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Canadian election

Suck it up. You asked for this.

Kinsella’s column in the Sun today pretty much sums up what I and other like-minded progressives have being saying since May 2.

You don’t like the fact that Harper thumbs his nose at Canadian voters in Newfoundland, Quebec who gave the boot to Smith, Manning and Verner? You don’t like what Clement is saying about program cuts after his boss emphatically stated during the election campaign that cuts to the PS would be achieved through attrition? Well:

You get what you pay for, folks. You get the government you vote for. Suck it up.

Gonna be a long four years. But, at the end of it, Harper will be gone and the Cons will be decimated. Canadians had a brain-fart this time. But they will have had a strong dose of antacid by the time 2015 rolls around.


Predictions versus results – by province

I was cleaning out my backpack yesterday morning, when I came across all of my scribbled (and tear-stained – notes on how I went about calculating seat totals.  I hadn’t yet compared where I went wrong provincially.

The pain of the May 2 results was still fresh so I hadn’t the gumption to take another look. Taking a big gulp, I looked at my notes.

Here is what I figgered on May 1 and how things actually went down.So, I really wasn’t that far off. I did predict the NDP success in Québec, but underestimated it because I did not foresee the utter collapse of the Bloc. I also underestimated the degree to which the Liberals would fold in Ontario. The vote splitting among progressives was something I had anticipated, but not to this level.

All in all, a dartboard might have served me just as well.  Accurate polling is becoming more and more difficult as people trade in their land lines for mobiles and only the politically engaged bother to consent to being questioned by a polling firm.  IMHO, Nanos is about the best out there with its rolling daily sample. And aggregators like ThreeHundredEight give some more context. But this election, like no other, showed that the only accurate poll out there is the one held on E-Day.

Courtesy of ThreeHundredEight:



But will there be keggers on the Hill?

Fave editorial cartoon of the day, thanks to Brian Gable.

Fact is that Jack is certainly going to have his hands full for the foreseeable future. But, hey! I don’t think he minds this kind of challenge!


I’m pissed off with my country…

And afraid about what the next several years will bring.

But now that the initial anger is wearing off, I am more determined than ever to work with like-minded progressives in ensuring that the Harper government does NOT destroy my country over the next four years and does NOT receive a mandate beyond that time.

I won’t sugar-coat it, the next few years will be messy. Public health care will be eroded. The public service will be gutted. And social con measures will be quietly integrated into policy. The evangelical Christians and the like have been Harper’s biggest supporters – and it is payback time.

How to work toward minimising the damage? The first step is to merge the Liberals and the NDP. The divided progressive vote handed the Cons their majority. Just look at the seats they gained in T.O. And this has to be done soon. Inside a year.

And Liberal and Dipper poobahs? If you do this, I will be there with my support, my time and my cheque book.

don’t do it and this country is looking at successive Con majorities.


So, how bad might it be for the Grits?

If you are a Liberal and you’re watching the results roll in on the night of May 2, it might be very, very bad.

Or not.

Or just a little bad.

But if you are a non-partisan progressive, it may be good.

Or very, very good.

Or just OK.

Much of how this game of thrones plays out hinges on turnout – especially in Ontario, where the Liberal vote has more or less done a deep six, but the Dippers have yet to pick up the slack. Québec is also a wildcard. Are the former Bloc supporters really giving up on Duceppe? Québec voters have proven to be volatile in the past – and they may once more prove themselves so.

I’m not at all going to get into WHY this happened; that can wait until later. But the polls are consistently showing that there has been a steady shift to the Blue team and the Orange side. And if the Dipper support in Ontario, which is currently stagnant, takes an upswing like elsewhere in Canada, the Grits had better stock up on some good scotch on May 2 and for the next 4 years… cuz there be bad times comin’ .

It will be interesting to see the Nanos poll tomorrow morning.



Friday miscellany: Fake Debates, The Jungle Book, lingerie football, and maggots. Yes, maggots…

Oh man, what a week…where to begin?? Let’s see…

The debates et les debats pretty much a downer for all, eh? I mean, they weren’t really debates but scripted stump speeches designed to get a few sound and vid bites into the news cycle, right?

Not like these (fictional) Presidential candidates squaring off against one another! This was a true (yet, fake) debate!

The irony of this milestone moment in TV history is that Alan Alda is a staunch liberal playing a conservative and Matt Santos is a staunch conservative playing a liberal. Brilliant. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I miss that show.


Saw an awesome show last night at Pleasant Park P.S.! The grade 6 class put on a production of The Jungle Book and it excelled in every way! The acting, the costumes, the makeup… I had to keep reminding myself that these were mostly 11 yr olds. What talent! And considering that this is a feeder school for Canterbury H.S. – one of Canada’s best arts high schools – this was only the beginning for many of these kids.

A big thanks to all of the staff and parent volunteers who made this possible. What committment!

Didn’t see our Trustee there, though.


I have already said my piece on bi-weekly garbage pick up. It really shouldn’t be that difficult for most Ottawans to make the transition, but a comment made by Councillor Diane Holmes this week made me shake my head.

During the debate before the final Council vote she said something like “just leave the green bin lids open and let the birds eat the maggots and get their protein“…


Someone should have briefed the good councillor on a couple of things… like the mess that birds would make if left to tear into your organic waste… and like there is a reason why the bins have lids in the first place…


Speaking of waste management, I ask the following: the next time that recycling collection contracts are let by the City, could a clause be inserted into the contracts that says something like:

“Collection staff will do their utmost to not leave a trail of paper, plastics and metal recyclable materials in their wakes as they proceed on their collection routes.”

I mean, I know you’re in a hurry. But gee… do you always have to leave such a mess?


Lingerie football. Who knew?


And back to politics for a moment… what really went on at my old alma mater this week? Did a Con staffer REALLY try to take away a ballot box? I need to see more details about this to come to a full assessment, but on the surface it appears a though this was a legitimate polling station and that the CPC had no right demanding that the ballots be turned over.

But the Cons must think they have some kind of case as they have asked Elections Canada to nullify all of the ballots cast that day… stay tuned.

GUELPH  No votes cast Wednesday in a special ballot at the University of Guelph should stand, according to the Conservative Party of Canada.

The party wrote Elections Canada on Thursday to request that none of the votes collected during the U of G session be included in the final tally of votes in the Guelph riding. The letter was sent by lawyer Arthur Hamilton, of Toronto-based law firm, Cassels Brock.

The move has generated considerable controversy at the university, home of the first youth “vote mob” encouraging students to vote.

In his letter, Hamilton alleges the polling station was illegal and also that partisan election material was present at it, which is a violation of the Canada Elections Act.

The polling station in question was located on the main floor of University Centre, where approximately 700 students cast sealed ballots.

Elections Canada media advisor James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said.


Finally – check this out as an example of über political correctness... hell… I’m an atheist but don’t have a problem calling these things what they are any more than I have with the word “Christmas”. It may not be something that I attach any importance to, but others do… geez-Louise…


Electoral dysfunction – for real!

This is most telling.

We need to change the way we pick the folks who represent our interests. It has never been so clear.

Is no one listening?

Electoral dysfunction, yet again

Greens deserved more than 20 seats – voting system also punished New Democrats, western Liberals and urban Conservatives

Once again, Canada’s antiquated first-past-the-post system wasted millions of votes, distorted results, severely punished large blocks of voters, exaggerated regional differences, created an unrepresentative Parliament and contributed to a record low voter turnout.

[Note: The following commentary is based on returns at 2am ET.]

The chief victims of the October 14 federal election were:

Green Party: 940,000 voters supporting the Green Party sent no one to Parliament, setting a new record for the most votes cast for any party that gained no parliamentary representation. By comparison, 813,000 Conservative voters in Alberta alone were able to elect 27 MPs.

Prairie Liberals and New Democrats: In the prairie provinces, Conservatives received roughly twice the vote of the Liberals and NDP, but took seven times as many seats.

Urban Conservatives: Similar to the last election, a quarter-million Conservative voters in Toronto elected no one and neither did Conservative voters in Montreal.

New Democrats: The NDP attracted 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 50 seats, the NDP 37.

“How can anyone consider this democratic representation?” asked Barbara Odenwald, President of Fair Vote Canada.

Had the votes on October 14 been cast under a fair and proportional voting system, Fair Vote Canada projected that the seats allocation would have been approximately as follows:

Conservatives – 38% of the popular vote: 117 seats (not 143)

Liberals – 26% of the popular vote: 81 seats (not 76)

NDP – 18% of the popular vote: 57 seats (not 37)

Bloc – 10% of the popular vote: 28 seats (not 50)

Greens – 7% of the popular vote: 23 seats (not 0)

Fair Vote Canada also has data for each province on the number of seats won and number of seats actually deserved by each party.

Odenwald emphasized that any projection on the use of other voting systems must be qualified, as specific system features would affect the exact seat allocations.

“With a different voting system, people would also have voted differently,” said Larry Gordon, Executive Director of Fair Vote Canada. “There would have been no need for strategic voting. We would likely have seen higher voter turnout. We would have had different candidates – more women, and more diversity of all kinds. We would have had more real choices.”

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a national multi-partisan citizens’ campaign to promote voting system reform. FVC was founded in 2001 and has a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum


Election night!

The night that all of we political junkies live for!

It’s bigger than all of the holidays. Bigger than my birthday! Bigger than the Leafs Winning The Cup!


Anyhoo… I’m (im)patiently waiting for the the first results and frustrated by the election law stating that thou shalt not transmit results to those who shalt occupy said territories to the west – without having first clostest thy said latter polls.


Been looking for a blog so I can cheat but no luck so far.


Why to NOT vote for Harper – one last entry

I have pointed out a few reasons why the Canadian electorate should mark any box other than the one beside the ReformCon candidate. Harper has lied and deceived us. He has called an unnecessary election purely out of spite and political convenience. And he continues to represent interests that are counter to the majority of we Canucks.

That being said – please DO vote. We have no voice unless we march to the booth and mark our ballot beside the candidate who you think will best represent your interests. If you have thought that ol’ Trashy here has been full of hot air over the past few weeks – fair ’nuff. We can agree to disagree. After all, isn’t it just that freedom to hold contrary opinions that we are defending when we mark our “X”?

Happy voting!


Election prediction – take it for what it’s worth