March 14, 2011

Moderate Union Returns!

The Moderate Union is back!

The blog has now been renamed "The Canadian Politics Blog". This title change reflects a new approach to the blog -one that focuses on informing the Canadian citizen through a "one-stop" site for everything to do with Canadian politics.

This site's goal is to become the place for Canadian polls, statistics, and top news stories.

With blog posts from the Moderate Union!

Keep you eye on the site as it will be undergoing heavy construction and will soon house a great deal of juicy political facts n' stats for you to chew on during your work break or whenever you choose to indulge yourself in thepolitical "crack" you crave.

My hope is that you'll eventually come to include The Canadian Politics Blog into your "fave' sites" portfolio.

Keep posted.

December 29, 2009

Canadian Political Party: Liberals Soldier On or Merge?

For a certain Canadian political party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the future is unclear.

More and more every day on t.v. and radio news programs and in print publications chatter is centering on the political future of the Liberals. It's hard to believe that it was just half a year ago that they were deadlocked with the Conservatives in the Canadian political polls.

Since then leader Michael Ignatieff has seen his popularity drop along with that of his party. Canadians didn't seem to take too kindly to the possibility of another election so soon.

So what's next? Luckily for Ignatieff a new year is right around the corner. A new start, a new and possibly last chance to turn the poll numbers around. Liberal supporters need to feel enthused about their party and their leader -a feeling that generally lacks as 2009 comes to a close. He is on notice and you cannot attribute all the party's problems to him alone.

History is not on Ignatieff's side.

A lot of the talk in the media lately (including Canadian political blogs) has focused on the idea of a Liberal-NDP merger. Such an idea is unthinkable to many Liberals but I seem to remember a similarly "crazy" idea back in 2003 when the Progressive Conservative Party and Canadian Alliance merged into one super-party. The right of centre was united as one entity while the left-of-centre was still fractured into several parties.

It's a simple numbers game.

In the current political context the numbers do not favour the Liberals. Many members of the Canadian political party believe that if they just have the right person to lead the party everything will be o.k. and they can go back to the good ol' days of seemingly endless rule. This view is incorrect. It would take a "perfect storm" of circumstances and events that would lead to the Liberals winning the next Canadian federal election if it comes in 2010.

The Conservative government would have to make some serious mistakes (serious, not trivial) and the NDP would have to lose some support (it has been gaining support over the last 6 months) and the Liberals and Ignatieff would have to run a near-perfect campaign. Could it happen? Possibly? Yes. Unlikely Yes.

I'm not a pessimist, just a realist.

As I looked into the issue of a Liberal-NDP merger I examined the provincial politics to see how such a merger would affect politics in the provinces and I call tell you that such a merger would not change the provincial Canadian political system generally. In B.C. however, things get a little tricky as two parties in action there are the NDP and the BC Liberals who are not affiliated with the federal Liberal Party of Canada. The BCL's membership is derived from federal Liberal and Conservative supporters.

As a centrist who favours relatively conservative fiscal policy and moderately liberal social policy I personally identify best with the Liberals as my Canadian political party of choice; no party in Canada represents my political views more accurately. I want us to win. If we could avoid a merger that would be ideal but I just don't foresee that happening given the historical and current political context.

It just does not add up.

The average Canadian voter needs a clear choice. Voters from the centre to centre-left are splitting their vote between the the NDP and the Liberals, diminishing the possibility of either party forming a majority government. Times have changed. We might have to swallow our pride and change with it. I always liked the fact that we had a multi-party system and with a merger that system would remain.

It takes bold and tough choices to achieve great results. Stephen Harper understood that well in 2003.

I'd like to hear some input from Liberal supporters on this so post a comment and let me know what you think about a potential Liberal-NDP merger.

see related: Ally the left-of-centre?

December 28, 2009

Canadian Political Blogs: The Different Types

When it comes to Canadian politics there are three types of Canadian political blogs out there. The first two types are mostly opinionated while the third is mainly informative.

If you're interested in a political blog on Canadian government or Canadian politics you should always keep in mind a blogger's goals and intentions for writing what they write. Everyone has a bias and sometimes that bias is intentionally manifest while at other times it is latent and needs to be "found" or "discovered".

Here are the main different types of Canadian political blogs:

Type #1 is a party-centered opinionated blog. On these blogs, the writer acts as a partisan political hack defending and supporting their political party of choice while attacking opposing parties' stances on issues. These blogs can sometimes offer information (i.e. news) but will almost always use information selectively -adding and omitting data based on how it makes their political party look.

The verdict: Visit this type of politics blog if you share the writers' worldview and political party preference. Avoid them if you are looking for an objective source of news and information. These blogs do not engage in real journalism.

Type #2 is an opinionated blog that doesn't commit itself to a specific political party. These blogs may come from either side of the political spectrum (i.e. left or right) but they don't actively blog in support of any of the various Canadian political parties on a daily basis. Like type #1 these political blogs have a bias so the key thing to understand when reading them is to find out "where they are coming from". These blogs are the most philosophical in nature.

The Verdict: These sites are ideal for readers who are open to new ideas or for ones who know the politics game and want to hear how the different political actors including bloggers are reacting to current political news and issues.

Type #3 is an information blog. It's main goal is to inform like an online newspaper. The aim of these blogs is to provide a one-stop place for news and information. These blogs can be Canada-wide but they can also be regional (e.g. Western Canada, BC, Northwest BC). These blogs try to gain credibility by being objective.

The Verdict: Visit these blogs if you want your daily dose of political news. Remember: all news has some bias in it -even major newspapers are not free of politics. You can get the most out of these sites if you crave data (Canadian political polls, Canadian election results, social/economic statistics etc.)

There you have it!
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