View Full Version : Canadian Elections

01-23-2006, 08:04 PM
Believe it or not - I am interested in outside elections. They do have an affect on America whether people realize it. Often people on;y think the US elections have an affect on other countries, and amazingly I hear people from other countries saying they should be able to vote in American elections because of how much influence the US has in the world (I just consider this sour grapes and if they want to vote in our elections - they can always move to the US - become an American citizen, and then they are free to vote - simple as that. :)) However, other countries also affect us, look at Germany under Schroeder versus Merkel.

Now it is the Canadian elections, and just like Schroeder, who was a liberal and used anti-Americanism in his ads, so is the Canadian left. However, it seems as if Canada today will be voting in a conservative, ending 13 years of liberal rule (they have a parliamentary system). This will defintely be good for America and GOOD for Canada. We our too close to have the animosity and hatred that has been going on in Canada toward the US. We our long term allies (even though even in the early 1900's there were plans of invasion and a plan to take over Canada :evil: )

I do hope the oonservatives win, however unlike many int he international community - I do feel it is up to the Canadians to choose who they think best represents their interests. This is something that many people seem to forget when it comes to the US - that we also vote and have a right to vote for our own interests.

Anyway - here is information on the Canadian election.

Vic-Tory in the Cards (http://www.torontosun.com/News/Election/2006/01/23/1407335-sun.html)
Harper Urges Canadians to Send a Message to Desperate Liberals

WINNIPEG -- Canadians must deliver a damning indictment of 13 years of Liberal rule when they head to the polls today, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said as he capped off an eight-week campaign by driving home the need for wholesale change in Ottawa.

Working to stave off potential last-minute voter jitters, Harper warned of the "consequences" of putting the Grits back in power.

The status quo isn't enough and Canadians deserve better, Harper told supporters in a final cross-country sweep with stops in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.

"A re-elected Liberal government would interpret a victory, even a tiny victory, as a reward for 13 years of scandal and inaction," he said. "We would never find out what happened to the missing money, the scandals and investigations would continue, the result would be decisive -- the image of the country tarnished, its unity threatened."

Harper also went for Paul Martin's jugular, attacking his Liberal rival for running a "disorganized, desperate and directionless" government and a campaign based on bogus claims.

"What are Mr. Martin's five priorities? Fighting a Quebec referendum nobody wants. Running ads attacking our military and talking about martial law. Picking a phony fight with the U.S. Starting an abortion debate nobody needs. Promising a handgun ban we've had for decades that he can't enforce," he said. "The only real thing about his campaign has been the new police investigations."

While polls predict a Conservative win today, it remains a toss-up between a minority and majority government. Yesterday, Harper cosied up to NDP Leader Jack Layton -- the man he will need to enlist for help passing key legislation in the House of Commons.

"I think he's run an honourable campaign -- I think he's clear where he stands. Obviously I don't agree with a lot of those things, but he's clear where he stands and you know, we'll just have to see what happens," he said.

Harper said he shares "quite a bit of common ground" with Layton on the issues of government accountability and reform.

Selling himself on the hustings as an antidote to disenchanted Quebecers who see federalism as corrupt, Harper shot back at a new Bloc Quebecois ad that shows a cowboy hat and suggests Calgary will rule Ottawa.

"The guy from Calgary offers Quebecers something the Bloc can't give them and won't give them, and that's a chance to be part of a government and part of making decisions in power," he said.

On board a flight to his final campaign rallies in battleground B.C., Harper told reporters today's results will lead pundits to conclude whether he's "a genius or a fool."

He said a strategic Liberal misstep was assuming Canadians would buy the fearmongering that cast him as someone who should be despised.

"Canadians don't hate things; it's not the nature of Canadians," he said. "Canadians can disagree but it takes a lot to get Canadians to intensely hate something or hate somebody and usually it involves hockey."

At a rally in Victoria last night, Harper took aim at the NDP, which hopes to boost its seat count on the West Coast.

In a slip of the tongue that garnered howls of laughter from the mostly grey-haired crowd, Harper said "the NDP is for higher crime." He meant to say higher taxes.


01-23-2006, 08:04 PM
Canadians set to end Liberals' reign (http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/01/23/canada.election.ap/index.html)
Polls: Scandal-tarred PM Martin trailing Conservatives' Harper
Monday, January 23, 2006; Posted: 3:50 p.m. EST (20:50 GMT)

OTTAWA, Canada (AP) -- No matter which way Canadians cast their ballots in the 39th general election for a House of Commons on Monday, the country's political landscape is in for a dramatic change.

If Conservative leader Stephen Harper wins, as all the polls and pundits are predicting, it will end nearly 13 years of Liberal Party rule and could shift the traditionally liberal country to the right on socioeconomic issues such as health care, taxation, gay marriage and abortion.

Relations with the Bush administration would likely improve under a Harper government, as his ideology runs along the same lines of many Republicans south of the border.

Even if Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, 67, does eke out a win, he'll head a weak minority government that will find it very difficult to get things done in the House of Commons.

As voters headed to 60,000 polling stations amid unseasonably mild winter weather, final opinion polls gave the Conservatives a lead between 6 and 10 percentage points, indicating that Canadians want change.

Many are utterly disgusted by the broken promises and corruption scandals of the Liberal Party and possibly willing to give Harper the benefit of doubt, despite fears the 46-year-old economist is too extreme in his views opposing abortion and gay marriage.

"Canadians can disagree, but it takes a lot to get Canadians to intensely hate something or hate somebody. And it usually involves hockey," Harper quipped Sunday, referring to the Liberal Party attempt to paint him as a scary right-winger.

Canada's 22.7 million registered voters will get their first inkling of what's in store shortly after voting ends in Newfoundland at 7 p.m. EST (0000 GMT). If it's a tight race, the winner may not be known until the ballot counting begins in western British Columbia at 10 p.m. EST (0300 GMT Tuesday).

With the mild weather, voter turnout was expected to be better than in the June 2004 election, when 60 percent of the registered voters cast ballots, the lowest turnout since 1898.

Martin's minority government was toppled in a no-confidence vote in November, unable to overcome a corruption scandal involving the misuse of funds for a national unity program in Quebec.

An investigation absolved Martin of wrongdoing but accused senior Liberals of taking kickbacks and misspending tens of millions of dollars in public funds.

Just as campaigning hit full swing during an unusual election campaign over the Christmas holidays, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced they were investigating a possible leak by Liberal government officials that appeared to have influenced the stock market.

William Azaroff, 35, voted for the left-of-center New Democratic Party on Monday, but unhappily conceded there will be a Conservative government.

"I think it's a shame," said Azaroff, a business manager in Vancouver. "I kind of want to see Paul Martin lose on a certain level, because they have a sense of entitlement.

"At the same time, I think the last government was actually quite effective for Canadians. I think a Conservative government is just a backlash against certain corruption and the sense of entitlement."

When the 38th Parliament was dissolved in November, 133 seats belonged to the Liberals, 98 were Conservative, 53 were filled by the Quebec separatist party Bloc Quebecois and the New Democrats had 18 seats. There were also four Independents and two vacancies.

If the Liberals defy the polls and eke out a win with a minority government in the 308-seat House, Martin will remain weak. And if Harper fails to get a majority -- he needs 155 seats -- he would require support from opposition parties to pass legislation.

Harper vows better U.S. relations
Harper, 46, has pledged to cut the red tape in Canada's social welfare programs, lower the national sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent, and grant more autonomy and federal funding to the country's 13 provinces and territories.

He also says he would improve relations between Canada and the United States, which comprise the world's largest trading bloc and conduct $1.5 billion (1.22 billion euros) in business daily.

The Liberals have angered the Bush administration in recent years, condemning the war in Iraq, refusing to join the continental anti-ballistic missile plan and loudly criticizing Washington for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions and enacting punitive tariffs on Canadian lumber.

Harper said he would reconsider the missile defense scheme, move beyond the Kyoto debate by establishing different environmental controls and tone down the "war of words" over lumber.

He wants to spend more on the Canadian military, expand its peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Haiti, and tighten security along the border with the United States in an effort to prevent terrorists and guns from crossing the frontier.

Martin has trumpeted eight consecutive budget surpluses and sought to paint Harper as a right-winger posing as a moderate to woo mainstream voters. The prime minister also has promised to lower income taxes, implement a national child-care program and ban handguns.

He claims Harper supports the war in Iraq, which most Canadians oppose, and would try to outlaw abortion and overturn nationwide gay marriage legislation approved in July -- all of which Harper denies.

Laureen Browne, a longtime Liberal supporter from Harper's western Canadian constituency of Calgary, worries a Harper government would kowtow to U.S. interests.

"If the Conservatives win, we may as well become another U.S. state and let George Bush make decisions for us," said Browne, who hasn't missed an election in 40 years. "If I don't vote, then I can't complain; and if the predictions are right, I will be complaining the loudest."

So here's to better relations with Canada. :)

01-23-2006, 08:10 PM
This is just something that all long standing democracies should listen to, from America to Canada to Britain and Sweden. The established democracies suffer from very low voter turn out. While 70% of Iraqis risked their lives to vote, Americans complain about having to get in their car and drive (and wouldn't you know it - it's worse if it rains :roll: I suppose some people are afraid of melting.)

The Best Thing You can do is Vote (http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/01/23/1407151.html)

The politicians have had their say. So have we.

That's why the only political message we have for you today is to urge you to get out and vote.

Given some of the rhetoric in this long federal election campaign, let's be clear. There is no "unpatriotic" vote today. There is no "incorrect" vote. There is no "wrong" vote.

The only "mistake" you can make is not to vote.

Politicians come and go. But what endures is our democracy and the hard-won right to vote, secured by the sacrifices of so many Canadians who fought and died in the great wars of the last century.

If you truly want to honour them, vote today. It is a mark of respect, every bit as significant as wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day.

More than anything, this day and the opportunity it holds is what they were fighting for -- because it is from the right to vote in free and fair elections, that all of our other rights flow.

Think of how many people living in dictatorships would give anything to be able to choose their leaders, as we will today. Even in many emerging democracies, a trip to the ballot box can mean taking one's life in one's hands.

And yet still people come to vote -- often in far greater numbers than we do here in Canada, where voting is so easy and safe, that we take it for granted.

No matter who wins today's election, we will all win if we reverse the disturbing trend that has seen the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast a ballot steadily drop in Canadian elections. In the last federal election, only 60.5% of all eligible voters participated, the lowest turnout in history.

One good sign is that this year's advance balloting was 25% higher than in 2004, suggesting the deplorable downward spiral may finally be reversing.

We understand the skepticism many have about voting, particularly given how some politicians behave. We also understand the process is confusing (be sure to know your chosen candidate's name and party -- for instance, some ridings have "PC" candidates, representing the "Progressive Canadian" party, not to be confused with the Conservatives or vice-versa).

Voting, like life, isn't about having perfect choices, but about making the best choices from the available alternatives.

And the best choice you can make today is to vote. Please do.