Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Go to any news story about the current machinations in Ottawa on the CBC or the Globe and Mail website and read the comments. It's a marvelous confirmation that most Canadians have no idea how their system of government actually works. Undemocratic blah blah blah. Just marvelous. Newsflash: Canada does not have a "two party system"; Canada is not a Republic; Canada is not the United States.

I even get the impression that some Members of Parliament are a bit fuzzy on how things work. This morning Ujjal Dosanjh was on the CBC radio with Libby Davies. In response to a question from Rick Cluff (sorry, I can't remember the question; I usually tune Ricky out) Dosanjh said The Conservatives got 38% of the popular vote; it's a minority government. It seemed to me that he believed that the latter necessarily followed from the former. Looking up the popular vote percentage of the Liberal majority governments of the 1990s is left as an excercise for the reader (and apparently also Ujjal Dosanjh).

Ah, screw that: Wikipedia: Canadian federal election, 1997:

Liberal Party, 155 seats won (majority), popular vote percentage: 38.46%
Some further reading: And last, but certainly not least:


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