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Taking Down Harper (part deux)
October 6, 2008 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Anti-Conservative site Vote For Environment, has had over a million hits in just 12 days. Previously.
posted by gman (33 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
You tricked me! I thought this was about the US election. How crafty of you.
posted by smackfu at 3:04 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


has had over a million hits in just 12 days.

Slow news day, huh?
posted by dhammond at 3:22 PM on October 6, 2008


You just shit on Metafilter.
posted by xmutex at 3:28 PM on October 6, 2008


I remember measuring hits on websites, back in 1997.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 3:30 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Too little too late, I imagine. It looks like the Conservatives have done pretty much all that seems necessary to retain power in Canada: don't fuck up too much at once.
posted by rokusan at 3:35 PM on October 6, 2008


The tags include both harper & antiharper. As such, they will annihilate each other, leaving the middle bloc standing, and thus in power.

...hooray! ?
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:37 PM on October 6, 2008


The tags include both harper & antiharper. As such, they will annihilate each other...

Can we harness this reaction for clean energy?
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:51 PM on October 6, 2008


That's right folks: think short term! Don't vote for the party that would change the electoral system so that all this strategic voting would be unnecessary. Vote for someone who isn't quite as bad as the other guys!
posted by ssg at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2008


They've actually been slipping in the polls (pdf). Best we can hope for is a minority Conservative government. Harper won't run again. Dion will be tossed. And as an added bonus, the Conservatives will be blamed for the imminent economic armageddon.
posted by gman at 4:03 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


: "This is a Liberal/Conservative race. The NDP can't win. We recommend voting for Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff."

That is some fine CBC journalism, I mean doesn't this belong as an editorial or an opinion piece? The Liberal bias in the CBC is flat-out disgusting. In a cluster of links full of lies and falsehoods, the biggest is the assumption that the Liberals are pro-enviornment, I mean these are the same Liberals who were in power for most of the 90's up until about 2004... These are the same Liberals who signed Kyoto and didn't do a thing to implement it. Brian Mulroney was better for the enviornment than Martin/Chretien... several NGO's have said so.

I am not going to buy the idea that the Liberal and Conservatives are the only choices. Choosing between Harper and Dion is like asking me to choose between being stabbed with a knife or a screwdriver.

The left, particularily in the West will never unite behind the Liberals - the Liberal Party of Canada is simply not a legitimate part of the social fabric. Furthermore, the Liberals are a Bay Street Party full of well-documented corruption. The "Anyone But Conservatives" movement is a bunch of bullshit, the people who fall for this are the Canadian equivalents of the second-term Bush voters in terms of skill at political analysis.

At the end of the day, I can't tell people how to vote but I would encourage people to vote for a party that will allow them to sleep at night... Just look at what the Liberals and Cons have done in the past...
posted by Deep Dish at 4:06 PM on October 6, 2008


I find it kind of depressing that every riding I've lived in save one is a strong Conservative seat. I guess that's what I get for living in rural Eastern/Northern Ontario.
posted by riane at 4:08 PM on October 6, 2008


: "This is a Liberal/Conservative race. The NDP can't win. We recommend voting for Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff."

That is some fine CBC journalism, I mean doesn't this belong as an editorial or an opinion piece?


You realize that quote was lifted as an example from the website votefortheenvironment.ca, not a stance that the CBC was taking? I understand your frustration, but this wasn't an editorial comment by the CBC, it was a comment by the website they were reporting on.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:13 PM on October 6, 2008


I remember measuring hits on websites, back in 1997.

Canada is AT LEAST 10 years behind.
posted by gman at 4:15 PM on October 6, 2008


Canada is AT LEAST 10 years behind.

That's unfair, since those are metric years. In Imperial units, Canada is only 4 years behind.
posted by rokusan at 4:27 PM on October 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Deep Dish: I understand your frustration, but did you read the nine words before that sentence, which begin with "The site"? Or the mention of the Anti-Harper Facebook Swap up top?

It's not like they're calling this a Fair And Balanced (TM!) website, but are just reporting on yet ANOTHER strategic voting ABC website that has become successful. Nothing wrong with that, nothing biased.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:31 PM on October 6, 2008


Choosing between Harper and Dion is like asking me to choose between being stabbed with a knife or a screwdriver.

If I were you, I'd choose screwdriver.

Just some friendly advice.
posted by adamdschneider at 4:46 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Choosing between Harper and Dion is like asking me to choose between being stabbed with a knife or a screwdriver.

Comments like this are why I think it's funny that some people accuse the Canadian media of having a (capital-L) Liberal bias - there is no political leader I can think of since maybe Joe Clark that the media has collectively loathed as much as they do Stephane Dion.

There are reasons to be upset with Dion - he rolled over for far too many bad Tory bills while strategically trying to find a good position for the Liberals to return to power, a task made vastly more difficult by electoral fundraising reforms (that we needed, but it simply killed Liberal fundraising capacity) - but come on. The guy is a ridiculously competent technocrat. He more or less wrote the Clarity Act all by himself, which quietly strangled Quebec nationalism to death. He then got shuffled over to the Environment portfolio, with no prior environmental experience, and within three months had better mastery of the subject matter than most lifelong activists.

He's easily the smartest person we've had as a Canadian political party leader in decades, and on top of that by all accounts he's moral and upstanding. The media doesn't like him, though, because he's not charismatic, speaks hokey English at best, and provides bad copy - and it's easy to write an anti-Dion story because the Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae wings of the Liberal party are all too willing to anonymously trash Dion behind his back.

Just bear this in mind. Dion's going to get turfed after the election despite managing to hold the Tories to a minority (and he will - the latest Harris/Decima polls just a week before the election show the Tories dropping precipitously in Quebec and Ontario, where they planned to get all those shiny new seats in Parliament), probably for the horrible Ignatieff or unelectable Rae. There are few political leaders in Canadian history who have been treated less fairly than Stephane Dion.
posted by mightygodking at 4:56 PM on October 6, 2008 [9 favorites]


He's easily the smartest person we've had as a Canadian political party leader in decades, and on top of that by all accounts he's moral and upstanding. The media doesn't like him, though, because he's not charismatic, speaks hokey English at best, and provides bad copy - and it's easy to write an anti-Dion story because the Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae wings of the Liberal party are all too willing to anonymously trash Dion behind his back.

As you point out, Dion rolled over on about 43 bills to keep the Conservative government going... all those arts cuts? Dion could have stopped them he didn't. Dion knows his real base of support is Bay Street, and this is why he didn't force an election. Dion's refusal to force an election was just as cynical as Harper's election call.

The Liberals lied about killing the GST, they lied about killing free trade and for some reason they are to be trusted on the environment? Before you even look at Dion's resume he has to be held accountable for all those other Liberal failures. Hokey English skills were no barrier to Jean Chretien's success in a number of elections... its just that Dion isn't at Chretien's level.

Also, I didn't accuse the National Media of a Liberal bias... clearly the National Post and CanWest favour the Conservatives... I said the CBC has a Liberal bias, and until CBC interviewers stop rolling their eyes on camera when Jack Layton is talking finance I will stand by that.
posted by Deep Dish at 5:53 PM on October 6, 2008


Vote for environment is the only place I have encountered riding-by-riding polls. My riding is extremely tight and it is really valuable for me to know which parties have a viable shot at winning the seat and which are way behind. I simply don't know where else to look for such information. CBC doesn't seem to have it.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:54 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vote for environment is the only place I have encountered riding-by-riding polls. My riding is extremely tight and it is really valuable for me to know which parties have a viable shot at winning the seat and which are way behind.

Here are a couple of good links for poll-by-poll information. The Hill and Knowlton one will drill down into your riding, election prediction just relies on people sending in information but it was pretty reliable on the ridings I watched.

http://predictor.hillandknowlton.ca/
http://www.electionprediction.org/
posted by Deep Dish at 6:06 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I mostly agree with mightygodking, with one notable exception, I don't think Dion is an effective party leader for an election. He was chosen as a compromise after a deadlocked leadership convention, and his lack of strong support within his caucus is all to obvious. While he may be a competent and dedicated policy maker, he simply doesn't have what it takes to win elections. He was totally unwilling, not only to fight dirty, but to even go negative against Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, who have given him more than enough ammunition. His biggest problem, however, is how effectively Harper--and to a lesser extent, the shamelessly opportunistic Layton--has managed to completely define both Dion and his policies, especially the absurdly maligned "Green Shift", which Harper and Layton seem to have convinced people will "screw everybody".

Of course, the media and the anti-Dion liberals waiting in the wings share a good deal of the blame. The Canadian media seems to have either swallowed whole the idea that a small, gradually implemented, revenue neutral carbon tax will be an unmitigated disaster (unlike climate change) or they have become like the American press, believing that balanced coverage precludes challenging the truth of politicians claims and treating how loudly and often a politician makes a claim as analogous to the claim's legitimacy. In an environment like this, an earnest policy-minded Dion stands very little chance of making a serious case for his proposals. At the same time, it's pretty clear that there are strong elements of the liberal party that want nothing more than to see Dion and his risky yet principled carbon policy tossed to curb.

Ultimately, Dion's greatest flaw is the same as Jimmy Carter's was: believing that being more earnest and proposing better policy are all it takes to win an election. It would be unadulterated cynicism to think that this isn't important, but it takes a kind of naivete to believe it sufficient.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:31 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Watching the debate the other evening, I assessed the candidates in the following way with the sound off: what creature did they most resemble in appearance and movement?

Dion: Elementary school guidance counselor.
Layton: High school principal.
May: Coffee lady. Three sugars.
Duceppe: Rabbit stuck in traffic.
Harper: wiiiide mooouuth frog.

This isn't really that helpful, but it made me laugh a lot as they went around the table.

Layton: It's harper's fault! Harper harper harper harp!
Harper: [eyes bulge]
Dion: We should build more consensus, work together. Like friends! With cake!
May: This isn't important. What's important is: one or two creams?
Duceppe: Wait, what? Run!
Harper: BOOOORP.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:49 PM on October 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I voted Conservative in the last election. I couldn't stomach voting Liberal (after the thievery and scandals and Paul Martin's smug face). I wasn't going to vote for the fiscally-ridiculous NDP.

This time, I'll be voting Green. I've always been a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, and I do think that some of Green's platform would negatively impact Canada. It's just that the Conservatives have done enough things that I find utterly dishonourable that I can't vote for them. I still can't bring myself to vote Liberal (especially since Dion is a shrieking idiot), and the NDP are even more ridiculous than before.

So Green it is. Elizabeth May is pretty smart and thoughtful, if a little glib. I've probably spent 20 hours researching my decision, which is far more than most Canadians I'd bet.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:02 PM on October 6, 2008


He was totally unwilling, not only to fight dirty, but to even go negative against Stephen Harper and the Conservatives...

Glad you said "was", because I've seen nothing but insults and fighting dirty from him for many weeks.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:03 PM on October 6, 2008


Whoa there folks, what's all this? Don't you mean Obama and McCain? Canada has a government? Stop bursting my insulating US-centric internet bubble.

I don't know much about these "politicians", if that's what you call them in Canada too, but I hope the environment wins for once.

Joking aside, I am a bit ashamed at my ignorance.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:04 PM on October 6, 2008


I fully agree mightygodking, although I'm more naively optimistic.

I can sympathize with people who feel dissatisfied with Canada's political landscape. Nevertheless, I would infinitely prefer the extremely faint possibility of a majority Liberal-NDP coalition, than wish a Conservative minority down upon my head. Especially given the times.

I'm going to vote accordingly.
posted by Alex404 at 9:16 PM on October 6, 2008


Dion could have stopped them he didn't.

You strongly overrate Dion's control over his caucus. This isn't Chretien or Paul Martin, both of whom controlled the party with an iron hand. This is Dion, who's really only the party leader because Ignatieff and Rae fought a war of mutually assured destruction and both decided to compromise and let Dion have the leadership during the rebuilding period for the party.

if Dion had wanted to force a confidence vote over something as rinky-dink as arts funding (and I say this as someone who supports arts funding), he would have faced full-on rebellion from the ranks. The Liberals are scared - they're not used to not being the big dogs in Canadian politics. We're a generation out from the Mulroney years now. That Dion got the Green Shift into the party platform is nothing short of a minor miracle.
posted by mightygodking at 9:44 PM on October 6, 2008


I wasn't going to vote for the fiscally-ridiculous NDP.

Living in Saskatchewan, I can tell you that our NDP governments were very good for balanced budgets and provided a few tax cuts. The current "Saskaboom" was built on NDP policy - decreases in oil royalties, balanced budgets, and a rainy day fund were all from the Romanow/Calvert NDP - the new government just skated in and took the credit for it. Manitoba had some good NDP governments too. By contrast, when the Saskatchewan PC Party was in power, we needed a federal bailout to prevent the province from going bankrupt and many of the PC MLA's went to jail. Right now we are a "have" province.
posted by Deep Dish at 10:12 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


So Green it is. Elizabeth May is pretty smart and thoughtful, if a little glib. I've probably spent 20 hours researching my decision, which is far more than most Canadians I'd bet.

Sorry for the double post but did you find this little gem from Elizabeth May in your research?
posted by Deep Dish at 10:18 PM on October 6, 2008


Sorry for the double post but did you find this little gem from Elizabeth May in your research?

Dude! I don't think she said Canadians are stupid. She was agreeing that most politicians think Canadians are stupid.
posted by gman at 4:11 AM on October 7, 2008


I wasn't going to vote for the fiscally-ridiculous NDP.

In Ontario, the NDP were ousted in Ontario is because they cut spending during a recession and pissed off the public sector unions. (This did mean that the more fiscally sensible NDPers, like Rae, left for the Liberals - and made me, raised a commie, really, really pissed off at the union movement for being so shortsighted and egregiously selfish - they screwed the really poor in Ontario for the next decade just so they wouldn't have to take a few days pay cut.)

Whereas the Tories left the province bankrupt during an economic boom.

I would trust the NDP with my wallet centuries before I would let the Tories (Harris or Harper) near it.
posted by jb at 7:50 AM on October 7, 2008


> I would trust the NDP with my wallet centuries before I would let the Tories (Harris or Harper) near it.

Word. There are so many former Harrisites in Harper's government that I wouldn't entrust the Conservatives with anything more important than the planning of a community centre bake sale.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:20 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


This site told me that in my riding (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour*), it's a race between the NDP and Liberals, so I could vote my heart. I've already voted, so this is no help, but it's nice to have my sense of how things are going confirmed.

* Hi, hydrobatidae!
posted by joannemerriam at 6:01 PM on October 7, 2008


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