Posts tagged as:

federal election

Yesterday’s shocking “Orange Crush” sweep for the NDP in Alberta wasn’t supposed to happen.

Rachel Notley Alberta NDP

After 44 years of Conservative rule, the province much-maligned for being “Canada’s Redneck Zone” or “Texas North” surprised pundits — but not pollsters — when it turfed Jim Prentice to elect Rachel Notley as premier. The Tories only managed a third place finish, behind the right-wing Wildrose party.

So what happened? Did the land of cowboy boots and oil wells suddenly decide that the NDP’s brand of social democracy was preferable to the Tory blue brand of pro-wealthy, pro-corporate policies? Was this a protest vote or an indication of real change?

And, most importantly, does this spell bad news for Stephen Harper and the Federal Conservatives in the upcoming October election?

Eh, maybe. But probably not as much as you might think. Here’s why:

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What will Stephen Harper do with a majority government? That was the question on everyone’s lips just 50 days ago, after an election shocker gave the Tories their long-awaited majority with 166 seats.

Oh, I heard all the platitudes. It won’t be so bad, people said. Give them a chance. They’re not so scary. They won’t do anything that they didn’t do as a minority (not like that was very reassuring, either).

Yeah, right.

In politics, it’s customary to review the “first 100 days”. Unfortunately, Harper and his cronies have been so busy doing shit, that waiting until 100 days for this review seemed excessive.

(And yes, I know it’s not really the first 50 days of majority government. The 41st Parliament only convened on June 2nd, which is in fact less than 3 weeks ago. That’s a frighteningly short period of time in which Harper has already managed to do an awful lot of damage. But it has been 50 days since the election, so I think the post title is appropriate.)

Let’s look at what’s happened in the 50 days since the May 2nd election, shall we?

  • Workers’ rights have taken a serious beating, with back to work legislation being tabled against Canada Post, and threatened against Air Canada (who struck a deal to avoid it). In the case of Canada Post, arguably the legislation is against the crown corporation, which has locked out the workers. And those of you who know me understand that I have rather ambiguous feelings about labour unions that have too much power. But, especially in the case of Air Canada – a private company with competitive options for the consumer – the Tory government’s swift response against any labour rights whatsoever crosses the line even for me. There’s a happy medium in there, and this ain’t it.
  • Senate appointments for three Tory MP candidates who lost in their ridings called into question not only the appointment process itself, but Harper’s own promises to reform it. Canadians didn’t even blink. Beyond that, he’s threatening to abolish the Senate altogether if they don’t cave to his extortion cooperate with his reforms.
  • Asbestos exports are once again being defended by the Tories, who apparently feel that cancer is okay as long as it happens to people in other countries.
  • Job cuts in the public sector are coming pretty much right away. One of the first areas to be hit? Auditors. Cause, y’know, Harper doesn’t want anyone actually noticing how badly he’s been cooking the books – and how badly he plans to continue doing so.
  • And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that Harper is about to appoint two judges to the Supreme Court – something that will have ramifications for decades.

When you consider that there are still most of 5 years to go in his term, and that nothing prevents him from being re-elected, it’s downright terrifying.

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Top 10 reasons why tonight’s results are bad for Canada

05.03.2011

Well, the votes are in, and Stephen Harper has his majority government. The right moves further to the right. The Tories, after spending five years walking all over Canadians as a minority, now get to walk all over Canadians even more as a majority. Harper believes – as he should, with these numbers – that […]

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It is what it is

05.03.2011

I want to write a long, rambling blog post about why tonight’s election had the worst possible results for Canada. But I’m too depressed. I’m going to sleep. Hopefully I’ll still recognize Canada in the morning.

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Election Predictions 2011

04.30.2011

With about 36 hours to go until the polls open, it’s time for me to post my totally unscientific, personal-opinion-only musings about the election and what the likely outcomes will be: The NDP will win 10 seats in Quebec. With polls showing an NDP surge in support, this could be the breakthrough that Jack Layton […]

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Stephen Harper hates women

04.20.2011

If you don’t have enough reasons to vote against Harper and the Conservatives in the upcoming election, here’s some scary food for thought: 4 out of 9 of Canada’s Supreme Court Justices have mandatory retirement dates within the next five years. Guess who appoints Supreme Court Justices? That’s right, the Governor-General in “consultation with” (read: […]

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Vote smart; read the platforms

04.17.2011

What does your party believe? I’d venture a guess that only a small number of Canadians who vote actually bother to read their party’s platforms… or the platforms of the other parties.  Even if we concede that politicians break campaign promises all the time, shouldn’t you know what your party is promising before casting your […]

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10 reasons to vote even if you don’t live in a swing riding

04.15.2011

I hear it all the time. Heck, I’ve even said it myself. In our first-past-the-post system, only a handful of the 308 ridings nationwide are really, truly up for grabs in the election. For the rest of us, it can be easy to say things like “my vote won’t count” or “it doesn’t matter” or, […]

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Interesting election tools

04.06.2011

As the campaign progresses, I’d like to share a few links to some interesting interactive election-related tools and sites: Vote Compass: An online quiz on issues that is supposed to help you see which of the major parties holds views most similar to yours. Surprisingly accurate for such a short quiz. How’d They Vote? Contains […]

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Back to the polls we go

03.30.2011

High-ho, high-ho, it’s election time again in Canada. And it sure does feel an awful lot like 2008: 4 out of 5 of the party leaders are unchanged. Only Iggy is new this time around, though his post-election political days are probably as numbered as Stephane Dion’s were. The party positions and platforms are largely […]

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