Category Archives: Government
It is a scary thought when you think that we might possibly have a severely weakened senate with the combined Tory and NDP effort, considering that they make up more than 2/3 of the house of commons meaning that they can actually make these changes.
The senate or the upper house in most countries including Canada is generally thought of as a sombre and thoughtful chamber. It does not create the knee jerk reactions a single chamber (House of Commons) would create considering all the members are elected and are subject to the knee jerk reactions of the electorate.
The same idea would go for the Tories who want the provinces to elect the senators for a maximum term limit of 9 years. It is true that the senate will not be subject to a whole lot of knee jerk reactions from the public but they will not be shielded completely from it as well.
My worry with these changes would be the possibility of having a change from a very right wing government to a very left wing government or vice versa in a matter of 6 months from when a new government is elected. There would be a lack of balance and that is something which is not good for the markets.
In the late 1960’s Singapore started to reform it’s society vigorously due to it’s small size and it’s vulnerability as an economy keeping in mind Sukarno was a threat. The PAP leaders in Singapore (Goh Keng Swee and Lee Kwan Yew) changed their identity when they formed Singapore. Consider that both leaders either belonged to the Straits Chinese and/or the Peranakan. They now called themselves Chinese leaders of a multiracial Singapore and abandoned the use of Hokkien and Teochew in the teaching of school curriculum and opted for Mandarin. I beleive the argument was with regards to army service men in the 1970’s not understanding each others dialects. The PAP was and is a multiracial party but this is not the focus of this post.
Across the causeway in Malaysia as a result of the racial riots in Kuala Lumpur on May 13 1969 besides a curb on free speech, the NEP (New Economic Policy) was implemented by the then Deputy Prime Minister (Timbalan Perdana Mentri) Tun Abdul Razak. That was not however a major shift due to the reason that these policies at that time were meant to be temporary and not permanent. (The NEP was to accord affirmative action to push the Malays to become close to equal in economic prosperity in comparison with the Chinese). When Tun, Dr. Mahathir Mohammed became premier in 1981 the shift that was meant to be temporary soon turned into something that was close to permanent. I believe the law still indicates that all Malaysians regardless of religion or race is equal, where affirmative policies can be implemented. With the Islamic revolution in Iran (1979) in full swing in the 1980’s Barisan Nasional created Islamic courts under article 121(A) of the constitution in the Peninsula. More women started to wear the tudung (commonly known as the hijab in the rest of the world). Mahathir was really good at implementing Islamic and Western principles at almost the same time. Weekends which used to constitute Fridays and Saturdays in Johor for example was changed to Saturdays and Sundays in the 1990’s. People were suspected of not being married were being issued summons in parks and in other public areas for holding hands. Cars and highways were being built at a phenomenal rate to show that Malaysia had the capability of building highways that were as good as the interstates in the United States. The major companies that were government aided like Proton, Perodua, UEM, Renong and PLUS were headed by the “Malays”. The reason why I have placed the word Malay in quotations is because some of the companies were headed by incompetent people. Let me clarify that I am in no way being racist as I am aware of some very capable Malays in high positions in companies with no external nudging.
Let us move towards the events of the past couple of years notably the endorsement of Perkasa by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed which called for Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) and Lee Kwan Yew’s book on “Hard Truths”, where he talks about the Malays in Singapore being separate and not assimilating “with the Chinese”. I wonder if both the strong men in the region put way too much focus on a particular racial group while the others treaded along.
Where is all of this going to lead? Especially with regards to the group of “stupid” and/or loyal supporters of both leaders.
The leadership in the Conservative Party is warning us about a reckless coalition which would comprise of the Liberals, Bloc and the NDP. Is the leadership of that party telling us that a majority of the voters who tend to lean towards the left are reckless?
We will vote for who we want to vote for. The Tories have the right to voice their opinions on the future of this country and on the ideas the other parties have on policy issues but to tell us who to vote for (even if it maybe indirect) would be a totally different ball game.
Is it time to have a Unity Government in Canada? We have many parties unwilling to work with one another when it comes to the elites in these parties. Petitions and reports from committee meetings seem to have no effect on the national conscience or more importantly in the House of Commons.
We have elected minority Conservative governments in 2006, 2008 and similar results are expected in this election as well. These governments fell due to the reason that the parties were not able to work together. As a result we are spending an average of about $150,000,000 an election including party ads and ballots every 2 years.
Politics in a Federal type democracy is about give and take. If the tories don’t get their way the government falls just because they are not willing to compromise with the NDP, Liberals and the Bloc. (The government can only fall on a “No Confidence” motion which would include budgets)
The Liberals and the Tories should be able to form a grand coalition to include ideas from both the right and the left and that kind of a coalition would be helpful in the building of our country in both the literal and figurative sense.
This idea of a unity government has existed, before confederation in 1867, and was called the Great Coalition. Let us give that another try and we might get somewhere.