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Wow. Just wow.

Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway.

I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority.

The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as the leader of the party — the only leader the party in its current form has ever had. A long decade of darkness in Canada is drawing to a close.

The NDP dropped back to third place, its Quebec bubble having burst. One of the ridings it hung onto was my own of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where Gilles Duceppe was defeated by Helene Laverdiere. I’m happy about that and proud to have played my part.

Overall, though, the NDP simply couldn’t compete with the Liberal surge as undecided progressive voters looked for a bandwagon to jump onto. Our broken First Past The Post system simply left no room for vote-splitting on the left, and Mulcair was unfortunately the loser on that front. I still respect him and think he ran a solid campaign. And I hope he will stay on as party leader and MP for Outremont, and participate actively in government. He and Trudeau agreed on quite a few issues, and the NDP could certainly make their mark in this next parliament.

The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats, but got a lower proportion of the popular vote than they did back in 2011. Duceppe lost his riding and will probably retire again — for real this time.

Justin Trudeau will have his work cut out for him. A majority means he can get things done. It also means he has no excuses.

The real work begins tomorrow. And don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of it. Canada has suffered greatly under Harper, and a lot of work will be needed simply to stop the bleeding and start reversing the damage. Restoring funding to gutted federal programs, improving the status of women, minorities, immigrants, First Nations, restoring human rights and equal citizenship for all. Fulfilling his promise to amend Bill C-51. Dealing with the fallout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as details emerge. Healing the wounds caused by wedge politics driven by racism. Bringing back openness, transparency, science and information to Parliament. Healing the wide chasm between Conservative and Progressive voters. The list seems never-ending and the work is surely daunting.

But that’s all for tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate.

Merci, Canada.


#Pollwatch: I’ve been hearing reports of people having difficulty voting, despite being on the voter registration list and showing up with multiple forms of ID.

Via the Orwellian-named “Fair Elections Act“, Stephen Harper is trying to make it more difficult for people to vote, and I fear he may be succeeding. Don’t let him get away with it!

Here are some resources for people voting today:

  • Accepted pieces of voter ID from Elections Canada. Remember that your voter card is NOT an accepted piece of ID. And that one of your pieces of ID must contain your address.
  • If you get refused based on your ID, or if you are unable to produce something with your address, you can also have someone who knows you and live in your riding take an oath that they know you. Vote with a friend, just in case.
  • This Hamilton-based lawyer has also offered free legal advice to anyone turned away from the polls. You can contact him on Twitter or by phone.
  • If someone phones you or stands outside a polling station and tries to convince you that the poll location has changed, don’t listen to them! Check to see where you should vote, or use the address on your voter information card.
  • If you end up with a pre-marked ballot, as some people have been reporting, don’t use it! You have the right to ask for another one.
  • Finally, if you’re stuck in long lineups and feel like you’re wasting your time, stick it out! It’s a favourite underhanded election tactic to understaff polling stations where people are likely to vote against the incumbents. Tweet to #pollwatch to report any unusually long lineups, and try to vote early just in case. Remember, most people are eligible to take 3 hours off from work, paid, to vote.

The Harperites are desperate, and they’re resorting to every trick in the book. Let’s stop them in their tracks.

ETA: There are reports in my own home riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie of “dirty” ballots pre-marked for the Conservatives:

Laurier-Sainte-Marie might well be the riding in Canada least likely to go Tory; they’re battling it out with the Greens for 4th place here, behind the NDP, Bloc and Liberals. So if this is happening here, it’s probably happening across the country.

Brian, who wrote this post, had this to add:

I wasn’t paying attention at first, so I thought the cops were there to handle some irate thug. Turned out he called the cops over the fraud, who in turn contacted EC. I calmly explained to the person who handed me my ballot that it was pre-marked. I got a second one, same thing. At this point, cops just asked me what was wrong, I explain and am handed a third ballot. I vote.

As I come out of voting, cop shows me who I thought was just a polling station supervisor, but it turns out several of the people are actually people who are more important and were called in because of fraud. He took my name, ID, story of what happened and triple-asked me if I was 100% certain that the third ballot wasn’t spoiled. At this point there are more irate people than just that one old dude and I’m paying attention enough to translate what they’re saying. All the same deal; a mix of “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!” and accusations that the polling station/elections Canada are rigging the election for Harper.

It seems like the Tories have decided that they can’t win the election, so they’ll try to steal it instead. I re-iterate: Don’t let them get away with this! Check your ballots carefully, and if you see fraud, report it to Elections Canada and to VoteWatch. You can also phone Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 if you’re at your polling station and encounter difficulties or get denied your right to vote.


Let’s do this, Canada!


Well, it’s been a really long slog of a campaign. But either way, it all ends tomorrow. So I’ll just leave you with this plea: Please get out and vote — it CAN and WILL make a difference. If you’re not sure where or when to vote, visit If you aren’t sure who to […]

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The Guardian on Stephen Harper


The Guardian has published a damning, point by point account of how the Harper‬ government has cheated, lied, blustered and outright steamrolled over democracy on their way to three consecutive election victories.   An unkind cartoon this summer showed the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, kneeling before the statue of another politician, asking: “What now, […]

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Tories, Israel, and Chutzpah


Two weeks ago, like Jewish people around the world, I went to my local synagogue on Yom Kippur for Kol Nidre prayers. I saw a giant “Shana Tova” campaign poster just outside my shul in Westmount proclaiming the Conservatives as the only party that will stand by Israel “through fire and water”. It wasn’t just […]

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Environment? We don’t need no stinkin’ environment.


In case you needed another reason to vote out Stephen Harper, Canada under the stewardship of the Tories has fallen to dead last in environmental protection, in a ranking of 27 wealthy countries by the Washington-based Center for Global Development: Canada dropped from 12th place last year and did far worse in the environmental protection […]

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Stephen Harper’s war on data


So let me get this straight: Hillary Clinton deletes a few personal emails and it causes a national uproar. Stephen Harper deletes DECADES of statistical, scientific and historical records and nobody bats an eyelash? As this piece in Maclean’s explains, the Tories under Harper have gone to war on information. And we’re all losers: Stories […]

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NDP Victory in Alberta: Does this spell trouble for Harper?


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

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The war in Europe is over. Now, to turn our attention to the Pacific.


“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.” — Winston Churchill. For the past 18 months, it’s felt a bit to me like we’ve been fighting a war on two fronts: On the one hand, against Pauline Marois and […]

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The first 50 days


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 […]

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