Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Drive For 155

Since I have close friends living north of the border, I've always liked Canada and want to visit the country someday, I've made it a point to keep up with what's happening there politically.  

Renee of Womanist Musings finally got her wish Thursday as the Conservative run Canadian government of PM Stephen Harper fell on a 156-145 no confidence vote.   That means that Parliament gets dissolved and new federal elections, the fourth in seven years will be held on May 2.    Canada has been run by a series of minority governments since 2004.   The latest minority government since 2006 has been run by the Sweater Vest and his Conservatives.   In the October 2008 election they fell just 12 seats short of getting the majority

As to what this means for the Trans Rights Bill, since C-389 hadn't cleared the Canadian Senate and received Royal Assent to become law, the whole process will have to start over again from scratch in the next Parliament.    It also means that if it does, there will be someone else besides MP Bill Siksay leading the charge on it since he has announced he's retiring

The Canadian House of Commons has 308 seats that the political parties in that country will be battling to get.    Currently the Conservatives hold 143 seats, the Liberals 77, the Bloc Quebecois 47, and the New Democratic Party 36. There are two independent lawmakers, and three seats are vacant.

To form a majority government the magic number is 155 seats.   If  you fall short of that, you have to form a coalition with another party or combination of parties to give you the numerical governing majority, and that's known as a minority government.   Of course, if you want to fully implement your platform without having any interference from opposition parties your main goal for this election is to get 155 or more seats.

The leader of the party with the most seats, or a coalition that gives them a majority of House seats becomes the Canadian prime minister.   The current major party leaders are Stephen Harper for the Conservatives, Michael Ignatieff for the Liberals, Gilles Duceppe for the Bloc Quebecois, and Jack Layton for the New Democratic Party. 

So as you can tell by the party websites I linked to they have already swung into campaign mode.   Until May 2 the political commercials will be hot and heavy on Canadian TV sets and for those of you on our side of the border with cable systems that have Canadian stations on them.

I'll be keeping a long distance eye on what's transpiring in these elections north of the border because they will have an impact on our Canadian trans cousins, and by default, that means it will also indirectly impact us as well south of it.

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