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Canada federal election 2011
May 2, 2011 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Election Day in Canada. The Globe and Mail's guide to voting and watching the federal election.

"Only 58.8 per cent of registered voters actually cast ballots during the 2008 federal election — the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history." We may easily beat that number today - advance polls over Easter weekend showed record turnout: probably partially due to the long holiday weekend making it easier for people to go out and vote. As well, vote mobs and social networking have focused on helping get out the youth vote. (Make sure you have the correct poll information before you go to vote! )

But this election has also generated a lot of excitement with a late game-change: a surge in popularity for the NDP in the past couple weeks, starting in Quebec (even Duceppe is fighting for his seat), and now sweeping across Canada, that could lead to a historically high number of seats for the NDP.

The polls are all over the place now, leaving us with no idea what tonight's results will bring Canada. Anything could happen!
A CPC majority (the averaged projection at democraticSPACE) if the NDP support splits the votes on the left in Ontario?
A CPC minority, which is the projection at ThreeHundredEight?
An NDP minority?
A Conservative minority might not last long under the threat of an NDP/Liberal coalition, since a budget wasn't tabled before the government fell in March.
And will the Greens (Elizabeth May) finally win a seat?

Why the media will not report live election results until after 10 PM Eastern Time (hint: Canada Elections Act).

previously:
*gov't falls;
*Canada's 2008 federal election data on Google Maps/Google Earth;
*the (possible) G8 funding scandal (the report won't be released until after the election);
*"Dear Canada";
*the Canadian Pirate Party;
*"Silencing Dissent: the Conservative record";
*Shit Harper Did
posted by flex (733 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great post.

Note: I'm pretty sure that posting election results here prior to 10:00 Eastern would also count as publishing, and so any of us Canadians doing so would be violating the act.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, thanks, I'll be getting a shiatsu.
posted by docgonzo at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It will be an exciting evening waiting to see the kind of government we get (minority/majority). But I think there will be one very very clear message sent to the Bloc and the Liberals: You need to change. I have refused to vote for the Liberals until they significantly change the leadership (i.e. the guys running the party). I get the feeling that a lot of other people are feeling the same way. Grow some backbone and show us some real policy and some new faces and approach.
posted by Bovine Love at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2011


Voter turnout is already being guesstimated by some sources at being 65% or possibly even higher for this election. 65% is a pretty major swing vote. If we crack 70%, all bets are off and we're in a nobody-knows-till-we-count-everything scenario.
posted by mightygodking at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Its great, it means we are seeing more voter engagement, the real key to getting some change.
posted by Bovine Love at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sort of like the prohibition on live election results. I think it would stop of a lot of the posturing and blowharding of all these pundits and number runners that have nothing better to do on election night.
posted by deezil at 10:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's an election on? You could have fooled me.

Here in Calgary, there are hardly any election signs. There have been forums, although the people who will be elected don't deign to visit them. Ignatieff, Layton and Harper have not been within 300 km of the city during the entire campaign. (I did see Elizabeth May one morning on my way to work, as part of a small rally on Stephen Ave.)

There's something wrong with democracy in this country when the fourth largest city is not involved in an election. Part of it is that there's something wrong with voters in this city, absolutely. But a shift to proportional representation of some sort (which used to be an NDP policy plank, not that I've heard anything about it lately) is a must.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just voted! Feels good.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Great post.

This is an unnecessary post. Canadians do not want this post. Canadians do not support these reckless comments in this thread of uncertainty.
posted by Hoopo at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2011 [39 favorites]


Gregory Peck?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2011


I enjoyed a double chocolate donut as my reward for voting this morning. My pencil paused over the Marxist-Leninist candidate's name in my Vancouver Centre riding, but ultimately I chose more sensibly.
posted by fatbird at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Living in Quebec is super weird right now. My riding -- Sherbrooke -- has seen the PQ separatist candidate get over 60% of the vote in at least the last two elections; enough that even strategic voting couldn't stop him. He does, well, nothing, as far as I can tell. I occasionally get a flyer in my mailbox that tells me how much it suck to not be separated from Canada.

And he sent a flyer telling me about a local musician once.

Now, though, he's still polling with an anticipated 20,000 votes -- but the NDP guy, who is a fresh candidate without huge prior experience, is polling at an anticipated 17,000. This is an epochal shift from any prior NDP showing in this riding, where they usually trickle in about five votes over the Marxist-Leninist party and the people who write in their cats.

My read on this, which is at best semi-informed, consists of the following:

1. Traditionally, the PQ and BQ have been super-left-wing as well as separatist, so they've more or less crowded out the NDP in terms of voting: most people would hold their nose and vote liberal or conservative rather than entertain the idea of voting for the splitters or diluting the vote that might keep the splitters out of power;

2. Quebecers under 40 tend more and more to understand that there's actually a whole world outside of Quebec's borders, and that building a giant wall and banning everything that isn't French circa 1954 doesn't sound like a super fun proposition;

3. ...and hey, here's a party that actually captures all of those same forward-thinking values but who will actually act to help preserve and improve things like health care, equal rights, workers' rights, and so on.

And suddenly, bang howdy, the NDP is a force to be reckoned with in Quebec.

Some of this has to do with Ignatieff being such a weak-sauce candidate (I can't look at him without thinking of Sam Waterson in Law and Order -- kind of charismatic in an old-mannish way, but sort of hard to take seriously and I'm never 100% sure he's sober), with people genuinely hating Harper (who has tried to emulate Bush-era American politics and is discovering that it just doesn't wash up here east of Sarnia). But I hope this is a generational shift away from the sovereignty movement and one that makes the NDP a truly national force to be reckoned with.
posted by Shepherd at 10:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


But a shift to proportional representation of some sort (which used to be an NDP policy plank, not that I've heard anything about it lately)

It's in their party platform. It gets its own section and everything. Just because they haven't been campaigning on it (which is sensible, really, because most voters don't care that much about electoral reform) doesn't make it not there.
posted by mightygodking at 10:35 AM on May 2, 2011


I don't get the "it's illegal to tweet the results before Vancouver has voted" thing. How can I - or the Globe and Mail - publish any results unless Elections Canada releases them? Isn't it easier to just not start counting until all the polls are closed?
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's hoping the press doesn't drop the ball on all the poll-related shenanigans and ass't dirty tricks post-election.

I want someone to hang for that shit.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


My riding, unfortunately, only had four boring candidates. And we didn't get any sweets for voting. So I went and bought myself an oatmeal raisin cookie.

Great post, flex.
posted by Phire at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2011


In my riding I doubt anyone could even name the NDP candidate, which is a shame. As it is, I can vote Liberal for Raymond Simard or for Shelly Glover.

I'm a core left-winger but I know that only Simard has a chance of ousting her. I hate having to vote strategically, but there you have it.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2011


My wife is working at a polling station today, and they're not allowed to have cellphones on them, and also not allowed to leave the polling station between 7am and 9pm. It's going to be a long day for her.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:47 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm really annoyed at the Globe and Mail for endorsing Harper in their editorial on 27 April 2011. Running a government of secrets and lies does not a 'truly national party' make.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't get the "it's illegal to tweet the results before Vancouver has voted" thing. How can I - or the Globe and Mail - publish any results unless Elections Canada releases them?

I'm fairly new here but have been around for at least 1 election. What is this rule about anyways? I remember once hearing that people wouldn't vote because the results were already known, but it's not as though your riding in Prince George or Squamish has been decided yet, right?
posted by Hoopo at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2011


The NDP have a great 404 error.
posted by gman at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2011 [22 favorites]


I live in Jack Layton's riding. On Saturday the Conservative candidate knocked on my door. Even though she was representing The Contempt Of Parliament Party I felt a little sorry for her for running in a riding where she had absolutely no hope of winning. (But not sorry enough to vote for her or take her literature.)
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2011


There's a couple reasons stated for the act (which came in 1936 or so, well before TV was common):

1 - They don't want incorrect information posted. How do you know that the tweeter or the forum poster is correct? There was a lot of self-castigation among US media following the 2000 election because exit-poll results had been all over the map. Several in the media brought up the possibility that this had lowered voter turnouts in the American west.

2 - Having more information could change votes. That is, if you know how the country is breaking in the east, that could cause you to vote strategically (for example) if the votes are close.

As paraphrased from an official of Elections Canada on The Current this morning.
posted by bonehead at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2011


I don't get the "it's illegal to tweet the results before Vancouver has voted" thing. How can I - or the Globe and Mail - publish any results unless Elections Canada releases them? Isn't it easier to just not start counting until all the polls are closed?

That would mean that you couldn't start counting in Newfoundland until 11:30 p.m., so the compromise is that results can't be broadcast out of the region where polls have closed. This was less weird before the internet, because the TV or radio just wouldn't cut to election coverage until the polls in your province closed, but the people east of you would have been able to watch results come in for a while already.

Poll closing times are staggered to minimize the problem, but the country's just too big.

Of course, they could just accept "information inequality" - that some voters in Vancouver will know more about how the election is unfolding than did voters in Halifax at the time they cast their ballots. But that's not the approach the law takes now.
posted by Dasein at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2011


Also, he pointed out that the window between poll closing is now 90 minutes between St. Johns and Victoria, and further that it takes 30 to 45 minutes for the counting to happen, so really there's only a 45 minute window where they (Elections) think it matters.

Furthermore, Elections is not going to be monitoring for violations (they don't have the resources). They only respond to complaints, and only then if it's deemed to be "in the public interest". The case of someone sharing info to friends and family on Facebook was raised and he did his level best to avoid saying that charges would be laid in that case.

I think they think that it's not such a big deal as it was in 2000.
posted by bonehead at 11:01 AM on May 2, 2011


I hate having to vote strategically, but there you have it.

This is why I prefer the Schulze method as the ultimate voting method (for selecting single winners.) There is no strategic voting (i.e., there are no "spoilers") The only problem with the Schulze method is that no one understands it.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's not a bad law considering how the country is spread over many time zones. A lot of western alienation is due to the perception that the election is decided before our polls even close.
posted by mek at 11:02 AM on May 2, 2011


My riding's NDP candidate took a vacation out of the country in the middle of the campaign and the Green candidate is a college student, so I voted Liberal, though to be honest I probably would have anyway. I like a lot of the NDP's ideas, but I have reservations about voting for a party whose platform doesn't seem to add up at all.

I'm resigned to the Liberals getting crushed, but I'm hoping what looks to be a huge loss will allow them to focus more, and finally pick a strong leader.
posted by Dismantled King at 11:03 AM on May 2, 2011


There's something wrong with democracy in this country when the fourth largest city is not involved in an election.

My guess is Calgary's being taken for granted as a bunch of sure-thing Conservative seats. TBH I haven't seen too much going on in Vancouver Center either, my impression is that people haven't campaigned much in ridings where seats are considered safe. I didn't even get a single flyer this year.

Anyways, wouldn't it be awesome if they were wrong about Calgary this time?
posted by Hoopo at 11:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently the biggest consituency for the status quo are the media. The obvious answer is simply not to release any poll results until the polls in BC and the Yukon close.
posted by bonehead at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2011


I voted in the advance poll and it was nice to see the turnout. Talking to the um..poll ladies? (people who sign you in who happened to be all women in my district) they said they hadn't seen such a turn out before. In my small town 1000 people or so voted in the advance. I'm sure a lot of it was the day off but it would be great if it rolled over into today and more people voted. The last election shamed me by the turn out numbers. Voter apathy is so frustrating to see.
posted by kanata at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2011


I've heard a lot of speculation that as went Reform and the devastated PC parties, so will go the NDP and the wounded Libs. Hopfully it won't take another decade for the left to get it's act together.
posted by bonehead at 11:06 AM on May 2, 2011


I live in Layton's riding, and voted this morning at 10:00; there was a longer line than I've ever seen at my polling station for any election (federal, provincial or municipal) since I moved here ten years ago.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:07 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


My riding's NDP candidate took a vacation out of the country in the middle of the campaign

Haha, Dismantled King, we're in the same riding! We should do a Corner Brook meetup, there are a couple of other MeFites around.
posted by oulipian at 11:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Corner Brook? Wait, the NDP had TWO candidates go on vacation during the campaign?
posted by Hoopo at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm absolutely nailbiting this election: if a historic surge in left-wing support and voter interest results in... a Conservative majority government (due to vote splitting) - it's so ridiculous and crazy-making I would hope people freak out LOUD about it, and that it brings home to Your Average Voter how badly our current first-past-the-post system represents the actual desires of the voting public. (I'm cynical about that though, since many people in general appear to think that parliamentary coalitions are Bad Wrong Undemocratic Icky (wtf?) and what outrage that arose over proroguing Parliament didn't prevent a second proroguing at all.)

I do sincerely hope if the NDP grabs so many seats this time that they make proportional representation a key item on their list - it's so clear that we need voting reform.
posted by flex at 11:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't get the "it's illegal to tweet the results before Vancouver has voted" thing. How can I - or the Globe and Mail - publish any results unless Elections Canada releases them? Isn't it easier to just not start counting until all the polls are closed?

They want to prevent reporting of exit polls.
posted by zennie at 11:19 AM on May 2, 2011


Hoopo: Yes. Layton blames a lack of fixed election dates for his party's vacationing candidates.
posted by flex at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2011


The election results timezone thing is interesting. I selfishly like it because being a Vancouverite I think it helps makes us feel more part of the whole process, rather than the stragglers who may or may not make a difference in the overall results. On the other hand, I am certainly not above checking in with my Ontario relatives for a status update.

No matter what the results*, I'm really glad to see so much interest in voting this year. I was raised in a family that took elections seriously, with lots of booze and food and shouting at the TV on results nights, and this is the first year that I have felt excited enough to hold an event of my own. It should be damn interesting.

* Oh, who am I kidding: NDP NDP NDP NDP!
posted by jess at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I voted. Feels good, man.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2011


Today the Tories are hoping that Canadians will quit their dalliance with change, come to their senses, and finally give Harper a majority; Grits are hoping that people will come to their senses and at last embrace Iggy as the head of Canada's natural governing party; the NDP is hoping that all the newly-minted Jack fans come to their senses and get out and vote; Bloc enthusiasts are hoping Quebec voters come to their senses, turn their backs on these NDP carpetbaggers and support the Bloc; and Green supporters are hoping voters in Saanich come to their senses and give the party their first Commons seat.

No matter what, a lot of people will be disappointed.

The apolitical are hoping for more news stories about hats worn by royalty, but they will be sorely disappointed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Layton blames a lack of fixed election dates for his party's vacationing candidates.

'Most Canadians, if they don't show up for work, they don't get a promotion. Unless the kids really, really, really wanted to see that fountain at the Bellagio.'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


gov't falls writes "An NDP minority? "

Would that be an amazing thing to see or what? Stephen Harper would be out for sure. But would the Conservative Party move more openly to the right or would they at least try to move their image to the left?
posted by Mitheral at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm waiting for my husband to get home so we can take our daughter out and show her how it's done. Hooray for upholding our civic responsibility!

This election is so exciting that for the first time ever, I'm still not entirely decided on who I'm voting for. This of course has a lot more to do with my riding than my own ideals, but wow-wee... I never thought I could go from certain to unsure in 37 days.
posted by sunshinesky at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2011



There's something wrong with democracy in this country when the fourth largest city is not involved in an election. Part of it is that there's something wrong with voters in this city, absolutely.

In all fairness, Canada's largest party* has not given it much heed either.

*As of this afternoon
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:30 AM on May 2, 2011


There's nothing new about placeholder candidates.

> No matter what the results*...

...I am at least glad to see an end to this campaign. Not because I thought it was unnecessary (even Harper stopped saying that two weeks ago), but because stressing out about it was giving me an ulcer. Of course, if the Cons land a majority ulcers will be my new normal.

> But would the Conservative Party move more openly to the right or would they at least try to move their image to the left?

With any luck the Tea Party conservatives will freak out and reform the Reform Party, leaving the CPC to the old-school fiscal Conservatives.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:31 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mitheral: I've seen a surprising number of comments lately around different news sites and so on that are saying "I always voted Progressive Conservative and I continued to vote Conservative when the parties merged, but I won't do it anymore because I don't like how the Reform/Alliance element has taken over the party and moved it so far right".
posted by flex at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haha, Dismantled King, we're in the same riding! We should do a Corner Brook meetup, there are a couple of other MeFites around.

Yeah, definitely.

Corner Brook? Wait, the NDP had TWO candidates go on vacation during the campaign?

They had at least three. Hopefully this surge will allow them to get candidates for the next election who are serious enough to cancel their vacations, regardless of if they were planned ahead of time or not.
posted by Dismantled King at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


With any luck the Tea Party conservatives will freak out and reform the Reform Party, leaving the CPC to the old-school fiscal Conservatives.

...both of them.
posted by mightygodking at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


This election, more than any other one I remember, shone light on one party that really, really needs to re-evaluate itself and get its shit together.

Of course, I speak of the Liberals. I hope that the beatdown they get is enough to push them to fix the party. Their campaign was just awful.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:35 AM on May 2, 2011


Hopefully this surge will allow them to get candidates for the next election who are serious enough to cancel their vacations

Yeah, I've always voted NDP but I'm not this time because the candidate here wasn't terribly inspiring and there's a better alternative this time in my mind. I'm glad they're doing so well, but I'm not the type who votes exclusively for the party (not that it's not a consideration). I hope with this swell of popularity they can attract some more candidates with real substance next time out.
posted by Hoopo at 11:41 AM on May 2, 2011


I think some of those candidates who went on vacation did so because they weren't really serious candidates - they were just a name on a sign in riding that was very firmly held by another party. A sacrificial lamb, if you like. Very common all over - all the parties do it. No one really expected anyone to notice that they weren't in town.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:45 AM on May 2, 2011


308's latest projection has the NDP candidate trailing the incumbent PC candidate by only 1.5% in my riding (Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo) which has been a strong NDP riding. The NDP surge could be good news for Michael David Crawford.

NDP candidates going on vacation doesn't really bother me. If anything it shows a refreshing attitude for priorities. If I was working on their campaign though I might be really pissed.
posted by Mitheral at 11:47 AM on May 2, 2011


I really hope the death of bin Laden doesn't affect the vote. It doesn't indicate that the ongoing war in Afghanistan a good idea, but it might be seen that way.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:56 AM on May 2, 2011


I assume if the NDP gets a sizeable minority they'll be corrupted by the conservatives and turned to the dark side a'la Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems in the UK.
posted by Talez at 11:57 AM on May 2, 2011


I really hope the death of bin Laden doesn't affect the vote

It won't.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 11:58 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't see any scenario where Harper does not remain PM, but I think Layton as the leader of the opposition is a huge stride for the party. Get him in the limelight, let him become the face of the left in Canada, and you'll see Harper tumble in the next election.

I can only hope that between now and then that Harper does not gain a majority. I don't even want to think about how that could pan out, even if only for a year or two.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:03 PM on May 2, 2011


Talez: nope. Harper and his flock o' fools would be eviscerated by their base if they ever dared touch work with either the Evil Socialists or the Separatists. This is why they're 'reaching out' to the LIBERALS -- the people they've spent 5 weeks attacking -- in order to save the country from the Orange Menace.

I love this election. I just hope the Liberals & NDP don't split the vote.
posted by jrochest at 12:03 PM on May 2, 2011


"Work with" not "touch work with". Gawd.
posted by jrochest at 12:04 PM on May 2, 2011


I really hope the death of bin Laden doesn't affect the vote. It doesn't indicate that the ongoing war in Afghanistan a good idea, but it might be seen that way.

I don't think it will change many minds, people who thought it was a good idea will see this as confirmation of that. Those who wanted to get out of Afghanistan will see it as mission accomplished lets go. Opponents of the war from the start will point out he was found in Pakistan not Afghanistan.
posted by papercrane at 12:04 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Electionprediction.org, which has done a great job predicting every previous election that they've covered, is predicting a strong Conservative minority and, interestingly, a slim NDP opposition.

I don't think that the sudden uptick of NDP support is all that relevant; it's not like they're taking votes away from the Cons, after all.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:13 PM on May 2, 2011


Holy hell: the Globe endorsed Harper?! That is the rankest, panderingiest, triangulatiest, spineless, milqiuesttoast nonsense. Jesus H. Shatner.
posted by ~ at 12:19 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not just the Globe and Mail; almost all the big newspapers did. =P
posted by flex at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2011


308's latest projection has the NDP candidate trailing the incumbent PC candidate by only 1.5% in my riding

Don't take their per-riding projections too seriously, as they are not watching local trends, they are just extrapolating from federal polls. A historical analysis of your riding PLUS federal trends is the best way to guess how your riding will go, so, if you are on the ground trust your gut over these kinds of predictions.

Re: endorsements, look at 2008 and 2006 as well. The media isn't hiding their stripes in this country anymore.
posted by mek at 12:23 PM on May 2, 2011


I can only hope that between now and then that Harper does not gain a majority. I don't even want to think about how that could pan out, even if only for a year or two.

If Harpo gets a majority - we're gonna be stuck with him for the full 5 years until an election is required - and I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to change the Charter to extend that further.
posted by birdsquared at 12:23 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I live in Gilles Duceppe's riding and polls are so tight every vote counts! Everyone is talking about it: if just a few more vote NDP he loses his seat.
posted by niccolo at 12:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Not just the Globe and Mail; almost all the big newspapers did. =P

That would be our liberal-slanted media. Luckily SUN-TV is now here to help balance things out.

In I-am-sure-entirely-unrelated news, voters in some ridings are receiving robocalls giving them false information that their polling stations have been changed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:25 PM on May 2, 2011


As far as candidates going on vacation - in my riding the Con candidate (Hillyer) decided that he wasn't going to attend any debates etc after he got his butt whooped at one. His claim was that his time would be better spent talking directly to voters. When a voter tracked him down while he was door-knocking, Hillyer refused to answer any questions because he had to pee, and also he doesn't set his own schedule.

The only doors he knocks on are one with his name posted on the lawn. The only public presentations he's done are at LDS (mormon) churches. Our newspaper has called him "the man who wasn't there." Regardless, he'll be voted in. No problem.

Hillyer Controversy
posted by arcticwoman at 12:28 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I went to vote I discovered that only the Libs, PCs and NDPs were running in my riding. Not even a Green party candidate let alone one of those Marxist-Leninist folk some of you claim to be able to vote for. I'll be surprised if the Liberal candidate doesn't win handily (in spite of there being almost no signs for her), but it may get us higher profile candidates from the other parties the next time around.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:28 PM on May 2, 2011


Anyways, wouldn't it be awesome if they were wrong about Calgary this time?

I would love it, but I don't think it's going to happen this time. However, this is the second campaign that the Conservatives have "run" like this in the city, and it is starting to get noticed. I'm hearing a lot more comments about the absent candidates, and it might just lead to enough anger to provoke a backlash if they do it again.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:31 PM on May 2, 2011


Since 2004, my first election, I've been volunteering with the Greens. I haven't had to think about it too hard, since my ridings were locks anyways (Kingston / Kelowna), so it was more GOTV & trying to raise their profile.

This year I went NDP. The greens are barely running a campaign here, and although the Liberals had a better shot of unseating the Conservatives (I voted last Saturday before the surge, but it's probably still true), I can't bring myself to vote for them.

I'm hoping that the NDP can use this surge to push, in whatever capacity they're actually in, to push for some form of PR. I think it's the best solution to poor voter turnout.

Either way, it'll be a fun night!
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:33 PM on May 2, 2011


There's something wrong with democracy in this country when the fourth largest city is not involved in an election. Part of it is that there's something wrong with voters in this city, absolutely.

You mean how they always, always, always vote overwhelmingly Conservative, so there's no point in anyone from any party ever campaigning there?

Yeah, that's part of it.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:33 PM on May 2, 2011


Some of this has to do with Ignatieff being such a weak-sauce candidate (I can't look at him without thinking of Sam Waterson in Law and Order -- kind of charismatic in an old-mannish way, but sort of hard to take seriously and I'm never 100% sure he's sober)

This sums up perfectly my feelings towards him as well. And I'm a Liberal!

My riding has had a popular MP (Milliken) that won despite party affiliation for the past few elections who has retired. We now have a tooth-and-nail race between the Liberals and Conservatives, the latter who might win (unfortunately). I just hope the NDP fervour won't convince left-leaning people to vote for them, and thus siphon off votes from the Liberals, who sorely need them here as they are the only locally viable alternative to the Conservatives.
posted by hepta at 12:37 PM on May 2, 2011


Not just the Globe and Mail; almost all the big newspapers did.

Corporations supporting the party that supports corporations the most? Shocked, shocked I say!. Our large media organizations are now way more right wing than the country's populace which is disturbing to say the least yet it's the tired old CBC that seems to come under the most attack for bias.

Just voted, I live in the single strongest NDP riding in the country, Van East, and I am very happy to be able to vote for the NDP candidate.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:38 PM on May 2, 2011


Just voted, I live in the single strongest NDP riding in the country, Van East, and I am very happy to be able to vote for the NDP candidate.

This adds little to the topic, but: Van East represent! I'm thinking of heading out in a bit to vote during lunch -- how busy was your polling station?
posted by jess at 12:41 PM on May 2, 2011


Very busy polling station in Edmonton-Strathcona this morning. :-) I'm hoping to see Linda Duncan declared re-elected early after poll closing.
posted by Kurichina at 12:44 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had an interesting epiphany at the polling station this morning, myself. I've been a PC/CPC voter as long as I've had the franchise, but this time.. I just could not do it. My CPC candidate is an ass, and his campaign has called me or robocalled me four times since I demanded I be taken off of the phone list.

The NDP is emphatically not in tune with the way I think the world works, but on the issues that matter to me -- gay marriage, education, net neutrality, intellectual property rights, &c -- they're closer to me than any other party. So, I guess that makes me an outlier CPC -> NDP swing vote. Here's hoping that they make a strong Official Opposition. Someone needs to keep the assholes I voted in last time more honest this time around. I really had hoped for better from them.

To any CPC honchos reading this thread: Your party's rampant disrespect for parliament, openness, and your own voters has cost you my vote this time. Perhaps you will get it back, but not if you keep acting this way.
posted by ChrisR at 12:52 PM on May 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


You mean how they always, always, always vote overwhelmingly Conservative, so there's no point in anyone from any party ever campaigning there?

I think there's a healthy combo of myth and reality going on here. I live in Calgary and I hear some variant of this all the time: "Why bother voting? This town/province is run by the Conservatives."

The repetition of this story, one that is heard election after election, is no doubt holding back tens of thousands of Albertan centre-left leaning voters who assume they have no voice.

I know apathy is partly a personal choice, but having a sense of community really motivates. It's no secret that the CPC gets the majority of the elderly/religious vote in this province and, lo and behold, those people tend to get together every week.

Very excited to see the results tonight. I do believe things are changing, however slowly.
posted by knilstad at 12:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kurichina: My polling station was nearly deserted, down at Allendale School. We're starting to edge into CPC territory, this far south, though. So perhaps not so much of a surprise.
posted by ChrisR at 12:53 PM on May 2, 2011


This adds little to the topic, but: Van East represent! I'm thinking of heading out in a bit to vote during lunch -- how busy was your polling station?

I voted around 10:30 and it took roughly two minutes.

Also, as per earlier comments on the media here's a link to a great Tyee story about corporate media and the framing of the issues around this election.

Ever feel like we live in a company town, only it's a whole damn country?
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:55 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess I haven't been keeping up. Although I let my subscription lapse last year I still think of the Globe as a serious newspaper. What a shame.

(If this sounds partisan to non-Canadians, it really ain't. Harper's been governing utterly cynically, relying on indifference and poorly informed voters. It's shocking to hear our 'serious' national paper endorsing him.)
posted by ~ at 1:02 PM on May 2, 2011


I was doubly surprised by the G&M endorsement as there's clearly an Ingatieff partisan or two on the editorial board at the Globe. They practically drafted him into the Liberal party with a drippy hagiography during the Dionne period. They've run fairly sympathetic articles up until the last few weeks.
posted by bonehead at 1:12 PM on May 2, 2011


The thing that would disappoint me most about a Con majority is what it would say about the effectiveness of how they campaigned actually. It appears as though the party brass discouraged local candidates from attending debates and answering questions. In all of those questionnaires (that I've seen) where organizations ask the main parties what their opinions are with regard to the issues related to that organization (the arts, environment, status of women, medicare, what-have-you), the Cons have flat-out declined to respond. Instead, they are relying primarily on branding. They have decided that allowing Canadians to get to know their candidates carries a greater risk to their electoral prospects than if they simply know them as interchangeable avatars of the Conservative brand and that allowing Canadians to be familiar with their policy intentions is riskier than having them know nothing about them. The implications of that frighten me more than anything Harper may or may not do with a majority, to be frank.
posted by Kurichina at 1:14 PM on May 2, 2011 [23 favorites]


This is why I prefer the Schulze method as the ultimate voting method (for selecting single winners.) There is no strategic voting (i.e., there are no "spoilers")

The Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem says otherwise. Any nondictatorial voting scheme is manipulable, or can be affected by strategic voting.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:16 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why I prefer the Schulze method as the ultimate voting method (for selecting single winners.) There is no strategic voting

There is always the possibility of strategic voting in any election that involves electing one candidate among three or more choices. It's more likely with some methods than with others, but it's not possible to eliminate it entirely.

[At least not with any method that meets a few basic criteria, without which most people would not call the method "democratic." For example, "choose one voter's ballot at random, and whoever is marked on that ballot wins" eliminates the possibility of strategic voting entirely.]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:16 PM on May 2, 2011


Having lived through it in Ontario, my greatest fear is that the NDP might somehow win. I'd love nothing more than an NDP government (maybe even preferably an NDP minority), but an NDP government after one or two sessions as the Official Opposition, building solid plans and platforms for eventual governance.

Rae's tenure as premier in Ontario was a disaster largely because the party just wasn't ready. I still think that if they'd seen it coming as a realistic possibility, Ontario would be a much stronger and better place than it is now. Instead, it was a few years of deer-in-headlights governance followed by the far worse bordering-on-apocalyptic Harris era, which Ontario still hasn't recovered from.

A Harper majority would be like giving Mike Harris all of Canada. I'd seriously consider decamping to anywhere to avoid that.
posted by Shepherd at 1:16 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Haven't voted yet, but definitely going to in a few hours.

Man, the NDP are really blitzing this riding. We got phone calls yesterday and today, flyers in the mail box, and a volunteer just showed up at the door urging us to go vote. It's never been this intense before.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:29 PM on May 2, 2011


No, thanks, I'll be getting a shiatsu.

In addition to struggling to vote NDP or Liberal I often struggle between deciding to get a shiatsu or a Shih Tzu.
posted by juiceCake at 1:31 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have no idea what's going to happen, but I'm terrified the vote-splitting on the left will hand Harper a majority.

The likeliest scenario is the Cons winning the most seats but not a majority. If that happens...especially if the Libs and NDP between them have enough seats to form a coalition...watch for Harper to do ANYTHING to hold on to power: Delaying calling Parliament as long as possible, another election, trying to replace the GG if he asks Layton to form a government.

Watch out: I suspect we're going to be left with more questions than answers once the votes are counted.
posted by dry white toast at 1:32 PM on May 2, 2011


The thing that would disappoint me most about a Con majority is what it would say about the effectiveness of how they campaigned actually. It appears as though the party brass discouraged local candidates from attending debates and answering questions.

Yes, this has been true across the board; it's not just discouragement, either, it is strictly enforced. None of the Conservative candidates that I have seen have been willing or able to venture beyond talking points in any of their public appearances, and frequently dodge questions (or dodge debates altogether). My candidate was unable to address riding-specific concerns beyond bragging about where stimulus dollars went, refused to acknowledge issues or express opinions beyond what Harper has already said on the record, etc. There were large protest contingents from Save the CBC, Save Bill C-393, and Free Pavel (a human rights campaign for a local citizen in prison without trial in Mexico) who all asked specific, pointed questions, and got no response from the Tory candidate. They might as well send billboards and pamphlets to their All Candidates' Meetings, instead of human beings. They are not present.

It's a new low in Canadian politics. While the federal Liberals are in shambles, at least their candidates are human beings that will discuss things with you.
posted by mek at 1:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


> They have decided that allowing Canadians to get to know their candidates carries a greater risk to their electoral prospects than if they simply know them as interchangeable avatars of the Conservative brand and that allowing Canadians to be familiar with their policy intentions is riskier than having them know nothing about them.

This, a million times. Harper doesn't even pretend to give answers to the very few questions he lowers himself to address that aren't BOILERPLATE BOILERPLATE BOILERPLATE. The only thing I heard him say during the entire campaign that didn't sound canned was the anecdote about his wedding, with the cats dressed up as bride and groom.

> They might as well send billboards and pamphlets to their All Candidates' Meetings, instead of human beings.

In Calgary they used a potted plant to represent the Conservative candidate, and in Red Deer they used a campaign sign.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:42 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Conservatives barely showed up in this riding at all, and yet they're favoured to win. I don't understand it. For a month there was nothing, then a single sign appeared a few blocks away. Then I saw the candidate himself about four days ago, on a trip to the supermarket. He and his supporters were standing on all four corners of a busy interection, smiling and waving campaign signs. Not exactly an environment conducive to asking hard hitting questions.

No interviews with the press, no debates with the other candidates, not even any flyers talking about his intentions. Just waving signs at cars. I thought about going over there and giving him a piece of my mind, but didn't want to be that guy.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:44 PM on May 2, 2011


Rae's tenure as premier in Ontario was a disaster largely because the party just wasn't ready

....for a major economic downturn he had nothing to do with (which ironically had the NDP at odds with unions and freezing public servant salaries etc.). Pretty much any party will have to change course somewhat given those economic conditions, it's just that often the NDP's policies sort of require that there's money to go around so an economic shift to the right out of necessity from an NDP government is straying further from their mandate than were it the Liberals or the PCs in charge at the time.

Weird thing is the recession actually ended before any of Harris' policies could have taken effect in any event, and he still managed to mess things up. But the perception was that NDP = bad economic policy, Mike the Knife = someone who'll finally stand up to those lousy welfare bums that are causing the recession.
posted by Hoopo at 1:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


i am half an inch a way from voting for volpe, and it makes me feel dirty, like needing a silkwood shower dirty, someone tell me not to or make me feel better about doing so.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:56 PM on May 2, 2011


They have decided that allowing Canadians to get to know their candidates carries a greater risk to their electoral prospects than if they simply know them as interchangeable avatars of the Conservative brand and that allowing Canadians to be familiar with their policy intentions is riskier than having them know nothing about them.

Muzzling their candidates and centralizing their message is the only way they have managed to form government. Before Harper, candidates would shoot their mouths off about gay marriage, abortion, how terrible the Charter is, liberal judges, etc., and it freaked most of the country out. In the dying days of the 2004 election, Harper cost himself a win by musing about how a Liberal judiciary and bureaucracy would act as a check on a Conservative government. We got a small taste of that this election when a Saskatchewan CPC candidate bragged about denying funding to Planned Parenthood.

Centralizing the message was the only way they could make voters forget about their crazy. The Liberals were experts at this for decades.
posted by dry white toast at 1:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh great, Republican voting tactics in force in Ontario. People are getting pre-recorded messages saying their polling station has changed and then misdirecting them to the wrong station, up to an hour away from their proper station.

cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/05/01/cv-election-wrong-polls.html
posted by zarah at 1:56 PM on May 2, 2011


I just hope there's going to be a 'happy ending' for Jack Layton tonight.
posted by Flashman at 1:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Actually, if there are any non-Canadians reading down here, the NDP's quite amazing resurgence may have been partly kicked off by a fairly charming performance by the party's leader on a popular interview show in Quebec, Tout le monde en parle. The interview (in French).
posted by ~ at 1:58 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Kurichina writes "They have decided that allowing Canadians to get to know their candidates carries a greater risk to their electoral prospects than if they simply know them as interchangeable avatars of the Conservative brand and that allowing Canadians to be familiar with their policy intentions is riskier than having them know nothing about them."

This isn't new as it goes back to the Reform party and with good reason from the point of view of the people running things as you didn't want a lot of those early Reform members opening their mouths to a national audience on many hard right ideals and plain crazy shit that most Canadians would isagree with.
posted by Mitheral at 1:59 PM on May 2, 2011


PinkMoose, strategically speaking, you should hold your nose and vote Volpe. If you're left-leaning, the NDP candidate isn't competitive so you'd be helping the CPC if you voted for them. If, on the other hand, you're a Con supporter, well then, go nuts and sleep in peace.
posted by dry white toast at 2:00 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Volpe is evil, and creepy, and refuses to engage with me as a constituent, and has a fucked up israel policy, and ignores urban infastructure--and iggy the whole yeah torture thing...i know i know what i need to do, but why cant we have serious electoral reform.
posted by PinkMoose at 2:04 PM on May 2, 2011


I don't like the color of this page.
posted by crazylegs at 2:05 PM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


PinkMoose...Volpe is definitely all those things, but would the CPC candidate be any better?
posted by dry white toast at 2:07 PM on May 2, 2011


I live in Jack Layton's riding. On Saturday the Conservative candidate knocked on my door. Even though she was representing The Contempt Of Parliament Party I felt a little sorry for her for running in a riding where she had absolutely no hope of winning. (But not sorry enough to vote for her or take her literature.)

I live in Michael Ignatieff's riding. I am expecting him to knock on my door any moment now and offer me a piggyback ride to the polling station.
posted by Kabanos at 2:07 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


You should set your preferences to the professional orange background.
posted by Hoopo at 2:07 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


@Mitheral & @dry white toast:

It may not be new, but it's certainly being deployed to an unprecedented scale in this campaign. The Conservatives and the Reform party before them, did respond to those party-position questionnaires in the past. And while some candidates didn't bother to go to debates (Rahim Jaffer almost never attended them here in Edmonton-Strathcona except for the university one, and he was represented by a little doll on his chair in at least one debate during the 2008 election), I hadn't before seen any active discouragement of them doing so.

And Preston Manning never muzzled his Reform candidates to this extent.

For sure, centralizing the message was employed well by the Liberals when Chretien was leader (and I belive that the Conservatives probably learned a great deal of their dirtier tricks by studying Liberal back-room guy Warren Kinsella, amoung others), but this is truly the greatest degree of local candidate muzzling we've seen.
posted by Kurichina at 2:11 PM on May 2, 2011


Rae's tenure as premier in Ontario was a disaster largely because the party just wasn't ready.

Well, that and he may have been stitched up by a rare coalition of interests.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:13 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Manning was actually pretty good at allowing a wide range of discourses. we lost something when they went away.

Actually, the conserative candidate might be a better person then volpe, and is for sure much b etter at small scale candiacy, he isn't an asshole. harper, of course, not...
posted by PinkMoose at 2:14 PM on May 2, 2011


Manning actually believed in his ideals. They were nutty and wrong (imo), but he was true to them. Harper doesn't believe in anything except victory, and will do anything to get it.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:17 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


That Layton interview is great, ~. Maybe it's being in his second language, but he seems a lot less stiff in French than he comes across sometimes in English.
posted by bonehead at 2:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manning's belief in Ontario economically disenfranchsing the west was not wrong at all. most everything else yeah
posted by PinkMoose at 2:20 PM on May 2, 2011


And Preston Manning never muzzled his Reform candidates to this extent.

Seconding this; I'm in what was a hardcore Reform riding and our old Reform MP (Ted White) was actually extremely engaged, he would always come to every local school and talk at length with students, and was perceived as a very strong advocate for North Vancouver in an otherwise oblivious federal parliament. By the time I was voting age he was gone but still I know him better than any other candidate simply because he was so very present. I still respect his ability to get 50%+ of the vote. The Conservative candidates have been terrible in comparison and that's exactly why a relatively safe riding has turned into a battleground.
posted by mek at 2:25 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I belive that the Conservatives probably learned a great deal of their dirtier tricks by studying Liberal back-room guy Warren Kinsella

Who among other things was a member of 70s punk group the Hot Nasties, and more recently was in a band called Shit From Hell that played a show with Frankie Venom from Teenage Head, because centrist politics are fucking hardcore
posted by Hoopo at 2:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Layton blames a lack of fixed election dates for his party's vacationing candidates.

A little late, but can I point out how fabulously stupid an argument this is, given that the government was defeated on a vote of non-confidence, and not because the government chose to call an election?
posted by Dasein at 2:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


PinkMoose, I've been knocking on doors and working elections for the NDP since I was 12, more than 40 years ago. Everyone laughed then, as the NDP was mocked as never having a hope of winning seats, let alone form a government. I was constantly told by voters, "Well, I like your candidate and your leader, but I'm voting Liberal to keep the Conservatives out". Yet the NDP went on to form provincial governments across Canada, Jack Layton stands poised to become the leader of the Opposition, and there has now been a historic breakthrough in Quebec which has always been the barrier to considering the NDP as a party capable of forming a government. NDP founder Tommy Douglas has been voted the most admired person in all of Canadian history. Progress in politics is made one vote at a time, if the Liberal choice is so reprehensible, you really should vote NDP or Green. This is the way that change occurs.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:06 PM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, it's not a bad law considering how the country is spread over many time zones. A lot of western alienation is due to the perception that the election is decided before our polls even close.

Well, I would respectfully submit that punishing people for communicating the outcome of a democratic process actually is a bad law. I can understand why it's done, but the fact that people in the west would have more information than people in the east at the time they cast their ballot doesn't strike me as a sufficient justification for punishing people for communicating. I mean, it's just a natural function of geography - some people will know more than others. They might vote differently as a result, though I can't see why (presumably they want what they want, irrespective of how Ontario voted). And if they do change their vote - so what? They changed their vote as a result of living in a free society. That's the way it should work.

As for this business about Western alienation, cry me a river. Of course elections are decided by the most populous provinces. That's the case whether or not the results are reported. And anyway, that wasn't actually the case in the last few elections. The fact that you don't like your weight in a democracy is the dumbest possible reason to outlaw free speech. We really need to grow up as a country about this.
posted by Dasein at 3:08 PM on May 2, 2011


And Preston Manning never muzzled his Reform candidates to this extent.

Letting its members speek and vote freely according to their own beliefs was one of the key "reforms" on which the party was founded. Or such is my recollection of what was said at one of their early political rallies (which I heard because it was held in the high-school auditorium where I ran the sound system, not that I was into politics at all). It sounded like a good idea to me, in theory. The NDP is also relatively supportive of that general idea of more freedom for individual members of parliament, or so I heard long ago. Their record of having individual MPs proposing all manner of crazy legislation for their pet causes in recent parliaments sort of gives me the idea it may still be partly true.

Isn't there some way to do this democracy thing without political parties? I don't like any of these ones.
posted by sfenders at 3:12 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


i've voted green since i was 18, i think the first vote i ever cast was green. its been a long time, and i think im almost ready to move to the centre, which is ndp.
posted by PinkMoose at 3:15 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


As for this business about Western alienation, cry me a river.

Somehow I knew you were from Toronto before I even looked at your profile. ;)
posted by jess at 3:15 PM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


> That Layton interview is great, ~. Maybe it's being in his second language, but he seems a lot less stiff in French than he comes across sometimes in English.

"Jack Layton was born in Montreal and reared in nearby Hudson, Quebec, a comfortable and largely anglophone community."
posted by Decimask at 3:17 PM on May 2, 2011


As for this business about Western alienation, cry me a river. Of course elections are decided by the most populous provinces. That's the case whether or not the results are reported.

Really? Western alienation was the most important trend in the last two decades of politics and is explicitly responsible for the current incarnation of the Conservative party. We may not care for it, but we can't just pretend the whole Reform/Alliance thing never happened.
posted by mek at 3:17 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Unless there have been specific/strategic reasons otherwise (e.g. I'm proud to have helped elect then-PC leader and nice guy Joe Clark while I was living in Calgary Centre) I've always voted NDP. It's usually been a symbolic vote, of principle only, but for the first time tonight it feels like my vote is actually going to mean something.
Although I do happen to live now in the riding of one of the NDP's star candidates, Megan Leslie, who I'm sure will win handily without my help.
posted by Flashman at 3:19 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]



As for this business about Western alienation, cry me a river.


You know, people in the east don't have some kind of inalienable right to hear election results before the whole country has finished voting. Cry me a river and stay up another hour, or go to bed and sleep. Sheesh.

I find it deeply scary the groupthink present in Alberta - the CPC polling up to 75% in a lot of ridings and the prospect of a complete sweep - and its been that way for years. it's just not healthy. (Yes I know a lot of people don't vote CPC but the Alberta scene is a historical anomaly in its bloc-like pattern).

I voted in Victoria today, safe NDP seat I think, and the station was almost empty - we got in and out in five minutes - and that was at noon. Its a nasty rainy day, hope that doesn't effect turnout and more importantly, in neighbouring Saanich-Gulf Islands where everyone I know who lives there is voting Green. I really hope they pull it off against one of the lowest of the low CPC cabinet ministers and a feckless Liberal who I personally know to have little integrity.
posted by Rumple at 3:20 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, people in the east don't have some kind of inalienable right to hear election results before the whole country has finished voting

Uh, the law affects people in the west, not the east. People in the east do hear the results before the whole country has finished voting.

Somehow I knew you were from Toronto before I even looked at your profile. ;)

Hey, we take enough guff whenever it snows that I feel no compunction about calling out other regions for their various idiocies. And let me just say that if the complaint had been about something real - like the CF-18 contract - then I would have been onside 100%. Alberta and BC should stop whining about stuff like this and join with Ontario to demand their fair share of seats in the House. That's a real problem. Not being able to pretend that Ontario and Quebec don't decide most elections is not. (Too many negatives in that sentence; too lazy to fix it.)
posted by Dasein at 3:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Western alienation was the most important trend in the last two decades of politics

Look, to clarify - I was responding to the substance of the complaint, namely that people feel that elections are decided before they've finished voting. It's juveline. Yes, most elections are decided - but not all. And the reason is that most people live in central Canada. If you're too emotionally immature to deal with that then, yes, cry me a river.

Now, as to Western alienation arising because Quebec gets favoured treatment (as I said, like the CF-18 contract), I'm on board. Because that's a legitimate complaint. Just don't expect sympathy simply by virtue of your alienation, like some pouty teenager who hates his parents and wants the world to care.
posted by Dasein at 3:29 PM on May 2, 2011


The most amazing thing about voting patterns in Alberta is how they persist over decades, even after the party changes and the province itself is radically altered through demographic drift. I don't know the exact numbers, but at least one out of every three Albertans immigrated here from another province or country - and when they arrive a good many of those immigrants become conservatives, regardless of how they may have voted before.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:29 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think there's a good discussion to be had about digital communications technology and the inevitability of revising that particular law, Dasein. (See: tweettheresults.ca) Let's try to have that good discussion.
posted by mek at 3:35 PM on May 2, 2011


Voting left in Alberta, esp. Northen Alberta, which has a strong radical tradition, is an act of hope over experence every fucking time--and the maddening thing, is that when the big shifts come, they always come to the right, i think to myself well you cant get further right then klein, then stelmach (who is a nice guy, and got me on disability when he was my la) is a place holder, destines to lose to the wild rose party, which make bachman look liberal and sane.
posted by PinkMoose at 3:39 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm off to vote right now. Even if it's an act of hope over experience, we all benefit when people exercise their right to participate in the system. So here's hoping for the best!
posted by Kevin Street at 3:41 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


at least one out of every three Albertans immigrated here from another province or country - and when they arrive a good many of those immigrants become conservatives, regardless of how they may have voted before

I'm just speculating, but I would imagine that 30 years of higher-than-the-national-average standards of living and 20 years of higher-than-the-national-average growth are hard to argue with in terms of whether things are on the right track or not from the perspective of new voters--additionally those things are likely reasons why people are moving there in the first place.
posted by Hoopo at 3:42 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kevin Street writes "I don't know the exact numbers, but at least one out of every three Albertans immigrated here from another province or country - and when they arrive a good many of those immigrants become conservatives, regardless of how they may have voted before."

I'd like to know if people were less right before they moved to Alberta and change when they get there or if the only people who move there and stay are those who line up ideologically. The lack of an income tax especially seems to attract people of a rightest mindset to move to Alberta IMO.
posted by Mitheral at 3:44 PM on May 2, 2011


Uh, the law affects people in the west, not the east. People in the east do hear the results before the whole country has finished voting.

My point is, if you would get outside your bubble of central Canadian privilege, is that no election results should be released until the last polling station in the whole country closes. If this means that easterners have to wait to hear any results, so be it. it solves the problem in the most equitable way, and also means polling station hours can be standardized across the country.
posted by Rumple at 3:47 PM on May 2, 2011


Voted right after work. AGAIN I wound up having to explain the invigilator's own rules to him. But my 'X' is in the box, and the returning officer can go fuck himself.

I was surprised to discover that we had a candidate from the "Radical Marijuana Party". Who wants their marijuana radical? Unless it's in the sense of 'hey, this marijuana is radical, man, but who would ever say that? Enh.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:48 PM on May 2, 2011


Time for me to hit the polls (and then the booze!). Good luck, may the best candidates win, and let's pray that we don't all wake up tomorrow in Harper's Majority.
posted by jess at 3:53 PM on May 2, 2011


Capt. Renault, this is the Radical Marijuana Party candidate from the ballot. He sounds like the sort of guy who might indeed contend that marijuana is radical, man.
posted by bewilderbeast at 3:54 PM on May 2, 2011


Just sayin' that Radical Marijuana sounds like a harsh buzz. But I wouldn't know -- I'm strictly about the booze.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:56 PM on May 2, 2011


And medicinal opiates.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:57 PM on May 2, 2011


And Easy Off.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:58 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Corporations supporting the party that supports corporations the most? Shocked, shocked I say!. Our large media organizations are now way more right wing than the country's populace which is disturbing to say the least yet it's the tired old CBC that seems to come under the most attack for bias.

Yup, despite allegations of bias, the CBC is the only major media outlet in Canada that will NOT endorse a party or a leader during an election. And yet, Canadians continue to buy the line that the CBC has it in for the right.

Next time you hear the "CBC is biased" line from a newspaper or media conglomerate, invite them not to endorse a candidate in the next election so that they can at least pretend to have enough street cred to make that statement.
posted by salishsea at 4:05 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rae's tenure as premier in Ontario was a disaster largely because the party just wasn't ready

Wall Street also rattled people by immediately downgraded Ontario's credit rating right after he was voted in. The Globe & Mail and Sun newspapers made sure Rae instantly became a lightning rod for every type of reactionary conservative dissatisfaction. I still remember all the old Unemployment Insurance cheats in the back of my crappy South Etobicoke low-rise sitting on lawn furniture in the parking lot outside my window; drinking, reading the Sun and bitching about Rae.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:09 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


mek: I think there's a good discussion to be had about digital communications technology and the inevitability of revising that particular law, Dasein. (See: tweettheresults.ca) Let's try to have that good discussion.
Until a few minutes ago, this site was home to a conversation about the role of social media in Canadian elections. It was set up to aggregate the tweets (messages posted to Twitter) that include the hashtag #tweettheresults. That's how people across Canada and around the world have been tagging their reflections on Section 329 of Canada's Elections Act, which severely restricts the transmission of voting results until all polling stations have closed. We hoped that this site would provoke a conversation about Section 329, and raise the profile of the issue across Canada. We think it's done that, both on the social web and in the mainstream media.

But that conversation became illegal at 7 pm EST this evening. Rather than face a potential fine or protracted legal battle, we have taken this site offline for 3 hours. When free speech returns to Canada at 10 pm EST, the site will be back online and you will be able to read all the tweets that have accumulated in the interim.
posted by gman at 4:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is always the possibility of strategic voting in any election that involves electing one candidate among three or more choices. It's more likely with some methods than with others, but it's not possible to eliminate it entirely.

Yes. After all voting IS a strategic act in the first place. If you are voting strategically, it seems to me that you are participating in the conversation. If you are not voting strategically, just voting for whoever, or picking a name at random, why vote at all?
posted by salishsea at 4:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


hells bells even voting in a two party system can often be "strategic", you often vote simply against the most evil, rather than for best.
posted by edgeways at 4:13 PM on May 2, 2011


gman: I know, right? That was just a twitter aggregator anyway, you can look up the #tweettheresults hashtag yourself.
posted by mek at 4:15 PM on May 2, 2011


bubble of central Canadian privilege,

That whining sound again...
posted by Dasein at 4:16 PM on May 2, 2011


That whining sound again...

Hey! Stunning argument that, err, kind of proves my point.

No more from me on this minor de-rail though.
posted by Rumple at 4:23 PM on May 2, 2011


Out here in BC I don't mind Ontario's self-complacency, as long we keep getting transfer payments.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:27 PM on May 2, 2011


Hey, living where I do, my vote doesn't matter as much. Is that the central Canadian privilege I keep hearing about?
posted by Hildegarde at 4:30 PM on May 2, 2011


“British Columbia will decide the election, it’s as simple as that”

Better watch out for Eastern alienation.
posted by Dasein at 4:30 PM on May 2, 2011


Seconding this; I'm in what was a hardcore Reform riding and our old Reform MP (Ted White) was actually extremely engaged, he would always come to every local school and talk at length with students, and was perceived as a very strong advocate for North Vancouver in an otherwise oblivious federal parliament. By the time I was voting age he was gone but still I know him better than any other candidate simply because he was so very present. I still respect his ability to get 50%+ of the vote. The Conservative candidates have been terrible in comparison and that's exactly why a relatively safe riding has turned into a battleground.

We have to be careful with this. What Ted White did was HIS JOB as an MP. I notice that people often confuse a great riding MP with the ability of the party in power to govern. Every MP I have ever known, from every party, has always been a good riding MP. The rare few are not. It is, in truth, why you go to Ottawa in the first place, and there is very little more satisfying than helping out one of your constituents.

So to be clear, being a good MP has never had anything to do with being in power. In my riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country (what a riding name!), John Weston is being praised for being a good MP and many people are voting for him on that alone. I haven't seen him do anything that any other MP wouldn't do for his constituents, but I reckon he locks up a good 10 to 15% of his vote, just for people thinking "I've seen him around, he seems like a good guy." That is the reason incumbents have a leg up, and it can keep bad parties in power. If Weston wins tonight by less than 10% and the Cons form government as a result of several other ridings going this way, I will be disappointed. A good MP /= a good government.
posted by salishsea at 4:32 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


i voted ndp. i couldn't break down and vote for volpe. so if oliver carries eg-lawerence, you can blame me.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:32 PM on May 2, 2011


For the record, ThreeHundredEight.com is predicting another CPC minority (with exact same seat count as at dissolution) with NDP official opposition almost the exact same size as the Liberal caucus was. I can live with that, especially since there were woozy moments early in the campaign when I thought a Harper majority was looking likely. (Among other things, I have an 8-year-old standing bet with 2 uncles - I'd be buying two very good bottles of Scotch if they won.)

Only thing I hope ThreeHundredEight.com is wrong about is the Greens - really hoping Elizabeth May becomes the first Green Party legislator in North America. I voted Green this morning in the riding that looks like it'll be the second-best Green showing after May nationwide. It might surprise some to learn that riding is Calgary Centre-North.

And that said, I'm pleased about the Orange Surge. There are things that drive me nuts about Jack Layton (he's smarter about climate and energy stuff than he lets on in his gas-prices populism) but he's far and away the most admirable of the Big Three leaders. In my most optimistic moments I like to think his success this campaign marked the limit and highwater mark of the politics of fear and division in Canada.
posted by gompa at 4:50 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


i am worried about a nick clegg, and i still kind of hope for a lib/ndp colition, but i would also like a unicorn.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:52 PM on May 2, 2011


Some coworkers of mine said that they were not going to vote - I wanted to fucking throttle them. It's part of being a responsibile citizen assholes.

Okay - all I want is that we avoid a CPC majority at all costs. The Liberals need to clean house and select a better leader. For many people, how a political party runs a campaign is a proxy for how well they would run a government. In this respect at least - Iggy has been pretty disappointing.
posted by helmutdog at 4:57 PM on May 2, 2011


I voted at about 18:30 this evening. The polling station - the gymnasium of a local public school - was about as busy as the last two times I voted. I was in and out in about 10 minutes. Feels good, man.

There were five names on the ballot. I recognised the Liberal, Conservative and NDP candidates, but there were also a Marxist-Leninist and a Green candidate whose names I think I've only ever seen once or twice.

I feel lucky to be able to vote for Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the local Liberal incumbent. He used to have his constituency office around the corner from where I live, and I used to run into him in the convenience store. He really is quite sharp. (And holy buckets! I didn't know his family owns Future Bakery! Now I'm voting for him in perpetuity!)

I did have to laugh this morning... the news reader on CBC Radio2 was talking about the election, and introduced a soundbite from Ignatieff by saying, "And here is Michael Ignatieff mustering all the enthusiasm that he can...", before Ignatieff said a few... measured... thoughtful... well-chosen... words about the election.

Seriously, though, I think Harper is a reptile, his government is built on secrets, lies, and contempt, and I really hope he gets voted out as thoroughly as possible.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:59 PM on May 2, 2011


Just voted. My polling station was a bit deserted, but there was a steady stream of people, and a long line to register. I'm very thankful I live in a riding where I don't need to consider strategic voting (since the CPC has a snowball's chance in hell). I've found that as I get older I generally tend to get more mellow about most things, but the CPC makes me even crazier with every passing year. Honestly, I just can't believe that people can honestly support a party of lies, deceit, and actual parliamentary contempt. Garrr!!!
posted by Go Banana at 5:02 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know why this is surprising, but it is pretty creepy to see that Twitter censoring the results. Little black boxes over any tweets with actual numbers.
posted by rosken at 5:14 PM on May 2, 2011


That isn't twitter censoring anything. That's a copy/paste. It's a joke.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:18 PM on May 2, 2011


But that conversation became illegal at 7 pm EST this evening. Rather than face a potential fine or protracted legal battle, we have taken this site offline for 3 hours.

Another armchair radical, as it turns out. He was so very brave and plucky for Anna-Marie Tremonte this morning though!

The big surprise for me tonight was the presence of a Pirate Party candidate on the ballot (LN's sharp eyes spotted it actually). Pretty cool, I thought.
posted by bonehead at 5:26 PM on May 2, 2011


I'm voted at the advance polls in Saanich - Gulf Islands last week, and was confused and thrilled that, for once, my wacky preferred vote was also the strategic vote. No internal dilemmas!

I was just comparing my excitement over watching the results tonight with whatever it is other people feel about sports. It seems similar, except that the outcome actually matters, and I really am helping my team to win! Woo! Go Green and Orange!
posted by bethnull at 5:29 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those who want to follow the results on twitter with a bit less noise, a better search query.
posted by sfenders at 5:36 PM on May 2, 2011


Just got back, voted in about 10 minutes and I didn't even have my registration card (my dog ate it, seriously). The after work crowd was just starting to arrive but from what the workers were saying it's unlikely the wait will exceed 15 minutes even at the busiest time. Here is hoping a record turn out extends that to 20.
posted by Mitheral at 5:39 PM on May 2, 2011


Dear Stephen Harper: Fuck You. - Newfoundland & Labrador
posted by oulipian at 5:41 PM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


So to be clear, being a good MP has never had anything to do with being in power.

I totally agree, and it's scary how many people vote for the incumbent and give their reason as a belief they will represent the riding better. In my experience the opposite is the case, and in Alberta's experience it's painfully obvious that the more reliably you re-elect your MP, the more totally ignored your riding is. Genuine representation of riding-specific concerns in parliament is something we have only enjoyed locally when we elected an opposition MP (White, but Liberal Don Bell a more recent example). Now we elect a Conservative MP and we get $100mil in roadwork and no communication whatsoever. It's obvious that that cash infusion was our pat on the head, and that it was spent indiscriminately. (eg. when asked why the federal funding for the Maritime Center at Lonsdale Quay was cut, the Saxton dodged the question by talking about highways.)

Harper's MPs are terrifyingly interchangeable. Elect MP, receive money. It's slot machine politics.

(Also, hello over there on Bowen!)
posted by mek at 5:50 PM on May 2, 2011


I'm expecting a Harper minority. The slimy bastard will have to step down before next election, since he can't ever gain a majority now. Bye!

So disappointed in Ignatieff - he's our MP I've met the guy, but the Liberal party machine is AWOL, and Ignatieff just couldn't fire it up.

I respect Jack Layton, and I'd also have no problems with him as Opposition leader.

I'm really thrilled that more of the college-age kids have bothered to vote. About time they figured out why no-one fights against tuition increases...
posted by Artful Codger at 5:51 PM on May 2, 2011


Dear Stephen Harper: Fuck You. - Newfoundland & Labrador

Fabian Manning not getting a seat is a very, very pleasant surprise.
posted by Dismantled King at 5:51 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harper's MPs are terrifyingly interchangeable. Elect MP, receive money. It's slot machine politics.

Exactly. In Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca, Tory crony Troy de Souza's entire platform was, "elect me and get a new highway interchange". Subtext, don't elect me and sit in traffic for eternity. It's just crass and frankly, borderline corrupt, porkbarrelling.
posted by Rumple at 5:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh please oh please oh please make me proud of you, fellow canucks, for the first time in a very long time, and send that shitstain Harper and his cronies packing. Oh please.

The NDP is running on a platform that, were they to win, might actually run the risk of making me something other than sad and worried about my country again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:03 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just noticed Google has a Canadian election logo up. Sadly not designed by a Canadian but it's nice to be noticed.
posted by Mitheral at 6:05 PM on May 2, 2011


So I'm walking down the street with my mother last night on our way to a Hot Doc and I asked her if she'd voted yet. She told me she had, so I asked her for who.

"Harper."

"I can't hear you, mom. And there's no one within earshot of us."

"The Conservatives."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah, who else was I gonna vote for?"

"So you think he's the lesser of the evils?"

"No, but I can't not vote, and things haven't been too bad these past few years."

All I could think to myself was that this woman is a pretty darn intelligent, socially very left, teacher. How? How did this happen?
posted by gman at 6:06 PM on May 2, 2011


And I thought "yo mama votes for Harper" was just a playground insult.
posted by Kattullus at 6:09 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


God, I'm hoping for a minority (at most), which seems the most likely thing. Then the knives to start coming out in the CPC caucus once they realize that Scott Norwood is better at winning the Big One than Sweater Boy. An NDP Oppositon would be awesome, if it comes to pass. A chance for Jack "Best Canadian Moustache, Post-Trebek Division" Layton to really show his stuff, and the NDP to keep growing. A chance for the Liberals to do whatever it takes to reform the party. And a seat for Elizabeth May. An NDP-Liberal coalition? Fine by me. Mostly, I'm just hoping that we never have to rename YYC after Harper. (I refuse to call the central airport in the DC area anything other than "Washington National".) And while I'm making predictions/pony requests of my country at large, can we pretty please have a real Census?

For the record, I voted AskMe Green (as in "DTMFA") in Calgary Centre, which makes me pretty common in my office. (Calgary Centre will be a top 10 Green riding, I predict. Along with Calgary Centre-North.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:11 PM on May 2, 2011


This should be interesting.

Incisive comments from Russell Smith, an author of fiction.
posted by ovvl at 6:12 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


In Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca, Tory crony Troy de Souza's entire platform was, "elect me and get a new highway interchange".

This actually shows a nuance and local sensitivity entirely lacking from likely Tory winner Michelle Rempel in Calgary Centre-North, a 31-year-old with no political experience outside local Tory riding associations who skipped several candidate forums, answered no media questions, and identified not a single local issue on her campaign flyer. It honestly looked like a template for some generic Tory handbill; all that was missing was the mock-Latin filler text. (She was the one represented by a potted plant at a debate, as Card Cheat noted earlier.)

The between-the-lines message in her platform was: You should vote for me because I'm the Conservative and that's who people in Calgary vote for. And it'll work here too - check her final tally at the end of the night (probably around 40 percent) and you'll see the sort of Mendoza line of federal Tory candidates in Alberta, the amount of electoral support you can count on merely by being a sentient carbon-based lifeform.
posted by gompa at 6:13 PM on May 2, 2011


Just noticed Google has a Canadian election logo up. Sadly not designed by a Canadian but it's nice to be noticed.

Clearly. (In Canada, we do it behind a bit of cardboard. Them high-falutin' booths are for saps.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:17 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's stopping Canoe.ca from creating an election logo?
posted by KokuRyu at 6:18 PM on May 2, 2011


I went to university with Troy de Souza. Slimy then, slimy now.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:19 PM on May 2, 2011


As an American who can barely understand France French, I have no right to comment, but in that Layton interview there are some vicious jouals, especially on the interviewer.

Bonne Chance, Canada! Taber!
posted by benito.strauss at 6:19 PM on May 2, 2011


All I know is next time I need a unique username I'll be using acadien_féroce.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:23 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone know where I can get a live stream of CBC Ontario? No TV in the office and would just like to see the results I am entitled to.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:23 PM on May 2, 2011


"No, but I can't not vote, and things haven't been too bad these past few years."

A coworker defended Harper on the basis that "he gets shit done".

Younger coworker. Not old enough to have really lived through the Mulroney years, when he was parked at 12-15% in the polls, everybody hated him, and there was jack shit you could do about it because he had a majority.

So yeah. I've no problem with minorities or coalitions.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:24 PM on May 2, 2011


@portmanteau: Isn't this going to be a live TV stream starting at 10pm?
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:25 PM on May 2, 2011


It's a little dated, now, but my friend tells a joke:
"Now that Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush Senior are out of office, they can form a foursome for golf. (beat) And Brian Mulroney can carry the clubs."
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:27 PM on May 2, 2011


Yes, but I want to see it now!
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:28 PM on May 2, 2011


Why do I have a dreaded feeling? 1/2 hour to polls close here and I'm expecting to turn on the tv and see a Conservative majority. Where do Canadians move to when they're disgusted by their government?
posted by kanata at 6:28 PM on May 2, 2011


I can give you this much:

"Don Cherry and Rex Murphy are one and the same person." —Peter Mansbridge
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


ICELAND. I SAY ICELAND. >.<
posted by Hildegarde at 6:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sys Rq writes "Clearly. (In Canada, we do it behind a bit of cardboard. Them high-falutin' booths are for saps.)"

FYI For non-Canadians following along at home this is what a Canadian voting "booth" looks like and ya, they are always set-up on a table that is way too short causing even the shortest voters to hunch over to make one's mark.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 PM on May 2, 2011


Go Orange! Go!
posted by chunking express at 6:34 PM on May 2, 2011


Dear Stephen Harper: Fuck You. - Newfoundland & Labrador

Well, half right, maybe.
posted by Casuistry at 6:36 PM on May 2, 2011


I have the same feeling about this election as I do the Canucks. Nervous excitement mixed with dread.
posted by kanata at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


CBC is starting to report results. Does that mean we can talk about it now?
posted by thecjm at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2011


10pm EST we can talk about it.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:43 PM on May 2, 2011


Anyone have a good place to stream results and commentary that's live right now? I don't want to refresh my browser in 20 minutes and have the results stare me in the face. It will be too much of a shock. I at least want to hear someone speak them. But CBC's feed doesn't go live until 10pm eastern.
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:44 PM on May 2, 2011


Disgraced Mulroneyite (am I being redundant?) Bernard Valcourt is back in. Ungh.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:45 PM on May 2, 2011


I stopped checking out twitter when I got multiple postings that CTV had declared a winner 15 mins after polls closed back east. Come on 10 o'clock.
posted by kanata at 6:49 PM on May 2, 2011


PercussivePaul: #tweettheresults

It's a bit messy and the results may be questionable, but people are posting results as they come in. It's illegal, but interesting to watch.
posted by purephase at 6:50 PM on May 2, 2011


Kanata - I can see the results now, and if anyone is declaring an overall winner, they are nuts. Perhaps it was about a riding?
posted by never used baby shoes at 6:55 PM on May 2, 2011


Well, here we go. *takes a deep breath*
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 6:56 PM on May 2, 2011


Watching these results, you may not wanna bother with breathing out.
posted by gman at 6:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well that was thrilling. First picture on CBC is of a smiling frozen Harper having won.
posted by kanata at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2011


Sorry, I mis-spoke: if anyone was declaring a majority/minority that early, they were nuts
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2011


Thanks I was wondering. I know the Conservatives would be winning when the black out ended but I still had a wee bit of hope for the Orange. Now just to see if they have a majority I guess.
posted by kanata at 7:04 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC saying Conservatives doing "extremely well". Numbers given at this moment are CON 131, NDP 72, LIB 29, BQ 5, 72 more seats to come.
posted by flex at 7:05 PM on May 2, 2011


I LOVE YOU QUEBEC!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:05 PM on May 2, 2011


Sooo...When are the Grits going to pull a PC and merge with the NDP to form a single left-wing party that would take 60% of every election?
posted by thecjm at 7:05 PM on May 2, 2011


Ugh
posted by Rumple at 7:05 PM on May 2, 2011


This is so fucking depressing.
Oh, Canada
posted by Flashman at 7:06 PM on May 2, 2011


Ugggh, I do not believe I have ever been this nervous at the prospect of incoming election results in my entire life. I can live to a certain extent with a Harper minority because it probably means the end of him as leader.
Also, it will be fascinating to see if anything from the campaign sticks to him, such as his disregard for how parliamentary democracy functions in Canada.
Not holding my breath by the way.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 7:06 PM on May 2, 2011


Sooo...When are the Grits going to pull a PC and merge with the NDP to form a single left-wing party that would take 60% of every election?

Leaving us with a 2 party system? Yeah, no thanks.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:06 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


LOL. I love the media. Oooh, look who's leading (with 5 of 206 polls reporting)
posted by Decimask at 7:08 PM on May 2, 2011


NDP doing amazingly well so far. Come on BC, stop that majority...
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:08 PM on May 2, 2011


Oof. It looks like a CPC majority on a high 30s vote share, thanks to the NDP nom-nomming votes from the Grits. Harper is Berlusconi without the social life.
posted by holgate at 7:08 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC says the conservatives are up 22 seats leading or elected compared to last year, and they only need to be up 9 to get a majority.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:08 PM on May 2, 2011


There's too much historical animosity for the NDP and Grits to ever merge, even if it makes sense.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:09 PM on May 2, 2011


Popular Ethics writes "Leaving us with a 2 party system? Yeah, no thanks."

That'd last for a single cycle then we'd end up with splinter parties on both sides. The hard right soon (as the conservatives move left to compensate/compete) and the hard left later.
posted by Mitheral at 7:10 PM on May 2, 2011


Aw, fuck.

This doesn't look good at all.

Looking at the ridings reporting in versus ThreeHundredEight's projections (ex BC), the Conservatives are up by 13, the NDP by 18. The Liberals are down by 27, the Bloc by 20. Many of the missing ridings are in the Montreal area, so this could be interesting. Also, the first vote totals in are often from single stations in places like old-age homes where the Conservatives poll well, so these super-early results may not entirely hold. If they do, and BC adds the 20 seats 308 predicts, then the Conservatives are sitting at 156. With 16 seats unaccounted for.

I'm going for a bike ride now; I just hope I still have a country I can respect when I get back.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:11 PM on May 2, 2011


Leaving us with a 2 party system? Yeah, no thanks.

If a two party system means that 35%-40% of the popular vote doesn't control the government then sign me up.

Short of electoral reform (which could't get off the ground via plebiscite in Ontario on BC) it looks like a two-party system is the best way to align the popular vote with seats in Parliament.
posted by thecjm at 7:11 PM on May 2, 2011


The results (so far?) in Quebec are something I never imagined seeing.
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:11 PM on May 2, 2011


chantal herbet just used the phrase on the cbc--the social creditization of the bloc quebcois, which is interesting, and correct.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:13 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


NDP now official opposition. Amazing.

Now, let's keep at least a Conservative minority and I think that will be the best possible result for this election.
posted by purephase at 7:14 PM on May 2, 2011


Oof. It looks like a CPC majority on a high 30s vote share, thanks to the NDP nom-nomming votes from the Grits

Boooo. Where are you getting the CPC majority projection from? I'm feeling sick over that idea...

Also, I think at this point with the NDP having more seats than the Liberals did last time out it may be more fair to say "thanks to the Grits nom-nomming votes from the NDP"
posted by Hoopo at 7:14 PM on May 2, 2011


The results (so far?) in Quebec are something I never imagined seeing.

I agree. Duceppe and Ignatieff aren't even leading their ridings right now. This election is messed up.
posted by dflemingecon at 7:15 PM on May 2, 2011


Voted NDP out here in BC. Suck it, Harper.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 7:15 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


My god. Duceppe is currently third in his riding, sayeth CBC.ca
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:16 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC saying Tory majority very possible.
posted by flex at 7:16 PM on May 2, 2011


Wow. Didn't even look at specific ridings in Quebec. What's the story on Duceppe losing to the NDP candidate?
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:17 PM on May 2, 2011


Holy shit. CBC says that the NDP woman in Quebec who was vacationing in Vegas during the campaign is easily winning so far.
posted by Dismantled King at 7:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


More than possible; probable.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:18 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, I think I have to resign myself to where this is going. Scary. The Conservatives are just looking to be too close not to take the majority.

Big story on the night looks to be the change in Quebec.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:18 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, if there was any vote splitting on the left we can officially say that it was the Liberals that caused it.
posted by purephase at 7:18 PM on May 2, 2011


majority looks inevitable from here. i've been cold sweating for the last 15 min. I would pray if I thought it would help.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:20 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where's my bourbon.....ARGHHHH!!
posted by Go Banana at 7:20 PM on May 2, 2011


Screw this, I'm moving to Canada.

Wait.

Shit.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:20 PM on May 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


All I want is for those blue numbers to go down. Come on...
posted by Kevin Street at 7:20 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC saying Tory majority very possible.

Ah hell. OK all you "good shepherds of the economy" sycophants, watch closely over the next four years. Lets see how well tax cuts reduces our deficit.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:20 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Andrew Coyne looks so poorly, it almost makes me feel sorry for the Grits.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:21 PM on May 2, 2011


This is making me ill and I know my riding will go along and be blue for the 5th time in a row ever since they changed the riding borders and lumped us in with the rich retiree towns. We were staunch generations of NDPers here in a working mill town and now we're stuck with a MP that does nothing for us as I can tell and didn't want to debate in town as he considers all the people in the audience plants by the NDP.
posted by kanata at 7:22 PM on May 2, 2011


Current CBC numbers: CON 142, NDP 98, LIB 30, BQ 4, 34 seats to come.
posted by flex at 7:22 PM on May 2, 2011


F***. It's splitting. My riding is sticking CPC, but the Grits and NDP are neck and neck.
posted by Decimask at 7:23 PM on May 2, 2011


My bus leaves in 20 minutes - I'm not going to know how it ends!

At least until tomorrow.
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:23 PM on May 2, 2011


Well, at least Ignatieff can says that he managed something unprecedented in Canadian history.
posted by holgate at 7:23 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Iggy and Duceppe trailing? WTF?
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:23 PM on May 2, 2011


Percentage of polls turning in is still way low. This is going to be a long night.
posted by Decimask at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Alors, au revoir et bon nuit Michael Ignatieff.
Looks like he won't even hold his own seat.
posted by Flashman at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


My Riding just south of Montreal is going NDP for the first time ever too...

feels odd to have had that effect. I seriously thought I was just going to add to their funding... I don't even thinking this nominee bothered to put up one poster... man is she going to be surprised.
posted by ServSci at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


What's the story on Duceppe losing to the NDP candidate?

Well, he is closing the gap, but that was shocking to see him toodling along in the middle of the pack in the early results...
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah. I'm just waiting to see that NDP number hit triple digits, even if it's only for a little bit? Because, wow.
posted by flex at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Ignatieff might not even win his own riding. Oy vey.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Holy crap. NDP is elected or leading in 101.
posted by Decimask at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


And there it is. NDP 101 with the early poll results....
posted by flex at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Thanks Iggy, best part is you'll be able to just leave the country (again) once the Cons have their majority. The Libs won't be a factor at all, no good even in terms of a coalition. Criminy.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


flex, it is at 100 right now.
posted by purephase at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Looks like he won't even hold his own seat.

He was saying, regardless of the meltdown, he'd stay on as leader. That will be hard when you don't even have a seat.
posted by dflemingecon at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Oh crap. Suck-ass result and reached too early.
posted by orthogonality at 7:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Terry Milewski is awesome.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:26 PM on May 2, 2011


What's the CHP? Apparently they ran a candidate in my area?
posted by kanata at 7:26 PM on May 2, 2011


Bob Rae is going back?

He is So. Screwed.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:27 PM on May 2, 2011


kanata, Christian Heritage Party.
posted by purephase at 7:28 PM on May 2, 2011


Hmm. Too early to tell on the West Coast. It says Van East is going to go PC, which seems VERY hard to believe.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:28 PM on May 2, 2011


kanata writes "What's the CHP? "

Christian Heritage Party
posted by Mitheral at 7:29 PM on May 2, 2011


Kennedy has lost Parkdale-High Park. Pretty big upset for the Liberals.
posted by purephase at 7:29 PM on May 2, 2011


Thanks. Never heard of them before.
posted by kanata at 7:30 PM on May 2, 2011


It's almost official; Canada: The Right-Wing America.
posted by dflemingecon at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2011


Good night for federalism with the Bloc going down, might be a bad night for poor people and the environment in Canada though.
posted by Rumple at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC: Con 150 NDP 105
posted by Mitheral at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2011


If you check out the BC returns on CBC and G/M, many of the ridings are showing returns for just 1 poll with a handful of votes. Kind of wonder how they can feel so confident calling ridings in BC at this point...
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2011


Ah, man. I really liked Kennedy.
posted by Dismantled King at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2011


I about threw up when the CON number just hit 155 for a second.
posted by flex at 7:32 PM on May 2, 2011


I did too. It's unfortunate but Peggy Nash is an excellent candidate as well. Challenging riding when you have two good candidates.
posted by purephase at 7:33 PM on May 2, 2011


Nash and Kennedy are about as progressive.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:33 PM on May 2, 2011


So help me here: the NDP took over from the Libs, but the Conservatives gained a bunch of seats?

No wait: The Conservatives took a bunch of Liberal ridings, and the NDP took some Conservative, some Liberal ridings?
posted by orthogonality at 7:33 PM on May 2, 2011


You guys have any other media besides CBC?
posted by symbioid at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


NDP took Quebec and some Liberal.

Cons got the Liberal Ontario seats in a blowout, from the looks of it. Frick.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


NDP took a lot of BQ seats. The Bloc is down to 3 seats.
posted by thecjm at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2011


The interactive map on CBC.ca is neat. Nerve wracking watching each.single.vote come in. Seeing B.C. go blue/orange/blue/orange..I need a drink.
posted by kanata at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2011


A lot of Ontario riding went Conservative. A bit shocking actually. A lot of the Bloc ridings in Quebec went NDP.

The majority for the Conservatives will likely hang in BC.
posted by purephase at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2011


Ok, so NDP took a bunch of Bloc ridings too.
posted by orthogonality at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2011


You guys have any other media besides CBC?

CTV.
posted by dflemingecon at 7:36 PM on May 2, 2011


There's Globe and Mail. Everything else (canada.com properties, Global) are pretty weak.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:36 PM on May 2, 2011


It is certainly looking like a majority. This is not good. As happy as I am with the NDP results, this is unfortunate.
posted by purephase at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2011


Con 158 NDP 107

Crap.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2011


God damn it Ontario, how could you?

You've fucked this up for the rest of us.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


CBC has Conservatives elected in 103 ridings and leading in 53 more. Please no :(
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:38 PM on May 2, 2011


there's the Toronto Star, too...
posted by seawallrunner at 7:38 PM on May 2, 2011


157 Cons now. HATE. Well, some of the ridings in BC that show as Cons right now might swing over, not sure if enough will, though.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:38 PM on May 2, 2011


CTV is predicting 147 Conservatives right now. Yikes.
posted by antifuse at 7:38 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC is predicting 161 for CON.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 7:40 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, it's REALLY close in Ontario and BC. Small numbers of votes can swing it either way.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:40 PM on May 2, 2011


You've fucked this up for the rest of us.

I DID WHAT I COULD

Hell, I even had a sign on my lawn with Christopherson's ugly mug on it for the last month! More than that -- I just can't do.

Don't get me wrong -- good MP, but -- fuck, what a dweeb.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:41 PM on May 2, 2011


I hope May gets in at least.
posted by kanata at 7:41 PM on May 2, 2011


If there's a CPC majority, which looks likely, there are likely to be a lot of CPC candidates who win with under 40% of the vote share, and quite a few with closer to 35. That means it's going to be a late night.
posted by holgate at 7:41 PM on May 2, 2011


Saskatoon is up for the NDP by about 150 votes with half the polls being in. Eeep.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:42 PM on May 2, 2011


The problem is, some of these ridings are within a couple hundred votes of each other, with less than 50% of polls returning in the riding, and the various news sites are calling them one way or the other. That's pretty ballsy.
posted by antifuse at 7:42 PM on May 2, 2011


Anyone else worried about Harper cutting loose with a Sideshow Bob type laugh during his speech tonight?
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:43 PM on May 2, 2011


fuck me. a majority? you've got to be kidding me.

now ctv has mulroney's ugly mug on being his usual smug asshole self.

i feel dirty.
posted by bumpkin at 7:43 PM on May 2, 2011


Bev Oda is re-elected? Are you shitting me Canada?

Still, the NDP are killing it.
posted by chunking express at 7:44 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I dunno if it is ballsy in terms of Cdn voting. Usually the media gets it generally right. If they're calling for a Conservative majority I'd say that's what we're in for, sadly. I'm pretty sure my riding will go Liberal, unless a bunch of fuckwits voted NDP here, even though the NDP wouldn't have stood a chance in my riding.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:44 PM on May 2, 2011


Looks like Ken Dryden and Rob Oliphant are trailing too. You're getting rid of all my favourites, Ontario.
posted by Dismantled King at 7:44 PM on May 2, 2011


I can't decide between drinking in despondency, or drinking in celebration.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:44 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can't even get excited over that triple-digit NDP number (104 right now) because of that CON number at 162. Dear god, my biggest fear: Ontario vote-split under the NDP surge and now the Tories sweep it. I'm so praying right now some of those close ridings don't go blue.
posted by flex at 7:45 PM on May 2, 2011


Ok, so in Ontario, specifically Toronto, there are a bunch of ridings where the Tories got a plurality and the NDP plus Liberal vote makes a majority.

And a bunch of ridings where the NDP won a plurality or majority outroght, and a very few where the Grits sdid.

So assuming the re-alignment holds and the Liberals fade away, all those Tory plurality but not majority ridings are at risk to switch hands to the NDP.
posted by orthogonality at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2011


I am a teetotaller and have already gone out for consolation ice cream once this evening. What to do :(
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2011


Just announced majority. I'm sick to my stomach.
posted by purephase at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2011


Ontario. How could you.
posted by Cuke at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


antifuse writes "The problem is, some of these ridings are within a couple hundred votes of each other, with less than 50% of polls returning in the riding, and the various news sites are calling them one way or the other. That's pretty ballsy."

Historical and polling information on a per polling station basis could lend a lot of confidence.
posted by Mitheral at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2011


can any mefites give me refuge in montreal?
posted by PinkMoose at 7:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


> So assuming the re-alignment holds and the Liberals fade away, all those Tory plurality but not majority ridings are at risk to switch hands to the NDP.

Assuming the grits collapse, I suspect a big chunk of them will go CPC.
posted by Decimask at 7:47 PM on May 2, 2011


Bev Oda is re-elected?

The returning officer just needs to add a "not" to the returns. Oh, that would be scandalous, wouldn't it?
posted by holgate at 7:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, at least Ontario conservatives tend to be fiscal conservatives not ZOMGABORTIONWRONGGAYZWRONG types like we have out west. Might keep things tempered a little bit. I hope. Hope hope hope.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:48 PM on May 2, 2011


Oh, goody. Jim "Put the Homeless in Jail" Flaherty is back in.

Thanks, Whitby. Assholes.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's absolutely what happened. Most of southern Ontario has vote-split with 35% for the CPC enough to take the plurality, just. Even a point either way would throw many the ridings orange or red.

Harper will take this as a resounding victory, but the win is very much one of circumstance. The NDP peak came maybe even a day too late.
posted by bonehead at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011


So, for years of I voted NDP/Green and railed against strategic voting. I thought keeping a strong left wing was more important than getting the Libs a majority. Even when Harper got in, I stuck by my principles.

This year, I'd had enough. I held my nose, and went in for early voting and went Liberal. I decided the focus this year had to be keeping the Cons out of a majority.

*NOW* YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PUSH NDP? GOD DAMN IT.
posted by auto-correct at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


May got in!
posted by Hoopo at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like Liberal vote in BC has collapsed badly, at least in many ridings - result of strategic voting and familiarity with NDP I imagine.
posted by Rumple at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011


Might keep things tempered a little bit

That might be the case in a caucus where MPs are allowed to vote based on their conscience or beliefs.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Salmonberry, need silver linings here so we'll keep everything crossed. As an Ontarian, I apologize. I voted NDP though.
posted by purephase at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2011


Amazing how the Liberal party has completely self-destructed over the last 5-7 years, and the BQ seemingly over the last two weeks. I never thought we'd see another Conservative majority, not with the Bloc at 30-50 seats and not with Ontario historically being a Liberal province. So we have the NDP stealing seats from Quebec, and Liberal voters fearing an NDP minority/coalition more than a Conservative majority. Who would have thunk it? It will take a long time for the Liberals to recover from this, and it'll take more than Justin Trudeau I think (hope). My bet tonight, is that the Conservatives own the next 10 years (albeit with a minority next time, when Bloc voters come to their senses and abandon the NDP) before the Liberals can regroup, raise money, and draw anything close to the kind of talent they used to. I have a feeling the Toronto law offices are taking a very hard look at their letterhead right about now.
posted by loquax at 7:50 PM on May 2, 2011


Polls are coming in and I am very upset to discover that in fact, people did vote NDP, giving the frat-boy Conservative enough of a lead to win this riding. WTF people.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:50 PM on May 2, 2011


One poll is reported in at May's riding. I don't think they can declare it yet.
posted by kanata at 7:51 PM on May 2, 2011


May got in!

Only one poll has reported so far.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:51 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC just called it: Harper majority.
Harper majority.
posted by Flashman at 7:52 PM on May 2, 2011


s/Canada/America, Jr./
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:52 PM on May 2, 2011


Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:52 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Peter Mansbridge just said that the next election won't be until 2015. FOUR MORE YEARS.

Gawd...I'll apologize for Alberta in advance :S
posted by Calzephyr at 7:52 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


How the hell are we doing this again.
posted by olya at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


My household voted NDP... always knew the con would win in our riding(Ontario). The Growlers are keeping fingers crossed for con minority with Jack having all the power please.
posted by mrgroweler at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2011


fuck
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2011


You know, it's not just vote-splitting. The Conservatives got 40% of the vote. That's quite high.

Fuckers.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry my friendly neighbors to the North...
posted by handbanana at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


We've been Harpwinned.
posted by Decimask at 7:54 PM on May 2, 2011


In contrast to the 308 prediction the CPC candidate Cathy McLeod is running away with it here with 56%. Not good news at all.
posted by Mitheral at 7:54 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC: Con 165 - NDP 105. Harper majority.

...time to get drunk. Who's with me?

May: Don't worry, the Jager Bombs and Slippery Nipples are on me.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 7:54 PM on May 2, 2011


CBC: what does a Conservative government mean?

Unspoken answer: Less funding for the CBC.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:54 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


And so my currently perfect record of never having voted for the winner in my riding continues (of course, Calgary Centre so there's that). Given what a bunch of vicious dumbasses the CPC party has shown themselves over their past two minorities, I'm not looking forward to the next 4 - 5 years.

The silver linings: 1) a broad, Canada-wide base for the NDP; 2) and, keeping fingers crossed, the first Green MP.

Now. Where's the scotch?
posted by bumpkin at 7:55 PM on May 2, 2011


And you guys need to wait till 2014?
that does suck
posted by handbanana at 7:56 PM on May 2, 2011


Only one poll has reported so far.

Oh. Sorry, looking hard for a silver lining here. I just saw the green box go to 1 from across the room and felt slightly less sad.
posted by Hoopo at 7:56 PM on May 2, 2011


Our riding is definitely blue because of the NDP vote-splitting. It was well within reach a couple weeks ago and also the riding next door. I'm looking at the poll numbers available right now so far and the margin between the Tory leads and the Liberals trailing is entirely explained by the NDP percentage jumps (with no chance of the NDP candidates winning, but enough to bleed off those left votes).
posted by flex at 7:56 PM on May 2, 2011


.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


egads
posted by captaincrouton at 7:57 PM on May 2, 2011


You know, it's not just vote-splitting

It's frightened, elderly Liberal voters. They were convinced they had to vote blue to keep the hippies out. That's what happened.

Of course, many of these flipping voters might not be alive and healthy today if it weren't for the sort of social programs they would never, ever vote for.

It's weird.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Any news about the actual number of people voting? Or too soon for that?
posted by kanata at 7:58 PM on May 2, 2011


It is telling though. While the sponsorship scandal was successful in unseating the Liberals, Harper can get away with damn near murder and Canadians just don't care. Collectively, we need to figure out the answer to that question.

I'm so dismayed with my fellow Canadians. The world is mocking us right now.
posted by purephase at 7:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


In Simcoe-Grey, one half of everyone's power couple, H. Guergis, got her ass kicked. By her no-name yellow-box CPC opponent, which was no surprise to anyone, but nice to see somethings still have consequences.
posted by bonehead at 7:59 PM on May 2, 2011


So despite the dozens of Metafilter posts explaining how Stephen Harper's Conservatives were evil and incompetent in government, campaigning poorly in the election and were loathed by everyone in Canada who just couldn't wait to see the back of them, when the matter is put to the Canadian people they actually come out with an increased vote and a working majority?

Strange how there are right wing governments in France, Britain and Germany too. It's almost as if the voters don't read this website or something. Don't the people know they voted for the wrong party? Presumably there will now be a wave of Canadians fleeing south across the border, personally I blame Fox News and possibly Sarah Palin.
posted by joannemullen at 7:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Conservatives got 40% of the vote. That's quite high.

The splits in southern Ontario are depressing. I'd like to see turnout numbers, but I'm more inclined to agree with tapesonthefloor now than bonehead.
posted by holgate at 8:01 PM on May 2, 2011


Pleasure in NDP rise is tempered by realizing they were the beneficiaries of the dishonourable CPC attack ads on Ignatieff.
posted by Rumple at 8:02 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So despite the dozens of Metafilter posts explaining how Stephen Harper's Conservatives were evil and incompetent in government, campaigning poorly in the election and were loathed by everyone in Canada who just couldn't wait to see the back of them

Only the first part of that is right. And it wasn't incompetence, it was contempt. It's hard not to see that they campaigned very effectively in key ridings but they did it using tactics Canadians don't like.
posted by Hoopo at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011


Everytime the Liberals do shitty people complain about vote splitting. A lot of Liberal voters defected to the Conservatives, looking at how Ontario looks to have gone. I blame old people.
posted by chunking express at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


joannemullen writes "Presumably there will now be a wave of Canadians fleeing south across the border,"

Remember that as much as we bitch about the conservatives they are still at worst some where left of even the Democrats (in aggregate) in the US. There isn't going to be anyone fleeing Canadaa for the US because of this election. There isn't any significant presence of a tea party like right in Canada.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


joannemullen, 60% of the vote went to other parties. The vote is too split on the left.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011


L'argent et le vote ethnique, joannemullen, l'argent et le vote ethnique.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


So despite the dozens of Metafilter posts explaining how Stephen Harper's Conservatives were evil and incompetent in government, campaigning poorly in the election and were loathed by everyone in Canada who just couldn't wait to see the back of them, when the matter is put to the Canadian people they actually come out with an increased vote and a working majority?

I remember being puzzled at the results coming in, the second time GWB was elected. I was so shocked, so surprised reading the online papers, and reading the surprised comments here on MetaFilter.

And here I am, tonight, feeling the same about the electoral results in my own country. I was so sure that Harper's party would be less of a minority - and did not expect his party to gain more of a majority. I am surprised, and saddened, at our electoral results.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:05 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


God help us all.
posted by emeiji at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2011


Anyone who starts whining about the CPC majority and then turns out to not believe in strategic voting will be slapped about. That's all I'm saying....who am I kidding, I'll be saying a lot more.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pleasure in NDP rise is tempered by realizing they were the beneficiaries of the dishonourable CPC attack ads on Ignatieff.

Not to mention that Layton and the NDP instantly become totally irrelevant as official opposition under a majority. At least before he was kinda sorta a kingmaker, and the party could cajole the minority conservatives into throwing scraps their way.
posted by loquax at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2011


Well, I'm gonna join my honourable Mefite colleagues and great really drunk tonight. See you all on the other side!
posted by Kevin Street at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2011


Apparently Conrad Black agrees with me about Canada moving to a two party system. Ewww?
posted by thecjm at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2011


Globe and Mail has the Bloc and Liberals combining to lose 86 seats. Don;t think there was anyone predicting that.
posted by Mitheral at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2011


What is with the results on Ontario? Are right-leaning Liberals that scared of the NDP that they went blue? It's freaking me out to see so much blue on CBC's Ontario map.
posted by tksh at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2011


I can't even get drunk tonight, I've got interviews tomorrow. This is terrible.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2011


I knew something was up when a 24 yr old coworker was lauding Harper at lunch today, describing him as "cute".

I didn't know where to start puking.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:09 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Bob Rae has any regrets jumping from NDP to Libs? Heh.
posted by Rumple at 8:09 PM on May 2, 2011


I got furious at Layton last week when I read this: Layton scoffs at strategic voting: ‘What sense would that make?’

I kept saying "THAT IS SO FUCKING IRRESPONSIBLE OF HIM TO SAY THAT". And here we are. I want to be happy for the NDP, but what good does it do with a Tory majority?
posted by flex at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2011


Currently elected according to cbc.ca/canadavotes:

______CPC_NDP_LIB_BQ_GRN
ELECT_138__80__23__0__0
LEAD___29__25__10__2__1
posted by Decimask at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2011


Fuck you, Canada.

Present company excepted. You know, and my mom. I apologize, but I am angry and very sad. Again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


If the NDP got Quebec, which is somewhere the Conservatives have wanted to get into for years, I wonder if the Cons will try to do something to appeal to Quebeckers, or just ignore them in order to destroy NDP support? At least you knew the BQ wouldn't spread outside the province and become a national threat.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2011


Salmonberry: I haven't seen the numbers for all the ridings in detail (obviously), but how the hell could strategic voting have predicted results like these? What would strategic voting have entailed?
posted by ODiV at 8:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goddammit. Grar.
posted by aramaic at 8:11 PM on May 2, 2011


@flex - considering the NDP got way more seats than the Liberals, then wouldn't it make more sense for the Liberal voters to strategically vote NDP? I mean polls last week were calling for the NDP in the lad over the Liberals.
posted by LukeyBoy at 8:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


In fairness, as leader of a third party which is about to become a major party, Layton really couldn't back strategic voting; it's tantamount to shivving half his candidates when they finally have the main chance.
posted by orthogonality at 8:12 PM on May 2, 2011


Oh, Olivia Chow. A political animal like no other. It's nice to see her happy (because I'm on her side).
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:12 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ignatieff's up now. Should be interesting. Almost feel bad for the guy.
posted by bumpkin at 8:13 PM on May 2, 2011


I'm holding out hope for my riding at least. Too close to call and not enough polls in. And for May. Some light out of this majority. Something. Anything.
posted by kanata at 8:14 PM on May 2, 2011


Almost feel bad for the guy.

Almost.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:14 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


ODiV: it would've entailed knowing that voting either one way or another would combine forces and not split in favour of the Conservatives. Look at the vote in Iggy's riding - 55% voting either Liberal or NDP and split34/21, giving the Conservative the seat with 39% of the vote.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:15 PM on May 2, 2011


I feel bad for Ignatieff - he got savaged by dishonourable dogs and deserved much better.

Probably a humane thing if he loses his seat though.
posted by Rumple at 8:15 PM on May 2, 2011


What is with the results on Ontario? Are right-leaning Liberals that scared of the NDP that they went blue? It's freaking me out to see so much blue on CBC's Ontario map.
It's called vote splitting. Why do people wait until after an election to bother to learn how election math works? Clearly Canada got the terrible government that it deserves.

Anyway, NDP advocates were more interested in growing the party than actually taking action against Harper. Pretty selfish and ignorant, if you ask me.

It makes me wonder how bad Harper would have to be to get people to give up their party allegiances for once. I guess we'll find out in 5 years.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 8:15 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's starting to look like May is going to win her seat. That's good!
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2011


Oh, you guys. America self-destructed so I moved back to Canada. Now I have nowhere left to go. What are we going to do?
posted by ilana at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2011


Well, the one bright light here is that Elizabeth May is going to defeat that schmuck Gary Lunn.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Iggy looks worse than Chretien did the day before Referendum Night.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2011


joannemullen: "So despite the dozens of Metafilter posts explaining how Stephen Harper's Conservatives were evil and incompetent in government, campaigning poorly in the election and were loathed by everyone in Canada who just couldn't wait to see the back of them, when the matter is put to the Canadian people they actually come out with an increased vote and a working majority?

Strange how there are right wing governments in France, Britain and Germany too. It's almost as if the voters don't read this website or something. Don't the people know they voted for the wrong party? Presumably there will now be a wave of Canadians fleeing south across the border, personally I blame Fox News and possibly Sarah Palin
"

Seeing you in another recent political thread, and now this, I went to your profile... Reading your profile, I have only one thing to say to you:

"BOLLOCKS" ;) (no, but seriously. bullocks)
posted by symbioid at 8:17 PM on May 2, 2011


Not in a bunch of Ontario ridings - there were a good handful of very close ones where the NDP had no chance of winning, even under an orange wave, but the Liberals were neck-and-neck with the Tories. My riding was so close and the riding next door SUPER close.

It's not about the national numbers - it's riding by riding. I've had this problem every time I've explained how crucial it was to vote strategically here - people don't realize how it works. I'm not saying it's RIGHT it works this way, just that it DOES work this way, and don't think Harper didn't know it and exploit the fuck out of it.
posted by flex at 8:17 PM on May 2, 2011


Looking closely at a number of the Ontario seats, vote-splitting is certainly the cause of a lot of Blue ridings. There's one where Libs got 30%, NDP got 30% but the Conservative gets in with 35%.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, NDP advocates were more interested in growing the party than actually taking action against Harper. Pretty selfish and ignorant, if you ask me.

Sensible long-term plan. Give Harper four more years in exchange for extinguishing the Libs, then take over in 2014.
posted by orthogonality at 8:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Salmonberry: Right, but my question is how do you know whether it's "one way or another"? Do you go with the results of the previous election, the most recent polls, what your friends are saying?

Not in a bunch of Ontario ridings - there were a good handful of very close ones where the NDP had no chance of winning, even under an orange wave, but the Liberals were neck-and-neck with the Tories. My riding was so close and the riding next door SUPER close.

And how do you know this ahead of time with any accuracy?
posted by ODiV at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2011


I continue to be astounded at how little coverage this is getting in the US media, even outlets like the New York Times.
posted by Bwithh at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well Canada, I hope you really didn't want another election. You're not gonna have another for a long time. Enjoy.

These grapes are sour.

Anyway, NDP advocates were more interested in growing the party than actually taking action against Harper. Pretty selfish and ignorant, if you ask me.

Oh, bullshit. You think people voting NDP aren't interested in doing something about Harper? If you want to talk about vote splitting and strategic voting, the only strategy that works is favoring the party poised to get the most seats. This time that's the NDP, not the Liberals. Do the "election math."
posted by Hoopo at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe Rob Ford is our future.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2011


I continue to be astounded at how little coverage this is getting in the US media, even outlets like the New York Times.
even in the NYT's "Global" edition!
posted by Bwithh at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2011


Aw fuck.

A coworker and I were bullshitting about creating an artificial even more "right" party than the fucking Conservatives to try to split the conservative vote... but we just couldn't wrap our heads around on how to actually appeal to the "Reform Party" crowd. It simply made us feel guilty, dirty, and shameful.

Here's hoping that the legal system and standing government watchdogs can still do their thing before being depopulated and replaced with even more cronies and yes-entities.

Fuck.
posted by porpoise at 8:20 PM on May 2, 2011


Bring back the Western Canada Concept!
posted by bonehead at 8:21 PM on May 2, 2011


> I continue to be astounded at how little coverage this is getting in the US media, even outlets like the New York Times.

Dude.

They killed Osama.
posted by Decimask at 8:21 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, Duceppe must feel horrible right now.

47 down to 3. The Liberals are only dropping 77 to ~34.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 8:21 PM on May 2, 2011


Ignatieff looks rough. I guess he couldn't get those damn Conservative attack ads out of Canadians's minds.. mainly the "refusal to take tax hike off the table" quote they decided to tack onto the end of every single ad they put out there.

Despicable.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 8:22 PM on May 2, 2011


ODiV: by knowing where you live. I know my neighbourhood and riding, this isn't NDP-majority land. Most of us instinctively know which way we'll go by history and demographics. You can generally guess who'll end up third & opt to go for the better chance.

Layton's increase in seats means an increase in party funding, which is likely what they were after more than anything, but to be the official opposition of a majority government is to be as effective as a bandaid on a gunshot wound.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:22 PM on May 2, 2011


It's crazy to see the BQ just get destroyed by the NDP, I didn't expect that at all. Hopefully the NDP can build on this in the next election, but that seems like it will be a long ways away.
posted by Harpocrates at 8:22 PM on May 2, 2011


I blame Albertans, voting like mindless sheep. The province was born on third base in terms of natural resources and wealth and thinks it hit a triple, and what's more, everyone else could hit one too.

Well, fuck you Alberta.
posted by Rumple at 8:23 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Based on 2008 election numbers, current projections, and polling. Again, my riding went blue by a little over 300 votes last election, and the riding next door by 17 votes. The Liberals - both strong, well-liked, multiple-term MPs that went out last election based on Liberal apathy and lack of turnout over Dion - were poised to take them back (in close, but very possible races) until a couple weeks ago. NDP votes in my riding are steady at about ~15% every election. This election they got a good bit over 20%, and the Liberal dropped correspondingly.
posted by flex at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2011


i_have_a_computer: "It makes me wonder how bad Harper would have to be to get people to give up their party allegiances for once. I guess we'll find out in 5 years"

Umm... Isn't that kinda what happened? Lots of former Libs went either NDP or Tory? (left leaning to lib, right leaning to tory?) And how do you expect ANY real opposition away from one direction if one doesn't build a force to counter a force. Why are you blaming Libs for being unable to retain their strength (i.e. if they were strong enough and their message good enough, they should have retained their position), but instead, you blame one side for not sticking with them (christ, why do I feel we need a Canadian Joe Beese in here?)
posted by symbioid at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, I take that personal-like.
posted by mazola at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems like every media outlet in the US is hyper focused on the Osama assassination right now... even my local news has literally had no other coverage all night. However, if the conservative government triumphs in Canada, I'm sure our right-wing gasbags will find some reason to publicize it as some sort of evidence of our own inherent conservatism.

Yall's election system seems even more screwed than ours, to be honest, from reading this thread. But I guess our system of government is worse. Is Canada truly resigned to five years of Harper? Are there no other mechanisms for a new election?

I can see Canada from my apartment!
posted by ofthestrait at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2011


It's called vote splitting. Why do people wait until after an election to bother to learn how election math works? Clearly Canada got the terrible government that it deserves.

For the record, I do know that's because of vote splitting and voted strategically in my voting — I am just shocked that it worked so well this time in (southern) Ontario. Was it because of the spectre of the NDP? Was it because of some blue = economy = appreciating house prices?
posted by tksh at 8:25 PM on May 2, 2011


I blame Albertans, voting like mindless sheep.

Or possibly people who disagree with you.
posted by Dasein at 8:25 PM on May 2, 2011


I wonder if the Cons will try to do something to appeal to Quebeckers

Convict Black already signalled the spin: the NDP's parliamentary party will be both significantly more francophone/Quebecois than ever before, which will change the party, and make the anglophone wing indebted to them.

I suppose what irritates me most about the CPC is that they wrap their contempt of parliament and political institutions in sanctimony. At least Berlusconi and his cronies don't act like they're on the moral high ground.
posted by holgate at 8:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Or possibly people who disagree with you.

Oh, definitely people who disagree with me.
posted by Rumple at 8:26 PM on May 2, 2011


Ignatieff says he will stay on as Liberal leader to help rebuild the party, as long as the party will have him.

Nice speech, frankly. Humble, sad, but kind of consoling.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:27 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hopefully the NDP can build on this in the next election, but that seems like it will be a long ways away.

I say it here, I say it now -- any talk that this represents the death of the sovereignty movement is hopelessly wrong.

As much as I'm glad to see it, the NDP's success is only a second 'beau risque'. It's far from permanent.

However, tonight's success gives them a much better soapbox, and places them in far more esteem and 'legitimacy' than they've ever had. And that's well-deserved by now.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:27 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I continue to be astounded at how little coverage this is getting in the US media, even outlets like the New York Times.

Dude.

They killed Osama.


True, but even long before the OBL operation yesterday, the NYT's coverage of the announcement of the Canadian election date was, like, 3 or 4 paragraphs excerpted from an AP wire story.
posted by Bwithh at 8:27 PM on May 2, 2011


Ignatieff says he will stay on as Liberal leader to help rebuild the party, as long as the party will have him.

But it looks like he will not get elected in his riding!
posted by binturong at 8:29 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The great thing about the NDP win in Quebec, is that Quebec is saying they want back in. The BQ vote is down by more than half of last time and their leader is unelected. A CPC majority is one thing, but the change in Quebec is something that I've been waiting for since 1984. It's great to see them wanting to take part the country again, instead of standing apart in protest.
posted by bonehead at 8:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, mindless sheep is not terribly off (even though I'm convinced that next time around, some parts of Alberta will surprise). I have a dog named Zsuzsa. Chatting with a nice, intelligent neighbour at a dog park, I spelled out her name and joked that Ignatieff's wife was named after my dog. To which my neighbour replied: "who?". Since I am one of those low-lifes who recycles jokes, this happened not just once but *three* times!

Yes, it was a year ago, but for many folks I talk to on a daily basis, its as if politics doesn't exist, except insofar as you're supposed to dutifully go to the polls and mark off whatever potted plant is standing in for the Conservative party.
posted by bumpkin at 8:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not a violent man, but -- a smiling Jason Kenney?

God help me when Baird comes on.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:31 PM on May 2, 2011


Is it just me or did Ignatieff deliver that story about going with Zsuzsanna to the park as if he were telling a story about the time he put his kid's dog down?
posted by Kattullus at 8:31 PM on May 2, 2011


It was a pretty sad story. Good speech though. He got the tar kicked-out of him this election and you can't help but feel a bit sorry for him.
posted by purephase at 8:33 PM on May 2, 2011


bumpkin: I have a dog named Zsuzsa. Chatting with a nice, intelligent neighbour at a dog park, I spelled out her name and joked that Ignatieff's wife was named after my dog. To which my neighbour replied: "who?". Since I am one of those low-lifes who recycles jokes, this happened not just once but *three* times!

Heh, I should've previewed... now my last comment has *all* kinds of connotations I didn't intend.
posted by Kattullus at 8:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know my neighbourhood and riding, this isn't NDP-majority land. Most of us instinctively know which way we'll go by history and demographics. You can generally guess who'll end up third & opt to go for the better chance.

Yeah, I guess I'm surprised by the results of too many districts this go around to say I knew which way anything was going to go.

I'm still a bit scared that my district (incumbent NDP) has a shot of going Conservative because of vote splitting. We'll see how it pans out, but it was pretty damn close last election and the Liberal candidate was nowhere near this strong.
posted by ODiV at 8:33 PM on May 2, 2011


Good Lord, Jason Kenney is the bottom of the barrel.
posted by Rumple at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


4 reasons why all may not be lost:

1. The large contingent from Ontario, BC and cities could turn the Conservative Party back into the Progressive Conservative Party and not the Reform/Canadian Alliance Light they've been so far under Harper. Fiscally conservative but not bad socially. Kind of like the Mulroney years. We can live with that.

2. Not having to vote with the Conservatives to keep them in power will let the Liberals define themselves on their own terms. A lot of good candidates lost this time around (Gerard Kennedy? This man should have been PM in 2006 and now it comes to this), and if they were to find a real message besides "vote for middle-of-the-road government" and actually campaign the next time around they should be able to make a comeback.

3. Jack Layton has 4 years to audition for the role of Prime Minister. If he can stay the person he's been during the campaign he should be able to win over some of the traditional Liberal voters who were afraid of the socialists and went to the Cons instead of staying on a sinking ship.

4. Quebec may finally be a part of government again. Sure, they've for the most part traded one opposition party for another, it's a step in the right direction.

Still can't believe the Cons won my riding. I could blame the split, but really I think the incumbent figured she would walk it and figured wrong, which was the story of pretty much every Liberal seat in the GTA.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


As much as I'm glad to see it, the NDP's success is only a second 'beau risque'.

I agree that it's temporary, provisional, and possibly even mostly emotional. However, it's the first change we've seen in the Pequiste bloc in a generation. We seem to get this chance one every generation or so. I just hope Canada doesn't blow it again, like we did in the late sixties and the mid eighties.
posted by bonehead at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2011


I was just depressed until Jason Kenney started talking about "voting your values"... now I really want to throw up.

I hope Iggy sticks around, even if not as leader.
posted by bread-eater at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is telling though. While the sponsorship scandal was successful in unseating the Liberals, Harper can get away with damn near murder and Canadians just don't care. Collectively, we need to figure out the answer to that question.

I'm not Canadian, but grew up close enough to the border to be exposed to enough French broadcasting, and I think that the Liberal party was a victim of its own success. The party has been so dominate in Canada for so long, that I got the sense in 2006 that Canadians had gotten sick of the party always being in power.

Wikipedia says The Liberal Party has dominated federal politics for much of Canada's history, holding power for almost 69 years in the 20th century, more than any other party in a developed country. The sponsorship scandal was just the excuse Canadians used. I think maybe Canadians are just think the Liberals have had more than there fair share of power and should stop existing.
posted by riruro at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2011


oh wait, I found the NYT coverage. if you leave the front page and click through to the World News section page and then scroll ~70% of the way down that webpage, it's top story in the "Other World News" subsection. Looks like they haven't copied and pasted it properly yet though because the article seems to ends in mid sentence
posted by Bwithh at 8:35 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok ok ok...here's what can happen. So, the con party whip is napping and there are less than 155 of them hanging out and then suddenly WHAMMO confidence vote and down it goes! Right? Could happen, right? Maybe?
posted by Salmonberry at 8:36 PM on May 2, 2011


Ignatieff says he will stay on as Liberal leader to help rebuild the party, as long as the party will have him.

But it looks like he will not get elected in his riding!


Ignatieff can get re-elected in a by-election in a sure-thing riding. I have no idea what riding that would be - somewhere in NFLD? (Mulroney was leader of the Tories for two months before a by-election in NS that finally put him in Parliament). But I think most party members would expect him to step down and have someone new re-invigorate the party. In a time of transition, it would be better for the party to have some time to re-group itself before electing a new leader.
posted by saucysault at 8:37 PM on May 2, 2011


This election was a pretty big win for Federalism. So it's not the end of the world.

People whining about strategic voting: clearly the strategic thing to do would have been to vote for the NDP, not that tired old-ass busted rudderless party. It looks like Toronto's Conservative wins are tight 3-way races. I don't think you can say the same for much of the 905, 613, or 519. That looks to be lots of the Liberals fucking up.
posted by chunking express at 8:37 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


The great thing about the NDP win in Quebec, is that Quebec is saying they want back in. The BQ vote is down by more than half of last time and their leader is unelected. A CPC majority is one thing, but the change in Quebec is something that I've been waiting for since 1984. It's great to see them wanting to take part the country again, instead of standing apart in protest.

This was still a protest vote, the PQ will demolish the Liberals provincially this year. If they wanted to participate, they should have elected more members of the government. If you assume (as I do) that the NDP will never be able to form a government in Canada, Quebeckers that want to vote for a federalist party must back the winners, or suffer from being marginalized. They can kiss any kind of distinct society talk goodbye for 5 years now. Harper patronized them when he wanted their vote - he didn't get it and they actively voted against the government. Big mistake in our screwed up federal system. For an example of a province that gets it right and votes for the winner, see Ontario.
posted by loquax at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2011


I am sure the blonde woman who just walked behind Rae, talking on her cell phone, looking at the camera and giggling is listening to someone say, "I can TOTALLY see you on CBC right now."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


CPC elected in 148, leading in 19.

Unless the other parties manage to OM NOM NOM 12 of those in the home stretch, this one is over.
posted by Decimask at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2011


It does indeed look like we have our first Green MP too. Those first poll percentages haven't budged.
posted by bonehead at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2011



I was just depressed until Jason Kenney started talking about "voting your values"... now I really want to throw up.


Yeah...and how he said the values of New Canadians are Conservative values...ugh...
posted by Calzephyr at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, Iggy will need to step down while the Liberals are too weak to be focused on Parliament. It will give them some time to take a look at where to go from here.

At least Layton should be interesting in Parliament as leader of the official opposition. He and Harper are so different it'll make for a crazy dynamic.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:40 PM on May 2, 2011


13. I meant 13. Numbers changed while I was typing, and I only corrected one of them.

Even if they somehow managed it, these results would still be so strong that current CPC leadership would probably stay in place.
posted by Decimask at 8:40 PM on May 2, 2011


HOLY SHIT JULIAN FANTINO RAN AND WON FOR OFFICE. (See Vaughan riding)

If you were a queer person and lived in London, ON during the 90s (or Toronto in the early 2000s), you know what I'm talking about. Gah.

(p.s. Thanks, London, for disappointing this hometown boy again)
posted by LMGM at 8:43 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bob Rae putting the screws to archrival Iggy -- it's like the climax of Frank Norris' McTeague.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:43 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


METAFILTER: It's almost as if the voters don't read this website or something.
posted by philip-random at 8:44 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. The large contingent from Ontario, BC and cities could turn the Conservative Party back into the Progressive Conservative Party and not the Reform/Canadian Alliance Light they've been so far under Harper. Fiscally conservative but not bad socially. Kind of like the Mulroney years. We can live with that.

This is interesting. I hadn't considered this as part of the CPC outcome so maybe we are not in such dire straights? I guess it depends on how the party votes.
posted by purephase at 8:45 PM on May 2, 2011


HOLY SHIT JULIAN FANTINO RAN AND WON FOR OFFICE

He was parachuted in earlier, of course. What I don't get is that for people like him, they can't stay retired. There's something in them which absolutely compels them to think that we can't live without them.

And tonight he's validated. Good Lord. He's triple-dipping already.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:46 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I doubt it. Aren't most of the Ontario & BC people newcomers? PCs are dead and gone.
posted by Decimask at 8:47 PM on May 2, 2011


Gotta say, Duceppe's kiss to Yolande was far more convincing than Iggy's to Zsuzsanna.
posted by bumpkin at 8:47 PM on May 2, 2011


Wow, is he drunk?
posted by bumpkin at 8:48 PM on May 2, 2011


Wow, is he drunk?

He better be. The rest of us are.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 8:50 PM on May 2, 2011


WOE IS US.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:51 PM on May 2, 2011


Anyone blaming the NDP for the Conservative majority truly fails to grasp what voting is about. Voting is about voting for the Party, the leader, and the candidate who best reflects your wishes. Politics is about strategic platforms, and jockeying for position, and doing whatever it takes to win. This is what the Liberals and the Conservatives do, and what the NDP won't. The NDP made the gains that tey did tonight because of their platform and principles which haven't changed since the days of the CCF. If you are progressive politically, and support women's rights, universal health care, a social safety net, free speech, environmental responsibility, corporate accountability, and net neutrality, among other things, then you vote NDP, not Liberal.

Jack Layton and the NDP is the best option for most Canadians, and Quebecers finally realized this. The inability of the NDP to be taken seriously as a party in Quebec was the final barrier to acceptance as a truly national party. Those days are over. The Liberal whiners need to recognize that their day is done, and an argument can be made that the Liberal votes were the wasted votes in this election.

This NDP breakthrough in Quebec is a pivotal moment in Canadian history. Now is the time for progressives to get behind the NDP, and support the best leader in Canadian politics, not whine about how "The Natural Governing Party" would still be running the country if it weren't for those pesky NDPers, what with their principles, and all. The Liberals had the opportunity to run this country for the last 100 years, and to earn the trust of the voters. That they are essentially indistinguishable from the Conservatives except at election time is their own fault. It was their policies which killed them, not vote-splitting. Good riddance.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:51 PM on May 2, 2011 [18 favorites]


For strategic voting, my riding was supposed to be a safe Liberal seat where such concerns were unnecessary, according to the project democracy website. Last I looked the Liberal was running in third place with the NDP leading by a slight margin. Cynical strategic voting for my riding might have demanded voting Conservative. The CPC candidate here is the journalist linked during the election to past support for the Tamil Tigers. Harper would probably be glad to see him defeated.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:51 PM on May 2, 2011


CTV cut out as Duceppe announced that he was leaving! What the hell?
posted by purephase at 8:51 PM on May 2, 2011


Duceppe! Momma No!
posted by chunking express at 8:51 PM on May 2, 2011


Congratulations Canada, you're that much closer to becoming the United States of America.

You fucking mushheads.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:52 PM on May 2, 2011


Duceppe putting the inevitable pressure on the NDP to pander to Quebec, which they will have a hard time resisting...
posted by Rumple at 8:52 PM on May 2, 2011


Wow. BQ down to one elected one leading and Duceppe is gone. One more party on the trash heap. Even if the Bloc comes back next election, it will be a completely different animal.
posted by bonehead at 8:52 PM on May 2, 2011


God, I hate the 905.
posted by purephase at 8:54 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


PareidoliaticBoy : I don't blame the NDP or the Liberals per se, but I do think that had they chosen to work together to defeat the Conservatives it may have worked (it could've been done all quiet & backroom-like).

I think an NDP-Liberal coalition government would've seen a lot more NDP policy put into place than being the official opposition of a Conservative majority, where zero NDP policy will get put into place.

Voting strategically is very much about trying to get the policies you believe in put into action.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


God, I hate the 905.

Hey! My 905 includes Hamilton, that island of orange in a sea of blue.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


God I hope Hedy Fry gets booted.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Iggy is out, the Liberal leadership race will be interesting. With Dryden and Kennedy losing their respective ridings they're down to Rae unless some mid-term elections save them. I really feel for Kennedy, he should find a different riding with a narrow Conservative majority and run there.
posted by purephase at 8:57 PM on May 2, 2011


This NDP breakthrough in Quebec is a pivotal moment in Canadian history. Now is the time for progressives to get behind the NDP, and support the best leader in Canadian politics, not whine about how "The Natural Governing Party" would still be running the country if it weren't for those pesky NDPers, what with their principles, and all.

Looking forward to the formation of the LDP (Liberal Democrat Party). I vote for them all the time anyway.
posted by philip-random at 8:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be so awesome if Randall Garrison kicks Troy de Souza's ass.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:58 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


we have met the enemy and he is us
posted by neuromodulator at 8:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rumple: I blame Albertans, voting like mindless sheep.

Hey now... if we'd voted like our British Columbian neighbours (22 Cons of 35 seats), that would've delivered only 17 Harperrhoids instead of the 27 we got. Still a Conservative majority.
posted by hangashore at 8:59 PM on May 2, 2011


They called May as elected :)
posted by kanata at 8:59 PM on May 2, 2011


I don't blame the NDP or the Liberals per se...

We could all agree to blame the system. It's a really bad system.

@torontoist: FUN FACT: Every GTA seat the CONs have won or will likely win wouldn't be theirs if we had instant-runoff voting or one left-wing party.

@meslin: Dear Toronto, Conservatives won ten seats in our city, each with less than 50%. With runoff voting, they would have won one (York Centre).
posted by tapesonthefloor at 8:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I must admit, for so many ridings to be close races between the NDP and the CPC is not something I would've ever expected.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:59 PM on May 2, 2011


Look on the bright side. The Flyers lost.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:00 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by knilstad at 9:00 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, run-off would be nice. First-past-the-post is not my voting ideal.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:01 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Craig Oliver kind of took the boots to Kenney. Interesting interview.
posted by purephase at 9:02 PM on May 2, 2011


Very happy to hear May (and NOT a Conservative) will be our MP for the island my cabin is on.

This is May country, bitches!
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 9:02 PM on May 2, 2011


Green party Leader Elizabeth May elected! WHOA! What a night.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:03 PM on May 2, 2011


Oh man, I'd love instant run-off. Make it happen, people.
posted by chunking express at 9:03 PM on May 2, 2011


I am so disappointed. This is so not the country I thought it ultimately was. That at our core, we're a good people with commitment to caring for one another. That we aim for social progress. For doing the right thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Congrats for Elizabeth. Well deserved. Good on you Saanich.
posted by purephase at 9:04 PM on May 2, 2011


I am quite disappointed with my fellow Canadians. What happened, you guys?
posted by tickingclock at 9:05 PM on May 2, 2011


Alvy Ampersand writes "Congratulations Canada, you're that much closer to becoming the United States of America."

We gave a third of the votes to the NDP, we have a long way to go yet even if that was the goal.
posted by Mitheral at 9:05 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Front de Libération de l'Alberta, anyone?
posted by knilstad at 9:06 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cascadia, anyone? Eh? Huh? Eh?
posted by Salmonberry at 9:08 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I pulled Justin Trudeau form his sinking Sabot in a small gale in English Bay when he was ten years old. Nice to see him as an MP.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:09 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just got back from scrutineering for NDP and hanging out at the party for a bit. My riding (Lethbridge) went blue, of course, but NDP fully doubled our votes from last time. We're the official opposition! That's a victory, however bittersweet. More frustrating for me is that my neighbours had no problem hiring a guy who didn't show up to the job interview.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:09 PM on May 2, 2011


PareidoliaticBoy: Politics is about strategic platforms, and jockeying for position, and doing whatever it takes to win. This is what the Liberals and the Conservatives do, and what the NDP won't.

Bullshit. The NDP campaigned hard against Dion's Carbon Tax in 2008, not because it was bad policy (it would have been the single most effective way to deal with climate change), but because they knew they could use it to wedge themselves away from the liberals. Even the NDP will bargain principles for votes.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:12 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Coverage on Radio-Canada is quite frank. Strange interview between Celine Galipeau and a beaming, relieved Denis Coderre.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:12 PM on May 2, 2011


Good on you Saanich.

And don't forget the islands.
posted by holgate at 9:12 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Given that the Conservatives effectively won a majority based on the "ethnic vote" and their strategy to target those specific ridings, I guess their actual record on the subject didn't factor much into the decision to vote them in.
posted by purephase at 9:13 PM on May 2, 2011


In the next four years:

How many creepy backroom corporate deals will deplete our resources and exploit the populace?

How entrenched will newly established Sun TV's puerile rhetoric become in the selfish nationalistic society we can look forwards to?

How soon until our soldiers are fighting another foreign offense?
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:15 PM on May 2, 2011


I take it back about Troy de Souza. He's been instrumental in getting federal funding for replacing the Johnson Street Bridge (the Blue Bridge) and has worked really well with Dean Fortin, the NDP mayor of Victoria. It would be useful to have at least one Tory MP from the South Island. As it is, there is virtually no chance of solving any of the transportation issues (such as funding for light rail) if there is no CCP MP here.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:16 PM on May 2, 2011


Congrats to the Greens -- they turned their party into a machine to get Elizabeth May elected, and by golly they did it.

What now?
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:17 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


My God, all you people who are so angry with the NDP for splitting the vote; your anger is wildly misdirected. FUCK OUR VOTING SYSTEM. I'm serious. This makes no sense. People should not have their votes TAKEN AWAY by their aging conservative neighbors. Considering that the majority of Canadians voted against Harper, its about time that we have some protests to inform the masses about what a referendum for proportional representation can do. People say that Conservatives would never go for it, and so it couldn't happen, but fuck them. They may have the majority in government, but the majority of voters are against them and a referendum would be in our hands, not theirs. Can we please demand that this happens? Now that this catastrophe is on the minds of all the voters?
posted by to recite so charmingly at 9:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


Only six red ridings in Montreal! That's crazy. They couldn't get a frigging astronaut elected in Westmount!
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aah, Iggy -- you were never meant for this life. If only you and your party had realized it when the rest of us did.

'When you'll get to know him, you'll like him.' We got to know him, we didn't like him.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:18 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, Olivia Chow. A political animal like no other. It's nice to see her happy (because I'm on her side).

Bah, I was rooting for the Libertarian in that riding.

Even though I heard a rumour he's paid money for sex.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 PM on May 2, 2011


Okay Harper, here's the deal: you win this round but if you promise to get rid of the penny I won't grumble. #shinypocketchange2012
posted by furtive at 9:23 PM on May 2, 2011


Bleh, I'm mostly blissfully drunk now, but this was a weird night. The NDP score triple digit seats and become the Official Opposition for the first time. We elect the first Green Party member in North America! Federalism is hot again! And then.. a majority Tory government. It's a lot of good news dressed up in a big blue bundle of bad.

And thpppbbbbbbbt to people saying this was the NDP splitting the vote. People -- a whole lot of people -- voted with their heart. If our political system is unworkable with the majority of people voting with their heart, then there is something potentially wrong with the system.
posted by jess at 9:24 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even though I heard a rumour he's paid money for sex.

His name is Chester Brown, and he wrote the absolutely kickass Louis Riel

Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John by Chester Brown
posted by KokuRyu at 9:25 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was making a joke-type thing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:27 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


SPEECH, SPEECH!!

Yup, I'm blissfully drunk too.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 9:28 PM on May 2, 2011


The NDP didn't split the vote from below. The Liberals imploded, but not quite fast enough to prevent Harper from winning. Harper picked up 5% of the popular vote. Historically that's more than enough for a majority. If anyone split the vote it was the Liberal rump.
posted by bonehead at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


155+ elected.
posted by Decimask at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2011


I'm unblissfully undrunk.
posted by mazola at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh Jack. Your are radiantly moustached.
posted by LMGM at 9:31 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ruth Ellen Brousseau is going to Ottawa, a woman who may never have set foot in her riding and spent part of the campaign on vacation in Las Vegas because the trip was non-refundable. And she won easily, in a Francophone riding. And she apparently can't speak French all that well.

Canada, even in a time where they're turning into the US's conservative neighbor, still manages to do things Americans can never manage to do -- elect the utterly, really, truly unelectable.

Well, at least until we elect Trump in 2012.
posted by dw at 9:32 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Liberals imploded, but not quite fast enough to prevent Harper from winning.

Exactly. The NDP didn't cause the Conservative majority. The Liberals so thoroughly collapsed in upon themselves that it sucked enough votes over to the Conservatives. If the NDP didn't surge, the Conservative majority would be worse right now.
posted by purephase at 9:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


no no no, Jack. None of this "working with Harper" sillyness. Say, "As the new opposition, I will see you on the other side of the chamber, punk."
posted by LMGM at 9:33 PM on May 2, 2011


Even alcohol is no solace. Goldring (PC) won our riding again, dammit. Then the fat bastard wouldn't even give an interview to the Journal. They said something he didn't like last week and wouldn't let him publish a rebuttal, so now they're persona non grata. Wish I had yelled at him now.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:34 PM on May 2, 2011


Radio-Canada's translator for Jack has a very SEXXXAY voice. I hope he stays.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:36 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is certainly the alcohol talking now but, seriously, what the fuck. The Conservatives were held in contempt. A first in Canadian politics.

And yet, so many of my fellow Canadian asshats go and vote for these fuckers? What the fucking fuck.
posted by purephase at 9:40 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am all about voting reform. Clearly it's needed. Splitting the vote led to a Tory majority - great conditions for getting voting reform happening, huh? Idealism only gets you so far. We had a much better chance pulling out voting reform with an NDP/Liberal coalition, but hey, I'm glad you feel awesome putting down practically working towards the policies you want to see happen in favor of your shiny righteousness.
posted by flex at 9:40 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"New Canadians." I like the wording.
posted by LMGM at 9:41 PM on May 2, 2011


Sixty of the NDP's seats come from Quebec. That's bound to change the party.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:42 PM on May 2, 2011


Ruth Ellen Brousseau is an assistant manager at a Carleton University pub, and diploma in Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College in Kingston. She seems woefully under qualified to be an mp, I bet she's as surprised as anyone that she won.
posted by Harpocrates at 9:42 PM on May 2, 2011


Here's to Fortress Canada.
Here's to foreign wars.
Here's to complicity in torture.
Here's to a militarized Arctic.
Here's to deported refugees.
Here's to contempt of Parliament.
Here's to privatized health care.
Here's to more drug addicts dying on the streets of my city.
Here's to child soldiers rotting in foreign jails.
Here's to state surveillance without court oversight.
Here's to no meaningful action on climate change.
Here's to muzzled scientists.
Here's to proroguing Parliament whenever it's politically convenient.
posted by twirlip at 9:44 PM on May 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


WTH Conservatives? There goes more of the neighbourhood.
posted by arcticseal at 9:44 PM on May 2, 2011


Here's to a militarized Arctic.
Here's to an Arctic that will be protected by Canada!
posted by niccolo at 9:46 PM on May 2, 2011


She seems woefully under qualified to be an mp, I bet she's as surprised as anyone that she won.

And yet, not a separatist, so there is that. Anyway, I like to think there is room in the House for some "unqualified" people and their perspective. I wouldn't want her to be a Minister of the Crown, mind you, but some diversity is a good thing.
posted by Rumple at 9:46 PM on May 2, 2011


purephase > The Conservatives were held in contempt. A first in Canadian politics.

Apparently this and many other things got huge play in Quebec. I don't pay attention to MSM anymore--did it get any play in English Canada.

KokuRyu > Sixty of the NDP's seats come from Quebec. That's bound to change the party.

I guess that means that 80% of their new seats came from Quebec. It'll have to change them somewhat.

F*** I'm just depressed now. For our American viewers, I'd hazard that this is McCain/Palin winning-level bad.

Here's to the forthcoming Canadian DMCA.
posted by Decimask at 9:47 PM on May 2, 2011


Well, I'm back from my bike ride. And then reading the rest of this thread, which is almost entirely as awesome as always. And then a few minutes of directed googling to figure out if I could still qualify for back-door EU citizenship. Anybody know a good Slovak teacher in Calgary?

It's not about the policies so much; there's room for civil disagreement amongst grownups when it comes to the issues of the day. On the basis of honest policy, I disagree with Harper (let's be clear, it's one ventriloquist and 165 dummies) most of the time. There are a slim few things we may agree on, plenty that we would disagree on but are within the realm of reason, and a few policies that I'd consider unacceptable. This isn't the problem; I'm never going to love a right-wing political leader's views.

The problem with Harper is the total and utter contempt he and his party show for the process of governance in this country. This is a government composed of people who couldn't be bothered to show up to meet their constituents during the election. (Michelle Rempel, the 31-year old backroom operative with no political experience who was replaced by a potted plant at candidates' debates, got 57% of the vote.) This is a government of people who will lie to turn the neutral advice of technocrats into biased political point-scoring. These are people who don't think they are accountable to the law, to Parliament, and after tonight, not to Canadians, either.

All of the political scheming and slander and lying and twisting of the law over the last 5 years was done when Harper had less than total control.

Now, the gloves come off. And I'm worried.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


So much focus on "Canadian families". Feeling left out, single people?
posted by ODiV at 9:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah...and how he said the values of New Canadians are Conservative values...ugh...

Why is this any worse that what the Liberals have been saying for years and years: "Liberal values are Canadian values"? Kenney's statement is probably closer to being statistically true.
posted by Dasein at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2011


Here's to hexapodia as the key insight.
posted by orthogonality at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]



Dear Canada,

I hereby revoke my support of any additional NHL teams accross the border.

Mister Fabulous
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah well, I'll be sitting at home waiting for my next prosperity bonus.
posted by knilstad at 9:50 PM on May 2, 2011


If you want to talk about vote splitting and strategic voting, the only strategy that works is favoring the party poised to get the most seats. This time that's the NDP, not the Liberals. Do the "election math."
Here's the election math: The NDP has had flatline 15% popular support for years. For this election, if you wanted to see Harper removed from power you would have to be a complete fool to put your support behind the NDP.

And that's exactly what the fools did. And the fools got exactly the government they voted for, and exactly the government they deserve.

NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:51 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


For our American viewers, I'd hazard that this is McCain/Palin winning-level bad.

I think a closer analogy is Dick Cheney winning the presidency. Harper is a total jackass, but he's definitely smart. Palin is just a total jackass.

I join in the chorus of "WTF Canada?!". Way to go, Ontario!

Let's go ahead and unite the Left already.
posted by just_ducky at 9:51 PM on May 2, 2011


For our American viewers, I'd hazard that this is McCain/Palin winning-level bad.

Nah. That's a big overstatement. McCain/Palin = whole world affected. Harper = four shitty years in a country that most folks never even think about, except when discussing hockey and scenery, and perhaps Celine Dion.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 PM on May 2, 2011


Right now the Liberals have 19% of the popular vote. That's worse than the PC results when they imploded to just two seats.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 PM on May 2, 2011


i_have_a_computer: It'll be interesting to see all the numbers added up, but in a lot of the ridings I'm checking the Conservative votes outnumber the Liberal and NDP votes put together (prairies). The NDP seem to be in second place in a lot of the Conservative ridings too. Again though, I'm checking random ridings, so it could be that the Liberals are in a close second in several of them. We'll see once all the numbers are in, I guess.
posted by ODiV at 9:54 PM on May 2, 2011


Capt. Renault: "Congrats to the Greens -- they turned their party into a machine to get Elizabeth May elected, and by golly they did it.

What now?
"

One riding at a time, man. It's like climbing a mountain. Drive in the piton, check if it will stand fast, then use all your muscle to drive in that next piton. On and on, until they're a national force. It took the NDP fifty years to get to where it is, so the Greens may to keep going for a while yet.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:55 PM on May 2, 2011


Way to go Linda Duncan!
posted by purephase at 9:55 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I guess it depends on how the party votes.

The party will vote the way Harper tells them to vote. Barring some sort of revolt between the Reform wing and the old-school conservatives, we've effectively elected a king for the next four years. I suppose it's possible that Harper will go whole hog with the Reform agenda, alienate moderate Conservative voters and flame out in four years, but he's too intelligent a strategic politician for that. More likely he'll nibble around the edges, do as much damage as he can away from the spotlight and keep moving Canada's goalposts steadily rightward, safe in the knowledge that it's unlikely he'll face a serious challenge from the farthest-right wing of his party, which might get frustrated when he doesn't outlaw homosexuality and impose the death penalty for possession of marijuana.*

I really don't know what to say about all of this. It makes me tremendously sad (although somehow not nearly as depressed as I was the night Rob Ford won; I guess deep down I was resigned to this outcome). Pretty much everything about the Harper Conservatives is almost diametrically opposed to my idea of what Canada is, could or should be, but apparently 40% of the country disagrees with me. It frightens me and I do not understand it, but so it goes.

Making lemonade out of these lemons isn't going to be easy, but tomorrow I'm going to get up (without a hangover), go for a walk and note that the sun came up again, even if I can't see it behind the clouds. I'm also going to think long and hard about what I could have done to help bring about a different outcome (beyond donating money to the NDP and fretting on the internet) and what I can do to make the world a better place moving forward...because, my fellow left-leaning citizens, the government isn't going to be in that line of work for at least the next four years, and we're going to have to lead by example.

* this analysis plus $2.00 will buy you a nice cup of coffee
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:55 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


They're showing vote splits now on CBC.
posted by ODiV at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2011


orthogonality wrote:
Sensible long-term plan. Give Harper four more years in exchange for extinguishing the Libs, then take over in 2014.
This is the kind of scorched earth politics that I do not understand and absolutely hate: "if I can't have my way then burn everything to the ground".

Childish ignorance and blind partisanship. That's why Harper is PM for the next 4 years.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

How about instead of snarling at each other we put the blame where it is deserved: people who voted for the god damn Conservatives.
posted by jess at 9:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [24 favorites]


How about instead of snarling at each other we put the blame where it is deserved: people who voted for the god damn Conservatives.

This x 1000
posted by LMGM at 9:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


And then a few minutes of directed googling to figure out if I could still qualify for back-door EU citizenship.

My precioussssss

/Strokes lovely reddish British passport


I'll never understand how the default vote of people who are supposedly concerned about the economy is for the party that won't divulge how it spends your money.

I am as always reminded of a Simpsons episode, where a wise man said:

"Give us Hell, Quimby!"
posted by Hoopo at 9:58 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


For this election, if you wanted to see Harper removed from power you would have to be a complete fool to put your support behind the NDP.

That's funny, because the NDP got a shit-ton more seats and votes than the Liberals did. It seems like this time around, the Liberal votes were wasted.
posted by mightygodking at 9:58 PM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


Right. Layton's given a very nice good-feely speech -- I'm going to bed before Steve shows up. I know what the next four years are going to be like. No need to rush.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:59 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


One thing I do know is that I've got to put the internet down for a while. Good night, good luck and God bless, friends.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:59 PM on May 2, 2011


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

I am so very tired if this form of rhetoric already. Flatline 15% means far less when recent polling showed a massive spike in support for the NDP. And in any case, considering that far fewer voters overall went to the Liberals versus the NDP, you'd think it would be easier to convince smaller numbers to vote NDP.

In any case, this is all entirely a moot point, as it presupposes that roughly a third of active voters in this country will just always vote Conservative no matter what, and that there's no way we're ever going to convince them otherwise, so obviously the problem lies with the Johnny-come-lately NDP supporters, who are assholes who want to see this country burn and who should've just voted Liberal because clearly the two parties are so close together. Give me a fucking break.

You can feel free to blame whoever you want, obviously, but don't ask me to take you seriously when you suggest that everything would've been just fine had we all sucked it up and voted Liberal like good little voters. Parties need to earn our loyalty and our votes, and the Liberals and Bloc failed massively.

I voted in one of the few solid Liberal ridings left, knowing it was very unlikely my candidate would win. I don't need to feel disenfranchised by the system on the one hand, and have people like you criticizing my motives on the other.
posted by chrominance at 10:01 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


For this election, if you wanted to see Harper removed from power you would have to be a complete fool to put your support behind the NDP.

Jesus Christ, what an arrogant, undemocratic thing to say.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:01 PM on May 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


The NDP has had flatline 15% popular support for years.

Since the last election maybe. Just look at the information on that link, though.

Election Vote %
2011 30.72 (as of now)
2008 18.2
2006 17.5
2004 15.7
2000 8.5
1997 11.0
1993 6.9
1988 20.4

Looks to me like they've been on an upward climb since 2000. High water mark sure, but not a steady 15% like you're suggesting.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 10:02 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

That's a great, steaming pile of horseshit, that is.

As Jess said, the Conservatives have a majority because liberals voted for them. Had they strategically voted for the party was massively and obviously ascendant in the polls, we wouldn't have a Harper majority.

As it is, I did get a big part of what I want, which is a chance for the NDP to grow their machine and develop some experienced leaders.
posted by fatbird at 10:02 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's the election math: The NDP has had flatline 15% popular support for years. For this election, if you wanted to see Harper removed from power you would have to be a complete fool to put your support behind the NDP.

Thanks for the history lesson. Did you somehow miss all the polls leading up to the election?
posted by Hoopo at 10:03 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why is this any worse that what the Liberals have been saying for years and years: "Liberal values are Canadian values"?

I don't recall that from the Liberals...but memory get fuzzy. Politicians count on that :-D
posted by Calzephyr at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2011


The 17 seats gained in the GTA effectively gave the Conservatives the majority as they only gained 20 federally.
posted by purephase at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by squeak at 10:08 PM on May 2, 2011


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

congrats, i_have_a_computer, you've actually managed to piss me off more effectively than Mr. Harper's done lately. Such a winning fusion of divisiveness, ill will and sour ignorance.
posted by philip-random at 10:08 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of scorched earth politics that I do not understand and absolutely hate:

It's not scorched earth, it's pruning a garden. Libs were in and out of power for a century, and like any institution, cruft accumulated and corruption dug in.

Often it's too hard to thoroughly clean such around such encrustations, and it's easier and better to prune it back and let new plants grow in the sun unimpeded by the old plant's shade.

Had the Libs been effectively pruned before 1996, you wouldn't have had the Sponsorship scandal or, arguably, Harper in 2006.

With the NDP, you get close to a fresh start and a an ideological vision less compromised by the deals a party in power makes.

I'm a liberal (US) Democrat, and I'd love to seen a cleaning out of the Party in favor of a more leftist alternative. If the cost for that was one term of Republican rule, it would be worth paying.
posted by orthogonality at 10:09 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Liberals still could've been cleaned out without handing Harper a majority. It's not all or nothing here. Strategic voting only applied to a large handful of ridings, mostly in Ontario, which was Harper's strategy. He knew it, he exploited the system, he got his majority.
posted by flex at 10:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something else about strategic voting: in the lead up to the Toronto mayoral election, there was a lot of press about which of the two left-leaning candidates deserved your vote in order to keep Rob Ford out of office. A full eight minutes after the polls closed, Ford won handily—so much so that when all the votes were counted, it was clear that even if every other vote had gone to a single anyone-but-Ford candidate, Ford still would've won.

To me, that's not a sign that one guy needed to shove over to let the other guy win. That's a sign that the progressive movement itself is having trouble articulating why it's still important. As an NDP supporter, there's nothing I'd like better than to see a revitalized Liberal party. No, wait, scratch that—one thing I would've liked better is to see a Liberal party that didn't implode over the past five weeks. One that put forth a carbon proposal equally as viable as Dion's in 2008. One that didn't immediately rule out the concept of a coalition government. One that did a better job of actually telling Canadians about the various planks of its platform, like the education subsidy it proposed. For all of the 2008 Liberals' failures, at least it managed to start a real conversation about a substantive issue. This year's model couldn't even get Harper's contempt of Parliament to stick, let alone anything as ambitious as tackling climate change.
posted by chrominance at 10:15 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Had the Libs been effectively pruned before 1996, you wouldn't have had the Sponsorship scandal

In 1996 the Liberals were still in majority territory and the eventually-to-be Conservatives were a shambles with the biggest Party having only 60 seats and not even close to being able to form any sort of coalition. They gained an even bigger majority in 2000, and the eventually-to-be Conservatives lost seats from 1997. That's not the time to clean house.
posted by Hoopo at 10:18 PM on May 2, 2011


Sorry to interrupt, but I just woke up from an attack ad induced three week coma - - has anyone heard what happened with the election? Did everything turn out okay?
posted by fairmettle at 10:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Salmonberry: Looking at the numbers around BC a little more, the Conservative ridings are all pretty solid, usually just over or under 50%. I can't see strategic voting helping out too much.
posted by ODiV at 10:24 PM on May 2, 2011


Here's to hexapodia as the key insight.

You do realize that Twirlip of the Mists was correct about almost everything, right?

posted by twirlip at 10:26 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


12 ridings could have kept Harper in check. 12 ridings that people knew the NDP had no chance. When people were saying to vote strategically, these were the ridings they were talking about!

Maybe we can try for electoral reform in 2015. Next time, try to think, instead of voting for the winning team.

Also, next person to gripe about "voter fatigue" gets a punch in the head. I swear, I'm going to start carrying around pamphlets on Westminster Parliamentary Politics like they're fucking Chick tracts from now on.
posted by dotComrade at 10:30 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


What
posted by Flashman at 10:30 PM on May 2, 2011


OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
posted by molecicco at 10:30 PM on May 2, 2011


This used to be a hell of a good country.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:32 PM on May 2, 2011


You do realize that Twirlip of the Mists was correct about almost everything, right?

Is it true that Canadians have six legs?
posted by orthogonality at 10:32 PM on May 2, 2011


12 ridings could have kept Harper in check. 12 ridings that people knew the NDP had no chance.

And if we asked you to name the ridings the NDP had no chance in a month ago and a week ago what answer would we have gotten?

It's easy to know everything once the results are in.
posted by ODiV at 10:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


12 ridings could have kept Harper in check. 12 ridings that people knew the NDP had no chance. When people were saying to vote strategically, these were the ridings they were talking about!

Yep. I'm in one of those ridings. At the All Candidates Meetings, the NDP candidate was literally laughed at due to his obvious incompetence. People squirmed in their seats when he spoke. Yet he went from 8% to 16% by virtue of voter ignorance. This, more than anything, has convinced me of the undue influence of the media in our electoral system. If pure hype of an "NDP surge" from polls in Quebec can double the BC vote of a joke candidate, what hope is there for true democracy? Because there is no NDP presence in this riding; none whatsoever. What else surged, other than the media perception of the party?
posted by mek at 10:38 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Is it true that Canadians have six legs?

It is true that Harper has done or will probably try to do all the stuff I mentioned in my earlier comment. I can put together an annotated version, if you like.
posted by twirlip at 10:40 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


And if we asked you to name the ridings the NDP had no chance in a month ago and a week ago what answer would we have gotten?

I looked it up on http://www.projectdemocracy.ca and http://threehundredeight.blogspot.com/ it wasn't hard to see which riding were really close and where the NDP had no chance. This isn't a case of hindsight being 20/20, this is a case of people looking at popular vote and not their own riding.

On preview: mek nailed it.
posted by dotComrade at 10:40 PM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, alright. I'm nowhere near those ridings, so I'll take your word for it. I was personally surprised by a lot of these results.
posted by ODiV at 10:42 PM on May 2, 2011


Liberal, centre-left, leftist Canadians: I'm sorry that it's taken your pain to make me suddenly decisive (and if not careful evangelical) about the UK's AV referendum this week. Reading this thread has given me unpleasant flashbacks to our own parliamentary election last year, and if AV will get us away from the 'progressive' vote being split and therefore the Nasty Party coming to power I find I'm all for it.
posted by calico at 10:43 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yet he went from 8% to 16% by virtue of voter ignorance. This, more than anything, has convinced me of the undue influence of the media in our electoral system. If pure hype of an "NDP surge" from polls in Quebec can double the BC vote of a joke candidate, what hope is there for true democracy? Because there is no NDP presence in this riding; none whatsoever.

Protest vote, pure and simple. If you know the guy can't win, then you don't care if he's an incompetent joke, 'cause you know he ain't gonna win. Indeed, it makes him a better candidate for your protest vote purposes, as now your vote says: "I'd prefer Potted Plant to the major party candidates on offer."

Voters weren't taken in by the media, they were saying "we don't like our choices" and possibly, "we don't like First Past The Post voting."
posted by orthogonality at 10:45 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

Thinking like this is why the United States has an effective one-party system.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's interesting, as an American, seeing the Liberals blame the NDP people for losing the election. Isn't this the type of voting system we're supposed to strive for, because it's better than voting for the lesser of two evils?

The entire world is lurching right-ward. In a decade or so, there won't be a middle class at all.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:47 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, yeah. Looking at some of the South Central and Greater Toronto ridings, there were some really close results there.

It'd be nice if I could get a list of all Conservative ridings where they won with less than 50% of the vote, just so I could see the vote breakdowns. I started clicking and tallying on my own, but it was getting to be a little much.
posted by ODiV at 10:48 PM on May 2, 2011


Uh, there are at least 6 ridings on that project-democracy map that I saw where NDP and Conservative were neck and neck, and one could easily blame liberal voters of that riding for handing Harper his majority.
posted by molecicco at 10:48 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It'd be nice if I could get a list of all Conservative ridings where they won with less than 50% of the vote, just so I could see the vote breakdowns.

Labrador, South Shore-St. Margaret's, Madawaska-Restigouche, Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, Montmagny-L'islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup, Ottawa-Orleans, Ottawa-West-Nepean, Nipissing-Timiskaming, Sault Ste. Marie, Ajax-Pickering, Pickering-Scarborough East, Scarborough Centre, Don Valley East, Don Valley West, Eglinton-Lawrence, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Missisauga East-Cooksville, Richmond Hill, Bramalea-Gore-Malton, Mississauga-Brampton South, Brampton West, Mississauga-Streetsville, Mississauga-Erindale, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener Centre, London North Centre, London West, Winnipeg South Centre, Vancouver South, Vancouver Island North, and Yukon.
posted by mightygodking at 10:49 PM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


mightygodking: Er, yeah, but I meant with vote tallies. Thanks for the list though.
posted by ODiV at 10:50 PM on May 2, 2011


Er, yeah, but I meant with vote tallies.

Let me clarify: that's every single riding where the the NDP and Liberal vote combined, less ten percent, was greater than the Tory vote. Which is what I think you were looking for.
posted by mightygodking at 10:53 PM on May 2, 2011


My God, all you people who are so angry with the NDP for splitting the vote...Considering that the majority of Canadians voted against Harper, its about time that we have some protests to inform the masses about what a referendum for proportional representation can do.

Agreed. It's ironic that the NDP begged the liberals for proportional representation, but the liberals never went for it. Now, the liberals are seriously represented below their percentage of the vote.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 10:53 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uh, there are at least 6 ridings on that project-democracy map that I saw where NDP and Conservative were neck and neck, and one could easily blame liberal voters of that riding for handing Harper his majority.

It cuts both ways. Who says I was sticking up for the Libs? This just proves that voters can't be arsed to pay attention to their own riding, which is the only place their vote matters.
posted by dotComrade at 10:53 PM on May 2, 2011


I've dawn three conclusions from this election:

1. GTA has too much comfort and could give a damn about the rest of the country. That's where the conservatives won their majority.

2. Canadians are willing to look beyond the two party Grit/Tory politics as usual, and not afraid to call out a liberal party that's become mostly centrist.

3. Quebec will lead the way if ever we want proper social care in Canada.
posted by furtive at 10:55 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fucking fuck fuck fuck.
posted by jokeefe at 10:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also: Fuck.
posted by jokeefe at 10:57 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


AUGH. FUCK.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:58 PM on May 2, 2011


If pure hype of an "NDP surge" from polls in Quebec can double the BC vote of a joke candidate, what hope is there for true democracy? Because there is no NDP presence in this riding; none whatsoever.

Was it really pure hype? The NDP is equally absent in large parts of Quebec, or even more so, yet they carried most of the province. It seems the message of the party outweighed the quality of the candidate for many Quebecers. Same thing happens in BC. No less democratic.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:02 PM on May 2, 2011


Argh, I feel sick. I honestly think I'm going to cry a little into my pillow tonight. A Conservative MAJORITY for fuck's sake! It makes me bloody well despair. All I can hope is that Harper doesn't do too much damage until the next election when he had DAMNED WELL better be ousted.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:11 PM on May 2, 2011


And if we asked you to name the ridings the NDP had no chance in a month ago and a week ago what answer would we have gotten?

Mine? No sarcasm intended, it really is that conservative here. That was the thing that got me about the whole ABC thing, I couldn't agree on a viable choice that wasn't conservative (I lean so far left I'd fall over). And, btw that's what the NDP was pushing here; disgruntled canucks should vote for her. Imho that wasn't a good enough answer.
posted by squeak at 11:19 PM on May 2, 2011


Fun fact:

Ignatieff loses his Toronto riding. Stephane Dion keeps his in Montreal.

He may be the only Liberal who sleeps well tonight.
posted by Alex404 at 11:33 PM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just for fun, here are the ridings that mightygodking posted, cross-referenced with Project Democracy recommendations.

Labrador - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
South Shore-St. Margaret's - Project Democracy endorses: NDP, runners up: NDP
Madawaska-Restigouche - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Montmagny-L'islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup - Project Democracy endorses: Bloc, runners up: NDP
Ottawa-Orleans - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Ottawa-West-Nepean - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Nipissing-Timiskaming - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Sault Ste. Marie - Project Democracy endorses: NDP, runners up: NDP
Ajax-Pickering - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Pickering-Scarborough East - Project Democracy endorses: preference, runners up: Liberals
Scarborough Centre - Project Democracy endorses: preference, runners up: Liberals
Don Valley East - Project Democracy endorses: preference, runners up: Liberals
Don Valley West - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Eglinton-Lawrence - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Etobicoke-Lakeshore - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Missisauga East-Cooksville - Project Democracy endorses: preference, runners up: Liberals
Richmond Hill - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Bramalea-Gore-Malton - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: NDP
Mississauga-Brampton South - Project Democracy endorses: preference (though with less certain language), runners up: Liberals
Brampton West - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Mississauga-Streetsville - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Mississauga-Erindale - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Kitchener-Waterloo - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Kitchener Centre - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
London North Centre - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
London West - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Winnipeg South Centre - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Vancouver South - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals
Vancouver Island North - Project Democracy endorses: NDP, runners up: NDP
Yukon - Project Democracy endorses: Liberals, runners up: Liberals

Whew... That's a big block of text and a whole lot of Liberal. I didn't take the %s down, but now I'm thinking I should have. There were some razor thin leads in some ridings.

Now these are all ridings that went Conservative. It'd be interesting to see the ones that ended up going to another party than expected (hi Québec!).
posted by ODiV at 11:36 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


My riding wound up electing the MP I voted for, so I guess I'm satisfied. Also, huge strides were made with the NDP party in general.

I'm still feeling pretty annoyed that they've gone from minority to majority, but I'm not sure if it'd bother me so much if Harper was not leading them.
posted by addelburgh at 11:36 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


GTA should be split in two for matters of this arguement--the inner suburbs that won ford, harper, and will win hudak, and the downtown of layton and chow.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:36 PM on May 2, 2011


(Them being the conservatives, of course!)
posted by addelburgh at 11:36 PM on May 2, 2011


Also, it's our first change in MP since 1993 (Keith Martin, who went through 5 party changes throughout his career as well). I'm both nervous and excited to see the changes made.
posted by addelburgh at 11:39 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


philip-random wrote:
congrats, i_have_a_computer, you've actually managed to piss me off more effectively than Mr. Harper's done lately. Such a winning fusion of divisiveness, ill will and sour ignorance.
Why are you pissed off? This was a huge victory for the NDP. It's all anyone is talking about. It's history. Why aren't you happy?

And the best part is, you get to celebrate it every day for the next 4 years! Climate scientists? Gagged! The Census? Gone! The gun registry? History! Party financing? Dead! Household debt? More Please! Super Prisons? You Bet!

None of this will be a surprise to you when it happens shortly, because it's all Harper has talked about in the last four years.

There was a clear path to preventing this from happening, and if you weren't too stubborn to put aside your NDP partisanship for just once, you could have actually helped to stop it. But you didn't, so enjoy the NDP's extra seats. 15% to 25% in five short weeks. It's an amazing accomplishment and you should be very, very happy.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 11:48 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


but the grits are centre right enough to provide genuine dissent from those.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:51 PM on May 2, 2011


So how do you feel about the Liberals campaigning and voting in "NDP ridings", i_have_a_computer? Should they have held off this election?
posted by ODiV at 11:51 PM on May 2, 2011


not to provide genuine dissent from those ideas.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:55 PM on May 2, 2011


For fucks sake. Millions of people voted for Harper and you're blaming the ones who voted for the good(-ish) guys? Get off your high horse, i_have_a_computer.
posted by auto-correct at 11:56 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, it's (well past) bedtime for me. Goodnight everyone. Let's see what Canada's like when we wake up.
posted by ODiV at 11:57 PM on May 2, 2011


For fucks sake. Millions of people voted for Harper and you're blaming the ones who voted for the good(-ish) guys? Get off your high horse, i_have_a_computer.

Indeed. If there is any lesson to be taken from this election, it's that the Liberal strategy of centrist triangulation failed utterly and completely. Condemning voters for not moving to the center is missing the forest for the trees.
posted by mek at 12:09 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why are you pissed off?

I explained it the first time, i_have_a_computer. It's the "winning fusion of divisiveness, ill will and sour ignorance" that informs your comment.

I think I understand your frustration, but to turn sideways and inflict it upon those with whom you seem to share basic political leanings is just all kinds of counter-productive. For instance, you seem to have me pegged as an intransigent NDP partisan, which is bluntly wrong. Yes, I voted for them today and Don Davies won by 10,000 votes. Last election, I was in a different riding and held my nose and voted Liberal because it felt like the strategic thing to do (they lost anyway).

Did I get all aggro afterward and accost everyone who didn't follow my lead? No, I just got on with my life, reminding myself as I always do around election time that the smallest part of my democratic commitment is the actual voting.
posted by philip-random at 12:27 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


For fucks sake. Millions of people voted for Harper and you're blaming the ones who voted for the good(-ish) guys? Get off your high horse, i_have_a_computer.

The difference is: Conservative voters voted for what they wanted; NDP voters voted for precisely what they didn't want. So who's open to more ridicule?

Such stubbornness and ignorance needs to be confronted.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 12:35 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


i want what the ndp were selling, and i voted for the ndp. liberals could have possibly won, but not well, in my riding.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:43 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


FUUUUUUUUCK!
posted by birdsquared at 12:53 AM on May 3, 2011


philip-random wrote:
Last election, I was in a different riding and held my nose and voted Liberal
I really don't care how you actually voted, because a single vote does not make any difference. But that statement is so telling; you can't say you voted Liberal without admitting that it was under protest. That is really throwing your vote away.

What has your hatred of the Liberal Party accomplished for you? That's something you can think about for the next 4 years.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 1:00 AM on May 3, 2011


do you think that the liberal party--one that is central right, is a legit option for people who a re centre left?
posted by PinkMoose at 1:24 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm curious, does anyone know why Canada and the US have first-past-the-post voting in the first place, or why it hasn't been changed?

I definitely think the preferential system here in Australia is much better in translating the actual wishes of the voters into a (more) accurate result. Perhaps if people could be confident in voting for who they wanted, rather than 'strategic voting', Canada might have had a different result. Or at least voters wouldn't feel so disenfranchised.

Is there any reason that these democracies have not switched to a preferential voting system? The cynic in me says it's because first-past-the-post favours those in power... is there more to it than this?
posted by joz at 1:37 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why the US has the electoral system it does is beyond the scope of this comment. But as to why it hasn't been changed; Changing how we determine the outcome of elections would require a Constitutional Amendment. Amending the Constitution is a very difficult process. Getting it done for something like changing how we vote is a complete non-starter.
posted by Justinian at 2:59 AM on May 3, 2011


NDP supporters, you got what you wanted so enjoy it. Whenever Harper does something awful, give yourself a pat on the back because you made it happen.

Oh christ, do five minutes of analysis before you spout this garbage.

The Liberal party couldn't secure its base, couldn't get itself elected in ridings that 10 years ago would've required hell to freeze over to lose. Montreal, Southern Ontario, Atlantic Canada...hell their leader even lost his seat. The NDP railroaded the BQ and the Liberals were so incompetent that despite themselves, the Conservatives and NDP picked the meat off the bone of the party.

Here's a perfect example; we have a huge, multi-billion dollar shipbuilding strategy being big on by five shipyards in the country. Ignatieff gets up at some point and, unscripted, talks about giving the insolvent Quebec yard until the bid deadline in July to get itself solvent, instead of a mid-May deadline as he interpreted.

This thoroughly angered people in the other 4 cities, who thought that it was blatant favoritism of Quebec and cheap politics. Their good candidates in Halifax suffered greatly and could not get the message back from that and lost heavily (long-time incumbent Geoff Regan notwithstanding).

The thing of it that's frustrating? His statement was a misinterpretation; the Quebec shipyard had the time til July to get itself solvent already, and Ignatieff tried to play politics with an independent bid process and did so by prescribing policy that was already in place. ALL HE DID WAS LOSE.
posted by dflemingecon at 3:28 AM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


The hyperbole in this thread from some is amazing, even for Metafilter. Get a grip on reality my friends.
posted by loquax at 3:38 AM on May 3, 2011


I don't hate the voters who voted their conscience. I hate the system that meant there were voters who did not. If there's one thing we get out of the next half decade, please let it be a preferential voting system.

I will weep now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:50 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me how to talk to my gay friends who voted Conservative?, because there are a lot of them, all living in downtown Toronto. I'm so confused.
posted by zarah at 4:04 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


A few morning-after thoughts:

- As a Quebecker: SUPER HAPPY.
- As a Canadian: SUPER DISAPPOINTED.
- Anyone who gets all pissy about "vote-splitting" is basically rooting for a two-party system. Fie on that. The right will split again. Patience.
- It took Harper five years to get a majority that he should had out of the gate. The man is not a strong leader. If we have to have a Reform (sorry, "Conservative") majority, better him than Preston Manning or Stockwell Day.
- Similarly, the Liberals are now going to have to do the self-reflection, teardown, and rebuilding that they should have done in 2006. Short term bad, but long term good.
- I know people were giving me flak about the NDP/Ontario comments above, but I see the same issues in Quebec right now: they've done super well, which I'm really happy about, but most of the elected are rookies who were running what-the-hell candidacies. It's a massive crop of political greenhorns stepping up, and I wish them well.
- This will, I hope, give a lot of NDP members four years of tempering, seasoning and experience to make them electable national leaders in 2015.
- The Conservatives slipped through on the margin in so many places that I don't think Harper will be too comfortable. I hope not.
- Holy shit, is Quebec ever going to go to the PQ in the next provincial election. This isn't the end of the separatists, and I think we're in for some frenzied flailing over the next few years.
- Worst-case scenario: the Conservatives will use the majority to bully the mostly-rookie NDP into looking weak and ineffectual, both scuttling them nationally and reinforcing the separatist message at the same time.
- Best-case scenario: the Conservatives barely squeaked through in a lot of ridings, and there seems to be growing public awareness of their arrogance, creepiness and lack of regard for democracy; the NDP could capitalize on this, stay strong in Quebec, and join a reinvigorated Liberal party for a minority in 2015.
- Maybe there are lessons to be learned from the Harris years: Harris was such a disaster, financially and structurally, but coasted through on the illusion that he was "financially responsible" while being anything but. That message didn't seem to get out until the end of his second mandate. Since the Manning playbook is 90% Harris, seeing what people needed to be told about Harris earlier could be helpful.
posted by Shepherd at 4:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Er. Second-last point there was hoping that the NDP could form a minority government, seconded by the Liberals, in 2015. I'm still not 100% behind an NDP majority right now, but an NDP minority government, with Liberals holding the second-most seats and Reform ("Conservative") third, would be great.
posted by Shepherd at 4:36 AM on May 3, 2011


Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck. A plague of leaking arseholes upon us all.

But if a tiny crumb of comfort can be taken from last night, my neighbours and I voted in Dan Harris in Scarborough Southwest, leaving the previous incumbent in third place.
posted by scruss at 4:37 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here in Oakville, even if everybody who voted NDP and Green decided to vote Liberal instead, our Liberal candidate *still* would have lost by almost 2000 votes. So it definitely wasn't vote splitting that kept us blue this time around.
posted by antifuse at 4:43 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man fuck all the Liberal whiners. Your party fucked up. That isn't on anyone else. I haven't voted for the Liberals since I could vote because they aren't some default left-wing party. They don't appeal to me at all. Why the fuck would I vote for them?

This election shows that all you whiny strategic voters should have looked at the polls and voted for the NDP. It was clear where things would stand today based on the recent poll numbers. Still, if you are voting strategically you are doing it wrong. Maybe now that the Liberals got their asses handed to them they'll start backing electoral reform as well.

The NDP took my riding (Davenport) from a do-nothing Liberal who has been coasting on the fact Toronto always goes Red. How did the Liberals manage to so completely alienate their base? Cash was a better candidate than Silva. That's how you should decide who to vote for.

Fuck, I thought the Con win pissed me off, but some of the stupidness in this thread is something else.
posted by chunking express at 4:45 AM on May 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Bolstering my own point that

most of the elected [NDP] are rookies who were running what-the-hell candidacies. It's a massive crop of political greenhorns stepping up

...the NDP candidate that won my riding is 19 years old and in his first year of political science at the U de S.
posted by Shepherd at 4:58 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


i_have_a_computer, you keep posting like the Liberals have some right to be elected, and you're blaming NDP voters for not falling in line.

But it was obvious days away from the election that the NDP was the party that would form the opposition, and if Liberal voters had thought a bit more then Harper's majority could have been avoided.

Instead we have what we have, and it's not the NDP that put us here at the end of it.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:06 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think for some people it has to be the NDP's fault. Recognition of how horribly the Liberals lost support to the Conservative and New Democratic parties is too much of a stretch. For whatever reason it's "obvious" to some people that just once everyone should have voted Liberal... without seeing how sick and tired most Canadians are of voting for smug, entitled thieves and weasels just once.

For me, here in Quebec, I can remember Liberal majorities and I refused to vote for the Liberals. They aren't even a lesser evil. I really don't appreciate being scolding for not voting for these people.
posted by ServSci at 5:09 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harper's first step: renaming the Official Opposition the Official Un-Canadian Losing Team.
posted by oulipian at 5:10 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The difference is: Conservative voters voted for what they wanted; NDP voters voted for precisely what they didn't want. So who's open to more ridicule?

Such stubbornness and ignorance needs to be confronted.


I think it's a lot more stubborn and ignorant to assume, without any reason for doing so, that the people who voted NDP did so because their platform and campaign resonated with them. As the campaign pressed on, it became pretty abundantly clear who was going to win and who was going to be the more effective opposition party.

Your entitlement to the historical Liberal vote is exactly why the Liberal party has lost its base; not for one election, but for several in a row. Congratulations, you're now the fringe third party and you have nobody to blame but yourselves.
posted by dflemingecon at 5:10 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


did so should actually read didn't do so. I believe people actually, you know, liked the NDP platform and leader.
posted by dflemingecon at 5:11 AM on May 3, 2011


...the NDP candidate that won my riding is 19 years old and in his first year of political science at the U de S.

I'm finding the new NDP member of parliament from Pontiac a bit surprising too. Previously best-known for his karate and sword-fighting skills:
Mathieu G. Ravignat (Mat) holds a B.A. of Social Science and a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa, and currently works as a Research Officer for the Government of Canada. He has been an avid martial artist most of his life and has a variety of experience in WMA, including Greco Roman Wrestling, Boxing, and Fencing (Sabre).
[...]
On March 15, 2008 he was chosen as “first amongst equals” at the 1st Annual AEMMA Armoured Tournament held at the Royal Ontario Museum. At this event he was honoured by the Lord of Wrentnall with the Ceremonial Claymore of the Clan Fraser-Lovat and received a certificate of excellence in arms.
Far as I know, that and the fact that he once ran for election as a communist is about all the voters knew about him. That's enough, apparently, to defeat a cabinet minister who won the past two elections with ease. An interesting result.

posted by sfenders at 5:42 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I believe people actually, you know, liked the NDP platform and leader.

I'd especially highlight the word "leader" in that sentence in comparison to the Liberal party. I'm a Liberal voter myself, and I think the reason we did so poorly (and handed the Conservative party a majority) is because of the failure of the Liberal party to have an electable leader in place.

To put the blame for this on people who voted NDP misses the point, in my opinion. That view ignores what the Liberal party needed to do if they wanted people to vote for them instead. Trying to get there by promoting that view that a vote for the NDP is a vote for a Conservative majority does not work, as we have just seen.
posted by FishBike at 5:47 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Liberals aren't my fucking party. The Liberal in my riding was our best chance of defeating the Tory MP, and not to mention, she was a good, proven MP for my riding so there was no "holding my nose" here thankfully since I knew Ignatieff had no chance of being Prime Minister.

If you can't see how absolutely frustrating the few thousand votes thrown away on the NDP in my riding that could've defeated the Conservative is (as much as I like the NDP in general and they're probably closest to my positions, and under a not-broken voting system or a riding where I didn't have to worry about the effect of every vote on the country as a whole I would have probably supported them here - let me tell you how pleased I was to see a actual left-wing party as an option when I moved to Canada; I want to be happy for them gaining so many seats overall across Canada), the people who voted NDP in my riding when the NDP didn't have a chance to win in my riding helped elect the Conservative in my riding, who I am sure is probably more abhorrent to them than having the Liberal win would have been, and they helped Harper get one more seat for his majority from my riding.

So quit making this about "boo hoo Liberal whiners" - you sound like people rooting for a goddamn sports team, reducing everything to simple assumptions. I don't blame the NDP, I don't really care that the Liberal party just ate itself - I have never, ever liked Iggy and I thought he was a piss-poor choice for a leader. The Liberals got their asses handed to them and rightfully so, I am glad of it, and maybe my favorites Bob Rae and Gerard Kennedy can help pull them back into a party worth looking at again now.

I just cannot understand why, if you are upset the system is fucking broken (and it *is* fucking broken) why people would not try to make sure they got the country in a position to fix it. Because you tell me how great the chances are we're going to get voting reform under a Harper majority - it's a hell of a lot less likely than under a minority with NDP as official opposition. And now Harper, a reprehensible leader who has proven his contempt in so many ways for this country, is going to have free rein for at least four years to pull his bullshit, which is appalling.

I don't understand why, if a matter of some ten or twenty thousand votes could have changed that outcome, why you would rather stand on an idealist soapbox and snot on people who wanted to help that not happen working with the broken system that we have because we can't change the system RIGHT NOW, this is what we have to work with. It only would've taken a handful of ridings making sure they didn't go blue - and we would've had a strong NDP showing with enough Liberals to help keep Harper in check (and still left the Liberals with radically diminished numbers, fine by me) - because even under this orange wave, it was highly unlikely the NDP would've formed even a minority gov't.

For the zillionth time, voting strategically doesn't mean "everyone across Canada in every riding should've held their noses and supported the Liberals", because, fuck that, IT MAKES NO SENSE. It means "if you're in a very close riding and you don't want the Conservatives to get a majority, you should vote for the party (whichever party that may be!) that is most likely to defeat the Conservatives in your riding, so that we all end up with a government most likely to be able to enact the general leftist policies we like instead of helping vote in a government that's going to do a whole lot of shit we KNOW we won't like at all".

The NDP picking up so many seats is great, but please forgive me if right now I'm a hell of a lot more focused on the dread of seeing Canada firmly on the path the US went down and really wishing like fuck a few more people would've been helping prevent that with their key votes. I know where this path leads (I was glad for the chance to come here and see how much better it could be), it's ugly and I am scared it will shape Canada permanently for the worse.
posted by flex at 5:51 AM on May 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


Looking outside my window in downtown Toronto this morning, I have to wonder if Harper made a deal with Mother Nature to not allow us to ever see the sun again.
posted by gman at 5:55 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


HOLY SHIT JULIAN FANTINO RAN AND WON FOR OFFICE

A university buddy of mine is his chief of staff. He previously worked for John Baird. Let's just say that we don't talk politics when we get together. :)
posted by antifuse at 5:56 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another fun NDP fact: Despite having the smallest number of seats in the last parliament, they introduced more bills than all the other parties combined.

It will be interesting to see if they remain so legislatively prolific now.
posted by sfenders at 5:56 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


furtive writes "GTA has too much comfort and could give a damn about the rest of the country"

Well no change there.

i_have_a_computer writes "The gun registry? History!"

This will be an interesting issue to watch. It's so split urban/rural that they risk loosing a lot of their new found urban Ontario support. Yet the base is going to expect the registry to be tossed in the first year.

joz writes "I'm curious, does anyone know why Canada and the US have first-past-the-post voting in the first place, or why it hasn't been changed?"

Pre-Computer it was simpler. And both Canada and The US have democracies that were established prior to much of the work done on alternative systems.

joz writes "Is there any reason that these democracies have not switched to a preferential voting system? The cynic in me says it's because first-past-the-post favours those in power... is there more to it than this?"

BC has twice had referendums on STV and both(58%) times(39%) has failed to meet the 60% in favour minimum set by the government.

Shepherd writes "It took Harper five years to get a majority that he should had out of the gate. The man is not a strong leader. If we have to have a Reform (sorry, 'Conservative') majority, better him than Preston Manning or Stockwell Day. "

It'll also be interesting to see whether a power struggle ensues now that the base can reasonably expect Harper to implement much more conservative policy.
posted by Mitheral at 5:58 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


most of the elected [NDP] are rookies who were running what-the-hell candidacies. It's a massive crop of political greenhorns stepping up

Including three current McGill students and one recent graduate. A friend of mine just taught intro political science to one of them.

I'm a recent American transplant living in Duceppe's (former) riding, where a sociologist vacationing in Vegas beat out an incumbent party leader.

I used to think American politics was crazy. Now, after seeing my first Canadian federal election up close, all I can say is: Woah, Canada.
posted by googly at 6:05 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


the people who voted NDP in my riding when the NDP didn't have a chance to win in my riding helped elect the Conservative

It may be so for you, but it's not all about anyone-but-Conservative for some of us. My personal preference based on policy platforms, disregarding for the moment my personal opinions of the leaders and local candidates, would rank the parties 1. Liberal, 2. Conservative, 3. NDP. It's not so implausible that at least some substantial fraction of voters would have the NDP as their first choice and yet prefer the Conservative candidate over the Liberal. As you suggest, it'd take a less-broken voting system to find out, but the one we have is not necessarily quite so broken as you think.
posted by sfenders at 6:08 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


flex, the Liberals were in power for how many years and how many of those years did they spend doing fuck all with regards to election reform. Is it even in their party platform? The amount of misplaced rage at the NDP is ridonculous.
posted by chunking express at 6:10 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please re-read what I've said and find where I'm raging at the NDP and loving the Liberals? I was happy the NDP got so many seats because they DO have a position on voting reform! And I was hoping they got a gov't in which they could make that position happen! So I am frustrated that people don't see the significance of a small number of votes in making that happen!
posted by flex at 6:14 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


[The gun registry] will be an interesting issue to watch. It's so split urban/rural that they risk loosing a lot of their new found urban Ontario support. Yet the base is going to expect the registry to be tossed in the first year.

I suspect that people who don't like the long gun registry care a whole lot more about it than people who do. Can't imagine why it's such a big issue; seems to me it's not particularly effective at anything useful, nor is it particularly harmful. Insignificant compared to the more important issues, its importance is largely symbolic and emotional. Once it's gone, which will be quickly, it'll soon be forgotten. There will be more substantial things to debate, now that there's a more significant difference in philosophy between the government and its loyal opposition.
posted by sfenders at 6:15 AM on May 3, 2011


My colleagues at work are all Francophone Quebecers, and the prevailing atmosphere here is one of extreme concern: first, that the Conservatives have a majority, and second, that while the NDP is nice and all, putting the current crop of MPs face-to-face with hardened Reform ("Conservative") ministers as the Official Opposition will be like throwing kittens into a woodchipper.

I'm making the brave case that in my riding, at least, a 19-year-old can't be any worse than our BQ candidate, who has done literally nothing for the riding since 1998, and that the survivors will be tempered candidates in their mid-20s in 2015, granting the NDP a lock on youth that no other party will be able to boast. In my heart, though, I'm just as worried as they are.
posted by Shepherd at 6:18 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


So I am frustrated that people don't see the significance of a small number of votes in making that happen!

Sometimes people want to vote for the party they like and support. People generally like to vote FOR something, not against something. You can't fault people for that. Not everyone wants to game the system.
posted by chunking express at 6:22 AM on May 3, 2011


Want to hone your stereotypes about your fellow Canadians?

The CBC has some analysis from the Vote Compass research project they're hosting.

Look at questions 29 and 30 (how much tax should corporations/the wealthy pay). We are now living in a Calgary-Oakville Axis.
posted by anthill at 6:26 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I got good friends who voted their conscience who are all "damn, that sucks, but it's only four or five years!" As if four or five years aren't enough for the cons to:

1) install a DMCA with draconian provisions
2) further entrench big oil with subsidies galore
3) give big telecom everything it could ever want, including UBB
4) try to pull down the best health care system in the hemisphere
5) build a shitload of un-needed prisons, then make laws to fill them up
6) tear down regulations that protected Canada during the financial meltdown
7) drive us further and deeper into national debt
8) stop dancing in the dark with the US Republicans ... and start dating openly
9) further split the income divide with more tax breaks for the wealthy

I'm absolutely fucking terrified. I just got here and look what happens? I'm so sorry.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:27 AM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Conservatives ran an absolutely robotic campaign, with individual candidates prohibited from deviating from the official party brand, often avoiding debates entirely. The cloaking mechanism worked - apparently people feel safer when governed by carefully-branded automatons. Now that Harper has his majority, the cloaks come off. Enjoy your new robot overlords!

This is the NDP rallying song for the next four years. Let's hope the karate-instructor candidate can step up.
posted by oulipian at 6:31 AM on May 3, 2011


This will be an interesting issue to watch. It's so split urban/rural that they risk loosing a lot of their new found urban Ontario support. Yet the base is going to expect the registry to be tossed in the first year.

It's gone, probably within six months. After his crime bills, I think this is one of his top priorities. It's cheap and keeps a promise to his constituents. If he does it now, few will remember in four years.

This is going to be a spendy government for a while: super-max prisons, higher prison populations, jet fighters, corporate tax cuts, continuing medicare funding. Runs on energy and perhaps commodity prices are probably going to save him in the short term, but I think he's got to reign in the goodies sooner than later. He's going to squeeze the public service, but there's not enough there to make up the difference. Inflation is creeping up too.

Don't under-estimate how conservative the new Ontario members are. These come from the same earth as the Ford and Harris machines. The fact that most of the urban ridings are actually split on the left doesn't signify to these people, at least it hasn't before. The rural ones are solid cons, which any head of broccoli with a blue tie can win (vis Pierre Poilievre).
posted by bonehead at 6:31 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I understand idealism over the practical and realistic, but I can't agree with it in this case. This is very specific. If you're in my riding or the riding next door and you voted NDP/Green but you want to complain to me about Harper's majority OMG, I'm going to roll my eyes this hard and probably want to yell for a bit, because I know you had a chance to help stop that from happening. It's not that I don't understand how you feel, and even sympathize with how you feel, and even wish idealism made everything all better here, but the smartest thing to do was to take advantage of that chance you had to try to alter the course and you didn't. It's not very efficient to wish on a star that things will improve. If you're not in a riding where this mattered, that's awesome for you - I wish I were as well.

Don't put me down for my frustration at the situation we're in, it isn't about partisanship to any party and I resent my position being reduced to tl;dr handwaving. I know soundbites and talking points and dismissiveness are easy, but I would like to think MeFi is better than that.
posted by flex at 6:39 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


4) try to pull down the best health care system in the hemisphere

Take a look at the WHO's rankings of world heathcare systems. We rank #30. Presuming you're talking about the western hemisphere, there's a couple countries that outrank us.

/pedant
posted by antifuse at 6:43 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't be terrified. Get organized.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:24 AM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Somehow I just knew it would be the 905 that dragged us all down. The people who gave Harper a majority are exactly the same people who bought into Ford's gravy-train propaganda. People who live in environmentally devastating, economically unsustainable mass suburban sprawl and drive their Ford Explorers everywhere when they're not busy grooming their massive lawns. These people could give a rat's ass about anything but their own comfort and convenience and the notion of holding a politician accountable to the principles of democracy is completely foreign to them just so long as they continue to get their sweet upper-class tax breaks.

I hate the 905. I hate what it has become. I actually grew up deep in 905 land (in Oakville--don't tell anyone) but the thing is, when my parents moved there 45 years ago the suburbs were not at all what they are today. Back then, the suburbs were more like a small town. There were local corner stores, the kids walked and biked everywhere, the street you lived on was a true neighbourhood. The people who lived there were mainly people like my parents, and they reliably voted Liberal or NDP because they cared about the future of the country and they felt a responsibility to ensure that the less fortunate members of their society got the some of the same breaks that they did. Somewhere over the last 20 years or so the suburbs changed entirely and have now become vast house farms where no one talks to anyone because they're always in their car or tucked safely away in their climate controlled behemoth of a residence. The local corner stores are gone, replaced by sprawling townhouse developments. If you want to get some milk you have to drive to the nearest mega-mall. Instead of caring about society as a whole, the only thing these suburbanites care about are the people who are exactly like them; the families they see at hockey practice or dance lessons. Everyone else is either riding the gravy train or too lazy to deserve compassion.

It makes me sick, especially when I talk to my parents and hear the bewilderment in their voices over the local election results. My only hope is that a Conservative majority government will be forced to reveal their real social agenda, and surely even the 905ers will have to notice when they go after abortion rights, healthcare, and military excess. Surely.
posted by Go Banana at 7:40 AM on May 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


Ignatieff quits as Liberal leader

Not a shocker, all things considered.
posted by dflemingecon at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2011


We've had Conservative governments before. It'll be frustrating, but it's hardly the end of the world (or Canada). My thoughts on this election:
1. If the Liberals had dropped support for the long gun registry, we would have a minority government and very likely a coalition of the left.
2. I'm happy for the long overdue success of Canada's only leftist party, the NDP.
3. Future campaigns will be divisive, nasty, underhanded, and dishonest, because those tactics have proven to be so successful.
4. Despite their lone victory, the Greens have fallen further into fringe territory. They'd be much more relevant as a "green wing" of the NDP.
5. Strategic voting is OK, but nobody should be placing any "blame " on anyone for not doing it. Voting your conscience is never bad, no matter what the outcome.
posted by rocket88 at 7:50 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I went to bed early last night, shortly after the declaration of a majority. I feel asleep with a couple of hopes in my head:

1. The majority status means the opposition can finally act like the opposition, and not be forced into the awkward position of "well, we don't like this bill, but it has a couple of concessions we like, and we don't want to force an election..." I'm hoping it means the NDPers and Libs (what are left) can truly point out the flaws and problems with what is going on.
2. The opposition now has a few years to get its act together. The NDP can hopefully consolidate, and the Liberals have some time to find a new leader who can, you know, actually lead.
3. The Conservatives, with the majority, may start showing their hand more and more...and they may not be able to keep control as tight over caucus as in the past - cabinet posts will have to be thought about carefully, and not everyone may be happy in the backbenches. The Ontario wing of the party will want to be more at the fore, which may provoke some tension with the Alberta reps.


Those are my hopes, slim as they may be. As for me, I'm going to be doing some looking around and seeing where being involved (and how much involvement I can commit to, given family circumstances) makes sense in the near future.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:07 AM on May 3, 2011


We've had Progressive Conservative governments before. Harper comes from the Reform wing of the conservatives.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if there was any vote splitting on the left we can officially say that it was the Liberals that caused it.

Based on overall number of seats and the popular vote? That is a generality. Ridings are won one by one.

In my (Ontario) riding, as anticipated, the Conservative and Liberal candidates split about 52,000 votes, the Liberal trailing by about 3800. NDP and Green votes in my riding: just under 11,000. Say what you want about voting your conscience; my neighbours don’t seem to realize what a majority actually means. I fail to see how people installing a majority Conservative government, who think that Jack can “hold them accountable” for the next four years, have voted their conscience. They have voted a fantasy. If better informed, I wonder how many would have voted the way they did. I’m not talking about hindsight. It’s one thing, understandably, to think “Had I known the Cons would get their majority, I’ve had voted differently”. What I’m hearing is a basic failure to grasp how Parliament functions.

What happened here was undoubtedly the case in other ridings. 12 other ridings? I don't know. Maybe. But it was completely unconscionable for Jack to take the position he did on strategic voting. It is of no advantage to the NDP (or benefit to Canada, from the NDP's perspective) that the Liberals lost a dozen seats to the Conservatives. Quite the opposite, really. The NDP lost 36 vital votes in Parliament for a completely symbolic 102 microphones from which they get to grandstand while Conservative measure after measure passes. This may or may not translate into additional support four years from now and a party with hands on the levers of Parliament again. Maybe four years of watching Layton helplessly object to Conservative legislating will increase support for the man or the party. I'm doubtful. Layton will have to explain to a hopeful public what they should already know, that they don’t have the votes to stop a thing; that this is what a majority means. Maybe when that happens some people are going to remember that strategic voting stance of his way back in April 2011. And those people are going to be pissed.

At least with a slim majority, there might be an issue on which a couple of members might defect, even from the Cons. But with this big a lead, single MPs are also now basically in the position of third party voters. No lone MP will know whether sacrificing themself on any given initiative will be of any use whatsoever. Two or three MPs might discuss such a move in confidence. A dozen? Doubtful. I imagine that party discipline will be complete. I have no clue what measure would be so draconian as to cause a dozen+ member break from the present-day Conservative party. Seriously. Religion/creationism in schools, tar sands, militarization, privatization, irrevocable bulk water commodification via NAFTA, re-opening the abortion debate, and of course any budget under the sun -- it's all do-able, starting now.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:31 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


And it's worth remembering that Harper left the Reformers because he thought they were becoming ideologically compromised and too populist.

A good profile of Harper from 2006.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:32 AM on May 3, 2011


In my (Ontario) riding, as anticipated, the Conservative and Liberal candidates split about 52,000 votes, the Liberal trailing by about 3800. NDP and Green votes in my riding: just under 11,000.

If we counted up all these votes where it would have gone Liberal or NDP, but for vote splitting, how many would it be, I wonder? And what % of the vote is that?

I'm also curious about the ridings where the unlikely candidate won over the Conservatives. Again, this is probably mostly (or all?) in Québec, but it would be interesting see the cases where "strategic voting" predictions seemed to be worthless.
posted by ODiV at 8:37 AM on May 3, 2011


bonehead writes "It's gone, probably within six months. After his crime bills, I think this is one of his top priorities. It's cheap and keeps a promise to his constituents. If he does it now, few will remember in four years."

Gun control is the issue that keeps on giving. The people who are afraid of guns are really afraid and urbanites tend to discount any redeeming features. A high profile gun murder will whip the issue to the foreground and the Liberals and NDP acan beat the hell out of that drum in urban areas.

I think you are right that it'll be gone in the first year but it is going to hurt them going forward.
posted by Mitheral at 8:44 AM on May 3, 2011


We decisively re-elected the chump who's been driving the country straight into the shitter. This must be how Americans felt in 2004.
posted by Zozo at 8:46 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, goody. Jim "Put the Homeless in Jail" Flaherty is back in.

Thanks, Whitby. Assholes.


You're welcome!

(I voted NDP, though, as did a lot of other people. We came in a very distant second! There's just no chance--none--of unseating the finance minister, even if it's readily apparent to anyone with three or more senses that zero dollars have trickled back to our community because of it.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:47 AM on May 3, 2011


Yeah, I am in the 905 too, and now my riding is coloured blue on all those maps. Boo! Less than half the popular vote where I live went to the Conservative party, so I suggest there are quite a lot of us who are unhappy with how this turned out (to put it mildly).
posted by FishBike at 8:51 AM on May 3, 2011


Say what you want about voting your conscience

It's sort of funny that Liberal supporters can condemn Harper as anti-democratic, or Jack as irresponsible and still say things like this.
posted by ServSci at 8:51 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


We've had Progressive Conservative governments before. Harper comes from the Reform wing of the conservatives.

Not a conservative party like this though. The previous Conservative parties of people like Mulroney, Clark, and Stansfield contained the moderating influence of red tories. They pretty much quit, moved to the Liberal party, or have been chased away since the Reform Conservative merger and the present day Cons are way more right wing and way more inclined to social conservatism also.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:55 AM on May 3, 2011


Don't be terrified. Get organized.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:24 AM


Best comment in the latter part of this thread.

Politics is a long game. The shit that went down last night has been festering for years: the arrogance of the national Liberals, a flawed system of voting, an electorate who take way too much for granted, a Conservative leader (and party) who may seem despicable in all kinds of ways but he (they) are also tenacious, resilient, ORGANIZED, and, like every effective hockey team, tough in the corners.

So yeah, they may not have the popular vote but, based on the rules of the game, they definitely have their mandate. This is scary in a bunch of ways, for sure, but it's also a sort of give-them-enough-rope moment. The Conservatives now, officially, will have nothing and no one to blame for the inevitable fuck-ups that will come from their flawed policies, their narrow thinking, their contemptuous leadership. Look no further than what happened to the Republicans between 2006-2008 (from the Presidency and control of both houses to NOTHING in two short years) if you want to see what untethered arrogance, ignorance and self-righteous nastiness can accomplish.

As far as my own specific local situation is concerned (East Vancouver), this likely means that there's going to be shitstorm (and soon) regarding the Downtown Eastside needle-exchange and other related "social" issues. Let's just say, this particular piece of the near future is suddenly looking darned interesting, and not only in negative ways.

Now, where the hell did I stash my copy of HANDBOOK OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA?
posted by philip-random at 8:56 AM on May 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


On the plus side roughly a third of the Commons has new ministers, 99 out of 308. That's one of the highest changes since the early nineties and Mulroney's defeat, I think. I really do think this is one of the most important things that happened last light. Harper lost three or four cabinet ministers (all from Quebec), including Laurence Cannon.

The national vote was up about 3%, to 62%.

Disappointing result, perhaps, but lots of positive potential, I think: Quebec in Beau Risque II, la vengence du verso, Greens elected, Ignatieff gone and the Liberals can rebuilt in earnest.
posted by bonehead at 8:57 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I only just remembered when I was in the shower that Harper has the Senate.

Probably for the best that I was standing where I was.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:59 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's sort of funny that Liberal supporters can condemn Harper as anti-democratic, or Jack as irresponsible and still say things like this.

I’m a vote-swapping Green who both voted his conscience and tried to keep a Conservative out of Parliament in a close Con-Lib riding the only way it could be done. I also would have gladly worked post-election with the NDP to ensure the left doesn’t squander this chance to prove to Canada that the left can wisely influence policy in Parliament but... what influence? The NDP has plenty of speech writers, and talking is all they get to do now. That’ll be important in, oh... 3.5 years.

I mean, as a Green, this is only a 9 out of 10 on the badness scale to me (or 9.9, maybe). May gets something she didn’t have before: a voice in Parliament, and that’s awesome. But for the benefit of additional NDP voices, every non-Con basically lost their House votes in exchange for monopoly money.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


As far as my own specific local situation is concerned (East Vancouver), this likely means that there's going to be shitstorm (and soon) regarding the Downtown Eastside needle-exchange and other related "social" issues.

Yep, this is pretty much right on the money.

One good example of ideology trumping reason is in their approach to crime. They want a mandatory 6 month jail sentence for possession of 5 pot plants or more. All this money for prisons but unless there is an attendant rise in funding for the justice system we are going to see a complete clusterfuck as the courts et al break down under the weight of people fighting prison sentences. This is the thing that absolutely kills me about the Harper cons, they are unable to think through how things actually work in the reality based world that lays beyond their ideology on so many different issues.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a Liberal supporter (I spent all of yesterday volunteering for the Liberal candidate in Vancouver South), but I think anger at people who failed to vote strategically is misplaced.

I think the problem is that strategic voting is just too complicated for people who don't follow politics closely. Frankly, politics can be extremely boring. So-called "low-information voters" take their cues from the media, which focuses on the leaders; they often don't know which riding they're in, or who their local candidates are.

It'd be great if everyone paid close attention to politics, but I think that's unrealistic.

Take Vancouver South. In 2008, Ujjal Dosanjh (former BC premier) won the riding over the Conservative candidate by 20 votes, with the NDP a distant third. If there's any riding where strategic voting against the Conservative candidate would be the obvious choice, Vancouver South would be it. Judging by lawn signs, the NDP certainly wasn't campaigning hard in the riding.

Yet the NDP vote in Vancouver South increased.

My conclusion is that with first-past-the-post, the unified right is going to have a major advantage over the centre-left; strategic voting initiatives aren't going to help.

Harper's goal is to make federal politics look something like BC politics--a dominant conservative party (Social Credit in the past, the BC Liberals today) facing an NDP opposition. The NDP sweep of Quebec may trouble him, but he thinks he should be able to convince Ontario to vote for the Conservatives over the NDP.

What are the options for the other parties?

1. Continue fighting a three-way battle, with the NDP on the left, the Conservatives on the right, and the Liberals in the middle.

2. Unite the left. We end up with a two-party system--but that's basically Harper's end goal. No matter what the unified centre-left party is, he'll attack it as the NDP, socialists, Democrats, etc.

3. The Liberals move to the centre-right, to give the Conservatives some competition (especially in Ontario, perhaps even in Fortress Alberta) and split the centre-right vote. The Liberal pitch would be fiscal responsibility.

No matter what they decide, the NDP and Liberals are going to have to put a lot of effort into catching up with the Conservatives on fundraising. The Conservatives aren't shy about unleashing their attack machine between election campaigns. I'd expect to see ads targeting Layton a couple years from now.

I'm sorry to see that Ignatieff has resigned--but at least this time the Liberals ought to have a full four years to rebuild. (Although of course I wouldn't put it past Harper to call an election before the four years are up, as he did in 2008.)

What can we expect from Harper's majority government? I'd guess that everything other than health care, military spending, and justice will be squeezed to make room for ongoing tax cuts.
posted by russilwvong at 9:26 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's going to be stupider than even that. Their policy on the federal public service is to reduce by attrition rather than targeted cuts. As people retire or leave, no replacements. Justice tends to have higher turn-over---there are lots of lucrative private sector jobs for a good prosecutor or regulatory lawyer.
posted by bonehead at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2011


But it was completely unconscionable for Jack to take the position he did on strategic voting. It is of no advantage to the NDP (or benefit to Canada, from the NDP's perspective) that the Liberals lost a dozen seats to the Conservatives. Quite the opposite, really. The NDP lost 36 vital votes in Parliament for a completely symbolic 102 microphones from which they get to grandstand while Conservative measure after measure passes.

Actually, this is a great position for the NDP to be in. Instead of playing second fiddle to the Liberals while Harper struggles to implement a moderate and adulterated (and therefore more palatable) version of his agenda, they get to spend four or five years representing Canada's social conscience and building up their strength and experience as official opposition while Harper goes to town and does a bunch of terrible shit that most Canadians aren't going to like. Plus, any future centre-left coalition will be led by the NDP instead of the Liberals. That's a good thing, and not just for the NDP: Layton would be far more electable as a coalition leader than Ignatieff or anybody else in the Liberal camp these days. The next few years are going to fucking suck, but as long as an actual coalition was off the table, it's hard to fault the NDP for their strategy.
posted by twirlip at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I only just remembered when I was in the shower that Harper has the Senate.

Probably for the best that I was standing where I was.


I spent about 30 seconds wondering why that news would encourage you to masturbate, and then realized that you meant soiling yourself.
posted by Shepherd at 9:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I looked it up on http://www.projectdemocracy.ca and http://threehundredeight.blogspot.com/ it wasn't hard to see which riding were really close and where the NDP had no chance

I'm not aware of an election where strategic voting initiatives have been terribly effective. A not insignificant number of people who vote aren't putting a huge amount of thought and research into it and frankly you're unfortunately expecting an unrealistic level of engagement of people to check into whatever strategic voting website may be out there. For this to work you would need a remarkably informed and engaged electorate, which we don't have. Not even the parties themselves are banking on that; it's pretty obvious that people are voting for "Jack", "Iggy", or "Steve" and I doubt many could name all of the candidates for the 3 big parties in their ridings. My-mother-in-law, in Vancouver Center (one of a very small number of safe Liberal ridings in BC), voted Conservative for the first time this election because she "can't trust Ignatieff" and likes how "Stephen Harper got us through the recession". I tried, man, but I just can't compete with their soundbites and the constant onslaught of bullshit.

This bitching over how the NDP, with 3 fucking times as many seats as the Liberals (who have been on a steep downward trend since 2000 hemhorraging in the neighbourhood of 30 seats per election), spoiled your party is nonsense. It was arrogant when Ignatieff said that a vote for anyone but the Liberals is a waste, and it's arrogant when you say it. You are not the "natural governing party of Canada," and this sense of entitlement is not going to win back any votes. I suggest you get a new leader and start knocking on doors. It's going to be hard work. Just ask Jack Layton.

A huge number of seats outside of Alberta in any given election have been won by people with less than 50% of the vote for many years now, and you simply cannot assume that all Green or NDP votes are transferable to the Liberals--this is centre vs left, and as you all must know by now historically a lot of former Liberal voters are closer to Conservatives than the NDP. Also BC has been blue vs orange for a while now, and if the Liberals can't even get support in Toronto you have bigger problems than the NDP.
posted by Hoopo at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


My only positive thought this morning is that Stephen Harper is probably already planning on how to win in 2015, and being both intelligent and venal this might moderate him somewhat. I think he has visions/delusions of a Permanent Conservative Majority and might be smart enough to not want to burn out after one majority. That's a slim hope but the only one I've got!
posted by Rumple at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada and the US have a first past the post system because England in 1295-ish did not have political parties. For the next 500 years, there were no formal political parties and Representatives were elected to represent their specific constituency - in fact, they usually sent two from each county, and between 1-2 (4 for London) from the boroughs. Wasn't such a bad system -- ok, only a tiny fraction of the male population could vote, and many risings went uncontested because the local bigwigs just worked out who should be their MP, but it was one of the most democratic things around at the time.

and since MPs were supposed to speak for their constituencies and not join up in factions (bad word) let alone parties, no one fussed about vote splitting.
posted by jb at 9:50 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The results just popped up on my google news.

Sorry, Canada.
posted by klangklangston at 9:51 AM on May 3, 2011


3) give big telecom everything it could ever want, including UBB

I agree with most of your points, but this one is misleading. Media consolidation and the regulatory capture of the CRTC happened under the Chretien dynasty. It's this ongoing corruption at the CRTC which led them to try and implement UBB of their own accord and Harper moved to stop it. Also, pretty much the only thing Harper did that I liked was loosening restrictions on the telecom market to allow foreign competition, which has done wonders for the price of cellphone plans in urban areas, so far. Hopefully someday someone will fix broadband in this country, but that day will not be soon, and it's Liberals that got us stuck in that particular mess. (However, yes, they will certainly fuck us with some canuckified DMCA shortly.)

Anyway, welcome to the petro-state!
posted by mek at 9:55 AM on May 3, 2011


My only positive thought this morning is that Stephen Harper is probably already planning on how to win in 2015, and being both intelligent and venal this might moderate him somewhat. I think he has visions/delusions of a Permanent Conservative Majority and might be smart enough to not want to burn out after one majority. That's a slim hope but the only one I've got!

I wish; the reality, though, is Harper will be 9 years into office in 2015 and dangerously close to the point where people just start getting sick of you. I think this is the mandate he worked hard for and is going to use to move his agenda along. He has the house, senate and chief justice retirements to make some real change now, and I can't imagine he'll be waiting for a better opportunity.
posted by dflemingecon at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine he'll be waiting for a better opportunity.

Damn bursting bubbles!

One under-reported thing this election is, I think, how/where the small, but significant shift of Green votes went, probably, to the NDP. That's two or three percent of the popular vote, but probably concentrated in urban areas and especially in tight races where people gave up the "luxury of going green". I love the Greens and want to see more parties not fewer, but there;s no doubt that both federally and provincially in BC at least they have sapped some support from the NDP in the last decade. (Which is ironic since I don't think the NDP have any special credibility on the environment especially in BC with the insane carbon tax opposition)
posted by Rumple at 10:04 AM on May 3, 2011


Pretty much avoiding the news today and feeling kind of depressed.
Just came here to see if anyone had some spare hope lying around.
I guess I can be happy that I voted how I wanted to, (NDP) and they won in my area, but I can't shake this profound feeling of what the fuck are people thinking in this country? Harper can do whatever he wants, G20 the shit out of Toronto, throw everyone in jail, run away and shut down Parliament again and again when people want answers about things, the contempt and unaccountability...and so many people are totally cool with that. It's like I thought Canada was one way but really it's another. I'm trying hard not to stereotype, but first Rob Ford and now this...it just seems like a nation of creepy robots, living in fear, shivering in their homes while clutching their guns and money.
I really feel like I might smash the television the next time I see him singing one of his shitty, soul-less renditions of a Beatles song.
posted by chococat at 10:08 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


My only positive thought this morning is that Stephen Harper is probably already planning on how to win in 2015, and being both intelligent and venal this might moderate him somewhat. I think he has visions/delusions of a Permanent Conservative Majority and might be smart enough to not want to burn out after one majority. That's a slim hope but the only one I've got!

Good point. If memory serves, the last two Conservative Majorities (Mulroney twice and Diefenbaker) both ultimately ended in electoral disaster for the party. Harper has to be conscious of this. But is he capable of drawing a line between being-a-party-of-heavy-handed-self-aggrandizing-pricks and BEING-HATED-BY-THE-ELECTORATE? And can he get this through the thick skulls of his team? If he can, then maybe what we'll get is a sufferable form of Conservatism (ie: policies that are astute albeit heartless on the economic side and laissez-faire on the social side).

Here's hoping.
posted by philip-random at 10:08 AM on May 3, 2011


I still can't believe that Bernard Valcourt will be sitting in the House of Commons instead of jail.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2011


Okay. Okay! We're going to be okay. I mean, it's going to suck, but we'll survive. The people who are gravely disappointed by this election need to stay on the ball. Even a majority PM will think twice in the face of public uproar and bad press. For the next four years we fight tooth and nail against the worst of his ideas, try and stop what we can, and then in 2015 we kick those jackheads to the curb. Having a solid NDP opposition will help with this. Heck, Cons won by tiny margins in a lot of the TO districts -- there are a lot of unhappy people out there.

This is the pep talk I have been giving myself this morning, anyway.
posted by jess at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm your horrible vote-splitting NDPer, and I personally cost Ignatieff his seat. (Well, me and 10,000 other people.)

I voted NDP because I do not like Ignatieff's positions on the issues and I have not liked them
since before Dion was leader.

I also voted NDP because my grandfather died this month. He campaigned for the NDP back when they were CCF, as did my grandmother. They were insulted, called "commie" -- but they always believed that we mice need to vote for mice to represent us, not just one of two cats. Ignatieff may have been the white cat, but he's still a cat. And I'm not voting for a cat (or lizard) just to make sure that the wrong at doesn't get in.
posted by jb at 10:17 AM on May 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


wrong CAT
posted by jb at 10:17 AM on May 3, 2011


philip-random, based on what we've seen so far of Harper, he seems to have a radar about what will earn the ire of Canadians and what won't, and is treading just to this side of it. Plus, we haven't had an opposition able to make any of the scandals stick in the minds of the electorate. So my guess is that he'll continue to make policies that play well to his base but horrify those not belonging to the base, until Layton demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that he can make the scandals stick. Only then will Harper back off. That's where the NDP is going to either make it or break it as the opposition.
posted by LN at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ain't all cats the same.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And some pundit on CBC said today that the NDP only have words at this point - those can still be powerful! Look at what Layton was able to do by turning attacks into positive talking points.
posted by LN at 10:20 AM on May 3, 2011


So the Government and Opposition parties both want an elected Senate, right? I've never been for the idea, but I'm more interested in a Round 2 now that we got nothing to lose.
posted by Hoopo at 10:23 AM on May 3, 2011


Even a majority PM will think twice in the face of public uproar and bad press.

This would require a public and a press far different from the ones that rewarded a man who has literally positioned himself as an enemy of democracy with the keys to the whole fucking country. His remarkable skill at playing to Canadians' worst natures will see him through.
posted by Zozo at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


His remarkable skill at playing to Canadians' worst natures will see him through.

He plays hockey?
posted by Hoopo at 10:30 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking back at the data for my riding (Willowdale) and everyone expected this to be a walk for the Liberal, Martha Hall Findlay. Both projectdemocracy and threehundredeight had her easily winning. Absent hindsight, strategic voting would have done nothing here. Same for Don Valley East, Scarborough Centre and any number of other seats.

Looking at the votes for my riding now and in 2008 I see that MHF shed 2500 votes and the Conservatives gained 6300 votes to win by just under 1000 votes (the NDP gained 4800 votes but were still a distant third). There were roughly 4000 more votes cast this time around (2nd highest turnout since the riding was first contested in 1979) as well as 4000 votes to be had from parties that decided not to run this year.

To me, the story of my riding is some Liberal defections to other parties and the Conservatives and NDP getting a significant amount of votes from people who weren't going to vote for the Liberals anyway, especially with the polls showing an easy win for the Liberal. I wonder how many of the Liberal's lost seats followed the same pattern.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:37 AM on May 3, 2011


[...] I personally cost Ignatieff his seat.

I think that's probably the best thing you could have done for Canada. It made it clear the country rejected not just the party's policies, but him personally as well, so now they're going to have to find somebody better to lead the Liberal party.

I voted NDP because I do not like Ignatieff's positions on the issues and I have not liked them since before Dion was leader.

This touches on one of the problems in strategic voting, which is it can give a party the impression its positions and policies are more popular than they really are. So they don't change them and you end up having to strategically vote for them again next time.

Now the Liberal party will be forced to change some of those policies and positions that people didn't like. Or if they don't, then the NDP will continue to gain ground and that'll solve the problem too.
posted by FishBike at 10:39 AM on May 3, 2011


Dear Stephen Harper: Fuck You. - Newfoundland & Labrador

Indeed! I was stoked to see the NDP win in our riding (St. John's South-Mount Pearl).
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:12 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh, I just got what's left of the census in the mail. Fuck you, Tony Clement and your ridiculous war on information!
posted by just_ducky at 11:32 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ain't all cats the same. posted by seanmpuckett.

No they're not! Here is my cat.
posted by typewriter at 11:55 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


FWIW, the census form does still include a comment box. Here's what I put in mine. I had to edit it down because of course the box is tiny!

There is not enough space in this box for me to fully express my outrage at the government's decision to eliminate the long form for the 2011 Census. Without reliable, representative, and comparable census data sets, the government's ability to create and maintain social programs and policies that reflect Canadian society is severely hindered. Given that the Office of the Auditor General reported that it had received only three complaints in the last decade related to the Census's intrusiveness, it is disingenuous at best, and certainly cynical and manipulative to assert that Canadians are concerned with the Census's impacts on their privacy. This move is a clear indication that the government is distrustful of information, and looking to eliminate statistical and trusted sources of it, in order to push its radical right-wing agenda. Don't think for a minute that the electorate has forgotten, no matter what the election results say. Thank you.
posted by just_ducky at 12:26 PM on May 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Given that the Office of the Auditor General reported that it had received only three complaints in the last decade related to the Census's intrusiveness, it is disingenuous at best, and certainly cynical and manipulative to assert that Canadians are concerned with the Census's impacts on their privacy.

I'm with you in principle, but having been a Census rep I can assure you that's just the Auditor General's office. Most people will complain directly to the Census rep or to Statistics Canada. I had more than 3 complaints about intrusiveness in my little area of Ottawa alone. That said, it's a fairly ignorant concern given the purpose of the census, but knowing the government is sympathetic to these concerns I'm sure they won't mind when I provide false information.
posted by Hoopo at 12:33 PM on May 3, 2011


just_ducky, you should be glad you didn't try to use the comment box on the web. It cuts off after less than 100 characters.

That was one lame-ass census.
posted by ChrisR at 1:32 PM on May 3, 2011


I wonder how this has/will track in Canada under Harper.

Don't let all this get you too down in the dumps.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 2:17 PM on May 3, 2011


It's interesting that historians will undoubtedly be cursing Harper's name regarding the census considering recognition seems to drive so many politicians.
posted by Mitheral at 2:18 PM on May 3, 2011


You know, I would volunteer to take the long-form census because I am both narcissistic and I like taking surveys.

But that's exactly why good census sampling is done randomly and is mandatory, rather than by volunteers. Because if you left it to people who volunteer, you'd just have a bunch if mes reporting and that would be all distorted.

back to electoral politics -- my husband says he thinks that the NDP will now have to suck up to Bay Street to get money, and essentially they will just become another party of cats. Which is depressing, but not unrealistic.

(I actually really like real cats, and I would have totally voted for Distracted Cat with a second preference for Cool Cat in the Fake Cat Election linked a bit ago. But I also like the Mouseland story).
posted by jb at 2:30 PM on May 3, 2011


All that stuff actually happened last night? Argh! I was hoping it was a bad dream.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:43 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


One innovation that worked really well for the Conservatives: attack ads between elections, fuelled by their fundraising machine. Tom Flanagan: "Conservative advertising attacks on Michael Ignatieff began two years ago, ran steadily on TV for three months before the writ was dropped, and continued during the campaign." They ran during "the Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Grammy Awards and Hockey Night in Canada"; the Liberals didn't have the money to counter them.

A fascinating comment from a Conservative supporter on Warren Kinsella's blog, demonstrating the effectiveness of attack ads:
I don’t know what Ignatieff was like in person, or off-camera, but seemingly every time he was seen on TV he was being rude and nasty, and he showed, or would even fake, zero respect for Harper. You have to remember that many people voted for Harper, and by calling Harper the devil, and telling him to go to hell, and always calling him "that guy" and going on endlessly about the contempt thing and the democracy, etc. etc., Ignatieff was in effect insulting a lot of people who voted for Harper, and I know the minute Ignatieff opened his mouth I switched the channel because he made me feel like a stupid redneck, which I don’t think I am, I just have generally conservative morals (at the moment). I really know the Liberals can’t see this, and I appreciate it, but Ignatieff wasn’t "nice", taken at face value, word for word, he was an order of magnitude more insulting and negative than Harper. Ignatieff would have gotten much more of a look if he wasn’t sort of spitting in the eye of 40% of the country.

On his part, if you look at Harper, I challenge you to provide one link where he says a single condescending or mean-spirited thing about Ignatieff (maybe the comment about his immigrant roots, but I don’t even think that’s for sure since Ignatieff was really stretching)... he sort of left that to the ads [emphasis added], and therein lies the huge difference between the leaders and the parties, and their results last night.
John Duffy says something similar:
I see what [Harper's] been doing as positioning himself against the odium of the political system when on stage, while arguably fuelling that odium offstage in advertising and social media with the kind of negative plays you describe so well.
It seems unlikely that the Conservatives would refrain from employing a weapon that works so well; so the NDP and Liberals will need to get better at it themselves. I'd expect an increase in the level of viciousness and cynicism over the next few years.
posted by russilwvong at 2:54 PM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Super!
posted by Flashman at 3:09 PM on May 3, 2011


Yeah,... super.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:23 PM on May 3, 2011


The Liberal party was been busy destroying itself ever sense Chretien's retirement. From the power-play-to-leadership of Martin, to the public back stabbing of Dion, to the closed door back stabbing of Rae. Perhaps this election will give them the impetus to actually attempt a recovery..

Until now I've scoffed at the idea of uniting the left, but at this point it almost seems possible. Perhaps the NDP and Liberals can craft a credible party of the centre left, and the Greens can become Canada's new third party.

If this is the end of the Bloc, it might even be worth 4 years and 364 days more Harper.


But wait, the fixed election date legislation is in effect, isn't it? And the next election is currently scheduled for...
(2) Subject to subsection (1), each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election
?!?!?!? Is that October 19, 2015 or October 20, 2014?
posted by Chuckles at 5:15 PM on May 3, 2011


The loss of the $2 vote subsidy is really going to make Jack Layton happy he brushed off the idea of strategic voting. I mean, the NDP won't have any problems raising cash for 2015, they'll just need to get it from the unions and thus have policies which will continue to alienate MOR voters.

Hyperbole I admit, it's not as if they got a big wad of cash last time, but that money did add up and it'll just add to the fact that Layton will need to spend the next four years trying to keep the newbie MPs from imploding, trying to get on camera every now and then when majority Parliaments don't make for front page news when legislation passes AND trying to get the NDP to assemble some sort of decent fundraising machine that can match the remarkably efficient CPC's.

(I'm onside with flex - talking about strategic voting isn't U SHOULD VOTE LIBRUHL - it just might have made enough difference to get anything other than a CPC member in a number of ridings. At the very worst, reducing the majority lead to the point where they could pull a surprise confidence motion.)

Pro tip to Layton: maybe don't hire every Liberal party executive who shows up with a resume. Look how well they did.
posted by Salmonberry at 5:19 PM on May 3, 2011


Until now I've scoffed at the idea of uniting the left, but at this point it almost seems possible.

I don't think the Liberals will unite with the NDP. The NDP is distrustful of free enterprise, is anti-Free Trade, relies heavily on union support, does not support (publicly) the GST/HST or other VATs... too many differences.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:39 PM on May 3, 2011


Ya, you could have made a list suggesting that CRAP would be just as unlikely.

Anyway, I'm only saying it is plausible, not imminent. If the Liberals want back in as the Natural Governing Party, they will have to do something extraordinary to bring themselves back around.
posted by Chuckles at 5:49 PM on May 3, 2011


Fortunately, "Munir Sheikh was right." easily fits in 100 characters.
posted by RobotHero at 6:20 PM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Layton would do well to tell his members to hie off back home to meet with the people who provide social services. And hold a few open forums. And local news interviews. Go to the high schools, too.

And after they report in Ottawa, send them back out to talk with the movers and shakers in their constituency.

Document it all to the web.

Then maybe when they've seen our nation's worst and best, they'll be ready to work on improving the nation.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:54 PM on May 3, 2011


I must admit, for so many ridings to be close races between the NDP and the CPC is not something I would've ever expected.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:59 PM on May 2 [+] [!]


Canada is a strange place, I know almost no one who votes Conservative and yet here we are. I live out west on Vancouver Island and it's like nails on a chalkboard whenever I hear "the West" referred to as the heart of Conservative-land. I live in the NDP riding of Victoria where I was happy to vote my conscience knowing that Denise Savoie would easily win. What all the colored maps, especially this one seem to emphasize to me is that really this is a lot about Alberta. "The West" is code for Alberta and of course that is where Harper's riding is. It's not surprising, therefore, that the heart of the tar sands has voted for the party that will promote the cause.

My friends and I joke about Vancouver Island separating as our own country - there's even a facebook group dedicated to the cause, albeit just for laughs. What's serious though is the fact that in my mind the "West", especially the coast, is quite left. So please, let's stop saying "the West" and say "the Prairies" or something. Yeah, how do you like that, Prairies? I know it's not going to happen, but I had to vent.
posted by smartypantz at 7:20 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't have to go far to get to your own Conservativeland in BC, even on Vancouver Island. It's all the places that used to vote Socred and now vote "Liberal" provincially. Just drive up the 1 to PoCo or Port Alberni. Go to Point Hardy, if you feel really adventurous (Cape Scott is a really nice park). Even Tofino is only half an hour from Ucluelet.
posted by bonehead at 7:52 PM on May 3, 2011


You don't have to go far to get to your own Conservativeland in BC, even on Vancouver Island. It's all the places that used to vote Socred and now vote "Liberal" provincially. Just drive up the 1 to PoCo or Port Alberni. Go to Point Hardy, if

Nope, the Island (even Port Hardy) is Orange, except for a couple of suburbs of Victoria and the retirement area of Parksville.

North Island = NDP
Alberni-Pacific Rim = NDP
Nanaimo = NDP
Nanaimo-North Cowichan = NDP
Powell River-Sunshine Coast = NDP
Cowichan Valley = NDP
Esquimalt-Royal Roads = NDP
Juan de Fuca = NDP
Victoria-Beacon Hill = NDP
Victoria-Swan Lake = NDP

Saanich South = LIB
Saanich North and the Islands = LIB
Oak Bay-Gordon Head = LIB
Parksville-Qualicum = LIB
posted by KokuRyu at 8:44 PM on May 3, 2011


A lot of this sniping reminds me of the 2000 US election, how it didn't matter than Gore ran an uninspiring campaign, what mattered was the couple thousand Nader votes in Florida that just would not get in line. And thus, it was the far left's fault the centrist Democrat didn't win the electoral vote, not the centrist Democrat's fault for failing to secure enough of the middle. (Mainly, though, it was the Founding Fathers' fault for the stupid electoral vote system.)

The Liberal rank and file can rant at the NDP all they want, but end of the day the NDP managed to present themselves in the minds of 30% of the voters as a viable alternative to the CPC, while the Liberals were not even able to convince 20% of the voters to go with them. They ran a terrible campaign behind a mealy-mouthed leader, spared only from having the worst campaign of all by the Bloc's utter disaster.

And it was the Liberals that wanted this election right now. They seriously thought this was the moment to go for it, even though there was no compelling selling point for the disaffected Gritters who'd been voting Tory.

I don't think an NDP-Lib coalition would have lasted a year, not with the utter disdain for the NDP the Liberals have, not with there being three times as many NDP MPs in the coalition as the Liberals, not when the Liberals would feel they have all the cards. It would have fallen apart in no time flat, and a weary Canada would just hand Harper his majority and be done with it.

So Jack Layton, the Video Professor, leads his rag-tag group of 103 McGill students and vacationing bar managers into the opposition. And you know what? I bet they'll be better at this opposition thing than the Liberals have been in these Harper years. Maybe there will be less cynicism and more actual anger. Maybe they'll actually define why Harper is bad in real terms for Canadians rather than in inside baseball stuff in Ottawa.

Or maybe not. But that's what elections are for.
posted by dw at 10:36 PM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


"..the Video Professor, leads his rag-tag group of 103 McGill students and vacationing bar managers..."

Aww, man, if only they could've gotten another 52 of them. That would have made for the most fun Parliament ever. McGill students + bar managers? It sells itself.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:58 PM on May 3, 2011


An interesting analysis from the guy behind Threehundredandeight.com.

His main conclusions: The Tories had enough votes to from a bare majority, 154 or 155 seat, given their 5% "breakthrough" gain in Ontario. Vote splitting probably gave them an extra 12 seats or so, enough for majority to be comfortable. If you take away splits in the rest of the country, the CPC would have had 151 or so.

My take: in any multi-party system there's going to be some fragmentation of the vote. Splitting in twelve to sixteen seats would only have been marginally decisive to the fact of a Tory majority. It doen't look to me like vote-splitting was a deciding factor in the election. It contributed sure, but it's not the main story, the collapse of the left-centre coalition that has been Canada's "natural governing party" for the past two decades.
posted by bonehead at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


McGill students + bar managers? It sells itself.

On a serious note, now the opposition can run out actual university students when Harper cuts uni funding. Now they can run out a bar manager when Harper cuts small business funding, or drunk driving prevention.

In other words, now the NDP has "real people" to directly question the Government in chambers, and "real people" for Layton to directly point to on the back benchers. Suddenly question time becomes a town hall meeting. And I think it'll be hard for Harper to deal with that every single week, especially if Layton can keep up the angry yet optimistic survivor thing he did on the campaign trail.

It could all fall flat for sure, but the NDP have a wide open door to populism. Now, if they can just get their Quebec MPs some French lessons....
posted by dw at 8:14 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meet Canada's youngest ever M.P., 19 year old, first year university student (google translate suggests "freshman"?) Pierre-Luc Dusseault.

He comes across extremely well in my opinion.
posted by Rumple at 9:35 AM on May 4, 2011


"Until now I've scoffed at the idea of uniting the left, but at this point it almost seems possible. Perhaps the NDP and Liberals can craft a credible party of the centre left, and the Greens can become Canada's new third party."

Individual Liberals have always been welcome to join the NDP and support the policies decided upon by all members through established democratic processes at convention. I would guess that a significant portion of them would sooner join the CPC than do this, though.
posted by Kurichina at 9:52 AM on May 4, 2011


Harper's Conservatives will pass an omnibus law and order bill within 100 days to make jail sentences mandatory for many offences, and begin building super-jails, copying a system that even its authors, the Americans, have begun to abandon. The huge purchase of fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, which was an election issue, will now go ahead – Harper says it will cost $9bn, government auditors say $39bn – as will massive military shipbuilding.

The Evangelist Christian right is at the heart of Harper's Conservative party, and after years of being shushed, it will now demand an end to a number of things, including abortion rights. Canada has no law against abortions, and they are available free.

Corporate taxes will be cut almost immediately, Bush-style. Political financing laws will change – parties now get money for each vote – but this will end under the Conservatives, who will have a huge advantage in terms of the amount they can solicit in corporate donations.


Super!
posted by Hoopo at 10:28 AM on May 4, 2011


A day and a bit later, I guess my takeaways are the following:

The NDP did well in Quebec because the Bloc was lazy, and coasting, and the NDP (Layton) spoke well and eloquently to the province's left-leaning voter base. Given the promise of Layton's fresh energy and retention of some core social values vs. the tired Duceppe and the fact that the BQ doesn't ever try to do anything other than shout about Quebec, the province went orange.

The Conservatives did well in the West (with exceptions in BC, noted) because the Liberals had imploded. I think, in the long run, this is a good thing as long as Harper doesn't do irreversible damage to the country over the next four years. There's a lot of room for a centrist party here, it just needs to tear down and rebuild with a real leader.

The left needs to focus less on championing traditional left-wing things and focus more on addressing areas that are traditionally seen as Conservative, but where the Conservatives are actually weak.

The data's there to show that most of what the Reform Party thinks is "good fiscal reform" is actually a long-term disaster: Mike Harris' sole gift to us as Premier of Ontario was providing a Petri dish for Reform-style ideas to flail, die, rot and stink in.

I'm not cynical enough to believe that every Conservative voter is either an idiot or actively evil; the problem is that progressives have always reacted to Conservative economic arguments with "yeah, but" arguments that either focus on social equality (which traditional Reform voters don't care about) or sound like dissembling to make a Conservative position sound bad.

I think, at the end of the day, that everyone wants the best for Canada. I think there's an information gap between what the Conservatives are assumed to be good at (finance and safety) and what they're actually good at (...um.).

And the way to address that isn't to reply to disastrous economic and social proposals by talking about their environmental and social costs.

It’s to, repeatedly and firmly, point at the solid evidence that these policies are a waste of tax dollars and bad for the economy.

There's a great story to be told here: energetic and intelligent youth standing up to the old and cynical pawns of big business. The only tools left in the Conservative arsenal are factually untrue claims that they'll make the country safer and wealthier: it's time to put the lie to those claims and let politicians who still genuinely believe in a better future take the reins for a while.
posted by Shepherd at 12:59 PM on May 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


The Chretien/Martin Liberals were not left-wing. They were able to decimate the Tories because they moved to the centre, leaving the PCs with only the fringe on the right. Who gave us record deficits and the GST? The Tories. Who cut spending, gave us years of budget surpluses and signed off on NAFTA? The Liberals.

Looking at social issues there isn't much between the parties either.
Abortion rights - granted by the courts.
Gay marriage rights - granted by the courts.
Public Health Care - Initiated by Tommy Douglas and the CCF in Saskatchewan and then implemented nationwide through the PCs and then the Liberals.
Immigration - The Mulroney PCs raised annual immigration to roughly 1% of the population which we've had ever since.
Gender Equality - The PCs made Kim Campbell their leader, the Liberals had Sheila Copps as deputy PM. I'd give it to the PCs.
The one thing the Liberals have, and it's a huge one is the Charter, but that was 30 years ago.

Not much to choose between the Liberals and the PCs. Yes the modern Conservatives are not the PCs and are much further right, but the PCs were a centre-right party, and as far as I can tell the Liberals are too. There is exactly one national party that is left of centre and that is the NDP.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:57 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, what did the Liberals ever do?

Charter of Rights and Freedoms, schmarter of schmites and schmeedoms.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:06 PM on May 4, 2011


(That said, modern Libs? Blecch.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:07 PM on May 4, 2011


The TSX since the election
The dollar since the election

Both down sharply: surely not the benediction the CPC was expecting?
posted by Flashman at 8:34 PM on May 4, 2011


seeing the stock Market and dollar tank after the Conservatives win is very funny

but I do have to point out that a lower dollar is quite good for the Canadian economy. That's not what currency speculators are thinking about, of course, but I never worry when the dollar goes down.
posted by jb at 8:00 AM on May 5, 2011


Both down sharply: surely not the benediction the CPC was expecting?

Now, now. I'm sure we all know that any positive economic results are entirely due to government action, whereas any negative economic results are either the fault of the previous government, or due to factors that no government could possibly control.

At least, this is what every government has told me, regardless of which party they were.
posted by FishBike at 8:09 AM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


but I do have to point out that a lower dollar is quite good for the Canadian economy.

Well, sort of. We export a lot of stuff, sure, but the vast majority of it is raw materials. Nearly everything else, we import. We're fucked either way.

Besides, the TSX is down too, so...

Now, all that said, the low loonie relative to USD is almost certainly less about the Canadian election and more about something that happened in Pakistan recently.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:12 AM on May 5, 2011


(and by "low loonie" I of course mean "still ridiculously expensive loonie")
posted by Sys Rq at 8:14 AM on May 5, 2011


Isn't the strong loonie really a weak greenback problem? The US is spending money it doesn't have like Charlie Sheen on a bender and people are noticing.
posted by Mitheral at 8:25 AM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Canadian dollar has been largely valued according to oil futures for quite a while now. As for whether a weakening dollar is good or bad for the economy is impossible to say, since you'll hear different answers from different sources depending on what they want to sell you.
posted by rocket88 at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2011


Renewed Opposition Conspires Against The Oil Sands. Get conspirin', folks: the Northern Gateway project is going to be this government's biggest push.
posted by mek at 12:30 PM on May 5, 2011


Re: Oil sands - there was "the biggest crude oil pipeline spill in Alberta since 1975"
on Friday morning but we didn't hear about it in the news really until yesterday (which is very suspicious). It appears to be making people sick, and not surprisingly, there are demands for an "investigation". I am guessing this news will disappear (i.e. be ignored and go away) soon.
posted by smartypantz at 12:43 PM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Re: Oil sands - there was "the biggest crude oil pipeline spill in Alberta since 1975"

This just makes me cry.

"The ERCB last inspected the entire pipeline in 2009 with an ultrasonic tool to look for cracks". I'd like to know just how thorough this inspection was and why there wasn't a more recent one.
posted by arcticseal at 6:28 PM on May 5, 2011


>but I do have to point out that a lower dollar is quite good for the Canadian economy.

Well, sort of. We export a lot of stuff, sure, but the vast majority of it is raw materials. Nearly everything else, we import. We're fucked either way.


The southern Ontario economy is/was based on advanced manufacturing, and the low dollar really helped exports. Likewise here in Victoria, the low dollar really helped advanced technology firms sell into the States.

I don't think it's exactly a question of there being lower productivity in Canada (although there certainly is), but there's just smaller economies of scale that bump up overhead for Canadian value-added exporters. The majority of tech companies in Victoria employ about 30 people, and make $3-$5m a year. At this scale, creating stuff and shipping it into the States is expensive (and there aren't many opportunities to scale up when you are on an island, and most cities in Canada outside of the Golden Horseshoe are so geographically isolated they may as well be on islands).

A lower dollar would be really helpful.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:00 PM on May 6, 2011


Conversely, here in Washington we luuurve the high Canadian dollar, since it means Canadians will come pay our state sales tax for the right to buy cheaper goods here. They aldo are more likely to take weekend trips from Van and Vic to the San Juans or Seattle, generating even more tax revenue.

Of course, it really hurts the BC tourism industry, but I figure they made a lot off Seattleites crossing the border in the last 20-30 years. It goes in cycles.
posted by dw at 2:35 PM on May 6, 2011


A lower dollar would be really helpful.

Price corrections would be more appropriate. There's no inherently correct value for the dollar.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:28 AM on May 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Three blog posts on Facebook via Project Democracy:

6,201 reasons to get frustrated: 6,201 [votes] is the COMBINED margin of victory across the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings in Canada. The COMBINED margin of victory. This is how close the election actually was... it is the number of seats the Conservatives currently have above and beyond their majority. In these 14 contentious races, if there had been even a slightly more focused effort by the parties on the Left to consolidate their voter bases we could have easily swayed the balance of power away from the Conservatives and prevented their majority (only 6,201 votes total were needed, spread across 14 ridings).

If the first 6,201 reasons didn't get you frustrated, here are a few more: The Conservative majority rests upon an insanely thin razor's edge of 6,201 votes, which boggles the mind when you consider that around 14.7 million Canadians voted. The Conservatives do not have a majority because Canadians flocked to their banner (a 1.95% increase is negligible), but primarily because the surging NDP split the vote in Ontario. It is harshly ironic that the fact that a substantial number of voters moved even further to the left (from the Liberals to the NDP), resulted in the rule of Canada's most right wing political party.

What to do about those 6,201 frustrations: Better than strategic voting... would be a strategic alliance. It would work this way: in the next election - for one time only - New Democrat, Liberal, & Green parties, would accept the present electoral composition and agree not to run candidates against one another. Incumbent candidates would run unopposed, and only one candidate (from the opposition party that polled best in 2011) would run against the Conservatives. These parties are supported by at least 60.4% of the electorate. This strategic coalition would then hold office for only one term, and during it proportional representation would be introduced. After that, a new election would be held on that basis, and all parties would resume working independently. It would be a significant challenge to convince the parties to do so - but the result would be an enormous victory for democracy in Canada...
posted by flex at 1:51 PM on May 11, 2011


I don't agree with the 6201 stuff. Hindsight is 20/20 but none of those ridings were targeted by the many strategic voting campaigns, because nobody thought they were in play. In a couple cases the orange crush suddenly threatened a safe seat, but in most cases the Liberals self-destructing was to blame. This makes a huge failure look like a matter of a couple votes, but really those were just the last 6201 votes out of hundreds of thousands that evaporated and hundreds of thousands more that went NDP.

This is indeed the falsest majority in Canadian history, but that won't make it any less effective in passing its legislative agenda for the next four years. I do think we need some sort of electoral reform alliance, though, that would be delicious.
posted by mek at 2:28 PM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Conservatives will be aware of how tenuous their win is. Assuming they wish to get re-elected, their actions during the coming four years will be guided in part by the desire to not lose those 6201 votes; in fact, they will endeavorer to improve their lead.

This idea that the party in power can do whatever it likes is hogwash. The check and balance is the desire for power; the power is only maintained if you keep enough voters happy. To maintain (and extend) their gains, they will have to adopt a centrist approach. Sure you'll hear lots of right-wing rhetoric to appease their base, but the actions will be more subdued. Rhetoric is just rhetoric. And if they aren't, we'll have a new government (or a minority one) in four years.

The system is not broken (well, not yet anyway). Many many a government has obtained a majority with well less then 50% of the vote. Yet Canada remains stable and a great place to live. I'm not saying be complacent, but we aren't horribly broken either.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:37 PM on May 11, 2011


This idea that the party in power can do whatever it likes is hogwash. The check and balance is the desire for power; the power is only maintained if you keep enough voters happy. To maintain (and extend) their gains, they will have to adopt a centrist approach.

I agree more or less, but would add that the earlier part of the "mandate" will likely be the nastiest. Harper etc will want to make all their least popular moves sooner as opposed to be later, allowing for:

A. time for folks to forget
B. time for the Conservatives to suck up to those who haven't forgotten

So yeah, expect the next two years to be "interesting".
posted by philip-random at 2:56 PM on May 11, 2011


Sure you'll hear lots of right-wing rhetoric to appease their base, but the actions will be more subdued.

Optimistic. Looking at previous Tory majorities, this isn't the case. Diefenbaker and Mulroney both took their wins as a mandate to enact their agendas and ran the country into the ground leading to their crushing defeat. Harper is a smooth operator, but he definitely drinks the kool-aid. I don't see any reason to expect him to water down the policies he has been repeatedly trying to pass as minority leader.
posted by mek at 4:57 PM on May 11, 2011


Wasn't two weeks ago there was a big scare about how gas prices would soar if the lecture got in.

Hmmm.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:23 PM on May 11, 2011


Wasn't two weeks ago there was a big scare about how gas prices would soar if the lecture got in.

Apparently Canadian refineries are charging a 5-8 cent per litre premium over the world price of gas, according to Tomorrow's Gas Price Today. Great site, incidentally, whenever I'm contemplating getting gas I go there first to see if there's a significant drop coming. I don't know where they get their info from, but it is bang on every time I check (it caught last night's 7ish cent drop).
posted by antifuse at 6:10 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


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