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PPS – Kudos to Frank Valeriote in Guelph, and his team.

I’m pleased to see in a sea of 519 blue that in the riding of Guelph, which is where I went to University, Frank Valeriote held off Gloria Kovach and kept Guelph Liberal. There were fears that the Greens might split the vote, and allow the Cons to go up the middle and Mike Nagy did well, but I’ve seen Frank’s organization and ground game, and i know some of the people on it..and it ultimately was them and a very hard working and enthusiaqstic candidate in Mr Valeriote that got the job done there.

The ultimate irony: The BQ saved Canada from a Harper majority.

Well, the election voting results are now almost over, and obviously it’s not an electoral map that I like – the only consolation for me is that the Harperites weren’t given the keys to the car to drive around at will, but still have a licence to govern with adult supervision (terrible analogy, but that’s the best I can come up with). The funny thing about Quebec is, the Conservatives didn’t lose any of their seats, as it was first thought they might, but the BQ was still the party that stopped the Conservatives from running completely roughshod over the country for the next 4 years. That’s rather ironic, and Gilles Duceppe is making sure everyone knows it.

Congratulation to Mr Harper and his supporters – the demonization of Mr Dion for 2 years obviously got partially the desired effect; still, a minority is a minority is a minority. I don’t expect to see any less “dysfunction” on the committees and in Parliament which is the reason Harper went early on this election in the first place.

As for Harper, I guess we’ll now see what he does if the economic slowdown and recession that some predict will still happen (in spite of the large bailout the world is doing with its financial institutions) occurs. He claimed to be a “steady hand” for the economy… now Canadians will see whether that’s true or not.

And with regards to the environment, the Conservatives should not think this renewed minority means Canadians are giving them a blank cheque on this issue. The world demands action; Barack’s Obama’s chief environmental adviser is on record as being critical of the Alberta Tar-Sands and hinting that the US will not trade with countries -even those with large oil reserves – that do not have credible environemntal plans in place. Harper and the Conservatives must recognize this – if they don’t the decision may be made for them from external sources.

As for the Liberals, we are the Official Opposition; our job is to oppose the government. I hope that fact is not lost on those who may call for abstaining of votes again in the new parliament, because I think that was what partially led to the results we see tonight. If they are bad bills, vote against them – particularly if it’s early in the mandate.. don’t shirk your duty.

And as for the leadership of the Liberal Party, obviously there are going to be questions about whether Dion should stay or not. In his initial speech tonight, he made no mention of resigning, but we also hear that there are already mutterings in the background about forcing him out. Paul Wells for one, thinks that is suicidal and playing exactly into Harper’s hands, but that may not stop some.. because as you know, Dion has had a fractured caucus since he won the leadership.

Anyhow.. it’s late, and I’ll have more thoughts later today.

Comments disabled (update: er.. moderated) til voting ends

I’ve decided to disable all comments until approximately 10 pm Eastern — 7 pm Pacific — when the last polls close in British Columbia and the Yukon. This is to comply with broadcast rules, and to avoid getting me in trouble over someone blurting out results or a rogue poll they saw or whatever. That is also the reason I took down the Youtube Liberal ads. I don’t know how you can regulate Youtube.. but since I’m a Canadian based site, I may fall under the “no broadcasting” rule with regards to those.

Talk to you folks after the blackout period ends.

UPDATE: I’ll be on Skype, so if you wanna discuss the results in “real-time” as they come in, feel free to give me a Skype call.

UPDATE 2 @ 10:39 am: Hmm. Comments are still getting through even though I turned comments off – or thought I had.. so while I figure that out, I’ll just invoke full comment moderation. If the comment has nothing to do with a poll or such, I’ll let it go through.

Strategically vote strategically

Try saying that title 5 times in a row fast. My point behind it though is this, and will be the first and last post I do on the topic; I fully endorse if you’re going to do some strategic voting to stop Harper, but be smart about it.

I’m a Liberal supporter as most of you know, but I’m not going to say what some of my fellow Liberal bloggers (and politicians) have been saying when they say “the only vote to stop Harper is Liberal”. In a fair # of ridings out west for example, such as in the Prairies, I’m not going to tell you that you need to vote Liberal to stop Harper. The fact is, our Liberal candidates in many of those ridings finish a distant 3rd, and aren’t going to come near the sitting Conservative MP. The NDP candidate on the other hand in a lot of these ridings are a very competitive 2nd. So, despite some annoyance at how they’ve acted and some irritation at some of their partisan bloggers on here, if the NDP were to win some of those seats out west, I’d prefer that result over the Conservative MP getting returned. One example of that would be Linda Duncan in Edmonton-Strathcona, who has a good chance of unseating Rahim Jaffer if the progressive vote coalesces behind her. So, to the Liberals in those seats where the NDP is the best shot at unseating the Conservative MP (ie. Saskatchewan, outside of Goodale’s seat and the seat where David Orchard is running, as well as in the BC interior) I’d encourage you to think about supporting the NDP candidate to unseat the Conservative MP.

I’d also say to both the Green Party and NDP leaning folks that if you’re in a riding where the incumbent MP looks to be safe, regardless of what party it is – then vote for your party of preference. But, if you’re in some strategic battleground ridings where a split of the progressive vote may send the Conservative to Ottawa, either by them retaining their seat or by upending the Liberal incumbent, then think hard about supporting the Liberal. This is particularly true in the 905 area code, in ridings like Burlington and Oakville and Mississauga-South.

To the Greens in particular, it appears Elizabeth May has more or less said to vote for either the Liberal OR NDP in the key ridings where it will defeat a Conservative candidate. Think about that when you enter the polling booth.

The polls are still fluid enough (though close), and people still indicating they are making up their minds to end up with almost any result. Let us at least make sure Harper doesn’t get his majority; because his “base” from the extreme right-wing grassroots of the Alliance-Reform base will be expecting payback from Harper. Here’s an example of that; Conservative candidate Peter Kent saying he wants more private health care clinics in Canada, which is a step toward two-tiered healthcare if implemented. That is one possible result of a Harper majority; it would be the worst possible outcome for all concerned progressives.

Harper threatens to quit if Cons lose. Let’s accomodate him.

Did Harper decide to put that threat to quit out there in order to rally his Conservative base to his “strong leadership”? I think it has the potential to have the opposite effect, as does Accidental Deliberations:

After all, plenty of factions within the Cons – socons, small-government advocates and any remaining red Tories in particular, but potentially including anybody involved with the party based on any principle other than the pursuit of raw power – would surely have experienced at least some frustration with Harper’s top-down command structure and consistent stifling of inconvenient viewpoint..with Harper himself raising the possibility that he’d be gone as leader if the Cons can’t […]

Nanos and Ipsos closes the Conservative-Liberal gap; Decima widens it.

Conclusion? It’s extremely volatile and fluid out there as to who is going to vote for who (with the exception of Quebec, where it seems voters are convinced they aren’t going to vote en masse for Harper.

Decima has the Cons. extending their lead to 10 here. Nanos has the gap narrowing to 4 here. Ipsos-Reid has the gap drastically narrowing to 5 from a 14 point Conservative lead taken in their poll last week here. Note the different margins in the Maritimes and Ontario for all the 3 polls, and you’ll see why it’s very fluid.

I hate to use cliches, but the winner of the election, and by […]

Chretien still has it.

Best line of the night from the Brampton rally, where he introduced Dion:

He told Canadians in the midst of a market meltdown that it is time for Canadians to invest their remaining savings in the market…Since he said that the market has plunged another 1,000 points. That’s right. He said it was a good time to buy. On Tuesday Canadians will say bye, bye Steve’.

I want audio of that 😉

Aha.. I get audio of that Chretien speech – and video too!

Nanos holds the Cons. lead at 4.

Well, Nanos keep the Conservative lead at 4, but the regionals still show a lot of interesting things:

– The Liberals have jumped back into a 14 point lead over the Cons. in Atlantic Canada, after a dead head yesterday (Liberals +8, Cons. -6). This has been one of the most volatile regions for party support – at least in the Nanos polls.

– The NDP are now in a MOE tie in Quebec with the Liberals and Cons.

– The Liberals continue to hold a double digit lead in Ontario.

– The Conservatives have reached 50% in “the West”. I presume Albertans must be getting angry the rest of […]

Cost of Afghanistan mission: approximately 18.1 billion$. Ouch.

That’s what the Parliamentary Budget Officer said the Afghanistan Mission will end up costing Canadians by the time it ends in 2011 – presuming of course that Stephen Harper keeps to his word that this is the definite end of the mission. The thing is, 18.1 billion might not be the final tally:

But after poring over the books of federal departments, even Page had to couch his findings and admit that the real cost could be much higher…The report serves up more bad news for the federal Conservatives, who have already come under criticism for their secrecy and lack of disclosure surrounding many aspects of the mission. Page, an […]

Stephen Harper now apparently loves artistic galas.

Remember how Harper defended his cuts to certain cultural programs with the line more or less saying that artists and such are just elitists going to fancy galas with fancy dresses and suits not worthy of being funded (when in actuality, the average salary of an artist is around 20 grand)?

I guess with this brochure platform Harper has released hastily, he has now decided he wants to recapture the elitist gala vote, if I get the subliminal messaging of this photo in his brochure platform:

Look, It’s Harper with a couple of cellos! There’s a kid! Harper’s smiling! (Ok, it’s a little frozen, but give the guy a […]

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