Bewildering Stories News
Short-Sheeting the Bedsheet Ballot
by Don Webb
Since issue 103 appears on election day in Canada, Bewildering Stories, true to its name, will attempt to explain to the outside world the national exercise in total befuddlement. Here’s a scorecard without which one cannot tell the players. And for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with North American political slang, a “bedsheet” ballot is one that has so many candidates and other items on it that it’s big enough to cover a bed.
The following is only a partial list of the parties that may appear on the ballot. Alas, where is the Rhinosceros Party now that we really need it? Names of party leaders are given where I happen to have heard of them.
|party||leader||official stance||in reality||public perception|
|Liberal||Paul Martin||centre-left||centre-right||The devil we know|
|Conservative||Stephen Harper||hard right||U.S. neo-cons||Republican Party north|
|New Democratic (NDP)||Jack Layton||centre-left||social democratic||Unions and taxes|
|Bloc Québécois||Gilles Duceppe||centre||secessionist||The other solitude|
|Progressive Canadian (PC)||centre-right||centre-right||Bargain-basement Liberals|
|Green Party||Jim Harris||centre-left||centrist||The PC on pot|
|Marxist-Leninist||hard left||atheist fossils||Conservatives upside down|
|Christian Heritage||hard right||theocratic fossils||The Fred Flintstone party|
|Marihuana Party||single-issue||capitalists||Green all the way to the bank|
Unlike the U.S., Canada’s “minor” parties often stand a chance to win in some ridings and thus be represented in Parliament. The New Democrats (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois are practically guaranteed a significant number of seats. The Greens and the Progressive Canadians (PC) are likely to win few if any, but we may hear a lot more from them in future.
How will this election turn out?
- The Conservatives win a landslide majority in Parliament with less than one-third of the popular vote. Canada duplicates the U.S. election of 2000 and finds itself governed by a carbon copy of the George W. Bush administration.
- The Conservatives form a coalition with the Bloc Québécois. Both Quebec and Alberta secede.
- The Liberals hang on to enough seats to be able to form an alliance if not an outright coalition with the NDP. Santa Claus accepts all credit cards.
- Somebody forms a minority government and we get to sleep it off for maybe a year or two.
Proportional representation has been suggested frequently of late. When will we get it? When the Flying Pigs Party wins a majority.
Copyright © 2004 by Don Webb for Bewildering Stories