Federal Election 2011

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Canada

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 28, 2011

Too many Canadians have no idea how our Parliamentary system works.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted April 28, 2011 at 23:49:44

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted April 29, 2011 at 06:59:04

Too many Canadians have no idea how our Parliamentary system works.

I agree completely. But then, I'm not sure much has changed over the years. (Not that the past is necessarily prologue.)

Too many Canadians have no idea how their local governance works.

Too many Canadians have no idea how our economy works.

Too many Canadians have no idea how the game of politics works. (Whining about something doesn't necessarily indicate understanding. Most times these days, it indicates frustration and a need to demonize.)

Too many Canadians have no idea how their bodies work in regard to calorie consumption, energy expenditure, the difference between 'eating' and 'feeding'.

Too many Canadians have no idea how personal finance works.

Or...or...

Or maybe it's more a situation where it's not so much rampant ignorance at play as it is systemic apathy. Clearly, people have other priorities. 'Good luck with that.'

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By Harpie (anonymous) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 09:21:23

I love these - check this one out too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItqs4HO6hc

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By AberDean (anonymous) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 09:55:16

Amusing, but votes cast by ignorant people go to political parties of all stripes. Vast swaths of ballots from uninformed voters (including 'mobs') will be tabulated from people who have no idea what the party platforms were, what level of government is being decided on, or what planet we live on.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 11:02:16 in reply to Comment 62853

Well, the problem with democracy is that sometimes people vote for the wrong guy.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 15:04:41

I love it! (Good point to post his & the robotic voices just set it off nicely!)

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 15:47:43

Spec endorses Harper: http://www.thespec.com/opinion/editorial...

A decision by default, eh? Apparently their editorial board doesn't understand our democratic system either. Oh wait, they understand it, they just believe that the means justify the ends:

"It is that disregard for Parliament that most makes this a troubled endorsement. Harper has shown a strong inclination to go around Parliament, to bypass the processes and traditions that safeguard representative democracy. [...] But the Conservative track record also includes relatively sound fiscal management and a centrist approach to national social issues. As successive minority governments, they have earned our endorsement to govern again."

I cancelled my Spec subscription an hour ago. I won't read another word from a publication whose editors who dismiss ethics so easily.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2011-04-29 15:48:42

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By NoDopePlease (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 16:47:44 in reply to Comment 62867

How can this be? Journalism is unbiased. Hasn't anyone ever heard of the fith estate?

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 13:37:09 in reply to Comment 62867

Several people commenting on that article mentioned that they had cancelled their subscriptions. I wonder how many people that article lost them?

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted April 30, 2011 at 13:50:16 in reply to Comment 62882

facebook is full of cancellation talk as well. This may just hurt The Spec in the pocket book.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 16, 2011 at 02:54:45 in reply to Comment 62884

It's about time something woke them up.

I stopped buy it daily some years ago over the local election coverage & their endorsed candidate.

After the stadium debacle, I completely stopped buying it, not even the Saturday edition.

They can please their advertisers,( if they feel they Must) but at some time they have to start considering their readers. If they are hurting financially as badly as they say they are, why are they making such poor choices?
In this day & age, do we really need a newspaper to endorse candidates for us? It's just a bit over the top, & pedantic.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 14:00:19 in reply to Comment 62884

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 16, 2011 at 03:07:39 in reply to Comment 62886

Are you saying that they have enough advertisers that it doesn't matter if few people purchase their paper?

Isn't that something like 'vanity press', where a group or an individual pays to have material published, frequently because nobody is interested in bad poetry, or the like?

There are people who would say that a long-time icon like the Spec should not fail, or that every city, town should have it's own news media outlet, but in recent times many internationally highly respected newspapers have folded.
There are times when I look at articles in The Spec online, & I simply cannot believe what I'm reading, & I mean that in Every possible sense of, "Cannot Believe".

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By say (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 12:08:26 in reply to Comment 62886

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted April 29, 2011 at 22:44:43

This is to me a blatant anti Conservative advert. Can I ask why? I believe many on here understand that most don't know how the government works. So why put on something that illustrates this with the anti Conservative slant? Why not add some info on how the other parties are neglecting to show how they would pay for all their promises? I can remember when the Liberals received a majority a while back but the actual amount of votes were mostly for the Conservatives nation wide, guess that wasn't anti democratic was it. I just thought I would get a less bias slant on here, oh well.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 19:06:46 in reply to Comment 62870

It is an anti-conservative advert. Why? Because they behave in a fashion that subverts our democracy. Instead of just railing against the "anti-Conservative" nature of the video, prove it wrong.

As far as the liberal majority when they didn't have an actual majority of the votes, if you paid attention to this site you'd see that not many people here like the current method of assigning victory for just that reason.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 14:55:45 in reply to Comment 62870

Give me a break, it's not "anti Conservative" to show how they're lying to Canadians about them breaking parliamentary law. Even if you support their policies you need to be honest about what they're doing to our democratic traditions.

Comment edited by z jones on 2011-04-30 14:56:45

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 19:03:17 in reply to Comment 62888

I am not giving a break to someone who thinks its not anti Conservative. It's obvious and I bet the maker of it agrees. Just because it talks of the lack of peoples knowledge of how the system works doesn't give the right to mention Harpers name over and over again. Why didn't it say I'm voting for Jack Layton and the reply be you aren't etc. etc.?? Time for you to give me a break.

Comment edited by Woody10 on 2011-04-30 19:05:46

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 15:16:44 in reply to Comment 62888

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By JonC (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 09:40:25 in reply to Comment 62870

"The other guy does it too" is the worst defense. All you are trying to do is justify yourself to yourself. Just admit that you don't care about this issue. You don't. If you did you wouldn't go around trying to defend it. Accept that you are a worse person than you think you are and move on.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 09:57:11 in reply to Comment 62875

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 02, 2011 at 15:36:39 in reply to Comment 62877

Sounds like every leftie asshole in this city.

Ah, the wisdom of the resident Once-ler.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 16, 2011 at 03:13:11 in reply to Comment 62960

Would a 'lefty asshole' indicate lower spinal curvature?

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 07:46:22 in reply to Comment 62870

To exist is to have an opinion. Voting requires bias. Keep doing what you can to promote yours!

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By A.Poh (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 11:24:17

I think you need to think about something, though; Conservatives are promising changes and tax cuts. NDP and Liberals are admitting that higher taxes might be necessary.

I'm not trying to say that you're wrong, I'm just saying that a lot of the reason the Conservatives say not to vote Lib or NDP is because both parties intend to raise taxes. Those taxes pay for promises.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted April 30, 2011 at 19:07:36 in reply to Comment 62879

I agree but Harper said he will keep the taxes at the same level, not cut right away.

I don't know about you but I can't afford to pay anymore.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 01:35:59

Since so many citizens do not understand how our parliamentary system works we should change it and make it even more complicated. That would show them.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 09:31:09 in reply to Comment 62894

Don't be ridiculous, most democratic countries have moved to P.R. and they don't have trouble understanding how things work. Actually, P.R. would work more like people think than our current system.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2011 at 08:05:16 in reply to Comment 62895

How in the world does adding another level or type of rep make things easier? People understand that if the majority of voters in their riding vote for the candidate then that person gets elected. What some are unclear on is how the P.M. gets the position. There is no way that adding another type or level of reps is going to make that easier to understand, give your head a shake.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 09:40:56 in reply to Comment 62895

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 09:48:14 in reply to Comment 62896

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By No Thanks (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 13:40:17 in reply to Comment 62897

So you want Canada to adopt the American system. Because THAT is really democratic and makes people feel like their vote matters.

No thanks, the American system is like Canada's but even worse. It's also the oldest modern democratic system and hasn't changed other than extending the vote past propertied white males, whereas the other liberal democracies have learned a thing or two in the past 200 years.

No thanks.

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By Hatchetjob (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 16:52:20

It reeks of a horrendous error on the part of the Spec. In a city that has a vast majority of NDP seats both federally and provicially, they kind of cut their own throats.

It was similar to the hack job they attempted on Jack Layton over the bawdy house scandal over at the SUN. Very sketchy stuff.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted May 01, 2011 at 23:58:50

It makes me think back to a comment by Bill Clinton (love him or hate him) a few years back about they couldn't get him on his policies, so they attacked him personally. It has become an uglier political world lately I think.

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