We had a federal election up here last week. Our Conservative Party won more seats in the House of Commons than any other single party, but not a majority of the available seats, leaving them to manage what we call a "minority government." Which is pretty much status quo, as that's the situation we've been in for the last two years. A minority goverment is an interesting situation because the governing party does not control enough votes in the house to pass legislation without the co-operation of members of other parties. This leads to an unprecedented amount of compromise and co-operation within the house, as the government will make concessions to the opposition parties in return for support for their initiatives.
It usually leads to a lack of contoversial legislation being passed, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It also means a short sitting period for a government, as a non-confidence vote is certain to eventually take place. We'll be back at the polls in probably less than another two years to do it all again.
I have read a number of opinions online from fellow Canadians who are scadalized that the Conservatives won another election. They seem to think Stephen Harper and his associates are out to ruin the country in some way. The most common commentary seems to equate Harper and the Conservatives with George Bush and the American Republican party, which is ridiculous. The Canadian political parties do not line up with the traditional American parties in ideology. Sure, the Liberals are more liberal minded, and the Conservatives are more, well, conservative, but both parties are far closer to the center of the political spectrum than the GOP and the Democrats.
While American conservatives can't seem to open their mouths without threatening to trample all over the rights of women, homosexuals, or non-christians, the Canadian Conservative Party has repeatedly stated that changes to Canada's human rights laws - permissive of gay marriage, abortion, and religious freedom - are not on their agenda. And have showed absolutely no indication over the last two years that they plan to change that position. Crying about those issues is nothing more than mindlessly parroting opposition talking points, so just stop it, OK?
It snowed here. All day long. None of it stayed on the ground though...until about 4:30. Now the front lawn is completely covered in a blanket of white. Put me in mind of this:
I predict high volume panic sales of snow tires tomorrow.