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Months and years of campaigning, more than$2.2 billion in election spending, over 100 million votes cast… and Americans in their wisdom decided to essentially maintain the status quo. President Obama returns to the White House for a second mandate. The Senate stays blue; the House stays red. But lest anyone was thinking that this whole thing was a giant waste of time, remember that it beats the hell out of the alternative.

I was on a plane for most of the evening, and while I was able to watch the results come in on satellite TV (thanks, WestJet!), I didn’t have internet access so no liveblogging of results. It was like a throwback to the pre-Web 2.0 years when you actually had to rely on traditional media sources for information. Well, unless you’re Barack Obama, author of the Tweet heard around the world.

The big vote

The race was close all night, but the nail-biter didn’t materialize. While both candidates were neck-and-neck in the popular vote for much of the evening, most of the highly contested swing states went one by one to Obama: New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia were called one by one for Team Obama. You could see the wind go out of the sails in the Romney camp as each one was declared, but Ohio finally solidified things shortly after 11pm ET. At that point, it was all over but the fat lady, whose singing will be heard in Florida just as soon as all those folks standing in line have a chance to vote.

Latest US election results 2012, as of 2:30AM ET on Nov 7th. Source: CNN.

So what happened to give the Obama team such a wide margin of victory, despite a 7.9% unemployment rate and widespread anger and disillusionment with the status quo?

[click to continue…]


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: direction by) the Prime Minister.

And who do you think Harper will stack the courts with, given the opportunity? Given his government’s record, I only shudder to imagine.

The Supreme Court wields an enormous amount of power. And to show what can happen with years of stacked appointments, we need only to glance at our illustrious neighbours to the south, the United States:

Think it couldn’t happen here? Think again:

Pro-life supporters successfully influenced an as-yet unannounced government decision to deny funding to Planned Parenthood, says a Conservative seeking re-election.

Brad Trost, incumbent for Saskatoon-Humboldt, addressed the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association’s annual convention Saturday and thanked its members for their help in killing federal funding for the group.

In a recording of the speech, obtained by the Liberals and provided to the Toronto Star and Le Devoir, Trost claims a number of parliamentary victories for the pro-life movement, including a decision to deny funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

This is all part of a decision that was rendered by the Conservative government to exclude abortion funding from its maternal health plan for developing nations. Having denied access to abortion to women in other countries, now the government is setting its sights on our rights as Canadians.

And, lest you think that it’s only women’s reproductive rights that are under attack, rest assured that Stephen Harper doesn’t discriminate like that; he’s determined to attack all women’s rights.

But don’t worry, Stevie. You may hate women, but women hate you too:

Now here’s hoping that more Canadian women get jolted out of apathy and turn out and vote.

(Hat tips: Kirsten, Andrea, and the good people over at

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Weekend update


The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was commemorated with free outdoor concerts and celebrations this weekend. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Obama healthcare reform bill in a narrow vote – a crucial first step towards a complete overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. But, as the New York […]

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Top 5 issues that are (thankfully) not part of the Canadian election campaign


As I watch the US presidential campaign unfold, it’s easy to feel a bit smug. Our election issues are – on the whole – pretty boring, mostly because things are – on the whole – pretty good here. Not to discount the importance of Arctic sovereignty or softwood lumber tariffs or anything. But compared to […]

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On Sarah Palin


Some rare insight from a columnist who I usually disagree with, the Gazette’s Janet Bagnall: Palin is a true-blue representative of her party. She is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and against gay marriage. Her opposition to abortion extends to cases of rape and incest. The women who backed Hillary Clinton’s historic […]

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And on the issues front


The sweeping gains made by Democrats tonight only tell half the story. There were also a number of issues votes that, if nothing else, indicate that the country is feeling more anti-Bush right now than pro-Liberal. For example: Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage won approval in South Carolina, Tenessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, with similar […]

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Since when was this an issue?


I can’t help but wonder why, with a week left until the election and with the issue never having been on the table in the first place, abortion rights are suddenly making news. Whatever my reservations about the Tories, I can’t imagine that they would take steps to restrict a woman’s right to choose. And […]

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Gotta love the Onion


There’s nothing better than satire done right. This week’s headline: Bush Nominates First-Trimester Fetus To Supreme Court: WASHINGTON, DC — In a press conference Monday, President Bush named a 72-day-old gestating fetus as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat that opened following the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. “Already, this experienced and […]

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Reshaping the Supreme Court


U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s death on Saturday left another key opening on the court and Bush wasted no time announcing his nominee, appeals court judge John Roberts. Rehnquist was a conservative, so it’s not as though Bush is replacing a liberal with a conservative. Still, by some accounts, Roberts is much less […]

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Why Bush’s re-election scares me


Because of things like this: Republican senator who has questioned whether an abortion opponent could win approval to the U.S. Supreme Court must agree to back President Bush’s nominees if he is to head the committee acting on those nominations, the Senate’s Republican leader said. Bush has four years to fill Supreme Court seats with […]

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