Conan O’Brien was in Toronto for today’s show. It was a wonderfully strange experience for both Canadians and I’m sure Conan. There was a bit of Winnipeg slander in his opening segment but I’m willing to ignore that. If nothing else the truth in his jibes is a testament to the trials of Winnipeg existence, which only a Winnipeger knows. His show (and other events) has brought me to the realization that I should probably spend more time discussing Canadian politics as there is little that I can do to affect American ones. Only problem is that I don’t know as much about Canadian politics as I do about American.
There’s an interesting definition of conservatives and liberals on this is class warfare. Very succinct description if you ask me. Liberals and conservatives are going to war in Canada right now, this upcoming election ought to be an interesting one. The Liberals in power are beset by scandal and corruption. The conservatives are still trying to put together a whole party after it split a dozen years ago. Interesting times indeed. Thank god that Canada doesn’t just have two parties – other parties balance them out. There’s always lots of choice up here.
How many of you have ever been to It’s an interesting site – a user edited and contributed encylopedia of knowledge. I happened to come across an unused entry for The King of Canada and I felt I should contribute at least something. I’ve also contributed to the Sustainability Wike, but I suppose that’s on a different network. Ah well, at least I’m throwing a bit of information pollution out there.

5 thoughts on “Canada”

  1. I had to check Conan out too (yawn)….since GURL lives there…forgot about you and Winnipeg!
    I know little of Canadian politics and perhaps one should know a little bit about one’s neighbor…
    The civility issue is an interesting one….I have, can be and will be VERY UNCIVIL with people–have been ALL of my life–but rarely is my uncivility unwarranted.
    Isn’t it strange…..2 very talented musician’s at the Circus Bowl did something VERY UNCIVIL
    (by popular vote) but how was their overall singing performance? It was LOST in the uncivility
    of their non singing performance…….Sad, that how you say something is more important than
    what you are saying.

  2. oldcatman: A collection of links to primers on canadian politics 🙂
    Political ideologies carry the same names worldwide, but are often very distinct entities. The conservatism and liberalism in the US are quite different from the same-named ‘movements’ here in Canada.
    Our Liberal party sits in the middle of our nation’s political spectrum. On the left we have our socialist voice, the NDP from English Canada, Bloc Quebecois from French Canada, and a large base of grassroot/student political organizations. On the right we have the newly (re)formed Conversative party. (Another ‘right’ voice being the economy/buissness community.)
    It’s a balance. (Side note: Think for a moment of the political balance that exists in Europe. Diverse!)
    “The left is here to point out that all are not equal in the competitive pursuit of individual happiness.” -Gad Horowitz
    The right exists to maintain both the economy and the status quo.
    It is interesting to note that our Conservative party, (even with the addition of the Reform party), carries with it something that doesn’t exist in US Conservatism: A Tory influence. To this day, a Canadian Conservative is called a ‘Tory’. This Tory side comes from our forefathers, who were loyalists and who developed (under the guidance of Britain and with their ‘feudalist’ partners from French Canada) the model of our Federal State. The US made it very clear, (from the get go), that they were founding a new Nation, separate and distinct from the clash of ideologies that existed in Europe.
    (I won’t really get into this, but this is why the US has almost no socialist voice; the US severed ties with the UK and founded a political nation based on a focused ideology. Socialism wasn’t included in the building process and was in fact vilified to the edge of nuclear war. But I digress.)
    The addition of the Reform voice to our Conservative party will no doubt revive the bizarre tradition of the Red and Blue Tory. (This is another very un-American aspect of Canadian Conservatism.):
    A Red Tory is basically, a Conservative who often prefers the NDP voice over that of the Liberals, (without really knowing why.) (The Yin to this Yang is the Canadian socialist who finds himself mysteriously agreeing with the Conservative voice.)
    Whereas, a Red Tory represents the Left wing of the conservative party, the Blue Tory is the right wing. The Blue Tory / Liberal political alignment is evident.
    This phenomenon is a relic of our once powerful Progressive Conservative party. For in Canadian government, the party in power is influenced by the other parties in equal measure, regardless of Left/Right orientation.
    Some diehard Progressive Conservatives (from the old skool) see this Red Tory, “at the very highest level, […] as a philosopher who combines elements of socialism and toryism so thoroughly […] this it is impossible to say that he is a proponent of either one as against the other;” a balanced politician.
    (The quote was again from Gad Horowitz, who inspired this post with his writings on Canadian *-isms.)
    Well I don’t really know where I’m going here.
    Just sorta following thought patterns.
    Our socialist voice isn’t really a Marxist voice is it? It’s more old skool British socialist flavour. Marxism never found it’s voice in the America’s, although I often wonder why it didn’t take off in Mexico. Must have been the influence of the US; they never seem to understand why Marxism (or even socialism for that matter) is attractive to poor or 3rd world nations. This is because the understanding of Marxism comes *from class struggle*. The US purports to be ‘classless’; their poor are ignored or marginalized and given no political voice. Maybe the republicans (and the democrats for that matter) will start to slack with their negative pressure on socialist countries now that they have a new enemy. Or even better, perhaps a socialist movement will emerge from below the US poverty line.
    Socialism emerges from class struggle because a growing percentage the population is asking for equality of condition rather than merely equality of opportunity. A growing voice is asking for “a society that does more than provide a context within which [the individual] can pursue happiness in a purely self-regarding way.”
    One last note: Does our Liberal party often project political ambivalence because they do not want to upset their place between the Left and Right?

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