Author Topic: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)  (Read 4766 times)

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A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« on: September 30, 2016, 02:19:53 PM »
I've been watching Canadian politics from afar and (Quebec-aside), really like their 3-party system.

You have:
1. Conservatives: to the left of Republicans. Moderates. Right now hold 96 seats in parliament.
2. Liberals: the middle party in Canada, but to the left of Dems. Hold 182 seats in parliament.
3. New Democratic Party: basically Bernie on roids. Hold 44 seats in parliament.

Canadians - feel free to correct my rudimentary assessment...

As a progressive, I'm afraid in the U.S., 3 parties wouldn't quite evolve that way, considering that half the country would like to go back to the cotton pickin' days. But it would be great to see a more legitimate progressive wing (Sanders, Warren, etc.), and a more responsive version of the current democratic party, as well as a diminished Republican - who are already extremist enough as it is.

3 parties helps create a better functioning government. It's not us vs. them as much. It's not as polarizing. So more shit gets done - and more people benefit.

Right now, one party secretly (this year, blatantly) appeases racist/bigoted voters, while blatantly appeasing corporate interests. They don't do any work for the common citizen b/c they don't have to. The obscenely wealthy fund their campaigns and the racists supply the votes. The racists support the party, which supports the obscenely wealthy. And they try to blatantly muck everything up so their base continues hating govt. It's job security at its finest. Take away safety net and services to make people angry and give tax cuts to the wealthy, and then rail on how bad the govt. is to get re-elected. If people were educated to levels that allowed them to look beyond racist hate-blaming, they'd see that their party is working against their own interests, which is largely why Republicans want to diminish investments in education. It's the circle of life!!!

Rant aside. Could we get there? And what would it take to get there? There's the very real matter at hand that 2 parties control all the money, and if a good chunk of one defected to a 3rd party, the other party would control everything at the national level for a good number of election cycles.

nereo

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 03:22:24 PM »
I've been watching Canadian politics from afar and (Quebec-aside), really like their 3-party system.

You have:
1. Conservatives: to the left of Republicans. Moderates. Right now hold 96 seats in parliament.
2. Liberals: the middle party in Canada, but to the left of Dems. Hold 182 seats in parliament.
3. New Democratic Party: basically Bernie on roids. Hold 44 seats in parliament.

Canadians - feel free to correct my rudimentary assessment...


honest question:  what is it about Quebec that you felt the need to exclude it? Is it just the Parti Québéçois, or something more?

The big difference I think you might be glossing over is that here in Canada we have a Parliamentary system of government.  There is literally no executive branch there is in the US.  The prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau) is a member of Parliament, and while he has head-of-state duties his job is more analogous to Paul Ryan's. The PM will always be from the party with the largest representation. Government is often done by coalition, though the current Liberal party needs no such alliances and can basically push through whatever it wants.

There are advantages and disadvantes to both systems.  Given their political histories, I doubt either populace would support being governed under the other country's system if somehow they could be magically switched.

Oh, and there's more than 3 parties in Canada, though their power and seats in parliament wax and wane.  At the federal level you left you the Green Party and Bloc Québéçois.

libertarian4321

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 03:39:58 PM »
Our 2-Party system has been failing for a while, culminating with the national embarrassment of Hillary vs. Trump.

The problem is that both sides just line up and yell at each other.  Just "us against them" all the time.  No new ideas.  No grey areas.  If the Dems say "black" the Reps say "white" and vice versa, then just proceed to hurl feces at each other, with no attempt to come to a reasonable compromise.

Maybe having a third (e.g. Libertarian Party) that sometimes holds a position that neither major party holds, would help.  Or even a 4th party (e.g. Green Party).

Something to break the grid locked, brainless mess that we have now.

At the very least, the candidates would be forced off their canned stump speech "answers" in debates, if they didn't know precisely what the other guy was going to say in advance.

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2016, 04:15:34 PM »

Maybe having a third (e.g. Libertarian Party)


Says the guy with Libertarian in his username.... =)
I agree with the rest of your assessment, but if the 3rd party is Libertarians, I will happily stick with the 2-party system. Libertarianism is extreme conservatism, at its best. No thanks. This country's politics are too far to the right as it is. Having Republicans as the middle would be an unmitigated disaster.

dividendman

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2016, 04:46:03 PM »
honest question:  what is it about Quebec that you felt the need to exclude it? Is it just the Parti Québéçois, or something more?

The big difference I think you might be glossing over is that here in Canada we have a Parliamentary system of government.  There is literally no executive branch there is in the US.  The prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau) is a member of Parliament, and while he has head-of-state duties his job is more analogous to Paul Ryan's. The PM will always be from the party with the largest representation. Government is often done by coalition, though the current Liberal party needs no such alliances and can basically push through whatever it wants.

There are advantages and disadvantes to both systems.  Given their political histories, I doubt either populace would support being governed under the other country's system if somehow they could be magically switched.

Oh, and there's more than 3 parties in Canada, though their power and seats in parliament wax and wane.  At the federal level you left you the Green Party and Bloc Québéçois.

Some corrections:

The PM is not the head of State and actually has no head of State duties or powers.
There is technically an executive branch of government - the Privy Council, and for all practical purposes, the sub-group of the Privy Council that is the Ministers of the Crown (the Cabinet) is what wields the executive power.
The PM is not always from the party with the largest representation. (see the King-Byng affair - where King retained being the PM even without the most seats, in fact, he lost his own seat!). Rather, the Government is formed by the party that controls the confidence of Parliament, and that party usually chooses the PM.
In Canada there has never been a government by coalition, and in Britain there has only been one that I recall (so Government is not often done by coalition - though it is the case in Israel, another parliamentary country, it is often a coalition government).

Note that the Westminster style parliamentary system is the very definition of tyranny according to James Madison. That is, the power of the legislative and executive branches are both vested in the same people (the governing party), and in this style of government, the Parliament is supreme and can override all judicial decisions.

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 04:58:15 PM »


honest question:  what is it about Quebec that you felt the need to exclude it? Is it just the Parti Québéçois, or something more?



Parti Québéçois - single-issue exclusionist parties aren't real parties, IMO.

I do like our 3-branch system and separation of power, so I wouldn't want everything to resemble Canada, but 3 major parties vs. 2 is admirable.

dividendman

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 05:02:06 PM »
It's actually interesting and paradoxical what has happened in Canada and the US regarding systems of government.

In Canada, the Westminster Parliamentary system was meant to have two parities: Her Majesty's Government, and Her Majesty's loyal Opposition. The purpose here was that once one became too corrupt/ingrained/etc. the people would throw it out and pick the opposition.

In Canada, we have asymmetrical federalism, i.e. not all provinces are equal AND the relationship between the federal government and the provinces is not equal i.e. the federal government was designed to be the stronger partner to keep such a geographically and ethnically (english/french) population together.

In the US, the Constitutional democracy was meant NOT for parties, and definitely not two parties (like the government and the opposition).

In the US, it's a symmetrical federalism, and up until the Civil War (and by design) the States were co-equal partners with the Federal government (you can even argue that they were the stronger partners since the Federal government in the US is restricted by the US constitution in it's powers, while the rest of the powers are left to the states, or to the people).

But what has happened is that Canada was more prone to fracture, a weaker central government and multiple parties, whereas the US was more prone to dual parties and a strong central government.

So, it went the completely opposite to how the designers of both countries envisioned.

About the only thing that has worked as designed is the US system of government was designed to move slowly and have more gridlock, and the Westminster (first past the post hypersensitivity and simple majorities in Parliament) could get things done faster.

ender

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 05:08:23 PM »
Our two party system dies the minute we go to a STV voting system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI

The basic jist is you rank candidates and if your first choice is eliminated, your second choice becomes "real."

Imagine we have Mr. Republican, who would prefer the Libertarian candidate but still wants an R over a D, at all costs. With the current system, a vote for L hurts that end goal, particularly if Mr. Republican lives in a swing state. Because if (and when, almost assuredly) the L loses, his vote is "lost." With STV, it means that he could vote:

Quote
1. Gary Johnson
2. Donald Trump

Pretend that the election results are:

Quote
Clinton 40%
Trump 35%
Johnson 25%

If a candidate doesn't have enough votes to win the majority, as is the case, the lowest candidates gets eliminated. Those (1) votes become whatever their second votes are, so Mr. Republican's first choice of Johnson converts to his (2) choice of Trump.  It effectively means you can vote for your primary and secondary choice on a ballot without feeling like you are "throwing your vote away."

But alas. Current politicians would lose their seats in droves were something like this added.

nereo

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 05:52:35 PM »
honest question:  what is it about Quebec that you felt the need to exclude it? Is it just the Parti Québéçois, or something more?

The big difference I think you might be glossing over is that here in Canada we have a Parliamentary system of government.  There is literally no executive branch there is in the US.  The prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau) is a member of Parliament, and while he has head-of-state duties his job is more analogous to Paul Ryan's. The PM will always be from the party with the largest representation. Government is often done by coalition, though the current Liberal party needs no such alliances and can basically push through whatever it wants.

There are advantages and disadvantes to both systems.  Given their political histories, I doubt either populace would support being governed under the other country's system if somehow they could be magically switched.

Oh, and there's more than 3 parties in Canada, though their power and seats in parliament wax and wane.  At the federal level you left you the Green Party and Bloc Québéçois.

Some corrections:

The PM is not the head of State and actually has no head of State duties or powers.
There is technically an executive branch of government - the Privy Council, and for all practical purposes, the sub-group of the Privy Council that is the Ministers of the Crown (the Cabinet) is what wields the executive power.
The PM is not always from the party with the largest representation. (see the King-Byng affair - where King retained being the PM even without the most seats, in fact, he lost his own seat!). Rather, the Government is formed by the party that controls the confidence of Parliament, and that party usually chooses the PM.
In Canada there has never been a government by coalition, and in Britain there has only been one that I recall (so Government is not often done by coalition - though it is the case in Israel, another parliamentary country, it is often a coalition government).

Note that the Westminster style parliamentary system is the very definition of tyranny according to James Madison. That is, the power of the legislative and executive branches are both vested in the same people (the governing party), and in this style of government, the Parliament is supreme and can override all judicial decisions.
all fair enough points and corrections.  I did think about referencing the crown as the executive branch, but their modern powers are so paltry - my sentence was supposed to read "....literally no executive branch *power like* there is in the US [where it has powers equivalent to or exceeding the other branches].  My bad... I dropped words while typing too fast.  Then again even many Canadians fail to realize or aknowledge that Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada.

Also interesting to know that it's possible for the PM not to come from the party with the most MPs.  I had not realized that.  I've spent a lot of time trying to learn the government of my country of residence but I still have a long way to go, obviously.

Back to the OP - personally I think having >2 parties with >1-2 members in congress could be a very good thing.  I think we're battling political inertia here, though.

nnls

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 05:53:39 PM »
Our two party system dies the minute we go to a STV voting system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI

The basic jist is you rank candidates and if your first choice is eliminated, your second choice becomes "real."

Imagine we have Mr. Republican, who would prefer the Libertarian candidate but still wants an R over a D, at all costs. With the current system, a vote for L hurts that end goal, particularly if Mr. Republican lives in a swing state. Because if (and when, almost assuredly) the L loses, his vote is "lost." With STV, it means that he could vote:

Quote
1. Gary Johnson
2. Donald Trump

Pretend that the election results are:

Quote
Clinton 40%
Trump 35%
Johnson 25%

If a candidate doesn't have enough votes to win the majority, as is the case, the lowest candidates gets eliminated. Those (1) votes become whatever their second votes are, so Mr. Republican's first choice of Johnson converts to his (2) choice of Trump.  It effectively means you can vote for your primary and secondary choice on a ballot without feeling like you are "throwing your vote away."

But alas. Current politicians would lose their seats in droves were something like this added.

Similar to what Australia has then, with preferential voting http://www.aec.gov.au/voting/counting/hor_count.htm

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2016, 06:48:46 PM »
We may not have had coalition governments, but we have had minority parliaments, where the party with the most seats did not have the necessary 50%+1 and was able to govern because they kept another party happy and voting for their legislation.

This article gives a good overview of the Canadian system.  It is a bit out of date, it ends with PM Harper* as a minority government - to update, his last election win gave him a majority government, he pissed off enough people/ran out of popular ideas and now PM Trudeau has a majority government.
http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/minority-governments-canada/

*His government was a bit odd in that he was so clearly in control of his MPs that it began to be called the HarperTM government instead of the Canadian or Conservative Government.  This is atypical.

Cathy

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2016, 06:53:23 PM »
The big difference I think you might be glossing over is that here in Canada we have a Parliamentary system of government. ...
... There is technically an executive branch of government - the Privy Council, and for all practical purposes, the sub-group of the Privy Council that is the Ministers of the Crown (the Cabinet) is what wields the executive power ...

There is an executive branch in Canada. As for the identity of the executive, here is what the Constitution of Canada has to say on that topic:

       The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.
Constitution Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Vict, c 3, § 9 (emphasis mine).

The analogous provision of the US Constitution is Art II, § 1, cl 1, which provides that:

       The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
(Emphasis mine.)


As can be seen, these two provisions are lexically and stylistically very similar. The main difference is that the Canadian chief executive officer is an unelected hereditary monarch who lives in another country and rarely even visits Canada.

The Queen's Privy Council for Canada is not the executive authority. The purpose of that body is merely "to aid and advise in the Government of Canada". Constitution Act, 1867, § 11.


... the Government is formed by the party that controls the confidence of Parliament, and that party usually chooses the PM ...

Legally speaking, as I showed above with the constitutional citation, the "Executive Government" is vested in the Queen, and the composition of Parliament has no effect on how the Queen chooses to exercise her power. The fact that she often chooses to defer to the party who controls a majority of Parliament is merely a convention, and that convention is not legally binding. She could do something else if she wanted. See Re Resolution to amend the Constitution, [1981] 1 SCR 753, 784 ("The leap from convention to law is explained [by some writers] almost as if there was a common law of constitutional law, but originating in political practice. That is simply not so. What is desirable as a political limitation does not translate into a legal limitation, without expression in imperative constitutional text or statute.").
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 07:01:47 PM by Cathy »

LennStar

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2016, 07:42:52 AM »

Rant aside. Could we get there? And what would it take to get there?
Abolish any the-winner-takes-it-all voting system.
Really, its as simple as that. Of course I could write thousands of words and quote all the articles about that (if I had even one at hand), but that is the result.

Every winner takes all party system ends up with 2 big parties, mostly indistingishable, and a very smaller 3rd one that maybe takes a few low-key posts from time to time, but nothing big.


That does not mean that you cant have the same result (the same ruling parties coalition for a long time and/or same politics) even with 5 or 6 parties in parliament.  But this tends to change who the parties are.
For example in Germany, because the social democrats that ruled together with the "rights" CDU have gotten so much like the CDU they are losing voters every time. In the federal election next year a new party (AfD, basically right of CDU, a step away from nazis) will get so many votes away from CDU that it will likely be impossible to form that big coalition again. Whatever happens will be very interesting. Likely a 3-party government.


Of course different voting systems may be interesting too. But since you Americans are so dumb you cant even count "1 or 2" votes and need very expensive, unbelievable unsecure machines that make the vote rigging for you, that is probably too stressy ;)

nobodyspecial

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2016, 09:42:54 PM »
Note that the Westminster style parliamentary system is the very definition of tyranny according to James Madison. That is, the power of the legislative and executive branches are both vested in the same people (the governing party), and in this style of government, the Parliament is supreme and can override all judicial decisions.
And given one recent incumbent with his secret private office funding MPs, rolling all government bills into one no-discussion-permitted annual budget announcement and his closing parliament early to avoid questions - you can see the American's point.
 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 09:24:15 PM by nobodyspecial »

Cathy

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2016, 11:38:29 PM »
... in this style of government, the Parliament is supreme and can override all judicial decisions.

I should mention that while this is true in the UK, it is not true in Canada. The Canadian legislature has never enjoyed UK-style parliamentary supremacy, which was always a privilege reserved specifically for the Imperial (i.e. UK) Parliament.

Section 2 of the Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865, 28 & 29 Vict, c 63, provided that "[a]ny Colonial Law which is or shall be in any respect repugnant to the Provisions of any Act of Parliament extending to the Colony to which such Law may relate ... shall ... be absolutely void and inoperative".

As such, the Canadian Parliament was (and is) limited to the powers delegated to it by the Imperial Parliament in the document that is now known as the Constitution Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Vict, c 3, which was an Act of the Imperial Parliament. Later developments have not changed this result:
  • In 1931, the Imperial Parliament enacted the Statute of Westminster, 1931, 22 Geo 5, Ch 4, which explicitly confirmed in section 7 that the Canadian Parliament continued to be limited to the powers delegated to it in the Constitution Act, 1867, as amended from time to time.
  • In 1982, the Imperial Parliament enacted the Canada Act 1982, 1982, c 11. Schedule B to that Act is called the Constitution Act, 1982, and section 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 confirms that "[t]he Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect".

That said, it's certainly true that the Canadian Parliament can override some judicial decisions (just like the American Congress can), but unlike the Imperial Parliament, the Canadian Parliament has never been completely supreme and has always been subject to a written constitution. This is one way in which the Canadian system of government is more similar to the USA than to the UK. In the UK, the courts never need to analyse whether the Parliament had the power to pass a particular law, because it has the power to pass whatever law it wants. By contrast, in Canada, the power of Parliament to pass a given law is challenged all the time.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 11:53:46 PM by Cathy »

dividendman

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2016, 09:50:12 AM »
Yeah, but the Parliament can override pretty much all of the rulings people consider important. The charter of rights and freedoms says right in it that the parliament can void all judicial decisions in the areas of:

Fundamental Freedoms (section 2) - this is stuff like freedom of thought, speech, association, etc.
Legal rights (sections 7-14) - this is stuff like the right to life, liberty, security, not to be searched without a warrant, not to be arbitrarily detained, the right to a legal defense, the right to not have cruel or unusual punishment imposed, etc.
Equality rights (section 15) - that people should be treated equally


So... basically if a wacko government gets in, they can pass laws that take away pretty much all freedoms and legal protections over the objection of the courts. The only catch is they have to re-up the law every 5 years and they have to admit they are violating that right.

In Canada, our constitutional freedoms can be taken away with a majority vote in parliament. In the US, you need 2/3rds of each house of congress and 75% of the states to say ok before you override judicial decisions.

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2016, 10:06:11 AM »
Libertarianism is extreme conservatism, at its best. No thanks. This country's politics are too far to the right as it is. Having Republicans as the middle would be an unmitigated disaster.

You should educate yourself on Libertarianism before you jump to conclusions. It is definitely not "extreme conservatism" as the conservatives are all about blowing money on endless wars, crony capitalism, corporate subsidies, bank bailouts, oppressing people because of their national origin/race/sexual orientation, a ridiculous drug prohibition and drug war, a surveillance state that tramples on civil liberties, a runaway national debt to pay for all this stupid shit, and basically limiting the freedom of choice that the individual has to make for themselves in most aspects. Less financial autonomy and less personal autonomy over how to run your own life.

Libertarians are all about exactly zero of the positions above. In strictly political science terms, Libertarianism can be described as "classical Liberalism". It doesn't get any less "Conservative" (in polisci terms) than that.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 12:28:43 PM by cheapass »

Cathy

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2016, 11:04:51 AM »
Yeah, but the Parliament can override pretty much all of the rulings people consider important.  The charter of rights and freedoms says right in it that the parliament can void all judicial decisions in [various areas] ...

So... basically if a wacko government gets in, they can pass laws that take away pretty much all freedoms and legal protections over the objection of the courts. The only catch is they have to re-up the law every 5 years and they have to admit they are violating that right. ...

Not exactly. Section 31 of the Charter provides that: "Nothing in this Charter extends the legislative powers of any body or authority." Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11.

As a result of this provision, Parliament does not enjoy the power to limit, say, freedom of speech, unless another constitutional document outside of the Charter gives it that power -- because, pursuant to Charter § 31, nothing in the Charter creates new powers. And the power of legislatures in Canada to limit free speech has always been limited, long before the enactment of the Charter. See, e.g., Reference Re Alberta Statutes, [1938] 2 DLR 81, 145-46, where Cannon J, concurring, wrote that:

                    Under the British system, which is ours, no political party can erect a prohibitory barrier to prevent the electors from getting information concerning the policy of the gov­ernment. Freedom of discussion is essential to enlighten public opinion in a democratic State; it cannot be curtailed without affecting the right of the people to be informed through sources independent of the government concerning matters of public interest. There must be an untrammelled publication of the news and political opinions of the political parties contending for ascendancy. As stated in the preamble of The [Constitution Act, 1867], our con­stitution is and will remain, unless radically changed, "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom." At the time of Confederation, the United Kingdom was a democracy. Democracy cannot be maintained without its foundation: free public opinion and free discussion throughout the nation of all matters affecting the State within the limits set by the criminal code and the common law.

Like the concurring opinion of Cannon J back in 1938, modern decisions continue to find that the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1867 (requiring Canada to have a constitution similar in principle to that of the UK) creates certain substantive rights. See, e.g., New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia (Speaker of the House of Assembly), [1993] 1 SCR 319, [1993] SCJ No 2 at ¶ 113. This is an actually an unusual interpretation of a preamble, which normally only announces the purpose of a document and does not create substantive rights, but nonetheless it is the law in Canada.

The key takeaway of my post here is that the Charter doesn't authorise legislatures to violate rights. Legislatures need to find elsewhere the constitutional basis for any such alleged powers.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 08:30:48 PM by Cathy »

Scandium

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2016, 11:31:54 AM »
As a progressive, I'm afraid in the U.S., 3 parties wouldn't quite evolve that way, considering that half the country would like to go back to the cotton pickin' days. But it would be great to see a more legitimate progressive wing (Sanders, Warren, etc.), and a more responsive version of the current democratic party, as well as a diminished Republican - who are already extremist enough as it is.

So you don't really want three parties, you just want two different ones than what we have now? Instead of D and R you'd want socialist Dems and some borderline commies. Eh, sure. With populists on both sides in the current election, as well as in europe, already pushing for fewer liberties and less open societies that's not what I'd prefer, but whatever floats your boat.. Society does best with legitimate opposition on both sides, which sadly we don't have now. And at least your suggestion here would not help that either. All leftist "who can grow the state most" rule never worked out great.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 06:13:21 AM by Scandium »

RetiredAt63

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2016, 05:13:03 AM »
Squote author=a plan comes together link=topic=62177.msg1248410#msg1248410 date=1475266793]
So you don't really want three parties, you just want two different ones than what we have now? Instead of D and R you'd want socialist Dems and some borderline commies. Eh, sure. With populists on both sides in the current election, as well as in europe, already pushing for fewer liberties and less open societies that's not what I'd prefer, but whatever floats your boat.. Society does best with legitimate opposition on both sides, which sadly we don't have now. And at least your suggestion here would not help that either. All leftist "who can grow the state most" rule never worked out great.
You would end up with parties that reflect the desires of their times, just as you do now.  You would just have more choices.  Canada has had all sorts of parties over the last 149 years.  Some parties started as federal parties.  Some started as provincial parties that expanded their bases.  One started as an offshoot of a Provincial party that will never expand its base.

Side comment - from up here all your parties look right wing. Our middle of the road parties (which tend to do well in elections, not too left or right) are more left than your Democrats.  So how you define left/right depends a lot on where you are standing.

nereo

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2016, 05:37:25 AM »

You would end up with parties that reflect the desires of their times, just as you do now.  You would just have more choices.  Canada has had all sorts of parties over the last 149 years.  Some parties started as federal parties.  Some started as provincial parties that expanded their bases.  One started as an offshoot of a Provincial party that will never expand its base.

Side comment - from up here all your parties look right wing. Our middle of the road parties (which tend to do well in elections, not too left or right) are more left than your Democrats. So how you define left/right depends a lot on where you are standing.

To add - so does what's considered left/right and conservative/liberal. Some things one country thinks of as a 'liberal' idea are seen as conservative elsewhere.  This can be because they have even more 'liberal' proposals OR it can be because their history provides a different context.

As a whole (and as a US citizen living in Canada) I agree that Canada's political parties overall are more liberal than those in the US, but there are some issues that seem liberal here that we'd call conservative (or even reactionary) in the US.

RetiredAt63

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2016, 06:14:24 AM »

You would end up with parties that reflect the desires of their times, just as you do now.  You would just have more choices.  Canada has had all sorts of parties over the last 149 years.  Some parties started as federal parties.  Some started as provincial parties that expanded their bases.  One started as an offshoot of a Provincial party that will never expand its base.

Side comment - from up here all your parties look right wing. Our middle of the road parties (which tend to do well in elections, not too left or right) are more left than your Democrats. So how you define left/right depends a lot on where you are standing.

To add - so does what's considered left/right and conservative/liberal. Some things one country thinks of as a 'liberal' idea are seen as conservative elsewhere.  This can be because they have even more 'liberal' proposals OR it can be because their history provides a different context.

As a whole (and as a US citizen living in Canada) I agree that Canada's political parties overall are more liberal than those in the US, but there are some issues that seem liberal here that we'd call conservative (or even reactionary) in the US.
Interesting - we all have our own blinders on. I know the platforms of the parties here do not necessarily match the platforms of parties elsewhere, we just see the American ones the most so they are easiest to use for comparison.

Curious about what some of those liberal/not really liberal issues are?

LennStar

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2016, 06:55:08 AM »
All leftist "who can grow the state most" rule never worked out great.
Hm.. considering e.g. Norway, which is far left from US POV, I think that worked out quite well. The people work far less then the US (or Germany), have higher standards of health, schooling and other social things, far less spread between poor and rich, a good economy etc.
Not bad for a "communist" country with crushing taxes.

cheapass

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2016, 07:24:56 AM »
Norway, which is far left from US POV, I think that worked out quite well. The people work far less then the US (or Germany), have higher standards of health, schooling and other social things, far less spread between poor and rich, a good economy etc.
Not bad for a "communist" country with crushing taxes.

Bet it's a lot harder to reach financial independence if the State is confiscating a majority of your income

nereo

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2016, 07:42:25 AM »

To add - so does what's considered left/right and conservative/liberal. Some things one country thinks of as a 'liberal' idea are seen as conservative elsewhere.  This can be because they have even more 'liberal' proposals OR it can be because their history provides a different context.

As a whole (and as a US citizen living in Canada) I agree that Canada's political parties overall are more liberal than those in the US, but there are some issues that seem liberal here that we'd call conservative (or even reactionary) in the US.
Interesting - we all have our own blinders on. I know the platforms of the parties here do not necessarily match the platforms of parties elsewhere, we just see the American ones the most so they are easiest to use for comparison.

Curious about what some of those liberal/not really liberal issues are?

There was a topic about a while ago about what constitues "liberal" and "conservative" values.  Unfortuantely I can't find it now.  tl/dr; it's conservative when you want to continue doing what your culture has done in the recent decades, while it's liberal if you want to shift away.  Think about Russia; "conservative" might be considered state-run socialism, while "liberal" could be a free-market, decentralized economy.
 
Regarding Canada (with Quebec being my 'blinders') - there's a few issues here that either don't fit neatly into the US view of "liberal/conservative" or seem at odds.  Off the top of my head are discussions of public funding for religious schools, using public funds to 'save' religious cultural landmarks (like the numerous closed Quebec cathedrals), and the proposition to allow people to choose private health care insurance and receive tax-breaks for not using the public healthcare system.
The idea of using public funds to support religious (or formerly religious) infrastructure is one that most people in the US would balk at, except for the christian-conservatives (who tend to be very conservative).  However, it gets back to history - in Quebec the church was responsible for most of the educational system until the tranquil revolution in the 60s/70s.  An open-market health care system is now a core of the conservative republican party, but the idea of anything but a single-payer system in Canada seems (in my eyes) to be a liberals dream.

Add to that list many of the environmental laws (particularly surrounding oil/gas extraction and mining) seem far more pro-business (considered more "conservative/republican") than what we have in the US. In fact I'm routinely shocked at how pro-business laws and business practices are here compared to the US.

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2016, 08:00:10 AM »
Norway, which is far left from US POV, I think that worked out quite well. The people work far less then the US (or Germany), have higher standards of health, schooling and other social things, far less spread between poor and rich, a good economy etc.
Not bad for a "communist" country with crushing taxes.

Bet it's a lot harder to reach financial independence if the State is confiscating a majority of your income

As a onetime resident of Norway I can definitely say yes to this. It's great there, as long as you want to follow the herd and do as the state wants/prefers. That's necessarily how it works when the state takes a lot in taxes and provide the services it deems appropriate. Of course if you have other wishes and would like to make more decisions about your own life.. You're SOL. Maybe if you build up a 50x spending stache you could pull it off, but the more you have/earn the more crushing the taxes. You retire after 40 years of work, that's the way it is.

Norway is also extremely special in being a tiny and (less so now) culturally homogeneous country with vast oil wealth. The very non-diverse economy with a tax system which discourage private enterprise is now having issues (I'd be curious so find the percentage of the workforce in government + oil industry, it's quite high). Sweden is similar economically/culturally, but without the "cheat" of huge natural resources. They had to embrace more market liberal, privatization and encouraging innovation to prevent economic stagnation, though they are still struggling.

LennStar

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2016, 02:54:20 PM »
Norway, which is far left from US POV, I think that worked out quite well. The people work far less then the US (or Germany), have higher standards of health, schooling and other social things, far less spread between poor and rich, a good economy etc.
Not bad for a "communist" country with crushing taxes.

Bet it's a lot harder to reach financial independence if the State is confiscating a majority of your income
On average it takes longer (but if you take Scandiums number, which I consider very high, just 10 years(-) longer), since this system means EVERYONE is (in a way) financially (semi)independend. Nobody has to go around begging. I bet there are cities in the US with more homeless people then whole Northern Europe.
On the other hand, especially if you have e.g. medical problems, then it would be impossible in the US to be FI because of the bills but not that much harder in North Europe.
But of course this system is build (like any other) on the premise that most of your life your work. Dont forget that FI is a product of the last ~40 years. Before that you were either some famous person, an exceptional successful entrepreneur or inherited lots of cash or at least connections to The Rich and Beautiful (Or independence was your own small farm).
Increased productivity has made it possible for the average income only in the last decades. The US decided to give that increase in productivity mainly to those who didnt really need it anyway, while in Europe, especially the North, it was decided to let everyone profit from it through welfare, healthcare and the best educations systems on earth (if you believe PISA and other studies).

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2016, 03:15:23 PM »
Norway, which is far left from US POV, I think that worked out quite well. The people work far less then the US (or Germany), have higher standards of health, schooling and other social things, far less spread between poor and rich, a good economy etc.
Not bad for a "communist" country with crushing taxes.

Bet it's a lot harder to reach financial independence if the State is confiscating a majority of your income
On average it takes longer (but if you take Scandiums number, which I consider very high, just 10 years(-) longer), since this system means EVERYONE is (in a way) financially (semi)independend. Nobody has to go around begging. I bet there are cities in the US with more homeless people then whole Northern Europe.
On the other hand, especially if you have e.g. medical problems, then it would be impossible in the US to be FI because of the bills but not that much harder in North Europe.

I'd have to disagree about being "unable" to become FI in the US if you have a chronic medical condition.
One of the large changes with the ACA ("Affordable Care Act" - aka "Obamacare) is that you cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. While you will still need to pay for insurance, it's actually reasonably affordable for someone who needs tens-of-thousands each year in medical care.  If you are deemed "disabled" you can qualify for Medicare even if you are under 65 - including parts A (hospitalization) and B (medical insurance).

That's not to say it isn't overly complicated, but one can either rely on medicare or purchase private insurance (or insurance through the marketplace) and be FI.

Scandium

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2016, 06:17:50 AM »

On average it takes longer (but if you take Scandiums number, which I consider very high, just 10 years(-) longer), since this system means EVERYONE is (in a way) financially (semi)independend. Nobody has to go around begging. I bet there are cities in the US with more homeless people then whole Northern Europe.

Hah, have you been to Oslo? Step out of the train station you are surrounded by homeless heroin addicts, drug dealers and eastern european prostitutes. It's quite a dump. There are lots of beggars, and endless debates whether they should be arrested (but what goes does that do?) chased away, helped or what. Some are supposedly also gypsy or eastern european mafia scam operations.

I'm too lazy to look up the numbers now, but I remember a lot of talk about the plight of those on "minimum pension". Basically the base level you get in old age regardless of earnings. It's not a lot, especially not in the most expensive country in the world. Reports of crowded, crappy conditions in state run old person care homes was also not an uncommon feature. A lot of people here (and in liberal circles in the US/UK in general) have a very rose-tinted view of these places. Perhaps it's based on what they see of the upper-middle class lifestyle there. Well, it's pretty nice in the US too if you have money!

RetiredAt63

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Re: A 3-Party Political System (looking to the north for inspiration)
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2016, 03:52:02 PM »

Regarding Canada (with Quebec being my 'blinders') - there's a few issues here that either don't fit neatly into the US view of "liberal/conservative" or seem at odds. 

You are using Quebec as your base point?  ROFL.  I lived in Quebec most of my life, grew up there, and I fully realize that Quebec is a Province not like the others (vraiment un province pas comme les autres) - there is a reason there is Quebec and ROC.  I had such culture shock when I went to University in Ontario (1/4 of my vocabulary changed), and another bigger dose of culture shock when I moved 30 km west more recently - but those 30 km meant I went from Quebec to Ontario.

Take the PQ - they started out not only nationalist but incredibly progressive, they passed the protection of farmland legislation their first term.  Now I think they are kind of conservative/right wing?  While also getting (or allowing) more and more language police attitudes.  Religious schools - religion was more important than language for a long time.  I remember that we were all Catholic or Protestant (yes, Jews and Hindus and whoever else were Protestant for school selection purposes) until they changed schools to French and English.  When I was a kid there were 4 school boards - French Catholic, English Catholic, English Protestant and French Protestant.  And of course people had pur laine names like Claude Ryan - because the poor Irish Catholic orphans on the plague ships were adopted by French Catholic families, not English/Scots/Irish Protestant families.

Canadian politics viewed by an American in Quebec must be interesting.