John Oliver on the Canadian election: NAILED IT!

Except for twisty bit about how republicans are leftier than the lefties. Unless all this means is extremists are off the deep end, doesn’t matter left or right, just “off.”


Not lefter than the leftists…more like they went around the Equator 95% of the way and thus ended up seeming to be “left” of where they started, but the reality is they’re neither left nor right anymore, just pure authoritarian.


I am a flat earther on this. The extremes dump off into deep space somewhere, mimicking reality.


So funny…I knew I wasn’t really explaining myself, and went in to ninja edit about them following the Equator until they fell off the Earth…but you got there first!

1 Like

Hehehe. And they are the crazies

1 Like

That’s cute but very inaccurate. It equates government involvement in banks with handing them money while deregulating them, and I guess imagines the Republicans are strong believers in social programs. Whether your political spectrum wraps or not, for most of the developed world the NDP would only be center-left; it’s only from the US Overton window that they look anywhere near the edge.

Saying the Conservatives are like the Democratic party would probably have been true in the past, but as Humbabella says, under Harper they took a sharp move to the right. Good riddance to bad rubbish, but still worried to see how many Canadians even now supported them.


Well, about 20% of Canadians seem to have imprinted on Harper in the way a lost puppy might (not that a lost puppy would imprint on Harper, they can smell evil). He could have proposed detonating a nuclear weapon in Edmonton and he’d still have won most of Alberta. We’ll see if their next leader (Jason Kenny? Pierre Poutine? Doug Ford?) is able to pick up on that or if they fracture back into Reform/PC.


Having lived out there I can say this: Alberta will never back anyone Ontario backs, period. Especially if Toronto backs them. Its unreasonable and irrational and it will never change. Weirdest conversations of my live happened the years I lived there.


From Harper’s magazine, some days before the election

The Nixon of the North

Harper, meanwhile, is a vengeful, damaged, grudge-holding punisher of the “urban elites” who vote Liberal, and has spent a lifetime plotting to transform Canada into a nastier version of Texas. He and his allies took what was once called the Progressive Conservative Party (filled with Red Tories, akin to the long-gone Rockefeller Republicans of America’s eastern seaboard), merged it with a nightmarish pressure group of government haters called the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (they realized too late that the acronym would be CCRAP), and created the modern Conservative Party.

He performed his most consequential act just after he took office, in 2006. He lowered the national consumption tax and the taxes on income. This cut the legs off the federal government. Most politicians, even on the right, want more money rather than less. Their pet causes, be they wars or pork barrels, require money. But Harper is a true believer; he really wants a government that’s too small to help its citizens. The few initiatives he’s been willing to embrace are those that Americans are now abandoning: mandatory minimum jail sentences, an expensive military, and an escalation of the war on drugs.

Some of his decisions are simply baffling. He killed the mandatory census, which he saw as an invasion of privacy. Can you run a country effectively with a voluntary census? I guess we’ll find out. He also eliminated the long-gun registry, a database valued by police forces across the country but loathed by Harper’s rural base.

I suppose that this makes him a libertarian hero in some circles, but in my circles, he seems to be closer to “moron.”


In the UK (or Australia or most democracies) if the government becomes oppressive creating a breakdown in law the way many USians fear the solution is simple. The head of state (the Queen) sides with the people, the army sides with the Queen and the illegal government is removed.

There is no such mechanism in the US. The president’s loyalty is split. The constitutional settlement is inherently unstable, potentially reactionary and revolutionary. The army’s loyalty is also split.

For many USians the government can therefore only represent oppression, but a modern state needs collective solutions to provide education, health care and security. Any discussion to find the language to conceive of the collective only creates deeper fault lines.

The elites and corporations exploit this situation in the belief (from the US viewpoint) that they are the new barons or kings. But only in the US. They exacerbate the divisions for their own benefit requiring the oppressive government action or inaction (militarisation of the police, unchecked incarceration, inability to oppose the NRA) which the majority both left and right would want to avoid, and making a peaceful new constitutional settlement less and less likely.

American elites and corporations are irritants for the rest of the West, but no more.

There is a right time and a wrong time to metaphorically or literally to cut off the head of the king. Paradoxically that would seem to be when you are not pissed off and constitutionally do not need to. England, France and Russia all learnt the hard way.

You need stability for progressive politics.

Yesterday would have been better.


I’m surprised there’s no front page article whooping up the joyous eviction of Harper yet. Is Cory still so Celebratin’ Drunk he can’t type, or what? I do hope this bodes well for Western democracies though, and we’ll see the right wing crazies go one by one (though we have to wait til 2020, which is too fucking long). I know Australia’s dickhead was ousted by his own party, but they’re still in power. When’s your next chance, @Kimmo, et al?


Canada’s pretty cyclical in this regard. Liberals for a decade or so, then kick them out once they get too comfortable (because… reasons) and vote in the Conservatives. Then when we finally get sick of them, vote them out and vote the Liberals back in. Rinse and repeat. As Brian Mulroney, of all people, put it last night:

He left out Harper’s victory, which I very much believe was a similar case, but maybe not as convincing because Harper defeated Paul Martin who had only been Prime Minister for a short period, replacing Chretien. I do feel like a big part of his win was that he wasn’t Chretien, even though Chretien wasn’t actually leading the Liberals at that point any more.


So, how does Canada enforce the “nobody outside of Canada should tell Canadians who they should or shouldn’t vote for” law?


Well, the law could only possibly be enforced if you were in Canada and were caught doing it. We aren’t sending our highly trained ninja soldiers to abduct John Oliver.

But really that’s one of those BS laws that’s just sitting on the books. Maybe if someone really tried to do something corrupt to influence the election they’d put that in when they threw the book at them, but no one is going to be charged for sharing their opinion. Some dick head tried to convince Elections Canada to charge Michael Moore with a violation about a decade ago, it didn’t really go over. That’s really all the law is for, so idiots can complain that Elections Canada isn’t charging people whose views they don’t agree with.


Yeah, a mannequin won could have won against Martin that election.

But, while we’re on the subject. How the hell is Mulroney giving quips to the news instead of languishing in prison? He defrauded the government out of $2M with a false affidavit. We haven’t even sued him to get the money back.


Gotcha. So, no electioneering next time I go north of the border to visit my in-laws. Got it. L0(

Apparently you don’t have to vote for six hundred fucking propositions in every primary and by-election.

1 Like

Our government is effectively unicameral: our appointed Senate is where political hacks are put out to pasture. That’s fine - the more conscientious do committee work, and the chamber as a whole acts otherwise as a rubber stamp. Municipal and provincial elections happen at their own times; referenda, when they occur, get their own ballot.

All this simplifies things immensely. You’ll note just how short one of our election campaigns is compared to yours.

I daresay that this actually helps our democracy. Considering that the election campaigns have really already started and will go on for another full year, a presidential candidate in the US is going to have to chew up several millions of dollars campaigning, and that money has to come from somewhere (which tends to leave the candidate much beholden to the people who can supply the big bucks).

Up here, it is fairly common to go on about Senate reform. Me, I don’t really care: a Senate seat is a sinecure, to be sure, but as a line item in the budget, it’s a mere drop in the bucket. I think what we really need up here is proportional representation. Harper got a majority government in the previous election because the centre-left vote was split - a clear majority of the country voted against his party. This doesn’t just work in the one direction: the old Progressive Conservative Party got wiped out after Mulroney because the Reform Party was splitting the conservative vote in that election (and, as it happened, the Bloc Québecois, a regional party, became the official Opposition).

The usual argument against proportional representation is deadlocked government, but, honestly, up here minority governments have been the most effective ones we’ve had - they pretty much have to be responsive.

In both our countries, though, I really think that preventing legislators and top civil servants (in your country, the cabinet and top regulators like the Fed and SEC chairs) from working for companies/associations affected by the policies they enact, for at least a good ten years, would go a long way to cleaning up the rest of the rot. Pay 'em good salaries and excellent pensions - that’s cheap compared to the harm revolving doors cause - but make it a felony for what Holder has just done, and what Chris Dodd did with the MPAA. Corruption these days is a lot more subtle than straightforward bribes - it is usually future considerations.


On or before 14 January 2017… unfortunately, we don’t seem to have anyone turning up to shake up the cosy bullshit. Maybe a Jeremy Corbyn sort could come along to bitchslap Labor… but given my compatriots’ fucking apathetic complacency it’s likely nobody would notice or care.

I can only hope the exciting narrative that’s forming elsewhere might stir a few imaginations…


Subtle corruption, you say? Geez, from my perspective it feels like these utter scumbags have us all lined up on a conveyor belt for their dicks to whip into our faces. It’s the height of blatancy, for mine.