Monday, August 3, 2015

The Big Bumble: The 2015 Canadian General Election

Sometimes, I think Canada should change it's name to Bumbleslavia, a land in which people bumble along and where bumbles are common and appreciated by the people: "Did you see the latest bumble?  Yeah, that was a good one. It will be hard to beat."

The latest Big Bumble -- methinks it will be in the running for the Grand Prize in the Bumble of the Year Awards -- is the Prime Minister calling a general election in the middle of the summer while most people are away on vacation, eleven weeks before the day of the election.

Why on earth would he do that?

Well, as could be expected, our government bumbled big time when drawing up the so-called, Fair Elections Act (ha ha ha, calling elections fair in Bumbleslavia always gets a laugh).  The Minister responsible for drawing up the law did not foresee that groups who do not support the ruling party would start spending large amounts of money to air television commercials critical of the government in anticipation of the upcoming election. 

Oops!  Easy to understand since Bumbleslavia is running its first election where the date of the election was fixed by law, not that the Prime Minister is always bound to respect the laws his government draws up, the last general election was held before the fixed date!

But as we like to say in Bumbleslavia, one good bumble deserves another.

In this case, there just happens to be a clause written into the Fair Elections Act (tee hee, sorry I couldn't help myself) that increases the amount of money political parties can spend during the election if the campaign is longer than the prescribed 37 days.  This election will be the longest in living memory and will double the spending limit.  Oh, I guess you should know that only the ruling party has enough money to do so, and taxpayers will be picking up half of the bill.  Oops!

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According to the former Director of Elections, this move on the part of the Prime Minister is gaming the system, running contrary to the notion of having fixed election dates and having fair elections (big chuckle).  In the Bumbleslavian way of thinking, the Prime Minister saw an opportunity to expose a bumble in the law and did so and should be applauded.

I think the former Director is just feeling grumpy because he no longer presides over the Bamboozling Bumble that goes by the name of the Canadian General Election.  What makes it really interesting is that governments are formed on the basis of the first-past-the-post voting method. 

Get this!  Governments are formed in Canada not on the basis of the popular vote, but on the basis of the number of electoral districts won by each party.  To win an electoral district, a candidate doesn't need a majority of the votes.  He or she just needs to get more votes than the other candidates.

Wow! That means that in a close three-way race, more people could vote for the two losing candidates combined than for the winning candidate.  Get out of town!

Wait, it gets better.  Counting up all the electoral districts, a party could form what in Bumbleslavia is referred to a majority government (guffaw) by winning half of the electoral seats that are up for grabs.  Doesn't that mean that the so-called majority government could get elected with substantially less than fifty percent of the vote?  Absolutely!  In other words, more people could have voted against the ruling party than who voted for it.  And you call that "Democracy"?
Oops, but only in Bumbleslavia.  You see, in Canada we take the Big Bumbles all in stride.  Don't worry.  Be happy.  Why fret about what we are really good at.

I love you Canada.

Bumble on and bumble strong in the Great White North!!!

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