left & right in politics

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sun Jan 6 00:48:42 UTC 2008

As a sort of tangent on this, in Canada, as in England, the
parliament sits on two sides of a central aisle, facing each other,
but their positioning is determined by which party has formed the
government (since we don't have a presidential system; the government
is led by the leader of the party with more seats -- although the
head of state is of course the Queen). If the Liberals are in power
in Canada, for instance, you can have the NDP (farther "left") seated
on the same side as the Conservatives (farther "right"). Nonetheless,
we talk of left and right just as people elsewhere do.

Note, however, that our Conservatives are blue and our Liberals are
red, which seems more intuitive to me (the NDP are orange). These are
their official logo colours, not an invention of a network or
columnist. (As a further tangent, our maple leaf flag was originally
proposed to have blue borders, not red -- as in "a mari usque an
mare," from sea to sea, our motto -- but the Liberal government that
brought it in got the flag to be all their colour through a bit of

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list