Oh Canada...Oh Canada...Part 2
Oh Canada...Oh Canada...Part 2
I had planned on posting a couple of cartoons with elephants but that fell through after I started watching the Canadian Party Leaders' debate on C-SPAN 2.
For those of you that missed the live C-SPAN coverage there will be another debate tonight at 8 pm Eastern time. The second debate will be in French and Gille Duceppe will surely be less encumbered speaking his native tongue. Who is Gille Duceppe you ask? He is the leader of Bloc Quebecois Party, representing the province of Quebec. (Free Quebec!)
Gilles represents the smallest of the four major parties in Canada. Yes, that's right four parties. They have a parlimentary system similar to that of Great Britian. The other party leaders present in the debate were Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party, Paul Martin of the Liberal Party, the current Prime Minister and the forth member of the quartet is Jack Layton leader of the New Democrat Party (NDP). (In Oh Canada...Oh Canada... I covered a few party basics.)
Now then back to the debates. Let me say that there are some definate similarities between Canadian debates and US debates. A quick example would be watching candidates respond with answers that completely ignore the question(s) being asked. This is a universal debate tactic, no doubt. For me the glaring difference between debates I watch in the US as contrasted to that of Canada would be the moderators.
Steve Paikin of TV Ontario was marvelous. He was definately in control. He had no problem cutting off those that spoke over their allotted times. Oh to see such a controlled US presidential debate would be refreshing. Jim Lehrer from PBS only has two candiates to contend with while Steve Paikin kept order with four candidates. (The candiates actually following the rules they agreed upon didn't hurt either.)
Over the course of the debate I thought about how these various party representatives would fit into either the Republican and Democrat parties. Starting with the obvious choice your'd think the Conservative Party member, would be a Republicans. It was my first inclination. But that wouldn't work because guys like Stephen Harper have socialist leanings that would have them run out of the party. Guys like Harper would be Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) Democrats who would vote the Republican Party line.
Then there is the current Prime Minister Paul Martin. He too would be a DLC Democrat. Not as "conservative" as Harper or Zell Miller, but not liberal enough to be the old fashioned Democratic National Committee (DNC) Democrat. He'd probably be in the leadership, while Jack Layton might flourish in the DNC and never attain leadership status. Layton would be a team player who on occassion spoke out of turn to the dismay of the party hierarchy.
Last but not least is Gilles Duceppe. This Quebec'r would not fit within the confines of the two party system here in the US. Mr. Duceppe would be marginalized in the US. A third party candidate in the extreme. His pro gay rights beliefs would have heterosexual Republicans up in arms. The in-the-closet Republicans would lead the opposition against poor Duceppe while secretly harboring their sexual attraction to him.
I just want to take a moment to thank Sarah over at Sarahspace for directing my attention to my neighbors of the Great White North eh, and the wonders of their political machinations.
(I updated the acronyms.)