Thursday, September 13, 2012

Political Parties

I was browsing around the website, when the thought came to me that I really should look at all the political parties we have here in Canada.

There is a full list you can find here but what do these parties stand for?

I think grouping them is actually somewhat simple.

First off, there are the socially conservative parties, or rather, party. The Christian Heritage Party.
Next, the Communist parties, both of them.
Next, the personal fronts. The Western Block Party is a personal front for Doug Christie.
Next are the self-admitted activist parties, which are only a party because of the tax credits. (AAEVPC)
Last, are the ethnic-based political parties, in this case, the First Peoples National Party.

This leaves us with a few other parties to play with. The Bloc Quebecois (BQ) the Canadian Action Party (CAP) the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) the Green Party (GP) the Liberals (Lib) the Libertarians (Lbt) the Marijuana Party (Pot) the New Democratic Party (NDP) the Pirate Party (Pir) the Progressive Canadian Party (PC) the Rhinoceros Party (Rhi) and the United Party (UP). Also, the eligible party, the Online Party (OP)

Only one of these parties is firmly on the right, the CPC, so I will discount them. The Rhino party, while generally progressive, is a silly party. The Pot Party is a single-issue party, and thus, I will exclude as well. Lastly, the CAP is based on the old social credit idea, so I will also exclude them.

There are two centre-right parties. The PC and UP.
There is one main party with left-wing economic proposals. The NDP,
There are two parties with centrist economic proposals. The GP and Lib.
And there are three parties that are socially progressive, the OP, Lbt, and Pir

Of these however, there are three parties that are to the right of centre on fiscal issues; PC, UP, and Lbt, and three that are firmly on the left when it comes to world affairs, NDP, GP, Pir

Why am I brining all of this up? And why did I start with this 1calgarycentre website? A website that's oddly blue for a party that supposes to gather up non-conservative voters?

Simple. On their website they list 3 large "progressive" parties. The NDP, the GP, and the Lib.
As a Liberal I protest our inclusion. I don't consider the Liberals as much "progressive" as much "centrist" and "moderate". While the Liberals would fit in as "progressive" I feel the other two labels are closer to the mark.

What IS odd about this website is their inclusion of a 4th party, the Progressive Canadians. Lets remember that this party was founded to be a successor to the PC Party that dissolved in 2003. It's leader is a former Tory cabinet minister. In fact, this website even lists Joe Clark as a "Progressive". I'm willing to bet if you asked him yourself he'd define more as a "Conservative" and that's how his voters felt. Red Tories are still Tories. A left-wing right-winger is a right-winger who happens to be left-wing. Just as a progressive conservative is a conservative who happens to be progressive. He is still a conservative first.

The inclusion of the PC, but not the UP, which split off from the PC about a year ago, is suspicious, especially as the UP has a more left-wing platform. Worse when you consider that the Pirates are not to be found, despite clearly fitting in as more progressive. Then there is the fact that the OP is missing. The website's twitter account even says they are not an ABC party, they want to unite progressives.

So, how far do you have to stretch the definition of "Progressive" to include the new PC Party? Frankly, pretty far, especially given the other parties that exist. If someone told me the PC Party was "Progressive" and included on a list of "Progressive Parties" I'd say that other parties on that list must include the AAEVP, The BQ, the CAP, The Communists, the FPNP, the Greens, the Liberals, the Online Party, the Libertarians, the Pot Party, the Marxists, the NDP, the Pirate Party, the Rhino Party, and the United Party. But to include it and the "3 big" progressive parties is fishy.

Fishy given the attention given to Joe Clark, a PCer who won the riding in the past.
Fishy given the fact that the website is blue, a PC colour.
And fishy given that the graphics show 4 'boxes' representing the parties, not 3 or 5

Perhaps this is all just a mis-understanding or mis-reading on my part.

1calgarycentre adding links to the other progressive parties, specifically the United Party and the Pirate Party, would certainly help dispel any connections.

The webmaster has contacted me with an explanation that I'm not buying - but he says once all 3 parties choose candidates, the PC link will come down.

PLQ Leadership Update

Fournier, who had been my front-runner, has decided to serve as interim leader. This means that chances are that whomever is chosen as the new leader will be a former or current Federal politician. Lets examine some of them.

I've already listed the Liberal MPs who may run in my previous post on this topic. I still think a Trudeau run is a real possibility. Remember that Charest gave up a resurgent PC Party leadership because he heard 'the calling' of federalism. Trudeau may hear it as well. Of course, that risks having Dion start hearing voices and try to make a stab at it. It was then brought to my attention that a non-Liberal may run. Charest, after all, was a PC member. So who are the possible non-Liberal candidates?

Current or former Tories:

Lucien Bouchard
This would amuse me greatly, but beyond a few comments recently, there is no reason to think he wants anything to do with federalism.

Josee Verner
Verner held a membership in the ADQ, but with many ADQ voters going PLQ, and with Verner being a committed federalist, she may run if no higher calibre candidate does.

Lawrence Cannon
Perhaps the most serious person on the list so far. Cannon has a history as a former member of the PLQ and served rather well federally until his defeat in 2011.

Current of former New Democrats:

Francoise Boivin
A "rookie of the year" in her first term in parliament, Boivin is now a New Democrat, but is still somewhat popular among all sections. She could be a serious female candidate if she decides to run.

Romeo Saganash
He ran for federal leader of the NDP for reasons I don't understand, so perhaps he will chose to do for the PLQ as well.

Maps of federal elections 1953-2011

Our maps page is ready to go. I'm uploading all the maps as we speak.

I'd also like to ask you for some help. I'm also announcing a new and fun contest, the "Find the Errors" contest!
I've probably made a number of errors I've secretly inserted errors on purpose
The person who finds the most errors will be sent things get credit by having their name mentioned on the blog.

So what is and is not an error? Remember that the "official and final" maps only go up once all the errors are caught. Hence there are some minor discrepancies that are not errors, they are just a symptom of me not being 100% finished.

Not an Error: Various islands within a riding have the wrong colour.
Error: A riding has the wrong colour (IE, showing the wrong party has won).
Not an Error: The winning party is shown in a different shade than the legend.
Error: A Bloc seat is shown as a Tory seat, or vice versa.
Not an Error: Your map says "Montreal" but it includes Laval too.
Error: A riding is mis-labled either with the wrong number or name.
Not an Error: Two parts of the same riding have the same identifying number.
Error: Two separate and different ridings have the same identifying number.

Bonus points:
Finding ridings that had their name change midway from a boundary change, and noting the date of said change.


We now have pages. Over the next hours, days, weeks, and months, I will be adding content to all of them. A further post on the Maps page will be done once that page is complete (in a day, or hopefully, much sooner)