Tag Archives: green party

Politics

Canadian Election Roundup

We’ve done our best here at 4080 to keep our Canadian readers informed about the big federal election that just happened.

So here is a quick summary of the election results, comparing the 2006 election to the 2008 election.

Party

2006 Seats

2008 Seats

% of public vote
Conservative

124

143

37.63%

103/102

76

26.24%

51

50

9.97%

29

37

18.20%

0/1

0

6.80%
Independent

1

2

0.65%

As you can see, things have shifted, but not by crazy amounts.  The Conservative government under Stephen Harper was strengthened, but stopped 12 seats short of a majority.  This should be enough to force the Conservatives to take a more moderate approach to government than they would have.

Frankly, another minority may mean an impossible situation yet again.  Minority governments rarely function well, and often don’t accomplish much.  And with voter turnout the lowest in Canadian history, I have a feeling voters are entirely sick of going to the polls.

Take it for what you will.  You may be happy, you may be sad.  This election did have a record number of women candidates were elected to the House of Commons, and I was pleasantly suprised by the number of visible minority candidates.

Awareness Politics

Canada Votes Tomorrow (Oct 14th)

Well well people, Canada goes to the polls tomorrow.  The polls will be open from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm and are pretty accessible.

Here are few quick sites to entertain you.

Our own take on what you need to know.

If you missed the Canadian leaders debate, you can catch the whole thing here.

Looking for where to vote?  This site will tell you.

For those of you entirely unfamiliar with the process, the ballot should look like something similar to the image on the right.  You’ll go to the polls and present the required ID.

Once you’re in, go to the little cardboard station and mark your ballot.  Remember, you cast your vote for your local candidate, but because of Canada’s system, the party with the most seats overall (most canadidates elected) will form the government.

While I absolutely do not endorse this site by any means (i’m of the opinion you should vote your conscience after careful and deliberate education on the issues), Vote For Environment provides a riding-by-riding analysis of the likelihood of a particular candidate being elected.  It may give you an idea of who’s going to win in your neighbourhood.

No matter what, get the hell out to vote.  Not hard, and even if you are working, your employer is required by law to give you time off to vote. Here’s a direct quote:

For example, if an employee lives in an electoral district in which the hours for voting are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the employee’s hours of work are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the employee’s hours of work will not allow three consecutive hours for voting. The employer might allow the employee to arrive late (at 12:30 p.m.), to leave early (at 6:30 p.m.), or provide the employee three hours off at some other point during the work day in order to allow the employee the opportunity to exercise the right to vote.

As another example, if the employee lives in an electoral district in which voting hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the employee’s hours of work are between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the employer is not required to provide the employee time off for the purpose of voting, because the employee will already have available three and a half consecutive hours for voting (from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.).

Politics

Updates on the female candidates – Elizabeth May and Sarah Palin

I post this using the plural because I want to cover developments in both the Canadian and American elections.

Canada

In Canadian Politics, quite a lot has changed in the last few days.  Elizabeth May, the only female leader of a national political party will now be allowed to enter the TV debates, despite earlier reports.  Originally, the leaders of both the NDP and the Conservative Party had opposed the inclusion of May in the televised debates.  Stephan Dion, the Liberal Party leader, comes off looking very well after being the only major leader to openly support her inclusion.

The general public seemed quite upset, especially with NDP leader Jack Layton.  Intense pressure from supporters resulted in Layton backing down.  Once that happened, Harper immediately changed his tune and removed his opposition to May’s inclusion as well.  This will mark the first time the Green Party is included in the televised debate, and is a major shift in the Canadian Political landscape.  The big “fear” from the Conservatives and the NDP is simply that her and Dion will team up and represent some of the same platform points.  It’s a bit unfounded, because the NDP also shares many of the same platform points as both the Liberals and the Greens, and yet no one is worried about t heir inclusion.

America

In other news, Sarah Palin continues both to impress and anger at the same time.  She is also a pretty strong public speaker, but her speeches so far have been laced with more than a few examples of inflamatory rhetoric, and also more than one lie.

The big one?  Her purported opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere”.  She claims she said “thanks but no thanks” to Congress when they offered her $200 million dollars for this bridge.  However, local politicians from both major parties have come out against this.  The truth of the matter is that she was a major supporter and lobbier on behalf of this earmark, and once the money was received and the political winds changed, she changed her mind and said “no”.  But then she kept the money. That’s right.  This Yahoo! News article has much more information on some of the fiscal scandals plaguing her.  The other big issue is her opposition to a Federal oil profits Windfall tax (which Obama supports), while in her state she has done just this.  Alaska has had a major oil tax, but Palin rejigged the whole thing to make the state receive more of the income.

There is also a growing fear of Palin’s theocratic tendencies.  While faith in politics has been a major factor in American politics for the last two elections, here it becomes even more curious.  Over and above the accusations of Obama being a secret muslim, there are more serious accusations about Palin.  Juan Cole of Salon.com has written a scathing article.  Here’s a short piece: “But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

Cole goes on to compare Palin’s positions on abortion with a variety of Islamic countries, and notices that herr position lines up nearly identically with that of Iran.  Cole even notes that Tunisia allows abortion in the first trimester, while Palin vehemently argues it is always an “atrocity”. She’s also let it be known she doesn’t believe that climate change is man-made, which is diametrically opposed to the views espoused by both the Obama campaign and her own running mate, John McCain.

Despite these…questionable attitudes on certain subjects, Palin has been a huge source of strength to the McCain campagin.  As a staunch conservative, she has re-energized an unimpressed Republican base and has been a great source of funding for McCain.  Obama’s campaign has actually begun to fall behind in terms of fundraising in the weeks since she has been announced.

For a more detailed (and sligtly more balanced view) of Palin and some of her policies, check out this Newsweek article.

Conclusion

Overall, two strong women are participating in national politics in North America.  This is less of a “big deal” in Canada, which has already had a (albeitly short-lived) female Prime Minister.  However, this is still something to be proud of.  In both countries, this is likely to be one of the most interesting and engaging political races in modern history.