canadian vs american election process : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

has anyone noticed how smoothly the canadian national election went yesterday? a simple, uniform ballot, easily marked, and all counted by hand, all over, done with, and completed in one day? i certainly was impressed.

i've been to canada 4-5 times, and i always liked it, except it's to $%$%&$##$ cold during the winter !!! i always thought the people were really nice, well except for around montreal, those quebec'ers seem different than the rest of the canadians.


-- gene ward (, November 29, 2000


gene. Like you said, those "quebec'ers seem different than the rest of the canadians". Sorta like the Easterner's in the North are different that the rest of the folks in this country.

-- JLS in NW AZ (, November 29, 2000.

The Canadian voting process may have gone as well as 49 of the 50 states (two are still out, NM on President and OR on Senator). However, one needs to also look at the political process. Why did they have elections 3 1/2 years into a five year term of office? Answer is Parliment is split into a number of parties and leaders have to put together a coalition of groups. When they lose the majority there are new elections.

Reason I don't particularly support third parties (other than their qualifications for office). As I have noted previously I was once seriously asked to run for Lt. Governor of Ohio on the Libertarian ticket. I don't even know what a Lt. Governor does, much less wanting to be a heartbeat away from being the Governor.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 29, 2000.

Our republic with social democracy selection is the only successful form of self rule (we were the first to try it and the only people to keep it in place for over 200 years). Folks say we are a democracy, yes and no. We select our standing official through a democratic process, then send these "wisest" to govern us by majority approval as a republic. If we were to accept a true democratic form of govt as some during this month have suggested, this country would never make any progress as every little thing would take a vote. Atleast most of the time, we get a say at election time. This month needs to be catagorized along with the Kennedy/Nixon election and the Civil War. Weve all done all we can this "election", now is the time all American voters should be looking to the elections between now and 2004. People seem to forget the "balance of power" built into our system. If all these other countries are so great, why do more people come here? Why are other systems so "smooth"? Because their citizens don't posess the rights and freedoms that we do.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, November 29, 2000.

whooaaaaaaaaaa folks. my comment was about, simply put, their voting process, ballot simplicity, and counting was very smooth. i was not and am not soliciting diatribes about political system pros and cons


-- gene ward (, November 29, 2000.

boy i bet that generates some fan mail :)

-- gene ward (, November 29, 2000.

That would be WASHINGTON on Senator, not Oregon. Btw, as I had mentioned before...ballots in WA are inspected before being counted. Our recounts typically match our original counts closely. I believe that no election has been overturned by a recount, which is mandated by law if the election results for each major candidate are within half of 1 percent. Maria Cantwell leads incumbent Slade Gorton by several thousand votes. There will be a recount, but it is highly unlikely to be overturned by the recount. Therefore, we will have two female senators from WA state, most likely. Both Dems, too.

-- sheepish (, November 29, 2000.

Gene -- Yes -- It is simpler up here. But not necessarily better. Stateside you get to vote for your "local" representation AND for the president, amongst other offices. Here -- we vote for our local rep ONLY. Depending on how many "seats" are held by each party, that decides who gets to be Prime Minister. So, I might like the local rep for one party, but think the guy who would be the Prime Minister for his party is a dip-s**t. Then what do I do? We only had 63% voter turnout in the last election. That means that 37% either didn't care, didn't think it important enough, or didn't think that their vote would change anything anyhow.

Simpler, but we're a bigger country than you (in terms of square miles) and we only have 301 seats in Parliament to represent those areas federally. 103 of them are in Ontario alone. Sound fair? Those of us in the West get shafted regularly.

Also -- I would like to clear up a misconception written about in an earlier post. When a minority government is voted in (the party with the most seats is less than 50%, but more than 33%) it doesn't mean another election is called. They rule with a minority government. If the two other parties feel that they are doing a poor job, they can form a COALITION to force the party in power to do what they want. Or they CAN force another election -- but this is very rare. I think it's only happened twice in our entire history.

As per the post about the Quebecois being different, you're absolutely right. They are.

-- Tracy (, December 01, 2000.

By the way, Jay, what rights and freedoms do you have that I don't? The right to free health care (Which I have)? The right to be reasonably safe on any city street (Which I am)? The right to live virtually without pollution (Which I do)? Or would that be the right to have a gun?

Actually -- while it's not a right, there seems to be a misconception about us Canadians and our guns. You think we aren't allowed to have any -- that's not quite true -- we just don't have the RIGHT to have them -- we consider it a privelege -- and it's taken away from those who have shown they can't handle the privelege responsibly. Those of us who are responsible are free to own guns.

I am consistently amazed at the misconceptions between our two countries. An earlier post said it was cold up here in the winter. Well, yes. It is. It can't be denied. But some places in Minnesota, the Dakotas, etc., are much colder than some places in Canada in the winter (Vancouver seldom gets any snow).

-- Tracy (, December 01, 2000.

Tracy, The biggie, The U.S. booted parlimentary govt along with a monarchy head of state that resulted in the wonderful mess we are in now. Wouldn't trade it for anything. True our candidates are trying to control the situation, but we still know even as screwed up as we are, its by our own actions. Don't get me wrong, we're not that much different than Canada, as people, but our govt is still a free standing power and that does make the citizens feel somewhat different and people from abroad find that appealing. A friend from Cambodia told me that when he was in a refugee camp he had the choices of some European countries, Canada and the U.S. as places to emmigrate to. He chose this country because of the political structure. He did say Canada was the other choice he was considering.

-- Jay Blair (, December 04, 2000.

Umm...sorry to burst your balloon, but we haven't been "ruled" by the monarchy since 1980 when Pierre Elliott Trudeau (our then Prime Minister) brought our constitution home to Canada. What we are is a member of the Commonwealth, but we are freestanding, freely governed country in our own right. The monarchy is a figurehead (even in England) and they're powerless here.

-- Tracy Rimmer (, December 04, 2000.

Whose picture is on your currancy?

-- Jay Blair (, December 05, 2000.

"Quebec'ers" are French. I've been to France. Did you live through the DeGaul era? Eisenhower (as Allied Supreme Commander) offended him (near end of war) and he never got over it--made sure this "legacy" has lived on. Tried to persuade Quebec to secede Canada. Need I say more...

There are a LOT MORE voters in U.S. to hand count. It would be difficult, too expensive, impractical, and less reliable. The "machines" were developed to minimize HUMAN "error" and partisan and predjudiced activities...they don't count voter errors or "non- votes"...they are non-partisan...

-- weary of it all (, December 05, 2000.

Tracy- Free health care? Whether it's paid for by taxes, insurance or out of pocket, it sure isn't free. The cost to you may be invisible, but someone's sure paying. I can walk down any number of city streets and feel reasonably safe, but here, just as in Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto, there are dangerous places. Safety is not an absolute. I too can live virtually without pollution in many areas. I also have the freedom to choose where I live. I prefer having the right to own guns over the privilege. A right cannot be revoked depending on the government in charge, a privilege can. Those that cannot handle the responsibility of gun ownership can also lose that right here. I've visited Canada numerous times and enjoyed my trips, but I was always glad to come home.

-- ray s. (, December 05, 2000.

Jay -- which bill? We have several of our historical leaders on the bills -- doesn't mean they still rule -- they're mostly dead. If you're referring to the fact that the Queen's likeness resides on some of our currency, I repeat -- she is a figurehead -- not the current ruler of our country. It's a gesture of respect. The monarchy is in no way involved in our political process. We make our own decisions and have since we brought home our constitution some twenty years ago.

Just because we maintain an attachment to our "mother" country, does it mean they still make our decisions for us? Nope. You need a passport to travel to Canada from Britian and vice versa -- you also need a VISA to work there, or here, if you are of the other nationality. Am I British? No. I'm Canadian. And proud of it.

Also -- as per the post about free health care -- yes -- it is free. Do you really think our taxes would be less if we eliminated our health care system, or made it private? I can still go into an emergency room and get treatment PRIOR to being asked if I have insurance or not -- and I won't be turned away if I don't have "private" coverage.

Also -- I lived in Toronto for nine years -- and New York for two. Ask me which one I'd rather travel alone at night in.

-- Tracy (, December 06, 2000.

Tracy- Hard to argue with your logic about health care. As long as you don't write the check directly I guess it is free. If your taxes wouldn't go down if you removed one of the largest consumers of tax money, your system is way more screwed than ours. As for safety, I'll say it again: There are places in every metropolitan area that I wouldn't feel safe in, day or night. Prudence suggests that you simply avoid them if you can.

-- ray s. (, December 06, 2000.

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