Category Archives: proportional representation

MayDay 2011: The Last 24 Hours

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I doubt I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

There’s still so much that I would love to expose about the lies Stephen Harper has been telling over the last 6 weeks (and decade or so as well), but I won’t.  There are so many projections, ideas, concepts and so on that I’d love to explore, but I’ve run out of time … and energy.

As the last 24 hours tick down, I’d like to thank all of the readers that have put up with my rants and who have contributed to the blog over the course of the election (and prior to this as well as those who might even continue to hang on).

I also want to beg everyone that has the slightest desire to push Canada into a sustainable future to VOTE.  Progressives outweigh conservatives in this country by a margin of at least 2 to 1, and it’s critical that you vote, vote strategically and vote early on because it’s going to be crowded!

Finally, I’d like to apologize to Stephen Harper for many direct and personal attacks and for insinuations that the Conservative Party of Canada is not a viable option in this election.  But hey … as long as you remain the lying politician that you are and members of your cabinet and other MPs remain suspect in their dealings with Canadian funds and the trust of voters, I’ll keep it up and completely retract anything I’ve said if I’m proven wrong.

Until then, I’ll remind all readers why we’re having this election:  YOU CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

In time, I’ll recover from this election and return to writing fiction and discussing my preferences, which are trashing mainstream media and crapping on poor economic policies that we take.

My expectation is that after tomorrow night, the latter will take a backseat because WE WILL WIN.

We will win this election.

We will win Canada back.

We will win the democracy and leadership that we expect from our politicians.

We will win back what we as citizens, taxpayers, children, grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts and all other relations deserve to win.

We will win our future.

We will win our internationally credibility.

We will win a clean and safe environment.

WE WILL WIN.

P.S.  My prediction for the election outcome is that we will elect an NDP minority government that’s a coalition with the Liberal Party.  My guess is that we’ll have about 110 NDP seats with 40 Liberal seats.  The Conservatives will be left with about 120 seats, most of which will come from Ontario and Alberta.  30 or so seats will be up for grabs.  The Bloc will be devastated, but might squeak out 15-20 seats.

As the fallout from the election sinks in, Gilles Duceppe, Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff will announce their retirement from their parties.

Elizabeth May will retire if she doesn’t win, but I am confident that the good people in Saanich-Gulf Islands will make the right decision for all of Canada and elect someone that will push for Proportional Representation and democratic reform in Canada.

MayDay 2011: Alternatives for Conservatives (repost)

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For most of us, there should be no doubt that the Conservative Party of Canada is broken and represents everything that’s wrong in the world:

  • Poor fiscal management
  • Broken promises
  • Corruption and contempt for Parliament
  • Ignoring your beliefs and value system

Take heart if you’re a small-c conservative and you’re looking for someone that’s not a crook or someone that’s willing to spin any lie just to grab your vote!  There are many alternatives out there.

Seriously.  Here are just a few:

The Green Party (Site)

I fully admit that this (and all summaries below) is a very superficial summary, but the Green Party represents some of the following basic principles:

  • Let the market do what the market does best
  • No deficit
  • Lower taxes on personal income
  • Proportional representation
  • Taxes on waste

In essence, they feel to me like a libertarian party, but with a shade of green.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Don’t believe the mainstream media: the Green Party of Canada is not a ‘lefty’ party ‘full of hippies’.  The Canadian Greens put the market in front of most of their policies and most of their platform has a vibe of ‘white collar’ politics.  While they’re very popular with young voters, most seniors tend to vote Green because they want to stay ‘mainstream’ while also staying faithful to small-c conservative values.

Libertarian Party (Site)

The Libertarians are strong believers that the government should not be in our lives in any way, shape or form.  The less government, the better.

The resulting promise of less government is lower taxes, reduced waste and less frustration for those who simply want to get on with their lives.

If you’re not familiar with the Libertarians, a very famous one is Ron Paul in the US.  Ron Paul is a Republican from Texas, but doesn’t believe in the largesse of government that has been brought about by all parties, including those of a conservative bent.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Libertarians attract those that have had enough with promises, regardless of how much (or little) they will cost.

To see if you’re a Libertarian, try their Canadian quiz.  You may be surprised just how closely you’re aligned with their beliefs!

Canadian Action Party (Site)

One of the central planks of the Canadian Action Party is their demand that we get rid of the Bank of Canada.

While most of their other policies rank towards the left of the spectrum, this one puts them squarely in the middle of Libertarian territory, as Ron Paul has been an advocate of abolition of the Federal Reserve and deficit financing for many years.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

To be honest, I’m not so sure there’s a good answer to this question, but if there’s not a Libertarian or Green candidate in your riding, these may prove to be a good alternative.

Another reason why you would consider them: like the old Reform folks, they’re very supportive of an Elected Senate. Unlike the NDP – which would do away with the Senate altogether – the Canadian Action Party would fill the gap left when the Reform Party was vapourized in 2003.

Christian Heritage Party of Canada (Site)

I’ll go on record and remind everyone that I’m not a fan of the Christian Heritage Party (CHP), but I am a fan of democracy and it’s certainly their right to be out there soliciting votes.

The CHP is the only party to my knowledge that asserts its religious affiliation (Judeo-Christian) in the general public and is a viable option for all of those people that have been supporting the Conservative Party of Canada but who have yet to see progress made on issues like abortion, same-sex marriages and so on.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

If you used to be an Alliance member or simply want to see more overt religion in the policy-making that happens in this country, this is the party for you.

Since the ‘Unite the Right’ campaign washed all of these stronger theological discussions under the table, you’ve been struggling to find a voice with mainstream parties and you’re more than happy to support those that ACTUALLY reflect your value systems and who don’t pretend to reflect them just to grab a vote.

Pirate Party of Canada (Site)

The Pirate Party of Canada got its start when our government began to crack down on people that were using file-sharing and copyrighted materials for personal use.

They reflect the popular Pirate Party in Europe that actually won a number of seats in

There aren’t many candidates in this election, but the party is growing and we expect them to add candidates as the campaign progresses towards May 2.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

While the PPC may be seen as a single-issue party, they have a Libertarian bent that’s very refreshing, particularly if you’re young and you believe in openness, transparency and the elimination of copyright regulations that favour big companies and cost consumers billions each year.

Progressive Canadian Party (once the Progressive Conservatives) (Site)

The Progressive Canadian Party (PCP) is what remains from the aftermath of the Unite the Right campaign in 2003 that saw Stephen Harper consolidate and take control of the following parties:

  • Conservatives
  • Reform Party of Canada
  • Alliance Party

Or … CRAP as an acronym.  Sorry … my anti-Conservative bias is showing 🙂

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Any ‘Red Tory’ would be proud to vote for the Progressive Canadian Party, as they continue to reflect the softer side that the Conservatives lost when Stephen Harper took the reins of the CPC.

Most of the memes related to ‘family’ and religion are absent from the guiding principles of the party.  Instead they focus on unique concepts like sustainability, ‘100 mile diets’, education, health care with some injection of private business and so on.

United Party of Canada (Site)

The United Party of Canada (UPC) is another recent response to the last election where dark-blue Conservatives ran rough over basic principles related to balance, equity and fairness.

Most of their policies reflect this response, including the following directions:

Why would a conservative vote for them?

The party is described as being centrist and would appeal to those ‘Red Tories’ that don’t have a Progressive Canadian candidate running in their riding.

Western Block Party (Site)

The Western Block Party offers those west of Ontario to consolidate their vote and influence into something more tangible, much like the Bloc Quebecois has in the past with Quebec.

The greatest challenge with the WBP is that the founder was the lawyer that represented Ernst Zundel, famous Holocaust denier.  Unfortunately, this taints the party somewhat, but if they are able to focus on the primacy of the West, they’ll be able to attract votes from Albertans, Manitobans, BCers and those from Saskatchewan.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Despite the potential to be seen as a separatist or racist party, conservatives in the West that feel ‘left out’ by their party (including the Conservative Party of Canada) and who don’t believe that Quebec should be pulling all of the strings when it comes to politics will find a home here.

Online Party of Canada (Site)

While the Online Party of Canada is relatively new, there’s a possibility that they may gain momentum – even in this election – because of some of their unique policy platform ideas.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Even though they’re a relatively ‘fresh’ party, they have potential to attract a lot of conservatives that want Canada to advance as a republic as opposed to a commonwealth country.

CONCLUSION

If you’re a small-c conservative, don’t feel overwhelmed, ignored or lost when it comes to going to the polls on May 2.

THERE ARE OPTIONS and it’s up to you to exercise your right to vote those options.

Of course, if I’ve missed any alternatives, please post them in comments below.

MayDay 2011: Alice Klein of NOW Toronto Encourages Us to Shake Off Cliches

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Alice Klein wrote a piece in NOW Toronto this past week encouraging all of us to accept the fact that in this election, the stakes are extremely high and that the game has definitely changed.

She reminds us that it’s not about voting your passion, but voting for that party that will unseat the Conservative government and push them out of as many ridings as possible.

She’s behind Project Democracy, but there are other projects as well (copied from the Project Democracy site):

  • Avaaz The campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision-making worldwide
  • Lead Now Brings generations of Canadians together to take action for our future and hold politicians accountable.
  • Swing 33 Donate strategically in 33 ridings to defeat Harper.
  • Pair Vote – Vote Swapping Support your preferred party while also stopping Harper
  • Catch 22 Campaign A grassroots effort to help defeat the Conservative government in 22 key ridings.
  • The Environment is my Voting Issue Facebook Group An action-oriented Facebook group aimed at holding politicians accountable for their votes on environment issues.
  • Department of Culture A community of Canadian artists, arts professionals and cultural workers concerned about ensuring the social and cultural health and prosperity of our nation in the face of a Federal Government that is aggressively undermining Canadian values.
  • Fair Vote Canada – On August 1, 2000, a group of concerned citizens formed Fair Vote Canada (FVC) with the aim of building a nationwide campaign for voting system reform. We envisioned FVC as a multi-partisan, citizen-based campaign bringing together people from all parts of the country, all walks of life and all points on the political spectrum. Today FVC has members in all provinces and approximately 20 local and regional chapters.

Project Democracy is exciting because it focuses on helping voters get up to date polling data related to their riding.  In many ‘strategic voting’ ridings, the past favours the Liberals, but since the Liberals are sliding in the polls, should we really be electing someone from the past or someone from the future?  I’ve signed up for their email to get riding updates, so I’ll post more information as it comes to my in-basket.

Finally, I can’t repeat this often enough:  you can contact pretty much any riding and help them with calls, even if you’re not from that area.  Human voices are substantially more valuable to campaigners as opposed to those awful ‘robo-calls’ and they remind voters that this is an election about the future of all people in Canada.  Of course, consider your riding and the ridings that are immediately around you as opposed to those that are across the continent!

MayDay 2011: Swing33

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Last week, I posted a ‘Strategic Voting’ resource guide, but this site – Swing33 – was not live yet.

Swing33.ca is yet another effort to convince Canadians to put some thought into ‘voting for the other guy’.  For me, that’s ALL this election is about right now because it’s all that matters:  getting rid of the Conservatives.

The Conservatives understand – with great cynicism – that Canadians will follow their passion and vote for ‘their party’ in an effort to try to get specific platform ideas pushed into the public view, but they also know that this creates substantial noise while the Con raid the treasury and dismantle this country.

This and other sites are reminders that it’s vital that we as Canadians – the majority of us – understand what we need to do so that we can live in a Conservative-free Canada after May 3.

One critical change in the Liberal platform would help make this a lot easier.  In fact, it would be a game-changer for the Liberals.  The Liberals should support Proportional Representation and democratic reform in this country (like the NDP and Greens have been campaigning on) so that we can lock the Cons out for good.

Why Britain’s Bad Election Will Be Good For The Commonwealth

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The British election exemplifies that consistent thread of cynicism and contempt that Conservatives exhibit to all voters, be they in Britain, Scotland, Ireland or as far away as little Canada.

Minorities rules.  Majorities drool.

If the ‘Labour’ party (which to me is a bit of a misnomer given that there’s nothing Labour about them) are interested in retaining their position as official government, they will have to negotiate with the Liberal Democrats and form a coalition.

They actually have that right as the current ruling party.  I hope they exercise this right.

However, such a step may also motivate them to finally lead the Commonwealth by making Proportional Representation (PR) a major requirement and possibly a referendum question for the voters of the UK.

Another point of instigation in this respect is the first time ever election of a Member of Parliament representing the Green Party.  Not only is this possibly the biggest news item that the media world missed out on, but it will ultimately push PR to the top of the list of policy decisions that any government need to agree on.

Action on the part of the majority of seats will be a real and genuine win for the voting public and will likely be a watershed moment for democracy around the world.

Ultimately, this begs the question:  if the root of Parliamentary democracy (Britain) turns to PR, do Commonwealth countries even have a choice about staying stuck in the past.

My answer:  NO.  Many will, including Canada, but ultimately, we won’t have a choice.

For the record, I like the idea of coalitions.  I like the idea of negotiating for everyone that we represent and I like the idea of finding consensus.  I also like the idea of policies taking time to develop as opposed to being driven by one party that’s obsessed with their view and their view only and making things happen as quickly as possible before their tenuous hold on power slips through their fingers.

This is why I think the central platform of any progressive party in Canada should focus on democratic reform and REAL institutional change when it comes to getting Canadians engaged.

How about it folks?