Canadian Federal Election
August 15, 2021 8:26 AM   Subscribe

The writ has dropped. Or... whatever. Less that two years after Canada's last federal election (previously), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided to try converting his minority government into a majority in the middle of a pandemic.

The Conservative Party of Canada, under new leader Erin O'Toole, appears to have decided on poorly conceived trolling as its campaign strategy.

The Green Party, under new leader Annamie Paul, has been busy tearing itself apart over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jagmeet Singh, on his second election as New Democratic Party leader, has been Tik-Toking.

The People's Party of Canada, which has no seats in the House of Commons, continues its tradition of standing up for dumb, anti-social ideas.

The Bloc, in its second election under Yves-François Blanchet, will be trying to hold steady after chumminess and money for childcare has earned points for Trudeau with Quebec's popular premier.

The CBC's poll tracker is giving Trudeau a coin flip chance of getting the majority government he desires.

Maclean's reports on which emotion-provoking brand words Canadians associate with each party.
posted by clawsoon (272 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trudeau is an oil money prime minister so we are F***ed.
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:55 AM on August 15 [5 favorites]


Bummer. Don't really want a federal election right now, but the structure of our system means that opportunities must be seized... and with mostly lame or disorganized opposition, and a passing grade for managing the COVID crisis in Canada... it's a pretty good opportunity for Trudeau.

At least no one will pretend the election was fraudulent, afterwards. Just cynically opportunistic.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:57 AM on August 15 [7 favorites]


The strategy worked well for Horgan in BC.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:12 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]


This is a really, really shitty idea on a lot of levels, and I hope that the Liberals are very punished for this (and, ideally, that the NDP get those votes; I have this weird hope that that guy Gurdeep of the Yukon who has been doing all the Bhangra dances online has helped with the idea of voting for a party helmed by a Sikh man).


Did the GG have any real options to refuse to dissolve parliament, what with it being less than 2 years into a mandate that can last up to 5 years, and in the middle of a surging pandemic? I'm also annoyed that after his initial promise to end FPTP he made one bullshit survey then ignored it forever, though of course FPTP helps the liberals the most so I can't imagine what I expected.
posted by jeather at 9:15 AM on August 15 [9 favorites]


Incidentally this dumps the early voting days right around the high holidays again -- I haven't checked to see the exact timing and wonder if it's the same problem as last time.
posted by jeather at 9:18 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]


Looks like the dumb Conservative ads may have something to do with UK and NZ consultants who helped birth such hits as Brexit and Boris Johnson's majority. Hopefully Covid has changed the mood enough that the "aren't 50-year-old men acting like 14-year-old boys so refreshing?" strategy doesn't pan out this time.
posted by clawsoon at 9:21 AM on August 15 [6 favorites]


Trudeau is an oil money prime minister so

I will vote as a I always do for the candidate who I feel has the best chance of beating the candidate I fear the most. In my riding, that generally means voting NDP. Lucky me. But I'd vote Liberal in a heartbeat if I felt that was the best option. The last thing we need is a return to a Conservative "mandate" which only ever happens up here when the left and the centre left and the dead centre divide among themselves.
posted by philip-random at 9:25 AM on August 15 [30 favorites]


jeather : Did the GG have any real options to refuse to dissolve parliament

It caused a constitutional crisis last time, and it has never been tried again as far as I know.

I'm also annoyed that after his initial promise to end FPTP he made one bullshit survey then ignored it forever, though of course FPTP helps the liberals the most so I can't imagine what I expected.

The CBC poll tracker gives a nice illustration of this if you flip the "How has support changed over time?" graph from "Polling averages" to "Seat projections". And of course the Conservatives will never get rid of FPTP, since it's their only chance to ever form a government.
posted by clawsoon at 9:26 AM on August 15 [4 favorites]


According to the opposition, this has been the most corrupt and dictatorial government in Canadian parliamentary history. You would think they would all be very excited for this opportunity to rid the country of this scourge, and have been preparing for this chance to show Canadians a better option. Yet it's only the Liberals who are in favour of this.

The Conservatives have been demanding Canadians learn to live with the pandemic, to open up the border, open up businesses, move on with our lives in this new normal. So why are they so upset?

We're currently in an election already in Nova Scotia (and Mr. Singh was just here this week on the campaign trail, so he apparently isn't bothered by them right now), and there have been five other provincial/territorial elections during the pandemic already. We're mostly vaccinated now (other than elementary school children, and they don't go to the polls), so it's time we got back to living. The post-pandemic world is going to be very different from what we've just faced, so it's a perfectly reasonable time to ask what direction we want to go next.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:39 AM on August 15 [9 favorites]


well, damn…doubt my ex-pat mail ballot will get to me in time
posted by mollymillions at 9:47 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


As someone involved in a campaign, can I just say that I really appreciate how short the election cycle is in Canada? We should know who forms the next government by September 20, a little over a month from now.

The Conservatives are remarkably weak in the polls right now, so I would guess that the Liberal team sees this as an opportunity to go to the electorate before the new Conservative leader has a chance to get the infighting on his side under control. Of course they can't say this!

Reg Whitaker:
[Paul Martin Sr.] brought into politics not only a persistent idealism but also a certain boyish naiveté (especially evident in foreign affairs) that stood in peculiar contrast to his image as a machine politician. Yet it is precisely this odd juxtaposition of apparent innocent idealism with crafty control over the nitty gritty of real politics that has infuriated and bewildered generations of opponents of the Liberal Party. Conservatives and social democrats have often thrown up their hands and charged successive Liberal governments with hypocrisy as they were beaten again and again at the polls by this combination of high-minded rhetoric and effective down-and-dirty tactics in the trenches. Both the practical and idealist sides of the Liberal Party were real and persistent and help account for the party’s long success: without the ability to get out the vote (with whatever that took to accomplish), the grand policy goals could never be achieved; yet mere electoral success without a justifying vision would pall and eventually fail.
At the same time, there are real issues here, which the Liberals have been careful to emphasize with the string of recent announcements on child-care funding agreements with the provinces (modeled after Quebec's $10-a-day program) and on housing projects funded by the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and other programs.

The federal income supports (CERB, CEWS, CEBA, and so on) - like a giant emergency version of EI - have been funded by huge amounts of debt. I would guess that this will be one of the main attack points of the Conservatives: look, Trudeau's putting a huge burden on future generations, we need to get spending under control.

The counter-argument: Three years after the 2008 financial crisis, when Chrystia Freeland (now finance minister and deputy PM) was a business journalist, she observed that premature fiscal tightening before reaching full employment was a huge mistake. For long-term sustainability, it makes sense to get a credible fiscal plan in place - but don't trigger it until we're back at full employment. Economic Crisis Will Leave Scars That Last for Years.
The sort of metaphors we tend to reach for, to borrow one from the White House, are of the car that was driven into the ditch. It is unpleasant to be stuck in the mud, and pushing it out is hard work, but once we are back on the road it will be full speed ahead.

The better, but grimmer, comparison is to infant malnutrition. Even if that child grows into a well-fed adult, her early experience of deprivation will do lasting damage.

That ugly image is particularly apt because the hardest hit will probably be young people. Mr. Peck spoke to Lisa Kahn, a Yale economist, who found that getting your first job during a deep recession meant a starting salary 25 percent lower than during a boom, and an income 10 percent less 17 years later. Even mid-career, the recession generation not only takes home a thinner paycheck, it is lower down the corporate hierarchy and more professionally timorous.
posted by russilwvong at 10:04 AM on August 15 [11 favorites]


"Why are people mad about a federal election less than 2 years after the last one when there have already been 5 provincial/territorial elections during the pandemic, 3 of which were required by law and 1 of which was roundly criticised?"

Look if the last federal election had been in 2017, even though it's not strictly necessary to have an election in 4 years, people would have understood it's the right time. There was even legislation going through to make it easier to vote by mail, which is now dead. (You can do it anyways, but it's a pain.)

I've worked at a bunch of elections but hell no am I going to sit in an indoor place with piles of other people who may or may not be vaccinated (not sure if the "federal employees must be vaccinated" will include temporary elections workers) for 13 hours plus training time. (Also, nice to imagine we're in a post-pandemic world, or will be soon.)

Do I think the Liberals have been especially corrupt or dictatorial? Not really.

I checked, and it looks like the advance polling dates will not overlap with Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur, though the day of the election is erev Sukkot.
posted by jeather at 10:06 AM on August 15 [5 favorites]


Since 2/3rds of Canadians are now fully vaccinated (3/4 partially), and a good portion of the remainder are under 12 (and not likely going to the polls), you're worried about anti-vaxxers mostly. What do you think will change in that population in two years or four years or even ten years? Should we cancel all future elections, too?

I've worked a bunch of elections myself, and the only people I've been in close contact for an extended time are the other poll workers. Lots of advance polling options spreads out the numbers as well. My mother-in-law and my son are both working the current election. There's lots of precautions in place.

If you are really mad at Trudeau for calling this election and want to do something about it, boy do I have some really good news for you.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:24 AM on August 15 [9 favorites]


To me the election just seems pointless and cynical. At least get yourself a vote of no confidence. Show us what it is that you want to do that the NDP and Bloc aren't letting you do.

And if you say that it's just because you're being slowed down too much, well, you were the one who told the Senate to be more active and throw gum in the works whenever they felt like it.

It seems as cynical and pointless as most early election calls in Canada have been.
posted by clawsoon at 10:32 AM on August 15 [6 favorites]


I'm worried about everyone, since there is less complete coverage against Delta, which is more transmissible. The timing is also perfect for parents to have just been infected by their newly infected children in elementary schools. In 10 years everyone will have some amount of immunity and it will be more like the flu. Having one now is adding risk for everyone for no particular good reason, except that it helps some politicians.

I've been in very close, prolonged contact with other poll workers, brief but long enough close contact with each voter, and congrats if you've never had to wait in line to vote, I guess, because I have (one to get in, one to be told my poll, one at my poll) and that is yet more close contact. (I assume masks will be required for everyone, though.)

I've never voted Liberal in a federal election and wasn't going to start this time.
posted by jeather at 10:34 AM on August 15 [9 favorites]


Jody Wilson-Raybould's book, "'Indian' in the cabinet," goes on sale September 14. Just sayin'.
posted by No Robots at 10:38 AM on August 15 [7 favorites]


I will vote as a I always do for the candidate who I feel has the best chance of beating the candidate I fear the most.

It’s the Canadian way!

My riding has gone Conservative (Reform, Alliance, etc.) for the last 50 years, by a wide margin for every election except in 1988 and 1972. People keep trying to argue that voting Liberal is the only way to beat entrenched Conservative candidates. It’s not working so far, at least not in my riding.

I dutifully vote every election, always for the NDP because IMO they’re the best chance we have for sustaining life on the planet (and even so, I don’t find them as progressive as I’d like). God damn the first past the post system, which makes me feel like I’m throwing away my vote, and fuck Trudeau for going back on his promise for electoral reform. Not that I actually trusted him to keep his word.

The last time my federal candidate won was 2000. I was living in East Vancouver and had voted for Libby Davies, who has always had an excellent track record as a champion for social justice. I will never forget going to the polling station, looking around at my fellow voters, and thinking not only was my candidate the incumbent, but she would almost certainly win again. It’s the first and last time I voted in a federal election surrounded by other people not voting against their best interests. Ah, I miss East Van.

I wonder if they’ll make vaccines mandatory for poll workers this election.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:14 AM on August 15 [5 favorites]


Our riding had a federal by election not too long ago, mid-pandemic. To my everlasting surprise, I found the voting experience to be way less anxiety-inducing than I thought it was going to be.

My thoughts are with all of the poll workers who are going to have to deal with loudmouth anti-mask shitheads in places where masking requirements have already been dropped or lessened, since I'd assume that Elections Canada is going to have a uniform set of polling place precautions in place as they have for various byelections during the pandemic, and I can't imagine that they're not going to require masks at polling stations.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:12 PM on August 15 [4 favorites]


Ah, I miss East Van.

I've lived in East Van for almost 30 years and it's still odd for me to vote for winning candidates in federal and provincial elections. Being quite left wing does that to a feller. East Van is the most solidly NDP riding in the country from what I understand.

I hate elections, I really do, but I vote every single time. It's my goddamned fucking duty as a citizen. I found the recent provincial election extremely well run as far as voting in person went and the rules that were put in place for Covid so I think it will be a non issue for this election.

My own sense is that turn out will be low, Trudeau won't get a majority, and the only reason he'll beat the Cons is because they are so inept and O'Toole has the personality of a snow tire. The NDP might even beat them.

I really don't have much more to add other than see you on voting day and that I dearly hope the Cons get no where near the levers of power.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:13 PM on August 15 [8 favorites]


Phlegmco(tm): and the only reason he'll beat the Cons is because they are so inept and O'Toole has the personality of a snow tire.

You know you're not doing well when:

If Harper returned to once again lead the Conservatives, it would cut the Liberal advantage by two-thirds
posted by clawsoon at 1:12 PM on August 15 [5 favorites]


I guess I should do this in Ask, but any idea whether a Canadian who has lived abroad for a long number of years and is currently a resident of Spain can vote? I seem to remember that there was some 5y limit before, but there was talk of removing it?
posted by jpziller at 1:14 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


As far as I know there are no rules limiting how long you can have been away anymore.
If you're a Canadian citizen living abroad, you can vote by mail. To do so, you must:

be at least 18 years old on election day
have lived in Canada at some point in your life
posted by jeather at 1:33 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


AFAIK, you just need to get on the International Register of Electors to be sent a special ballot abroad. From Elections Canada:

To be on the International Register of Electors, you must:

be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old on polling day
be living outside Canada
have lived in Canada at some point in your life

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:33 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


I suppose this is all based on strategic calculations and part and parcel of politics -- like it or not, part of how the game is played.
What has me entirely frustrated is the lack of a meaningful response from any of the party leaders on the IPCC Report. I suspect they'll have no choice but to engage with it in their campaigns, but at this point any promises about the environment ring hollow to me, especially given our experience here in B.C. with the Provincial NDP...
posted by kmkrebs at 2:13 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


My own sense is that turn out will be low, Trudeau won't get a majority, and the only reason he'll beat the Cons is because they are so inept and O'Toole has the personality of a snow tire. The NDP might even beat them.

If there's no flukes or major plot twists, I'd buy this prediction.


If Harper returned to once again lead the Conservatives, it would cut the Liberal advantage by two-thirds...

I don't really see it. Harper had his time. If he came back again, I don't think he'd fly.


In other Canadian political news: successful "Red Tory"-style 20th century Ontario Premier Bill Davis RIP.
posted by ovvl at 2:34 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]


O'Toole has the personality of a snow tire

That comparison might be giving O’Toole too much credit for depth of character (versus tread depth); and/or for usefulness in preventing crashes and injury of any sort.
posted by eviemath at 3:09 PM on August 15 [11 favorites]


Trudeau is an oil money prime minister so we are F***ed.

Liberals that are pro-oil are actually the real (neo-)conservatives
posted by polymodus at 3:41 PM on August 15


If you're not in Canada (or are and just don't follow politics) here is a link to the Vote Compass which might let you know which party aligns with your personal politics.
posted by thecjm at 4:01 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]


(and to point out how Canadian the above vote compass is, when it asks your religion, one of the drop-down options is Raelian)
posted by thecjm at 4:06 PM on August 15 [7 favorites]


Justin is seeming very much as savvy as his father, Pierre.
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 PM on August 15


I tended to live in Liberal strong holds when I was in Montreal or Toronto, and far right canadiates in small town Albera (Reform, back in the day) I am now having a fairly far left candiate, I find him a little smug, and a little disingeious, b ut he does the work (Green, in Hamilton Center), and I'm not exhausted and ashamed to vote for him.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:25 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


i am exhausted by Singh's performative hipness tho
posted by PinkMoose at 4:28 PM on August 15


I'm curious, PinkMoose, what strikes you as performatively hip about Jagmeet Singh? (This isn't meant to be hostile--although he doesn't come across to me that way at all, I do acknowledge he's not everyone's cup of tea.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:54 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]


I can see how some of his TikTok videos would read as performatively hip. I'm not sure where cruising on a longboard ranks on the Stockwell-Day-On-A-Jet-Ski scale, but it'd be on there somewhere if the press decided to use it. Probably okay as long as he resists the urge to roll up to a press conference on his new board.
posted by clawsoon at 5:02 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Please find a way to point out to all the boomers in your life, that Erin O’Toole is a year YOUNGER than Justin Trudeau. (I'm NDP but will vote for any non-conservative)
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:07 PM on August 15 [11 favorites]


He is not. I refuse to believe that.
posted by jeather at 5:18 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]


Im mostly talking about the tik toks. I don;t want my ppliticans to be well liked, or engraitate themselves, I want a certain amount of gravistas and solid policiy choices.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:53 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


one of the drop-down options is Raelian

Waiting for the Heritage Minute commemorating the time Pauline Marois got into an argument with Claude Vorilhon.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:59 PM on August 15


And yet, tik tok is a great platform to reach younger voters. And yet, many who bemoan the use of tik tok likely whine about "millennials" etc. not voting.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:01 PM on August 15 [5 favorites]


i am at the edge of millenial, and have not lost an election, i think young folks in my circle (which is a very unusual circle) view it as patronizing.
posted by PinkMoose at 6:03 PM on August 15


Thanks for the explanation, PinkMoose. I admit I have not seen his TikToks but then I am not the target audience for them.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:10 PM on August 15


I find him earnest and sincere. Unlike with other political leaders, I believe he actually really cares about the fact that many Indigenous people still don’t have clean water, that the environment is going to hell, that workers are getting fucked over, and that black Canadians are getting harassed or killed on the regular by police.

Also, I really am sick and tired of white men running my country.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:17 PM on August 15 [18 favorites]


His most popular Tiktok.

Some other memes I don't understand.

In terms of playing with new ways of communicating with the electorate that the Internet opens up, it's definitely less obnoxious than the Conservative meme-ing, but it's a risk for, as you rightly say, someone who does seem to genuinely care. I guess we'll see how it works out?
posted by clawsoon at 6:20 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


Today was a beach day for me, so I was blissfully unaware that the election had actually been called. Driving home around dinnertime, there were already blue signs lining highway 6. The Conservatives around here moved fast.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:35 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Here in sunny Scarborough Southwest, we've got Bill "Hold a mirror to his face and check if he's still alive" Blair (Lib). He does so many other things in parliament that his constituency ranks roughly 8003rd in his priorities, between parliamentary toilet paper selection and residential school reparations. The neighbourhood is changing for the better, and there are a bunch of neat local businesses run by young Black entrepreneurs.

Doubtless the NDP will field a kick-ass candidate, and the Cons will fly in someone chinless who's never even had a kothu roti in their life. The PPC will have their usual terrible candidate who is trying not to have their previous made public. But 10 days before the election, mark my words, someone will insinuate “but crrrrriiiimmme …” and people will get scared and vote for Sleepy "X Copper, Watch Me Card Black Kids" Billy Blair anyway.

successful "Red Tory"-style 20th century Ontario Premier Bill Davis RIP.

You're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but Davis saddled Ontario with huge nuclear debt after greenlighting Darlington with no consultation. It's maybe a bit soon to put "This is not a place of honour" on his grave, but that's about the right tone.
posted by scruss at 6:37 PM on August 15 [4 favorites]


God that’s depressing about Bill Blair and Scarborough. He should be forced to read David Chariandy’s Brother with his eyes propped open, Clockwork Orange style.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:42 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


scruss: The PPC will have their usual terrible candidate who is trying not to have their previous made public.

I have a friend - well, you know, a Facebook friend - who became the PPC candidate for his riding by acclamation for this election. I see that they still have "Vacant - Click here to apply" for Scarborough Southwest, so perhaps you still have a chance to put that on your resume, lol...
posted by clawsoon at 6:51 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


Not wild about having an election, but what will be interesting for me to watch here in Alberta is how well Justin weaponizes Jason Kenney; as someone put it in my Twitter feed today, there is a certain mood in Alberta right now and if any party can figure out how to tap into it, it could be wild (though don't hold your breath). The liberals are actually running a pretty strong candidate in my riding, against a perennial back bencher so that might also be interesting.
posted by nubs at 9:16 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


He is not. I refuse to believe that.

Justin Trudeau - born Dec 25 1971
Erin O'Toole - born Jan 22 1973
posted by nubs at 9:18 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


My word, I am very surprised to learn from the above comment that I am less than seven months younger than O'Toole. I'm sure I would have guessed him to be in his fifties. Upon scrutinizing his photos, I think it's his white hair that makes him present as older than he is, because he doesn't really look older than he is in the face.
posted by orange swan at 10:02 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


O’Toole is way older if you look beyond calendar dates.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:07 PM on August 15 [10 favorites]


I'm also annoyed that after his initial promise to end FPTP he made one bullshit survey then ignored it forever, though of course FPTP helps the liberals the most so I can't imagine what I expected.


I'm not, because the committee got poisoned by bullshit like the Gallagher Index, which effectively measures how close to perfect Proportional Voting a system is. Leaving aside that fact that Canada has always considered minimums for specific regional representation to be a near constitutional requirement, and that PR would effectively extinguish things like Indigenous-majority riding representation, the whole idea of reps being mostly selected by party insiders and not direct votes is repellant to me.

I'm not going to defend FPTP, I'm not a Liberal partisan, but I'm also not prepared to immediately embrace a system that forces us to have the closest thing we can get to national vote percentages either. There are real reasons PR is not a great solution for Canada, yet those solutions were largely vilified by the parliamentary committee report. As such, I'm actually glad it got shut down, as it had seen such ideological capture as to be actively harmful to the country, IMO.
posted by bonehead at 6:09 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


I'm not really annoyed by the short cycle. The Liberals have a minority that was getting pushed by the NDP (to the betterment of the country but I'm sure the Liberals would disagree). And I believe that variability in election intervals is key to avoiding some of the 365 election action the Americans suffer from. Big dark money at least has a much tougher time effectively timing their spends which is why fixed elections are such a priority for the right.

I think the Liberals have a good chance here of getting a majority. I'm far from the only person who thinks they would have been homeless (or dead) if O'Toole had been running things for the past 18 months. Many of those people were seeing the benefit of a social safety net personally for the first time in their lives and are, I like to hope, less likely to buy into austerity.
posted by Mitheral at 6:42 AM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Justin Trudeau - born Dec 25 1971
Erin O'Toole - born Jan 22 1973


Emperor Palpatine was also much younger than his appearance would lead you to believe. Makes you think.

I see that the Liberals wasted no time getting lawn signs out on my commute this morning.
posted by rodlymight at 7:45 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


I find the comments re: Singh's "performative hipness" or whatever to be interesting. And by that I mean wrong-minded. Anyone who has lived in this country knows that there are still a lot of people here who consider "real" Canadians have a certain skin colour.. hell, I suspect there are still lasting remnants of anglo-centric elitism if you scratch a little. If you criticize Singh for his longboard stunts and his TikTok campaign, answer me this: when do we see a PM elected who is not white-skinned and/or not a male? You may prefer a nameless, effective bureaucrat to get elected, but the history of politics (especially over the past 25 years) is a clear indicator that a lot of the time, that is just not getting you elected. I'm hopeful that any efforts to reach younger voters are effective.. and we may not see the results for an election cycle or so, and it's not the only way forward, but it's one of the ways forward. You have to start somewhere, and Singh is a start. He also passes the Who Would I Have a Beer With test, personally.
posted by elkevelvet at 8:00 AM on August 16 [5 favorites]


I have a feeling the Liberals calling an election now will backfire on them just enough that they will wind up with another minority. O'Toole sucks and nobody likes him, but there are enough people in Canada who would rather the place was run like Florida to ensure that their support will never crater, and there are enough centre-left-leaning people who will never vote NDP at the federal level to ensure that they never take power. Best-case scenario, I guess, is that the PPC siphons off enough of the nutbar vote from the Cons to decimate them and that the NDP wind up holding the balance of power again, but on the other hand I would rather the PPC be cast into the dustbin of history because I don't want them hanging around.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:05 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


The Liberals must be slowpokes, the NDP managed to get an election flyer in my mailbox on August 4!
posted by giltay at 8:08 AM on August 16


With any luck, this election will be such a disaster for the Conservatives that it will mean the end of O'Toole's time as Conservative leader. Not that they'll come up with anyone better next time.
posted by orange swan at 8:18 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]



I see that the Liberals wasted no time getting lawn signs out on my commute this morning.


They had ads going on my YouTube videos yesterday morning; they were ready.
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on August 16


My thoughts are with all of the poll workers who are going to have to deal with loudmouth anti-mask shitheads

Is the PPC a big enough deal that they will get to have a representative on-site at every polling station? (Are there party representatives on-site at every polling station?)

Our riding had a federal by election not too long ago, mid-pandemic. To my everlasting surprise, I found the voting experience to be way less anxiety-inducing than I thought it was going to be.

I realized recently that, because voting in Canada is quite efficient, the average voter spends less time in a polling station when voting than he or she spends in a grocery store on a typical shopping trip. Poll workers have a lot to worry about, but we ordinary voters are probably fine, especially if we're double-vaxxed.

What has me entirely frustrated is the lack of a meaningful response from any of the party leaders on the IPCC Report.

The Conservatives don't believe that climate change is a problem. The Liberals won't mention climate change unless they feel they are threatened by the NDP. Given that the Green Party has imploded, the NDP doesn't need to mention climate change.

Justin is seeming very much as savvy as his father, Pierre.

I'm not as much of a fan of Justin Trudeau as some people, but many many people underestimate him because he isn't a deep thinker and is photogenic. He is descended from politicians on both sides of his family, and he is far more shrewd (and cynical) than he cares to let on.

With any luck, this election will be such a disaster for the Conservatives that it will mean the end of O'Toole's time as Conservative leader. Not that they'll come up with anyone better next time.

They don't have anybody better. All the sensible Red Tory types fled the party long ago. O'Toole was elected leader because he accurately represents the party's views. If he is punted, the next person will be more of the same. (Unless, God forbid, Doug Ford decides to try to become Conservative leader - he's made no secret of the fact that he wants to become Prime Minister.)
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:53 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


"I have a feeling the Liberals calling an election now will backfire on them just enough that they will wind up with another minority...".

I'm sensing a fair bit of frustration out there that lands on Trudeau. People in the office (being the only people I see) are frustrated with the whole pandemic thing, and in order to register their disappointment with the government response, say they need to vote Not Liberal, i.e. Tory.

Personally, I'm not seeing how anyone could have handled the federal pandemic response markedly better. I wasn't thrilled with it, but there are enough garbage fires elsewhere to know it could have been a lot worse.

I'm also hoping for another minority. I resent the power grab. I am no Liberal fan, but Liberal-with-NDP-influence is probably the best I can hope for. As for the dysfunction of Parliament that's been supposedly raging -- during Covid Times, I simply Did Not Care. That's the politicos' problem, and I'm out of outrage these days.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:56 AM on August 16


Personally, I'm not seeing how anyone could have handled the federal pandemic response markedly better.

I am so so grateful that the Tories haven't been in power during the pandemic. For one thing, I doubt that they would have closed the border to the U.S. And we very well could have had case counts comparable to some of the pro-business U.S. states.

Stephen Harper was opposed to the census because he thought it was an invasion of privacy - he probably would have felt the same way about mandatory vaccination.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:59 AM on August 16 [5 favorites]




Stephen Harper was opposed to the census because he thought it was an invasion of privacy

That's what he said publicly.

Canada's fastest growing votes are in urban centres typically containing high proportions of immigrant populations. Some of the fastest growing populations are Indigenous also. That's tracked for Election Canada by the census data. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
posted by bonehead at 9:21 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


I'm not seeing how anyone could have handled the federal pandemic response markedly better.

If I had to rely on Doug Ford, the Premiere of Ontario, to help my business, my customers or me personally out during the pandemic I'd be screwed and out of work. For better or worse, the federal government saved me, my staff and my customers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was in that position and I think that's definitely going to play a factor in this election. Saying that though thankfully, in our parliamentary system, I don't have to vote for the leader of a party but my local MP because if I had to vote based on leaders I likely wouldn't vote.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:24 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


This month's Conservative Men's Health has a new cover model. (pdf)

Shoring up the bro vote, I guess.

While Harper was the leader, they pretty much scorched the ground for anyone looking to build towards the party leadership. The end result is not pretty.
posted by nubs at 9:26 AM on August 16


Stephen Harper was opposed to the census because he thought it was an invasion of privacy - he probably would have felt the same way about mandatory vaccination.

Erin O'Toole opposes mandatory vaccination for federal public servants, travellers

Political strategists all agree: start day 1 of your campaign by making headlines for something 3/4 of the country disagrees with
posted by saturday_morning at 9:31 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


PPC … still have "Vacant - Click here to apply" for Scarborough Southwest

I'll pass, thanks. I have a low tolerance for intolerance.

If I had to rely on Doug Ford, the Premiere of Ontario, to help my business, my customers or me personally out during the pandemic I'd be screwed and out of work

I'd just like to point out that the premises on Lawrence E near Birchmount that had Doug Ford worship billboards ( 🐘 self-link for the photos, can't find 'em elsewhere) posted outside is now as vacant as you'd expect it to be.
posted by scruss at 9:53 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


bonehead: Canada's fastest growing votes are in urban centres typically containing high proportions of immigrant populations.

One of the ways that Harper won the elections that he did was by appealing to immigrant communities in the suburbs of Vancouver and Toronto. Jason Kenney was his point man for showing up to every possible recent-immigrant community event that he could. It was a voting coalition that worked for Harper right up until the anti-immigrant sentiment in the rest of the party that he had been trying to shove a lid down on boiled over.

It was a pretty cynical strategy on Harper and Kenney's part, but it worked for the Conservatives through multiple election cycles.
posted by clawsoon at 9:59 AM on August 16 [6 favorites]


> (Unless, God forbid, Doug Ford decides to try to become Conservative leader - he's made no secret of the fact that he wants to become Prime Minister.)

Doug Ford has the kind of luck that only white, male conservative politicians enjoy, and as such he'll probably manage to scheme his way into the leadership of the federal party right around the time the general electorate really gets sick of Trudeau, reap the benefits of the "anyone but Justin" vote (as he did the "anyone but Wynne" vote), wind up PM and get his chance to run an entire country into the ground.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:08 AM on August 16 [6 favorites]


Much as the prospect of Prime Minister Doug Ford makes my throat close up in terror, I think you're catastrophizing, The Card Cheat.

I'd like to think DoFo couldn't become leader of the federal Conservative party, but then I thought the Ontario Conservative party would be savvy and capable enough to prevent him from becoming their leader, and I was dead wrong about that. So he might manage it if he has lots of people running against him and they split the vote up enough, as happened with the provincial leadership race (he won by a hair even then!), but I can't see him ever winning a general federal election. He'll be done in Ontario as premier in June 2022, there's no way Ontario would ever vote for him for PM, and he has no base anywhere else. He's political poison, and if the federal Cons are smart they won't let him get so much as a toe in their door. Granted, they are not smart.
posted by orange swan at 10:22 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


I fear that if the Liberal-NDP vote remains in the 50/50 split it's currently in, we may be in the position of seeing a Conservative win in Ontario provincial politics, even though it may be a minority one.

A year is a long time though, and perhaps one of those parties can put forward a leader and a plan that connects. If either does, I suspect they'll win. Horwath is not that person though. This will be her third kick at it. I don't even know Del Duca's name, he's such a non-entity.
posted by bonehead at 10:28 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately, I think we're due for another PC majority in Ontario, since the Liberal-NDP split is about 50-50. Many people in Ontario vote PC reflexively.

I don't think Doug Ford will ever be Prime Minister. If I remember correctly, no provincial premier has ever become Prime Minister - as premier, he or she usually alienates enough supporters in their home province. Of course, I didn't think that Doug would ever become premier or that Rob would ever become mayor of Toronto, so my track record isn't good.

(I also think that Doug became PC leader because he was the only male running for the job. I'm thinking that some PCs are extreme traditionalists and don't want any of the wimmin folk running things.)
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 10:33 AM on August 16


> but I can't see him ever winning a general federal election.

I mean, I hope you're right, and I believe you're right, but I still can't believe Ford managed to parlay a disastrous term as a do-nothing (aside from defending all of his brother's crimes and fuckups) Toronto city councilor into a provincial party leadership and then into a Premiership based on nothing but the sterling Ford Political Brand. Fords generally only fail in one direction, and it's not down.

And yeah, as someone who usually votes NDP at both the provincial and federal levels, Horwath has been and continues to be a terrible leader. And I had to look up Del Duca to remember what he even looks like, so at the provincial level anything is possible next year.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:40 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Doug Ford lucked out with Premiership because the Liberals were universally hated and he had name brand recognition. As much as he would love to enter federal politics I doubt it will happen. Especially while the Harper acolytes still hold the reins of power in that party.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:24 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


I have my objections to the way the federal government handled the pandemic (especially wrt not following up on people who were supposedly quarantining when crossing the border), but I agree that it was overall reasonably well done, and of course it would have been a much more horrible disaster had the Conservatives been in power. One of the biggest mistakes was that weird agreement he made with China to make vaccines -- no one was going to realistically trust it, and in any case it had neon signs over it saying "we will use this as leverage re Meng Wanzhou" and I have no idea what was in his head there. Despite all the whining, including from me, I don't think his agreements to get vaccines were remarkably bad.

I'm hoping for a slightly weaker minority where the NDP -- or NDP + Green, if necessary, though I can't imagine the Greens doing well -- still has the balance of power. That feels unlikely, but even a stronger minority with NDP balance of power is okay.

I have not seen much discussion about reconciliation in this election, and I'm honestly not sure where to go for more info about this.
posted by jeather at 12:01 PM on August 16


This month's Conservative Men's Health has a new cover model. (pdf)

Shoring up the bro vote, I guess.


Because it worked out so well for Stockwell Day on a jet ski.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:19 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


If this derails into a discussion of the next Ontario election, I agree with most of the comments here so far.
posted by ovvl at 12:49 PM on August 16


Erin’s marketing team is so bad. So bad.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:08 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


IMO, that cover of the Conservative platform is going to go down in infamy, just as much as Day on a Jetski. It's just so hilariously awful.
posted by bonehead at 1:43 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


I know expecting a kind of gravitas can read as eurocentric, and I understand the problem with that. I think there are ways of substabtially engaging in discourse while using social media (See Qaqqaq, though I wonder how much Singh supported her); and I think there are ways of being resepctful to the diverse cultures, and still not be goofy on the tik tok, see Elijah Harper.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:52 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


I saw signs for 2 candidates on my ride to work today and both were Conservatives. You'd think the Liberals would have been ready to go as they're the ones that called the election but I guess not. It's also possible that no one's willing to put their signs up but I find that a bit hard to believe.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:01 PM on August 16


I don't think Doug Ford will ever be Prime Minister. If I remember correctly, no provincial premier has ever become Prime Minister - as premier, he or she usually alienates enough supporters in their home province.

Turns out that two former provincial premiers served for short periods as prime minister, but none in the last 125 years. Both were from Nova Scotia: John Thompson (1892-1894) and Charles Tupper (two months in 1896). Well, Tupper was colonial premier in the three years leading up to Confederation, so technically just the one. But yeah, premiers who are doing well tend to stay home instead of going federal; my favourite example is the 1976 federal PC race, where Peter Lougheed and the aforementioned Bill Davis, arguably two of the most successful and respected premiers in Canadian history, both declined to run. I guess they didn't want to repeat the fates of John Bracken, Robert Stanfield and George Drew who got stuck at Leader of the Opposition and couldn't grab the big prize at the federal level.
posted by hangashore at 2:22 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Charles Tupper. Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long time.
posted by clawsoon at 2:29 PM on August 16 [7 favorites]


You'd think the Liberals would have been ready to go as they're the ones that called the election but I guess not.

My (Liberal) MP lives at the end of my street. He had a U-Haul truck in his driveway on Saturday, and had a mob of volunteers unloading campaign signs from the truck on Sunday afternoon to post them up around town.
posted by cardboard at 5:36 PM on August 16


Did Trudeau really steal his "moving forward - for everyone" slogan from Horgan?
posted by clawsoon at 5:46 PM on August 16


but Davis saddled Ontario with huge nuclear debt after greenlighting Darlington with no consultation.

In retrospect it was an extravagant investment, but back in the Zeitgeist of those 60s/70s days all of the Western Governments were building up massive Nuclear energy projects. Maybe in the near future smaller modular nukes will be safer and more cost-effective.

But if we're talking about the politics of costs/wastes/efficiencies of power generation in Ontario, then hey...
posted by ovvl at 6:56 PM on August 16




Despite O’Toole being two years younger than Trudeau, an actual fact that researchers have repeatedly verified, the Conservatives have had trouble getting the Canadian public to view their leader as a swoon-worthy hunk who is just as hot as Canada’s older yet more boyish prime minister.

Heh heh
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:47 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Local colour:

Three Green party yard signs up while doing errands early Monday afternoon. None for other parties.

That said, I do live in Elizabeth May's district and while I've voted for her in every election she's been in so far, I'll be voting NDP this time. The Green Party's current implosion is bad enough I'm loathe to support them, and I've been very impressed with Jagmeet Singh.
posted by bcd at 2:23 AM on August 17


So it looks like the timing of mandatory vaccinations for federal workers wasn't a coincidence. I just heard a clip on the radio with Trudeau triumphantly shouting over hecklers to the cheers of the crowd about how anti-vaxxers have their chance to be heard in the election but so do Canadians who have... I forget the exact phrase, but it was clearly crafted to make his supporters feel triumphantly self-righteous, and it was met with vigorous cheering.

I guess this means that Liberal polling has identified that enough Canadians are impatient with anti-vaxxers that stirring up angry emotions will get the Liberals enough extra votes to flip enough ridings to get them a majority.
posted by clawsoon at 4:20 AM on August 17 [5 favorites]


The Cons are stuck with their base, which is full of anti-vaxx/mask/lockdown types. Whether or not this base is enough to win a federal election in a country where 82% of the adult population has received one shot and over 70% has received two remains to be seen.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:44 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


Metafilter, you blew my damn mind with JT being older than Erin O'Toole. My partner said that JT is a very youthful late 40s (I guess someone's genetics did the thing) and Erin O'Toole is...well, the linked Beaverton article said it best:

“Just because someone might not be as traditionally attractive as someone else, someone might not have such incredible hair, someone might in fact look like a premature grandpa, doesn’t mean that someone can’t also try to appeal to the baser instincts of the Canadian public by showing some skin. On the cover of the party’s election platform. It’s not weird. It’s not a weird place to do that. It’s casual. IT’S FUN!”

*chef kiss*
posted by Kitteh at 5:27 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]


I like to make fun of people for their appearance as much as anybody (no I don't), but Trudeau's wealth and socio-economic status probably play some part in how long he has been able to maintain his youthful appearance.
posted by clawsoon at 5:37 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


Hair colour change with age and male hairline are entirely genetic. O'Toole is stockier than JT as well, though apparently in decent shape. Many of us get bulkier with age---it's not just fat---and that appearance makes him look older too. JT mostly just lucked out with his parents.

It still works against JT---Harper knows how to pick appearance quirks to target, as most professional bullies do. The most ridiculous thing I've heard in the past few days is the old "he's just not ready/qualified" blather. He's only been PM for 6 years now. He still doesn't have the qualifications to lead the country because he looks too young. Said with an apparently straight face. That's lookism for you.
posted by bonehead at 5:57 AM on August 17 [4 favorites]


The Cons are stuck with their base, which is full of anti-vaxx/mask/lockdown types.

Well and they can’t even take that base for granted as they have to defend their right flank against the even more anti-vaxx/mask/lockdown PPC. I have a feeling that Trudeau gets his majority if he’s able to make the election primarily about COVID — even, ironically, if that’s because things go off a cliff during the election with the 4th wave.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:02 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


I cannot decide if Trudeau is confident he will get a majority or nervous that he wouldn't have the next election if he hadn't called one. Probably a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B, I suppose.
posted by Kitteh at 6:05 AM on August 17


Conservatives have had trouble getting the Canadian public to view their leader as a swoon-worthy hunk who is just as hot as Canada’s older yet more boyish prime minister.

They've spent the whole time he's been active federally telling people how young he is so it's going to be hard to walk that back now.
posted by Mitheral at 6:45 AM on August 17


Despite O’Toole being two years younger than Trudeau

Which reminds me of a fact that similarly boggles my mind - Stephen Harper is younger than Madonna.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 7:16 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


The NDP is going all in on vaccination too: NDP would enforce federal vaccine mandate, employees who refuse COVID-19 shots would risk discipline

In short, going further than the Liberals (TBS policy implies this means vaccinate or face continued testing though details aren't very clear yet) all the way to disciplinary action and possible firing for refusal.
posted by bonehead at 8:38 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]


all in on vaccination

Finally, a wedge issue I can get behind!
posted by No Robots at 8:48 AM on August 17


My understanding is that all NDP and Liberal candidates have to be vaccinated as well. Unfortunately, not so for poll workers.
posted by jeather at 9:20 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


"O’Toole is promising a month-long GST holiday this fall, and a “Dine and Discover” program which will offer 50% off dine-in food and non alcoholic beverages Mon-Wed for a month. Also a 15% tax credit for vacation expenses up to $1000 within Canada."

It's like Buck-A-Beer, only unwieldy and stupider.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:28 AM on August 17 [10 favorites]


I like to make fun of people for their appearance as much as anybody (no I don't), but Trudeau's wealth and socio-economic status probably play some part in how long he has been able to maintain his youthful appearance.

O'Toole's father was upper management for General Motors, I'm pretty sure he's not the product of deprivation himself. Just genetics and probably options in self-maintenance. I definitely would have clocked him at closer to 60 than 48, but it's not like looking prematurely old white dude is a *disadvantage* in Tory circles.
posted by tavella at 9:42 AM on August 17 [7 favorites]


Trudeau's wealth and socio-economic status

Believe it or not O'Toole comes from a wealthy background as well despite trying to characterise himself as some kind of working class rig pig or veteran. His father was an executive at GM and later a MPP for Durham here in Ontario (as well as municipal levels of government) but his money came from investing in real estate which he did well with.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:43 AM on August 17 [4 favorites]


But honestly having a heart full of hate just ages you.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:49 AM on August 17 [9 favorites]


Just to be clear…in pointing out the age difference, I was only hoping people could use it to puncture some Boomer's purported concerns about age and experience.

I happen to be a Boomer myself; looking more like a melted candle with every passing day.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:29 AM on August 17


Saw signs for the Liberal candidate in front of two houses on my ride today. One more set of signs for a PC candidate in front of a plaza so they're still up ahead.

The PC's colour choice of really dark blue meant I wasn't initially sure if it was for the PCs or some other party. Did the change of colour/logo/phrase happen a while ago or was it something they just did now for the election? If it's the latter is changing the branding during a short election period a smart move? How many possible Conservative voters are going to ignore the signs because they aren't a more recognizable shade of blue?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:09 AM on August 17


"Public servant Anti vaxxers will be forced to become a GCWCC rep for their sector" - Jagmeet Singh (probably)

A fate truly worse than dismissal, to become the "volunteer" charity drive collector for the next 4-6 months. Guarantees social death.
posted by bonehead at 11:30 AM on August 17


It is interesting that there are already parts of O'Toole's party that are planning on his exit, as an example:

...Anti-Abortion Groups Quietly Planning to Take Control of Conservative Riding Associations Across Canada

Harper, for all his faults, knew well enough to stay away from the topic of Abortion regardless of his personal feelings on it. A move in that direction would further alienate that party from a lot of Canada.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:16 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]


For years people have been predicting the break-up of the federal Conservative party; Harper did a good job of keeping the various factions under the same tent, but since he left it's been a different story. I for one would not be upset if various parties began splitting the centre/right-far right vote the way the Liberals and NDP have for the other side of the ideological divide, but the long-term problem with that could be increased polarization in the electorate, which never seems to lead to good outcomes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:12 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]


That riding association strategy is pretty sound -- it's how we wound up with Sam Oosterhoff. Blue rural ridings will vote for the Tory nominee, no matter how ridiculous or unfit. So even though there would be a national alienation of the party as a whole, the anti-abortion strategy would permanently affix their voices to Parliament.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:14 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]


Vote Compass has the NDP and Green parties tied at the top for me. Ordinarily a vote for the Greens might be tempting (my riding will either be red or blue with orange a distant, distant 3rd and I doubt the Conservatives would win this time around so I'm safe to vote my conscience) but with them self-destructing over the last few months who would a vote for them even be for?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:14 PM on August 17


...Anti-Abortion Groups Quietly Planning to Take Control of Conservative Riding Associations Across Canada

If it weren't for O'Toole's clever organizing in ridings in Quebec with a handful of Conservatives each, it's quite possible that the Conservatives would've had a black woman (Leslyn Lewis) as a leader, in part because of her outspoken anti-abortion position.
posted by clawsoon at 1:35 PM on August 17


Maclean's has put together a platform guide summarizing what each party says they'll do if elected.
posted by clawsoon at 7:58 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]


The Nova Scotia provincial election result today possibly doesn’t bode well for the Liberals in the federal election; though the provincial Liberals were running with a new premier, who is not the one who shepherded the province relatively successfully through most of the pandemic.
posted by eviemath at 9:19 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]


I for one would not be upset if various parties began splitting the centre/right-far right

I'm old enough, I guess, to remember the Reform Party and the CRAParty as well
posted by Rumple at 11:03 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]


The Nova Scotia provincial election result today possibly doesn’t bode well for the Liberals

… esp. when Houston's unrepentant about being named in the too-rich-to-pay-taxes Paradise Papers.
posted by scruss at 7:10 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]


The campaign is off to a start which fills me with great optimism and confidence in the wisdom of my fellow citizens.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:36 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Both the NDP and the Conservatives have released their full platforms. Paul Wells.

I expect the Liberal platform to be based on the April 2021 budget.
posted by russilwvong at 10:02 AM on August 18


I'm puzzled by the decision to make public campaign stops in the current circumstances... it's the election just organize a safe and controlled event per day and make your announcement, it'll be covered by the news.

The anecdotal number of citizen that'll be met is of no consequence to the race so it's about ego & campaign narrative. Is the need to create news footage with the right "optics" greater than the need to be exemplar? That's typical LPC entitlement right there.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:04 AM on August 18


The Card Cheat : The campaign is off to a start which fills me with great optimism and confidence in the wisdom of my fellow citizens.

Call me cynical, but Trudeau appeared to welcome that confrontation in a way that makes me think that the timing of the public service mandate and the election call were designed to produce that confrontation. I'm guessing it played well in focus groups.
posted by clawsoon at 10:05 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Call me cynical, but Trudeau appeared to welcome that confrontation in a way that makes me think that the timing of the public service mandate and the election call were designed to produce that confrontation. I'm guessing it played well in focus groups.

It's a great wedge issue, most people who oppose vaccination are in the CPC or PPC so he's trying to force O'Toole to a take a position that'll alienate some his base and send them to the PPC or take a position that could send moderates to the Libs, seems like win-win to me. The details are of course left fuzzy so he can't be attacked on them yet, and as always it'll take effect way too late.

(not a fan of the speed at which the federal government has taken measures to control the pandemic, everything took way too long)
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:20 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]


The conservative propaganda mill is working hard to neutralize the vax wedge.
posted by No Robots at 10:23 AM on August 18


> Call me cynical, but Trudeau appeared to welcome that confrontation in a way that makes me think that the timing of the public service mandate and the election call were designed to produce that confrontation. I'm guessing it played well in focus groups.

Entirely possible, but my earlier statement regarding my optimism and confidence in the wisdom of my fellow citizens stands.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:34 AM on August 18


I realize that this is a provincial Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario thing and not federal, but the Party of Doug has resorted to false billing scams for fundraising. They're sending fake "Election Readiness Fund" invoices to supporters.

Don't they realize they've killed all their really elderly supporters already?
posted by scruss at 12:49 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


The conservative propaganda mill is working hard to neutralize the vax wedge.

Ah, National Post, never change, you fascist rag:

The small number of Canadians who avoid vaccination like the plague are likely angrier and more intransigent than they were before, after just three days of the campaign. That’s entirely on Trudeau.

I dunno. My IRL experience with anti-vaxxers, including ones I'm related to, is that mere mention of anodyne public health messages like "Please get vaccinated to protect yourself and others," is enough to send them into a frothing, homicidal rage. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Trudeau, that's not on him.

André Picard: "Show me one example of a pro-vaccine tweet with an antisemetic/Hitler/Nuremberg/Nazi image and I'll show you 1,000 #antivax ones."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:20 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


The small number of Canadians who avoid vaccination like the plague are likely angrier and more intransigent than they were before, after just three days of the campaign.

A friend of mine tracks a Facebook group of a bunch of local anti-vaxxers. They've shown me screen captures of some of what they say and post. They were pretty much beyond angry and intransigent even before the Trudeau called an election. And André Picard is not wrong in that quote - my friend monitors that group largely because of the Nazi propaganda that some of the members post, which my friend regularly uses to have these people banned from Facebook and in one case fired from their government job.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:34 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


The plague rats were never going to vote for Trudeau in the first place so even if they get incandescent with rage the Liberals won't have lost any votes.
posted by Mitheral at 2:14 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Maclean's has put together a platform guide summarizing what each party says they'll do if elected.

I've been burned enough times to finally understand that campaign promises are purely performative, by design of actually existing political systems
posted by polymodus at 2:33 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


The Nova Scotia provincial election result today possibly doesn’t bode well for the Liberals.

The PC party in Nova Scotia is in the Stanfield/MacKay line (that is, Progressive Conservative). Houston loudly put as much distance between him and O'Toole. Trudeau and Singh made campaign (or campaign-adjacent) visits, O'Toole did not. PCs here mostly hate the Harper line of Conservatives.

Houston's platform was actually more left-leaning than the Liberals - more spending, less emphasis on debt repayments. Increased spending on health care without corresponding cuts elsewhere. PCs pushed health care as their major plank - and during the campaign a man in his 80s lay in his driveway with a broken hip for three hours waiting for an ambulance to take him five minutes down the road to the hospital.

Rankin was a neophyte Premier, taking over a few months ago from MacNeil who had worn out his welcome before Covid hit. MacNeil might have been rewarded for his excellent handling of the pandemic, but Rankin bowed to business interests and reopened too fast, sparking a huge third wave. He also looked incredibly hypocritical for downplaying two DUI arrests when he was younger then casting out a young female candidate who had sold sexy (but in no way pornographic or illegal) photos on OnlyFans (and making it look like it was her choice to leave for her mental health).

This was a very, very weak Liberal party that needed a lot to go right to get a minority. Several cabinet ministers and longstanding Liberals didn't re-offer, and there was a very weak field of candidates in the leadership race, so the party itself knew it was in trouble. There's not much there you can apply to the federal campaign, and I fully expect the province to send mostly Liberals to Parliament next month.

Besides, it's been a century since the rest of the country looked to Nova Scotia for guidance. They're not going to start now.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:01 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Well, you can't vote Conservative if you end up dead from COVID.
posted by Kitteh at 3:13 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I suspect the NS election is, at best, more of a cautionary tale (about letting your opponent define the election, getting outflanked, etc.) than it is any sort of harbinger. The federal Conservatives aren't working from the same playbook, and I doubt government-sponsored Boxing Day sales will do the trick.
posted by quizzical at 7:23 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Tories vow to protect rights of doctors with moral objections to abortion, MAID.

So, O'Toole is pandering to his base and making himself obsolete to general voters. In other words, pulling a Scheer.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:06 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]




The most ridiculous thing I've heard in the past few days is the old "he's just not ready/qualified" blather. He's only been PM for 6 years now.

By the time the election date rolls around, he will have been PM longer than Diefenbaker was,
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:30 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


So, O'Toole is pandering to his base and making himself obsolete to general voters. In other words, pulling a Scheer.

As has been pointed out before, O'Toole is like a Canadian version of Scheer.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:31 PM on August 19 [9 favorites]


Sorry about dumping Ontario's garbage in your province Alberta - Former Ontario Conservative MP Derek Sloan will run in Banff- Airdrie.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:32 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


So far I have only gotten Liberal and Green ads in my Facebook feed. I wonder why. No doubt in some menu buried twenty clicks deep Facebook would tell me.
posted by clawsoon at 4:20 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm fine with Sloan going elsewhere. He is too close to my riding for my liking. I wasn't thinking Alberta, though. More shooting him into the sun?
posted by Kitteh at 5:26 AM on August 20 [3 favorites]


I also notice that O’Toole, seemingly out of ideas already, is now promising a “month-long GST holiday” as a bouquet (read: bribe) to voters. No GST for a month!

I’ve spent the last twenty-five years working for small businesses. The GST itself has been around for about thirty years. I recall the annoyance various owners and employees had with all the accounting hoops they had to jump through when Harper adjusted the level of GST twice in his term. Now O’Toole threatens to make them do it twice more in the span of four-and-a-half weeks.

As well, with the impact that zero GST would have on expenditures for a month, I’m sure it will allow me to buy an extra frozen lasagna or two and will allow the Weston family to buy another private jet. Thanks, Erin!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 AM on August 20 [8 favorites]


It's like they're banking on small business owners really enjoying the time and expense required to adjust their GST remittance bookkeeping in the service of a campaign stunt.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:05 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Twice.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:30 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Annnnnd now Canada Proud has purchased its way into my Facebook feed. Scornful content about Trudeau, looks like.

All of the post-election-call polls in the CBC poll tracker database are showing a virtual tie between Liberals and Conservatives, with only a 1% or 2% difference between the parties. Looks like the Liberals have taken their biggest popularity hits in BC and Atlantic Canada, though smaller shifts in Ontario might have a bigger impact on seat counts.
posted by clawsoon at 4:53 PM on August 21


Today in Hamilton Centre, I spotted my first non-NDP signs. And they're... PPC?

They must be lost.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:13 PM on August 23


Today in Hamilton Centre, I spotted my first non-NDP signs. And they're... PPC?

Looks like you got yourself a musician.
posted by clawsoon at 9:38 PM on August 23 [1 favorite]


"The last 15 years he has operated BOXO Studio from his Cumberland Avenue home..."

Aah, OK, Cumberland. So the signs were for one for his house, and one for the neighbours across the street.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:02 AM on August 24


Do you know when they are going to announce polling locations? Initially Elections Canada said after Aug 24, but I just get a "hasn't been decided" yet result. I was going to use the location to decide if I was going to vote in person or not.
posted by jeather at 8:13 AM on August 25


The classy PPC response to my local Liberal campaign manager for your "amusement."

(To be clear, I have no fondness for my Liberal MP as he is a legacy. His dad was mayor of Kingston for ages and also an MP. Then he was the mayor of Kingston for ages like his dad and is now an MP. He's inoffensive, bland, and doesn't seem to do much. But despite it's bizarrely conservative tendencies towards most things, Kingston does remain stubbornly liberal.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:24 AM on August 25


The classy PPC response to my local Liberal campaign manager for your "amusement."

Actual Nuremberg violations in Canada: Starvation experiments on First Nations kids.

Nuremberg violations in my Facebook feed: Not being allowed to go to restaurants or nightclubs unless you're vaccinated.

I'm blessed with left-wing choices in my riding with virtually no chance of a Conservative getting elected, but unless Annamie Paul either booms or busts it looks like the six decade streak of "Liberals or David Crombie" will continue.
posted by clawsoon at 10:05 AM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Oh, the PPC has no chance here. Kingston will always vote Liberal, but in our house we're NDP supporters. They do pretty good here too, but alas, not good enough to unseat the legacy MP we have.
posted by Kitteh at 10:16 AM on August 25


Vote Compass, developed by Vox Pop Labs researchers, received responses from more than 34,000 Canadians last week. The greatest proportion of respondents, 32 per cent nationwide and 27 per cent in Ontario, said the environment, including climate change and global warming, was the top issue. ... Twenty per cent of Canadians said the economy was the most important issue, followed by 12 per cent who said it was COVID-19.
posted by clawsoon at 4:53 AM on August 26


So far, the PC have come up with two attacks: 1) election call was unnecessary and not cool because pandemic; 2) the Twitter thing where the Liberals are accused of doctoring O'Toole's statement. It doesn't appear to me that either of these has much traction, but what about your riding? Do either of these attacks translate into votes?
(The Twitter bit of O'Toole boosting public/private healthcare keeps being repeated. I can't see that benefitting the PC cause.)
posted by CCBC at 5:55 PM on August 26


Well, just saw this (twitter) a video in which O'Toole praises Alberta's pandemic response as the best in the country. As an Albertan let me just say that a lot of us disagree.
posted by nubs at 8:24 PM on August 26 [4 favorites]


Releasing a big plan with everything in it has been doing well for the Conservatives on CBC Radio, at least. I've heard multiple news segments and interviews already with something like, "The Conservatives say they will do this, this, and that about this problem. The NDP says they will do this, but they haven't given any details."
posted by clawsoon at 4:09 AM on August 27


Annnnnd the CBC poll tracker has the Conservatives passing the Liberals in the polling average for the first time. The worst poll for the Liberals is the most recent, with the Conservatives leading the Liberals by 37 to 29 in a Mainstreet/iPolitics poll. Predicted seat count is within 20 and moving together fast.

I wonder how long until the Liberals start fear-mongering about the NDP.
posted by clawsoon at 7:01 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Not a Conservative fan, but I do think they hit the ground running, have initially put their best foot forward, and to me anyway, their campaign seems less divisively "American" than the campaigns of Harper or Scheer. That doctored health-statement video was an unforced error from the Liberals; they could have simply played the whole thing without the edit and score the same points.

Nonetheless, it's still the Liberal's election to lose; it's theirs unless they make more dumb errors.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:10 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Looks like a 30% chance of a Conservative minority, according to the CBC poll tracker.
posted by russilwvong at 12:31 PM on August 28


Yeah the Liberal campaign has been terrible. Who would have thought that the Tories would get it together under O'toole though. But winning an election is not the same thing as governing. You can't court that much crazy before they start demanding follow through.
posted by Ashwagandha at 3:04 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


But winning an election is not the same thing as governing. You can't court that much crazy before they start demanding follow through.

Harper threaded a lot of needles (and kept a lot of people quiet) to stay in power as long as he did.
posted by clawsoon at 3:32 PM on August 28


Harper threaded a lot of needles (and kept a lot of people quiet)

O'Toole is definitely not that kind of leader.
posted by Ashwagandha at 3:57 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


O'Toole is definitely not that kind of leader.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are votes available for a more progressive Conservative party in the pre-Reform style, and O'Toole seems(?) like he's trying to find a few of those votes, but that continually risks losing the Alberta wing of the party.

I was bemused by this American trying to figure out why O'Toole is considered conservative.
posted by clawsoon at 5:49 PM on August 28


I was bemused by this American yt trying to figure out why O'Toole is considered conservative.

Heh, a.k.a. the "If you have a 'Liberal' party, what's the NDP?" conversation.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:12 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Heh, a.k.a. the "If you have a 'Liberal' party, what's the NDP?" conversation.

He did go on to say pretty much exactly that, lol. No doubt I'd do the same thing if I were to comment on Wildrose vs. UCP in Alberta right now.
posted by clawsoon at 6:23 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Right now the polling reflects the fickle segment of the voting population in any election who tell pollsters that they care about human rights, the environment, etc., but throw that all out the window in favour of a promise of a few bucks off in taxes or "sending a message" or whatever.

> Not a Conservative fan, but I do think they hit the ground running, have initially put their best foot forward, and to me anyway, their campaign seems less divisively "American" than the campaigns of Harper or Scheer.

Well, there was this tweet, which SOMEHOW managed to add up to exactly 14 words and 88 letters. Weird coincidence!

Every Conservative campaign in Canada is exactly the same; run by people who yearn to turn Canada or their province into Mississippi but are compelled by the political climate here to soften the edges of their messaging just enough to attract the "I dunno, why not?" crowd but not so much that they repel their fellow far-right travellers. It's a delicate balance, but fortunately for them the NDP and Liberals would rather throw poo at each other and split the centre-left vote in an attempt to win a majority with 37% of the vote than ensure the Conservatives never win another election.

Trudeau deserves to lose for not even pretending to make a real effort to bring in proportional representation like he promised last time, but unfortunately there will never be an NDP Prime Minister, so if he loses two-thirds of the country also loses. So it goes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:25 PM on August 29 [6 favorites]


If all of the Liberal supporters who have a gut preference for Singh voted for the NDP, an NDP government would be possible in this election.
posted by clawsoon at 4:51 AM on August 30


Came home yesterday to find a Conservative sign on my lawn. Well not my lawn because it was placed on the city portion but I'm the one that's planted flowers there and weeds it so it's mine enough. Even though it was raining and I had to unload 4 bikes from the car I made sure spend that little bit more time outside in the rain to pull the sign up and chuck it onto the grass on the other side of the sidewalk (I don't want it to take up space in my garbage bin so it can make itself useful and kill a small rectangle of grass until the election is over). The last Provincial election the Conservatives put up signs in a similar area. Maybe the other Conservative signs I see along the road were put up without asking permission as well.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:09 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


Hoping for Liberal collapse. Not afraid of a Tory government. O’Toole seems pretty reasonable. Time to put a stake in the heart of the grey vampire.
posted by No Robots at 7:46 AM on August 31


This is kind of brutal. TLDW - at a NDP event in Northern Manitoba for Nikki Ashton, the grand chiefs of several prominent First Nations organisations endorsed the Liberal candidate - while standing beside Singh.

O’Toole seems pretty reasonable

He might be but many of his MPs are not and he's shown that he has had a difficult time holding the crazier elements in his party in check. Personally I have no desire to return to the Harper years which were definitely not great years for those of us in non-oil businesses and I'll reiterate - if I had to depend on my provincial conservative government during the pandemic I would have been screwed. An austerity minded Conservative federal government, as some of their MPs were pushing for (never mind that some don't even believe in vaccination or the pandemic), would have tanked the lives of millions in Canada during the pandemic.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:09 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


I can't believe I missed that non-endorsement story. Wow. That's some bad organizing.
posted by sardonyx at 9:24 AM on August 31


Especially with a high profile MP like Ashton.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:26 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Many people vote Liberal for the sole reason of preventing a Tory win. So, if a Tory win is inevitable they may decide that they might as well vote NDP.
posted by No Robots at 9:58 AM on August 31


I think there might be some truth to that. I'd also say the same thing for the Greens in some ridings. I know in mine, the federal Green candidate has been really front and centre as soon as the election was called whereas the other parties have been dragging their heels.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:13 AM on August 31


If it looks like the Liberals have collapsed in Ontario, almost all their votes in the West will instantly go to the NDP. And if that happens, the whole West is in play, no longer a safe haven for the Tories.
posted by No Robots at 10:21 AM on August 31


Not afraid of a Tory government. O’Toole seems pretty reasonable.

An O'Toole government scares me spitless. Leaving aside the Tory, at best, non-action stance on climate change; he would have handled the pandemic in a devastating way that would have left me litterally homeless if not dead.
posted by Mitheral at 12:14 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


As Jack Layton said, "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."
posted by No Robots at 12:43 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


And if that happens, the whole West is in play, no longer a safe haven for the Tories.

The Conservatives have suffered a 20% drop in support in Alberta since the last federal election.

...which still leaves them with 50%, enough to win all but 3 or 4 seats.
posted by clawsoon at 2:38 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


This is kind of brutal. TLDW - at a NDP event in Northern Manitoba for Nikki Ashton, the grand chiefs of several prominent First Nations organisations endorsed the Liberal candidate - while standing beside Singh.

There's gotta be a backroom story there. I wonder when it'll come out. That was cold.
posted by clawsoon at 3:03 PM on August 31


This piece from Walking Eagle News seems prescient.

Tens of thousands of Indigenous people from hundreds of communities divided on who to vote for:

“It’s almost as if they are tens of thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals that live in hundreds of communities, cities and towns in 10 provinces and three territories or something,” said Canadian political analyst Bianca Pura.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:09 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


The Conservatives have suffered a 20% drop in support in Alberta since the last federal election.

That is a trend that's begging to be exploited.

...which still leaves them with 50%, enough to win all but 3 or 4 seats.

For now....
posted by No Robots at 3:33 PM on August 31


Poor Bill Blair. His election signs have been kettled.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:18 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


Blair's comment that the removing of his signs was illegal worried me so I read Toronto's election sign rules to make sure that I could remove the sign in front of my house (or rather that the sign wasn't allowed to be there) and yeah they need to have my permission as the owner/occupant of the abutting property and also that whole area is out of bounds because it's too close to an intersection. If you want to remove signs without fear check your local by-laws!
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:34 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Not afraid of a Tory government. O’Toole seems pretty reasonable.

I’m no fan of the Liberals, but reasonable? The idea of O’Toole as PM makes my blood run cold, or would if I weren’t so damn tired.

This leaked Zoom of him bragging about how he plans to defund the CBC is gross.

This video of him addressing Ryerson University’s Conservative Club is even more gross. He says that residential schools were set up to provide education to Indigenous people and only became horrible later, completely ignoring that we KNOW they were set up with the intent of killing Indigenous culture. Even his fellow Conservative, the awful Stephen Harper, stated this explicitly in the official federal apology regarding residential schools!

Like I said, I’m no fan of the Liberals, but I think you should be afraid of a Tory government. We all should be.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:21 PM on August 31 [6 favorites]


Sorry, but I'm with Layton on this. Fear cripples your capacity for effective action. It leads in this case to perpetuating the completely inane idea that there is a substantial difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives. See Tommy Douglas's parable of the white cats and the black cats. If we are to fear something, perhaps it should be that we are trapped in a repetitive political stasis loop.
posted by No Robots at 5:47 AM on September 1


Do the Liberals want to lose? Liberal candidate [for Kitchener-Centre] allowed to run for re-election despite past claims of inappropriate behaviour [CW - description of harassment, abuse]. WTF Trudeau. Worth mentioning that Kitchener also had this MP.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:00 AM on September 1


You saw the bit where an O'Toole government during the pandemic would have meant I'd be posting this comment from a tent in one of the local parks instead of my living room right? That's a pretty substantial difference to me.
posted by Mitheral at 8:50 AM on September 1 [4 favorites]


I'm happy for you that you avoided the worst case. But what of those who haven't? Do you think the Liberals have a plan for homelessness? Have you seen our tent cities? Have you looked at housing prices and rental costs?
posted by No Robots at 9:05 AM on September 1


There are fundamental differences between the Liberals and Conservatives. There are also fundamental differences between those parties and the NDP. I don't think a Conservative government would have come up with CERB or a carbon tax. Maybe the Liberals don't go as far as you'd like but they aren't the same as the Conservatives.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:20 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


The Liberals like the Conservatives are committed to the maintenance of the neo-liberal order with all that entails for the perpetuation of inequality and unfreedom.
posted by No Robots at 12:26 PM on September 1


NoRobots, I loved Jack Layton and I also agree with and appreciate his quote about love being better than anger, hope being better than fear, and optimism being better than despair. Certainly we do not all need to feel fearful, as fear can stymie action, and perhaps I shouldn’t have worded it that way. But I would also ask you not to be so quick to tell minorities that we should not feel fearful of the potential ramifications of another Conservative government. It feels dismissive.

I think it’s disingenuous to say there’s no substantial difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives. For one thing I think a lot of people in the Conservative Party have actual contempt for me as a woman and a person of colour. I think the Liberals are at worst basically indifferent about me, which is also not great, but I prefer it to contempt.

It’s like when some people in the US were saying there was no difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton. It’s perfectly fine to criticize Clinton and point out her conservatism. But it’s ridiculous to pretend she would do damage on the same kind of scale as Trump.

The Liberals definitely perpetuate inequality. I am well aware of and agree with Tommy Douglas’ parable of the cats. I did the Vote Compass and basically fell off the side to the left of the NDP. One of the many reasons I dislike Trudeau is he promised electoral reform and then did next to nothing about it. I wasn’t expecting him to keep many of his promises, but this is one thing that would make a big difference.

Both the Cons and the Liberals cynically use our messed up political system to their own advantage, and to keep white wealthy men at the top of the heap. I hate it. I do not think re-electing the Liberals will fix even half of all the things that are wrong in Canada. I’ve never voted Liberal and never will, and I hate the whole idea of “strategic voting.” I would be thrilled if the NDP won this election, because they’re a party that shares the same general values I do—and I’d still find them not left enough, I’m sure. But I’d welcome it. I hope a lot of Liberal voters switch to NDP, but I most certainly don’t want them switching to Conservative.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:15 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


I hope a lot of Liberal voters switch to NDP, but I most certainly don’t want them switching to Conservative.

There are many Liberal voters who will not vote NDP under any circumstances. I'm hoping that some (many) of these will switch to Conservative. Why? Because that would help achieve the longer-term goal of eliminating the Liberals so that then the NDP can face off against the Conservatives by themselves. That is a fight the NDP can win, as we see in Alberta. Does that mean putting up with a Conservative government from time to time? Yes, probably. I appreciate that for many this is an extremely unwelcome prospect. However, for the truly abject and forgotten in our country, it is vital that the NDP eliminate the Liberals. From there, the fight becomes a stark one where conservatism itself is on trial.
posted by No Robots at 1:27 PM on September 1


The goal of eliminating the Liberals will have to be a long-term one considering they're our Natural Governing Party (in the same way that the Tories are in the UK or the LDP are in Japan) and are always contenders to win even when they're starting from 3rd place. You probably need a reset or change to the system for some other party to take that role with the most obvious example being the climate emergency. But that could mean going full-on petro state just as easily, or perhaps more easily, as embracing something like eco-socialism.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:28 PM on September 1


embracing something like eco-socialism.

Yep, that's what I'm thinking.
posted by No Robots at 2:35 PM on September 1


As for the long-term prospects for the Liberal party, remember that they fell to third party in 2011. Trudeau pretty much single-handedly brought them back to life. Once he's gone, things don't look that bright. The key for this election is Ontario. Once the Liberals crater there, it'll be game over everywhere for them.
posted by No Robots at 2:50 PM on September 1


That is a fight the NDP can win, as we see in Alberta.

I ran the numbers on the too close to call election simulator, and even if Liberals drop to zero in Alberta and the NDP picks up all their votes, getting a full 40%, it only gets them a total of 6 seats. The NDP does have a chance in Alberta, but for now it seems to only be possible when the right is split, as it is provincially with the UCP and Wildrose.
posted by clawsoon at 4:15 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


The NDP has held the Edmonton-Strathcona federal seat since 2008 and also won the Edmonton-East federal riding back in the '80s. If the Liberals fold, those seats and a few others would be easy wins for the NDP. Of course, the majority of federal seats in Alberta will likely remain safely Conservative for some time. What I am suggesting, though, is that the country as whole could come to resemble Alberta's provincial political scene, ie. dominated by a Conservative-NDP face-off. The Conservatives would always have to worry about their right-wing fringe breaking off and thereby allowing an NDP victory. The challenge for the NDP would be in distinguishing itself clearly from the Conservatives.
posted by No Robots at 5:47 PM on September 1


Accelerationism gets real people, including ones I care about, killed. I don’t see how it can be “vital” for “the truly abject and forgotten in our country” for the Liberals to be eliminated if they don’t live through an ensuing Conservative interregnum. Dying is pretty un-vital, kind of by definition.
posted by eviemath at 7:18 PM on September 1 [8 favorites]


One thing I've noticed in my Facebook feed is that Liberal ads have lots of angry replies and angry reactions, while Conservative ads have almost all positive comments and likes.

I'm sure this isn't because no-one on Facebook is angry at the Conservatives, so I'm wondering how much it's narrower targeting by the Conservatives and how much it's active cleanup/moderation by them.
posted by clawsoon at 2:46 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


What I am suggesting, though, is that the country as whole could come to resemble Alberta's provincial political scene, ie. dominated by a Conservative-NDP face-off.
This has essentially been the situation in Saskatchewan for the past twenty years, as the provincial Liberals fell apart after the '99 election. The NDP have only won a single election there since then, with the Sask. Party picking up the lion's share of the Liberal vote.
posted by quizzical at 6:04 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


It's also essentially the situation in BC where a scandal implosion of the conservative Social Credit party made way for the "Liberal" party (actually a big business, conservative party) to compete against the NDP.
posted by Mitheral at 6:32 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


It's also essentially the situation in BC where a scandal implosion of the conservative Social Credit party made way for the "Liberal" party (actually a big business, conservative party) to compete against the NDP.

And rule uncontested for 16 years, long enough to immediately declare a 25% income tax cut for the very richest in BC and then spend a decade and a half making up for the shortfall by dismantling/damaging health, education, the environment, and social services:
  • a generation of BC children went through their entire K-12 education with seriously diminished resources (school closures, cuts to school libraries, counsellors, support for children with special needs, music programs)
  • the BC Liberals slashed services for people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness
  • people with disabilities were denied services at higher rates than ever, and these services were cut back dramatically
  • many hospital services were privatized, jeopardizing the health and safety of patients and the livelihood of health care professionals
  • the province has been suffering through unprecedented wildfires and other catastrophic events related to climate change, some of which is a direct result of BC Liberal policy.
The fact that I am not enthusiastic about seeing this play out on a national scale does not mean I approve of the (federal) Liberals or think we should keep them in power just to avoid a Conservative government. I don't support them and I never have. I think our political systems are well past due for an overhaul. But it's really important to recognize that for many of the most vulnerable, "putting up with a Conservative government from time to time" means a significant deterioration in quality of life, including the very real possibility of death. If you genuinely think using the Conservatives to destroy the Liberal party is worth it to bring about the possibility of a Conservative/NDP battle, then I have to believe you, but recognize that a lot of us are really wary of the road we'd be travelling down to get there.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:11 PM on September 2 [8 favorites]


It’s not really a question of using the Conservatives to destroy the Liberals. It’s a question of positioning the NDP in this campaign. First, it is the duty of opposition parties to attack the governing party, not each other. This is very important for the NDP in the current situation. The NDP is always in jeopardy after supporting a Liberal minority. If the NDP doesn’t come out swinging against the Liberals now, people will just decide that they might just as well vote Liberal. Second, it is important to make use of the trends, and the trend is against the Liberals, so why not join in the fun? I’m sure the NDP can come up with a few good zingers that are beyond the critical capacity of the Conservatives. I’ve got a few I could share with them.
posted by No Robots at 7:16 PM on September 2


And rule uncontested for 16 years, long enough to immediately declare a 25% income tax cut for the very richest in BC and then spend a decade and a half making up for the shortfall by dismantling/damaging health, education, the environment, and social services

Is what the conservative-ish BC Liberals did a reflection or repetition at all of the deep cutting that the federal Liberals did in the '90s under Chretien?
posted by clawsoon at 4:42 AM on September 3


If the NDP doesn’t come out swinging against the Liberals now, people will just decide that they might just as well vote Liberal.

This is a tricky one, since it seems that most people who like Singh like him because of his positive, love everybody (except the ultra rich), have-a-positive-plan-for-the-future messaging. The old political trick of having surrogates apparently unconnected to the party do the dirty work would maybe be effective if you really want to go low?
posted by clawsoon at 5:02 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not in favour of casting the people who would be affected to the dogs just so the Liberal party can disappear, I guess.

My husband, who is Canadian, said, "Oh, that proposed tactic is as old as the hills here."
posted by Kitteh at 6:54 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]



Is what the conservative-ish BC Liberals did a reflection or repetition at all of the deep cutting that the federal Liberals did in the '90s under Chretien?


not "conservative-ish" -- Conservative. The "Liberal" moniker for that party was always a lie. They had ZERO to do with the national party and its policies. The quick history is there had been something called the Social Credit Party which had ruled almost forever and was akin to something like Alberta's current Wild Rose crowd (ie: a more wild wild west version of your normal Canadian conservativism). But the Socreds (as we called them) so thoroughly embarrassed themselves under leader Bill Vanderzalm in the 1980s that the only thing to do was completely re-brand. Meanwhile, there was a small but not completely irrelevant BC Liberal Party that was to some degree truth in advertising (ie: they had liberal policies). But they were struggling.

So the ex-Socred brain trust, in their wisdom, decided fuck it, why start from scratch when we take over this crowd and work from an established name, a name that goes a long way toward deflecting criticism that we're a bunch of amped up conservative thugs who had power for so long that we can effectively be blamed for EVERYTHING that's wrong with the province in perpetuity. A risky move due to potential confusion. But it worked. They got elected (in part because the NDP did such a thoroughly complete job of devouring themselves) and once in power, these "Liberals" played corrupt populist games to keep it for sixteen years.
posted by philip-random at 7:55 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


clawsoon: One thing I've noticed in my Facebook feed is that Liberal ads have lots of angry replies and angry reactions, while Conservative ads have almost all positive comments and likes.

I don't do Facebook. Are the anti-Liberal comments reasonable/sensible, or the braying of some committed trolls? And fawning praise for anything Conservative?

There's always been a small but dedicated bunch of Canadian right-wing zealots descending like a flock of cormorants to foul the comment sections of many mainstream news sites (eg cbc.ca), and the Canadian right-wing political establishment has worked hard on their online and social strategies, maintaining a tone of sensibility and moderation while still tacitly welcoming the loons into the tent.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:56 AM on September 3


Nominations closed earlier this week, so barring any last minute drop-outs (which wouldn't affect the ballot at this point, I think):
  • 2010 total candidates across 338 ridings
  • Both the Liberals and NDP have full slates
  • The Conservatives are short a candidate in Dartmouth—Cole Harbour following a sexual assault allegation
  • The Bloc have candidates in all 79 ridings in Quebec
  • Bernier's ego trip has at least 312 willing to support it
  • The Greens have 252 candidates nominated, fewer than in any election since 2000. They've got no candidates at all in Newfoundland or Nunavut, and only have full provincial slates in PEI and New Brunswick (plus NWT & Yukon).
  • There are 91 Independent and Non-Affiliated candidates running, 14 of which are in Saint Boniface—Saint Vital in Winnipeg, in what appears to be some Rhino-led shenanigans. The riding has a total of 21 candidates running, which might be a new record?
  • Also among the unaffiliated are discount Commander Waterford Derek Sloan, carpetbagging his way to Banff—Airdrie in Alberta, and also Jennifer Sloan, his wife, running in her husband's current riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington in Ontario.
  • The award for "Most Nominations by a Party Nobody's Heard Of" goes to Parti Libre Canada/Free Party Canada with 59, mostly in Quebec. They appear to be for direct democracy, but also "love, truth, and knowledge".
  • The Maverick Party (formerly Wexit) have nominated 29 candidates, mostly in Alberta and Saskatchewan (plus two in BC and one in Manitoba).
  • Also running: Marxist-Leninists - 36, Rhinos - 27, Communists - 26, Christian Heritage - 25, Libertarians - 13, Parti pour l'indépendance du Québec - 10, Animal Protection Party - 10, Marijuana party - 9 (you already won, guys!), Veterans' Coalition - 7, National Citizens Alliance - 4, Centrist Party - 4, Parti Patriote - 2, Fourth Front - 2, and one lone Nazi (Nationalist Party).
posted by quizzical at 10:14 AM on September 3 [4 favorites]


(That should be *78* ridings in Quebec)
posted by quizzical at 11:10 AM on September 3


But the Socreds (as we called them) so thoroughly embarrassed themselves under leader Bill Vanderzalm

I can still hear Double Exposure's take on his voice in my head.
posted by clawsoon at 11:42 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I don't do Facebook. Are the anti-Liberal comments reasonable/sensible, or the braying of some committed trolls? And fawning praise for anything Conservative?

I haven't spent much time looking through them. The general impression I got was of the "common sense revolution" sort of commenter. Could be real people since there are plenty of those type out there, could be trolls since it's any easy enough style to imitate.

There's always been a small but dedicated bunch of Canadian right-wing zealots descending like a flock of cormorants to foul the comment sections of many mainstream news sites (eg cbc.ca)

Yeah, plenty of those people. It's funny how no one seems to spend more time on CBC's website than people who hate the CBC.
posted by clawsoon at 12:11 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Antihate.ca has published their election report card.

Meanwhile, sans aucun suprise: PPC Riding Director Runs Multiple White Nationalist Social Accounts.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:14 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


The Greens have 252 candidates nominated, fewer than in any election since 2000.

I think there's a political science dissertation or two about the internal contradictions within the Greens between the free enterprise-libertarian and more traditional socialist environmental wings of the movement coming to a head this year. I don't know enough about the internal details of the party to write it, but it sure looks like factional infighting to me, and I'd bat money it was ideological, not just a conflict of personalities. The Greens don't have much of a future in Canada until they resolve this conflict.
posted by bonehead at 1:08 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


I think there's a political science dissertation or two about the internal contradictions within the Greens between the free enterprise-libertarian and more traditional socialist environmental wings of the movement coming to a head this year.

I don't know much about it either, except that the part that we can see is centered around the Israel-Palestine conflict, and Paul is being attacked from the left for being too both-sides about it. Her senior advisor who set off the most recent round of the conflict, Noah Zatzman, got things going with this:
We will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are antifa and pro LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!!!
...but I can't find anything about his economic opinions with a quick Google, so that's as much as I know right now. Which is not much.
posted by clawsoon at 3:57 PM on September 3


It's funny how no one seems to spend more time on CBC's website than people who hate the CBC.

OMG QFT
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:20 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


Whoo boy. As an American, watching people assert that there's nothing to be afraid of in a right-wing party win, totally worth it to bring in the glorious eco-socialist future, they can't possibly do any significant damage in four or five years... definitely a trip. Good luck with that.
posted by tavella at 6:23 PM on September 3 [9 favorites]


Good luck with that.

Bingo. Especially since the Supreme Court of Canada has a mandatory retirement age (75). Moldaver is almost there. How are those conservative Supreme Court justices working out in the United --

*checks news*

Aw fuck.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:07 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


A somewhat depressing note from today's edition of the CBC poll tracker: "The Greens have dropped to fifth place behind the People's Party."
posted by clawsoon at 8:34 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Liberal candidate [for Kitchener-Centre] allowed to run for re-election despite past claims of inappropriate behaviour

It looks like he's stepping down now (though it's too late to change the ballot). This leaves things a bit up in the air: the riding has mostly been a Liberal/Conservative (or Alliance) contest since it was created in 1997, but last election the Greens came in second, and this will be the first time since 2008 that the Conservative candidate won't be former MP Stephen Woodworth, who was pretty deeply on the social conservative side of the party.
posted by quizzical at 8:50 AM on September 5


For what its worth, there had been rumours about Saini for some time and the Liberals shouldn't have allowed him to run especially in light of the scandal that went on with Marwan Tabara in neighbouring riding Kitchener South—Hespeler. I knew something was up as I saw maybe two of his signs in the preceding weeks, no public appearances and wondered if the Liberals had been trying to force him out. In anycase, they've lost the riding.

The downtown residential part of the Kitchener Centre riding has Green signs on most lawns. The Green party candidate was out putting signs up on the day the election was called (via his bike of course) and he's been likened to sole Ontario Green MPP Mike Schreiner. The Tory seems fine (for a Tory) but I've talked to people who know her and she is definitely a social conservative a la anti-abortion proponent Woodworth. The NDP candidate is pretty solid (the riding is NDP provincially). The PPC candidate is a very typical "letter to the editor" type of crank. No Communist and/or Marxist-Leninist candidates this round.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:51 PM on September 5


I just want to whine a bit. For whatever reason, my name has been dropped off the voters list, again. I have no idea why it keeps happening, but it's really starting to annoy me. I've voted in every election since I turned 18. I have a current passport. I pay my taxes, so the government always knows where to find me. I know it's not really a big deal, mainly a minor inconvenience for me, but then I start wondering how many other people are experiencing the same thing, people who may not be as comfortable navigating the electoral system as I am, and my level of frustration increases.
posted by sardonyx at 11:46 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


sardonyx: Sorry to hear it! Looks like you can register online before next Tuesday September 14, 6 pm. Or of course you can register at the polling location.
posted by russilwvong at 1:04 PM on September 6


Oh, believe me, I've already done the online thing. That's what I mean. I understand the system well enough to know my options, understand which is the best and easiest route for me to take, and I have the tools and the documents easily at hand. Other people may not know they need to check their registration, or be intimated or confused by the process, or may not have Internet access or a driver's licence (or other suitable ID).

Personally, however, I'd love to understand why some years I'm on the list and other years, I'm not.
posted by sardonyx at 1:44 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Just an FYI:
Can I bring my own pencil to mark my ballot?

Yes. Electors are welcome to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot. Single-use pencils will also be provided.


I'm not sure exactly what a "single-use pencil" looks like but now I'm curious. Also, should my pencil be the standard HB? Personally, I typically use a 2B. I wonder if a 2H can leave a strong enough mark to be read by the scanning machines. Questions, questions, questions.
posted by sardonyx at 7:41 AM on September 9


As an American
Yep, we've watched how the US has fared with con/lib dualism and no socialism :/

Some points to consider about the Liberals:

- Liberals aren’t “soft progress”, they’re “no progress.” The cons and Libs are wolves from the same pack, only one of them is wearing sheep’s clothing.
- The Libs don’t “own” any progressive ideas. They capitulate to pressure from the left.
- They aren’t interested in any movement. They absorb progressive momentum. It’s like punching water. That’s the role of centrism as it protects the already powerful. They sell gain without pain during elections, and provide the opposite.
- The world is ready for change, even radical change while many dreary folk think this isn’t true. I think we can find plenty of evidence for this. Unfortunately, the desperation for change drives too many people to vote strategically for their second choice.
- The Libs put a brown face on white supremacy. Using “model minority” (a white supremacist concept) candidates to wash their image encourages consolidation of wealth and power in an overwhelmingly white portion of the population.
- When something is worse than nothing: Even if the Libs were incrementalists rather than laggards, incrementalism becomes a form of dependency. This is illustrated well by the concept of wage slavery. A fraction of what you need becomes a form of slavery or incarceration. Just a taste of the changes we’re desperate for keeps the cravings controlling us without giving us the real payoff. The Libs are pimps keeping the country on smack to keep control.
- They’re the same party as the conservatives because they have the same people pulling the strings. We make a big deal about different “bases” but they have the same puppet-masters.
- FPTP currently makes it impossible for the NDP to win. But they only need to win Ontario and the script will be flipped. We can’t get caught up on the “should of it all”, we need to map a course through FPTP.
posted by No Robots at 8:29 AM on September 9


My husband, who is Canadian, said, "Oh, that proposed tactic is as old as the hills here."

From Ontario or the Maritimes? It's worked everywhere in the West.
posted by No Robots at 8:48 AM on September 9


Again, if your Liberal implosion involves people getting hurt to get what you want, it's more of a privilege for you than anything else. You might not have anything to lose, but a lot of folks do. I'm voting NDP regardless.
posted by Kitteh at 8:56 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


When something is worse than nothing

Sigh. I’m to the left of the NDP; and as a mathematician as well as by political persuasion, I view voting as harm reduction - systemically and for a variety of reasons, it’s near impossible to vote a party into power to make really substantive progressive change in either the Canadian or US systems, so folks with my politics are unlikely to ever have the candidates we really want. But that harm reduction viewpoint does entail, if one is being responsible about it, distinguishing between degrees of harm. Think of it this way: recreational drug use can be a coping mechanism for folks, in the absence of actual positive, affirming, and culturally appropriate mental health treatment. When recreational drugs are used as a mental health coping mechanism, the likelihood of their use leading to addictions-related health and relationship issues is high, so it’s not like anyone would reasonably recommend going out and getting a drug addiction as a solution to, say, childhood trauma. But it’s also not as bad a coping mechanism for many folks as some of their other options, such as suicide. Drug use, especially nowadays with fentanyl and such, certainly caries a risk of death. But it’s a lower risk than otherwise completely untreated active suicidal ideation. The Liberals in this analogy are the drug use and resulting addiction as a coping mechanism, the Conservatives are the second option, and the NDP are more like a well-meaning but somewhat clueless social worker or therapist (with actual mental health training, but perhaps lacking in knowledge about the culturally appropriate part). I don’t disagree with your analysis of the Liberals’ political positions, No Robots, but advocating for voting Conservative as a political strategy is wrongheaded and is, in fact, materially more harmful for most people than voting Liberal.
posted by eviemath at 9:02 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


The implication here in this discussion is that to vote Conservative is something like a war crime.
posted by No Robots at 9:03 AM on September 9


Btw, I'm not advocating anyone vote Conservative. I'm just saying that the NDP should not concentrate its attack against the Conservatives.
posted by No Robots at 9:05 AM on September 9


should my pencil be the standard HB? Personally, I typically use a 2B. I wonder if a 2H can leave a strong enough mark to be read by the scanning machines.

We don't use scanning machines. And litterally any thing can be used as long as the intent is clear to the people doing the counting.
posted by Mitheral at 10:34 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Most elections I go back and forth between voting NDP or being "strategic" and voting for the Liberals when really I should just vote NDP because there's very little chance that my vote will be the difference between a Conservative candidate and some other candidate winning. Even if it was the deciding vote that just makes it more incumbent on the Liberal candidate to reach out to the 40% of the eligible voters in my riding that don't vote. Speaking of which I still haven't seen a sign for the NDP candidate in my riding and only a handful along my commute through 4 ridings. Not sure what's that about.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:59 AM on September 9


People outside the country might be interested to know that Canada uses paper ballots and hand counts them. (Something I whole heartedly approve).
posted by CCBC at 2:47 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


You're both right. I was thinking of the last provincial (or was it municipal) election* where you had to put the ballot in the cardboard envelope, stick the envelope in the machine to "check" if the ballot was filled in correctly. I have no idea what those machines are called, although I probably should.

*After a while all the elections kind of bleed together, especially when the voting happens in the same place year and year after year. Actually, because of COVID-19 voting won't take place in the local school, so I'll have to go someplace new this year. I mean, after lockdown, any new place is exciting!
posted by sardonyx at 3:11 PM on September 9


Leader's debate is tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT, with lots of ways to watch. I likely won't be able to watch, so I'm counting on y'all to summarize the highlights and lowlights.
posted by clawsoon at 4:16 PM on September 9


I was just listening to people complaining that foreign policy never comes up in elections, and yet they did kind of get into it in the first segment.

Blanchet, as always, gets to take advantage of lower stakes to just lob grenades in every direction.

Also, did Annamie Paul just endorse... everyone? (I don't think she's doing badly, and I know she's angling for cooperation, but it doesn't really translate to a call to vote in any particular way.)
posted by quizzical at 6:51 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Impressions of the debate:

Paul: Solid, concerned, who is this person and why is she here?
Singh: Relaxed, conversational, connecting well. Positive at first, but ends every note complaining.
O’Toole: Sounds good, especially if you have the memory of a goldfish, oddly campaigning from the left.
Trudeau: Rushed, breathless, only reciting points.
Blanchet: ME ME ME ME ME
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:34 PM on September 9


The provincial Conservatives in Nova Scotia also sort of campaigned from the left on health care. It’s a con, of course. Did any of the other debaters call O’Toole out on it?
posted by eviemath at 8:02 PM on September 9


Not really. The focus for everyone was getting their own talking points out, not engaging with the questions or moments at hand. Some exceptions, though.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:09 PM on September 9


That moderator was absolutely terrible. I'm unfamiliar with Schachi Kurli and I didn't know Angus Reid had an institute (I guess all the cool kids have one these days). I was just so fed up with her allowing O'Toole to cut everybody off the second they started speaking, and not just allowing, but turning to him and saying "your turn Mr. O'Toole." No, it bloody well wasn't his turn.

I've always hated questions from citizens, but that last one was the worst I've ever heard. I don't even think there was a question in there, just a jumble of topics. There was no way that should have ever been put to air. Look, I get it, asking questions can be hard, but that's why the professionals should be doing it, and if they're not, then they should be at least be performing gatekeeping duties to keep the incoherent ones out. I do, however, feel for that Indigenous guy who got nervous and forgot his question for a moment, and then ended up swearing on national TV. His friends are not going to let hi live that down.

Also, I would have been perfectly happy if Evan Solomon (of the more than dubious ethics who never should have got his job back in the first place) could have been replaced by anybody else, including the CTV janitor or security guard, although I was really hoping we could have had a panel of journalists completely made up of women.
posted by sardonyx at 8:17 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Ryan McMahon: The Federal leaders’ political discourse on Indigenous issues in Canada are squarely stuck at an 8th grade politics unit that is being taught in a geography class by a failed small town hockey playing Tragically Hip fan. Jesus Christ that was awful.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:19 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


*After a while all the elections kind of bleed together, especially when the voting happens in the same place year and year after year. Actually, because of COVID-19 voting won't take place in the local school, so I'll have to go someplace new this year. I mean, after lockdown, any new place is exciting!

Heh. We're in Bill Morneau's old riding, so we got a mid-pandemic (at least hopefully that was the middle) byelection. Our polling place ended up being in our building, which was convenient (we were in the first in the door on voting day!) but it meant we didn't get to go somewhere else when we were itching for an excuse to go somewhere. So much for polling place tourism!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:47 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


“Actually, because of COVID-19 voting won't take place in the local school, so I'll have to go someplace new this year. I mean, after lockdown, any new place is exciting!”

My pandemic polling place is a funeral home and crematorium. I shit you not.

What that implies, I have no idea, but it can’t be good.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:59 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


My pandemic polling place is a funeral home and crematorium.

Elections Canada is trolling with metaphors or something. Jesus.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:26 PM on September 9


The Federal leaders’ political discourse on Indigenous issues in Canada are squarely stuck at an 8th grade politics unit that is being taught in a geography class by a failed small town hockey playing Tragically Hip fan.

To be fair to the Tragically Hip, they've probably done more to bring attention to residential school abuses than any other non-Indigenous band.
posted by clawsoon at 4:29 AM on September 10 [7 favorites]


I'd be sorely tempted to skip voting in person, and just mail-in or do early voting somewhere else if that were my polling place, Capt. Renault. Sheesh! My new place isn't that remarkable. It's just a church rather than a high school.
posted by sardonyx at 6:14 AM on September 10


I'll be doing the advance poll at the rec centre, instead of at the funeral home. Not that there's anything strictly wrong with voting at a funeral home, it just has bad vibes I make it a policy to avoid.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:42 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I voted tonight, as I'll be out of town on Election Day, and it's best to get these things over with. No problems voting at all -- quick and easy.

After, I was asked to fill out a performance questionnaire. Sure, no problem. I'm filling out the form, and -- an elections officer is hovering over me as I fill out out, reading my answers. I complained about her hovering, she said she wasn't, I said some huffy indignant words about respecting my privacy in the election room if anywhere at all, handed in my form, and left. Completely unacceptable (all of which I noted on the questionnaire).

A great experience instantly turned negative because of one clueless officer. But no problems voting at all!
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:50 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I see that the People's Party has been poking at double digits in a couple of recent polls. I assume they're picking up most of the hardcore anti-vaccine/anti-mandate votes. That's definitely where I'm seeing the interest in them on the old Facebook feed.
posted by clawsoon at 1:24 AM on September 11


Quelle surprise! It was a PPC official who threw the gravel.
posted by sardonyx at 4:55 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Quelle surprise! It was a PPC official who threw the gravel.

Yep. Although apparently he's not longer the riding association director, he's still a good fit for the party...

PPC Riding Director Runs Multiple White Nationalist Social Accounts:

The riding director for a People’s Party of Canada candidate in the upcoming election has a social media presence where he regularly trades in violent and racist language and imagery.

Often draped in a ski mask and waving a blackened, camouflage version of Canada’s Red Ensign flag -- a symbol of a pre-multicultural Canada -- Shane Marshall has walked the streets of Toronto and Ottawa as part of numerous anti-COVID restriction protests. In other distinct black and white images, he gleefully poses with known Canadian white nationalists.

[...]

Marshall also has made various fascist and antisemitic posts across his accounts. After Maxime Bernier was arrested for violating public health orders, one of his more active social channels included video of the arrest alongside a meme showing the signature Groyper frog reading a fictional book titled “Mon Struggle” by the embattled leader, a reference to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” In another video meme, men are shown marching through the woods with the text, “Me and the boys on the way to Bohemian Grove after digging up ‘der Flammenwerfer’ to have ourselves a barbecue with our Hebrew friends.”


He was fairly easy to identify...

Known White Nationalists Spotted At Violent Anti-Trudeau Demonstration
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:49 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


They only turfed him after this whole thing went public because they didn't want the bad press, not (I presume) because they had issues with him or his behaviour. As far as I'm concerned, he was a party official when he was at the protest, therefore he was a party member when he committed actions the police deem as chargeable.
posted by sardonyx at 12:13 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, for sure. They knew who he was what he was up to because he was a good fit for the party in that regard.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:34 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Just returned from our advance poll. Bit of a wait, but nothing outrageous considering the circumstances. We were in and out in around 40 minutes. Had we not procrastinated until the afternoon on a Sunday, it might've been less busy. The people working this poll seemed pretty on the ball.

We were privy to repeated outbursts by the very angry white person behind us who was "disgusted" at how long this was taking. As she announced to everyone within earshot, "This is unacceptable! I'm never coming here again!"

Didn't have the heart to tell her that polling locations shift from election to election depending on what Elections Canada can rent out.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:45 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure exactly what a "single-use pencil" looks like but now I'm curious

We just voted, and our single use Democracy Pencils are what you might call golf pencils: 90 mm long, 7 mm diameter, unpainted, white wood with no grain (basswood?), soft core (B or 2B, perhaps). Our station was the gym in the 70s-tastic Don Montgomery Community Centre. No line, but we had a very elderly first-time voter in front of us who took forever and had to be repeatedly stopped from voting right in front of everyone.

Disappointed to see that the PPC has found a candidate for our riding, and of course their only platform is their Facebook page. We've also got an independent who doesn't even seem to be resident in Canada. The CPC did find a local candidate, unlike what I said earlier. Bill Blair may not be a 100% shoo-in after all, but it would be odd to have a riding with a CPC federal MP and NDP MPP.
posted by scruss at 12:52 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


We spun the "Elections Canada Accessibility Snafu Roulette" wheel today and won this time around -- while in line we were approached by one of the poll staff. He had the voting assistance statutory declaration form in hand, and asked Mr. Conspiracy if he needed any assistance, and he told him that he'd be nominating me as a "friend" (it's how the Elections Act words it) to assist him with voting. Nobody working the poll seemed confused about the procedures.

The worst instance was a federal election several years ago where literally nobody in the polling station had any idea what the fuck we were talking about. They were, however, using their "voting accessibility procedures" binder as a cover for the slot on the ballot box, so at least they were putting it to some use.

There's a reason why I have sections 154 and 155 of the Canada Elections Act committed to memory, including the statutory declaration therein.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:06 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Our PPC and Tory candidates are not talking to the media or showing up for debates. I watched the main local debate last night, and it only featured the Liberal, the Green and the NDP candidates. It was so, so sad on so many levels (Rogers local TV has all the technical skills and style of a kindergarten class--for example, to signal the end of time for the video-chat debate, somebody pushed a piece of paper with a hand-written note saying "Time's up" in front of the screen. The moderator was terrible, to the point where one of her responses to one of the candidates was "Awesome!" She also asked questions that were about municipal issues, not federal ones. The candidates themselves are a pretty lame bunch, etc.) but what really made the debate sad was the lack of participation by the right-wing candidates. That disrespect for the process is terrible. They want to represent the people but they can't go to the effort of presenting themselves to the people. Shameful. Truly shameful.
posted by sardonyx at 7:29 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


When the Liberals decided that their election strategy was to stoke anger about vaccine mandates, did they know that the hardcore would pull away from the Conservatives and go to the PPC instead, or did they just get lucky?
posted by clawsoon at 11:01 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


> Our PPC and Tory candidates are not talking to the media or showing up for debates.

Well, that strategy worked for Doug Ford in the last election. If people are just voting for a brand or a vague impression of what you and/or your party stand for, why let anything potentially mess with that?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:10 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


My friend took her elderly dad to vote early the other day, and was concerned about the large number of people in the voting room (because of COVID). When she asked the worker in charge of contact tracing what the maximum number of people allowed was, the worker had no idea and tried to say that the maximum number could change, "depending."

No. The number does not change, "depending." The number is fixed, because unless you are in the TARDIS, the dimensions of the room are fixed, and there is a maximum number of people allowed in there, and you, poll worker IN CHARGE OF COVID SAFETY, should know it!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:16 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I did a new building tour on Saturday. We had to be masked. One guy on the tour wore a mask that read 'This Mask Is As Useless as Justin Trudeau'.

It takes a special kind of anger to wear that obnoxiousness on your face.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:20 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


The trick with Dougie, however, is that he had a name and a reputation (or his brother's reputation). I can't even tell you the names of the Tory and the PPC'er running in this riding without looking them up. Sure, I guess they're hoping to cost on the party name, and who knows, maybe that will work, but it's still a poor way of presenting yourself for public office.

(For the record, I have to say, the NDP guy is also pretty much a non-entity, and one that seems to have been parachuted into this riding from the next town over. He certainly didn't do anything to really introduce himself during the debate, although he showed up and made an effort, so I have to give him marks for that.)
posted by sardonyx at 2:08 PM on September 13


I did a new building tour on Saturday. We had to be masked. One guy on the tour wore a mask that read 'This Mask Is As Useless as Justin Trudeau'.

It takes a special kind of anger to wear that obnoxiousness on your face.


Capt. Renault, there was an AskMe recently that made me ponder my own irritability these days, but I think maybe the cause of it is not so mysterious. I'm just so tired of obnoxious people wearing that obnoxiousness so loudly and proudly, you know? Like I guess I've always known there are people who just don't give a shit about the well being of anyone else, but now they're not even attempting to pretend. Like when I see stuff like the mask you described, I think, "You might as well just announce 'I don't understand science and I don't care if you die' to everyone you meet. At least that would be honest."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:36 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]




Just got an ad from Elections Canada saying that there are a "variety of paid positions" open for next week's vote. Does anybody know if hiring for an election usually goes this close to the wire?
posted by clawsoon at 6:46 PM on September 13


For returning officers and door workers I think it is. I was hired for a provincial election less than two weeks before the election.
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 PM on September 13


The mosquitoes were well fed last night. They got to have a smorgasbord of voters lined up for advanced voting. The wait time was about 45 minutes, while lightning was flashing overhead. Fortunately, I finally got let in just as it was really starting to rain, so I didn't wind up too soaked.
posted by sardonyx at 6:44 AM on September 14


Voted by mail; it was really quick, both in terms of getting the ballot and the process. Very glad I don't have to go to a polling station here in COVID infested Alberta (I think Kenney has gone into isolation, as we haven't seen him for about two weeks), and also glad I can kind of ignore the last week of the campaign, and start paying attention to my municipal election which is about a month out.
posted by nubs at 11:10 AM on September 14


Voted by mail too, ironically I used a mailbox just in front of an advance voting location. Skipped hell of a line though.

I feel sad for the NDP and Jagmeet, he's seems earnest and honest and they have a good platform but the LPC just keeps stealing his lunch, and once again votes that could go to them seem to be going back to the LPC, since the Conservatives are showing sign of life.

The greens are a dumpster fire at the moment and whatever they have to say about the climate crisis is not getting through. It's quite a sight to behold, it's not everyday a party manages to out-do the PQ for intestinal battles.

I did not expect the english debate to end up boosting the BQ, without really moving the needle anywhere else.

And we'll see how this pans out, but it would seem our very own wannabe-Trump Maxime Bernier might do us a solid and split a bit the conservative vote hopefully costing the CPC a few ridings, that would the 1st useful thing he's done in a very very long time (if ever).
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:24 PM on September 14


Looks like things are getting out of hand in my home town:
Marc Serré, Liberal candidate for Nickel Belt in northern Ontario, assaulted in campaign office
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:59 PM on September 14


I voted by mail for the first time in my life because I was worried about things being more gummed up than usual (and I've never waited longer than maybe ten minutes to vote for any election). My wife advance voted last week; she was there for almost an hour and said that the poll workers did not seem trained or prepared to the usual level.

> And we'll see how this pans out, but it would seem our very own wannabe-Trump Maxime Bernier might do us a solid and split a bit the conservative vote hopefully costing the CPC a few ridings, that would the 1st useful thing he's done in a very very long time (if ever).

In the short term and in a vacuum it would be great if the PC/PPC wound up fracturing the centre/right vote the way the Libs/NDP have been doing so on the left for my entire adult life, but on the other hand I don't want the PPC sticking around and gaining traction/legitimacy, because nothing good can come of that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:15 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


not everyday a party manages to out-do the PQ for intestinal battles.

Watching the election coverage on the news and/or any parties TV ad gives me intestinal battles.

I don't want the PPC sticking around and gaining traction/legitimacy, because nothing good can come of that.

Don't read Ibbitson's editorial in yesterdays Globe and Mail.
posted by nubs at 8:10 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


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