being set up. Yes, they have chosen a location, but no, there are no open hours there yet. She just hired her assistant this past weekend, in fact.

So are they going to be rallying at an office that isn't open yet, then? No, apparently it's even better than that, because the address that is being passed around for "Duncan Office" is 10806-119 St, which is not only not Linda Duncan's future constituency office, it's not even in our riding. In fact, it's nowhere near our riding.

What the heck is that address, anyway? The provincial NDP office, maybe? Good luck rallying there, if that's what it is--it's kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and they share space with a church.

Apparently this is what happens when people who shouldn't have passed high school social studies and who don't know that '52.9' is a bigger number than '46.4' try to organize political events.

[Update: The pro-coalition rally will take place on Thursday at 6PM, at Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. If you support the coalition, pass it on.]

16 comments:

Denny said...

My roommate and I had a good laugh last night when someone forwarded the Campus Conservative's e-mail to us with the ANDP office listed as the address to protest at.

They don't seem to be very well organized. There's another e-mail circulating saying the rally is at "Linda Duncan's Office" on Saturday.

Adam Snider said...

If I'm not mistaken, that address is a bloody strip mall that happens to contain the NDP riding association office. So, they're going to protest in Edmonton-Centre, a riding that elected a Conservative candidate, because it happens to contain an NDP office that is definitely NOT Linda Duncan's office.

It's not a very public location, either. I live very close and I know that area. There isn't a very significant amount of traffic, so no one will really see the rally, other than the poor suckers in the surrounding businesses.

Of course, the nearby bar might do well if the protesters go for drinks after the rally ends.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

If I'm not mistaken, that address is a bloody strip mall that happens to contain the NDP riding association office.

No, no, it's worse than that--it's in a CHURCH. And the office in the back of that church isn't even the Edmonton-Strathcona riding association office, it's the provincial NDP office. Which has crap-all to do with Linda Duncan, her office, or in fact with federal politics. It's not even located within Edmonton-Strathcona.

So the Edmonton-area Tories are going to stand outside of a church in the middle of nowhere, protesting the proposed coalition. Have at it, I say! It should make for a good news story that night.

Adam Snider said...

It's not even the federal riding association? I guess that makes sense. After all, why would the federal NDP office be located in Edmonton.

This just gets better and better (or worse and worse). It's going to look, to the casual observer, like they're protesting a church!

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Oh, I wouldn't worry about that--there are no "casual observers" in that part of the city anyway...

Adam Snider said...

Oh, I'm well aware of that. As I said, I live only a few blocks away, and I know just how few cars pass through that area. Unless there is something happening at the community hall across the field, essentially no one, other than people in nearby apartments will even see this.

Scott said...

"Apparently this is what happens when people who shouldn't have passed high school social studies and who don't know that '52.9' is a bigger number than '46.4' try to organize political events."

0. The number of people who voted for a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition. To know what percentage would support a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition we would need to have an election. Apparently elections are too expensive ($300 million) but blindly throwing around $30 BILLION is pure genius and all of this to protect the parties precious $30 million that the Liberals and NDP and Bloc can't even convince their supporters to give them.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Scott,

Nobody voted for this coalition government, because people don't vote for coalition governments. Nor do they vote for single-party governments. They vote for their MP, and that's all.

No, really. It's true. Look it up if you don't believe me.

L-girl said...

Funny how all the anti's sound exactly alike. I wonder how that works.

rc said...

"Nobody voted for this coalition government, because people don't vote for coalition governments. Nor do they vote for single-party governments. They vote for their MP, and that's all."

Exactly right. If Conservatives really want the choice to be to vote for a single-party government, or not, then it's a perfect argument for proportional representation.

Denny said...

I guess they realized that picketing a church wasn't the best idea. It's going to be at the office Linda is opening soon.

Curmudgeon-at-Large said...

I've finally got this thing figured out. Harper has not made a single mistake in this whole episode. It's going exactly as he planned. Harper is orchestrating this whole thing like the second coming of Machiavelli. The suckers leading the other parties are taking the hook and jamming it down their own throats. Harper, the consummate control freak, has foreseen the opposition reaction and the public reaction to every move he’s made. He’s set it up so he can paint all the other parties as power-hungry losers, when that label fits his party equally well. He can’t lose. Either the coalition takes over and takes the blame for the coming economic crisis, or there’s an election that no average citizen wants that he can blame on all the other parties in the hope that he will finally get the majority he wants. He will then be able to govern through the bad times and (he hopes) back into the good with his hands firmly grasping the levers of power, allowing him to implement all the policies that will reward his corporate backers, and in the process further impoverish the already poverty-stricken and destroy the environment.

You don't believe me? Think about it. First he draws them in with the bait of cutting the $1.95 per vote subsidy, knowing they can't accept it but must come up with a better excuse for a non-confidence motion. And they do - the very weak argument of failing to respond to the economic crisis with a "stimulus" when clearly that can't be rushed while the US is dithering under a lame duck and our economies are intertwined. (The ban of civil service strikes was just extra bait for the NDP.) Then he withdraws those original bait items, knowing the opposition can't back down without looking like the fools they seem to be. Then he delays the vote to give the opposition time to hang itself and him time to rally his supporters with distortions, half-truths and complete lies that we can clearly see now are working like a charm.

The man's a political genius. Too bad he's an evil genius.

Scott said...

I realize that yes, we directly elect MP's who represent parties. The party (or parties) with the most members forms government with their leader becoming PM. So no, we do not directly elect governments, but it is an indirect process.

To suggest that the party affiliation or who the leader of that party is, does not factor in to the electorates decision when they elect MP's is absurd.

Why else did Liberals spend the period between Oct 14 and this week blaming Stephane Dion for his poor leadership, if as you suggest we vote for our MP and that's all?

Canadian's have been blindsided by this opportunistic power grab and deserve to have their say as to whether or not they would like to elect Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition Members of Parliament.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Scott,

To suggest that the party affiliation or who the leader of that party is, does not factor in to the electorates decision when they elect MP's is absurd.

I actually didn't suggest that. I do realize that people factor several things into their decision when they vote for their MP--which party has the policies they like best, which party has the leader they like best, and which MP candidate they like best. (The fact that we have to fit three very disparate things into one vote is just one of many things that are wrong with our voting system, but that just as an aside.)

No, what I'm actually suggesting is that once parliament has been voted in by the electorate, they take over in the decision-making about the government. And we've got to be okay with the will of the House because that's simply how things work in parliamentary democracies.

As a counterexample: I, for one, thought it was incredibly ridiculous in 2006 that Harper was able to form a Conservative government all by himself with such a low number of seats in the House. He wasn't even required to ask another party to form government with him--he got to do it all on his own with only 36% of the vote and only 40% of the seats. I hadn't voted Conservative, and in fact a vast majority of Canadians hadn't voted Conservative, and yet here we were, with a government with only Conservative members in it.

But the rest of the House tolerated it, so I let it be. I didn't run around and post comments to blogs that this was an illegitimate government because they had won the support of only a fraction of the people. It was a perfectly legitimate government, no matter how ridiculous I found the situation, because they had the confidence of the House. That is how our system works.

Adam Snider said...

@Curmudgeon-at-Large: You know, I found myself wondering more or less the same thing late yesterday afternoon. I'm not normally one for conspiracy theories, but I think you may be onto something.

Scott said...

A similiar situation occurred in 2006 when Paul Martin formed government on his own with less than half the popular vote and less than half the seats, and then too, no one batted an eye.

I realize that a coalition government is perfectly legal and perfectly constitutional as every "constitutional expert" the networks have totted out have reiterated. That said the very notion of a coalition is so alien to the tradition of our parliament, occuring really and truly only once. Even if you look to our cousins in Great Britain and Australia the coalition government has occurred only very rarely. Add to that the fact that both Mr. Dion and Mr. Layton assurred us in the most emphatic and unconditional terms that they would never form a coalition government and it is a real stretch to think this would be a legitimate government.

Politicians go back on their word all the time, but this isn't a change of heart on this issue or that issue in light of new information. We are talking about how the government is formed. If they want to form a coalition, so be it. If they really believe this is what is best for Canada, then they should at least have the nerve to ask the Canadian voter to endorse their change of heart before they start throwing billions of said voters dollars around.