I must disagree with the depiction of the Liberal Part of Canada being left-centre. As in the US Canadian political parties including the Greens (who have been purposely left out of the election picture by mainstream Canadian corporate media) have shifted to the right on the political spectrum. The Conservatives are quiet fundamentalist Christian in their base equivalent to the Republican party of the past. The Liberals who were supported by the majority of mainstream corporations in the past (when the party veered slightly left under Stephan Dion/minority they moved over the the Conservatives) have now garnered much more corporate support for this election. The Liberals are right of centre (Trudeau supported our version of the Patriot Act-Bill C-51) and run a platform of a hodge-podge of Keynsian stimulus meant to suck up to the middle class. The NDP run by Thomas Mulcair is now where the Liberals used to be in the centre hence their fiscal balance the books platform (they misread the lust the Canadian middle class has for their comforts to their misfortune in this election) and rejection of Bill C-51. All of the parties except the Greens support Israel and don't even mention the Palestinian people. Personally I don't trust Justin Trudeau. I see him as similar to Alex Tsipras- a well educated narcissist who wants power no matter what-in other words a neoliberal in Liberal clothing-just like Obama. Words mean nothing to this kind of person except for the acquisition of power and control. I used to support the NDP but I notice how the party becomes much more beholden and deferential to corporate power once in office (which it has been in various provinces) and seems to be the case with the NDP here in Alberta.I don't like their foreign policies either. I support the Greens although in this election I voted to get rid of Stephen Harper by voting NDP which has the best chance to win in my riding. He and his party have damaged Canada more than you know in his attempts to use fear and secrecy to turn us into a version of the US.
Ultimately a country as big as Canada, with a small population and so many parties should be moving to a system of proportional representation. There are rumblings in that direction.
I think voters looking for change see that in someone younger or different like Obama and his Hope campaign and that in this day and age of smoke and mirrors in politics is a huge mistake.
I disagree with your assessment of each parties respective place on the Politcal Spectrum.
I believe that NDP have moved to the right of the Liberals , especially on economic policy. This is no longer the NDP of Stephen Lewis and Tommy Douglas. It too seeks Corporate support and preaches the gospel of Capitalism and markets.
As such I will be voting Green. I feel if the NDP are rewarded with that shift to the right it will only encourage them to shift yet further.
Do they still count the votes the old fashioned way in Canada, as in actually COUNT the votes to reach the decision? That would be refreshing!
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Thanks for a very interesting and informative article re: the election tomorrow in
Canada. Question for Canadian member (s). Is there any prediction of how big the turn out will be? Has Harper allowed further intrusion by China in buying
Canadian oil corporations? I've only been to "Beautiful BC," but have a long time e-mail friend in Burlington,ON. She and her family, though she notes she is
not "political," never fail to vote. Unlike many in the US, based on our almost
daily conversations, at least among her family, there is considerable knowledge
as well as concern about global warming. Will such concerns be a basis for
removing Harper, btw, a PM she thoroughly dislikes?
Depends on who controls the count.
No, it has not.
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I watched one of the election debates and Trudeau said he supported trade deals like TPP and TTIP. Sounds kind of like a New Dem in the US or Obama/Clinton.
Harper has got to go, but will Trudeau be any better?
Not a lot. It will be at least it not Harper type of thing.
I had hopes for the NDP but the new leadership takes them way to the right.
Interesting to note that across Canada a number of the daily newspapers have an entire front page saying do not vote liberal. These are actually political ads made to look like news stories paid for by the Conservatives.
I predict about 60 percent turnout. The young people just as in the US are rather disenchanted by the system.
The Conservative Creed:
The worse things get, the more afraid people become, the more they vote for us masters of fear mongering
Thank for your response to my primary question. I've often wondered with my friend in Canada and another in OZ, though voting there is different, if those who created a system for the 13 prior colonies, would not have been much wiser to have chosen a parliamentary system. That the Electoral College still exists is madness, but then all too often it is we old timers that feel as I do, voting is one of the few rights I feel I have left so I mark and mail in that absentee ballot and hope it is counted. I will continue to do so until I die.
It's not even the NDP of Layton - a rightward lurch started as soon as his ashed weere scattered. His widow Olivia Chow must have gotten disillusioned to as she resigned from her seat to run for (non-partisan) Toronto mayor.
It seem that Rob Ford is surviving his fat cell cancer (really - a liposarcoma) and plans on returning to politics. Not good.
As kindly Uncle Joe Stalin said many years ago, "It is not who votes that counts, it is who counts the votes."
* So true, so true...
Hillary is not Bill. Plus, countries like Canada need a lot more change than just raising taxes on the rich.
Sadly all the British Commonwealth was saddled with the First Past The Post style elections, admittedly when it was better than no voting. The US, Canada and Britain are the last major countries to keep this outdated legacy of "representative" democracy alive. The problem is, most of the proposed "proportional" voting systems increase party influence, not reduce it. And it is the undue influence of the parties, acting on behalf of their corporate/0.01% backers, that is the real problem.
So in Canada we are left with strategic voting within the FPTP framework to oust the HarperCons, who have raised exploiting the inherent vote-splitting and gerrymandering weaknesses to new and abominable heights. Their Tea Party advisers/backers have left no dirty electoral trick unused, right down to the new wrinkle of ballots either pre-marked or with some sort of "printing error" which the Conservative returning officers can selectively use to call them "spoiled ballots".
It is interesting that the Green Party has come out against strategic voting, as the best sites offering such information try to ensure the Greens get seats more proportionally than if there was no strategic voting. The party pundits opposing strategic voting on "principle" are afraid of the voters actually side-stepping the electoral traps they so carefully concoct. They can't rig an election when a high % of voters collectively decide to ensure a result. The biggest thing preventing strategic voting from working is that ALL the parties work very hard convincing voters in doesn't "work". Despite studies showing it clearly does work when enough voters have "had enough" of vote splitting and other shenanigans.
The blunt truth is there is presently no "environmentally focused" party in Cdn politics, let alone one truly "left of centre". So we will try to decimate the HarperCons first, and hopefully the rest of the Parties will take note that Canadians can strategically vote in environmentally aware independent MP's just as easily next election. The Governor General is under no legal/Constitutional obligation to select any party to form the government, only to adhere to the will of the "majority of voices" in the House.
The task for today is Heave Steve and his HarperCon cabal.
I don't disagree with your comment, I see that movement to the right here in Alberta with the provincial NDP. As Murray Dobbin wrote today the lust for power has corrupted the NDP. Ultimately I think the whole democratic system will have to be replaced by something we have no sense of yet.