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mygif

Woo! I win!

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mygif

So Canada traditionally fields more than 50% of voter turnout? Even with the huge recruiting drive of voters (and before they’re summarily disenfranchised by the party in power) what’s America going to produce? 35%? 40%? I wonder what produces that disparity?

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malakim2099 said on October 15th, 2008 at 10:36 am

I say woof woof! :)

But I’m also curious as to what the typical Canadian turnout is. I think 50% would be cause for celebration here in the States. Which is pretty sad.

Though after talking to a Canadian friend last night about the elections, I think the long election season might actually hurt more than help turnout here in the States. I just feel like this presidential thing has gone on and on and on and On And ON AND ON AND ON…

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mygif

Blarg:
Voting is easier here.
You do not need to register to vote. The requirement to vote is (age>18) && (resident of polling area) && (Canadian Citizen). Voter’s lists are merely a means to facilitate the process.

The government maintains voter’s lists, which are compiled from the last election, and from a box you check off on your income tax return that says “Use my address data to maintain the voters list.”

Furthermore, if you aren’t on the list, you can still vote by showing proof of address and citizenship and swearing an oath — At the ballot box. I had to do this once when I was inexplicably removed from the list.

If you don’t have ID, then a voter at the box can swear an oath on your behalf that you are entitled to vote.

And if that’s not enough, in areas of high turnover (apartments and rental areas) the enumerators come to your door before the election and take your information.

Also, in urban ridings, the polls are rarely more than a 10 minute walk.

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mygif

Malakim, I’m in Canada (and I was in Japan), and I still feel like the American campaign is interminably long. If only the national media would stop covering the primary stage, then it wouldn’t seem so long.

As for the voting turnout, remember that the States have 10 time Canada’s population. So, yes, a smaller percentage turns up, but that percentage represents three to four times (or more) the entire Canadian population (kids and convicts included).

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Alexey Romanov said on October 15th, 2008 at 10:49 am

Do Russian readers count?

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mygif

LOSER: PVP. The very idea that ‘farting is funny’ could be extended into a whole arc is pathetic in the most extreme sense of the adjective.

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malakim2099 said on October 15th, 2008 at 11:05 am

@Jonathan: I think the telling sign that the campaign is too long is that CNN started doing “Road to 2008” specials before Dubya was officially sworn in after the 2004 election!

Geez, MGK, the more you describe Canada, the more I want to move there.

(I wish I was kidding.)

WINNER: Sinfest. At least compared to PVP. But then again, what isn’t a winner compared to that (except maybe Ctrl-Alt-Del) 😉

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mygif

Yeah, I do seem to recall talk about the Democrat’s groming Obama for a candidacy way back in 2004.

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mygif

My good friend who’s Canadian said you were “right on!”

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mygif

Wait…you have ELECTIONS?! I thought only America had democracy.

…I kid, I kid. Although honestly I couldn’t name your PM until yesterday when I felt bad and looked it up.

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mygif

I forgot to say that I appreciate you writing about Canadian politics, and I learns stuff. It was because of your blog that I felt bad and looked it up.

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mygif

@malakim: Historical voter turnout from Elections Canada is here. The 59.1% turnout we got this time is our all-time low.

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mygif

I had thought this was the Grits’ all-time low, speaking of that, in terms of vote percentages, but it turns out George Brown’s boys got 23% back in 1867.

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mygif

Largely unimpressed is an understatement. I know quite a few people who just didn’t even bother to vote (who would normally do so) because they felt like they had no choices. To be honest, I barely made it out of my house, to a polling station that was barely a ten minute walk away, to vote because I almost seemed pointless. Strategic prevention was the only reason I left my house.

I feel bad for the Greens. They didn’t have a shot in hell of winning anything because people on the left didn’t have the luxury to vote for the third tier party this time. When people have the luxury to essentially “throw away” their vote, they will – this time around it wasn’t really an option.

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mygif

I agreed with all your points except the last. I understand you really wanted Harper to lose, and that you like Dion. So I have to put your comments in that context; if the Green Party were to disappear, who benefits? Don’t get me wrong, I also think Dion has been unfairly judged by a largely ignorant electorate (who were kept that way by a lazy and prejudging media). I also put aside my own sympathies and voted Liberal this election. But at the same time I don’t think Dion campaigned well enough to win, and blaming the Greens is just a coping mechanism.

Some actual facts:
1) The Green Party was the only party to get more votes in 2008 than 2006 (because turnout was down); about 300,000 more votes, which will result in a half-million more in funds each year.
2) The Green Party grew in support from 4.5% to 6.8%; a 50% increase.
3) The Green Party beat the NDP in the Yukon (admittedly this was probably 5 votes to 4, but still it’s true).
4) They polled at 8% or higher in four provinces; Ontario, B.C., Alberta, and Nova Scotia (that last one thanks to you-know-who).

Doesn’t sound like a party that is going nowhere.

That said, I think many Green votes are parked Liberal votes, and they will come home once the Liberals have a leader that can bring them home. That’s the Liberals’ responsibility, not the Greens’.

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mygif

It’s been so long since I’ve won anything.
dreams do come true.

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Eric TF Bat said on October 15th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I’m sure I read once that Reagan’s 1980 “landslide” was a significant majority of the votes of the 10% of eligible Americans who actually bothered to vote. Having polling day on a Tuesday and not making it a holiday is only one of the (many, many) deeply retarded things about the US system that makes the civilised world snigger into their Guinness whenever Americans claim to be the greatest democracy on Earth.

So, without forcing me to actually look it up anywhere (There Is No God But Google, And Wikipedia Is Her Prophet), why have you just had three elections in four years? I presume you have a similar system to the Australian one, where within limits the incumbent government has the power to set the date of the next election? What went wrong?

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mygif

Back when the campaign was about two weeks in and the TV was full of Conservative attach ads on Dion, with not a Liberal ad to be seen, I had to ask a friend, “do the Liberals even care about winning?”
She claimed that the Grits were just saving their heavy campaigning for later on when it would be closer to voting day and more effective.
The expected flood of old-time Liberal party professional campaigning turned out to be a trickle of ineffectual “no – you are!” reactions to the Tory ads, like they’d tried to dunk the same teabag the Tories used a second time, with the kind of results you’d expect. The only good idea anyone seemed to have was that “The Liberals – always there for you” slogan, which was under- and mis- used, coming too late in the campaign, and in ads that never really got into talking about how the slogan reflected the party’s legacy and policies.
I was impressed with how well the NDP got right in there with the kind of aggressive ad campaign that made previous NDP campaigns (and the latest Liberal one) look like someone running for student council.
I know there are probably plenty of people inside the campaign who busted their asses working for the Liberal cause, especially ground level volunteers, who would find this kind of insulting, but I still have to say that the Liberals barely seemed to try, like rather than trying to get back into government from opposition they were an incumbent, old-style “natural government” Grit regime expecting to coast back into their natural home on the right side of the speaker.

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mygif

Ummm, no. The government in Canada dissolves parliament when they feel like it (not exactly, but close enough).

Technically, the Conservative government did pass a law last year to have set election dates, but they broke that law (legally, somehow) to hold this election because the government “wasn’t working.”

Which is true, but still.

The new government will probably not work as well as the last government, so I foresee another election in 2010.

Anyone else remember the old days, when our majority governments would only call elections every 5-ish years? Man, that sucked too.

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mygif

Remember, while the government could call an election when it chose, there was a maximum time limit of five years since the last one, which the government could not stay in office past. I believe this is what Harper’s “attempt to emulate the U.S.’s set election dates” law replaces, but, like the previous limit it still doesn’t rule out having elections before that time, especially in the case of a minority government.
Also, I think the new set dates law is just a regular law, and isn’t on the same level of authority as the laws regarding the old time limit, the procedures for asking the GG to dissolve Parliament and call an election etc. which exist on a more authoritative, constitutional level. I think it’s because of that that they override the set dates law and it could be “broken legally.”
(I think. This is all High School Social Studies and magazine article knowledge for me; it’s our host here who’s the law student and I hope will say if I’ve got this all wrong.)

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mygif

@ Eric:

As far as I understand the Australian system, you guys rank your candidates in order of preference and these votes are tallied until you get a majority government. Canada’s system allows for minority government – that is, whoever gets the most seats (note I did NOT say votes) becomes the head of government regardless of whether they actually have a majority of seats. This lends itself to unstable governments because no one party has the power to pass any laws without the support of at least some of the opposition parties. Minority governments have the possibility to be very productive when parties cooperate, but when the minority is led by a power-hungry bully (*cough* Stephen Harper *cough*) who refuses to even admit that there are other viewpoints, let alone try to accommodate them, you get a seriously dysfunctional parliament, which leads to frequent elections in an effort to get a majority.

@ Jack Norris:

The new election law is a law like any other, but it contains loopholes, also like any other law. In this case the loophole was that an election can be called if Parliament is declared dysfunctional. What Harper failed to mention was that it’s all his fault the dysfunction existed. Well, him and his party’s 200-page book on how to make Parliament dysfunctional that was handed out to all Conservative MPs last year.

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mygif

It’s all very well to beat up on Elizabeth May and the Greens (well, actually, no it isn’t, but I can hardly stop you), but consider the NDP — how many times have they held power, federally? None. According to you, then, shouldn’t they have given up by now and stopped ruining Canada with their stupid existence?

The Liberal campaign was pathetic. Rather than rewriting, I’ll just dredge this out of my Sent folder from October 2:

Their campaign has been terrible. Obviously, they’ve been unable to counter the long-running pre-election anti-Dion ads run by the Conservatives, because the Liberals are broke. But once their Green Shift plan came out, the Conservative ads began going on about “Dion’s Tax On Everything” and “the Carbon Tax”. Based on that, once the election campaign began, you’d think that the top Liberal priority would be to portray the Green Shift as a restructuring of the tax system, not just a singular new tax. But they have largely failed to do so, even when interviewed, until very recently. What have their radio ads been?

Wave 1: “‘ere is Stephane. He like to ski. Don’ be mean to Stephane!”
Wave 2: “Stephen Harper is ruining the economy!”

Meanwhile, on the Conservative side, it’s “DION LIKES TAXES (TID/TIND)” scratched into all of the picnic tables. I guess that once the Conservatives move on to something new, the Liberals, committed to being one step behind, will finally get around to defending their own platform. In the meantime, they must be thinking, “People will find and read our multi-page documents and realize that they full of good ideas.”

Poor Stephane actually brought up the gun registry in the French debate. It’s like he’s inverted the Rove Doctrine — instead of attacking his opponent’s strengths, he’s emphasizing his own weaknesses. I could almost buy the theory that Rae and Ignatieff are feeding him this terrible strategy as sabotage, but I heard Rae on a phone-in recently and he didn’t sound like a man whose cunning scheme was unfolding according to plan.

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mygif

Dear Sir,

Sorry your elections sucked. I hope ours go better. At least you get do-overs.

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mygif

chris- “If you don’t have ID, then a voter at the box can swear an oath on your behalf that you are entitled to vote.” This isn’t actually true anymore… Starting last year, you need ID to vote, either one item with name address and signature, or two items one with name and signature and one with name and address. It’s still fucking easy as hell though, and I think that was mostly to make double sure that people were voting at the right poll.

Doxyk- While we could, theoretically, have another election in like a month (or immediately after the Liberals replace Dion and feel ready for another go)… Canada is suffering serious Voter Fatigue already… We’re averaging like an election every two years for the last decade… and that’s just at the Federal level.

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mygif

No, you can still swear (or solemnly affirm) an oath that someone else can vote as long as you have ID proving your name and address _and_ are already on the electoral role. You can only do this once.
Also, you technically don’t need to prove you’re a Canadian citizen to vote, you need a government issued ID card with your photo and address on it, so most people use their driver’s licenses. But to get one of those you don’t actually need to be a citizen.
If you don’t have one of those you need a government ID with your name and photo (like a citizenship card or a passport [Canadian passports don’t have addresses printed in them]) and something proving your address (like an electric bill or a bank statement in your name).
The point of this is to make it easy to vote, if someone shows up at a polling station the people working at it have to do their damnedest to figure out a way to let them vote.

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lawnmower boy said on October 16th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Here’s the thing about the Greens. Conservatives are not two-headed child-eating monsters. They are part of the political spectrum in Canada, and always will be. You want action on climate change? It has to be the priority right across the political spectrum, which can then sort out climate action plans.
So the Greens can’t be a “left wing” party. They have to be …bipartisan or something.
But in a perfect world, they would be irrelevant, because conservative and left-leaning voters would be agreed on climate change.
And Elizabeth May is a stupidhead.

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