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Canadian Election: Best / Worst Moments

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As the election looms, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the 2008 Canadian election and let you know what I thought were the top best/worst moments for me.  Please post yours below as well – I would appreciate your thoughts.

The best moments for me, in no particular order, were the following:

  1. This rant , which was nominated ‘best rant of the day’.  Thank you.  I think.
  2. Stephen Harper breaking his own law about election timing.  This is a ‘best’ because it shows how low he will stoop to avoid getting caught in an economic meltdown.  Ooops.
  3. The bid to have this election called illegal.  Good luck.
  4. Minority governments.  They prove that democracy does work.  Unless you want a dictatorship.
  5. Economic havoc.  Yes, in a sick sadistic kind of way, because it proved that Harper can flip and flop just like the rest of us.  Stay the course, my ass.  Also, when a recession or depression comes, he will be holding the reins of the worst economic situation in 70 years.  It ruined Bennett and it will ruin Harper.
  6. Elizabeth May being part of the debate (singular – see worst moments below).
  7. Jack Layton’s bid for PM.  I think he might actually have a chance if we wade through the fear-mongering by the Liberals.
  8. Best quote:  "Laissez-faire, I don’t care", which goes to Dion.
  9. The Internet.  However, we have to sooooo much better the next time around to ensure that the Conservatives are humiliated at every term.  I’d do it, but I’m not creative enough.  Special kudos to the Department of Culture .
  10. rabble.ca election coverage :  best on the PLANET.  Good job.  Just a small example of #9.
  11. Lack of (serious) coverage of the judgement related to the Cadman tapes.  Harper broke the law, right?  Where’s the RCMP?  Why are the other parties not jumping all over this?

The worst moments, again in no order:

  1. Defense budgets.  Stephen Harper has made a very silent pledge to spend nearly $500 billion on his cronies in the defense industry, leaving taxpayers footing the bill.  When we won’t even have a war in a little more than two years.  What the hell is all the money for, Steve?
  2. Listeriosis proves that private-sector management of food is not a good idea.  I’m sure the 20-30 families affected by this tragedy have lots to thank you for this weekend, Steve.
  3. Canadian democracy and the mockery that our leaders and media make of it.  I believe that we will have a democracy when you vote for something and not against something.  I also feel that we will not live in a democracy until the progressive parties talk coalition and we have proportional representation as the first bill in the new House of Commons.
  4. Strategic voting.  I have come to have little faith in this tactic.  However, if you really want to support Liberals (that have lied their way to office many, many times), please do so.
  5. Scare mongering.  Not once did Stephen Harper pull out actual numbers that would justify his threats against Dion, at least that I ever heard.  And not once did Dion actually take a moment to describe in layman’s terms that the Green Shift would result in a 3-4 cent increase at the gas pump.
  6. The sweater vest ads.  Truly sickening because they shows utter contempt for the intelligence of the average Canadian.
  7. The pooping puffin.  Harper’s marketing team is going to start selling us the next war (probably Iran) and this is the best stuff they can come up with.  What’s next?  Online boxing with Ahmadinejad?
  8. Last-minute shows of commitment.  Stephen Harper’s shameless bid to shore up votes in Windsor by plopping a few million into an assembly plant.  Way to prop up Ontario, Steve!
  9. Stephen Harper suggesting this is a great time to buy into the market.  With what?  Chairs that I was going to use for firewood?  Rugs that I use for blankets?
  10. Stephen Harper leaking that there would likely be a cut in interest rates.  At least twelve hours before the fact.  Shame.
  11. Election coverage.  Mainstream media sucks and we need a completely different way of doing things when the next election occurs.
  12. Stephen Harper muzzling all of his candidates .  If this is how they treat their candidates during an election, imagine how they’ll treat us with a majority.

Also, as the campaign progressed, I learned a lot about what might happen if Stephen Harper became the leader of a majority Conservative government.  Here are just a few thoughts:

  1. A Stephen Harper majority would mean more financial disaster because banks would have merged or been gobbled up by foreign companies, leaving more toxic crap behind than a bitumen plant in Northern Alberta.
  2. Other Canadian institutions (the CMHC, the CBC, the AECL etc) would all go on the chopping block in order to finance ridiculous tax cut programs for corporations.
  3. Many, many deaths from listeriosis and other food-related outbreaks as inspections are privatized.
  4. A Stephen Harper majority would have been a severe blow to human rights.  Everywhere.  No more same-sex marriages.  No more abortions (you must breed now, whether you like it or not!).  No more rights for under-age criminals with minor transgressions.  Welcome to Guantanamo, folks!
  5. More and more severe slashing of corporate taxes and massive accumulation of debt, generating inflation and an unstable financial environment.
  6. More support for carbon-based industries then ever before.
  7. The complete deletion of any programs related to the environment.
  8. Two-year mandatory work-terms in the Tar Sands!!

OK … so maybe the last one might be a little extreme, so I’ll back off, lest I give Conservatives any ideas.

And yes, several of the last set of comments justify some of the scare-mongering.  Vote with your conscience tomorrow and be proud to be a Canadian!!

Canadian Election: Dept of Culture Call to Action

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Logo for Department of Culture - Departmentofculture.ca

You’re receiving this email because our records indicate you’ve signed up for our mailing list. Please confirm that you’d still like to receive these emails.

You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Hello DoC Friends and Supporters,

Below is everything you need to know to put a dent in the massive advertising advantage the Conservatives have gained through superior fundraising. We need an impassioned grassroots movement to create a wave of counter-arguments to the Stephen Harper is a nice guy who wears sweaters and feeds kids Cheerios message being disseminated through traditional media.

If the Obama campaign has taught us anything, it is that the internet and YouTube videos can be a powerful and legitimate force in an election campaign. Use your imagination, use your intellect, and remember funny is far more likely to go viral. Just ask Tina Fey.

Michael Wheeler
Central Coordinator
Department of Culture

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Speak up. Speak out. Speak fast.

The Department Of Culture wants you to get involved! Show Canada in 30 seconds how you feel about the Conservative government’s dramatic dismantling of arts, cultural and social programs since 2006.

These submissions will be entered into a national online contest. Celebrity judges will pick the winning entries, which will be showcased at the DoC’s huge This Is Not A Conservative Party concert, Oct. 9th at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Toronto.

DEADLINE: 9 a.m. EST, Wednesday, October 1, 2008

For entry details visit departmentofculture.ca/30seconds

Do you want to make a 30 second video for the DoC but don’t have the gear? Trinity Square Video wants to help!


Drop by for 10 minutes at the TSV office (Richmond and Spadina). TSV staff will help you shoot and up-load your clip to YouTube. Leave with your Gone in 30 Seconds video complete!

Tuesday, September 22 to Friday, September 26
10am to 5pm

Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376
Toronto, ON
(416) 593-1332

It just got easier to:
Speak up. Speak out. Speak fast.

Trinity Square Video is a not-for-profit centre that provides artists, activists and community organizations with video production/post-production support and services at accessible rates. Since 1971 TSV has been committed to providing a broad spectrum of services related to video: workshops, screenings, gallery exhibitions, artist residencies, festival sponsorships and community partnerships

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Keep in touch!
You can always stay on top of what the Department of Culture is up to by visiting our website at departmentofculture.ca

Enter our video contest: details at departmentofculture.ca/30seconds

Department of Culture | 1087 Queen St. W | Toronto | Ontario | M4Y 1B5 | Canada

Naomi Klein Support Department of Culture

Naomi Klein, one of Canada’s best-selling non-fiction authors, has thrown her weight behind the Department of Culture, a group that is committed to disrupting Stephen Harper’s effort to gain a majority.

Here’s the text from her newsletter:

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Naomi Joins Campaign to Beat the Tories

The United States isn’t the only country in the grips of a heated election campaign. Last weekend Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper dissolved Parliament and called for a snap federal election to be held on October 14. Many groups in Canada are frantically organizing to prevent another victory for the Conservatives, aware that the stakes in this election are extremely high. Although the Tories will run on a moderate platform, there is every indication that, if elected, they will use the economic crisis to push through radical cuts to Canadian social and cultural programs — a classic Shock Doctrine tactic.

The process has in fact already begun, with $60 million slashed from cultural programs since 2006. Naomi is lending her support to a new initiative called the Department of Culture : a loose coalition of Canadian artists who are using their creative skills to unseat vulnerable Tories in the upcoming elections. If you are Canadian, check out Naomi’s speech at the launch event for the Department of Culture and find out how to get involved .

Get involved folks.  Let’s make sure Steve doesn’t win this.

Canadian Election: Department of Culture

A number of artists have gotten together to protest the Republicans Conservatives and you can do your bit by supporting them.

Here’s their link:

They’re seeking web experts, media wonks and, of course, creative types that can help spread their messages about the Republicans Conservatives.

Here are some statements about who they are:

We are doing this because we don’t like this government. We don’t like their priorities, we don’t like their values, we don’t like their secrecy, we don’t like the many cuts to many of our allies and we don’t like the cuts to the arts.  We are not doing this because we want more art, we’re doing this because we want to live in a better world.

A common response to cultural cuts is to either assert the economic importance of culture or to assert the moral importance: it’s good for the economy or it’s good for the soul. Both of these, while true, are not convincing to anyone opposed to arts funding.  A third common argument is that state subsidies are common in many industries: Bombardier, Alberta’s tar sands, etc. This argument, while true, is weak because it’s essentially a two-wrongs argument.

More importantly, the social necessity of airplanes and cheap oil is much more convincing to most people that the social necessity of the ballet. The Department of Culture is an attempt to PROVE art is powerful by using art and artists to intervene directly in the election and, in a very public, serious, fun and spectacular way, to target a few vulnerable Conservatives and unseat their sorry asses.

Time permitting, I will be donating some efforts to this group.