Election in Canada this Spring

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Yakk » Tue May 03, 2011 12:20 pm UTC

LtNOWIS wrote:Is there a reason the Bloc Québécois lost 90% of their seats? Or is that just due to left-wing vote splitting? I haven't been following this too closely.

Quebec remains pissed at both the Conservatives and Liberals, and decided that the NDP is a viable choice. BQ was winning "by default".

On the plus side, I won an election betting pool.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Vaniver » Tue May 03, 2011 12:54 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:On the plus side, I won an election betting pool.
Congrats! This is typically the only good thing to come out of politics (and, as is fitting, is zero-sum).
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Tue May 03, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

Crap.

There goes equal rights for trans people. I guess I didn't need a better job for the next 5 years. Lets see if I get fired for being trans, and then blamed for it.

I hope we don't lose our health care. I hope the Harper Government doesn't turn back the clock on womens rights, and possibly gay rights any time soon.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Diadem » Tue May 03, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

Party Seats Votes %
Conservative 167 5,808,632 39.6
Green 1 571,907 3.9

Your election system. It is broken.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Yakk » Tue May 03, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

You vote for individual people to locally represent you, not parties. Parties have only the power that the people elected (the MPs) give them in Canada.

This means that even the Green party candidate that won (go May!) is mainly responsible to the people of her district.

Under the Canadian system, nobody voted for the Green or Conservative party. They voted for particular representatives of those parties. It only gets ridiculous if you take a bunch of failed representatives and add up their votes and compare them.

Now, I'd prefer if we increased the size of the local riding, and elected more than 1 representative in that local area (or maybe, gave some people more votes in parliament than others to avoid the party-controlled "list" candidate concept). That would allow low-percent wide-based support parties to gain more support to some extent.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Marauder_Pilot » Tue May 03, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

According to the CBC, Iggy has resigned and Duceppe will be announcing his resignation in the next few days.

Huzzah, now maybe we can get some decent politicians in here.

Slightly left-field (Metaphorically in more ways than one) suggestion here-anybody for chances that Justin Trudeau winds up in the running for Liberal leadership? A huge number of the new votes that the Conservatives and NDP got were thanks to younger voters, and Justin Trudeau really goes after that demographic, hard.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Stellazira » Tue May 03, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

I have never felt so screwed before.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby LaserGuy » Tue May 03, 2011 4:11 pm UTC

Marauder_Pilot wrote:According to the CBC, Iggy has resigned and Duceppe will be announcing his resignation in the next few days.

Huzzah, now maybe we can get some decent politicians in here.

Slightly left-field (Metaphorically in more ways than one) suggestion here-anybody for chances that Justin Trudeau winds up in the running for Liberal leadership? A huge number of the new votes that the Conservatives and NDP got were thanks to younger voters, and Justin Trudeau really goes after that demographic, hard.


I was thinking Justin Trudeau would be the natural choice. I think the complaints about him being too young at this point are probably a bit overstated--he's 40 now, only two years younger than Harper was when he became leader of the Opposition, and by the next election, he'll be almost the same age as Harper was when he became Prime Minister. With a number of years under his belt as an MP and having the time and space to build up a reputation and a coherent platform, I think he could be in a decent position by the next election. The real challenge for the Liberals is going to be figuring out what to do about their fundraising operations--they're a decade or so behind the Conservatives and NDP in terms of infrastructure for collecting personal donations, and party subsidies will be scrapped in short order, leaving them with a gaping hole in their finances. Honestly, though, I don't think the Liberals should be in a rush to hold a leadership convention. They need to take some time to sober up, reflect and figure out what their new purpose is going to be--with the party teetering at the moment, choosing a leader now could lock them into someone who isn't really what they need. They should probably have someone in place before the 2012 budget is introduced, but I certainly don't think there's any harm in waiting a bit until convention.

I think the Bloc's position is basically irrecoverable. Their existence was (somewhat ironically) based almost entirely on the party subsidies. Without them being a serious force in government right now, the Conservatives can scrap the subsidies without fearing a revolt from Quebec.

As far as the Harper majority goes, we'll see what they do. Part of the problem, IMHO, is that despite campaigning for a majority, their platform was essentially a minority one--most of the policies that they're planning to implement are likely to be on the front-end of their term, so it is hard to predict what years three and four will look like. For many people, I think the biggest concern is what Jessica was alluding to: that the social conservative caucus will feel that the ought to flex their muscles now that they're mostly free of reprieve. Harper has promised no movement on abortion--although promises made in elections don't count for much--but hasn't made the same promises for a lot of other issues that are dear to social conservatives. The more subtle thing that we'll likely see is that Harper will set aside bigger and bigger blocks of funding to provincial transfers (which will, at least, include health care, I expect), the military, and the legal system, and, without raising taxes, will have to squeeze out a lot of spending room in other federal departments in his attempt to balance the budget.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Diadem » Tue May 03, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:You vote for individual people to locally represent you, not parties. Parties have only the power that the people elected (the MPs) give them in Canada.

This means that even the Green party candidate that won (go May!) is mainly responsible to the people of her district.

Under the Canadian system, nobody voted for the Green or Conservative party. They voted for particular representatives of those parties. It only gets ridiculous if you take a bunch of failed representatives and add up their votes and compare them.

All you're doing is explaining why it is broken. But I already knew that. I think everybody does.

An explanation of why something is broken though does not change the fact that it is. Using district based elections to chose national positions just sucks. It sucks in Britain, it sucks in the US, it sucks in Canada.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Marauder_Pilot » Tue May 03, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I was thinking Justin Trudeau would be the natural choice. I think the complaints about him being too young at this point are probably a bit overstated--he's 40 now, only two years younger than Harper was when he became leader of the Opposition, and by the next election, he'll be almost the same age as Harper was when he became Prime Minister. With a number of years under his belt as an MP and having the time and space to build up a reputation and a coherent platform, I think he could be in a decent position by the next election.


He can basically run on the same platform his father did-and Pierre Trudeau was one of the most loved Prime Ministers in Canadian history.

Side note: Political dynasties, another place where we beat the Americans.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Tue May 03, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

When the government can be run as a majority with only ~24% of the (eligible to vote) population* actually voting for the governing party, there is a problem.

*61% voter turn out (rounded to 60%), 39% voted conservative (rounded to 40%). 40% of 60% is 24%.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Dark567 » Tue May 03, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:When the government can be run as a majority with only ~24% of the (eligible to vote) population* actually voting for the governing party, there is a problem.
I am not sure thats the case. If only ten percent of the population votes, you still have to take the majority of those voters, there isn't really any other good option. 60% is also large turnout, probably a large enough sample size to judge the populations desire, even if the demographic turnouts don't produce a truly random sample.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby jerome_bc » Tue May 03, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

LtNOWIS wrote:Is there a reason the Bloc Québécois lost 90% of their seats? Or is that just due to left-wing vote splitting? I haven't been following this too closely.


I think part of it is that the PQ made some strong, somewhat controversial statements regarding language issues recently at their national congress, and that reflected badly on the Bloc. More importantly, the Bloc has put sovereignty back on the forefront of their platform, making left-leaning but non-sovereignist Quebecers run to the hills, where the hills, in this case, are the NDP. Add to that that Layton was born and raised in Québec.

I'm curious to see how the NDP will deal with having most of their elected MPs from Québec, and how they will fare in the next elections.

I'm pretty pissed that the cons got a majority. I, for one, also think that the election system is broken.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby hanecter » Tue May 03, 2011 8:35 pm UTC

More questions from a Yankee...
Official opposition - party getting the most votes excepting the majority party or parties in a coalition govt?
What does the Bloc do? I mean, are they entirely focused on secession (or whatever the proper term is) or do they just push for more autonomy for Quebec?

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Tue May 03, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

The bloq's original purpose was separation. Other than that original purpose, they are generally pretty left leaning. They only run in Quebec.

The opposition party is the party with the second most votes.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Yakk » Tue May 03, 2011 8:42 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:An explanation of why something is broken though does not change the fact that it is. Using district based elections to chose national positions just sucks. It sucks in Britain, it sucks in the US, it sucks in Canada.
I want my politicians to be as beholden to me and answerable to me as possible.

I don't want politicians to be beholden to each other or to their party organization -- in fact, I want to minimize this.

List-based systems make MPs ability to get elected determined by their fealty to the organization mainly, and then to that organizations popularity.
hanecter wrote:More questions from a Yankee...
Official opposition - party getting the most votes excepting the majority party or parties in a coalition govt?

The official opposition is the party with the most seats that is not part of the government, yes. It is given some extra prerogatives, like a bigger office budget and some parliamentary rights, traditionally.
What does the Bloc do? I mean, are they entirely focused on secession (or whatever the proper term is) or do they just push for more autonomy for Quebec?
In practice, they advocate for more power/advantage/autonomy for Quebec. Basically, their support on a given measure could be purchased for a sufficient bribe for Quebec.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby broken_escalator » Tue May 03, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

I read this thread as "Erection in Canada this Spring". I'm a little disappointed its about this smutty political stuff.

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Maticas » Tue May 03, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

The bloc was insulted much times in this thread, from my perspective, the bloc was necessary (and it isn't anymore). I live in Quebec, and I can tell you that we generally feel we are "attacked" by the rest of Canada. Also, I don't know if other parts of the country are like this (guess not given the results of the election), but in Quebec the general mentality is to always put up to question traditionalist principles, look for alternatives. The Bloc once proposed this, and now it's the NDP.

broken_escalator wrote:I read this thread as "Erection in Canada this Spring". I'm a little disappointed its about this smutty political stuff.


If you speak French you'll probably enjoy the video on youtube called "Les érections fédérales" in which Harper mispronounces "election" as "erection"

Spoiler:
some of what he says:
"The fourth erection in seven years"
"A fifth erection even before the fourth is finished"
"Canada can't afford interrupting this recent recovery with an useless erection"

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Marauder_Pilot » Wed May 04, 2011 2:49 am UTC

Well, now that we can finally wear something less than a parka outdoors, there'll be plenty enough of that too.

First of May, first of Maaayyy...

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby mike-l » Wed May 04, 2011 7:47 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:When the government can be run as a majority with only ~24% of the (eligible to vote) population* actually voting for the governing party, there is a problem.

*61% voter turn out (rounded to 60%), 39% voted conservative (rounded to 40%). 40% of 60% is 24%.


For perspective, I'm a HUGE socialist, I'm incredibly disappointed with my country right now.

But your point basically suggests that there should never be a majority, since our highest turnout ever is 80% and we're usually in the mid to high 60s, a party would have to get 80% of the popular vote for 50% of eligible voters to vote for them. You can only ever go on who shows up.

As far as the 40% is concerned, I think a pretty clear message was given that we don't want Iggy, so the choice is really between Jack and Steve. It's foolish to assume that all 20% of the people who voted liberal would prefer Jack to Steve. In fact, some analysts contribute the uptick in conservative votes to be exactly Liberals who voted Conservative because they were afraid of Jack winning. And a lot of historical Liberals who would prefer an NDP government voted for the NDP already, so the people left may well be just as likely to go either way. The polls were pretty clear that NDP was going to take second, so why did those people still go Liberal? (Disclaimer, I voted Liberal, and it was because I thought they had the best chance to carry my riding. It didn't matter since the conservatives got 60% of the vote, boo)

Our system doesn't track second choices. I think this is a silly system, but given it, statements like "60% of the voters voted against Stephen Harper, so he shouldn't have won" are silly. 70% voted against Jack, and 80% voted against Iggy.

Moral: Push for electoral reform. Let's get a system that tracks second choices! Instant runoff go!
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Wed May 04, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

A sign of what's to come.

Because a conservative majority means social conservatives rule. Fuck.

As an interesting aside, when I read this, I went and looked up Canadian law regarding abortion. There currently are no federal laws regarding abortion in Canada. It's completely legal, AND payed for though the Canadian heath care system (in most provinces... there are some exceptions of course). Most Canadians support abortion from polls I've seen, and there are about 30 abortions for every 100 live births.

Stats are fun!

(and yeah, my numbers in the previous thing were... rage induced)
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu May 05, 2011 4:31 am UTC

Some things to clear up regarding the election:

1.) Quebec seperatism is not dead.

The Bloc was a symptom of a feverish discomfort of Quebec's relationship to the rest of Canada. The nature of this discomfort, and of Quebec political culture, is that the voters tend to have sudden and violent mood swings. The NDP surge is just a symptom of the same condition which gave rise to the Bloc (and to the PC sweep before that which, ironically, included Jack Layton's father) and to the ADQ provincially in the National Assembly of Quebec.

Like the ADQ, the NDP has gained support because of a single, charismatic leader and a deep and general malaise. Like the ADQ, they arrive to the seat of power with a woefully underqualified slate of MPs (including a 19 year old; an anglophone bartender who can't communicate with anyone in her riding; an extra from the movie 300; a 20 year old; and, oh yeah, a Deputy Leader who has already claimed that bin Laden is not dead, Obama is lying and the photos are faked.

This might be a sea change. It might be a flash in the pan. The sudden affair with the NDP is less than three weeks old. It clearly does not lie on a deep attachment to the policies or people of the party.

Also the Bloc was nominally seperatist, but appealed to leftist federalists. The NDP is nominally federalist, but appeals to lefitst seperatists. Nothing's changed there for seperatists except a change in decoration.

2.) The Opposition has no-one to blame but themselves.

If you're angry with the results, I want you to answer me these three questions: did you vote? did you donate? did you volunteer? (for a party, the "vote mobs" don't count.)
The answer for most Conservatives I know, young and old, is yes. How about you?

3.) The Liberals must change everything or die. They must have a set of principles and policies which they will loudly and proudly defend during elections and between. Under Ignatieff, they decided not to do this. I know many Liberals who thought this was a cunning plan. Let Harper F up and people will come running back to the natural alternative. Just keep your head down, oppose and only propose during the campaign.

This is stupid, and now the whole country will pay the price with the death of competent moderation.

4.) A Liberal-NDP merger is the most coveted thing for the Conservatives. And it may not be as easy as some people think.

I know Liberals who voted Conservative because they were afraid Layton might win. The NDP is, for good reason, for feared by many Liberals than the Conservatives. The CPC, and Harper personally (who was a Liberal partisan in his early youth) would love to absorb these people into his coalation permanently.

5.) May's election as the first Green MP is a Big Deal.

With the NDP finally dropping the absurd pretense that they're an environmentalist party in the last week, while proposing massive subsidies for anything that will burn more fossil fuel and penalties for things which burn less, and the neutering of the Liberals, she will likely be the only real standard bearer for environmental issues in the House. That's important, because our environment from the 100 communities with poisoned drinking water to the second worst food safety in the first world to the second highest GHG emissions per capita in the world are all big problems.

There's more to say, of course, but that should clear up some of the bigger misconceptions so far.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Thu May 05, 2011 2:33 pm UTC

Most conservatives I know didn't volunteer or donate to the conservatives. Just saying your anecdote of conservatives giving money/donating time isn't necessarily universal.

Voting on the other hand... yeah, I know what you mean.

Also, not a fan of the greens and their social conservative agenda. They may be the only party who cares about the environment, but they're still quite conservative outside of that.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu May 05, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

Sadly, this is an anecdote backed up by statistics. The Conservatives recieve way, way more from their base than do the Liberals and NDP combined. They also have far more volunteers.

Also, what precisely is it about a party that is pro-choice, in favour of massive aid to our nation's poorist, favours a more robust multiculturalism, has long stood with LGBT communities, and still does, and the call for more robust measures for parity between men and women in government and society that you find so socially "conservative"?
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Samsoneffect » Thu May 05, 2011 6:44 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Also, not a fan of the greens and their social conservative agenda. They may be the only party who cares about the environment, but they're still quite conservative outside of that.


Never mind their medicine policy. Big on the alt-med stuff, that reaches well into quackery, which is why I won't vote Green.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Lycur » Thu May 05, 2011 6:50 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Sadly, this is an anecdote backed up by statistics. The Conservatives recieve way, way more from their base than do the Liberals and NDP combined. They also have far more volunteers.


From whence cometh your statistics?

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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Yakk » Thu May 05, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

Donations to political parties are public record and easy to find. It is hard to call it "statistics" when you have complete records.
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Jessica » Thu May 05, 2011 7:04 pm UTC

Are most of those from individual voters or from corporations, or other collectives?
Because, I thought that was the main difference between the conservatives and the liberals/NDP (not necessarily the number of donators, but the donation amount, and the other non-voting groups)
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Re: Election in Canada this Spring

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu May 05, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Are most of those from individual voters or from corporations, or other collectives?
Because, I thought that was the main difference between the conservatives and the liberals/NDP (not necessarily the number of donators, but the donation amount, and the other non-voting groups)


Nope.

Corporate and union donations in Canada are illegal at the federal level. Have been since 2003. Only individual humans can donate, and even then only up to $1,100 to a national party/year and anothre $1100 to ridings for elections. Maximum.

Most Conservative donations come mainly as smaller $50-$300 donations.

The Liberals used to rely on big corporate donations. The NDP relied on big unions, which still own a 25% outright stake of that party, in voting shares. (The NDP is the only party which has outside organisations and interests which have a say on issues of policy and leadership.)

The Conservatives have long been far, far more grass-roots than the others, because their supporters strongly believe in their message, and are willing to engage proactively in politics.

Although Harper led the fight (and lawsuit) to stop the banning of corporate/union donations, his party has benifited the most, as the party which, of the three majors, is the most internally democratic and engaged with its grassroots (The Greens trump them here, but they're still largely under the radar.) The Conservatives are so good, in fact, that they've been able to outright steal the Liberal grassroots and much of the NDP grassroots, even, right out from under them!

And the hilarious thing is that nobody on the left or centre has ever even noticed this. Largely because they have far less interest in getting involved than do those on the right.

In fact, I'd be shocked if the CPC didn't have the largest share of the youth vote who actually vote in most provinces.
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