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Author Topic: Canadian Politics - October 14th Election  (Read 1933 times)
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kronovan
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« on: October 09, 2008, 06:57:59 PM »

There's lots of talk here about the upcoming US election and the candidates. I'm excited about it too as it's going to be historically significant. I have however seen a number of fellow Canadian posting in this forum, so I'm curious about their thoughts, and anyone Else's, about the upcoming Canadian federal election. Based on the open and heated discussion here about the US election, I'm going to say that in general Canadians are a bit more reserved about discussing politics. So it will be interesting to see if there's many responses in this thread.

The election is less than a week away and it's looking like yet again there's a possibility of a minority government. As much as I want a majority, I can't say I'm very impressed with the current government and I likely won't be casting my vote that way. As a western Canadian I've got to say that the Harper governments inaction on the software lumber dispute is disappointing to the extent that I'm surprised that a Prime Minister from the west cold be so rubber backed. As well my recent dealings with the bizarre and bureaucratic bunglings of Service Canada -re. my tax refunds- has shown me that they have neglected that department to the point of complete dysfunction. On the other hand I'm not thrilled with the other 2 party leaders either. I think for me it's going to come down to voting for the candidate that will represent my community / constituency best. That definitely rules out the Conservative candidate in my riding who's credentials are far weaker than the other 2 candidates.

BTW Just in case anyone's wondering, we did almost have an ex-NHL hockey player -Ken Dryden- get the nod as one of the candidates for Prime Minister. But since becoming a lawyer he's obviously lost the win streak he once enjoyed as a Montreal Canadian goalie. slywink
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CSL
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 05:33:22 AM »

We'll get a minority conservative government - maybe with them losing a few seats, but retaining the government. The liberals and Bloc will probably lose a few seats as well. I expect reshuffling more than anything with the only party making advances being the NDP. Green Party won't get a single seat and we'll redo this entire thing in another year without Dion and the Liberal Party in an unknown position.
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kronovan
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008, 04:32:08 PM »

Quote from: CSL on October 10, 2008, 05:33:22 AM

We'll get a minority conservative government - maybe with them losing a few seats, but retaining the government. The liberals and Bloc will probably lose a few seats as well. I expect reshuffling more than anything with the only party making advances being the NDP. Green Party won't get a single seat and we'll redo this entire thing in another year without Dion and the Liberal Party in an unknown position.

I'd say you're bang on in your prediction here CSL; just like your predictions about Obama's success. The only thing I'd maybe differ with is that I'm not sure Dion will be around for another election, especially if the Liberals don't pick up many new seats in Quebec. With it only looking like the NDP is going to make gains, I'm betting that come election day they'll be a number of Liberal party hacks regretting that Bob Rae didn't get the nod as party leader.
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Canuck
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 09:12:54 AM »

So WTF was the point of this whole thing?  We'll basically have the exact same government that we had before and wasn't the election held a year earlier than it need have been?  What a waste of taxpayer's money.  I say elections should be held on a fixed basis rather than just calling them whilly nilly whenever someone feels like it.
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The Myoclonic Jerk
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 05:43:40 AM »

I actually prefer the aspect of our system that allows for the possibility of more frequent elections. Why should we put up with four years of a minority government being stonewalled? Fixed terms and term limits are pretty much arbitrary, anyway. And at least here, it isn't a process drawn out over a year or more (as interesting as the U.S. system is to watch).

As my riding has already been all but decided, I'm taking advantage of a vote swap within my family so that I can vote for the party I favour in my old riding.
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Canuck
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 08:14:21 AM »

? So your family is going to vote for who you would like in their riding and you'll be voting for who they like in your riding?  That's an interesting way of doing it!
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CSL
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 11:54:41 AM »

Quote from: Canuck on October 12, 2008, 09:12:54 AM

So WTF was the point of this whole thing?

The cynic in me says its a very clever trick by Harper with the intention of getting nothing more than another minority government. As long the the Liberals don't get a government - and they won't, Dion will probably be forced out of the leadership role leading to a drawn out redux of the post-2006 election which Harper will try and swing at for a majority government.

I'd also suggest that the problems we are having - with the continued amount of minority governments is a passing phase related to the high fracturing of the left into three national parties (Libs/Center Left, NDP/Soc. Left, Green/Left) and four of them in Quebec. It's also fairly obvious that Canada has a conservative strain, but not enough for them to get a majority government under normal circumstances. Therefore when we see majority conservative governments it is likely the result of a) the collapse of the Liberal Party or b) fracturing of the left of the political spectrum. Naturally we should all be talking about why we aren't seeing clear evidence of a looming conservative majority and again the answer seems fairly obvious with two reasons.

1. The Conservative Party has been linked - rather effectively - to the "conservative" Republican administration of George W. Bush down south. Whether this is fair or not is open to debate, though I'd tend to believe the similarities are overstated. Regardless considering the nations rather upfront left leaning nature and on again off again open distrust and dislike of the United States it doesn't bode well for the Conservatives.

2. Harper isn't likeable. He just isn't. In a nation that whose politicians are most uniform in their dislikeability Harper is almost certainly the worst in terms of that metric. What's worse is that when he tries to seem more likeable or to improve his image it always rebounds on him - his recent attempts at softening his image by wearing a warm fuzzy blue sweater for instance is now the butt of more than one or two Layton jokes. The only reason this isn't a bigger issue is because Dion is just as bad, especially to Anglophones due to his language issues (though I think its overstated).

But whatever, I'll vote today but I don't see it making much of a difference. I can't vote Conservative, no matter how much I may like the governments stance on Afghanistan and the military their stance on social issues, copyright laws, and dissent within their own caucus sours me. The Liberals sure as hell aren't getting my vote, mostly due to Dion's utter lack of leadership ability. The Greens are a joke, no matter what Elizabeth May can say its rather obvious she's more of a Liberal stooge (you're not getting Central Nova with or without a Liberal running against you) who is screwing over her own party, which will also under preform from its poll numbers and get no seats. So that leaves me with the NDP. To say that I disagree with the NDP on most issues is probably correct - I find Laytons views on Afghanistan and the military to be laughable and more than a little naive, but on the whole he's currently the best alternative to Harper. Plus, he can't possibly gain more than a few seats.
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kronovan
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 02:24:47 PM »

Quote from: CSL on October 14, 2008, 11:54:41 AM

But whatever, I'll vote today but I don't see it making much of a difference. I can't vote Conservative, no matter how much I may like the governments stance on Afghanistan and the military their stance on social issues, copyright laws, and dissent within their own caucus sours me. The Liberals sure as hell aren't getting my vote, mostly due to Dion's utter lack of leadership ability. The Greens are a joke, no matter what Elizabeth May can say its rather obvious she's more of a Liberal stooge (you're not getting Central Nova with or without a Liberal running against you) who is screwing over her own party, which will also under preform from its poll numbers and get no seats. So that leaves me with the NDP. To say that I disagree with the NDP on most issues is probably correct - I find Laytons views on Afghanistan and the military to be laughable and more than a little naive, but on the whole he's currently the best alternative to Harper. Plus, he can't possibly gain more than a few seats.

What you've described here are more or less my sentiments and observations as well. My feelings on Harper and Dion are about the same although my enthusiasm for Layton isn't much better. I support the Conservative governments position on Afghanistan too, but I think they're screwing up the social infrastructure in Canada in a big way. The dilemma for me is that although I'd like to see the NDP have the balance of power in a coalition on the basis of social issues, I wouldn't want them in a position where they could further their agenda on foreign and military policies.

The last election the Liberals fielded a very good candidate in my riding, but not so this time around. The more or less fake credentials of the Conservative candidate really only leaves we with the incumbent NDP candidate who's frequently been recognized and praised for his effectiveness as a MP. So it looks like I'll be sticking with my original idea of voting for the best person to represent my riding. Besides, I'm far too much of an aviation enthusiast to have forgiven the Conservatives for historically killing the Avro Arrow; as strange as that may seem to others. I'm not fooled by the large Reform/Alliance contingency in their ranks, they're still the same Conservatives in my books.
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The Myoclonic Jerk
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 02:28:52 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on October 14, 2008, 08:14:21 AM

? So your family is going to vote for who you would like in their riding and you'll be voting for who they like in your riding?  That's an interesting way of doing it!

Vote swapping/pairing has been pretty popular I believe since the 2000 U.S. election. There were a couple of sites set up to pair votes this election--one was for all interested, and the other was to unite the left to vote strategically against Harper. I managed to eliminate the risk by convincing my father to vote for my party of preference in the riding where I used to live. I don't have a candidate here, and in the Toronto area, our ridings are decidedly Liberal, anyway.

But if more people participated in vote pairing, and the possibility of fraud could be eliminated, relevant votes could be concentrated in swing ridings and potentially have a great impact.
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 06:14:27 AM »

Wait...what was that swish I heard the sound of Liberal party member's daggers en route to Dion's back? icon_twisted  Well...looks like Mr Dion will be gone soon, I'd be very surprised if we see him as leader of the Liberals in another election. At least he won his riding handidly, no surprise there considering it was in the Liberal bastion of greater Montreal. Who knows maybe we'll have another Trudeau as Liberal leader. I'm betting that, due in part to the ginormous victory he had in Toronto Centre, Bob Rae will get the nod.

Fairly typical election out here in BC with the Liberals and NDP taking most of the greater Vancouver and Victoria urban ridings and the Conservatives getting just about every other seat in the province. I guess other people in my riding caught onto the vote for the best person idea, because my candidate was the only New Democrat in the area that won with a sizable majority.

The only real suprise in this election for me was the NDP victory in Outremont and the Liberals being almost completely shut out in rural Quebec. Which always raises the question for me; why do the Liberals need a francophone candidate when most of Quebec don't seem to want to vote for them anyways? What really pisses me off is the 58% voter turnout, hell I remember a time when turnout was as high as 80%! IMHO that's directly attributed to minority governments and too many damn elections!
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Rowdy
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 05:24:59 PM »

I simply don't understand Quebec voters.  What is the point of electing a regional party?  Hey, maybe every province should have a party that promises to serve only themselves, that way we can get NOTHING done at the national level!  Better yet, why don't we just abolish Parliment and send the premiers to Ottawa to fight about everything, that should make for an effective federal system.

<canadian political rant>

I'm to the point where I would happily wave bon voyage to Quebec.  I'm tired of national political parties spending 50% of their campaign bowing and scraping to one province.  I'm tired of one province, that is fast becoming a 'have not' province, having more power and rights than the entire western half of Canada, and demanding more, including wealth from other regions!  I'm tired of that province refusing to elect national party members so that everyone has to make special deals in Parliment with the Bloc-heads.  I'm very angry that the parties even bother.  Next election, I think the parties should ignore Quebec.  If they're only going to vote Bloc anyway, don't bother running.  If they don't want to be part of the government, then don't give them the opportunity.  Stop making promises - in fact, campaign in the rest of Canada about restoring equality by taking the power out of the hands of spoiled separatist brats.  Maybe then one party could finally get enough seats to tell the Bloc to shove their demands.

</canadian political rant>
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CSL
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 10:14:39 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 15, 2008, 05:24:59 PM

<canadian political rant>

I'm to the point where I would happily wave bon voyage to Quebec.  I'm tired of national political parties spending 50% of their campaign bowing and scraping to one province.  I'm tired of one province, that is fast becoming a 'have not' province, having more power and rights than the entire western half of Canada, and demanding more, including wealth from other regions!  I'm tired of that province refusing to elect national party members so that everyone has to make special deals in Parliment with the Bloc-heads.  I'm very angry that the parties even bother.  Next election, I think the parties should ignore Quebec.  If they're only going to vote Bloc anyway, don't bother running.  If they don't want to be part of the government, then don't give them the opportunity.  Stop making promises - in fact, campaign in the rest of Canada about restoring equality by taking the power out of the hands of spoiled separatist brats.  Maybe then one party could finally get enough seats to tell the Bloc to shove their demands.

</canadian political rant>

Ha, that ain't going to ever happen. You need more than a few Quebec seats to get a majority, so either the Bloc needs to be rendered into obsurity which it won't for the forseeable future or our national parties need to get around to forming ad hoc coalition governments. The Liberals can rather comfortably do this with the NDP and when they get their act together and get out of the hole Dion and Martin got them in be able to form a majority coalition government. The Conservatives really can't do this. Sure they are really, really close to a majority but they won't get it without making inroads in either Newfoundland or Quebec and the Liberal Party needs to be really disorganized at the same time for them to get this close. The Conservatives could conceivably create a coalition government, maybe by sucking Quebec's Bloc Party, or creating very temporary solutions with the NDP or Liberals - but this really won't happen with Harper.

Well, at least Alberta now has an EYE OF LAYTON!



It has already devoured Rahim Jaffer.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2008, 06:24:49 AM »

MOTS

Nothing to see here.

I would have liked to see an NDP minority government with conservative opposition.
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kronovan
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2008, 03:51:10 PM »

Quote from: CSL on October 16, 2008, 10:14:39 PM

Well, at least Alberta now has an EYE OF LAYTON!



It has already devoured Rahim Jaffer.

LOL I love it. Hey maybe Duceppe will be his Saruman. icon_lol
I'm wondering if anyone else noticed that the Conservatives hardly have any seats in any of the urban riding coast -to- coast. Other than -Eye of Layton- Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon they barely even have a minority in any other city. When considering that factor, Harper's victory speech was a bit too cocky for my comfort.
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Rowdy
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2008, 03:51:48 PM »

Quote from: CSL on October 16, 2008, 10:14:39 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 15, 2008, 05:24:59 PM

<canadian political rant>

I'm to the point where I would happily wave bon voyage to Quebec.  I'm tired of national political parties spending 50% of their campaign bowing and scraping to one province.  I'm tired of one province, that is fast becoming a 'have not' province, having more power and rights than the entire western half of Canada, and demanding more, including wealth from other regions!  I'm tired of that province refusing to elect national party members so that everyone has to make special deals in Parliment with the Bloc-heads.  I'm very angry that the parties even bother.  Next election, I think the parties should ignore Quebec.  If they're only going to vote Bloc anyway, don't bother running.  If they don't want to be part of the government, then don't give them the opportunity.  Stop making promises - in fact, campaign in the rest of Canada about restoring equality by taking the power out of the hands of spoiled separatist brats.  Maybe then one party could finally get enough seats to tell the Bloc to shove their demands.

</canadian political rant>

Ha, that ain't going to ever happen. You need more than a few Quebec seats to get a majority, so either the Bloc needs to be rendered into obsurity which it won't for the forseeable future or our national parties need to get around to forming ad hoc coalition governments. The Liberals can rather comfortably do this with the NDP and when they get their act together and get out of the hole Dion and Martin got them in be able to form a majority coalition government. The Conservatives really can't do this. Sure they are really, really close to a majority but they won't get it without making inroads in either Newfoundland or Quebec and the Liberal Party needs to be really disorganized at the same time for them to get this close. The Conservatives could conceivably create a coalition government, maybe by sucking Quebec's Bloc Party, or creating very temporary solutions with the NDP or Liberals - but this really won't happen with Harper.

Well, at least Alberta now has an EYE OF LAYTON!




I know it will never happen, but imagine how cool it would be and what a message it would send to Quebec voters if in every riding, they only had 1 candidate - the Bloc.  If they don't want to play nice with Canada, shut them out of the democratic process, let them live with the regional party they want to elect.  Tell them that the national parties will run candidates again when the Bloc is dissolved.  While we're at it, drop the number of seats in Quebec from 75 down to 30 or 40 and reduce the voting power of the Bloc to that of the NDP.

That would be entertaining.  I imagine you'd get lots of independants running when the non-Bloc supporters in Quebec decide they'd like to be part of the national process again...

Just don't understand why the strategy is always bow and scrape for Quebec.  Why not go for some electoral reform?  Even now, the conservatives would only need to convince 11 other seats...
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2008, 04:32:04 PM »

I hope no one crosses the floor. I'm a big fan of minority governments that know how to play nice.
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