If you live in Canada, you probably know that in less than a week, we will be heading back to the polls, and if you're from out of the country, then, Ayo! Suprise, Canada has another election that you may or may not have heard of. I think it's always an interesting idea to take a step back, and try to explain the election from the point of view of one outsider telling another outsider about the election, similarly to me talking about American or British politics to one of my friends, so I'll attempt to do the same thing here.
So, in Canadian elections, the first thing to know is that Canada has multiple parties that run, along with independent candidates in some ridings (formally known as electoral districts, the divisions of which we elect representatives, but everyone calls them ridings for ease.) The prime minister is the (and i'm simplifying this) leader of the party that gains the most power in the House of Commons by winning the most seats.
Currently, in the polls, it's a tie between the Liberals (who are pretty centrist on the spectrum), and the Conservatives (who are more right-wing) for the lead. The Liberals enjoyed a healthy lead for most of the campaign, but recently, the New Democratic Party, a left-wing party led by Jagmeet Singh, has surged in the polls, bringing in the basic tie between the two leading parties.
Recently, Jagmeet Singh said that the NDP party would be open to forming a coalition government with the Liberal party should the Conservatives get a minority government, which is to say, if the Conservatives get the most seats in the house of commons, but still less than the 170 seats required for a majority government.
I'll invite you to research this more for the particulars of how this works legally, but basically what this would mean is a government made up of Liberals AND the NDP, which is something that, as far as I know, Canada has never seen before (it's been tried and tempted, but never actually implemented in Canada).
I think it's important to note that it is solely in Canada where this has never happened before—while many Canadians have reservations about how this process would work and how it may affect day-to-day life, it is important to note here that this has happened before elsewhere; in fact, there are multiple countries that have either had, or currently have, coalition governments that represent their citizens, and that work to varying levels of success.
Now this comes the time where I need to truly question it for myself; is a coalition inherently bad? Why do I feel a worry about having one?
I'm a firm believer in requiring proof to continue with maintaining negative feelings about something. If I want to say that coalitions are bad, I feel that I should have a solid reason to say, "yes, this is bad for this reason." But I don't.
The one true worry that I have is that I doubt it would be efficient. Now, if you know me, you know that I absolutely LOVE the word efficiency. Efficiency is a marker for a lot of things for me; is my investment efficient, is my work efficient, are my relationships efficient—I think this comes largely from the amount of times that my parents told me to 'work smarter; not harder'. Efficiency can easily turn into an obsession for me, and I don't think this is any different.
That being said, does everything need to be efficient? Does government need to be efficient? What does efficiency even mean for government? Does it mean that every motion and act is thoughtfully considered, and that legislation takes a long time to get through government? Or does it mean that work is done quickly with precision, but then is reversed by the next government after finding a small flaw in a program, or the discovery of an unintended side-effect of a policy decision?
I think, truly, what this means to me is that we need to be careful to not settle in our ways, and to not be reactive in how we treat politics. Politics, like much else that we do, requires thought and consideration. I invite you to ensure that, regardless of what country you're from, you consider it as well.