January 12, 2006

Canadian Election: Conservative victory? The latest poll results -- can they be relied on? Or are voters just giving Liberal Leader Martin a pre-poll scare? According to the story, the Conservatives may even be ready to take some seats in Quebec. How does this affect your voting strategy? I voted Green last time, this time I'm leaning Liberal.

The numbers seem to have thrown the Liberals into a panic. As the plane goes down, the people in the cockpit are pushing buttons frantically hoping to hit on something that'll work. So far it's been mostly embarassing.

  • I voted Green last time but am going with the Grits this year, probably for the exact same reasons you are. I honestly don't have any idea how it'll go this time around. If Harper and his cronies win, I'm moving to the States. Oh, wait... damn.
  • I vote based on my convictions about who the best candidate is, not what the polls say. Polls can be wrong, and I really don't much care what anyone else thinks, anyway. In my case I'll be casting my ballot for Libby Davies, Incumbent MP, and a member of The New Democratic Party.
  • Crap. I don't really want to vote Liberal, but I'm afraid that a vote to the Greens or the NDP will mean a Conservative victory. I've often voted Liberal in the past. If it was going to be a clear victory for Martin, I'd vote Green or NDP on principle. But I'm afraid I can't be principled this time around. Just like most politicians. I wish I could vote my conscience and have it mean something.
  • I was going to vote NDP, but our local candidate has no political experience whatsoever. He's a student. Green! (Is it true that the Green party gets over a dollar donated from the government for each vote cast in their name?)
  • Me, I voted for NDPer Alexis MacDonald in Central Nova, which happens to be Peter MacKay's (Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party) riding. In the last election, Alexis MacDonald beat out the liberal candidate to come in second to MacKay--here's hoping the liberals in Central Nova decide to vote NDP to oust the supposedly unbeatable MacKay.
  • Aye, well, there 'tis. A slate packed with my kin. One o' various reasons I tend to keep my mouth shut re NS politics -- I'm sure to annoy or offend at least half my relatives. Your Montgues and Capulets were amateurs, I'm tellin' ye. We, now, we bear no small grudges.
  • I've already given up hope in my riding. When you live in Alberta and don't vote conservative, you get used to not really having your vote matter. I get the feeling that if we could convince Wayne Gretzky to run against the Conservatives under any party he'd still lose. That said I'm still looking forward to my traditional voting method:
    • Put voting card on table
    • Raise pencil above voting card lead tip down
    • Close eyes, drop pencil
    • Vote for candidate who's name appears closest to pencil mark
    Last time I voted green...
  • Anybody but Harper! I'd vote for fucking bird flu before I'd vote for that bottom bitch. I get the fabulous choice between Hedy "Flamin' Crosses" Fry, or Svend "Flamin' Big Gay Ring Stealer" Robinson. I'm voting for Fry. So my vote will actually count. Otherwise I'd have to flush my vote down the big ol' wishful thinking shitter by voting for other candidates who have no chance in hell of actually winning either in my riding or assisting their party to win federally. Which would be really fucking stupid, given it's the equivalent of not voting at all. /tired of close elections burned by idealistic, and yet utterly useless voting strategies.
  • Cripes, Money, that kind of choice sucks. I still think a vote for the Greens is never really wasted though. Lets the bastards know we're out there, and helps to keep 'em a tiny bit honest.
  • My convictonthat I always vote for the best person running in my riding is beint tested, but fortunately we have always been lucky to have very strong and interesting candidates in Charlottetown, even though the Liberal always wins.
  • I'm voting for whoever doesn't use my home phone as an advertising tool, unless they're Conservative. Guess it'll be Green. Sigh.
  • There is only one choice for 2006, comrade! Vote for the Communist Party of Canada for a better future . . . today!
  • Of course, you could always just eat your ballot
  • Crap. I don't really want to vote Liberal, but I'm afraid that a vote to the Greens or the NDP will mean a Conservative victory. Sucks, don't it? I hate being in that position. I realize that I don't know as much as I probably should about Canadian elections. Do you folks have a system like the U.S. Electoral College, or is it closer to the "one person, one vote" ideal?
  • One person, one vote. No electoral college. The Prime Minister is simply the leader of the party with the most elected Members of Parliment. Mind you, there are other problems with our "first past the post" system that skew it away from true democratic representation.
  • On the big picture, I think a lot of people are going to be spooked by Conservative momentum at the last minute, and vote for the Grits out of panic. At least, that's what the Liberal plan seems to have been. However, it's a risky plan, and they may have already lost -- there's too much momentum to stop. The fact that in the last debate Martin seemed doused in Eau De Desperation didn't help one bit. And the fact that the Grits abandoned Quebec to the Bloc from the very start is allowing Harper a lot of room to expand. And as much as I hate to admit it, the Conservatives have been running a great campaign. Got the signs out early, used the old Harris playbook of having an Issue Of The Day, leaving the others to catch up, and -- most important -- not coming across as inherently evil. Me, I'll be voting my conscience, as I've never bought into this strategic voting crap. If I don't vote my conscience, then things will never change. This time, that means this guy. He's allright. Speeds up his house visits so he can get to his smoke breaks earlier. Had an industrial accident, where he was working for the Ministry of Transportation as a sign installer, was out on one of those signs running across a 400-level highway, when he fell off, onto oncoming traffic. And then the sign he was installing fell on top of him. Which is, you know, tragic, but really, really funny. He gets my vote, no question. You go, Dave. But get your damn election signs out, I haven't seen any.
  • Liberal all the way. The current conservatives are much further right than they appear to be, and that scares me. I would never entertain the thought of voting NDP or Green, because this is a country we're running here, not a co-operative hemp & soy emporium.
  • MonkeyFilter: not a co-operative hemp & soy emporium Bwa-ha-ha! *wipes tears*
  • Although, you know rocket88, the Green Party is actually quite fiscally conservative. Many of the members, including the current leader of the Green Party, are former Progressive Conservatives. I was surprised at how well thought-out their platform was. They still have a few batshitcrazy ideas (Require all video stores to have 20% Canadian content! ban all non-natural pesticides by 2010! Increase taxes on alcohol!), but they have definitly matured as a party. Can't say I would ever see them running the country, though . . .
  • "The current conservatives are much further right than they appear to be..." So are the Greens, dude, so are the Greens. Their economic policies are entirely based on deregulation. Scary shit. It's like the far left and the far right of the spectrum wrapped around itself and formed this party. Wow.
  • On preview, what fimbulvetr said far better than I.
  • And I don't care what they call themselves now, Harper and his cronies are still the Reform Party, not Tories.
  • I would never entertain the thought of voting NDP or Green, because this is a country we're running here, not a co-operative hemp & soy emporium. The Greenies don't like the NDP for caring too much about auto workers and wheat farmers, and then we have this. There are real criticisms of the NDP but who needs those when people can just pain their own charicature instead.
  • The big thing I don't like about the NDP is their insistance on placing constitutional reform above all else. It is, in my opinion, entirely short-sighted. What would happen if we went for a proportional system? Well, for a start, you can bet that constitutional horse trading would preclude any kind of a sensible system. The right parties would push for a very low threshold beyond which a party would be represented and the greens would be all over that. Pretty soon there would be a fractured party system with constant minority governments and small, single issue, parties acting as kingmaker. This situation would be very attractive for two groups of people: small regionalist parties playing off one part of Canada against another and social conservative parties playing off the fears and religious convictions of substantially sized minorities. The left, in Canada, tends to win because their policies are the policies of intelectuals and experts. This is rapidly becoming less true, especially since Canadian universities have become infested with the kind of market fundamentalism so passe in the rest of the world, but it still stands especially when compared to the US. Proportional government means more direct democracy, and that means that popular but basically stupid ideas like capital punishment, market regulated healthcare and anti-immigrationism gain credence and influence. So that's what I think. Feel free to tell me I'm a jerk and an idiot.
  • My riding last results in 2004 were Bloc Qu├ębecois 61.8% with the Liberals only 22.9% and the Conservatives a meager 3 percent. So I vote Green (4.3 percent in 2004). Well, I can't vote, but my wife lets me decide what she should vote. I still think the 'The winner takes it all"-system is quite ridiculous. If the seats of the Canadian Parliament were divided by percentage it would look like this.:
    	       riding		      percentage
    	       system			system
    	
    Bloc Qu├ębecois	 54			 38
    Conservative	 99			 91
    
    Green Party	 - 			 13
    
    Liberals	135 			113
    
    NDP	 	 19 			 48
    
    Other		  1 			  5
    
    
    Total		308			308
    Quite a different picture...
     
  • There are many options other than a pure proportional representation though . . . there are blended systems (some seats proportional, others not); an elected, proportional senate, while keeping the commons as is; ranked-choice ballots (one of my favourite ideas, as this would encourage people to vote as want and strategically at the same time); etc., etc..
  • ermmm "vote as they want to" not "vote as want"
  • Check out this site. Reading the comments is usually good for trends in any given riding. I can't vote for the Liberals or the ReformaTories, so I'll be voting for Dipper Marilyn Churley. (My riding is a Liberal-NDP battle, with the Conservative candidate a long-shot.) But I'm not thrilled with any of them. I'd start my own party if I had any thought that I could pull it off. Monkey Party in 2007!
  • I would like to see a partially proprtional system, much like that used in Scotland's new parliament. Two thirds of all seats would come from current first-past-the-post methods (with local ridings modified to reduce their number), and one third selected from party lists based on proportion of votes in larger regions. Those regions could be Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, Western Provinces, and Northern Territories. Larger Cities (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver) could even comprise individual regions, to correct for their current underrepresentation.
  • What, exactly, scares everyone here away from the Conservatives? I have trouble making sense of this, since it looks to me like a circular argument:
    The left, in Canada, tends to win because their policies are the policies of intelectuals and experts. This is rapidly becoming less true, especially since Canadian universities have become infested with the kind of market fundamentalism so passe in the rest of the world, but it still stands especially when compared to the US.
    Personally, I quite like the arrangement we have now with the Liberals in a minority. But since that doesn't seem to be a likely result after this election, I would be satisfied to see the Conservatives head a minority government. And a Conservative majority? They have headed to the center in this campaign, so that thought doesn't scare me. In fact, I have trouble identifying where exactly they differ from the Liberals. Their tax plan is more progressive. They plan to subsidize bus passes. Harper promised not to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause and to grandfather existing marriages. Where are the big differences, because I don't see 'em? And a Conservative win would humble the Liberals, who, frankly, really need to spend some time in the penalty box.
  • An interesting article on proportional parlimentary reform. Via the Ottawa Citizen
  • Smo, it basically comes down to the fact that many people really doubt the sincerity of the Reform Party's swing to the centre. They've been harping on the right-wing, socially-conservative stuff for so long now, that believing they have all seen the light and become moderates is a tough one to swallow. My sneaking suspicion is that they have hired some goons with really big sticks to beat down anyone who tries to say something off-message. Yeah, they are running a good campaign, but a large part of that is the fact that they refuse to talk about any of the issues that got them in trouble last election. As for the bus pass subsidy thing, as several city leaders have noted already, no one is suggesting improving service or pumping more money into public transit, so it will do little to no good. No one is going to switch to bus if the service still sucks just because they get a tiny tax break -- and many bus riders are so low in the income bracket they don't pay taxes to begin with. As for changing the GST? Right. I'll believe it when I see it. Also, every time that is discussed, businesses react in horror -- the cost of switching all the cash registers, computer programs, etc. for a 1% change in tax rate every year for 3 years would be enormous.
  • However, I too wouldn't be too put off by a Reform minority . . . they couldnt do too much harm, and it would teach the Grits a lesson. I just don't know who would step in to prop them up. Not the NDP . . . and they would basically be selling their souls and doing themselves a lto of long term damage by pairing up with the Block.
  • Mea Culpa. The Reformers are proposing to reduce the GST 1% immediatly, then another 1% in 5 years . . . I don't see it happening.
  • What, exactly, scares everyone here away from the Conservatives? Smo: One of the biggest problems in Canada, and most Capitalist-based societies, in wealth concentration. While I'm far from being a Socialist, I like to see government programs and policies that tend to equalize the distribution of wealth. The two major policy announcements the Conservatives have made so far are lowering the GST and giving $1200/year to families with children under six. The GST reduction vastly benefits the rich more than the poor, since they spend more on taxable items and thus would save more with a tax reduction. The child subsidy is not tied to income or wealth, but would still see public funds going to rich families...something I find disturbing. It's a fundamental principle of the Conservative party that the "middle class" is hard done by, and needs to be relieved of the burden of shouldering the cost of Canada's social programs. As a member of that middle class, and someone who would monetarily benefit from the Conservatives' plans, I'd rather see programs that benefit those Canadians who really need it - not some middle class family whose biggest gripe is that they can't afford the mortgage on their $300,000 home and still take that Carribean vacation every spring.
  • Hey! A game to stir the soul of all you politics geeks out there . .. Prime Minister Forever. They even have an American, British, German, and Australian version . . .
  • Nice posts, folks. Evstar and Tempest, a vote for the Greens does count because new legislation allots $1.75 per vote to all federal parties that achieve 2 per cent or more of the national popular vote! They currently get $1 million a year based on the results of the last election. Part of the reason I'm going Liberal this time is that a) our riding is up for grabs b) I'm not sure I see a lot of front-line cabinet material in the Conservative ranks and c) things in the country aren't all that bad, low unemployment in an economic boom, why tamper with what isn't busted? And Monkeyfilter: "I'd vote for fucking bird flu before I'd vote for that bottom bitch." and " in the last debate Martin seemed doused in Eau De Desperation...". You don't get this kind of election commentary on the CBC!
  • As long as Tony Ianno gets booted on his well-deserving Grit-hack ass, I will see this as a successful campaign, no matter the result.
  • For the record, I want Ianno gone just because he has a Parliamentary record that is just pathetic and shameful. (Sure, that info is from the Parliament before this one -- but speaking in the House five times in four years? Two of which were on the deaths of prominent constituents? And another an insult, and another time talking about softball?) Ianno said, basically, that he was, like, busy and shit, doing MPey things that didn't involve sitting in the House. But c'mon. Winning a seat in Parliament implies that you'll at least be SITTING ON YOUR ASS IN PARLIAMENT. How can you speak for your constituents if you're never there? Hell, you can't even keep your seat in High School with a 1% attendance record...
  • Uh oh. Super Mario sorta backs the Conservatives.
  • Over here in the Nanaimo-Cowichan riding, the NDP incumbent looks to be a shoo in. She also appears to be the most competent candidate in the race, so I'm happy. I think that we're likely headed for another minority government but quite possibly a conservative one this time. Not necessarily a bad thing. Light will be cast on some of the Reform troglodytes who have thus far in the campaign been effectively muzzled by Harper. Unfortunately, we'll probably have to go through another election in a year or two. Rick Mercer has provided some helpful cabinet suggestions, should Harper win.
  • Out of curiosity, howzabout we each reveal our riding, voting intention, and our prediction as to who'll win the riding. (If nothing else, maybe we can have some 300 mini-meetups) Beaches-East York (ON), NDP , Liberal Who's next?
  • Niagara West - Glanbrook (whatever that is -- I've been here my whole life and I've never heard of Glanbrook), NDP, ReformConservative. Next!
  • Charlottetown, NDP, Liberal
  • For interest only. still B-EY, NDP, LIB
  • I live in the only riding in Alberta where the NDP has a fighting chance, so I'm sticking with them And, unlike last time 'round, they have a candidate that looks pretty reasonable and is Liberal-voter-friendly; not to mention that the Liberals didn't even nominate a candidate until a week or two into the election campaign.
  • Smo: Why is that argument circular? I mean, maybe it's wrong, I don't know, but I don't think it's circular. The argument goes: - Left wing positions tend to be favoured by intelectuals and experts, - Canada has a political system biased toward promoting educated and intelectual people to high office. - Therefore, left wing positions tend to prevail in Canada. - This trend is changing, due to new, right wing, ideas gaining traction among intelectual eletes. - Nonetheless the new trend may not completely overturn the already noted bias (especially when compared to the US). So that's over-simplified and cranky and probably wrong, but I don't think it's invalid due to circularity. The rest of my post argued that a fully proportional system (which is what the NDP is usually heard to be arguing for) would erode the tendency of people to get ahead in politics by being members of the educated elite. This will, I contend, tend to reduce the political success of left wing possitions.
  • rocket88 said: The GST reduction vastly benefits the rich more than the poor, since they spend more on taxable items and thus would save more with a tax reduction. Well, surely, if this is the reasoning at work, you have to concede that the Liberal tax plan is at least as bad. And since most sources say that the Conservative plan is a bit more progressive (i.e. benefits the lower classes more), shouldn't you support it over the alternative? It is true that the rich pay more GST than the poor, but they pay way more tax, period. The poor hardly pay any (if any) income tax, while they pay sales tax on most of what they buy. As a result, most people who know about these things say that, as a percentage, the Conservative plan seems to work best for the poor. The child subsidy is not tied to income or wealth, but would still see public funds going to rich families...something I find disturbing. I don't see what's so disturbing about it. Rich families pay more in tax; that they should get some of it back hardly strikes me as disturbing. And it remains the case that the poor and middle classes will benefit from it. Which isn't to say I agree with the idea, only that I don't find it any more disturbing than the child tax credit, or tax exemptions for tuition, etc. Dreadnaught, the way you worded your first post, it seemed to me that you were implying that market-based and other ideas from the right are not the sort of ideas intellectuals could or should accept, as if these aren't legitimate views for academics. You said these ideas are "infesting" Canadian universities. This seemed to me to imply that these ideas are entering academia not because they might have merit, but for other, less intellectually honest, reasons. So it seemed that you were making a negative judgment about their validity. But of course it's also possible that these ideas are gaining traction in academia because they have merit. Obviously, if no judgment about validity was intended in the first post, then I simply misread you. If that's the case, I apologize.
  • I said: As a result, most people who know about these things say that, as a percentage, the Conservative plan seems to work best for the poor. I'm not one of those people who "know about these things," by the way. I rely on the experts, like most everyone else. But they seem to be more or less agreed on it.
  • NDP supporters have a very hard time understanding why anyone would vote for anyone but the NDP. They are said to be the party closest to the hearts of the Liberal party, except without all that nasty corruption. It's because they take uncompromising positions on all ethical and moral issues, and intend to personally see to it that each and every promise is fulfilled -- they're really the most idealogical party in Canada, and I think Canadians are really a pragmatic people. Ontarians that have lived here longer than I have remember what it's like to see all those election promises fulfilled and the government bankrupted. For example, support for the Conservatives didn't take off until they started watering down their conservative idealogy, not with socially left-wing ideas (which I would have preferred) but with promises spend more money. The NDP could have taken this election, I think, if they'd take more realistic positions on privitisation of healthcare (it's already about 20% private, let's not pretend otherwise) and social spending (yeah, things have been cut back too far but I don't think we need to be spending more money on absolutely everything). Tax cuts aren't 100% good but neither is social spending, I will vote for a party that spends what needs to be spent and knows why. I'm just not sure what party that is, at this point. The NDP are on the right side of every issue but they're under the mistaken impression that the federal government ought to be responsible for every frigging thing in the world. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. I'll be voting probably NDP or Green in Parkdale/High Park (voted Liberal last time) because I've seen enough evidence that Sam Bulte is working in corporate interests rather than those of her consituents.
  • The NDP frustrate me to no end with their idea that actually fighting hard and gunning for victory is somehow beneath them.
  • Riding: Ottawa Centre. Retiring NDP incumbent (Big Ed!). Voting intention: Liberal. Prediction: Liberal in a close race.
  • staticred: Which riding is that?
  • Smo: You said these ideas are "infesting" Canadian universities. This seemed to me to imply that these ideas are entering academia not because they might have merit, but for other, less intellectually honest, reasons. So it seemed that you were making a negative judgment about their validity. Ok, you got me there. I'm sorry, this is a complete derail but... I by no means meant to imply that there is some secret conspiracy to somehow brainwash academics into accepting hard core free-market economics. Rather, I was making a cheap-shot editorial asside to the effect that these ideas are wrong, wrong, wrong, brazenly contradict the historical record (which I hold as the only reasonable metric of evidence in this regard) and should be abandoned. They are infesting the academic world, not due to any conspiracy, but due to the whims and perversities of academic fasion and I wish everybody would just wake up and smell the Popp(er)ies.
  • Giles Duceppe is my MP, so it won't make a difference who I vote for (other than 'percentage of the vote = party funding' sort of things).
  • A few weeks back I was sitting in a pub waiting for friend to show up and I heard one guy holding forth at the bar about how sure, the Liberals were corrupt but the Conservatives wouldn't be any better in that respect while being worse in terms of being a bunch of reactionary rednecks who would make bad decisions. I smiled to myself at the time because I felt I was listening to the mouth of Central Canada, and that, as this guy predicted, we were headed for another Liberal minority government. I hope this will be the case, but the Conservatives are running an frighteningly effective campaign. Those "stand up for Canada" Conservative Party commercials leave me yelling at my TV. I can only hope they aren't really as effective with the unthinking types as I fear they are.
  • The Liberals have nothing to run on other than the fact they not the Conservatives. It worked last time, but lets face it, Paul Martin is only a fraction to the left of Harper. He would have been our most conservative PM in decades given a majority. The first budget was filled with enough corporate tax breaks that even Harper said "We can support this budget." It wasn't until the Reformatories withdrew their support (after some Adscam revelation) that the NDP entered the picture and inserted some of their priorites. Martin is no leader, and fully deserves his electoral fate. Too bad (for most of us) that we get to bear the brunt of it.
  • Too bad that Harper promised to reconsider Kyoto and wants Canada to join the Us's missile defence program. And that these facts are not widely known.
  • The Conservatives have figured out that to be elected, they must campaign as Liberals, with Liberal promises and a middle-of-the-road image. My fear is that once elected, they will turn back into Conservatives again.
  • Oh, and my riding is Wellington-Halton Hills, a mostly rural area that I fully expect to go Conservative, just like last time.
  • Conservative Platform has been released. Cap gains would be exempt if 'reinvested' within six months. Major, major deals like scrapping and replacing the Indian Act, reforming the Senate, and enshrining property rights in the Constitution.
  • Rocket, How is that different from the Liberal's usual tactic of campaigning as NDP and governing as Conservatives? Voters can't complain about what we're getting. I expect that as the polls continue to run Tory, Harper will start talking a little more right wing (ie Kyoto) just so he can say "We said we'd do X during the campaign."
  • Re: Kyoto, Harper wants a 'Made in Canada' solution, which sounds great, but means going against our international committments and doing whatever the hell we want.
  • (Which is likely letting business 'solve the problem', which means doing nothing.)
  • Vancouver Centre, Liberal, Nobody fucking knows. Hence it's delegation as the Suicide Riding; many people would rather kill themselves than vote for either Hedy Fry or Svend Robinson, and the rumbling you hear when results are posted is the fevered bashing of heads against walls if Davie Street votes for Svend just become the fool's gay. They'll need to forget his incredibly cynical parachuting into the only riding he thinks he can win, precisely because he is gay. This is a huge issue; many gay folk are worried that a block gay vote for Svend will give the impression you don't have to be anything but gay to take Vancouver Centre. Not a good thing for the many who would like to be seen as voting on the actual political merits of candidates.
  • "...voting on the actual political merits of candidates. Oh, that takes me back. Yessir, that takes me waaaaaaaaaay back. Wait a sec -- no it doesn't. When that'd ever happen?
  • The best system in the world is one that no country has: Which is to elect those people who don't want the job. Captain Renault, you start 9:00 a.m. Monday. Parliament Hill, Centre Block. Bring your lunch.
  • Does that mean I don't need to show up here on Monday? *puts down kerosene* I wasn't going to anyway, but this is probably a better option. Parliament has dental plans, right?
  • Parliament has dental plans. Yes. A shit-eating grin is issued on arrival.
  • Capt. Renault you'll love the new job. Plus people will get really confused calling you "Prime Minister Captain" or "Captain Prime Minister". Take advantage of this and pull the wool over the eyes o' the leaders of the free world! Speaking of recruitment, Moneyjane you'd be perfect for Minister of Justice: tough, but fair. And why stop there? Dreadnought, Minister of Labor. Smo said he's not someone who knows about things which makes him perfect for Finance. Islander would be great as Cultural Minister. Mare's comments suggest a post in External Affairs. Rocket88's egalitarian views means Ministry of Human Resources. And I, er....I will be Speaker so I can swing that big mace.
  • Prime Captain Minister Renault should also appoint Koko as Minister of Agriculture, with full powers to address Canada's looming beetroot shortage. fish tick, of course, shall strap on the portfolio of Minister of Fisheries and Inter-tidal Affairs.
  • Surely, in Canada, that would be labour! *(really wanted National Defence portfolio, although supposes that's the point)*
  • Martin attacks Layton for not attacking Harper. Doesn't realize that Layton is preying on the weak. I love this -- Martin: if Harper wins, it's your fault, Jack. Oh -- you'll all invited to a pool party at 24 Sussex. Afterwards, I can show you where the silverware was kept until Mila stole it.
  • I'd like to attack Martin for not beating the crap out of Ben Mulroney for having such a stupid fucking haircut. Senior was bad enough.
  • Gawd, unbelievable Martin. It's the third period and they're down ten goals. What is he doing? Wait! I see! He's shooooting pucks into the audience!
  • What's up with the polls? SES says 5 point gap; Strategic Counsel says 18. That's a fairly large fucking difference.
  • = "margin of error"? The latest from electionprediction.org: Liberal: 77 Conserv: 97 NDP: 17 BQ: 51 Too Close to Call: 66
  • Where's the Silly Party?
  • That's you pete.
  • Party of one. Which should sound really familliar to pete.
  • Tarquin Fintim Limbim Limbim Wimbimlin Bus Stop Ftang Ftang Olay Biscuit Barrel (Silly Party)...
  • May I say that this is absolutely my first time posting on this thread.
  • No there isn't time, we're just going straight over to Luten.
  • My money's on Kevin Phillips-Bong taking the swing at Luton.
  • That was the swing, but where is the swong?
  • The swong remains the same.
  • Urgh! *collapse*
  • Fat smartass blowhard condescendingly weighs in. But, hey, at least he's on our side.
  • And that's a good thing?
  • Lots of poll results in one place, for what they're worth. Might wanna stay away from the comments, however.
  • "Fascists Crooks Commies Traitors" I think that sums up our parties very well. I like the commies. My grandmother used to get called a commie for campaigning for them. But they don't want to nationalise all industry anymore.
  • The two major policy announcements the Conservatives have made so far are lowering the GST and giving $1200/year to families with children under six. The GST reduction vastly benefits the rich more than the poor, since they spend more on taxable items and thus would save more with a tax reduction. The child subsidy is not tied to income or wealth, but would still see public funds going to rich families. The 12 hundred a year is also seen as a pay off to the fundies here who tend to be more procreative than the mainstream.
  • Many right wing pundits like the $1200 payment because it goes to families with stay-at-home moms as well as those who must pay for daycare. Many of these people want to discourage two-income families in favour of traditional "dad works, mom cooks and cleans" arrangements.
  • Yeah, and that kind of role assignment is sexist and, well, asinine. But the idea that the government ought to encourage both parents to work and to send their kids to daycare isn't a great one either, IMO.
  • I agree completely. I like neither the Conesrvatives' $1200 giveaway nor the Liberals' socialized daycare program. They're both just ways to buy votes from people with young kids.
  • heh Gerard Baker in the London Times - Canadian politics, globally inconsequential in themselves...in the vast, cold and underpopulated Commonwealth country...having long dismissed Canada as a vast, bleak landscape of pinko, peacenik homosexuals debilitated by a socialist medical system. We should invite him over for a game of hockey.
  • But it's not a NET $1200 payment. It's a taxable benefit, and winds up as little as $400 at low income levels. Any daycare plan has to offer something for stay at home parents, but also realistic care for families where both parents work. But that discussion could be worth its own FPP, since it's not only an Canadian issue. What I'm curious about, (but I'm busy at work, so it may be a while before I can expound on this theory), it the impact of a Harper win on the Bloc.
  • that 1200 plan reminds me of outsourcing the military to Halliburton. Don't fix what's broken, just throw money at it, kinda?
  • I don't like the cut in GST because it encourages spending and discourages savings, when it is the latter we need more of right now than the latter. If I was PM I'd increase the GST! Also I'd put windmills everywhere! And, uh, free subscriptions to the Economist! What about you guys?
  • "latter we need more of right now than the FORMER"
  • Back to my previous point. Assume a Harper victory. His agenda is to give more powers to the provinces, while reducing the amount of federal funding they'll receive. Some provinces will be upset because they rely more on the transfer payments (PEI,NB,NS,NF), others happier because they won't be contributing as much (ON,AB), some I honestly don't know (BC,MB,SK). But Quebec. A unique place where politics is not based on left/right, but on separatism/federalism. The sovreigntists want more powers from the federal government, but will they accept getting less money from Ottawa? The PQ and Bloc have long portrayed independence as a paradise where everything is possible. How will this vision be impacted when the subsidization of Quebec society is reduced, and the effects of this become visible to the average Quebecer? The PQ and Bloc will spin this as a reason to separate. What about the average voter? Will it strenghten the Federalists or the Separatists? A little lenghty for a comment, but maybe something to consider.
  • Voted just before lunch. My candidate was standing out on the corner, across the street from my office, waving at cars. Being an NDPer in a Reform riding, he wasn't getting too many nice responses. Polling on democraticspace.com puts him at 11%. Poor guy. Second time he's been the sacrificial lamb here. On the bigger scale, I've become worried about a Conservative Minority. Not so much worried about the damage they can do in a minority situation, but worried that he'll pull a David Peterson. Get in as a minority, people will see that the world didn't end, and not be afraid to give him the full mandate the next time. Proportional representation. Said it before, and I'll keep saying it. Give everyone the voice they're entitled to. Guaranteed governing by the centre. Make sure government is based on compromise. Marginalize the Bloc at the same time. It's so simple, it just might work! *sigh* This is going to be a long couple of years, isn't it?
  • If you get bored, we got a POTUS you can have cheap.
  • Oh, god. He's back for a second go at standing on the corner. And the high school kids just got out. He's a brave man, I'll give him that. A brave man with his orange tie sticking out of his back collar.
  • Just went out to tell him to fix his tie. He says he's polling 22% in the region, which compares to 20% provincially. Careful, Dave. There's optimism, and then there's flat-out lies. I wish I could believe you, though.
  • You never know. I don't remember the polls in 1990 showing a NDP majority in Ontario. It seems like a lot of people just made up their minds at the polling station. Odds of re-occurance? Zero.
  • Incidently, the latest riding by riding polls are here. A lot of ridings are showing a bit of a Liberal surge over the past week.
  • So far, so good! Grits doing well in NS and NF.
  • (Oops -sorry- also PEI and NB, of course.)
  • (Shh! You'll break the law!) Seriously, though, for those of you to the West of Saskatchewan, CBC reports "leading and elected ridings" like this: Crooks: 47 Fascists: 28 Commies: 9 Traitors: 4 Also, American beer, all I have on hand, is the weakest shit ever.
  • Fascists: 63 Crooks: 58 Commies: 16 Traitors: 15
  • Fascists now leading crooks, 64-57. Thanks, central Canada. >:-(
  • I'm having a hard time following teh breakdown, damnit, who are the crooks again?
  • Oh, CBC is already projecting a Tory minority victory.
  • Crooks would be gritty sorts.
  • Fascists: 111 Crooks: 96 Commies: 25 Traitors: 50 (Crooks = Libs)
  • <"http://www.ndp.ca/nettiewiebe/welcome">Nettie Wiebe is in a tight race. C'mon!
  • Nettie Wiebe. Ahem.
  • Crooks = Libs, right! Anyone named Nettie deserves to win, I'd say.
  • Hey Belinda's been elected. Also there's some brave independent in Churchill, Manitoba...
  • ...and the Traitors have lost some seats. Ha!
  • *drinks in celebration*
  • Ignatieff (Lib), Flaherty (Con), Stronach (Lib), Goodale (Lib) all seem to have won, and I'm fairly happy about that. Now if only Wiebe had won.
  • Anyone named Nettie deserves to win, I'd say. Hey! I was named after a Nettie.
  • So now we'll see an alliance between the far-right (for Canada) Reform/Conservatives and the separatist/social-democratic Bloc. Prediction: Sweeping devolution of powers from the federal government to the provincial governments, keeping the power bases of Alberta and Quebec very happy. If the Tories can give Quebec enough candy, they should get the Bloc's support in pushing through some of their socially conservative hidden agenda. Probably as unholy an alliance as I've seen in Canadian politics (Alberta and Quebec hate each other almost as much as they both hate Ontario). This will probably fill a chapter in future Political Science texts.
  • Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos.
  • In yer face, Svend! And Ol' Bird Flu lost 5 seats in B.C. Tiny, partial victory is sweet, motherfuckers!
  • My take. Feel free to argue. Winners: Stephen Harper - PM, and the social regressive wing will have to shut up for the next two years. The party will stay united for now. Liberals. Not decimated, as feared, and have a chance to decide what they stand for. Quebec federalists. The Bloc loses seats and votes. Quebec. The suck up begins. Ontario. The suck up begins. Also benefits for McGuinty and Tory. Losers: Stephen Harper. Two elections have seen a late collapse as voters have questions. NDP. More seats and votes, but lost several close races as voters returned to the Libs with concerns about the Cons. Bloc (and PQ). Not nearly as many sovreigntists as they thought. Toronto. Despite Harper being TO born and bred, complete repudiation of his platform shows little fertile ground for future sucking up. Also, former TO hating Harrisites in Cabinet. (Would be a loser anyway, since it was ignored by Liberals for 11.5 years) Buzz Hargrove. Unions in Windsor and Hamilton give seats to NDP, and Oshawa to the Cons. The Electorate. We have a break as the Libs look internally, and the Bloc awaits the next Quebec election. But expect to do this again in 18-24 months.
  • The independent from Quebec City -- Andre Arthur -- I take it he was the guy who was railing against the CRTC? I nominate the shock jock for Speaker.
  • Speaker Andre: Caller, you're on the air. MP Olivia Chow: Mister Speaker -- long time listener, first time MP -- Mister Speaker, the conditions of the homeless -- Speaker Andre: Again with that crap? Homeless don't have to be homeless. Move to the Gaspesie. Plenty of vacancy there. Next caller! MP Ignatieff: Mister Speaker, during this interminable campaign, there were many slanderous remarks directed to me -- Speaker Andre: I'll tell you what's interminable -- your rambling. Next caller! MP Ken Dryden: Mister Speaker, I have a question for the honorable member for Wild Rose -- Speaker Andre: Dryden! You still get out on the ice? MP Dryden: Well, sometimes, but my question is on foreign relations -- Speaker Andre: You were pretty good -- for a lawyer -- and even for an anglo, although you were no Terry Sawchuck. What's can Bob Gainey do to turn the Habs around? MP Dryden: Well, we need to beef up defence -- Speaker Andre: You're a moron, Dryden. Next caller! Etc., etc.
  • The thing that peeves me the most is that I think we will soon be seeing a budget deficit.
  • We dumped the religious conservative dinks on their ass in Vancouver; basically Harper appeals to the banjo kids in the sticks, but as soon as he gets near a progressive city he's told to jam it. And Quebec? Good luck separating from the country on Indian land.
  • as soon as he gets near a progressive city he's told to jam it. Good point. It looks like the Tories didn't win a single seat from any of the three major cities (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver). With Alberta going 100% blue, it looks like there'll be plenty of flannel shirts and John Deere caps in the next parliament. Yeeee-haw!!!!
  • Unfortunately, since he can't ignore Toronto altogther when it comes to stacking cabinet, Harper is likely to name Jim "Let's-put-the-homeless-in-jail-for-their-own-good" Flaherty. Maybe even Tony the Greek. Nothing like sufferring Harrisites for years and years, finally getting the chance to boot them on their ass, and then finding their ilk at the hands of more power than they'd ever manipulated before. Back at the trough in grand style, baby! Suck it! (Well, maybe not Tony the Greek for cabinet, seeing as how he has to hang on for the recount. But still.)
  • "...it looks like there'll be plenty of flannel shirts and John Deere caps in the next parliament... I was going to point out that John Deere was an American outfit, and they should have some patriotic Massey Ferguson caps, until I remembered that HQ bolted down south a few years ago. Vincent and Raymond would be spinning in their graves...
  • Upon further research, Vincent Massey was a Grit, and so Yankee John Deere caps would be entirely appropriate for this bunch. Carry on.
  • I'm thinking they should move the Calgary Stampede to Parliament Hill in celebration.