Sunday, 7 December 2008

Angry White Men Storm Parliament Hill

On the front page of the Ottawa Citizen today the headline reads "Hey hey ho ho Stephen Harper has to... stay!" Put aside for one moment the paper's obvious slant towards supporting Stephen Harper (a similar demonstration in support of the coalition only made page 6 of paper on Dec 5, 2008) and dissect the coverage of the facts.

If the page one photo of the demonstration in support of our create-a-crisis Prime Minister accurately protrays the crowd, it contained 99.9% men, carrying English signs, draping themselves in the Canadian flag and all angry (really all that were missing were the pitch forks). The question becomes why did the crowd look like that. Could it be because the Harper Conservatives have been attacking women and minority rights since day one?

The page 6 photo contains a mix of men and women all carrying simple signs in both English and French a single Quebec flag. (I can't help but wonder if that was the only Quebec flag there and the photographer chose to do a little editorializing of his/her own.)

The Ottawa Citizen, on the day that it covered the demonstration in support of the coalition chose to put a super size picture of Harper on the front page proudly stating that 43% of Canadians polled said that the would vote for Harper in an election.

First a lesson in civics: Unless you live in the riding of Calgary South, you can't vote for Harper. In Canada, citizens do not vote for Prime Minister they vote for their Member of Parliament (MP for short). Stephen Harper is Prime Minister because his political party, the Conservative Party of Canada (the Conservatives), chose him to be their leader and the Conservatives won more seats that the other parties (although not a majority of the seats).

In the House of Commons all MPs are created equal, and all MPs are elected in their perspective ridings, including Stephen Harper. Therefore if the coalition forms and takes over as the governing "party" all that will have changed is who wears the hat of Prime Minister. The MP that was elected in your riding will continue to be your MP and represent you in the House of Commons. -- I.E. No one's vote will have been stolen and the angry mob was attempting to say on Saturday.

Now on to my second point, if my math serves me correctly if 43% of Canadians would vote for the Conservatives that means that 57% would not! In the absence of Parliamentary reform, a coalition that represents how the majority of Canadians would actually vote, sounds VERY DEMOCRATIC.

Reference: Thousands rally across the country to protest coalition's power play

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it's ridiculous how many people don't understand how parliamentary deocracy works. :(


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