You'd think a guy who has dabbled in politics since he was 15, and has been an elected parliamentarian of one sort or another since 1995, John Baird would have picked up some sort of working knowledge of how our parliamentary democracy works.
You'd think wrong though. Either he's playing dumb, or our school system is in worse shape than I thought. Here's Baird yesterday during question period:
Mr. Speaker, it is the leader of the Liberal Party who is showing contempt for Canadian voters. He does not accept the fundamental democratic principle that the person with the most votes wins elections. He wanted to establish a coalition government with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP and now the coalition is back again. That shows utter contempt for Canadians.Actually, Baird is again showing his contempt for Canadians by trying to exploit and promote the ignorance of many in the "fundamental democratic principles" that run our system of government.
Yes John, the "person with the most votes win elections."Operative word being "person." We don't vote for a "Harper Government" or for the Prime Minister. We vote for a member of parliament, and elect 308 of them to go off to Ottawa. The Conservatives want you to think you're voting for President Stephen Harper, but this isn't the United States. The governor general generally gives the party with the most seats first crack at forming government, but to keep it they have to command the confidence of a majority of MPs. And if they can't, another party can be asked to give it a shot. Because Canadians don't elect governments. They elect members of parliament.
That's how our system works. If there's anyone showing "utter contempt" for Canadians, it's John Baird by trying to confuse them about the fundamental tenets of their democracy. Of course, this isn't new for Baird. His Conservatives have long been betting on the ignorance and the apathy of Canadians.
But then again, I'll take any chance to run this video again of Don Newman giving Baird a spanking live on national TV in 2008. Never gets old...
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