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Seriously? Tell me some other shit!
April 13, 2011 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Shit Harper Did Does exactly what it says on the can. Example: "Canadian PM Stephen Harper weakened regulations so that more pesticide residue could be left on your fruits and vegetables." "Harper decorated the government lobby in parliament with photos of just himself, instead of the traditional portraits of former Prime Ministers." And much more.
posted by Fizz (96 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it just my monitor/settings or does that font look really messed up?
posted by ODiV at 12:59 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mine too. Stephen Harper messed up my Firefox font cache.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:02 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is it just my monitor/settings or does that font look really messed up?

Stephen Harper did that too.
posted by selenized at 1:02 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite pin from the bad old days of Mike Harris reads "Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:03 PM on April 13, 2011


Stephen Harper eats babies.
posted by wreckingball at 1:05 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


This thing is spreading like spreadable herpes in my Facebook neighbourhood.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2011


Aw, but he's holding a kitten. That's gotta count for something.
posted by crunchland at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2011


Freaking Canadians...always trying to catch up to us dirty Americans.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:10 PM on April 13, 2011


What a depressing walk down memory lane.
Stephen Harper rewrote history... with a racist crayon.

At the 2009 G20 Harper actually said this - 'We also have no history of colonialism. So we have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them.'
And somehow I'd forgotten about this! D:
posted by bewilderbeast at 1:10 PM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Aw, but he's holding a kitten. That's gotta count for something.

That counts for his lunch. He's going to eat it.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:10 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


And yet, he's still head of the Canadian government, despite several elections. What the hell is going up there?! *pounds broomstick on ceiling*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:11 PM on April 13, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is all immaterial. Like Harper said during last night's debate, this election is all about the economy and jobs. The best way to grow revenue is to grow the economy by cutting corporate taxes. After all, he told us that the opinion of "every credible expert" is that if the corporate tax rate is raised back to the 2009 rate of 18%, it will cost jobs and hurt the economy and decrease revenue. He wouldn't say that if it wasn't true. So there, haters.
posted by [citation needed] at 1:11 PM on April 13, 2011


"In Spring 2011, a federal court found that Harper's Conservatives broke election spending laws during the campaign which originally brought them to power in 2006. 4 Conservatives (including 2 Senators) currently face charges and possibly jail time."

The sheer contempt Harper Conservatives have for Canada's laws is mindblowing.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:12 PM on April 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Seriously? Tell me some other preaching-to-the-choir campaign sound bytes!
posted by Behemoth at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2011


> And yet, he's still head of the Canadian government, despite several elections. What the hell is going up there?!

Short answer; if you're a right-leaning voter you have one party to vote for. If you're a centre/left-leaning voter, you have two (three if you live in Quebec). One of the problems is that a lot of people think a vote for the Cons is a vote for prudent, old-school Canadian conservatism. It's not; it's a vote for a bunch of Tea Party Republicans.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


And yet, he's still head of the Canadian government, despite several elections. What the hell is going up there?! *pounds broomstick on ceiling*

We had to turn him way up to drown you guys out during the Bush years, and now everyone's just used to the noise.
posted by Beardman at 1:19 PM on April 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Seriously? Tell me some other preaching-to-the-choir campaign sound bytes!

How about "If you don't want the Tories to have a majority, get off your ass and start going door-to-door in your riding."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:20 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


We had to turn him way up to drown you guys out during the Bush years, and now everyone's just used to the noise.

Hi. Yeah, we're your downstairs neighbors. Yeah, yeah, I know. Sorry about that. We were going through some, um, difficult times. Sorry about letting it get out of hand and disturb others.

So, listen, we're trying to get our shit back together. Hope you haven't been bothered for, well, say, the last year or so.

Well, hope you guys are doing good too. Maybe willing to help get things back to a more normal state? Hope so.

See you 'round the Great Lakes!
posted by benito.strauss at 1:28 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


See also: Harper WTF
posted by Theta States at 1:29 PM on April 13, 2011


One of the problems is that a lot of people think a vote for the Cons is a vote for prudent, old-school Canadian conservatism. It's not; it's a vote for a bunch of Tea Party Republicans.

At least the US still exports something...
posted by desjardins at 1:33 PM on April 13, 2011


How many times do I have to click before it gets to the one about how he fired the whistleblower who attempted to notify the public that the nuclear reactor in Chalk River was unsafe?

And yet, he's still head of the Canadian government, despite several elections. What the hell is going up there?! *pounds broomstick on ceiling*

We're mired in a perfect Surely this . . . shitstorm up here. In the clearest version I can muster before I put my head through a plate-glass window:

Harper's a stern authoritarian father-figure type. For some, this scans as confidence, comfort, safety. We watched the world economy go to shit while Canada weathered the storm very, very well by comparison. This had nothing to do with Harper - key pull quote from that link: "Harper's indefensible combination of big tax cuts and rapid spending growth . . . took us from surplus to structural deficit" - but it happened on his watch and he's message-disciplined the living fuck out of the idea that it was all him since early '09. (The country's littered, for example, in these giant "Economic Action Plan" billboards implying that our economy was saved from the shitter because Steve ordered an emergency dredging of a new harbour at Arisaig.)

This careful-course-in-rough-waters shit is insidious but effective. We're at a uniquely smug moment in Canadian history. It's like everyone woke up after the great bubbly bacchanal with vague memories of way too many fast-and-dirty shooters but no meltdown hangover, looked down to notice they were sprawled out on third base, and assumed they'd belted a triple at the critical drunken moment. Lookee here - we got ours! Don't mess with it, we've seen how bad it is in Detroit.

Beyond this, the Official Opposition and natural governing party - the Liberals - got caught in a scandal ferocious enough it sent all its top talent scurrying back to cushy corporate jobs, from which they still haven't returned. Into the breach has arrived a man with no political experience, frankly lousy political instincts, and Brainy Smurf's charisma. There are politicians you don't want to have a beer with, but Michael Ignatieff is, for a great many middle-of-the-road Canadians, the guy they'd rather not have to sit next to at the dinner party while he explains how he selected this particular Cotes du Rhone.

And beyond this? A centre-left to hard-left divided on several fissures along regional, class and old-party lines between Quebec separatists (Duceppe's BQ), the old-guard unionist party with the leader just charismatic enough to gloss over the fact that he's repeatedly violated his own principles so many times in pursuit of another couple points of the Liberal vote that he stands for little besides his own smirk nowadays (Layton's NDP), and an upstart party that would already be in the LibDem-esque kingmaking seat in a more European style of parliamentary system (May's Greens).

So add that all up, factor in a skilled tactician whose mind is essentially a spreadsheet constantly reviewing polling data for cleavages and cracks to exploit in pursuit of another seat toward the tantalizingly close majority - easily the most fearsome pure political beast of his time in Canadian politics, beady eyes and all - and you've got this perpetual near-majority. It's fucking maddening, but there's no one on the field right now with the wherewithal to change the game.

Which leaves chumps like me hosting coffee parties for the Green candidate in Calgary Centre North (Memail me if you're in the riding!) to try and get them some more funds for the next kick at the can and trying and mostly failing to keep it in mind that barely 40 percent of voters in an all-time-low turnout actually support that deranged political animal Harper even amid the weakest herd ever to stumble limply across the grass.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got my second date of the day with the old Tums bottle.
posted by gompa at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2011 [55 favorites]


We need something like this for Reagan.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:39 PM on April 13, 2011


Stephen Harper pissed in Lord Stanley's Cup.

Okay, not really, but if he did, that could be a campaign slogan for the Liberals that would result in a landslide.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:40 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another problem is trying to explain "strategic voting" to people. I just had to do it again today. It's surprising and disenheartening to me how many people don't understand how this works here. The Tories know exactly what they're doing. If you're in a battleground (close) riding, as I am, they are counting on the left to split the vote and then the Tory candidate wins. Last election we went from Liberal to Tory by about 300 votes. The riding next door went from Liberal to Tory by 14 votes.

In my riding, if you vote NDP or Green, you're basically voting for the Conservative to win. People either haven't thought about that, or really just don't like to hear it. I keep saying, it doesn't matter if you don't like Ignatieff. I don't like him either. He doesn't have a chance at being Prime Minister, don't worry about it. But Harper has a really good shot at forming a majority government. Worry about that. I'm damn worried about that.

Tory strategy ensures there is no national election

"In 2004, the vast majority of Americans had virtually no say in the outcome of the election, as their state was safely in one camp or another. The 2011 Canadian election is being fought by the Conservatives in almost exactly the same manner. They are focused like a laser on the 20 or so seats held by the opposition that can put them over the top for a majority. The rest of the country is basically meaningless for them."
posted by flex at 1:40 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Two subsequent reloads produced:

In the 2011 budget, the Harper government failed to allocate any new funding for drinking water on First Nations reserves. 100 First Nations communities currently have water advisories, including 49 communities which are high risk. Harper also refuses to sign the UN Declaration designating clean water as a human right.
...
One of Harper's top aides, Bruce Carson, had been convicted of 5 counts of fraud. Most recently he was lobbying the government to buy water filtration systems for First Nations communities. He wanted the government to buy the systems from a company where his 22 year old wife (a former escort) was working.

Pure win all around.
posted by benzenedream at 1:43 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Against my better judgement, I listened to then watched the debate last night. (Starring: Stephen Harper as a demonic Mr Roger's-styled robot!) I could not decide whether Harper had given up entirely on Quebec, or figured that the voters in Quebec who might ever have considered voting for the Conservatives weren't listening to the debate in English. Apparently it is the former.
posted by jeather at 1:50 PM on April 13, 2011


> Now if you'll excuse me, I've got my second date of the day with the old Tums bottle.

> I'm damn worried about that.


The prospect of Harper getting a majority has literally been keeping me up at night, but I'd worry a lot less if I thought other people were worrying more. I get the impression a lot of voters in Canada's "mushy middle" have no real idea what the Harper Conservatives represent.

I've even heard a few lefties trot out the "Let Harper have his majority, run the country and thereby his party into the ground and then we can start over with a progressive agenda" canard, as though that's how it played out with Bush in the U.S. FUCK. NO.

That said, a fair bit of the polling seems to be trending away from a Conservative majority*, whereas this was not true when the government fell. They're run a pretty uninspired campaign thus far, a lot of things have to go right for them between now and May 2nd, and not even the National Post seems all that enthusiastic about the prospect of a Harper majority.

* wishful thinking? God, I hope not.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:53 PM on April 13, 2011


Short answer; if you're a right-leaning voter you have one party to vote for. If you're a centre/left-leaning voter, you have two (three if you live in Quebec). One of the problems is that a lot of people think a vote for the Cons is a vote for prudent, old-school Canadian conservatism. It's not; it's a vote for a bunch of Tea Party Republicans.

But I thought a viable third party, especially one on the left, would fix everything?! That's what I keep hearing in America.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like how everyone is pretending like someone that holds kitties can be all bad. Clearly there's something fundamentally decent and noble about the man becuase he likes to hold baby kittens and wear sweaters. Plus he love The Beatles, and no one of pure evil heart would claim to like someone that safe and bland (Charles Manson excepted. Every rule has an exception, deal with it.)
posted by Keith Talent at 2:00 PM on April 13, 2011


Clearly there's something fundamentally decent and noble about the man becuase he likes to hold baby kittens and wear sweaters.

After he eats the kitten for lunch, its fur will be used to start another sweater for him. See how thrifty he is?
posted by rtha at 2:05 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best way to grow revenue is to grow the economy by cutting corporate taxes. After all, he told us that the opinion of "every credible expert" is that if the corporate tax rate is raised back to the 2009 rate of 18%

I don't get this. Many G7/G8/G20 countries -- among the richest in the world -- have historically had comparatively high corporate tax rates and still stayed afloat somehow. I don't think the rankings on that list also read from top to bottom as lowest to highest growth between 2000-2006, do they? Our corporate taxes are currently lower than France, the USA, Mexico, Japan, Australia and Germany. They've dropped from 27% (at the federal level) 10 years ago to the point we're discussing a raise to 18% as disastrous. I have my doubts.
posted by Hoopo at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Short answer; if you're a right-leaning voter you have one party to vote for. If you're a centre/left-leaning voter, you have two (three if you live in Quebec).

But that still doesn't explain why a little under half the House of Commons and a little over half the Senate is controlled by the Conservative Party. As an outside observer, it seems like the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003 had a huge effect on them gaining power.

It still seems like maybe there's a narrative that isn't being told; that the political ideology of Canadian voters is changing in response to the rhetoric of the Conservative Party. I'm a little bit unsettled.

Canadian opinions?
posted by lemuring at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2011


Brandon Blatcher, everybody in Canada acts like the Conservatives = the Republicans. But they are actually probably more left wing than the Democrats are.
posted by dobie at 2:13 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The prospect of Harper getting a majority has literally been keeping me up at night, but I'd worry a lot less if I thought other people were worrying more. I get the impression a lot of voters in Canada's "mushy middle" have no real idea what the Harper Conservatives represent.

Yeah, that's the problem I see. Apparently my riding flipped Tory last election because thousands of voters that would've voted Liberal were so turned off by Dion they just didn't bother voting, or figured the Liberal would win anyway and voted otherwise... it was a big surprise. It's anecdote, but here is what I keep hearing over and over: no one likes Ignatieff so they don't want to vote Liberal; everyone wishes they could just vote "none of the above" because "they all suck" and anyway they're "tired of elections"; "Harper may as well get a majority because then at least something would get done instead of all this bickering and fighting" (argh!).

That said, a fair bit of the polling seems to be trending away from a Conservative majority*, whereas this was not true when the government fell. They're run a pretty uninspired campaign thus far

I found the article I linked to makes a lot of sense. The Tories don't have to run an inspiring campaign. All they have to do is flip a few thousand voters in the right ridings - and they're micro-targeting those ridings. We've been getting Conservative mailers every week for months already (paid for with our tax dollars, thx Harper!). People in general don't want a majority, but they're also complacent, and when they hear it's trending away from a majority nationally, they relax. The national campaign isn't what it's going to come down to, though.
posted by flex at 2:14 PM on April 13, 2011


everybody in Canada acts like the Conservatives = the Republicans. But they are actually probably more left wing than the Democrats are.

That doesn't seem germane to the point I was making, that having a third party seemed to be helping keep Harper in power, by diluting the the Canadian left.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on April 13, 2011


But I thought a viable third party, especially one on the left, would fix everything?! That's what I keep hearing in America.

Well, a viable Tea Party separate from the GOP would solve a hell of a lot, at least.

At least for us leftists.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:17 PM on April 13, 2011


It still seems like maybe there's a narrative that isn't being told; that the political ideology of Canadian voters is changing in response to the rhetoric of the Conservative Party. I'm a little bit unsettled.

That is a possibility, but to be honest most of the current Conservative rhetoric is not terribly new. They use the same old talking points they always did as PCs--tax cuts, the economy, tough on crime. Sometimes it works, we had the Mulroney PCs in power for a good while in the 80s/90s. My own feeling is that for the most part people in Canada don't like to rock the boat, so they'll stick with what appears to be working until they lose trust in their leaders. Now all of us who don't like Harper are trying to find a scandal that sticks to Harper the way the Sponsorship Scandal stuck to Chretien and Martin. I've never had the impression that people vote Harper because they particularly like him, it's just the Conservatives seem to have their shit together more than the others lately.
posted by Hoopo at 2:32 PM on April 13, 2011


That doesn't seem germane to the point I was making, that having a third party seemed to be helping keep Harper in power, by diluting the the Canadian left.

Isn't that the case in the UK as well? Where it's Tories vs. Labor / Lib Dems? Seems to be a pattern, is what I'm saying.
posted by JHarris at 2:34 PM on April 13, 2011


I've arranged for a vote-swap, personally, to make sure the NDP gets the vote I want them to have while helping elect a liberal representative in my riding. IF you don't know anyone personally you can do a vote-swap with, sign up for one here.

It's actually been really frustrating watching the commentary from my peers on this election. I go to Queen's in Kingston, Ontario. There's a pretty strong left presence on campus and a lot of activism groups related to that, but we're also home to things like this. A lot of my friends come from even smaller towns from around Ontario, and to them, they're just voting Conservative because.... well, because. Few of them know anything about Harper or his politics, but none of them would consider voting for anyone else.

I'm shrill and irritating, but there's only so many people I can irritate.
posted by Phire at 2:35 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


But that still doesn't explain why a little under half the House of Commons and a little over half the Senate is controlled by the Conservative Party.

Minor point: Senators here are not elected. They are appointed by the Prime Minister (well technically by the Governor General, on the advice of the PM). So as senators retire, whoever happens to be PM at the time gets to appoint new ones. The senate was Liberal-dominated for a long time, but over the past 5 years Harper has had opportunity to appoint enough conservatives to give them the edge.
posted by Kabanos at 2:39 PM on April 13, 2011


Is anyone else getting an 'account suspended' notice? It was working fine literally a minute ago.
posted by Phire at 2:40 PM on April 13, 2011


Oops! Something's wrong. / Oups! Quelque chose cloche.

Me too.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:43 PM on April 13, 2011


Broken for me, too.

Until it comes back, here's another great story:
A Conservative campaign staffer in a Toronto riding waded into hot water Wednesday, sending out an email seeking voters in "national folklore costumes" to appear at a photo-op for an upcoming visit from Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

"We, at the Etobicoke Centre riding, are trying to create a photo-op about all the multicultural groups that support Ted Opitz our local Conservative candidate and the Prime Minister," the email signed by Zeljko 'Zed' Zidaric said.

"The opportunity is to have up to 20 people in national folklore costumes which represent their ethnic backgrounds," said the email.

"These people will sit in front row behind the PM — great TV photo op." Zidaric went on to write that the campaign was still "seeking representation from the Arab community" and asked for people willing to participate in "ethnic costume."
Awesome! Very progressive.
posted by bewilderbeast at 2:48 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Brandon Blatcher, everybody in Canada acts like the Conservatives = the Republicans. But they are actually probably more left wing than the Democrats are.

Well, as a minority government their hands have been tied to some extent. Harper's long game is moving the goalposts of Canadian political discourse to the right, and even if he never gets his majority he seems to be succeeding.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


All they have to do is flip a few thousand voters in the right ridings - and they're micro-targeting those ridings.

I live in Southern Alberta and have not had a single call/mailer/doorknock. They know my area will vote Tory, so they really don't care about talking to us. You only matter if you live in one of the ridings they are targeting.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:16 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


As far as a rightwing shift goes what we had after the Mulroney years was a right wing version of the Liberal party under Chretien. Run from the left and govern from the right essentially was what he was all about. Massive cuts in spending to social programs along with tax cuts for corporations and downloading of services to the provinces. So in one form or another we have had right ward tacking governments for 27 years now. Now the national choice as far as a party forming a government is hard right or very soft right, but still right.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:18 PM on April 13, 2011


But that still doesn't explain why a little under half the House of Commons and a little over half the Senate is controlled by the Conservative Party.

House of Commons: this slightly patronizing but adorable video will explain. Basically, because of the first-past-the-post system you really don't need more than 33% of the vote to get a minority government, or 40% for a majority.

+

Senate: appointed by the PM (in this case, by a PM who had pledged to get rid of Senate appointments, but I digress).

=

[:-(

it's a sad Canadian with hockey hair
posted by saturday_morning at 3:18 PM on April 13, 2011


You only matter if you live in one of the ridings they are targeting.

Yeah, here in Hedy Fry's riding I've seen nothing either.
posted by Hoopo at 3:24 PM on April 13, 2011


Isn't that the case in the UK as well? Where it's Tories vs. Labor / Lib Dems? Seems to be a pattern, is what I'm saying.

Essentially yes, which is why the Lib Dems and (some of) Labour are so keen to introduce a slight change to the voting system in an upcoming referendum this May. (metafilter thread here.) Of course our Conservative party are completely against it, because it's all scary and complicated. (Look! Percentages! Oh no! You have to write numbers.)
posted by eykal at 3:24 PM on April 13, 2011


You only matter if you live in one of the ridings they are targeting.

I live in David Christopherson's riding. No phone calls, no flyers, nobody has come around in person, and I have seen precisely one sign with the Conservative candidate's name on it. (It's tacked up outside a gun store!)
posted by bewilderbeast at 3:37 PM on April 13, 2011


Brandon Blatcher, everybody in Canada acts like the Conservatives = the Republicans. But they are actually probably more left wing than the Democrats are.

Only because it's a minority Parliament. Give Harper a majority and it's going to be a combination of Handmaid's Tale + Oryx and Crake
posted by KokuRyu at 3:38 PM on April 13, 2011


Only because it's a minority Parliament. Give Harper a majority and it's going to be a combination of Handmaid's Tale + Oryx and Crake

At least Harper is committed to supporting Canadian authors by cutting Atwood royalties cheques for the parts of his agenda he cribbed from her dystopias.
posted by [citation needed] at 3:56 PM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


We watched the world economy go to shit while Canada weathered the storm very, very well by comparison. This had nothing to do with Harper - key pull quote from that link: "Harper's indefensible combination of big tax cuts and rapid spending growth . . . took us from surplus to structural deficit"

Man I love Dan Gardner.
posted by Hoopo at 3:58 PM on April 13, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: "That doesn't seem germane to the point I was making, that having a third party seemed to be helping keep Harper in power, by diluting the the Canadian left."

The third party (NDP) has been around since 1961 and isn't really the problem. It's the fourth major political party, the Bloc Québécois, that has brought our current political situation about. Since the turn of the century the Bloc has siphoned away Quebec votes from all the other parties and ensured that no one will win a majority. We've had four elections since 2000, and four minority governments. It's the new reality, but the politicians in Ottawa don't want to accept this, so we keep going back to the polls. Harper's solution to the problem of the Bloc seems to be the long game, where he creeps his way towards a majority through voter apathy and incumbent advantage. Time will tell if this succeeds.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:14 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't see the website: DNS failures. I have tried the OpenDNS name servers, Fairpoints DNS servers, and Google's DNS servers. Oh well I guess Harper had the site taken down
posted by Runcible Spoon at 4:31 PM on April 13, 2011


Yeah, it's funny how the landscape and level of Conservative attention changes by ward. My ward could run Jesus as the Conservative candidate and people still wouldn't vote for him, so there's been no door knocking, phone calls, leaflets, nothing. I did catch sight of one lone blue sign today for the first time. Guess I know whose house to egg this Halloween....
posted by Go Banana at 4:32 PM on April 13, 2011


> Oh well I guess Harper had the site taken down

It's working for me, albeit slowly.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:37 PM on April 13, 2011


Liam McHugh-Russell talks in the Globe and Mail about the perception of NDP being a small player is preventing the NDP from being the big player they could be.
It's the old Catch-22: people like the NDP, and Jack, more than the Liberals and Ignatieff, but fear and distaste for the Conservatives keep them voting for and supporting a party ‘that can form government’; but until that support breaks and the NDP gets a good run of polls setting the waterline above Liberal support, the Liberals continue to be the party which people believe can do it. No matter that the NDP is a powerhouse, having spent more money than the Liberals in the last election; no matter that, with the option of Jack Layton as prime minister, 44 per cent of Quebec would vote NDP, 10 per cent more than for the Bloc.
While we're at it, Catch-22 is a good site for looking at vulnerable ridings that could be taken over by non-Conservatives by strategic voting.
posted by Phire at 4:42 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Their twitter stream says they have had 1 million hits since 8 am today so that's why their site is down or slow. They apologize.
posted by kanata at 4:58 PM on April 13, 2011


I like the layout on Project Democracy better myself, but yeah. I just hope these get their point across.
posted by pahalial at 4:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ew ... Harper did shit? Freak.
posted by bwg at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2011


I live in David Christopherson's riding. No phone calls, no flyers, nobody has come around in person, and I have seen precisely one sign with the Conservative candidate's name on it.

Howdy, neighbour!

I think the only question for our riding is if Christopherson is going to break the 50% mark. Barbershop quartet haircut notwithstanding.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:35 PM on April 13, 2011


But I thought a viable third party, especially one on the left, would fix everything?! That's what I keep hearing in America.

not that it really matters at this point, but the last time the left out-organized the business/racist wing of the Democratic party in the US and got McGovern as presidential candidate in 1972, the Humphrey dems Tea partied the fuck out of the Democratic party. They don't call it hippie punching for nothing.

So you're damned if you do and damned if you don't...
posted by ennui.bz at 6:17 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They apologize.

Even Canadian tweets are polite!

I was watching CBC News today and apparently when Harper was asked if he would say anything different in the French-language debates tonight, he just said he'd speak French. I get a sense he thinks his chances are pretty good as-is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:45 PM on April 13, 2011


Yeah but yeah but YEAH BUT Michael Ignatieff didn't come back for YOU!

Other things Michael Ignatieff didn't do for you:

* Michael Ignatieff didn't help you with your taxes.

* Michael Ignatieff didn't come to your son's recital.

* Michael Ignatieff didn't save you the last cruller.

* Michael Ignatieff didn't do the Wave at the Pikes game (YEAH! PIKES! GO PIKES! ALL THE WAY THIS YEAR PIKES!)

* Michael Ignatieff didn't let you bum a smoke that time outside Swiss Chalet.

* Like remember that time when Gordie got stuck in the snowbank up on Spadina and me and Trav had to shove us out and Gordie was JUST. GIVIN. ER. and like the cops were like your blockin traffic (fucken fat pig) and Trav goes down chips a tooth and there's like blood 'n shit everywhere and where was Michael fucken Iggy Stardust then eh?

Oh yah anyway

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: He didn't lend you that 20 till payday. WRONG FOR YOU. WRONG FOR CANADA.
posted by hangashore at 7:35 PM on April 13, 2011 [21 favorites]


How come he's not wearing a tuque?
posted by pressF1 at 7:41 PM on April 13, 2011


Would you like some amusing and/or awkward photos to cleanse the palate? I'm happy to share some links I found tonight.

*The Harper Gov't Archive displaying many fine examples of Harper meme generator images
*Stephen Harper is a Totally Normal Guy
*Things Stephen Harper Does to Seem Human
*Stephen Harper is the common man
posted by flex at 7:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: He didn't lend you that 20 till payday. WRONG FOR YOU. WRONG FOR CANADA.

This is the best attack ad transcript I have EVER READ
posted by bewilderbeast at 8:42 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Currently, most of the press from the left here is focusing on the supposed "evil" of Harper. The English debate was along those lines... "You lied Mr. Harper &c". Very little actual ideas or policies were mentioned by the other parties.

The website linked is not the most trustworthy. For instance: "Stephen Harper doesn't know the difference between people from India and First Nations people." Then go and read the source article and see how this statement is a fabrication.

Beyond this, the Conservatives represent the point of view of many Canadians who are often forgotten about by the other parties, particularly those in rural communities, and those interested in developing businesses (to power the productivity that creates the wealth for the country that allows for the existence of the social services).

The only really problematic thing I can see with the Conservative platform is the desire to increase free trade (Europe and India). This is bad for small business and the economy in the long run as some protectionism is necessary to create local opportunities.
posted by niccolo at 9:06 PM on April 13, 2011


What's making me crazy is that this government fell on a non-confidence motion because they were found in contempt of parliament. The first thing out of Harper's mouth (before they even left the House) was something like "The opposition parties caused this election because they won't support our budget", and they've stuck with that line ever since.

Even if you admire their determination, it's a complete fabrication. I don't understand why the media and the other parties aren't holding Harper's feet to the fire on this. This is a blatant slap in the face to Canadian voters and to parliamentary tradition.

On preview: niccolo, by "many Canadians who are often forgotten about by the other parties" you mean business in general and large corporations in particular, right?
posted by sneebler at 9:18 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Beyond this, the Conservatives represent the point of view of many Canadians who are often forgotten about by the other parties, particularly those in rural communities, and those interested in developing businesses (to power the productivity that creates the wealth for the country that allows for the existence of the social services).

You heard it here first, folks: healthcare is not productive.
posted by mek at 9:59 PM on April 13, 2011


Beyond this, the Conservatives represent the point of view of many Canadians who are often forgotten about by the other parties, particularly those in rural communities, and those interested in developing businesses

Canada's rural population is approximately 20% of the total and they don't all vote Conservative. I'm also not convinced the Liberals or NDP are detrimental to small business or entrpreneurs. You must be aware neither of them are anti-business. They're not going to go to start a war on Profit or anything, and no one's even advocating tax increases that would put us as particularly high.
posted by Hoopo at 10:18 PM on April 13, 2011


the political ideology of Canadian voters is changing in response to the rhetoric of the Conservative Party

As in the U.S., we're experiencing a baby boomer bulge of retirees now, most of whom trend conservative, which is giving the right wing a bit of demographic wind that'll fade in a decade or so.

I love my parents dearly, but every time I go to Parksville I have to spend a couple hours deprogramming Dad (while running anti-virus on his computer), who golfs and has coffee with a lot of retired RCMP officers. I swear, they'd start their own Johnny Birch society if I stopped visiting.
posted by fatbird at 10:52 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


The English debate was along those lines... "You lied Mr. Harper &c".

I watched as much of that debate as I could stand, which was very little. The first "lying Harper" bit about corporate tax rates left me too frustrated to continue paying any attention to what they say. They all displayed an absurd level of incompetence, a total inability to do anything other than repeat tired talking points. Harper was indeed being dishonest. So were his opponents really. Any of them could have very simply described what is happening in reality; it's not that complicated. If they couldn't think of anything better, any of them could have replied with a simple clarifying question "if there's no corporate tax cut, Mr. Harper, does that mean the tax rate next year will be the same as the tax rate last year?" Ignatieff could have responded to Harper pointing out that he voted in favour of the tax cut, some years ago; he could have mentioned why, assuming there was a reason. He could have apologized for it if not, admitting a mistake. Any honest response would have been better than none. Any sort of actual informed commentary on what sort of effects a corporate tax cut would be likely to have would have been even better. There's been plenty of discussion of it on the economics blogs, plenty of points to argue if any of them had been capable of getting into anything of substance on the topic.

On the economy generally, Harper unsurprisingly tried to unfairly take the credit for what strength it has. More disappointing that nobody challenged that in any substantial way, or had the economic knowledge and rhetorical skill to at least mention some of the real reasons Canada has done better than others. I can only suppose that they all share the idiotic idea that whatever happens in Canada, the government is responsible for it.

So yes, they all suck, for a wide variety of reasons, and I don't know if I can vote for any of the parties. Perhaps in protest I'll vote Communist this time, the only remaining choice on the ballot, though I'm sure if I learned anything about them beyond the next-to-nothing I've heard I wouldn't be able to do that either.
posted by sfenders at 4:29 AM on April 14, 2011


I mean, I don't have time to justify my comment by listing all the various things preventing me liking any of the other parties better than Harper's Conservatives, but looming large for me amidst the shit that Harper did is this somewhat representative one:

he tried and failed (4 times!) to create a law that would allow the government to obtain your personal information from an internet provider - without a warrant.

Unfortunately the Liberals not so long ago tried pretty much the same thing. It's quite a dilemma if I decide to vote: If anyone but the Conservative candidate wins here it'll probably be the Liberal, and I can't very well vote for the party that would try something as stupid as that, as they too have done repeatedly. It's always like this to some extent, but add in some disgust with dumb things Ignatieff specifically has done (the infamous 'torture' essay which I did read and didn't care for, his past decision about the Iraq war which was something of an important test for politicians, etc) and the choices are looking worse than ever this time around.
posted by sfenders at 5:06 AM on April 14, 2011


I watched as much of that debate as I could stand, which was very little.

Yeah, me too. I watched the first few minutes, and got a clear impression it wasn't going to be a debate after all. It came across more like an opportunity for them all to attack each other and try to score points that way. Even the first question that was selected was worded in such a way to steer things in that direction.

Sure they're trying to win votes, and I guess they think that's the best way to do it. But I think they're wrong about that. A lot of the stuff they bring up to score points with is stuff most people don't really care that much about. People who've decided who to vote for just aren't outraged by any of it, so it doesn't change minds.

And my suspicion is that undecided voters don't see a lot of this stuff as a big deal either. Even the reason for bringing down the government (that they wouldn't reveal the cost of something) seems like pretty weak stuff to me. Don't all politicians pull that kind of crap? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Harper fan at all, but is that the best the opposition has?

What I'd like to have seen is questions that are actually questions. Like, start the thing off with "Do you think it's currently better to reduce taxes, or pay down the debt, and why?" Let them state a position and then back it up with facts and reasoning. Show me that you understand this stuff better than I do and have thought it through better than I have (which shouldn't be very difficult).

Show me that you have good ideas and good insights, and then I might decide to vote for your party. Show me why your opposition's ideas are not as good as yours. Expose the flaws in their reasoning. That's a debate, and what we got instead was just a televised fight.
posted by FishBike at 6:17 AM on April 14, 2011


Here's a great ad for the shitharperdid.com website.
posted by gman at 6:56 AM on April 14, 2011


An amusing site I found via a sticker on the TTC yesterday: The Stephen Harper Fan Club.
posted by Paid In Full at 7:03 AM on April 14, 2011


I'm starting to feel guilty about reading all those USPoliticalFilter threads for their entertainment value. It's times like these that I miss being ignorant about national politics.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 7:53 AM on April 14, 2011


niccolo: Very little actual ideas or policies were mentioned by the other parties.

According to the polls, voters say that the most important factor in making their decision will be policies. Stepping back from the contempt and mismanagement issues, I wrote up a post last night for Harper WTF about Conservative policies and priorities. I included links to the Liberal and NDP platforms; I haven't read the NDP platform, but I thought the Liberal platform looked pretty good.

About the contempt issues: with the Bloc dominating Quebec, it's difficult for either the Liberals or Conservatives to get a majority. (Harper may manage it this time, but just barely. He's hoping to get 155-160 seats out of 308; in contrast, Mulroney got 211 seats in 1984.) This means that most of the time, we can expect to have minority governments. With a minority government, the governing party will need to cooperate with at least one other party.

The problem is that Harper's hostility to the other parties makes it extremely difficult for him to cooperate with any of them. Ideologically, he'd be closest to the Liberals, but according to Lawrence Martin and other journalists, his long-term aim is to destroy the Liberal party.

Since Harper can't form a stable minority government, he's focused on winning a majority by any means necessary. And this is where the problems really start. It seems to me that for the last five years, Harper's been more focused on getting a majority than actually delivering good government.

This is why we're back into structural deficits. Because Harper wants more votes, he's cut taxes (e.g. the GST cut, which cost $12-14 billion) and increased spending. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, we were facing $10-20 billion structural deficits even before the recession hit.

If Harper gets a majority, I would expect one of the following:

1. Tax cuts, giant deficits, and then even deeper spending cuts. Similar to the Mike Harris government in Ontario.

2. Or: Harper tries to consolidate his bare majority by deferring spending cuts. In that case we'll see giant deficits but without the spending cuts, and the public debt will explode. Similar to Reagan and Bush II. Harper's promise not to cut transfers to individuals or the provinces, and his recent promise to continue increasing health transfers by 6% annually, are bad signs. Eventually the bills will come due, and the cuts needed then will be huge.

There's other examples of mismanagement (stimulus spending, G8 spending, the HIV/AIDS initiative), but the fiscal situation is probably the most important one.
posted by russilwvong at 8:29 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Any of them could have very simply described what is happening in reality; it's not that complicated

Any sort of actual informed commentary on what sort of effects a corporate tax cut would be likely to have would have been even better

More disappointing that nobody challenged that in any substantial way, or had the economic knowledge and rhetorical skill to at least mention some of the real reasons Canada has done better than others

I'm not so sure it was a lack of economic knowledge or rhetorical skill, but a greater problem inherent in contemporary North American public discourse and the debate format. Unfortunately for the opposition, the Conservative position is incredibly easy to articulate: "we're cutting taxes, therefore creating jobs. Our economic policies allowed us to weather the financial crisis better than anyone else." It's a simple statement with some degree of truth to it, easy to understand on a basic level, free of nuance, and in an easily digestible soundbite/slogan format. A lot of people like that. Any response indicating why this is not entirely accurate requires a significant amount of scrutiny and nuance, and won't resonate as much with the people who don't already know. Based on any analysis of debates I've seen, you'd think the arguments don't even matter--they go on about body language and who was looking where and who was dressed like a Prime Minister. They hire people who specifically coach them to act this way.

The debates don't seem to be aimed at people like you anymore who are looking for any kind of substance. You're going to be frustrated and disappointed. It's basically just another opportunity for posturing and selling a Coles Notes version of their platform.

I totally agree with you on Ignatieff BTW. The only reason I don't see the torture thing and the Iraq thing in attack ads is probably because the Conservatives think their supporters might be behind him on those issues.
posted by Hoopo at 9:23 AM on April 14, 2011


"but according to Lawrence Martin and other journalists, his long-term aim is to destroy the Liberal party."

Judging by his public statements from before he became the leader of a federal party, Harper hopes to accomplish this by destroying Canada as a functional political entity. He was very clever to lure that moribund old drunkard into a dark alley to slit his throat and wear his skin like an ill-fitting wetsuit, convincing rubes and greedy suburbanites alike that he's the same old Joe Tory they used to grab a beer with. All the while, his real aim is to sell them down the river by eviscerating Canada's industrial base, social safety net, and finally, the Confederation itself. so he can finally achieve his ultimate goal: have Alberta (with possibly its neighbours tagging along) break away from Canada and become a new sovereign petro-state ruled by an oligarchy and culture bathed in an atavistic idolization of the great mythic heroes of the West who vanquished the indigenous savages and their baffling respect for the land that fed them. Then, and only then, will he finally be confident in having gotten revenge on Trudeau for the National Energy Program. That fucking commie queer.
posted by [citation needed] at 9:42 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sounds about right [citation needed].
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2011


flex: "Another problem is trying to explain "strategic voting" to people. ... I keep saying, it doesn't matter if you don't like Ignatieff. I don't like him either. He doesn't have a chance at being Prime Minister, don't worry about it. ""

So what you are saying is that if we work together and collectively hold our noses to vote for some guy we don't really support we can just maybe manage to achieve the lofty goal of keeping things the way they are (i.e. we can have a few more years of "The Harper Government").

And then we wonder why voter turnout keeps getting lower.

posted by ssg at 1:03 PM on April 14, 2011


Exactly. The Liberals are equally if not more to blame for terrible voter turnout, by playing gotcha with Harper and trying to scare people into voting strategically. As Elizabeth May correctly notes, "we don't have a vote splitting problem in this country, we have a vote abandonment problem." None of the major parties are campaigning positively, it's just Liberal/NDP saying a vote for anyone else is a vote for Harper, and Harper shrugging and saying "eh, whatcha gonna do?"

It's no surprise that the Green party is the only party which has steadily increasing turnout. The major parties make vague attempts at courting the youth vote, but fail to address our concerns, especially on climate change. They try to buy our votes with rebates and the like, but we don't give a shit about a couple hundred bucks. We care about the future of the country, not who's in government next month.
posted by mek at 1:49 PM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


mek: None of the major parties are campaigning positively--

I'm going to disagree with that. Both the Liberals and the NDP have put forward specific policy platforms (the Liberals announced one policy each day during the first week of the campaign).

Liberal platform to focus on help for struggling families

NDP platform zeroes in on five key priorities
posted by russilwvong at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then we wonder why voter turnout keeps getting lower.

Well, in fact the Tories are absolutely relying on people being too apathetic to bother voting because it's not their base who stays home, it's people who will be voting for any party but theirs! So if you want it to be different you have to work to make the difference - and if you want it to be different RIGHT NOW the way it ideally should be or else you're not gonna play, that's extremely shortsighted, I think. You're not going to get enough people to rise up and change the entire game in - what is is now, 19 days.

So what you are saying is that if we work together and collectively hold our noses to vote for some guy we don't really support we can just maybe manage to achieve the lofty goal of keeping things the way they are (i.e. we can have a few more years of "The Harper Government").

No. I'm saying if you live in one of a handful of ridings (what is it, 25-30 ridings out of 308?), you're basically voting in the Conservative candidate if you don't vote for the (Liberal or NDP) candidate with the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate in that riding. If you live in one of those ridings and you don't like where Harper has taken the country then your best option is to vote for the candidate who can defeat the Tory candidate even if that candidate is not running for your preferred party, to make sure the Tories don't get a majority (because it will only get worse and your preferred party will lose even more ground). This is all you have to work with RIGHT NOW. The more times Harper ends up with a minority, the more likely it becomes he'll be out as leader of the Tories. I don't want things to stay the way they are at all, so this is the first step.

Voting strategically applies to a handful of people - maybe ten thousand people in specific ridings are going to swing this election from either "the Tories get a majority" to "the Tories get another minority". No other party will get enough votes in enough ridings to form a government and the chance of a coalition is almost nil.

If you're not one of those handful of people in a close riding then strategic voting doesn't even apply to you! Get your preferred party more attention, more percentages, more funding, more support! People vote-swap for this reason - to make sure they support their party even if they feel they can't risk their vote in their riding.

It's crappy that this is how it is and it's unfair. I want voting reform. I am all about voting reform. Voting reform isn't going to happen anytime soon and it's not going to happen under a majority Tory government. In my view, if you care about "the future of the country", then you play the long game before Canada gets screwed over any further.
posted by flex at 3:32 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obviously the party platforms contain positive policy specifics, but policy is really not the focus of the federal campaign - anyone who watched the debate, however briefly, noticed that.

The contrast between those platforms also shows why the Liberals are doing so terribly (and the NDP so well, relatively speaking): the Liberal platform is primarily composed of "we'll write you a cheque" cynicism, instead of significant initiatives. Their cap-and-trade program is buried on page 47, lacks any technical detail, and they have refused to discuss it at all. (This means it's probably vaporware.) The NDP, by contrast, have actually priced theirs out and set timelines. So yes, I'll agree with you that the NDP are doing an excellent job this year; I wouldn't mind them eating the Liberals entirely at this point.

you play the long game before Canada gets screwed over any further.

I don't understand how voting for anyone-but-Harper instead of voting your conscience is "playing the long game." It appears to be the exact opposite - reactionary and shortsighted.
posted by mek at 4:07 PM on April 14, 2011


I don't understand how voting for anyone-but-Harper instead of voting your conscience is "playing the long game." It appears to be the exact opposite - reactionary and shortsighted.

If you're not in a battleground riding, which is a riding where it is a close call between the Tory candidate and one other candidate (who could be Liberal or NDP or BQ), this isn't even a consideration. Vote your conscience. (Although if you're in Saanich-Gulf Islands, maybe consider helping Elizabeth May and the Greens finally win a seat.)

If you are in a battleground riding - and they are quite a small percentage of all the ridings - then to me it comes down to asking myself: is it more important for me to vote for my preferred party, even though their candidate has no chance of winning in this riding? Because if I do, I'm essentially helping the Conservative candidate in my riding win.

This may or may not bother you - but if Harper having a majority bothers you, as it bothers me, then it is a very practical thing to consider. (The Conservative strategy is clear. They are focusing on flipping a small number of ridings to achieve a majority. They know they need only to manipulate a few thousand voters in these edge ridings into staying home, or into not voting for the strongest not-Tory candidate in those ridings, to get that majority.)

Or is it more important that I vote for the candidate who can defeat the Conservative candidate in my riding, so as to block Harper's chances of achieving a majority government, under which my preferred party's platform, policies, and perhaps even chances of gaining more seats will lose ground? That's "playing the long game".

This isn't a choice most people will have to make. It's on my mind because my riding and the riding next door are very close. In the last election, about 350 votes made the difference between what we had (two Liberal MPs) to what we got (two Conservative MPs). Two more seats for Harper's party - two more seats toward a majority - 350 votes.

It's not fair a few thousand votes are going to make the difference, but I think it's shortsighted to refuse to consider the implications if you're casting one of those handful of votes that will make the difference. I don't want Harper to get a majority government just to prove a point. My conscience is fine if I'm working to make sure he doesn't.
posted by flex at 5:17 PM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Harper may as well get a majority because then at least something would get done instead of all this bickering and fighting"

Okay, I heard that again in conversation on the street, and I'm convinced. I'm voting for the anyone-but-Harper side just on the principle that a minority government, at least if it resembles the one we've got, is less likely to get anything done. That government is best which governs least.
posted by sfenders at 6:00 PM on April 14, 2011


The latest example of CPC audacity (call it contempt if you like): they sent a letter to Elections Canada demanding that all votes cast by University of Guelph students at a polling station yesterday be discarded.
No votes cast Wednesday in a special ballot at the University of Guelph should stand, according to the Conservative Party of Canada.

The party wrote Elections Canada on Thursday to request that none of the votes collected during the U of G session be included in the final tally of votes in the Guelph riding. The letter was sent by lawyer Arthur Hamilton, of Toronto-based law firm, Cassels Brock.

In his letter, Hamilton alleges the polling station was illegal and also that partisan election material was present at it, which is a violation of the Canada Elections Act.

The polling station in question was located on the main floor of University Centre, where approximately 700 students cast sealed ballots.

Elections Canada media advisor James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said.

“Part of our mandate is making the vote as accessible as possible. So, we look at outreach programs,” Hale said.

Hale said special ballot polling stations are often held for groups of people who consistently display less-than-average voter turnouts, such as students, First Nations, seniors and the disabled.

“It’s never been challenged, not to my knowledge,” Hale said.
Allegedly, the communications director for the Conservative candidate also tried to grab one of the ballot boxes.
Several University of Guelph students claim Michael Sona, the communications director for Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke, attempted to put a stop to voting at the special ballot held Wednesday.

The students say Sona approached the Elections Canada balloting site claiming that the process unfolding at the location was illegal and at one point reached for but never took possession of a container with ballots.

“He tried to grab for the ballot box. I’m not sure he got his hand on the box, but he definitely grabbed for it,” said Brenna Anstett, a student, who at the time of the reported incident was sealing her second of two envelopes containing her vote.

Student Claire Whalen was just about to receive her ballot just before 5 p.m. when the episode unfolded.

“That’s when a guy came up and said it was an illegal polling station and that he was confiscating the ballots. And then he tried to take (the ballot box),” Whalen said.

Whalen also identified the man as Sona.
WTF?
posted by russilwvong at 10:57 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Its voter suppression, and its completely disgusting. I know a few of the students who were involved in the vote mob at the Univeristy of Guelph and was really happy to see the idea take off - that students were getting fired up to vote (instead of radiating apathy). And then this has to happen. You want to ignore the student vote, fine, but you go too far when you actively try to keep them from voting.
posted by sandraregina at 5:03 AM on April 15, 2011


Update: Elections Canada has issued a statement saying that the votes will be counted, but there will be no more special ballots held on university campuses.
posted by russilwvong at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2011


What an unhelpful statement from Elections. It's not very clear on why university campuses shouldn't have a special ballot for students who will be out of town at the time of the election. How is that different than a special ballot for "snowbirds" for example? As for the Conservative staffer, he should be reprimanded for that kind of behaviour, it's unacceptable.
posted by Hoopo at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2011


Agreed on the Conservative staffer. Trying to grab a ballot box is a blatant violation of the rules. (Stealing votes: not just a metaphor!)

According to this Elections Canada document on student voting, it sounds like on-campus special ballot stations are not authorized. You can get a special ballot, but you're not supposed to be able to submit your vote at the same time.
Students can vote at the advance polls or at their polling station on election day. Alternatively, they can register and vote by special ballot. A student who wishes to vote by special ballot can register with Elections Canada or at any local Elections Canada office by completing an Application for Registration and Special Ballot and supplying satisfactory proof of identity and address. The completed application for registration must be received by a returning officer or Elections Canada in Ottawa no later than 6:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before election day.

Once the application has been accepted, a special ballot voting kit is provided to the student. The student is responsible for completing the ballot and returning it by the deadline. If a student is voting in his or her electoral district, the completed ballot must be received at the local Elections Canada office in that electoral district no later than the close of polls on election day. If a student is voting away from his or her electoral district, the completed ballot must be received by Elections Canada in Ottawa no later than 6:00 p.m., Ottawa time, on election day.

After a student applies and is registered to vote by special ballot, he or she cannot vote by any other means for that election.

Special ballot kiosks on campus, where students could apply and vote at the same time, are not permitted. Other initiatives that offer an opportunity to distribute special ballot application forms only, however, are permitted, such as registration desks on campuses for short periods of time, outreach initiatives with student groups, etc.
posted by russilwvong at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2011


What an unhelpful statement from Elections. It's not very clear on why university campuses shouldn't have a special ballot for students who will be out of town at the time of the election.

All students are entitled to vote by special ballot in their home riding, the issue here was that an electoral officer held a voting initiative which provided a mechanism where the ballots, instead of being mailed in typical fashion, were filled out and submitted in person a la a standard polling place, and then submitted by the officer as special ballots.

Elections Canada is super super strict about this kind of stuff, for good reason. They are one of our greatest instutions and work hard to preserve their total nonpartisanship. If universities want to organize these types of initiatives (or students at universities), that is absolutely their prerogative (at which point they could request the presence of an election officer), but I think they made the right call by advising elections officers to stay out of this type of event organization, which is admittedly activist in that it targets specific demographics.

However, I'm not sure what other precedents have already been set. If this kind of special balloting occurs, for example, at retirement homes, then I don't see how it is any different. Does anyone have any information on this?
posted by mek at 3:47 PM on April 15, 2011


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