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October 13, 2008 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Election Day in Canada. Haven't followed the campaign? Summed up in images, it would probably look like this, or this. To our American friends, it probably looks a bit like this. Complete campaign chronology in cartoon form here and here. For those who like a little more meat, the Hill Times provides a campaign synopsis, and speculates about how the next minority Parliament may work.

If you prefer a multimedia approach, the CBC's panel of pundits weighs in on the emergent themes of the campaign: empathy and the economy.

For those of a more mathematical bent, various seat projections are aggregated here, and national poll results here. If you'd like to try your own hand at prognostication, there's Hill and Knowlton's Election Predictor. Or, if you'd prefer to be guided by the vibe 'on the ground' in various ridings across the country, there's the surprisingly successful Election Prediction Project.

For those who are still undecided, party platforms summarized and compared here.
posted by Urban Hermit (205 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
What the fuck? Just because Canada is the biggest state, they get to vote a month early?

Bastards.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:22 PM on October 13, 2008 [16 favorites]


For those in the US that want to follow the returns on TV apparently C-SPAN will show the CBC broadcast from 9 pm EDT. And don't forget to get your predictions in!
posted by Kattullus at 9:22 PM on October 13, 2008


Wilfrid Laurier University's Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy has a webpage that includes a seat projection and articles about the campaign here.
posted by New Frontier at 9:25 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear Elections Canada: It's 2008, and I don't have a fax machine (no one has a fax machine). I would have liked to have registered to vote my mail; was there no way you could design a secure https system for registering for early ballots? thx
posted by acro at 9:39 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I miss the Rhino Party!!!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:40 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cool! There were several student-led discussions (of said student's choice) in one of my classes last week. I choose to talk about the Canadian elections rather than the American because I think they're really fascinating. Probably because I never hear anything about them and, in my shallow American view, see Canada as being so like us that it was a shock that their system has so many differences.

I got a lot of blank stares, but one Canadian dual-citizen and I ended up talking all about it. Everyone did like the pooping puffin attack ad bit, at least.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:40 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Duceppe for PM is all I can say. Plus, I'm looking forward to following the election all evening tomorrow night. Good times.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:43 PM on October 13, 2008


This USian is intensely jealous of your multi-party system.

Summed up in an image, it looks like this.
posted by lekvar at 9:44 PM on October 13, 2008


What the fuck? Just because Canada is the biggest state, they get to vote a month early?

Oh stop. We're stilling mulling over the idea of allowing the U.S. to become our fourth Territory, as you guys don't rate Province status yet, eh.
posted by illiad at 9:46 PM on October 13, 2008 [10 favorites]


It's 2008, and I don't have a fax machine (no one has a fax machine).

Who doesn't have a fax machine? How do you buy a printer or scanner or coffee-maker without one anymore?

(But yeah, a secure web system would be nice.)
posted by rokusan at 9:46 PM on October 13, 2008


The 2nd and 3rd cartoons are hilarious. Good luck Canadians!
posted by nickyskye at 9:48 PM on October 13, 2008


Oh stop. We're stilling mulling over the idea of allowing the U.S. to become our fourth Territory, as you guys don't rate Province status yet, eh.

Forget the US. Florida is first in line for that honor.
posted by humannaire at 9:49 PM on October 13, 2008


This USian is intensely jealous of your multi-party system.

I am fully convinced that we are moving towards a two-party system something like the UK. I am expecting the left-Liberals will drift to the NDP, and the right-Liberals will drift to the Conservatives. Since the cause of Quebec independence is on the backburner, I wouldn't be surprised to see right-leaning seperatists going over the Conservatives.

I think the left (or "progressives" - which has a right-wing connotation in traditional Canadian politics but we are copying the US meaning lately) will have a "unite the left" movement.. probably led by the NDP resulting in something that looks quite a bit like New Labour. The Liberals are bigger right now, but they are divided and lacking in money - we must also remember that when there was a "unite the right" movement, it wasn't won by the moderates.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:56 PM on October 13, 2008


Alexandra Kitty: The (neo)Rhino's are here. Only seven candidates, though...
posted by birdsquared at 9:59 PM on October 13, 2008


I am fully convinced that we are moving towards a two-party system something like the UK. I am expecting the left-Liberals will drift to the NDP, and the right-Liberals will drift to the Conservatives.

I'm not so sure. The country is the Liberals' to lose, remember--they've been in power two-thirds of the time since Confederation, so don't write them off so quickly just because of an atrocious leader or two. I'd say that nine times out of ten, the Liberal position is the closest to that of the median voter, so even a Conservative minority is an epic screwup on their part.

And there are some factors besides regionalism keeping the country multi-polar: many people vote based on what they think of the candidates in their own riding, which means a solid candidate can win without their party's support; and as the Greens have shown, the progressive Left will switch parties rather than get dragged to the center.
posted by goingonit at 10:06 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


This USian is intensely jealous of your multi-party system.

Summed up in an image, it looks like this.


Summed up in a flash wack-a-mole game, it looks like this.
posted by arto at 10:09 PM on October 13, 2008


But is there a theme song?
posted by casarkos at 10:10 PM on October 13, 2008


I'll take one minority gov't (any variety) with Linda Duncan and Elizabeth May obtaining seats. That would be cool.
posted by mazola at 10:22 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was anyone else disappointed that Hill and Knowlton's Election Predictor did not involve either of these guys?

And can the CBC please replace Don Newman with Rosemary Barton? The guy's basically unlistenable these days ("Welcome to the braaaadcast..."), and his timekeeper shtick when speaking to the party reps this season has been so damn annoying, equal-time rules be darned.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 PM on October 13, 2008


I think the left (or "progressives" - which has a right-wing connotation in traditional Canadian politics but we are copying the US meaning lately) will have a "unite the left" movement.. probably led by the NDP resulting in something that looks quite a bit like New Labour.

Never. Fucking. Happen. The apparent success of the NDP in this election (we'll see what happens tomorrow) will only serve to validate the Loony Left of the party** that is anti-capitalist and basically anti-common sense, and this success (once again, we'll see tomorrow), combined with the noxious left-wing dogma the NDP will wrap around itself, will serve to alienate Canada's Natural Governing Party the Liberals, who will still remain popular in Ontario, parts of the Prairies and the Maritimes, but not Quebec. And I can't see any right-leaning Liberal ever joining the Conservatives, which is essentially a reheated hash of Reform troglodytes and undead Mike Harris revolutionary stormtroopers like Jim Flaherty.

We're in for a period of regional parties - Conservative = the West and the Maritimes; Liberal = Ontario; Bloc = Quebec; NDP = Toronto + Vancouver Island

**I volunteered for the NDP provincially during the 2005 BC election, and Federally leading up to and during the 2006 campaign. During the 2006 campaign I was a policy researcher for a guy named Paul Summerville, a former banker who was recruited by the NDP to write their 2006 economic platform, "Prosperity and Justice." I was very disappointed that my candidate didn't win, and I was also quite disappointed in the confused economic policies promoted by the NDP following that election.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:32 PM on October 13, 2008


The brake-lines getting cut at houses with Liberal signs on the lawn was a bit weird, but seemed to turn out just to be a crazy person as opposed to someone who actually mattered. As it turns out, my old riding is a pretty hot race between the NDP incumbent (Nash) and former Liberal leadership candidate Gerrard Kennedy. Too bad they couldn't put one in a different riding to further erode the Con's hold on power.
posted by GuyZero at 10:33 PM on October 13, 2008


What would Canadian poets say about the election... must be from at least 2 elections ago though.
posted by GuyZero at 10:43 PM on October 13, 2008


I still think a unite the left movement is in oder. The Liberals and Conservatives traditionally occupied the same space - they are both pro-business, and pro-industry parties, they just represented different factions of business and industry. Take Trudeau out of the picture, and you are left with guys like McKenzie King, Louis St Laurent, and Jean Chretien -- modest and fairly tight-fisted individuals. Now you have the Cons, who evolved from Reform - pro business and industry - no doubt. There is no reason right now for a pro-business and pro-industry voter/donor not to vote Conservative. So regarding the Liberals right-wing support drifting - well there is really no reason for business and industry to support the Liberals anymore, especially if they stick to policy like the Greenshift.

Second, given campaign finance changes - it will be really hard for the Liberals to fundraise like they did in the past - they can't just pass a hat down banker's row. The NDP and Conservatives both have strong grassroots movements that the Libs lack. The looney left talk right now, is blue sky daydreaming - the Sask and Manitoba NDP governments simply weren't crazy left-wing governments. Taking Bob Rae off the NDP's hands was a great blesssing for the New Democrats, and if he is elected the next Liberal leader I don't expect Ontario will be too amused. I wouldn't be suprised if the NDP vote that was showing in the polls chickens out on election day, but it hardly matters - remember the "unite the right" movement was led by the far right. The mushy middle will have to pick sides or not vote, they will be political castoffs like Joe Clark. You must remember that the Cons are trying really, really hard to import US style culture wars....

So the Liberals either have to build a grassroots movement or die slowly... this is what I see happening. Stephane Dion,Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff (sp ?) aren't guys like TC Douglas or even Preston Manning... the Liberals are in a huge hole.. Trudeau is a ghost and a shadow, out of active politics for something approaching like 30 years.

I am suggesting the Liberals are on the wrong side of evolution.. Given the factors I have listed - they are in a hole, no money, no prospects. Let's imagine something big happens -say a Stephen Harper government joins a US attack on Iran. I can say as a moderate leftie, progressive, Canadian that I would be perfectly happy for the left to unite on an anti-Conservative agenda and work out the other details later. I think lots of others would too.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:08 PM on October 13, 2008


I'll take one Liberal minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, pls.

What she said.

GuyZero: I really wish I still lived in the 'hood. I'd vote for Peggy, no question. I live in Rae's riding now, blech.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:38 PM on October 13, 2008


I hope we have some Liberal + NDP coalition that works starting tomorrow. I'm guessing another Tory minority will result in Harper stepping down or getting the boot, which would still be good I guess.
posted by chunking express at 11:39 PM on October 13, 2008


Ouch. I missed that story. Pretty shabby Mr. Harper.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 11:52 PM on October 13, 2008


No 'voter registration' up here. Just show up with ID/proof of citizenship and you can vote.

Apparently, this kind of rationality can't be exported below the 49th parallel.
posted by grounded at 11:59 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


This USian is intensely jealous of your multi-party system.

Ugh, I'm not too happy about it currently. We have an overwhelming majority voting centre or left and yet we get a conservative party winning.

My riding's (Calgary West) incumbent Rob Anders was, in 1991, the only MP to vote against Nelson Mandela receiving honorary Canadian citizenship. His reasoning? Mandela is a terrorist and a communist. Yet, the fucker will win yet again.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:34 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd say that voting by a secure https system would be a bad idea. It's important not only that the system be secure, but also that everyone voting knows that it is secure.

Here's what I saw last time I went to a party meeting One time I was at party a nomination once. Before the voting, somebody actually held the ballot box over his head to show everyone that it was empty. After it was locked, scrutineers representing every candidate were never more than a step away from it. They counted the ballots together. That system is much more likely to be off by a ballot or two, but also much more transparent. If everyone can understand every step of the process, no one has any reason to think the vote was rigged. Legitimacy trumps accuracy.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:02 AM on October 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


> I'm guessing another Tory minority will result in Harper stepping down or getting the boot, which would still be good I guess.

You guess? Anything that would hasten Harper's departure from the national scene would have me tap-dancing for joy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:16 AM on October 14, 2008


> This USian is intensely jealous of your multi-party system.

As with any system it has its ups and downs, but what you USians should really envy is our independent, non-partisan agency in charge of running elections up here.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:20 AM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'll take one Liberal minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, pls.

That's what we had fuck! I'm pissed that we're going to end up with the same thing because our "I'm a bigshot too" political tradition doesn't know how to work a minority parliament. Where's my Liberal-NDP alliance? Where's my climactic crossing-the-floor votes (a la chuck cadman) to bring in a carbon tax despite Harpers obfuscations?

Instead we'll another election before the end of next year because our leaders think the cost of an election ("dysfunctional parliament" my ass) is worth less than the chance of gaining another 2% more power.
posted by Popular Ethics at 4:29 AM on October 14, 2008


Just show up with ID/proof of citizenship and you can vote.

You have to prove that you live in your riding.

And I've never shown ID to vote. This kind of rationality is illegal in Canada.
posted by oaf at 4:41 AM on October 14, 2008


"When you vote you MUST prove your identity and your address" is what my voter card thing says. But as noted above, you can still go vote without a card. They figure all that shit out. Elections Canada is awesome.
posted by chunking express at 5:07 AM on October 14, 2008


Duceppe for PM is all I can say.

Oh dear God no. No way will the Liberals win this one, and Duceppe is going to be booted out as leader shortly afterwards.

I'm expecting the NDP and the Liberals to gain some ground at the expense of the Conservatives.
posted by orange swan at 5:21 AM on October 14, 2008


No way will the Liberals win this one, and Duceppe is going to be booted out as leader shortly afterwards.

?
posted by oaf at 5:31 AM on October 14, 2008


The conventional wisdom that about 40% of the NDP and Green vote will break for the Liberals is not something I'm so sure of this time around. That could be a good thing.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:59 AM on October 14, 2008


> The Liberals and Conservatives traditionally occupied the same space - they are both pro-business, and pro-industry parties, they just represented different factions of business and industry.

No, that's not accurate. I'd agree that a while ago, before Reeeee-foooooOOORM! , the PCs and Liberals were alot closer, but now that they've beaten the "Progressive" out of PC to now just be "Conservatives", the differences are more distinct. Conservatives are playing more to to their rural grassroots, Western special interests, and the Canadian flavour of neo-con, whereas the Liberals remain strong with professionals, academics and urban voters. Big business mostly sits on the fence, not coming down strongly on either side, except for some think-tanks that are cheerleaders for less regulation and more.

I detest that the Conservatives have taken the political discourse down, with their pursuit of wedge issues and general fearmongering, in their quest for a majority. Hopefully, a failure to get that majority will let the Conservatives know that this isn't the way to do things here, and Harper will become a historical footnote. I'd much prefer a Liberal-NDP coalition in the short term, but I'm not holding my breath.

If you're in Canada, and of age, PLEASE VOTE. It's very easy, you don't even need ID if you can bring a neighbour who does have the right ID and who will vouch for you.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:40 AM on October 14, 2008


Dang. My 1st para should finish: except for some think-tanks that are cheerleaders for less regulation and more foreign investment.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:42 AM on October 14, 2008


PoliticalFilter: That's what we had fuck!
posted by jimmythefish at 7:05 AM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish MY country had more than two viable parties. Lucky Canadians.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:09 AM on October 14, 2008


It's very easy, you don't even need ID if you can bring a neighbour who does have the right ID and who will vouch for you.

I love Canada so fucking much.
posted by chunking express at 7:13 AM on October 14, 2008


Conservative = the West and the Maritimes

I take it you're not from the Maritimes. Lots of red tonight, some orange, possibly some green, a bit of blue, and a touch of grey. Considering there's only 25 seats in the Maritimes (32 if you expand to Atlantic Canada), that's pretty damned divided.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:15 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The looney left talk right now, is blue sky daydreaming - the Sask and Manitoba NDP governments simply weren't crazy left-wing governments. Taking Bob Rae off the NDP's hands was a great blesssing for the New Democrats, and if he is elected the next Liberal leader I don't expect Ontario will be too amused.

Bob Rae was from the moderate, not-loony wing of the NDP - he joined the Liberals when the NDP moved to the left. And he was way better for Ontario than Harris - he was kicked out of office when the unions went turncoat and campaigned against Rae for trying to make minor cuts to keep spending under control during a recession, while Harris & what's his name who followed proceeded to dig Ontario sell off assets to their friends and left Ontario deeper in debt even as they lied about it.

Rae's gotten the Jimmy Carter treatment - came in, economic bad times hit, then gets blamed for them as if political leaders actually control the world economy. I mean, it's just ludacris to expect people to believe that Ontario's premier could have cause the world-wide recession in the 1990s, but Harris succeeded, because everyone voting for him was too busy throwing mud at poor people to pay attention to reality.
posted by jb at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see campaigns from a bunch of people, you know, at an election that costs millions of dollars all subsidized by taxpayers, claiming their Parliament isn't functional enough when they know their efforts to gridlock that Parliament have actually gone up, I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:19 AM on October 14, 2008


Also, if people haven't seen Vote For Environment yet, the site is great. (I wish Canada had instant run-offs so this sort of junk wouldn't be needed.)
posted by chunking express at 7:46 AM on October 14, 2008


Alvy aren't ordinary working people too busy being resentful of artists, musicians and movies with the word 'fuck' in the title to care about crass partisan manipulation?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:52 AM on October 14, 2008


Rae's gotten the Jimmy Carter treatment - came in, economic bad times hit, then gets blamed for them as if political leaders actually control the world economy.

That's the truth. I wouldn't vote for him as a Liberal, but the way that he is remembered as a 'great ruiner' in the minds of most Ontario voters is completely unjust. He arguably did the best he could with a really shite hand. The unions for whom an NDP government should have been a dream come true decided to put him up against the wall in the worst of times, expecting the impossible and shouting bloody murder over common-sense, low-impact compromises like "Rae Days". And they got exactly what they deserved for their treachery, too - Rae Days look pretty mild compared to 2 terms of Harris slashing and burning, don't they?

As for the current federal elections.. sigh. Another Conservative minority. I hope Dion has the good sense to GTFO after losing ground to the NDP this round. He should have had the good sense to bow out after 2006 - say what you will about Ignatieff, but he's got more charisma than Dion by a factor of, oh, eleventy-billion or so. He probably could have rehabilitated the Liberals at least to the point of a minority on this one.

In any case, the NDP should make some gains, and maybe the Greens really will snag a seat or two. Which with any luck really will force a much-needed 'unite the left' push. Mind you, I think that any consolidation of parties is a really poor alternative to proportional representation - but after the PR referendum failure in Ontario, I just don't have any hope of that getting anywhere in the next decade or so. As it stands, the first-past-the-post system combined with a fractured left only leads to a united right taking more than their share of seats, election after election. Right now the Conservatives are able to form governments, and bully legislation through, with roughly 35% of the popular vote. They can in some cases take seats where barely 30% of the riding votes for them. That's really fucked up. Every voter ticking NDP or Green would rather see the Liberal in than the Conservative, but the voting system cannot honour such nuances of the public will. So long as that's the case, we are going to need to get pragmatic if we expect to keep these New Conservative fuckers out of government. They are such an ideological train-wreck after the Reform merger that it makes you all misty-eyed thinking of the Tories of old... which is quite a trick, really, given what bastards they generally were.
posted by blackberet at 7:53 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish Canada had instant run-offs so this sort of junk wouldn't be needed.

Good lord, yes. I don't know why people who talk about election reform all the time talk about proportional representation. The latter would be very unwieldy and difficult to implement. The former is easy-peasy.

And I too pray for a Liberal-NDP coalition. I'd say if the two together pull at least 25 more ridings than the conservatives, and make an agreement with the Block, Michelle Jean would totally cave.
posted by Alex404 at 8:20 AM on October 14, 2008


blackberet, proportional representation isn't what we need, instant run-offs are. They fix the problem you point out perfectly: people voting for the Greens would probably give their vote to the NDP if the Greens lost, and to the Liberals if the NDP lost. They would also be a much simpler change than what was argued for in Ontario in the last provincial election.
posted by chunking express at 8:27 AM on October 14, 2008


Although, the problem with instant run-offs is that more often than not your Green party (or other fringe party) votes are going to be going to parties you really don't love that much. So you still have some sort of marginalizing going on.
posted by chunking express at 8:29 AM on October 14, 2008


Every voter ticking NDP or Green would rather see the Liberal in than the Conservative

Not true in the West... Lots of people vote NDP/Conservative. The Liberals tend to be viewed as a Central Canadian party - they don't have any seats in the Saskatchewan legislature and haven't for years (they aren't even part of the social fabric). Just remember that years ago, Diefenbaker and TC Douglas emerged from the same geography.

I guess the problem is... its too easy for Danny Williams or Ralph Klein or Jean Charest to just blame everything that goes wrong in their province on Ottawa. We can either fix the democracy problem - where the Cons get most of the power with a 30% vote or we can fix regionalism.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:50 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find it mind-blowing that Canada will likely elect a divided, conservative government, while it looks like the US will elect a liberal super-majority.
posted by thewittyname at 9:03 AM on October 14, 2008


Just voted - but anyway I'm in Duceppe's riding - LOL. Also - I wish this system was used. People would have no reason to vote strategically anymore - it could produce BIG surprises.
posted by zenzizi at 9:08 AM on October 14, 2008


If you're in Canada, and of age, PLEASE VOTE. It's very easy, you don't even need ID if you can bring a neighbour who does have the right ID and who will vouch for you.

The new rules this year make things a little less easy than previous years. It took me three times to vote:

1) I brought my registration card but did not have ID on me (my bad!);
2) I went home, got my ID, and returned. However, having renewed my drivers license on the weekend I had an interim license (no address or picture on it). Interim license + birth certificate + credits cards a'plenty ≠ vote;
3) I went home, grabbed a bank statement, returned and voted. Yay BMO.

By the old rules I think I would have been able to make some sort of oath/declaration that would have saved me one or two trips to the house.

Fortunately I live very close to the polling station and this was a minor hassle.

Anyhoop, all those trips home put the 'exercise' in exercising my voting rights, which should make up for all the time I spend on the couch tonight watching the results come in.
posted by mazola at 9:10 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find it mind-blowing that Canada will likely elect a divided, conservative government, while it looks like the US will elect a liberal super-majority.

Yes, but the political system is not framed the same way. Democrats are often more conservative than any Canadian party. I was helping on an election campaign once and was trying to steal good ideas from the Democrats and read over their policies carefully - no Canadian party, not even one led by Preston Manning - would do what the Democrats would do with education, and health care.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:15 AM on October 14, 2008


Indeed, Deep Dish. The US Democrats are farther to the right of US Republicans 30 years ago, let alone any Canadian party short of the late, unlamented Reform.

This is because Canada has a political spectrum, and the US surgically removed its left around WWI, leading to a slow, steady slide to the right.
posted by QIbHom at 9:48 AM on October 14, 2008


Deep Dish, I'm not sure that regionalism can be fixed - certainly not without a much higher caliber of party leader (and backroom operator) than we seem to be getting these days. Bringing people together is hard - it's just too easy to score points and pick up votes by playing the "blame X" card. I suspect that will still be the norm in Western politics when I am old and grey.

Alex404, chunking: Yes, instant run-offs would go a long way towards solving the problem. Given the relative complexity of PR and its failure to even approach the required support in the Ontario referendum, it is quite possibly our only hope for meaningful reform. Of course, the Conservatives would fight it tooth and nail if they thought it had legs: it would essentially mean The End writ large for them in much of the country.
posted by blackberet at 9:49 AM on October 14, 2008


And I can't see any ... Liberal ever joining the Conservatives

David Emerson did, as did a number of others.
posted by squeak at 9:54 AM on October 14, 2008


I've been reading up a bit on instant run-off elections, and I really like the idea but there's one thing I don't understand: how does it work for seats? Let's say after the first count no-one has a majority so the Green party gets knocked out and everyone who voted Green has their second choice counted. Does that mean that the Green party is now automatically disqualified from holding any seats at all? Or does this happen in a district-by-district way - Green gets knocked off only in Southern Alberta but NDP gets knocked off somewhere else?
posted by arcticwoman at 10:39 AM on October 14, 2008


Instant-runnoff (or voter-preference) is seen as a replacement for first-past-post (whoever gets the most votes wins). It's strictly per-riding only. One riding's results does not affect another's.

What it does allow is for voters to say: "Jane Raindowsandunicorns is my first vote, but if she's not a contender then Randy Second-Rater is my second choice." Citizens don't have to vote strategically or risk splitting the electorate and allowing Slimey McCarpetbagger to slip in with a plurality, like he can now.

But, the fact that the Wishy-washy party of Randy Second-Rater gets in in your riding of Western Scarberia, doesn't prevent the PLUR party from winning in Spadina-Emotown. It's just the same as now; each riding elects it's own member independently (unlike most PR schemes).
posted by bonehead at 10:51 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't like the Green Shift.

While I do appreciate the concept of carbon taxes, it doesn't work. In British Columbia we pay 2.4 cents of carbon tax per litre of gasoline, which will rise to 10 cents/litre in 3 years time. Theoretically the increased price of gasoline will encourage us to drive less, thus reduce our carbon footprint. However market forces have completely overwhelmed any impact that the carbon tax will have on our buying habits. The price of gasoline here has fallen 35 cents in less than two weeks -- how is a 2.4 cent tax going to modify our driving habits?

According to the Green Shift PDF, the price of gasoline will *NOT* increase at all. There will be zero cents of additional taxes imposed on the price of gasoline, hence there will be no motivation for Canadians to drive less. The Green Shift *will* increase the price of diesel by 7 cents/litre. That is something I do not understand at all because diesel is a cleaner fuel than gasoline. The increased price of diesel will increase the price of transporting goods, which means *everything* you buy will go up in price. This is inflationary and will wipe out any possible income tax savings.

The Green Shift also increases the price of home heating oil and other fuels, and make it much more expensive to heat our homes in the winter. I know plenty of people who are shifting to firewood which is not taxed yet emits plenty of carbon into the environment.

The Green Shift is also advertised as revenue-neutral. Revenue-neutral to who? Certainly not for the average taxpayer, who will likely pay more in taxes. The Green Shift, like other consumption taxes, is also highly regressive. High-income earners will pay much much less in income tax than they pay out in gasoline and other taxes.

The NDP and Conservatives are against the carbon tax. Please consider voting for them instead of the Liberals.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2008


That is something I do not understand at all because diesel is a cleaner fuel than gasoline.

Is this true? I think you have it backwards, unless things have changed in recent years. That said, I like the NDP plan more as well.

posted by chunking express at 11:26 AM on October 14, 2008


Hmm, the United States EPA website states that gasoline produces 19.4 pounds of CO2 emissions per gallon, while diesel produces 22.2 pounds/gallon. However diesel has a much higher fuel density (better mileage) so that would offset the extra CO2.

Also Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel is now available, so that should be much cleaner than the soot-belchers of the 1970s.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:41 AM on October 14, 2008


Diesel is more energy dense but most of it has a lot more sulfur and nitrogen than gasoline, so while you use less carbon per mile you generally release more stuff that causes acid rain. Newer types of diesel are low-sulfur but I don't know how wide-spread they are. Biodiesel uses foodstocks but has the bonus of being lower in sulfur and smelling like french fries when you burn it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:46 AM on October 14, 2008


With diesel use. there are two separate concerns: smog production and carbon emissions

As mentioned above, sulphur isn't the big problem with diesel anymore. Nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (soot: PM10 and PM2.5) are the big problems. NOX and PM are major contributors to smog and acid rain. Note that biodiesel solves neither of these problems.

While diesel produces 15% more CO2 by mass, distance traveled per mass of fuel is 15% to 30% more. Diesel engines produce about the same or a little less atmospheric carbon than gas engines. Biofuels have the potential to greatly change this, having a close fuel-carbon dioxide cycle which is carbon-neutral.
posted by bonehead at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2008


Green Shift *will* increase the price of diesel by 7 cents/litre.

"Gas should be the same price everywhere, it should cost the same amount here that it does in provinces like Calgary or Texas." - Ricky, TPB
posted by Deep Dish at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2008


My polling station this year happened to be a church down the street. So I cast my vote with a giant portrait of the good Lord looking down on me. Secret ballot my ass, Jesus.
posted by riane at 12:38 PM on October 14, 2008


I just voted. It took about five minutes. Three minutes of that were spent waiting for the pollster's partner to come back from the washroom.

Oddly there was no liberal candidate on the ballot in my riding (Calgary East), but there was some guy running for the communist party.
posted by chugg at 12:45 PM on October 14, 2008


Oddly there was no liberal candidate on the ballot in my riding (Calgary East)

Wasn't it Bernie Kennedy?
posted by hangashore at 1:02 PM on October 14, 2008


Just as I was leaving to vote, I checked the mail and found a pamphlet from the Liberal candidate, the only one I've gotten thus far. The Con incumbent's sent out at least five since the writ was dropped.

Nice work, dickhead. Heckuva strategy.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:14 PM on October 14, 2008


Wasn't it Bernie Kennedy?

My mistake, he was on there.
posted by chugg at 1:30 PM on October 14, 2008


Neorhino.ca
posted by chunking express at 1:36 PM on October 14, 2008


The new rules this year make things a little less easy than previous years. It took me three times to vote

Mrs. Kabanos voted in the advanced poll (barely). It took six civil servants almost 2 hours to figure out how to deal with her new married name and change of address, despite the fact that she brought along every bit of personal identification she's ever been issued, marriage certificate, bank statements, etc. The family members that were with her at the time couldn't vouch for her either, because they don't live in our riding. She nearly killed someone when, near the end of the ordeal, one of the election workers said, "Well SOMEONE has to make a decision!" while the others just stared blankly at each other.

But still... she wasn't bribed, threatened, beaten, shot at, or worried about hanging chads, ... so yay Canada!
posted by Kabanos at 1:41 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The NDP and Conservatives are against the carbon tax. Please consider voting for them instead of the Liberals.

That's all well and good if one's main, or even sole, concern is carbon tax. A person switching from Liberal to NDP wouldn't be a huge shift; but voting for a Conservative government would be voting for a host of weird (to an average Liberal voter) shit.

It would mean voting to give power to people who are OK with trying to take back rights that were previously granted to gay and lesbian couples. And to people who seem to think that equality isn't a good goal for Canadian women. And to people like this guy, who thinks that porn has no place in Canada.
posted by CKmtl at 1:57 PM on October 14, 2008


Voted.
posted by chococat at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, I hope my mail-in vote got there in time. I wonder how many mail-ins show up a day late?
posted by GuyZero at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2008


At this hour it's got another 22 minutes to make it to Ottawa.
posted by oaf at 2:38 PM on October 14, 2008


Done. Took forever and a day (okay, about half an hour) to get (re-)registered in the exact same riding, same polling station, that I voted in the last federal election.

But my X has marked the spot.
posted by aclevername at 2:42 PM on October 14, 2008


At this hour it's got another 22 minutes to make it to Ottawa.

Well, I sent it last week, but it's a bit unsettling that my vote hinges on the efficiency of the US Postal Service.

Also, CBC Radio 3 has to close their blog comments to comply with Federal news blackout regs! Crazy! How will Lana Gay find out how much I'm crushing on her?
posted by GuyZero at 2:50 PM on October 14, 2008


Democrats are often more conservative than any Canadian party.

Nah, Reform was always more rightwing than the admittedly pretty rightwing end of the Democratic Party - which was more right wing than Joe Clark's Tories. But I'd say that Obama certainly is more left wing than the current Conservative Party. Sure, he says he doesn't believe in government health care, but I suspect he would like it very much but knows that it is currently politically unfeasible in the U.S. (There are so many powerful myths down here, like that the government would dictate your doctor. Since when have we not been able to chose our own doctors? in Canada, I could sign up with any doctor taking patients. But in the US, I'm limited to the doctors at my health provider's clinic. Not that I really care, but I certainly have less choice about service.)
posted by jb at 3:07 PM on October 14, 2008


The https suggestion is to get the expat ballot mailed to you... How would that be inherently less secure that faxing a copy of your request for the ballot and your ID to Elections Canada?
posted by acro at 3:14 PM on October 14, 2008


DOES ANYONE KNOW A SITE TO SEE LIVE RESULTS? I want East Coast results as they come in - starting at 7 EST. Sorry about the caps, but I want this answered very soon and I have another 16 hours to wait til I can post another AskMefi. Thanks.
posted by gman at 3:37 PM on October 14, 2008


Totally voted. Took a couple minutes. Go Canada!
posted by chunking express at 3:48 PM on October 14, 2008


The NDP are only cynically opposed to the carbon tax, it's an obvious attempt to siphon off Liberal voters that can't actually read and are just freaking out about OMG TAX GASOLINE?!?!?!? I wouldn't actually trust them to oppose it in the future.
posted by mek at 3:53 PM on October 14, 2008


Live results are against the law. No results for anyone until the polls in Victoria close.
posted by GuyZero at 3:53 PM on October 14, 2008


Apparently, last election some US sites carried live results.
posted by gman at 3:54 PM on October 14, 2008


Live results are against the law. No results for anyone until the polls in Victoria close.

Off to the polls then... I am glad I won't have to hear about a red wave or blue wave at 7:31 pm.
posted by Deep Dish at 3:56 PM on October 14, 2008


gman: There's a news blackout until 10pm EDT (standard time doesn't start until November).
posted by CKmtl at 3:57 PM on October 14, 2008


here?
posted by gman at 4:07 PM on October 14, 2008


*buys "The Final Countdown" on iTunes*

*sets alarm for 9:55*

posted by oaf at 4:10 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


gman: And where is that Scribbler getting their results from? The results don't go up on the Elections Canada site until 10pm. My local (Montreal) TV station isn't even starting their elections broadcast until 9pm, and that's probably an hour of "So, Bill, what do YOU think will happen?" before the real results.
posted by CKmtl at 4:15 PM on October 14, 2008


Plus if they do get & publish results they are breaking a Federal law. I doubt they're all that into it.
posted by GuyZero at 4:21 PM on October 14, 2008


Oddly there was no liberal candidate on the ballot in my riding (Calgary East), but there was some guy running for the communist party.

Ha! The first guy on my ballot was Marxist-Leninist. I'm guessing a good portion of the 112 people that voted for him last time probably did so, as they say on the internet, for the 'lulz'.

They set up a polling station in the lobby of my university residence less than 30 steps from my door, so it would have been silly NOT to vote. The process was incredibly efficient as well; just had to flash my id and fill in a few blanks and I was registered with a cast ballot in less time than it took to get my celebratory donut from the Tim Hortons right by.

Would have been done faster had I paid attention and noticed that you were supposed to simply X the ballot and not waste 30 seconds filling it in all pro (damn you Scantron!).
posted by shoebox at 4:24 PM on October 14, 2008


damn you Scantron!

You vote is also invalid if you forgot to use a #2 pencil.
posted by GuyZero at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2008


I had a completely different situation than shoebox.

After arriving at my old polling station at my University, I was told that I was at the wrong place and that my new polling station was at a church I had never heard of. Fair enough, democracy is not fast food. I arrived at St. Aidan's United Church with my two pieces of ID to find a line outside the door. 15 minutes later I am told that I need proof my new address.

"I haven't even gotten a phone bill yet, how am I to prove that I live in a house in probate I'm renting?"

This lead me to the station officer who explained to me why these new measures are protecting fraudulent behavior (I have no problem whatsoever with regulation) -- but in order for me to vote I have to go next door to one of my neighbours, bring them to the polling station with me so they can vouch that I actually live there (for they would have ID and proof that they live at said address). I have yet to meet my next door neighbours and feel like this would be an excessive burden so I will not be voting in this election.
posted by ageispolis at 4:36 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


CKmtl - Newfoundlanders will be able to view the results of their local elections at 7 p.m. ET.

GuyZero - in 2006 I found live results on some non-Canadian site. Can't fuckin' find it now.
posted by gman at 4:46 PM on October 14, 2008


I just came back from the CBC HQ in TO. You can get within 10 meters of Mansbridge. But security won't let you in any closer, nor can you hear his resonant voice since he's facing the other way and only talking into a mic and not projecting.

No blackout relief here.
posted by ecco at 5:31 PM on October 14, 2008


You can get within 10 meters of Mansbridge.

But did you get Wendy Mesley's phone number? Rawr. yes, I know she re-married.
posted by GuyZero at 5:38 PM on October 14, 2008


Is it 10 yet?
posted by avocet at 5:41 PM on October 14, 2008


alt.sports.hockey.nhl.vanc-canucks
posted by angrybeaver at 5:46 PM on October 14, 2008


But did you get Wendy Mesley's phone number? Rawr.

*Waves 'I Swoon For Swain. And Barton. But I Can't Think of Clever Wordplay For That' Pennant*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:47 PM on October 14, 2008


Newfoundlanders will be able to view the results of their local elections at 7 p.m. ET.

Yes, but will they be able to read them?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:53 PM on October 14, 2008


My voting experience was perfect. Walk in, flash my registration card. Get directed to station 123. Flash card and picture ID at station. Get ballot. Mark X. Drop in box. Total turn-around time: sub-three minutes.

I spent more time pulling out of the parking lot than I did at the polling station.

It's a shame the rules have made it burdensome for some of you. That really stinks.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:00 PM on October 14, 2008


I'm pretty sure the CBC commandeered that fancy shmancy touchscreen from Steven and Chris.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:25 PM on October 14, 2008


I moved in August. Took an electricity bill and my passport in, filled out a registration card and voted in about 5 minutes total. Even the registration girl was cute. I love this country.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:35 PM on October 14, 2008


CTV calls Conservative minority government
posted by Jaybo at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2008


Who hasn't?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:55 PM on October 14, 2008


So... we go to vote. Cards and ID in hand. Two older women running the booth.

The first lines her ruler up with my name, and then strikes out the name of a person next to me and X's out the wrong number before I can say anything. I point out the error and she thanks me. The other woman forgets to initial the ballot, until my girlfriend reminds her, and then almost doesn't take the confirmation strip until reminded about that.

3 mistakes in 2 minutes. I fear for our riding.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:01 PM on October 14, 2008


Very true. (Uhm, what was the point of this election again?)
posted by Jaybo at 7:01 PM on October 14, 2008


five fresh fish writes "My voting experience was perfect. Walk in, flash my registration card. Get directed to station 123. Flash card and picture ID at station. Get ballot. Mark X. Drop in box. Total turn-around time: sub-three minutes."

My experience was similiar. Though it took me a few minutes to find the specific church the polling station was in. Turns out it was one of five churches within four blocks of each other. God has got ya covered around here for sure.
posted by Mitheral at 7:08 PM on October 14, 2008


Conservatives within striking distance of a majority? What happened?
posted by oaf at 7:17 PM on October 14, 2008


Heh, my husband forgot his photo ID (I brought the election cards) but had his SIN card. The lovely old lady at the table took our infant daughter's "dada" as vouching for his identity (I was already in the booth with our other children explaining the ballot to them). Ooooh, I likey the CBC site for results (no tv and I don't want to risk waking anyone up with the radio). Woah, I am surprised Garth Turner is getting so creamed. Must be all those Milton voters.
posted by saucysault at 7:24 PM on October 14, 2008


(Uhm, what was the point of this election again?)

I believe Steven Harper wanted to remind us all what a swell guy he is. According to the Globe + Mail, 35.6% of the electorate agree.
posted by philip-random at 7:25 PM on October 14, 2008


Since nobody seems to have answered upthread, the CBC is tallying live results.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:31 PM on October 14, 2008


*whimpers*
posted by fish tick at 7:32 PM on October 14, 2008


What happened?

Ontario caved, pretty much.
posted by CKmtl at 7:33 PM on October 14, 2008


As of this comment, the Cons have 98 confirmed wins. If they sweep AB, SK, and MB, they're one seat away from majority.

Assuming my terrifying math is right.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:37 PM on October 14, 2008


Well, our riding was a "battlefield" riding, and it went blue. Like so many others.

NDP have 2 elected in Winnipeg, so the Conservatives are not "sweeping" MB. AB is a lock, though, and SK is looking bad.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:43 PM on October 14, 2008


Aw, FUCK.
posted by jokeefe at 7:46 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tyvm, Durn. No, they are not sweeping, and I didn't say they were - though they will take the majority of Manitoba's seats again. I was giving a sense of perspective of how relatively little they need to get where they want to be, and how they may end up doing a lot better than expected.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:48 PM on October 14, 2008


CBC calls Conservative Minority gov't
posted by Deep Dish at 7:48 PM on October 14, 2008


Minority? Yes? I suppose I should go and be brave enough to take a look for myself...
posted by jokeefe at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2008


Once the liberals ditch Dion they'll see huge gains. No worries.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:52 PM on October 14, 2008


Minority, right now the Cons are about 146 seats... they need 153 for a majority, only one seat is not reporting.
posted by Deep Dish at 7:53 PM on October 14, 2008


Isn't it 155?
posted by gman at 7:56 PM on October 14, 2008


I totally don't get why May ran against McKay. he's unstoppable. And the %age of the popular vote that went to the greens was huge. No seats though.
posted by GuyZero at 7:59 PM on October 14, 2008


Yes -- 155.

Better than expected? They could have had a majority, little question, I think. But mistake after mistake these past couple of weeks have saved us. For now.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:59 PM on October 14, 2008


I ♥ Newfies and Québécois.
posted by gman at 7:59 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


GZ -- aren't they still ahead in 3? And yeah, that was suicide.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:00 PM on October 14, 2008


This is too close to a Tory majority for my liking. Damn.

So, who's the likely next Liberal leader? Rae? Iggy? Kennedy? Somebody new?
posted by maudlin at 8:02 PM on October 14, 2008


Yeah the geens have to pick a couple of ridings, probably in BC and spend about eleventy billion dollars on those races.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:03 PM on October 14, 2008


WTF Canada. I can't believe Ontario dropped the ball so spectacularly. And the tories bitch about the province all the time. Fucking boonies.
posted by chunking express at 8:05 PM on October 14, 2008


A nation of dumbfucks.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


chunking - I am curious what you were expecting? I wasn't expecting the Libs to do well in Quebec, and the Libs to do a little better in Ontario but everything pretty much followed the script. I don't seem much changing actually.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:08 PM on October 14, 2008


Just one final thing to say on this subject: make him your bitch, Obama.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:09 PM on October 14, 2008


How much is eleventy billion?
posted by gman at 8:10 PM on October 14, 2008


I can't believe Ontario the 905 dropped the ball so spectacularly.
posted by oaf at 8:11 PM on October 14, 2008


Oh, I'm just bitching.

Mother Fuckers.
posted by chunking express at 8:14 PM on October 14, 2008


so anyone think that Dion will step down tonight?
posted by Deep Dish at 8:14 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, I had no idea BC was so Blue.
posted by chunking express at 8:15 PM on October 14, 2008


GZ -- aren't they still ahead in 3?

If it's CBC you're getting the 3 from, those "Other" seats aren't Green candidates, they're Independents.
posted by oulipian at 8:15 PM on October 14, 2008


Still 100% Palin-free!
posted by mazola at 8:17 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


How is the 905 region going blue any surprise? They vote conservative provincially, so why not federally too?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:19 PM on October 14, 2008


BC is blue and orange in clumps, with the most liberal liberals and most conservative conservatives, kind of like Washington and Oregon. So while they've gone heavily Tory so far, there could be some more NDP seats there soon.
posted by maudlin at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2008


How is the 905 region going blue any surprise?

Some of the near-in ridings (Newmarket–Aurora) went Liberal last time and Conservative this time.
posted by oaf at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2008


Don't forget that the Socreds pretty much owned BC on the provincial level for decades. Remember the Bennetts and Vander Zalm?
posted by maudlin at 8:25 PM on October 14, 2008


This is going to look like a loss to a lot of Libs and Cons... its going to be interesting to see if the parties revolt.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:28 PM on October 14, 2008


I bet Harper would suck Obama's dick to be his bestest friend ever. That chubby little fuck is simply dying to "harmonize" US and Canadian interests. Instead of becoming progressively more European — and, thus, happier, healthier, and smarter — we're headed toward a bleak future.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:30 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could somebody please pass the eye bleach? Thanks!
posted by maudlin at 8:31 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Results so far in Montreal in Duceppe's riding (which encompasses the très hip Plateau):
Bloc Quebecois - 49% / Liberal - 19% / New Democratic - 17% / Green - 8% / Conservatives - 5%
And meanwhile Canada almost elects Conservatives in majority.
Feels to me like two worlds apart more than ever.
posted by zenzizi at 8:32 PM on October 14, 2008


those "Other" seats aren't Green candidates, they're Independents.

Blargh. You're right. And one of them is Jim Ford. So "independent" needs the quote marks, unfortunately.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:35 PM on October 14, 2008


Arg.
posted by ~ at 8:39 PM on October 14, 2008


I hope this wasn't the kiss of death for running on a green platform (as a Liberal) in the future.
posted by ~ at 8:41 PM on October 14, 2008


At least it's not a majority. [/tries to console self]
posted by jokeefe at 8:51 PM on October 14, 2008


Duncan is still in the hunt in Edmonton-Strathcona -- w00t!
posted by mazola at 8:57 PM on October 14, 2008


We need to be able to elect a better set of representatives.

What is really important to Canadians?

I think it's that we try to have universal opportunity, feel secure in our freedoms, can trust our voting apparatus, and try to do well for one another. At least outside a couple of the biggest cities.

By universal opportunity, I mean that theoretically everyone has access to a full public education, has access to full public healthcare, has access to a lot of welfare support, and so can more or less be held accountable for their own state in life by the choices they have made. I know people who have become productive members of society because of these social support systems. The investment paid off in spades for the country: the system of helping people can and does work.

By secure in our freedoms, I mean that we are becoming an increasingly libertarian society, in which what one does with one's own self, or with consenting and informed adults, is okay. So long as it doesn't cause harm to the person or property of non-consenting others — with sensible boundaries — we mostly don't really care what you do.

Our elections apparatus is simple. It would be difficult to game it to any large extent. There is a lot of oversight by locally-interested people. It's well-organized and well-scripted. KISS principle at work.

And I think we do try to do nice for others. There is, I believe, a genuine niceness to Canadians. We're a polite breed, we line up and take turns and thank one another quite often. We try to be trusting, and we usually aren't disappointed. IMO.

YMMV, but I'd like to have equal representation for the human interest side of the society and the business interest side. I think the business side is currently overemphasized. Money is not the answer, it's just a tool. We should be using it in support of other goals. We currently lack a voice for those goals.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 PM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


jokeefe - right now - but if the Cons pick up about 148 total (assume that they pick up four of the current close ones) they're only 7 away. It will be relatively easy for them to sway a few Liberals away from Dion's opposition (especially since the closer they get to majority - the more powerful the inducements they can offer - a cabinet position (minor) might very well sway a hesitant switcher to be).

I honestly don't understand my fellow Canadians, and we'll all suffer for the (IMHO short sighted) desires of the plurality.
posted by birdsquared at 8:59 PM on October 14, 2008


Oh, Canada.
posted by thewittyname at 9:04 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, that's not good news. Still, a minority Conservative government is better than a majority, which would have been a very bad thing indeed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:10 PM on October 14, 2008


You think minority number 3 means no more Harper at least? This is my new dream.
posted by chunking express at 9:11 PM on October 14, 2008


Agreed, fff. Part of me still can't believe a self-described libertarian has been elected Prime Minister of Canada.

Twice.

*They're free to believe what they want, but putting one in charge of our social programs is just fucking stupid.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:13 PM on October 14, 2008


Nooooo Canada!

At least the right candidate in my riding won, for all the help my absentee ballot did her.

Wait...does that mean, if Canada has Harper and the States might get Obama, that I have to stay *here* after I graduate?

*Thinks about health care* oh, wait, no. Back across the border I'll go.
posted by ilana at 9:23 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The green shift was the first fucking good policy invention of the decade, and it got the liberals their worst showing ever. I'm too pissed for words. We had the chance to become a leader in sustainable oil extraction like Norway, and we've chosen instead to cave to the Alberta dream of low taxes and free pollution. I'm going to bed before I have to watch Harper's plastic smirk claim it has a mandate to govern like a majority.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:29 PM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, Duncan ahead in Edmonton-Strathcona.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:44 PM on October 14, 2008


Wait...does that mean, if Canada has Harper and the States might get Obama, that I have to stay *here* after I graduate?

*Thinks about health care* oh, wait, no. Back across the border I'll go.
posted by ilana


I had similar thoughts - I would always go home for the health care. Also because of that pesky visa expiration thing.

Also, I'm a bit out of the loop on the Green shift (not getting a lot of Can news right now), but it sounded damn good.
posted by jb at 9:47 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, I had no idea BC was so Blue.

Yeah. That's largely thanks to my idiotic riding that takes up the northeastern 25% of the province. It's been Conservative in one form or another for the last 36 years.

*weeps*

I think we do try to do nice for others. There is, I believe, a genuine niceness to Canadians. We're a polite breed, we line up and take turns and thank one another quite often. We try to be trusting, and we usually aren't disappointed. IMO.

I agree with you: how, how, HOW can people be reelecting Stephen Harper? I am serious. He and his party are the epitome of meanspiritedness. The thought of a Conservative majority honestly makes my blood run cold.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2008


Disgusted. I hope the entire opposition throws him out ASAP.
posted by ecco at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, I had no idea BC was so Blue.

Yeah, and the excellent Lib Briony Penn losing to Con Gary Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands. I weep for the future.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:51 PM on October 14, 2008


Steven Harper just called Canada the greatest nation on Earth. I thought that kind of jingoistic pandering was an American thing. Good to know we're exporting key American values.
posted by orthogonality at 10:06 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Looks like Harper will be 10 seats short of a majority - so my guess is it will be likely to stay a minority gov't, thankfully. Peter Mansbridge over on CBC said that the expected turnout was less than 60% of the elegible voters, the lowest ever. WTF?

I think we need to go to a mandatory voting system akin to Australia's. That, and do SOMETHING with our electoral system...
posted by birdsquared at 10:07 PM on October 14, 2008


God I hate the CBC smartboard/online segment.
posted by mazola at 10:14 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, I had no idea BC was so Blue.
Yeah. That's largely thanks to my idiotic riding that takes up the northeastern 25% of the province.

Nah, central and south-central BC are also Conservative strongholds.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 PM on October 14, 2008


And it looks like -- as of this minute -- that my Alberta riding just flipped to NDP (!!!)

This election was worth $300 million after all!
posted by mazola at 10:17 PM on October 14, 2008


The green shift was the first fucking good policy invention of the decade, and it got the liberals their worst showing ever.

Good policy badly presented. Dion never got his key point across: whatever increases you may pay in fuel costs and related taxes will be more than offset by a reduction in personal income taxes.

There, I managed to get the gist of it out in less than 25 words.

I weep for the future.

Nah. Politicians of any stripe are not the be-all or end-all of anything; just egoists (for the most part) who may or may not be on your side of various arguments. Until we have leaders who genuinely take their marching orders from the grass roots of their organizations, I will remain suspicious of their motives and as such happy to see a never ending series of minority governments.
posted by philip-random at 10:18 PM on October 14, 2008


the expected turnout was less than 60% of the elegible voters

I don't know anyone who wanted an election to be held, and I don't know anyone in my area that had any excitement for the election. The incumbent was bound to win. Though I'm pleased to note he didn't stomp the split vote (three women, three lefty parties).
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 PM on October 14, 2008


I worked as a returning officer, from 6am until 8:30pm tonight. We weren't getting any election results inside the station, but there were scrutineers from the Cons and the Libs in our polling station as they expected a close race. I prefer it when scrutineers are there, makes it all seem much more transparent.

Here is what I learned...well, I already knew it, but today drove it home; young people don't vote. I would say maybe 20% of the people voting were under 35, at best. But seniors? They showed up in wheelchairs. They walked with their canes, slowly and with difficulty, but they voted. And they were there early. They were showing up at 8am to vote. Anyone who won't vote, preferring to whine about how "voting doesn't matter and it's all rigged anyways" should be sent to voting places on Election Day to show them just how much it DOES matter that you take part.

Our polling areas could have skewed older; other stations might have had an influx of young people, in which case ignore my rant. But I have a sneaking suspicion what I saw was likely the norm in most places.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:26 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, after years of Canadians thumbing their noses at the US for Dubya -- I mean, how could we re-elect HIM? -- I'm enjoying a bit of schadenfreude watching Harper get returned to Ottawa and the handwringing that has resulted.

For all the ways Canada is better than the US in elections, we did get one thing right: term limits.
posted by dw at 10:31 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, after years of Canadians thumbing their noses at the US for Dubya -- I mean, how could we re-elect HIM? -- I'm enjoying a bit of schadenfreude watching Harper get returned to Ottawa and the handwringing that has resulted.

Well, to be fair. He is getting returned with 37.7% of the vote. Hardly a mandate for anything other than ... more of the same annoying bs.

For all the ways Canada is better than the US in elections, we did get one thing right: term limits.

You're right about that. Harper's still a young enough man. We could be still dealing with him for another dozen or so years.
posted by philip-random at 10:37 PM on October 14, 2008


Nah. Politicians of any stripe are not the be-all or end-all of anything; just egoists (for the most part) who may or may not be on your side of various arguments. Until we have leaders who genuinely take their marching orders from the grass roots of their organizations, I will remain suspicious of their motives and as such happy to see a never ending series of minority governments.

I'm not talking about the politicians. I'm talking about the dumbasses who vote them in. The mouth-breathing Rob Anders (I spoke of him above) got 57% of the vote in my riding of Calgary West despite being a racist meathead who would rather weightlift than move so much as a finger for his constituents.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:40 PM on October 14, 2008


Term limits also limit long-range planning. There is good and bad to it both ways.

Harper's a prick, but it's not likely that he's going to break the country. He's in a minority position again, which means he has to make at least some level of nicey-nice with the other parties. If he pisses 'em off too much, they'll do a non-confidence vote and we'll be back for another go-around — and I doubt he'd get a third shot. Heck, his party would have to sack him.

I'm disappointed to hear kids weren't voting. That's just plain dumb on their part, 'cause what happens now is really gonna come back to haunt them in twenty years. By not voting, they may have just acquiesced to future failure.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:41 PM on October 14, 2008


can't break it in the four year he's got. no idea if his decisions are going to hose us twenty years from now. can't imagine the tar sands is gonna be a winner.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:45 PM on October 14, 2008


Dion's failure is entirely a Liberal back room problem. The party establishment wanted to sabotage him, and he couldn't figure out a way to whip them into line, or at least he didn't figure it out fast enough.

As for policy, I'm on the fence. You can say "I don't like the green shift" a million times, but it doesn't make it any less necessary. At the same time, Kim Campbell said what everyone has known for years, elections are no time to talk issues -- especially when you have a complacent populace.
posted by Chuckles at 11:00 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


dw wins the First Great Canadian Biennial Metafilter Election Contest. I will post the scores in a week when I have the final results.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:13 PM on October 14, 2008


whatever increases you may pay in fuel costs and related taxes will be more than offset by a reduction in personal income taxes.

Any reduction in your personal income taxes will be more than than offset by the increased prices of basic goods and commodities.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:26 PM on October 14, 2008


Any reduction in your personal income taxes will be more than than offset by the increased prices of basic goods and commodities.

This sophomoric argumentation is completely pointless. The fact is that carbon emissions must be priced. Or, perhaps you are a greenhouse skeptic?
posted by Chuckles at 11:39 PM on October 14, 2008


At least now we can blame our imminent economic demise on Harper and not vote in a Conservative government for the next 15 years.
posted by gman at 3:53 AM on October 15, 2008


The Star is reporting that Harper has picked Palin as his VP.
posted by gman at 4:01 AM on October 15, 2008


Here is what I learned...well, I already knew it, but today drove it home; young people don't vote.

I was a Liberal candidate's rep in one riding and my god mom was a Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) in another and just like Salmonberry we saw very few people under 25, and between us we only saw a handful of 18 year olds. My god mom dealt almost exclusively with senior citizens from 930am to 930pm, and she is seriously worn the eff out, lol. The few teens we did see were really excited to vote though, all shining faces and listening so intently to the DRO's instructions; I dearly hope they can influence their friends for the next time.

Anyway, in my electoral district the Liberal won, and in my god mom's all those senior citizens brought the NDP candidate a landslide win.

You vote is also invalid if you forgot to use a #2 pencil.

I am so tired from yesterday that I can't tell if this is a joke, but it's untrue in any case.

Heh, my husband forgot his photo ID (I brought the election cards) but had his SIN card. The lovely old lady at the table took our infant daughter's "dada" as vouching for his identity

I would love to know where this happened because that was completely illegal. Unless you and your infant is really 18 and you both swore or solemnly affirmed the applicable oaths.

*commiserates with jokeefe*

Oh, and fivefreshfish for Prime Minister!
posted by zarah at 5:31 AM on October 15, 2008


Unless you and your infant is really 18

duh. And I have no idea why I added (DRO) in there, wow. So, so very tired :p
posted by zarah at 5:38 AM on October 15, 2008


YMMV, but I'd like to have equal representation for the human interest side of the society and the business interest side. I think the business side is currently overemphasized. Money is not the answer, it's just a tool. We should be using it in support of other goals. We currently lack a voice for those goals.

I can hold truck with economic policy that puts "money first and people second", but that grows our economy faster and lets us do more for people in the long-run. But I thought this long cycle of right-wing politicians selling us deregulation and supply-side crookery and corruption, appealing to our patience, our trust and our greed, and all the while impoverishing us and enriching themselves, had finally hit a nadir. But there we go; another conservative minority. At least the conservative popular vote didn't seem to change that much. Just more effective splitting by the fragmented left. (Go left!)
posted by ~ at 6:16 AM on October 15, 2008


I'm going to bed before I have to watch Harper's plastic smirk claim it has a mandate to govern like a majority.

You mean like Joe Clark did in 1979? And that bothers you?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:17 AM on October 15, 2008


You mean like Joe Clark did in 1979? And that bothers you?

In 1979 the Liberals and Tories were separated by only a few seats. Joe Clark's government fell because he couldn't ignore the other parties. This time the Conservatives are only a few seats away from a majority.

More importantly, the opposing votes are almost evenly split three ways, meaning Harper can play each party off each other: For the crime bill toss an RCMP staffing increase to the NDP. For the budget toss a Quebec culture grant to the Bloc. The Libs, Bloc and NDP will be continuously under bidding each other to be the "favoured opposition party of the month". Moreover the Liberals will be undergoing a leadership review soon, giving the Conservatives at least half a year of free reign.

Like it or not, we basically gave the Conservatives a majority last night. Kiss the "Just Society" good bye.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:42 AM on October 15, 2008


The Star is reporting that Harper has picked Palin as his VP.

I hear she can see Vancouver from her house.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:47 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed to hear kids weren't voting. That's just plain dumb on their part, 'cause what happens now is really gonna come back to haunt them in twenty years. By not voting, they may have just acquiesced to future failure.

They were in Vancouver East when I got there. Happy to see another ringing endorsement for Libby Davies (not that there was much doubt about the result, but I did some volunteer work on the campaign, and there was a bit of anxiety that people would be too complacent about her inevitable win and decide to use their vote to register support for the Greens).

And Harper can take his "God Bless Canada, the greatest nation on earth" crap and shove it. Given his way he'd likely dismantle everything good about this country.
posted by jokeefe at 8:46 AM on October 15, 2008


Also, I had no idea BC was so Blue.

I think the last time this riding voted for anything but a conservative of some stripe was, oh ... the 1920's.

I agree with you: how, how, HOW can people be reelecting Stephen Harper?

I blame the kittens. I'm teasing, but it really does seem to be about improving his image, moderating his voice and, lulling the populace into forgetting about how right of centre he really is. Apparently it's working.
posted by squeak at 9:18 AM on October 15, 2008


Apparently it's working.

The Conservatives entered the election with a huge lead, and every time Harper opened his mouth it dipped. I don't think people are voting for Harper, they are voting for the party they like.
posted by chunking express at 9:25 AM on October 15, 2008


they are voting for the party they like.

Well then, s'cuze my french, we're all fucked.
posted by squeak at 9:40 AM on October 15, 2008


Well then, s'cuze my french, we're all fucked.

Well, least it's only 37% of the country voting for them. Slight shifts and the parliament looks totally different.
posted by chunking express at 10:43 AM on October 15, 2008


I'm disappointed to hear kids weren't voting.

They were in Vancouver East when I got there. Happy to see another ringing endorsement for Libby Davies...


Good old Vancouver East! I voted in the federal election there in 2000, and it was the most positive voting experience I've ever had. (It didn't hurt that my candidate won.) The diversity at the polling station was incredible--SO many people turned out to vote, of all ages, races, economic situations.

I had the honour of meeting Libby Davies at the keynote of a women's studies conference (in the US, no less!) this past spring. I didn't even know she was there in the audience until she went up to the mike during the Q and A. After battling some shyness, I went up and introduced myself to her ("You used to be my MP!") She was absolutely lovely--gracious, sincere, interested, and so clearly intelligent and committed.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:50 AM on October 15, 2008


More importantly, the opposing votes are almost evenly split three ways, meaning Harper can play each party off each other...

Again, how is this different from the previous Parliament? The vote percentages aren't significantly different, and Harper partnered with each party in turn to get some particular piece of legislation passed. Oh, and the Liberals underwent a leadership campaign (not just a review) shortly after the last election so the Conservatives had a "free reign" then as well. It's the same damned Parliament again. Nothing's changed. Harper cannot pass anything particularly odious, just merely hideous, because he will always need the support of at least one other party. And in those cases when there's only one opposition party willing to support certain legislation, that party will know it and can push Harper for concessions. Granted, the bastard's not one to give in easily, but it can be done.

The Liberals screwed up enormously, first by selecting the milquetoast Dion as a leader, then by making their party's one-plank platform a tax. When the world economy started tanking, stubbornly hanging on to a "tax" platform was the surest way to lose votes. Never mind that it wasn't an actual tax, that's how it was perceived, that's how the Conservatives framed it, and the Liberals did nothing, nothing to dispel that misconception. Dion's a great thinker to have in your government; he just shouldn't be allowed to run it.

Disclosure: I've worked for Liberal candidates in five previous federal and provincial elections.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:05 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed to hear kids weren't voting.

They were in Vancouver East when I got there.


There was a strong youth turnout at my Ottawa-Centre poll as well. And thankfully the NDP incumbent was re-elected.

I noticed Justin Trudeau won his riding as well. It was a close race, though.
posted by aclevername at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm not so wild about Justin Trudeau. It smacks of family dynasty politics.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:58 PM on October 15, 2008


hurdy gurdy girl writes "I agree with you: how, how, HOW can people be reelecting Stephen Harper? I am serious. He and his party are the epitome of meanspiritedness. The thought of a Conservative majority honestly makes my blood run cold."

Things have been basically good so as normal in that case no change. The slow down/recession/global melt down will probably do in Harper. It's telling that the NDP got in in Edmonton; they are well into their own housing melt down.

dw writes "For all the ways Canada is better than the US in elections, we did get one thing right: term limits."

Term limits imo are a cure worse than the disease. You limit the power of incumbents and in exchange you lower their effectiveness in the latter part of their final term, boot out your most experienced leaders and have no effect on the incumbency of the party.
posted by Mitheral at 5:37 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yay for recounts.
posted by CKmtl at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2008


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