Undoing Harper’s misinformation.

I’m not sure what’s worse: that the Prime Minister of Canada is spreading misinformation about how our parliament works and what constitutes a “legitimate” government, or that Canadians have so poor a grasp of their own system that they can be this easily misled.

Here’s some of the utter crap less-than-factual notions I’ve encountered in the last few days that need some dispelling – from news articles, editorials, user comments, and friends alike.
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Prop 8 nonsense.

Still coming down from the high of Barack Obama’s historic win this week, I talked to friends in LA who told me of the fate of Proposition 8, the controversial ban on gay marriage.

It passed.

This is what happens when the rights of a minority are subjected to a majority vote.  Who allowed such a proposition in the first place?

What the Obama victory means for us.

Like the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the attacks of September 11th, people will forever remember where they were on the night of November 4th, 2008.

I had the privilege of being in Grant Park, Chicago.

▲ The skyline from Grant Park.

The skyline from Grant Park.

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An exercise in frustration (Or, ‘We got what we deserve’.)

We had less than 60% voter participation.

Forget for a moment how atrociously the Liberals performed, and how Canada shied away from an opportunity to reassert its leadership on the world stage by finally taking a stand on issues of importance to us.  Forget the profuse bleeding of seats to both the Conservatives and the New Democrats that Dion was ultimately powerless to stanch.

We had less than 60% voter participation.

This is the worst voter turnout in any federal election in Canadian history, and in the midst of the greatest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, the electorate shirked its most critical responsibility.

We have nothing to show for what has just happened.  $300,000,000 later, the Tories upped their seat count a bit, and the Grits will remain the official opposition – albeit in weakened form.  

But it is not a stronger mandate if 10 milion eligible voters did not participate.  We have only ourselves to blame.