It is a privilege we enjoy in this fine democracy we complain about and sometimes ignore. There are people literally dying worldwide today to even get a sniff of democracy in their homelands, let alone a chance to vote.
It does not matter what political stripe you are- JUST DO IT!!!!
From ghost candidates to fringe parties, here are some scribbles from the notepad as the May 2 vote approaches.
The Toronto Star recently brought to light several local instances where federal parties have listed candidates in ridings but they are simply nothing more than names on a piece of a paper- better known as “placeholder” candidates.
This is a disservice to the party and voters in that particular riding. How can a party gain any traction or stature in a riding if it does not have an official candidate getting out there knocking on doors and appearing at all-candidates’ debates?
How about the voters in that riding who lean towards that political stripe? If they see no candidate signs or signs of a pulse for that matter, it comes across as the candidate and party are not willing to work for their vote or potential new ones. Better to have someone run and have their butt-kicked than have a ghost candidate.
The Orange Wave of NDP support is real it seems. Why so? The Conservatives and Liberals have not dismissed it even as May 2 approaches. In fact, with the Conservatives turning their guns on the NDP, as if they are their main rival now, it has legitimized the Orange Wave. We could be in for an amazing result by the morning of May 3. Michael Ignatieff may rue the day he resoundingly dismissed Jack Layton and the NDP in the leader’s debate saying they would never form a government. Which party is starting to look like a real national party now, eh Iggy?
THE FRINGE PARTIES
Do you feel like the five federal parties are not speaking your language, feeling your mojo or are hard to identify with?
May be one of these smaller fringe parties are for you. Depending where in Canada you are, it is quite the buffet to choose from, they are:
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
FAVOURITE ELECTION AD: “Our Country” by the Conservatives
Say what you will about the Conservatives, but this ad hits every patriotic Canadian note there is. If you hate Stephen Harper, just imagine Donald Sutherland or hell…even Don Cherry voicing it. The writing in it is top-notch, I didn’t know if I should stand up, salute and sing O’ Canada, bodycheck someone into the corner or run to Tim’s and buy an extra-large double-double.
Here they come down the home stretch and what an interesting finish it will be.
Who would have thought the NDP and its leader Jack Layton could sustain their surge over the last couple of weeks since the English language debate. Where there is smoke there is fire and there seems to be something burning here with NDP support nationwide as the federal parties race to the May 2 election deadline.
The great site ThreeHundredEight.com, as of April 26, is projecting the NDP to climb to 42 seats and 20.9 per cent of the popular vote. That is a six-seat gain for the NDP and the Liberals would drop to 75 seats from 77 with their popular vote hovering around 26.4 per cent.
“The NDP’s growth comes in both Ontario and Quebec, where the party is up 3.3 points and 7.3 points, respectively. In Quebec, the NDP has taken the lead forcefully, pushing the Bloc down two points to 25.2%. Note that the Conservatives are down to 14.7% while the Liberals are at a very low 13.1%,” finds ThreeHundredEight.com.
Obviously the smoke is serious enough when you look at the recent ads and focus Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals have directed at the NDP.
Ignatieff was recently quoted in a Campaign Notebook on the Globe and Mail as calling the NDP “bunch of Boy Scouts”. As the centrist power playground of the Liberals appears wonky for them to rely on, Iggy is lashing out…is it a leftover stinging from Layton calling out Ignatieff’s attendance record at the House of Commons? During the English language debate Layton noted that Ignatieff had missed 70 per cent of the votes held, a number Parliament Hill insiders have confirmed.
The Bloc are being chastised in some circles for running a shoddy campaign as the NDP appears gain favour in Quebec. The Liberals are desperately grasping for support from the left, support which is galvanizing behind a leader those supporters believe in- the same cannot be said in the fractured Liberal house. On the right, the Conservatives have remained steady and on point, the united right (which has governed closer to centre than some supporters would like) looks to be insurmountable with Canada’s fractured centre-left landscape to counter it.
What to make of it all? You tell me OnDeadline readers. Can the NDP make a serious push to be the official opposition? Can the Liberals in fact fall that far off the Canadian electoral map to end up in third? Will the Conservatives nail down a majority?
One thing seems almost certain, barring a cataclysmic collapse of epic European Black Death proportions; we will have a Conservative minority government again once all the votes are counted. This outcome must leave some of you wondering…was this election ever worth it?
The steady drumming of the federal election war drums in Canada is picking up speed, possibly hurtling the voters who still care into a fourth election in five years.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his team have unveiled “campaign style” ads recently and his rhetoric has gained a more hostile tone. Promises that it is time to bring down the Harper government are being twittered, blogged and whispered about.
Ignatieff says the Harper Tories have mismanaged the nation into a horrible deficit and economic mess. He claims they have not done enough to help Canadians endure the recession, even after opposition parties gave Harper a chance to institute his economic recovery plan. Ignatieff says the time is now for change.
What pray tell would the Liberals have done better? Or how about the three-headed hydra of the now fallen opposition coalition which sought to bring down Harper earlier this year, would they have done a better job?
If someone could point to some kind of policy, not rhetoric, but proposed policy by the opposing parties that would have helped Canada not sustain some kind of beating, from a recession which was worldwide in implication no less, by all means, please share it.
We have fared well and this space in the blogosphere has never been a haven for Conservatives. In fact, we welcomed Ignatieff as the foil to the Harper bully but this is not what we had hoped for.
Have there been job losses? Yes. Has stimulus money not “rolled out” as expected? Yes, but realistically, golden handshakes from the feds should not have deterred municipalities from starting to get projects out the door. Are opposition parties afraid that when all the stimulus does result in projects, people will look more positively at the Tories? You can bet on it.
Don’t be fooled by the hype folks, this government could work if it wanted to, instead this is all about who gets to sit in the big chair and can’t wait to do so.
Lastly, did the Conservatives blow calling and foreseeing the recession for what it was? Yes. Then again, so did pretty much every other nation on the planet, including every G8 and G20 nation. We did not see it until it landed right on our heads.
If the opposition parties do bring down the government over the next couple of weeks, after the house resumes, we could be in an election as early as October 26 or sometime in November.
Ignatieff and his Liberals would be entering the race a few percentage points behind, so let him beat his war drum and let the opposition parties follow. Is the risk worth it?
Is the spectre of Harper gaining momentum to head for a majority sometime in the future, a majority he could not secure with lightweight Stephane Dion as his arch rival, really that frightening or logical?
Stay the course. Allow Canadians to deal with this recession and then run a legitimate election at its appropriate time. Don’t be fooled by the hype folks, this government could work if it wanted to, instead this is all about who gets to sit in the big chair and can’t wait to do so.
Parliament has been prorogued, hope everyone is proud of themselves in Ottawa.
From Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his bully ways of trying to run a minority government as if he had a majority, to the recent asinine, power grubbing opposition coalition, affectionately called the three-headed hydra, our political leaders have done all Canadians a disservice. We likely would have been better off with actual perogies in the House of Commons, they would have tasted better and we could have eaten them to get rid of them.
Parliament won’t be up and running again until Jan. 27 when the Tories will table their budget. Now, what strategy the coalition will employ should be interesting, that is if it will actually exist by then. If this budget has the economic measures deemed necessary to help move Canada forward as the economic slowdown continues, will the power-hungry triumvirate still come together to vote it down?
In fact, is a coalition even necessary now? Each of these parties could simply just vote against the budget on their own accord, standing on their own ground to make their point. This coalition may represent a majority of parliament but it does not represent a majority of Canadians. Until the Bloc become a national party and run candidates coast to coast, they are not a party which has a national base.
Prorogation of parliament is the death knell of this hastily pulled together coalition. With a budget delivered in late January and Stephane Dion out the Liberal door by early May, the lone alternative, meek and weak as he is, for coalition leader will barely have time for tea before riding off into the sunset.
The opposition parties might as well just vote down the budget and get us headed to the polls so Canadians can actually choose, once again, who they think should govern them. This coalition came together quick and dirty and out of fear and anger, if anything, they can be credited with scaring the heck out of Stone Cold Harper.
The upcoming budget now should have the measures that everyone is crying for. Then, we will really see what everyone in Ottawa is made of. Will Harper finally listen? Will the opposition leaders vote in favour of a budget which will help the economy? If this misguided coalition was in fact about the economy, they will vote in favour it. If they don’t and the budget is jam-packed with economic goodness, this will prove it is was all about power. If the budget does not have the economic help required, Harper deserves to fall.
This is a hijack, nothing more, nothing less. What is happening on Parliament Hill thanks to Canada’s opposition parties is exactly that, a hijack, is there a political anti-terrorism squad to call?
The spectre of the three-headed hydra of Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe taking power in Ottawa continues to grow thanks to a recent agreement they signed. The Dec. 8 confidence vote, if Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not prorogue parliament, will be a low day for Canadian democracy. This hydra is feasting on our democracy.
Let’s set one thing straight for the sake of this rant. I have never voted for a Progressive Conservative candidate. There have been Tory politicians I admired for their tactical acumen but as far as party ethos goes, I am about as far away from what a Tory party stands for as you can get. However, what is happening right now in Ottawa stinks.
This is a power grab because Harper continued his bully ways by trying to cut public funding of parties. This coalition is hiding behind the veil of the economic slowdown in order to steal power they could not legitimately secure in the last two federal elections.
Let’s look closely at how crazy the make up of this coalition is:
–Stephan Dion would be installed as prime minister if the coalition takes power. The very same Dion who led the Liberals to having their heads handed to them on a zero carbon footprint platter. A man whose leadership during the campaign was being questioned by his very own party supporters. A man who a majority of Canadians did not believe in enough to lead the country and his party is set to replace in May 2009.
–This coalition does not represent how the majority of Canadians voted in the recent federal election. You cannot count on the Bloc Quebecois numbers because they are skewed, having run candidates only in Quebec, they are not a national party…what are they again…oh yes, a separatist party. The Liberals and NDP will assume power thanks to the backing of a separatist party. You combine just Liberal and NDP election results and a majority of Canadians still did not choose them to govern.
–Our federal government, which represents the interests of all of Canada, will have its foundation of power based on a separatist party, a party which does not believe in the Canada the federal government is caretaker of. How is this logical and in the best interests of all Canadians?
–A weak Liberal party being propped up by the separatist Bloc. How will this help the future aspirations of the Liberal party ever registering a heart beat again in that province? This is a province where voters turn to the Conservatives before the Liberals as their distant second choice behind the Bloc.
There is nothing constitutionally wrong with what the opposition leaders are trying to do but make no mistake, it is greed and power feeding this three-headed hydra and nothing else. How embarrassing. How sad.
Is the latest tactic by Canada’s opposition parties to wrestle power away from the Tories a case of nation saving or just a plain, old, dirty power grab?
Opposition parties claim the Tories have done nothing to save the Canadian economy. There has been no “stimulus” package announced. The Tories “do not get” what is happening to regular Canadians. They are “out of touch”.
Well, if the Tories are so “out of touch”, they “out of touch”-ed their way to a slightly larger minority government in the federal election this past fall. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is being lambasted for providing no “stimulus” package in his recent economic update. Historically, economic updates never have new spending deals in them- that is why they are updates and not budgets.
Sure, the Tories have not announced any new flashy, headline-grabbing spending announcements. Sure, during the recent federal campaign Prime Minister downplayed the growing economic slowdown. However, are Canadians expected to believe that the Tories, which have won the last two elections and had their hands at the nation’s till, is out of touch with its finances?
Is this nation supposed to be happy with a possible coalition government, which consists of the Liberals and the NDP, propped up by the Bloc Quebecois, taking power? Our national government would be headed partially by the Bloc, a party that fundamentally does not want to be part of Canada.
Harper has now pushed the confidence vote back to Monday, Dec. 8. He is trying find some breathing room, go on the attack, hopefully haggle behind the scenes and get Canadian public opinion behind him.
Will this delay save Canadian politics from going over the edge into some wild territory during a global economic crisis. Canadians have to ask, is this what we want happening in Ottawa as a recession continues to grow?
There are issues the Tories need to address but would it not serve Canadians better to have the government which was recently elected have the chance to deliver their budget? There can be a confidence vote showdown then, like we are having now. Are the opposition parties afraid that there actually may be something substantial in it that budget that would leave crush their arguments?
Some could argue, may be it is the opposition parties who should be trying harder to work with the elected minority government, and not the other way around, they did win after all. Also, are big flashy spending announcements the Canadian way? The fact we are not in a total shambles is because we have been steady in our approach.
Canadians need to determine, is all this a power grab or nation saving?