The Canadian Federal Election 2008
As the election1 approaches, I’m starting to get a little frightened. Polls are suggesting we may end up with a Conservative* majority.
George Strombo invited all the party leaders to be interviewed on his show, The Hour. Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has REFUSED to go on the show. Harper appears to be frightened by the thought of people hearing what he or his party members say unless it’s under very tightly controlled circumstances. He avoids talking to the media (other than handpicked reporters who will ask the questions Harper tells them to) and the public as much as possible. Strombo is an excellent interviewer – he cuts through the bullshit and asks some really direct questions – and I’m sure Harper would be way too terrified to be asked real questions.
If you are at all interested in the federal election, be sure to check out the interviews with each of the leaders EXCEPT scaredy cat Harper (and possibly not Gilles Duceppe):
- Stéphane Dion – Liberal Party
- Gilles Duceppe – Bloc Quebecois – apparently his people are “in talks” with the George’s people. I’ll update this if/when Gilles shows up
- Jack Layton – New Democratic Party
- Elizabeth May – Green Party
And you definitely have to check out this clip of Strombo inviting Harper to come on to The Hour:
A few random interesting things I learned from these interviews:
- Jack Layton’s great granduncle was a Father of Confederation and his dad was Conservative minister under Brian Mulroney.
- Elizabeth May was an adviser to Brian Mulroney’s government!2
- Elizabeth May is working on a degree in Theology.
- I’ve heard this before from a number of sources, and Elizabeth May and Stéphane Dion both allude to it in their interviews – Stephen Harper is a micro-managing control freak. In response to Conservatives’* accusation that the Liberals plan to raise the GST, Dion said: “Mr. Harper wants to control everything, to the point that he would like to write the Liberal platform.” Dion states that the Liberals won’t raise the GST, nor will they go into deficit. Their plan is to lower income tax and replace the difference with a tax on pollution.
Also worth watching is this video showing Stephen Harper giving a speech that was plagiarized from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and comparing it to Howard giving the speech:
Another interesting site worth checking out is Vote for the Environment. As shown there, if people were willing to vote strategically, we could avoid a Harper government at all (let alone a Harper majority):
“If those of us who care about the environment don’t work together across party lines, the pro-environment vote will be split as it was in the last election and Harper will be re-elected.
We are the majority. But our electoral system hasn’t kept up with Canada’s changing political landscape.” (Vote for the Environment)
The site will show you “which candidate in your riding supports action against global warning AND has the best chance of winning”3
Rebecca recently posted a summary of the candidates in her riding, Vancouver Centre, and has inspired me to do the same. So look forward to a summary of the Vancouver Quadra candidates here, probably on Monday. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the Canadian federal election? Are you going to be voting strategically?
1The Canadian federal one. The US presidential one, Vancouver municipal one and then, not too far after those, the BC provincial one, are all also approaching, of course, but first up is the Canadian feds.
2What’s with all the lefties having ties to Mulroney?
3There’s a video on the site explaining “how it works” and this quotation is taken from that video. To watch the video, go to their site and click on “Vote smart so the majority wins – FIND OUT HOW HERE.”
The * is there in recognition of the fact that Stephen Harper’s “Conservative” party is not the real “Conservative” party… it’s the Reform-Party-cum-Canadian-Alliance-in-Tory-clothing.