Archive for the ‘ Election 2011 (Canada) ’ Category

Whittling Away One Riding at a Time

You have to admire our political system. I mean seriously, remember all the hoopla over the US Presidential 2000 election, and all those hanging chads?

Then four years later there was some hoopla in Michigan and machine irregularities?

Well we just had a Conservative get the boot, by 9 piddly votes.  Seems on Election Night, the Conservative beat the NDP candidate, but because of its closeness, a judicial recount was held, and gee, the poor incumbent Conservative is out of a job.

Guess the NDP are whittling away already, at that conservative majority, one riding at a time. LOL

Thing is, it didn’t take months to decide the race. Our system of simply marking an X by the candidate of our choice works. So why fuck around with it?

The answer is simple. By using machines, by using alternative means to cast a vote, it is easier to manipulate, and have errors.  It also takes a lot longer to double check, and worse, can never be doublle checked.

Watch, Harper will try to change how we vote, so that one person, one vote no longer will apply. I mean if ever there was a good indication that every vote counts, it is this case right here.  NINE VOTES was the difference between winning, and retirement.

I think I like our system, don’t you?

It Is About Perceptions

Election campaigns are short wars, that can come once every few years, or longer, but they are about creating a perception, in the mind of the voter. Get a good perception going, you stand a good chance of winning.

Time is short, so a lot of details get left out, as after all, it is about what we perceive, that matters. Or so it goes, & I think is rather true.

My Perception of Stephen Harper is that he is wrong for Canada. He reminds me of Josheph Macarthy, the US Senator who went on a Communist Witch Hunt.

Yet, when this election was called, while he was out of the picture ( Harper that is ) for getting my Vote, the other leaders were all pretty even.  Well, except for Gilles Duceppe. I kind of liked him, after the 2008 debates, but I don’t live in Quebec, so he too was out of the picture, for getting my Vote.

That left me with Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff, & Elizabeth May.

With the debate issue coming out of the gate, I was disappointed in Elizabeth May & her party’s obsession with it.  Frankly, I think if she’d have used other media devices, instead of dwelling on the Debate, she’d have perhaps gotten a bit more interest from me, and from others too.

While I strongly opposed the decision by the Media Consortium, I think Elizabeth May could have parlayed that into some real headlines. I mean why not simply speak out, asking the other leaders, point blank, to insist on her inclusion?  Get them on the Record for refusing, or supporting. The Media would HAVE TO HAVE covered that.

Again it goes to PERCEPTION. Had she done that, had the other leaders waffled, it would have given people a perception that they were just the old gang, protecting their own asses. IT might have spurred more interest in her Party, which in turn, could have created more revenues, and more media attention.

The Leaders Debate format, was more to Harper’s benefit, than the others. It gave the perception of him being ganged up on, and it prevented any real discussion, debate, on the responses. It was a joke really, and even a poor performance by Harper, would still leave a perception of him being the underdog.

That certainly wasn’t a smart move by the other political parties.

There is no doubt that the Attack Ads, run by Harper, were effective. However, in my mind, they were effective simply because no one bothered to counter them.

I don’t mean in running their own attack ads, though the NDP & Liberals did, but counter the attack ads in a way, that actually answers, or debunks them.  Such as the one about Ignatieff only being here for himself, not for Canadians. Or the one about him wanting to raise taxes, the one about not taking a GST Hike off the table.

Explaining those ads, answering them, would have given a perception of someone who stands up to lies, who fights back against bullies.  That perception, would have gone a long way to boosting the Liberal Auroa. 

By not answering those attack ads, Ignatieff allowed himself to come across as weak. I mean seriously, if the guy wouldn’t defend himself, how can I, a simple voter, expect him to defend National Health Care, Education, the Economy, or more importantly, standing up to the demands of a forceful US President?

Jack Layton did defend himself. He did fight back, and today he is the leader of the Opposition.  Kind of proves my point, that if you are willing to fight the lies, fight the bullies, people will perceive you to be strong.

IF you want the top job, you need to fight for it. You can’t play on a different field than the other guys, which is what the Opposition Parties pretty well did. They didnt enter this election ready, nor did they come out swinging. They conceded the high ground to Harper, when it should have been theirs.

That perception alone, helped seal their defeat. Only the fighting spirit of Jack Layton, was able to mitigate some of that perception. At least he eventually showed up, ready to fight.  Too bad neither Ignatieff or May, or Duceppe did.

Things might have been different last Monday.

A Political Shift or Just Plain Fear?

I wonder, did the political landscape change in Canada last night, or was it simply a Nation swallowing the fear, generated by Stephen Harper & His Conservatives?

I have followed this election closely, by visiting the Facebook pages of the Liberals, and the Tweets by the Conservatives, Liberals, Green Party, & NDP.   What I’ve noticed is just how nasty the Conservative posters, on opposition boards, were.

To me that is symbolic of how things have changed in our Politics.  Social Media is great, for discussion, debate, that is unfiltered, but why so many posters, who can’t debate the issue, but instead resort to name calling, to venom spewing rhetoric?

In all honesty, I wonder if perhaps more moderation was needed on those forums, but then too, that says something about the Liberals. They didn’t can them, didn’t ban them, or even delete them.

Can the same be said on the Harper social media outlets?

Which is what concerns me, about why I opposed him so strongly, still do. It is the phoniness of his whole attitude. He is a control freak, he uses fear, like someone ladling tomatoe sauce on a plate of spaghetti. It isn’t real, it is snippets used to create an impression, that simply isn’t accurate, nor close to being true.

Yet about 40% of the Voters fell prey to that fear.

Will the NDP be up to the task of providing an alternative voice to a Harper Majority?  I don’t know, but I was more impressed with Jack Layton this time around, than any of the other times.

I hope he is, because he is facing a tough opponent, in Stephen Harper. The Conservative war machine is already gearing up for the next election, and I wonder, can the NDP be ready in just 4 years?

And the Liberals?

Well Ignatieff has resigned, but what next? Will it be Bob Rae or Justin Trudeau, or some unknown? Personally, I am not sure who can step up, but I hope that whoever does, does so with flair, with passion.

That has been lacking in the Liberal Party since Jean Chretien. Paul Martin had no passion, to ignite people’s imagination. Stephane Dion had the passion, but his English wasn’t on par to get that across. Who knows how it would have turned out this time around, had he remained.  Course, he never had the full support either of the Party wannabees, which includes Michael Ignatieff & Bob Rae.

Had they perhaps supported Dion more, maybe last night’s results would be very different.  But that is conjecture, and this is now, not what if.  So who will come out of the shadows to lead them? 

Guess we’ll find out.

And the Greens totally disappointed me. It was like they had one line to say, which was ‘let me into the debates’ and nothing else. YES, they elected Elizabeth May, the first Green MP, but at what cost? They didn’t do as well as 2008, and that is gonna cost them money.  Money they’ll need to run a full on election in four years, so where does Elizabeth take them now?

What I take away from last night’s election, is that we are in trouble. Not because of Harper winning a majority, but from how the Media itself, helped insure that dissent wasn’t reported. That different voices were kept silent, and no, just because of the debate bullshit.

But Politics is about perception, and the careful staging of story leads, of how they position photograpsh, even in the photograph chosen, has helped send a message, that re-inforced the Harper Attack Ads.

It was the media, who limited our choices, by not reporting all the stories, all the speeches. It was the media who helped show that the other parties, were not serious contenders. It was the media who made Harper look good, while making the other’s look like they were playing catch up.

Part of the NDP gain in Quebec, came because of the Media. Yes Jack Layton ran a good & smart campaign, but the way Harper rallied the troops to beat back separatism, played up by the media, worked, but not in the way they had hoped. Instead of going to the Conservatives, it went to the NDP.

And I am tired, time to think, to recover from the nastiness that seems to be the standard, when Stephen Harper is up for election.

Election Day

VOTE

It isn’t hard, isn’t all that inconvenient either. Besides, it is the right thing to do, and it is what keeps a country Free & Democractic.

Irrespective of party politics, this is how we keep having choices, by getting out and actually doing something, that does make a difference.

VOTE

Tomorrow Is The Big Day VOTING TIME

Well the campaigns draw to a close tomorrow, and WE ( the people ) get to put the finish to it.  Course, that means WE ( the people ) have to actually get off our fat asses, and actually MARK AN X on a BALLOT.

I don’t know what stands out more, in this latest election, other than the pure nastiness of it all.  Even the NDP took out attack ads this time around.  The Liberals ran a few too, which only goes to solidify my oppostion to the Conservatives, under Harper.

WE DIDN’T USED TO HAVE SUCH MEAN CAMPAIGNS

And yet, I guess that is the sign of the times. We are all hurting (unless you are a Harper Business Partner) so we are willing to accept the mean spirited crap, that the politicians have been dishing out.

What has struck me, is how Harper has consistently REFUSED to answer the tough questions. He sidesteps every one of them, covers them up in his clever one line lies.

Instead of honest debate on issues, we are bombarded by pundits, by speculation, by innuendo, rather than FACTS.  The Media has SERVED HERR HARPER well, this go round. From excluding alternative voices, to deliberately not showing the full responses to the innuendos & smear tactics.

NO PARTY is Innocent of that, but honestly, if someone was to add up the time spent on attack ads, by the Conservatives, I’d suspect they’d be ahead of the other parties (combined) by three or four to one.

Doesn’t sit well with me, in fact it infuriates me that our political process has been so disrepected by Mr. Harper and his minions.  From those who troll the news boards, to spew their venom, their nastiness, to those who profess to be independent journalists, but are far from being independent.

I truly LOVE my Country, and seeing the growing mean spirited attitude, is disheartening. It saddens me, to think that some might just stay home, because they tar all politicians with the same stroke.  Our system has been weakened, by the inability of the other political parties to rise above the cruel & injust campaigning of the Harper Conservative.

And be honest, those who claim to be Real Conservatives, need to take back their party, from the Usurper who stole it.  Stephen Harper will go down as a blight on our system, assuming any honest people are left, to write that history.  With his intentionally forcing us into foreign wars, for the needs of the oil industry, to his insane drive to make us all nothing but worker drones for nameless corporations, we’ll be lucky if we can survive, if he gets back in.

Still there could be hope, after all the ballots haven’t been counted yet, and despite the media hype, the people have a knack, to throw monkey wrenches into the media pundits.

It is called being A Canadian.

Let’s hope that tomorrow, the pundits will be confounded, and Canada will have Risen UP and taken back its country, from Big Business, and from the Ruffians who now claim to be our Government.

VOTE ANYONE BUT CONSERVATIVE