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DC83
Sep 9, 2008, 5:52 PM
So the Federal Election is around the corner (Oct 14th), and we still don't have a local thread.

Here are the ridings and their Candidates:

Ancaster - Dundas - Flamborough - Westdale

David Sweet[i] CON
Arlene MacFarlane-VanderBeek LIB
Gordon Guyatt NDP
Peter Ormond GRN

Hamilton Centre

Leon O'Connor CON
Helen Wilson LIB
David Christopherson [i] NDP
John Livingstone GRN


Hamilton East - Stoney Creek

Frank Rukavina CON
Larry Di Ianni LIB
Wayne Marston [i] NDP
*no Green candidate listed

Hamilton Mountain

Terry Anderson CON
Tyler Banham LIB
Chris Charlton [i] NDP
Stephen Brotherston GRN

Niagara West - Glanbrook

Dean Allison [i] CON
Heather Carter LIB
David Heatley NDP
Sid Frere GRN


How do YOU plan on voting?

DC83
Sep 9, 2008, 6:00 PM
I have nothing to hide.
I'm a Liberal by nature, but can't be bothered with Dion and his lack of anything. So luckily for me I have a proven politician in David Christopherson representing my riding and I'm more than happy to give him my vote in order keep him there!

I will do (almost) ANYTHING to ensure DiIanni doesn't win Hamilton East-SC.

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 6:06 PM
Victoria Young dropped out so currently there's no Liberal for Hamilton Centre.

I think Larry Di Ianni will win. The Liberal machine will work overdrive to get a Liberal victory in Hamilton and Larry is the best chance.

fastcarsfreedom
Sep 9, 2008, 6:13 PM
I don't/won't hide my politics either. I've been a politically active Conservative since I was 15 years old--elections are incredibly energetic and exciting times for me--if nothing else it should serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to chose the direction our country will take going forward.

Since I am ex-patriate to the area, I will be using this Forum as well as other sources to follow the local races...I look forward to everyone's input.

Here are some initial thoughts...

Dion is--and this is me being as unbiased as possible--in a precarious position. This election call was more than likely the result of very positive internal polling by the Conservatives--and the initial polling seems to be bearing that out. Dion has been framed in a certain light by the Conservatives over the past several months and seems to have done precious little to counter it. I expect the Liberals to try to do something/anything in the next week or so, or they are going to spend the entire campaign on the defenisve--not a good place to be when you're in Opposition.

Locally for you folks, I wouldn't expect significant (if any changes). DiIanni has potential in HE-SC, but without a bounce from a strong federal campaign, he's going to be in tough against the incumbent. HM is also very changable in it's voting patterns and is one to watch. Nonetheless, I would be surprised to see the NDP lose significant support over '06 unless the Greens come on particularly strongly--something that seems unlikely in Ontario.

The Greens are an interesting phenomenon (I use that word lightly). I think their leader has come off horribly in this flap over the debates. They (the Greens) have alone decided they are important enough to be included--apparently on the basis that they have a patch-over candidate and ignoring the fact that they have a backroom deal with the Liberals not to oppose each other in certain ridings. I'd be interested to know what others are thinking on the Green issue...3 of the parties opposed her being present but so far only Harper has actually come out and said he was one of them.

DC83
Sep 9, 2008, 6:36 PM
I also fear DiIanni will win Ham E-SC :(
He has a huge name there (even though it's tainted with corruption) as he was/is a big part of the Stoney Creek community.
Plus Marston only won by like 800 votes last time.

Young dropped out of Ham Ctr? When did that happen? So it's NDP vs Green? Seems like no one wants to battle David!

My Predictions:
ADFW: Sweet CON
Ham CTR: Christopherson LIB (by thousands of votes)
HamE-SC: DiIanni LIB, close race
Ham Mount: Charlton NDP (by a lot)
NW-Glan: Who cares. Ugh... redistribute our ridings, please!!! But probably Conservative again as there is a HUGE Christian base in the Lincoln Township area.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 6:58 PM
There is no clear opportunity for a conservative majority. Polls done within days of a call are rarely indicitaive of the eventual outcome. In fact they have been completely contrary to the final outcome.

Harper has called the election because the clock was running out on him. Too many scandals were surfacing, the Canadaian economy is in decline, and an imminent 2008/09 budget deficit forced him to jump into this election now.

And the first few days have been rocky for the Conservative campaign, what with early morning 'war room' press conferences being unattended by major media, and ill-thought-out online 'bird poo' ads making the first week look like amateur hour. And, as far as the Green debate fiasco goes, the Harper optics are very poor - in a democratic election, would a real leader boycott a debate? I think you'll find most Canadians have no objection to her participation in the debate, and I predict the decision to exclude her will be revesed in the days to come.

The real test will be if the attack ads the Consevatives have been airing against Dion the past year stick in the voters' minds through the entire campaign. The Liberals are countering these ads heavily this week, and Dion is coming out stronger than expected thus far.

In addition, Layton is focusing his attacks solely on Harper and is ignoring the Liberals. This will ultimately work in favour of the Liberals, much as Layton's focussed attack on Martin benefitted the Conservatives last time round. And the Conservatives don't have Zacchareli to lob a grenade into the middle of this year's campaign either.

My local predictions for the election:

Ancaster - Dundas - Flamborough - Westdale
Gordon Guyatt NDP

Hamilton Centre
David Christopherson NDP

Hamilton East - Stoney Creek
Larry Di Ianni Liberal

Hamilton Mountain
Tyler Banham Liberal

Niagara West - Glanbrook
Dean Allison Conservative

And, in the end of it, we will have yet another minority government. What a waste of $400 million!

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 7:06 PM
Di Ianni lost by 400 votes from Fred and Marston won by 400 against Valeri. So it should be interesting. Though a big part of the Hamilton East-Stoney Creek riding is the Stoney Creek side so Larry should do well. It’ll be a classic Hamilton East traditional union steel worker Marston verus Stoney Creek’s favourite son.

I wouldn't bet on Charlton. Tyler Banham was the former president of the youth wing of the Liberal Party so he has a lot of Liberal party backers. So I'm betting it'll be much closer.

The Liberals are searching for a replacement for Hamilton Centre. So they'll be a replacement.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 9, 2008, 7:09 PM
Full disclosure: I'm not affiliated with any party, but my politics tend to be centre-left: economically progressive and socially libertarian. I generally vote NDP since I live in Hamilton Centre and Christopherson is a strong candidate.

Also, my experience is that a Liberal minority with an NDP opposition to keep them honest is the best kind of federal government.

Dion is--and this is me being as unbiased as possible--in a precarious position. This election call was more than likely the result of very positive internal polling by the Conservatives

That's possible, but I think it's more likely that they're actually seeking a renewed mandate while the stars are still aligned in their favour:

* The economy is holding but widely expected to slide into recession (watch rising unemployment and falling house prices, while our biggest trading partner continues to tank).

* So far they've managed to stonewall the ethics committee's investigation of their alleged fundraising violations, but they can't hold off forever.

* The three by-elections scheduled for later this month seemed likely to unseat the incumbent party.

Also, while Harper's personal approval is the highest of the major parties (around 50%), his party's approval is statistically the same as it was in January 2006. That is, after two and a half years, he hasn't managed to convince Canadians to give him a majority.

He might be able to pull it off via the vagaries of the first-past-the-post system, but it's a long shot. It seems more likely that he's hoping to produce at least a new minority before the s**t hits the fan.

Here's why: as you say, Dion is very precarious. If he fails to improve his party's fortunes in this election, there's a very good chance the party will turf him and start looking for another leader. That essentially buys Harper another couple of years at the helm even if he only wins another minority, since the Liberals will once again be in no position to challenge him.

This situation only takes place if Dion loses an election. If Harper did nothing and let the opposition vote non-confidence some time next year or let his Parliament make it to his fixed election date, that election would likely be Dion's to lose.

It's a bold gamble, and though I don't like Harper's leadership style, I do admire how deftly he has managed parliament while he's been in power. It remains to be seen whether the other parties can hammer him enough in the next month to ratchet down his approval.

Stranger things have happened - don't forget David Peterson's disastrous snap election in 1990, which incredibly put Bob Rae's NDP in power for the next five years.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 7:10 PM
I am also in David Christopherson's riding, and I must say I am not at all impressed by his representation thus far.

BrianE
Sep 9, 2008, 7:10 PM
I think Larry will win Hamilton East. I base this prediction partly on the fact that at 11am the past Sunday, a little over an hour after the election announcement I saw his crews putting up election signs. He wants this riding and he wants it bad!

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 7:15 PM
I'm in Hamilton Centre riding as well. David will obviously win this riding until he quits.

I kinda miss the old Hamilton West riding. They should have Hamilton Centre as seperate perhaps merge it with Westdale. This might happen as Ontario is suppose to get an additional 17 ridings in the next election.

One of the reason why Harper likely called an early election is extactly that, 17 additional ridings in Ontario isn't good news for Harper.

MsMe
Sep 9, 2008, 7:17 PM
And personally I have no use for Hollywood Larry.

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 7:18 PM
Opps 10 additional ridings in Ontario, 7 additional ridings in BC and 4 additional ridings in Alberta I believe. Or something like that.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 7:22 PM
The ridings have not yet changed. We are still working with 308 electoral districts.

DC83
Sep 9, 2008, 7:40 PM
Also, my experience is that a Liberal minority with an NDP opposition to keep them honest is the best kind of federal government.

Amen, brother! Even a Liberal minority Gov't with a small Conservative opposition and NDP balance of power would be good!

Either way, Minority Gov'ts are the closing thing we have to Proportional Representation, so here's hoping for another one with a FOR REAL 4 year set term!

fastcarsfreedom
Sep 9, 2008, 7:40 PM
Interesting prediction for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. Having spent my formitve years (politics included) in that riding, it would seem a prediction of an NDP victory there is downright delusional.

Again, my comments regarding the timing of the election were in regard to internal pre-campaign polling, not the polls which have been publically released since.

raisethehammer
Sep 9, 2008, 8:02 PM
I'll be skipping the vote this time.
I almost skipped last time, but this one takes the cake. Having an election just so one big money party machine can try to waste some of the other big money party machine's money is disgusting.

They all suck.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 9, 2008, 8:15 PM
One of the reason why Harper likely called an early election is extactly that, [10] additional ridings in Ontario isn't good news for Harper.

Great point! I had forgotten that. Does this election push that increase out to 2012?

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 8:22 PM
^ Yes

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 8:23 PM
Interesting prediction for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. Having spent my formitve years (politics included) in that riding, it would seem a prediction of an NDP victory there is downright delusional.

The riding has changed a lot since you were a kid. Most notably, in the part that makes up the last part of its very long name. And Ancaster is not what it used to be. The Opus-Dei 'outing' today will also have a chilling effect on ex-Promise Keeper Sweet's campaign.

With the local Liberal association in relative disarray, look for Guyatt to make significant gains in this riding. I am going out on a limb and saying it'll be enough to pu thim over the heap. Canada is, after all, the home of the first-past-the-post system.

The wild card is the Greens and how much tread they can get during the campaign. Although support for the Greens does bleed from both sides of the spectrum, thus the real reason why both Harper and Layton balked at May's inclusion in the debate.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 9, 2008, 8:25 PM
I think you'll find most Canadians have no objection to her participation in the debate

In the poll I saw, 77% of Canadians supporter her inclusion.

The Liberals are countering these ads heavily this week, and Dion is coming out stronger than expected thus far.

His liar, liar statement yesterday was a surprising - and welcome - sign of a newfound scrappiness.

My hunch is that the Conservatives' over-the-top attacks on Dion's Green Shift will backfire. Harper simply has no credibility whatsoever on climate change and energy issues after two and a half years of inaction, and people are really conscious of these issues after the run-up in gas prices.


Ancaster - Dundas - Flamborough - Westdale
Gordon Guyatt NDP


Extraordinarily unlikely. Ancaster and Flamborough tend Conservative while Dundas tends Liberal and Westdale tends NDP. I think Sweet will hold his seat.

And, in the end of it, we will have yet another minority government. What a waste of $400 million!

Voters generally don't like snap elections. This in itself could fuel a backlash.

Jon Dalton
Sep 9, 2008, 8:35 PM
I'll be skipping the vote this time.


Thus increasing the chances for the 4 candidates you like the least.

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 8:38 PM
Dr. Guyatt used to be my family doctor on King St. Dr. Guyatt is the father of the Guyatt running for NDP.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 8:38 PM
On the subject of polls, while they really generally must be taken with a grain of salt, those conducted by Nanos (formerly SES) have been been a disturbingly accurate reflection of the actual outcome of the elections.

Their final poll prior to the last Federal election had the Conservatives at 36.4%, the Liberals at 30.1%, the NDP at 17.4%, the Bloc at 10.6%, and the Greens at 5.6%. Election day results were Conservatives at 36.3%, the Liberals at 30.2%, the NDP at 17.5%, the Bloc at 10.5%, and the Greens at 5.5%.

Nanos' most recent poll was conducted August 20-27, and showed the Liberals at 35%, Conservatives at 33%, NDP at 17%, the Bloc at 8%, and Greens at 7%.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 8:43 PM
I'll be skipping the vote this time.
I almost skipped last time, but this one takes the cake. Having an election just so one big money party machine can try to waste some of the other big money party machine's money is disgusting.

They all suck.

Really? IMO that certainly discounts your credibility in future political discussions.None of the above is not a credible position in a democracy.

FairHamilton
Sep 9, 2008, 8:53 PM
I'll be skipping the vote this time.
I almost skipped last time, but this one takes the cake. Having an election just so one big money party machine can try to waste some of the other big money party machine's money is disgusting.

They all suck.

You not voting, that'll show them!!!

If you don't like it then might I suggest you vote Green, I'm sure they'll appreciate the vote and they are a little more grass roots than the other parties. Heck, we live in Hamilton and there have been how many 'emissions' from the steel plants this summer. That alone should make a vote for the Green's worthwhile.

Me personally, I was right of centre for much of my life. As I've aged, I've moved centre and then left of centre in my views, even if my voting patterns didn't reflect that change from right of centre. This year is going to be different.

I heard Elizabeth May on CBC's The House on the Labour Day weekend. I have to say I was impressed with her, her policies and her opinions. She made a big enough impression and enough sense to me that she won my vote.

In the last elections I was totally against another party (Green) in the debates, this year I'm 180 from that position.

For the record the reason 3 parties were against the Green's being in the debate was because the Conservatives were going to take their ball and go home (that's exactly what they were going to do). And those parties wanted a shot at the Conservatives more than they wanted the Greens in the debate.

highwater
Sep 9, 2008, 9:14 PM
I sure hope you're right, Mark. I agree that Sweet is vulnerable. He got in largely on the anti-Liberal backlash last time so his support is shallow, and his performance has been decidedly underwhelming. This is my riding so I'll be voting strategically this time out. I'll be supporting whoever I think has the best chance against Sweet. I bet on Guyatt last time out, but the Liberal (Russ Powers?) actually got more votes, so now I'm not sure which way to go.

raisethehammer
Sep 9, 2008, 9:24 PM
Really? IMO that certainly discounts your credibility in future political discussions.None of the above is not a credible position in a democracy.

yea, you're right. Because I choose to not participate in a huge waste of taxpayers dollars by some of the most greedy, corrupt corporations on the planet eliminates my opinion on political issues?? Wow....they really got you to suck back the koolaid.

MsMe
Sep 9, 2008, 9:29 PM
This called election sure opened a can of worms eh.

SteelTown
Sep 9, 2008, 9:37 PM
Today Harper made an election promise to cut the gas tax. C'MON! Cities all over Canada are begging for more infrastructure funding and you'd think he could have instead promising to transfer the gas tax to cities instead of cutting it.

This is exactly why I don't vote for the Conservatives.

go_leafs_go02
Sep 9, 2008, 10:29 PM
I'll be voting Conservative. I techincally live in Hamilton Mountain, but I'll be casting my vote in my hometown riding, as that riding should shape up to be more of a battle. (London - West)

raisethehammer
Sep 9, 2008, 10:48 PM
CUT the gas tax??? Wow. shows how out of touch with reality these clowns really are.
I can't believe that. There must be more to the story. He NEEDS urban votes desperately.

markbarbera
Sep 9, 2008, 11:15 PM
It's a cut to the excise tax on diesel. Designed to woo transport truck drivers and farmers. Set up to counter Dion's promise of a carbon tax rebate to the same group of voters.

Other significant items from today's campaign: Dion pledges to restore the court challenges program axed by the Tories in 2006, and pledges to ban semi-automatic weapons. Layton pledges to, er, not debate Elizabeth May. On her part, May launches legal action against the network consortium's decision to bar her from leaders debates (you go girl!). Duceppe exposes a Quebec Tory candidate as a member of the ultra-right wing religious sect of Opus Dei.

Oh yeah, and Harper has to apologize for his campaign's childish antic of having the website adorned with an animated puffin pooping on Dion.

highwater
Sep 10, 2008, 12:09 AM
CUT the gas tax??? Wow. shows how out of touch with reality these clowns really are.
I can't believe that. There must be more to the story. He NEEDS urban votes desperately.

Sounds like you care. Maybe you should vote.

SteelTown
Sep 10, 2008, 12:11 AM
It's a cut to the excise tax on diesel. Designed to woo transport truck drivers and farmers. Set up to counter Dion's promise of a carbon tax rebate to the same group of voters.

Gas price could jump 5% in a week and no one will have noticed the 2% cut on gas tax. It's a stupid plan.

DC83
Sep 10, 2008, 12:46 AM
^^ some said that about the GST reduction, and it still won people over.

Generally, there are voters who are stupid and will vote with whoever is going to save THEM the most money. If it's $0.02 on a bag of chips, sure! If it's $0.53 on a tank of gas the "HELL YA I'm votin for the guy that's going to save me $50 over the matter of 12 months!"

Our job, as educated individuals, is to bring light to these useless promises and expose them for what they are:
-decrease in GST saves you almost no money, and lowers the GST rebate cheque amount for those who need it most
-decrease in a fuel tax that goes (almost) directly back to the Cities that run Canada!
-Harper, an american-styled social conservative who only smiles b/c his team of publicists tell him to.

I don't see how Westerners can see right thru this guy? His eyes scream 'Hidden Agenda'... or maybe it's the hand-wringing & lip-licking? I dunno he's just creepy.

markbarbera
Sep 10, 2008, 1:08 AM
Again, I clarify: It is a reduction in the excise tax on diesel fuel only. Not gas. It will effect precious few people. But it sure sounds good.

fastcarsfreedom
Sep 10, 2008, 1:16 AM
Yes--the mania/hysteria here about this gas tax cut (which is only on diesel) shows exactly how willing everyone is to be right. Perhaps it's Dion that's the one that's out-of-touch with the destruction his ill-timed Green Shift will bring to the economy and to middle-class Canadians.

As for A-D-F-W, it actually hasn't changed all that much. It has been a traditional Conservative stronghold for decades that went Liberal only in the "red wave" elections of the 1990s. The additional of Westdale has changed the dynamic somewhat--but no more so than past inclusions of parts of Aldershot and Hamilton Mountain did.

What does it say about our country when it is noteworthy that a candidate has been "exposed" as a Christian...

markbarbera
Sep 10, 2008, 1:39 AM
You should read the actual Liberal Green Shift plan (http://www.thegreenshift.ca/default_e.aspx). Contrary to Jason Kenny's mantra, this is not a new tax in the sense that it is an additional tax. It is a complete redesign of the tax system so it is no longer based on income but on consumption. IMO a consumption tax is a fairer system of taxation.

Fastcarsfreedom, you and I both know that membership to Opus Dei is not significant simply because it is a Christian religion.

As far as ADFW goes, we'll have to watch this riding on October 14. I'll be prepared to eat crow if Sweet returns, but I think I'll be having a steak dinner that night...

DC83
Sep 10, 2008, 1:52 AM
Wow. To be honest I was completely ignorant on the whole Green Shift plan, but just finished reading up about it and am pretty impressed.

What has Harper and his conservatives done for the Environment over the last 2.5 years?

Dion is right, this [Green Shift policy] is not an easy choice -- it's the right choice!

adam
Sep 10, 2008, 2:04 AM
Anyone check out Bills C-51 and C-52? Here's an interesting fact, for the past 10 years there have been at least 8 cases each year of listeria in Alberta alone, and yet little to no media coverage... something doesn't add up for me. I guess a majority gov't would allow Harper to make more drastic changes. He's all for the gradual merging of Canada and the US as well. I suppose some people want that?

raisethehammer
Sep 10, 2008, 2:19 AM
Sounds like you care. Maybe you should vote.

well, of course I care. Why would you think I don't??
I care enough to not vote for any of these lying losers.

drpgq
Sep 10, 2008, 3:34 AM
So you're saying that it is better for the GST money to be doled out as Mandarins (no doubt educated individuals) in Ottawa see fit, rather than allowing taxpayers to make market decisions with it. Considering the governments we've had over the past decades and the value for the money we've gotten, I'd rather keep the money in the hands of the taxpayers than the social engineers.

^^ some said that about the GST reduction, and it still won people over.

Generally, there are voters who are stupid and will vote with whoever is going to save THEM the most money. If it's $0.02 on a bag of chips, sure! If it's $0.53 on a tank of gas the "HELL YA I'm votin for the guy that's going to save me $50 over the matter of 12 months!"

Our job, as educated individuals, is to bring light to these useless promises and expose them for what they are:
-decrease in GST saves you almost no money, and lowers the GST rebate cheque amount for those who need it most
-decrease in a fuel tax that goes (almost) directly back to the Cities that run Canada!
-Harper, an american-styled social conservative who only smiles b/c his team of publicists tell him to.

I don't see how Westerners can see right thru this guy? His eyes scream 'Hidden Agenda'... or maybe it's the hand-wringing & lip-licking? I dunno he's just creepy.

Jon Dalton
Sep 10, 2008, 4:47 AM
yea, you're right. Because I choose to not participate in a huge waste of taxpayers dollars by some of the most greedy, corrupt corporations on the planet eliminates my opinion on political issues?? Wow....they really got you to suck back the koolaid.

So your issue is money being wasted because of a preemtive election call, right? It's one guy that did that, not the whole system as you insinuate.

If you think this is a waste of money, consider the whole US system. They only do it every 4 years but the whole thing drags out so god damn long, it's hardly over before it starts again. Hell, they've been at this thing for like a year, and here we just made the call and will be through with it next month while they keep dragging it out.

Not voting is not an effective means of protest in this system. You can't 'choose not to participate'. By being born here and automatically being a citizen, you participate. The only choices are participating badly or participating well.

raisethehammer
Sep 10, 2008, 11:07 AM
at this stage in the game, I don't see any other choice other than participating badly.
And no, my only issue isn't the nonsensical reason for the election call. I can't stand political parties. Politics used to be about ideas, people, citizens and the nation.
Now it's all about these private parties and their millions of dollars and corruption and greed etc.....
The US system is a joke. I would never want that here.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 10, 2008, 11:42 AM
CUT the gas tax??? Wow. shows how out of touch with reality these clowns really are.

All the more reason to vote for a party that's not out of touch.

If you're sick of the Conservatives, hate the Liberals and don't trust the NDP, then vote Green. If nothing else, your vote guarantees the Green party $1.75 a year in party funding so they can continue to develop their platform and mount a challenge to the status quo.

What has Harper and his conservatives done for the Environment over the last 2.5 years?

They couldn't get anything done because they were too busy blaming the Liberals for not getting anything done when they were in power.

In fairness, they did pass a climate change plan ... that actually allows the energy industry to increase its greenhouse gas emissions.

No wonder they're attacking the Green Shift so hard - their own environmental track record is one of their biggest weaknesses and they know it.

Fastcarsfreedom, you and I both know that membership to Opus Dei is not significant simply because it is a Christian religion.

I'm not sure why it's that significant. Opus Dei is a conservative Catholic ministry that encourages its lay members to do "the work of God" (Opus Dei in English) in their communities - to "find God in daily life" - as opposed to inside a monastery or the Church bureaucracy.

It's decidedly not the nefarious, shadowy cabal depicted in Dan Brown's lumpen "Da Vinci Code".

The organization emphasizes daily service and "mortification", which can range from steadfast dedication to important but unpleasant tasks to small sacrifices of pleasure, abstaining from luxuries, fasting, celibacy, and for some, suffering physical discomfort or even pain.

That may sound bizarre to some, but it's straightforward Catholic doctrine, as reflected in Lenten fasting, abstaining from meat on Fridays, and so on. Christianity in general emphasizes sacrifice and suffering (e.g. the Beatitudes).

Since we already knew Sweet is a conservative Christian, it's hardly a revelation to discover that he's a member of a conservative Christian organization.

Jon Dalton
Sep 10, 2008, 4:35 PM
at this stage in the game, I don't see any other choice other than participating badly.
And no, my only issue isn't the nonsensical reason for the election call. I can't stand political parties. Politics used to be about ideas, people, citizens and the nation.
Now it's all about these private parties and their millions of dollars and corruption and greed etc.....
The US system is a joke. I would never want that here.

I'm sure the green party isn't rolling in dough, so vote for them. Like I said, your non vote equals some fraction of a vote for every candidate except the one that you would have voted for.

raisethehammer
Sep 10, 2008, 5:03 PM
something will have to become a BIG issue to get me to vote....there's a first time for everything and this will be my first time not voting.
I'm certain it won't be the last.

adam
Sep 10, 2008, 8:40 PM
if you don't vote, then you have no business giving your say on issues at the municipal or federal level.

FairHamilton
Sep 10, 2008, 8:49 PM
if you don't vote, then you have no business giving your say on issues at the municipal or federal level.

lol, that will never happen.

I agree, I've always been of the opinion if you don't vote you can't complain. I missed a provincial election when I was out of the country on a last minute business trip after the advance polls had finished.

My wife reminded me for 4 years every time I started to complain, that I didn't have the right........ and yes, we are still together.

markbarbera
Sep 10, 2008, 9:55 PM
I'm not sure why it's that significant. Opus Dei is a conservative Catholic ministry that encourages its lay members to do "the work of God" (Opus Dei in English) in their communities - to "find God in daily life" - as opposed to inside a monastery or the Church bureaucracy.

It's decidedly not the nefarious, shadowy cabal depicted in Dan Brown's lumpen "Da Vinci Code".


Its significance lies within the questionable, cult-like practices of the Opus Dei sect. And no, I am not passing judgement based on Dan Brown's works of fiction. Neither am I basing it simply on the practice of corporal mortification. I am basing it on the testimony of its former members and their families. I provide the following link for your perusal:

http://www.odan.org/index.htm

SteelTown
Sep 10, 2008, 9:59 PM
Elizabeth May, Green Party, will be on the leaders debate.

markbarbera
Sep 10, 2008, 10:06 PM
It appears that Harper, Layton and the media consortium have caved to the strong backlash from the public about their exclusion of Elizabeth May from the leader debates. She is now in.

I am pleased at the reversal. The poorly-thought out position held by Harper and Layton damaged their credibility during the opening days of the campaign and managed to keep both off message. Overnight polls must have clearly indicated a serious voter backlash. The blogs certainly show evidence of this. It will be interesting to see how deeply the damage was done to both their campaigns.

raisethehammer
Sep 10, 2008, 10:19 PM
if you don't vote, then you have no business giving your say on issues at the municipal or federal level.

I don't buy that.
The parties always try to spout nonsense like that to 'guilt' us into feeling we have to vote.
My grandfather and great grandfather fought in both world wars and Korean War. I appreciate our freedom and all they provided for us.
THIS is not what they fought for. I won't let some disgusting, greedy political party shame me into joining their perversion of democracy. It's not a democracy and I think we all know that.
As a taxpayer, my opinion is just as valid as anyone's. I never thought I'd miss a vote, but I also never thought that politics would get so bad.

FairHamilton
Sep 11, 2008, 12:26 AM
I don't buy that.
The parties always try to spout nonsense like that to 'guilt' us into feeling we have to vote.
My grandfather and great grandfather fought in both world wars and Korean War. I appreciate our freedom and all they provided for us.
THIS is not what they fought for. I won't let some disgusting, greedy political party shame me into joining their perversion of democracy. It's not a democracy and I think we all know that.
As a taxpayer, my opinion is just as valid as anyone's. I never thought I'd miss a vote, but I also never thought that politics would get so bad.

I agree with Adam, and I'm not a member of any party. There you have it the people (not parties) have spoken.

Sorry about your decision. It will certainly be quiet without your witty reparte.

raisethehammer
Sep 11, 2008, 2:20 AM
that's an interesting way to try to censor someone.
If I didn't know any better I'd say you work for FOX "news".
Lol.
Don't worry....I'm not going anywhere....much like Canada.

drpgq
Sep 11, 2008, 2:56 AM
Elizabeth May, Green Party, will be on the leaders debate.

What I wonder is if the Greens don't win a seat in this election, does that mean they
get excluded from the leaders debate in the next election? Are the Greens even favoured to get an elected seat this time round?

fastcarsfreedom
Sep 11, 2008, 3:14 PM
Attacking the US electoral system as a "joke" shows nothing more than a typically inflated attitude of superiority, and perhaps more damningly, a glaring lack of knowledge of their electoral system--which results in Congressional renewal on a rolling 2 year interval. While you may dislike the practices invovled in their campaign process (I suspect) you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater and haven't bothered to pick up a textbook.

Now, getting back on point...the Green/Elizabeth May thing is incredibly frustrating for a number of reasons. Her inclusion doesn't bring clarity, but muddies the water further (I can barely tolerate the inclusion of the BQ which has a significant caucus) and she is, by nature of her backroom deal with Dion, a second Liberal candidate. In the absence of that deal I would still oppose her inclusion on the basis of relevance (lack of), but it would less nauseating (marginally). She and her scattering of supporters have decided she's important enough to be present--a classic case of the squeakly wheel getting oiled--how democratic.

On the Green Shift, I am delighted/amused at the left now advocating taxation based on something other than income. It's blind adherence to a utopian vision of the future by an elite academic who could not be further from the lives of ordinary Canadians--despite well placed video of him in the snow somewhere wearing a North Face jacket. Green Shift will make life a struggle for a vast part of the Canadian population, will drive businesses to close or relocate elsewhere and result in a massive transfer of wealth from Canadian wallets to the treasury.

For those who choose to rattle sabres over the government "letting" C02 emissions increase--perhaps have a look at the track record of the Liberal governments of 1993-2006.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 11, 2008, 3:36 PM
the Green/Elizabeth May thing is incredibly frustrating for a number of reasons. Her inclusion doesn't bring clarity


The purpose of her inclusion isn't to "bring clarity" but to give voters a chance to see how the leader of the Green Party, which has up to 10 percent support, debates with the leaders of the other parties. Canadians deserve to hear what the Greens have to say about policy.


she is, by nature of her backroom deal with Dion, a second Liberal candidate.


Nonsense. The "backroom deal" is simply an agreement not to run against each other in their respective leaders' ridings. There's nothing sinister about two parties cooperating where their interests coincide - indeed, in a minority situation that is the very definition of a "functional" parliament. I can certainly see why the NDP doesn't like it - it effectively does an end-run around their bid to be the kingmaker in a minority.


In the absence of that deal I would still oppose her inclusion on the basis of relevance


They received nearly 5 percent of the popular vote in 2006 and are polling near 10 percent now, with a sitting member of parliament. They're hardly irrelevant, and they might become even more relevant if Canadians actually get to see their leader debate the other party leaders.

If you really believed the Green Party was marginal and irrelevant, you would welcome their inclusion so they can be revealed as such.


a classic case of the squeaky wheel getting oiled--how democratic.


Yes, it is democratic: over 70% of Canadians believe that May should be included in the debate.


On the Green Shift, I am delighted/amused at the left now advocating taxation based on something other than income.


Like those crazy utopian Europeans who decided after the 1973 oil crisis to slap big taxes on gasoline consumption? Far from being a disaster, it drove dramatic increases in fuel economy, improvements in automotive technology, improved transit, urban revitalization, and strong economic growth.


For those who choose to rattle sabres over the government "letting" C02 emissions increase--perhaps have a look at the track record of the Liberal governments of 1993-2006.


Sorry, but the statute of limitations has expired on that Conservative talking point. Harper promised to be different from the Liberals - he promised that unlike the Liberals, who talked a good game but didn't deliver the goods, he would deliver for Canadians.

That turns out to have been a lot of hot air. Harper had two and a half years to shame the Liberals by delivering a real climate change plan, and instead he delivered an oilsands-friendly policy that actually allows the oil industry to increase their GHG emissions.

When your campaign is based on a promise of ethics and accountability, you're not allowed to justify your lapses by saying the guys you replaced were also bad.

DC83
Sep 11, 2008, 4:36 PM
^^ Thanks for clarifying Fastcars' post, Ryan!

The problem is Reformers, err, I mean Conservatives are going around the whole country spreading this same BS and people are actually believing them b/c unfortunately there can't be Ryan Mcgreal's everywhere.

If Reformers (ugh, sorry, Conservatives... I don't know why I keep getting them mixed up!?) were actually able to open their eyes and see past their own self-worth, they'd understand that Democracy means 'power of the people' and not 'power of the indiviual'.

Stephen Harper and his 'Conservatives' don't care about the country, they care about their Party. Their Party's interests do not reflect the vast majority of Canadians'... so why would you vote for them?

DC83
Sep 11, 2008, 5:05 PM
Dion's Green Shift threatens national unity: Harper
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2008/09/11/leaders-breakfast.html

The carbon tax will do more than undermine the economy," Harper said to a crowd of business leaders. "By undermining the economy and by re-centralizing money and power in Ottawa, it can only undermine the progress we have been making on national unity."

Ummm, last I checked his centralizing the economy in Alberta has been threatening Unity.

Infact, I think it was his Conservative MP that refers to Ontario as a "have-not" Province.

More neo-con lies and deceit. It's the only way they can win seats and they know it.

Jon Dalton
Sep 11, 2008, 6:39 PM
Hey, did anyone notice there doesn't seem to be a hot button religious issue to hijack the debate this time around? It seems to be all about the environment and the economy - issues that are actually relevant.

DC83
Sep 11, 2008, 6:48 PM
^^ hence why Harper didn't want May in the debate. Because he KNOWS she'll hammer him down on the the #1 issue on Canadians' minds, the Environment, and how little he did in his 2.5 years to protect it.

FairHamilton
Sep 11, 2008, 6:54 PM
What I wonder is if the Greens don't win a seat in this election, does that mean they
get excluded from the leaders debate in the next election? Are the Greens even favoured to get an elected seat this time round?

I believe their best chance is in Guelph. They aren't favoured in this area, and since they've only garned 2 votes on this thread I guess that backs it up.

I believe this time they should be included only because they had an independant join them at the 11th hour. Hey their 'Hail Mary' play worked, good for them that's all part of playing politics.

But, If they don't have a seat at the time of the next election, I say they shouldn't be included in the debate. Dem da rules.

markbarbera
Sep 11, 2008, 7:01 PM
[Elizabeth May] is, by nature of her backroom deal with Dion, a second Liberal candidate.

What nonsence! Uncontesting a party leader's riding is not new or unusual practice. In fact, the Liberals did not run a candidate against Steven Harper in the byelection following his selection as leader of the Alliance Party. Does that make Harper a Liberal too?

On the Green Shift, I am delighted/amused at the left now advocating taxation based on something other than income. It's blind adherence to a utopian vision of the future by an elite academic who could not be further from the lives of ordinary Canadians--despite well placed video of him in the snow somewhere wearing a North Face jacket. Green Shift will make life a struggle for a vast part of the Canadian population, will drive businesses to close or relocate elsewhere and result in a massive transfer of wealth from Canadian wallets to the treasury.

These comments are indicative of someone who has not even bothered to read the Green Shift plan, but rather is passing judgement based on Conservative Party talking points.

markbarbera
Sep 11, 2008, 7:10 PM
Wow. The Conservative Keystone Kops Campaign dips to a new low today:


Tory communications boss suspended for attack on slain soldier's dad

September 11, 2008
Bruce Campion-Smith
Torstar News Service

OTTAWA— The Conservatives have suspended their director of communications for suggesting that a father of a slain soldier spoke out on Canada's Afghan mission because he is a Liberal supporter.

Party spokesperson Ryan Sparrow has been sidelined for the duration of the campaign, grim-faced Conservatives announced this morning.

Jim Davis, whose son Cpl. Paul Davis was killed in 2006, appeared on CTV News this morning to raise concerns about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's newly announced commitment to withdraw troops by 2011.

"I would never want to see another soldier go in harm's way so I can justify my son's death," Davis said during the interview. "But at the same time if we pull up stakes and come home when we're not ready to – when the mission is not complete – if we did that then my son died in vain."

CTV reporter Tom Clark asked the prime minister about the comments at a morning scrum in Montreal.

Within 15 minutes, he received an e-mail from Sparrow saying that the father was a supporter of Michael Ignatieff, an incumbent Liberal candidate in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore and former leadership contender.

By noon, Sparrow was off the campaign as the Conservatives moved quickly to dampen any controversy caused by the e-mail.

In a Montreal-area speech this afternoon, Harper called the e-mail "inappropriate" and said that Sparrow had already called the father to apologize.

Harper said he has set a "tone and expectation" for the Conservative that he expects will be followed "all the way to victory."

Sharon Davis, 56, said from her home in Bridgewater, N.S., the suggestion that her husband's criticism of Harper's announcement was politically motivated is "despicable."

She said the couple have been long-time volunteers for the Nova Scotia wing of the federal Liberal party and supported Ignatieff during his leadership campaign.

She said Jim Davis also served as vice-president of the provincial wing for six years in the late 1990s, but he has always kept his views about the war in Afghanistan separate from his support for the party.

"It's despicable, really. That had nothing to do with why Jim agreed to the interviews – absolutely nothing to do with it," she said. "This is a very personal thing and it's something that Jim has been fighting all along. He's always believed in this mission. Paul believed in the mission and so this isn't new and this had nothing to do with politics or Michael Ignatieff or the election."

Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton earlier sought to distance Harper and the party from the public relations disaster unfolding on Day 5 of the campaign.

"When a family suffers a terrible loss like a member of their family, it's an unspeakable human tragedy and one is scarred for life and you should never let politics enter into it," said LeBreton, who suffered when her own tragedy when her daughter and grandson were killed by a drunk driver 13 years ago.

"My advice to all people in all political parties is that before you open your mouth and say something, let it process through your brain," she said.

It's the second serious misstep for the Conservatives in the campaign's first week. Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was forced to apologize after a Conservative website showed the image of a puffin defecating on a picture of Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.

raisethehammer
Sep 11, 2008, 7:45 PM
haha....great 'communications boss'. Lol.

Fastcars, you're something else. Good spin-doctoring trying to get yourself to believe that the Greens being allowed into the debate is undemocratic.

If you really believe that, then please start campaigning to have the Bloc removed and share with all us how disgusted you were when the Alliance was allowed in the debates with no members east of Manitoba.
The Bloc still has no national presence. the Greens deserve to be there. end of story.

realcity
Sep 12, 2008, 12:51 AM
I hate a parlimentary democracy system. I much prefer the US style.

Congress: comprising of House of Representatives and Senators (all elected)
Executive: AKA THe White House. These two, actually three make a stable check and balance. Considering Executive has no power without spending money, since Congress holds the bag.

the party system is overrated. George Washington never wanted 'parties' but wanted Congress to vote as they pleased regardless of towing the party line.

In Canada. i would vote for Conservatives for Ottawa (Executive Power) and my local house of representative would be a Liberal or NDP..

raisethehammer
Sep 12, 2008, 1:35 AM
yea, political parties are the real problem in both systems. The parties are some of the worst things to ever happen in 'free society'.
I'm no fan of the US VP appointments either. They don't pick someone who could qualify to run the country in case of assassination or sickness/death etc.... they choose someone to try to gain some extra votes (ie - Palin - if McCain wins, his first order of business will be to send her back to hicktown Alaska and stay out of his hair).
The US used to have a system where the 2nd place finisher became the VP. I think that's a great idea as it would force both parties to work together and still has a top notch VP who can run the country if need be (of course, that might only increase assassination attempts, but I digress).

Political parties have ruined the entire system. I agree with you Realcity, about not voting for a federal party at the local level, but other than that I don't want to have anything to do with the billion dollar US system that is all about corruption/money, not policy and the public (insert scolding here from fastcars about my "hate on" for the US).

flar
Sep 12, 2008, 2:08 AM
The US system is beautifully designed, but seems to have a tendency to having just two parties. There is something to be said for the parliamentary system and its multiple parties, though it would be a lot better if there were some sort of proportional representation.

FairHamilton
Sep 12, 2008, 2:16 AM
Yeah, I know what you mean. The political system in the best country in the world leaves much to be desired.

Think about that for a second, while looking at this picture: http://www.wehaitians.com/a_master_pho_1.jpg

No smart-aleck comments, just think of how lucky we all are as we debate how our 'system' could be better.

adam
Sep 12, 2008, 2:23 AM
We are so lucky to have different political parties that actually represent different factions in Canada.

realcity
Sep 12, 2008, 8:52 PM
The US system is beautifully designed, but seems to have a tendency to having just two parties. There is something to be said for the parliamentary system and its multiple parties, though it would be a lot better if there were some sort of proportional representation.

If you think about it, there really are 4 or 5 political parties in the US.

starting from the right

Libertarian Republicans
Conservative Republicans (Rush Limbaugh)
Moderate Republicans (John McCain)
"Reagan" Democrats (Clinton)
Liberal Democrats (Obama)

They can all vote in Congress however they please, this if the value of the House and Senate (Congress) regardless of their party because the GOP and DEMS know different political stripes make up their parties. Congress can also decide to agree with the Executive (White House) or not on bills.

You notice that there is no official opposition, which in Canada is the party that comes in second. The opposition or adversarial divide is between Congress and the White House.

Parliament sessions turn into bickering battles and posturing. Not much real governing goes on in the lower house. A parliament sort of bounces its way through policy. Having said that, parliaments are more efficient at getting things done when compared to then the US/Roman, Senate/Emperor styles of democracy. But then again nothing is more efficient then a dictatorship.

raisethehammer
Sep 12, 2008, 9:30 PM
no way is Obama a Liberal Democrat.
And no way is Rush Limbaugh anything other than a big dumb *bleep*.

MsMe
Sep 12, 2008, 11:08 PM
I just got this in my email. So I had to post it.

I'm not political- I'm another frustrated senior !


The following is from some very frustrated Senior Canadians

Take what you will from their colourful words, maybe this will do some good, worth a try.



Keep this going. The bxxxxx's in Ottawa get a 30% raise and we get 2% The word seniors in Canada is a forbidden word plus forgotten by the greedy.

Subject: The Carbon Tax

This rumble is now moving across the country and will gain force.

Please don't let this happen any further in Canada. Canada emits only 2% of the world's supply of Greenhouse Gases and 52% of that comes from the Oil Sands Plants. Automotive emissions are less than 20% of the 48% balance of Canada's 2% of the World Outcome. Do the math, it's such an insignificant amount, it's a joke.

Our fuel prices are now $6.75 per Gallon, equivalent to $6.00 per gallon U.S. When Canadians realize what a jackpot the politicians can get us into by supporting a Carbon Tax, they will be out to get any politician that supports this cause. Dionne, Campbell etc. will regret the day they devised this scheme. Americans are screaming at $4.00 a gallon. Our provincial and federal governments are ripping us off with high taxes on fuel now. This is such a cash cow they don't want to stop. Stop excessive taxation and giving our money away abroad. We need more support and tax relief for our senior's and baby boomers now retiring and trying to find a fixed income level they can exist upon after working all their lives and paying heavily into the system.

And I am not a Liberal or NDP supporter. I am a Senior and a middle of the road conservative and we will be a majority in Canada for the next 20 years, so politicians, get smart and support us.

Do some hard thinking about the future and protect our seniors and all the population from the excessive costs we are facing now and in the future with more taxes. Technology will fix the Oil Sands problem as they are working on a fix now to reduce that source in the future. Why us with these programs at this time????

Brian Morris, A concerned Sr. and loyal Canadian, Kelowna BC..


Now, a carbon Tax.

Politicians have, in the past, used that old bullshit phrase of 'cutting taxes' to get you to vote for them. Now, Stephan Dionne, has come up with a new wrinkle on that old lie : Tax your heating oil and anything else you burn to move your food and everything else that you have always had in your life... but, he'll lower your income taxes.


CONSIDER THIS from one person who has bothered to do the homework:

When a politician's lips move, I know he's probably lying. Mr. Dion says his carbon tax will be revenue neutral. So, I went online and found a carbon calculator and keyed in the annual energy consumption for our household and learned we produce 17 tons of greenhouse gas. Fully 60% of this usage is for electricity which we use to heat our home.

I have already improved insulation in my walls and replaced my windows and doors; use the new 'twirley' lights and ensured that my appliances are all Energy Star products. In the past 20 years, these measures reduced my electricity usage from 24,000 Kw Hrs per year to 16,000 Kw Hrs per year last year. What is my reward for this improved efficiency? My power bill is unchanged from what it was 20 years ago. But, my power bill would attract a carbon tax of $104 in year one of Mr. Dion's plan and $ 416 in year four. My power bill would rise from $166 per month to $210 per month in year four.

Since I live on a fixed income consisting of CPP and Old Age Security, my income tax bill runs at less than $200 per year. So, for my household, Mr. Dion's 'revenue neutral' carbon tax will cost me $416 per year less income tax reductions of about $10 per year.

Revenue neutral? In a pig's eye! This is a tax on seniors living on fixed incomes. Well, Mr. Dion, you haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting my vote. I hope everyone else takes five minutes to run the same calculations I did and vote to send this joker to the political boneyard.

Jon C. Coates - 70 Ridgevalley Rd. - Halifax, N.S. - B3P 2J9



DON'T BUY INTO THE CARBON TAX !

DON'T BELIEVE ANY POLITICIAN FROM ANY PARTY!

Remember when they brought in the National Income Tax. They promised that it would remain in effect only until all of Canada's World War One Debt was repaid. Fooled us good. Debt was repaid, but the tax never came off and will be with us for all eternity.

How about this Lie, Trudeau imposed a 5% tax on every litre of Gas in order to establish a National Oil Company called Petro Canada. He swore that this tax would come off as soon as Petro Canada was up and running. And so it came to pass, Petro Canada was established, It was sold to private hands, the enormous cash windfall was frittered away AND HIS 5% (plus, plus) still adorns our pumps to this very day.

Now how is this for a con job? Take our BC Premier Campbell, PULEEZE. He truly believes that most British Columbians are brain dead. You will keep paying a yearly escalating carbon tax at the pump and you receive a reduction in your provincial Income Tax. The new Political Buzz Word is 'Revenue Neutral' Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Should this not be called what it truly is. 'RECYCLING YOUR MONEY' Just Think Folks, Another Bureaucracy eating up our hard earned cash to administer a losers dream.

And Remember, once a government gets addicted to a Tax Grab, and you let them get away with it, You have handed them a Carte Blanche ticket to impose new taxes, to keep raising existing ones and use it to buy your votes to boot. If we condone all this, then Premier Campbell is right in assuming that we are all BRAIN DEAD in BC.

Walt Grochmal

DC83
Sep 12, 2008, 11:22 PM
^^ no offense to Seniors, but they seem to have a lot of free time to do a lot of bitching.

What bugs me is their general sense that everything is fine the way it is (since it's the way they lives the last 40-or-so years), and nothing needs to change. (note: he keeps referring to Gallons: 'That's what I called it in the good ol' days so I'm gonna keep callin it that').

And the 1st guy is lucky enough to live in Kelowna where they have never even seen a smog day in their lives. So how can one appreciate the Carbon Tax if it doesn't affect them.

The fact is YES Seniors may be neglected, so are a lot of women thanks to Harper eliminating funding for Women's support groups. He's neglected children by scrapping the National Daycare Plan (and thinks $1200/year for CERTAIN families is a better alternative). The list goes on re: who Harper's Reform Party has neglected.
The only people he hasn't neglected are the oil execs in Alberta. The $0.02/litre DIESEL price cut will benefit no one besides the oil sands who DESPERATELY need relief at the pump. <--- sarcasm.

The price of EVERYTHING is going to rise. It has risen worldwide yet Canada has been sheltered. Don't listen to Harper's lies that the Carbon Tax will increase prices b/c that's going to happen regardless of WHO is in power.

So in the end, would you rather a Party who we KNOW has kept us Economically sound from the mid-90's to 2006, or are we going to trust a Party run by Stephen Harper who has done NOTHING over the last 2.5 years besides make fun of Dion's speach!?

MsMe
Sep 13, 2008, 1:33 AM
Bottom line pretty looking sad looking picture. And as many have pointed out it's WHOLE picture here.

adam
Sep 13, 2008, 5:09 AM
1 km of ice just broke off from an arctic ice shelf. This isn't opinion, its fact. Its not coming back any time soon. We are in deep shit here if we don't lower our carbon emissions. All the ice and snow at the poles reflects back 80% of the sun's heat, but once it melts, the water that is left will ABSORB 100% of the sun's heat and WE WILL ALL BECOME EXTINCT. This sounds crazy but it has been verified by many scientists. Of course the gas companies hire scientists to say the exact opposite (I wonder why?)

So I say stop being selfish and do what's best for your great grandchildren.

MsMe
Sep 13, 2008, 5:53 AM
1 km of ice just broke off from an arctic ice shelf. This isn't opinion, its fact. Its not coming back any time soon. We are in deep shit here if we don't lower our carbon emissions. All the ice and snow at the poles reflects back 80% of the sun's heat, but once it melts, the water that is left will ABSORB 100% of the sun's heat and WE WILL ALL BECOME EXTINCT. This sounds crazy but it has been verified by many scientists. Of course the gas companies hire scientists to say the exact opposite (I wonder why?)

So I say stop being selfish and do what's best for your great grandchildren.

I'm going to start a new thread on global warming under general.

MsMe
Sep 13, 2008, 9:00 PM
Liberals lose ground during first week of campaign: Poll

September 13, 2008
The Canadian Press, 2008
OTTAWA – The latest polling results suggest Stephane Dion's Liberals continued to lose ground during the opening week of the federal election campaign.

According to The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey, Liberal support slipped to 24 per cent, a full 17-points behind Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 41 per cent.

The NDP and Green party made modest gains at the Liberals' expense, ending the week at 16 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The Liberals were ahead of the pack only in Atlantic Canada, with an eight-point lead over the Conservatives.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois led with 36 per cent, followed closely by the Conservatives at 30 per cent, the Liberals at 16 per cent and the NDP at 10 per cent.

The telephone poll of 1,200 Canadians was conducted Sept. 9 through Sept. 12 and is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

More information on the poll is available from www.harrisdecima.ca.

Respondents to the poll were asked: "If a federal election were held tomorrow, who do you think you would be voting for in your area?"

Today in Fredericton, Harper says Canadians have shifted to the right and made the country more conservative since he’s been in politics.

But Conservatives must govern in the interests of the broad majority of the population if they want to stay in power, he added.

”I don’t want to say the Canadian public is overwhelmingly conservative or that it is necessarily as conservative as everybody in our party,” he said in Fredericton at the start of a weekend swing through Atlantic Canada.

“And that means that our party has to make sure that it continues to govern in the interests of the broad majority of the population. That means not only that we want to pull Canadians towards conservatism, but Conservatives also have to move towards Canadians.”

Harper said when he entered politics, Canada was debating whether balanced budgets and trade were a good thing.

Since then, he says there’s been a ”tremendous” change among Canadians who have embraced many small-c conservative values.

The military has joined the CBC and medicare as a source of national pride, he said.

In terms of the economy, the Liberals and New Democrats are out of step with Canadians, Harper said.

Their policies take a ”pre-free trade, Cold War” approach to the economy that will hurt the country, he said.


http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/434847

SteelTown
Sep 13, 2008, 10:39 PM
Dion needs to campaign long and hard in Ontario. If he can keep the Maritimes and keep or make gains in Ontario he'll either keep Harper minority or he'll be on the minority government side. Paul Martin won by winning Ontario and the Maritimes.

adam
Sep 14, 2008, 2:34 PM
Whenever Dion appears on English speaking news it looks like he wants to say something important, but it gets lost somewhere in the translation. Chretien may have had an accent, but people understood what he was saying. Good luck to Dion in trying to win over Ontario.

the dude
Sep 14, 2008, 2:43 PM
'a proof is a proof. what kind of proof? it's a proof. a proof is a proof. and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.'

one of chretien's more eloquent moments on parliament hill.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 15, 2008, 2:21 AM
I care enough to not vote for any of these lying losers.

I think the words of David Foster Wallace RIP, while intended for the US, are just as appropriate here:


If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the ... major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.

raisethehammer
Sep 15, 2008, 2:32 AM
so, what...I just walk in, close my eyes and ask the lady at the booth to make sure that I make a mark beside a name??

adam
Sep 15, 2008, 2:34 AM
I'm curious... what is everyone's top 5 issues for this election? For me they are (in no particular order)

- Health Care and privatization
- Employment
- Environment and Carbon Tax
- Participating in Overseas Wars and North American Union (I think a party would either support both or neither)
- Public Transportation Plan

I've realized mainstream media (news on TV, newspapers) doesn't really tell how each party stands on these issues in a clear, concise way. Its like they don't really want the public to be informed.. so I can understand why some people just want to "give up" and deny themselves the right to vote. Just imagine what it would be like if everyone felt that way..

highwater
Sep 15, 2008, 3:33 AM
I think the words of David Foster Wallace RIP, while intended for the US, are just as appropriate here:

Or, if you like, the words of Rick Mercer:

“I hear a lot of people saying that they don’t want to choose between the lesser of three evils. Let me make this very clear: in a choice between three evils, it’s very important to ensure that the least evil person wins. Otherwise, you’re pro evil .”

highwater
Sep 15, 2008, 3:39 AM
My top 5:

climate change
climate change
climate change
the economy
climate change

DC83
Sep 15, 2008, 3:44 AM
^^ no parties are focusing on the issues either, it's all bash bash bash.

I was watching 3 'strategists' (one for each if the top 3 Parties) on CBC being interviewed by Suhana Marchand, and all they did was bash.
So Ms Marchand got so fed up (as she had asked them to stick to the questions) she pretty much gave them shit sayin, "If all you guys wanna do is bash eachother, I can't learn anything. We're supposed to be here to learn!"
Then the Liberal strategist says, "Ya but it's so fun!"

Top 5 priorities (in order):
-Environment (a Green Shift, not a green fad, MUST happen) -- we need a gov't serious aboout focusing on Green energy (windmills windmills windmills)
-Post Secondary Ed -- I liked Martin's 50% Gov't Paid idea from back in 06
-Economy
-Afghanistan: pull troops asap and replace as peace keeping/rebuilding roll -- rebuild our worldwide Peacekeeping-nation image
-Health Care: Same as above, just keep it Public!

adam
Sep 15, 2008, 4:18 AM
Net Neutrality is another issue I'd like to research with respect to the candidate parties..

astroblaster
Sep 15, 2008, 12:45 PM
in addition to health care, environment & economy, im also very concerned with copyright laws.

the harper government tried to push through new, american DMCA style copyright law.

here's some information:

http://www.faircopyrightforcanada.ca/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_C-61_(39th_Canadian_Parliament,_2nd_Session)

something to consider if you are looking at voting conservative this year

Millstone
Sep 15, 2008, 12:46 PM
so, what...I just walk in, close my eyes and ask the lady at the booth to make sure that I make a mark beside a name??

You walk in and go over to the booth and don't write anything. Then put it in the box.

highwater
Sep 15, 2008, 1:00 PM
I think you can also officially 'decline' a ballot. At least then your protest will be on record instead of just being part of the apathetic masses.

ryan_mcgreal
Sep 15, 2008, 1:08 PM
so, what...I just walk in, close my eyes and ask the lady at the booth to make sure that I make a mark beside a name??

Same as always: Read the party platforms and vote for the party whose platform makes the most sense to you. Then, if they get elected, hold them accountable to keep their promises.

I'm curious... what is everyone's top 5 issues for this election?

1. Peak oil - We need a plan to reduce steadily our per capita energy consumption as the rate of energy production goes into permanent decline.
2. Climate change - We need a plan to reduce steadily GHG emissions (not just increase them more slowly).
3. Land use / transportation - Cities face a demographic double-whammy as both Boomers and young graduates try to move back downtown. We need a federal strategy to fund the infrastructure that will allow this transition to happen smoothly. This will also help reduce per capity energy consumption and GHG emissions.
4. Foreign policy - With global instability and a belligerent southern neighour, Canada needs the leadership not to get dragged along in imperial adventurism.
5. Intellectual property law - To be leaders in innovation, we need an IP framework that acknowledges how new technology transforms exchange markets, encourages sharing of ideas and protects open communications networks.

SteelTown
Sep 15, 2008, 1:11 PM
For me....

Economy
Environment
Infrastructure
Research & Development

BrianE
Sep 15, 2008, 2:00 PM
The Economy, The Environment, Climate Change. These are not separate issues, each of them are based on our current method of generating Energy. Through the combustion of fossil fuels (don't forget about Natural Gas, and Coal!) our economy is powered, our environment suffers from particulate matter and smog and other toxins and in the larger picture dealing with the effects of climate change will take up huge amounts of money in the future.

So #1 Energy Policy.

If government has a solid understanding or what must be done to our energy infrastructure, the economy, environment and climate change will follow.

No. 2 Infrastructure.

I know this should be a municipal issue, but damnit... there's just not enough money through property taxes to handle this. The federal government must commit to funding Cities.

No. 3 Arctic Sovereignty

This one is not on anybody's radar, but I think it has the potential to be a huge issue as Russia starts coming out of their 15 year funk. I believe the term, "if you don't use it, you lose it" applies here. We need to settle firm boundaries with the other Arctic bordering nations and we need to set up a presence in the Arctic. The transition away from fossil fuels will take a long long time, and in the mean time we need to secure the resources within our borders.

I think Dion gets it, the Green Shift is a good start. It doesn't separate the three big issues, it realizes that they're all connected. I don't know where the Liberals stand on Infrastructure funding, but if the Ontario Libs are any indication, they would be supportive.

I don't know their possition on the Arctic, but I hope they firm up a plan to fund research teams and communities way up there. And yes, beef up the military presense as well... we have to be prepared.

adam
Sep 15, 2008, 4:03 PM
On the Conservatives website under the topic Sovreignty it only discusses the Arctic. It then goes on to condemn all other parties for not focusing solely on the Arctic. There is no mention of the Yukon border, fresh water, natural resources, economic solidarity, copyright laws... all sovreignty-based issues but not even mentioned...???

adam
Sep 15, 2008, 10:39 PM
Article on net neutrality (http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/05/28/tech-netbill.html)

The Conservatives are not acknowledging this free speech issue. The NDP have spoken out to defend net neutrality as the article discusses.

adam
Sep 15, 2008, 11:29 PM
51st State

An ironic chronicle of the fight to maintain Freedom of Expression in Canada. 51st State is a clickable comic book. It links to 193 websites, blogs, films and papers and articles. For best viewing download to your hard drive and then click links.

http://www.digital-copyright.ca/51state


... the more i read the more i realize how important this election is...

FairHamilton
Sep 16, 2008, 1:28 AM
#1 - Economy. Because everything else depends on an economy in good shape. The government set by-elections in August for September, and then called an election, eliminating the need for by-elections. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but something funny is going on in the government. Perhaps the economy is on the verge of something worse then has reported.

#2 - Environment. http://thespec.com/article/423128, this is only news because it can be seen in an urban environment. Can you imagine what goes on that can't be seen. Need anything more need to be said.

#3 - Arts & Culture. Bill C-10 is just censorship by another name. Hey Conservative, Arts & Culture benefits society as a whole!! Sadly,

#4 - Education. When I went to university (Laurier) in the late 80's a full time tuition was $621/semester. You young guys read that right $621 for a full course load for one semster. We need to keep it affordable, because it contributes to our competitive advantage. I also thinks it heavily influences the #'s 1, 2, 3 & 5.

#5 - Healthcare - I think that it's a contributing factor to this http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/01/14/death-stats.html. The alternative is http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/06/11/life.expectancy.ap/index.html, and I suspect 2 years is priceless when you are staring at the grim reaper. And I couldn't imagine Canada accepting something similar to this http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80897.php