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Old 05-07-2015, 03:43 PM
 
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I can't believe that people are still so naive that they can believe the myth that the NDP are "social democrats". Of course they're light on their agenda because they're usually wallowing in third party status and don't want to reveal the true SOCIALIST agenda. We'll see what happens in Alberta. Even more interesting will be the federal election. If the NDP does manage to form the government, the provincial counterpartys will no doubt be emboldened to reveal their true colours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
The Alberta NDP, a social democratic party, but more centrist then in other provinces and federally. They formed a majority government.

...

Canada's NDP, the current official opposition. They won big last election but have historically been a third party. They're third again in the polls right now to a resurgent Liberals, but only by about 7 points, they could make a comeback. Social Democrats.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
98 posts, read 103,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken S. View Post
I can't believe that people are still so naive that they can believe the myth that the NDP are "social democrats". Of course they're light on their agenda because they're usually wallowing in third party status and don't want to reveal the true SOCIALIST agenda. We'll see what happens in Alberta. Even more interesting will be the federal election. If the NDP does manage to form the government, the provincial counterpartys will no doubt be emboldened to reveal their true colours...
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:35 PM
 
873 posts, read 816,254 times
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Provincial and Federal Parites are completely different, some of them dressed in the same colour but still different. Wildrose doesn't exist as a federal party in Canada, only in Alberta. Same as Saskatchewan Party and others.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:01 AM
 
625 posts, read 1,188,975 times
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B
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
I'm also a bit envious that there are more than two primary political parties there, given our two party system in the US is dysfunctional and polarizing. Do multiple political parties cause more gridlock up there or just better overall representation?
One difference to understand is that political party in the US is primarily a label and loose affiliation - you have a range of viewpoints in each party and elected officials can vote any way they want (although they get rewards like good committee assignments if they toe the party line). Essentially the US elects a bunch of individuals. This, plus the separation of powers between executive and legislature, plus in most cases upper and lower houses of the legislature, leads to gridlock! (add that US congressional districts are increasingly polarized).

In Canada we use the British "Westminster" model of parliament, although our party leaders have become extremely strong, so much so that members of parliament have to vote with their party or risk being kicked out or not allowed to run again. I understand this is not the case in the UK. In addition, since our system is a "first past the post" electoral system (same as US), but with more than two parties, the winner in any riding (district) seldom has even close to a majority, and the system is quite volatile. Majority governments are often elected with around 40% of the vote - this is true of our current Conservative government, as well as the recent NDP victory in Alberta.

Its been said we basically elect a dictator at every election, so few are the checks on power. So there is much less gridlock, yes, as members of the ruling party must support the Prime Minister.

It is not meant to be this way - the PM is supposed to anawer to parliament - and there are of course reforms that could get us out of this mess that we got ourselves into.

(And before any conservatives accuse me of being partisan, consider how you would like an NDP majority government, with as much power as Stephen Harper, elected with as little as 35% of the vote - it could happen!)
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,020 posts, read 2,700,040 times
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^Good comments. It should also be noted that the Republicans and Democrats were not originally along political lines, but more along non-political notions like regional and racial identity. That's why in the south whites were almost all Democrats and blacks were almost all Republicans irrespective political views. The civil rights movement changed all that. Before that time you could have hard left and hard right political views in both parties. You still get much more diversity of opinion within the two main parties in the US than find in Canadian politics.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
9,552 posts, read 9,429,171 times
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How have the Conservatives (Tories) and Liberals (Grits) changed since their beginnings?
And have the Bloc Quebecois and Parti Quebecois veered left or right since their beginnings?
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:11 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,441 posts, read 18,355,294 times
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I was compelled to ask as I wonder how much the US would benefit from a 3rd party that actually had some clout to bridge some of the growing polarizing divide and hysteria between the two parties, so I wondered how a non two party system functions in Canada. I'm still not sure I understand the biggest distinction between a candidate running for the NDP vs the Liberals. Like, what sets Thomas Muclair and Justin Trudeau apart in their politics? I hear the word "socialist" as synonymous with NDP, so what does that make the Liberals then?
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,020 posts, read 2,700,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
How have the Conservatives (Tories) and Liberals (Grits) changed since their beginnings?
And have the Bloc Quebecois and Parti Quebecois veered left or right since their beginnings?
Political parties in Canada have moved to the left as the center has moved left, but there isn't a lot of overlap on the left-right spectrum between Conservatives and Liberals. There is definitely some though because some provinces are more left than others. Plus there's the rural-urban divide. For example, on the issue of gun control, a rural NDP politician will often be against the long gun registry while a big city Conservative will often be in favor of tougher gun laws, though as things stand in Canada, if the party endorses one position over another, all dissenting MPs must vote with the party no matter what they want personally lest they get kicked out of the party.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,697 posts, read 8,771,886 times
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People are not so hard core in party affiliations. Many vote one way federally and another provincially. I have voted for different parties over the years, depending on who's running.

The mis-step that Trudeau just did in supporting bill C-51 angered many federal Liberals to the point of cutting up their membership cards and stating they will vote NDP.

Party names can be confusing for people not paying attention. For example the provincial BC Liberals are related to or part of the federal Liberals.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,179 posts, read 1,756,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
People are not so hard core in party affiliations. Many vote one way federally and another provincially. I have voted for different parties over the years, depending on who's running.
Good point. Many Canadians do not vote "one party, every time, federally and provincially." Heck, PET (a Liberal) as PM was popular with voters in Ontario--the government of which was solidly Conservative. For the most part, Canadians seem to weigh the issues of the day, and vote for the candidate whom they believe best addresses those issues.

I'm always amazed to hear that Americans are asked for a party preference when they register to vote. "Independent" or "No Preference" is an option, of course; but it seems to me that registering with a party preference might make the voter feel that they have to vote for that party every time. But as I further understand things, Americans are free to vote for anybody once in the voting booth, regardless of registered preference, so that evens things out somewhat.
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