As the entire planet knows, the USA recently had an election. A few of you also know that Canada had an election too. The US race will result in a change of governing party, but the handover won't occur until January when the president-elect will become the first US president with recent African ancestry. (I say "recent" because current science suggests that all our ancestors were Africans. It's just that some walked out long before recorded history, some were abducted, and some voluntarily emigrated). Meanwhile the Canadian election resulted in no change of Prime Minister, but now the party in power has only a minority of seats in the House. This blog entry discusses the current constitutional wrangling with respect to the Canadian government, which is a bit of a joke, and then a joke relating to the US constitution and their recent "historic election."
Canada first: When the ruling party in Canada is defeated in the House of Commons on a money bill or in a specific non-confidence vote, the Prime Minister has to go cap-in-hand to the Governor-General (the Queen's representative in Canada and our titular head of state) and ask for a decision. She can ask another party to form the government, call an election, or give everyone a timeout (prorogue). The PM can recommend a decision, and the GG usually abides by his recommendation, but she doesn't have to.
Last week a coalition of two parties, aided by a written agreement with a third stated its intention to vote against an important bill. The coalition has informed the Governor-General that they are prepared to form the government but the vote has been delayed because the GG granted the PM a prorogue. Meanwhile the ruling party, the Conservatives is casting disparagement on the opposing Liberals and NDP because they are allying with the separatist Bloc Quebecois. The Conservatives have a secret tape recording of advance planning of the coup. How do they have it? A member of the Conservative party was accidentally invited to a conference call on the subject, on account of having the same last name and a similar e-mail address to a Liberal MP. Meanwhile the Liberals have found an even older document proving that the Conservatives planned to do exactly the same thing if they were in the same position. Pundits are calling it a constitutional crisis, but it makes me laugh.
Politicians everywhere try to make their opponents look bad, and that's the theme of the US joke, a way that the Republicans could really tick off the Democrats. If George Bush were to resign before the inauguration, VP Dick Cheney would become president. Now that would annoy a lot of people, but here's the funny part. If Dick Cheney were to make Condolezza Rice his VP, and then resign himself, the Republicans could lay claim to the first African-American President of the United States.
By the way, the United States will be the third and last country on the continent to have a head of state who can trace ancestory to Africa. Mexico had the first in 1829 and Canada's Governor-General Michaëlle Jean is a first generation Haïtian immigrant.
I know I can trust you guys to comment on this blog entry without disparaging any of the candidates or the people who voted for them.