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Please vote in this election.

Last time round Baird won by a margin less than the combined Green/NDP vote.

I understand that politics is a personal matter but I urge you to vote strategically. If your values aren't espoused by the party that is forecast to have an undeniable potential to overthrow a Conservative then please subscribe to trade your vote at votepair.ca

In our system of government and commerce law, silence is akin to being implicit/in agreement with the oppressive force. Not voting is not just not voting, but it's not voting for or against, which is a vote for the status quo.

Agreed: we have it pretty darn good here - but that doesn't mean that it's all that good all around. Being in agreement with a status quo that puts a value on a corrupt government (which is what the 'i'm in agreement that it's pretty good all around' here attitude turns out to be) is never a real option.

Please vote.

If you don't care to vote for any party please make the effort to go to the polls and protest.

Spoiling a ballot is not counted seperately as a protest vote is. (someone please correct me if I'm misinformed)

Instead of 'Yes We Can', Canadian voters tend to say ''sure we probably could but why bother'

This time we can make a big difference and out a corrupt government.

If we're not having kids, our friends and family sure are, as well as our neighbours' families and if we leave a legacy of apathy for them to have to clean up then guess who gets sent to the crappy nursing homes...oh wait...they'll all be shit.

Looks like it's either take care of this before it's too late or get felt up by a pair of dry rough awkward hands in our twilight years, and I don't just mean when we want it either.

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i hope you don't mind if i piggyback on your thread, but i read this article yesterday and think it is important to read before heading to the polls on monday. there is so much at stake in this election.

http://ipolitics.ca/2011/04/27/democracy-harper-style/

an excerpt from the article:

The case for painting Harper as an anti-democrat stems from dozens of actions, catalogued below. They can be roughly divided into three categories: Treatment of the parliamentary process; degree of information control; intimidation of opponents.

TREATMENT OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS

Prorogations of Parliament:

Other governments have prorogued Parliament many times. But Harper’s prorogations were seen as more crassly motivated for political gain than others. His second prorogation, 16 months ago, brought thousands of demonstrators to the streets to decry his disregard for the democratic way.

Contempt of Parliament:

The demonstrations did not serve to elevate the prime minister’s respect for Parliament. He refused a House of Commons request to turn over documents on the Afghan detainees’ affair until forced to do so by the Speaker, who ruled he was in breach of parliamentary privilege. More recently, he refused to submit to a parliamentary request, this time on the costing of his programs. The unprecedented contempt of Parliament rulings followed.

Scorn for parliamentary committees:

Parliamentary committees play a central role in the system as a check on executive power. The Conservatives issued their committee heads a 200-page handbook on how to disrupt these committees, going so far as to say they should flee the premises if the going got tough. The prime minister also reneged on a promise to allow committees to select their own chairs. In another decision decried as anti-democratic, he issued an order dictating that staffers to cabinet ministers do not have to testify before committees.

Challenging constitutional precepts:

During the coalition crisis of 2008, Harper rejected the principle that says a government continues in office so long as it enjoys the confidence of the House of Commons. To the disbelief of those with a basic grasp of how the system works, he announced that opposition leader Stéphane Dion “does not have the right to take power without an election.â€

Lapdogs as watchdogs:

Jean Chrétien drew much criticism, but also much help for his cause, as a result of his installing a toothless ethics commissioner. The Harper Conservatives have upped the anti-democratic ante, putting in place watchdogs — an ethics commissioner, lobbying commissioner, and others — who are more like lapdogs.

The foremost example was integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet, who was pilloried in an inquiry by the auditor general. During her term of office, 227 whistleblowing allegations were brought before Ouimet. None was found to be of enough merit to require redress.

The Prime Minister’s Office saw to it that she left her post quietly last fall with a $500,000 exit payment replete with a gag order.

The Patronage Machine:

To reduce checks on power it helps to have partisans in the right places. Harper initially surprised everyone with a good proposal to reduce the age-old practice of patronage. It was the creation of an independent public appointments commission. But after his first choice of chairman for the body was turned down by opposition parties, he abandoned, in an apparent fit of pique, the whole commission idea.

Since that time he has become, like other PMs before, a patronage dispenser of no hesitation.

One of the latest examples was the appointment of Tom Pentefountas as deputy chair of the CRTC. His only apparent qualification was his friendship with the PM’s director of communications. Mr. Harper also had good intentions on Senate reform but it, too, has remained a patronage pit. One of his first moves as PM, having long lashed out at the unelected body, was to elevate a senator, Michael Fortier, to his cabinet.

Abuse of Process

Another less noticed infringement of the democratic way came with the 2010 behemoth budget bill — 894 pages and 2,208 clauses. It contained many important measures, such as major changes to environmental assessment regulations, that had no business being in a budget bill. Previous governments hadn’t gone in for this type of budget-making, which is common in the United States. The opposition had reason to allege abuse of process.

INFORMATION CONTROL

The vetting system:

In an extraordinary move, judged by critics to be more befitting a one-party state, Harper ordered all government communications to be vetted by his office or the neighbouring Privy Council Office. Even the most harmless announcements (Parks Canada’s release on the mating season of the black bear, for example) required approval from the top.

In most instances, forms known as Message Event Proposals had to make their way through a bureaucratic labyrinth of checks for approval.

Never had Ottawa seen anything approaching this degree of control. In one of many examples, a bureaucrat, Mark Tushingham from Environment Canada, was barred from giving a talk about his book on climate change — even though it was a work of fiction. The muzzling policy of the government extended to the military brass. It led to a split between the prime minister and Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier.

Public service brought to heel:

In asserting his individual will in the nation’s capital, it is of central importance for the chief executive to have a compliant bureaucracy. Under Harper, who suspected the bureaucracy had a built-in Liberal bias, the public service was stripped of much of its policy development functions and reduced to the role of implementers.

The giant bureaucracy and diplomatic corps chafed under the new system. Their expertise had been valued by previous governments. In the Harper democracy, it was shut up, don’t put up.

As for independent agencies, the level of distrust was much the same. As part of her distant past, Nuclear Safety Commission head Linda Keen was seen to have Liberal affiliations. It was among the reasons she was unceremoniously dismissed.

Access to information:

The government impeded the access to information system, one of the more important tools of democracy, to such an extent that the government’s information commissioner wondered whether the system would survive. Prohibitive measures included the elimination of giant data base called CAIRS, delaying responses to access requests, imposing prohibitive fees on requests, and putting pressure on bureaucrats to keep sensitive information hidden. In addition, the redacting or blacking out of documents that were released reached outlandish proportions. In one instance, the government blacked out portions of an already published biography of Barack Obama.

Supression of research:

Research, empirical evidence, erudition might normally be considered as central to the healthy functioning of democracies. The Conservatives challenged, sometimes openly, the notion.

At the Justice Department they freely admitted they weren’t interested in what empirical research told them about some of their anti-crime measures. At Environment Canada, public input on climate change policy was dramatically reduced.

In other instances, the government chose to camouflage evidence that ran counter to its intentions. A report of the Commissioner of Firearms saying police made good use of the gun registry was deliberately hidden beyond its statutory deadline, until after a vote on a private member’s bill on the gun registry.

The most controversial measure involving suppression of research was the Harper move against the long-form census. In his democracy, critics alleged, knowledge was being devalued. The less the people knew, the easier it was to deceive them.

Document tampering:

It was the Bev Oda controversy involving the changing of a document on the question of aid to the church group Kairos that captured attention. But in Harperland, document tampering was by no means an isolated occurrence.

During the election campaign it has been revealed that Conservative operatives twisted the words of Auditor General Sheila Fraser in order to try to deceive the public. They made it sound like she was crediting them with prudent spending when, in fact, what she actually wrote applauded the Liberals.

As part of their vetting system, the Conservatives tried to institute a policy, until Fraser rebelled, whereby even her releases would be monitored by central command. The re-ordering of documents extended to the Harper economic-recovery program. The Conservatives got caught putting their own party logos on stimulus funding cheques, which were paid out of public purse. They were forced to cease the practice.

Media curbs:

Though having stated that information is the lifeblood of democracy, the prime minister went to unusual lengths to deter media access. He never held open season press conferences, wouldn’t inform the media of the timing of cabinet meetings, as was traditionally done, limited their access to the bureaucracy, and had his war room operatives, using false names, write online posts attacking journalists. In one uncelebrated incident in Charlottetown in 2007, the Conservatives sent in the police to remove reporters from a hotel lobby where they were trying to cover a party caucus meeting.

INTIMIDATION OF OPPONENTS

Afghan detainees:

As a reflection of the governing morality, the detainees’ file is one the Conservatives would hardly wish to showcase.

They attempted to tar the reputation of diplomat Richard Colvin, who contradicted their position. On the same file, they tried to deny Parliament its historic right to documents. On the same file, Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor got caught misleading the House, had to apologize, and later resigned. On the same file, the Conservatives terminated the work of Peter Tinsley, the Military Police Complaints Commissioner, whose inquiry was getting close to the bone. Tinsley’s commission was denied documents for reasons of national security — even though all his commission members had national security clearance. Lastly, it was this same file which played a large role in the prime minister’s decision to again prorogue Parliament.

My way or the highway:

The prime minister had once criticized Paul Martin’s Liberals, saying that when a government starts eliminating dissent, it loses its moral right to govern. In a variety of punitive ways, Harper moved against NGOs, independent agencies, watchdog groups, and tribunals who showed signs of differing with his intent.

In some cases he fired their directors or stacked their boards with partisans. In others, he sued them or cut their funding. The targets of such tactics included the Rights and Democracy group, Elections Canada, Veterans’ Ombudsman Pat Stogran, Budget Officer Kevin Page and many more. His party’s smear tactics — sometimes resembling those of right-wing Republicans — included labelling the Liberal party anti-Israel, calling Dalton McGuinty the small man of Confederation, trying to link Liberal MP Navdeep Bains to terrorism, and calling for reprisals against academics such as the University of Ottawa’s Michael Behiels for questioning their policies.

Personal attack ads:

Beginning when Stéphane Dion was elected Liberal leader, the Harper Conservatives became the most frequent deployer of personal attack ads — many of them blatantly dishonest — of any government. Before the Conservatives’ arrival, such ads were seldom, if ever, used in pre-writ periods. They made them a common practice.

A democratic party?

Though he came from the Reform Party, Harper, as his mentor Preston Manning once said, never showed much interest in power sharing. His Conservative Party has become a reflection of his command and control style. Tom Flanagan, Harper’s former strategic guru, helped the leader evolve the Tories into what Flanagan calls a garrison party. It basically exists, he said, to go to war against opponents, raise money, and bow at the leader’s feet.

Helena Guergis, the excommunicated MP, is one of the latest to find out what one’s rights within the party amount to. Under Mr. Harper, the rank and file have had little say in policy formation. At the riding level, no dissonance with central command is tolerated. Last year, when constituents in Rob Anders’ Calgary riding tried to organize to contest his renomination, party operatives descended like a commando unit, seized control of the riding executive, and crushed the bid.

Legal Threats:

The Conservatives ran from accountability by running to the courts. No government has resorted to legal threats and challenges to intimidate opponents as much as this one.

In the so called Cadman-gate affair, wherein the Conservatives were accused of trying to bribe independent MP Chuck Cadman for his vote, the party resorted to suing the Liberals. They went after Tom Zytaruk, who wrote a book on the affair, alleging Mr. Zytaruk’s tape of an interview with Harper was altered.

The party sued Elections Canada in connection with the in-and-out affair and it is using legal channels to try to block information gathered by the Military Police Complaints Commission on the Afghan detainees’ affair.

In other cases, the Conservatives chose to circumvent their own laws. In the interest of making democracy fairer, Harper brought in a welcome measure — a fixed-date election law. PMs no longer had the advantage of setting election dates at their own choosing. But in 2008 Harper ignored his own law and went to the Governor General to call an election.

The government’s perspective in the democratic/legal rights area was illustrated when Harper went so far as to appeal a Canadian Federal Court decision asking the United States to repatriate the Canadian Omar Khadr from Guantanamo. Harper was reluctant to speak out against the judicial travesties at Gitmo. The Conservatives shut down the Court Challenges Program, which provided funding for Canadians to defend their Charter rights. They fought hard to deport Iraqi war resisters and they went to extremes to crush protests at the G-20 summit.

………………………………….

Edited by Guest
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i really dont understand how anyone can support harper. he really is, has been, and will always be a very very dangerous man.

the race here in Guelph is very tight as well. sending out good vibes to our Liberal incumbent Frank Valeriote. i hope reason prevails here on monday and across the country.

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yeah, i would love to see john baird go.. doubtful but you never know! one can hope. i found it very interesting to discover he's actually gay. how he can stay with the tories is anyone's guess..

more than him i would LOVE LOVE to see pierre poilevre go. somewhere far away. really far.

i'm happy i can vote with my conscience in ottawa centre, but if i were in osgoode or nepean my vote would pretty much be wasted. electoral reform, please!!!

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i found it very interesting to discover he's actually gay. how he can stay with the tories is anyone's guess..

there are loads of conservative gay people. but yeah, it's a bit sad that a gay man, a federal minister even, can sleep at night knowing his own party devalues him as a person and would rather he not have the right to marry or even have a parade. he actually has the ear of the prime minister and it would sure seem that he is choosing not to stand up for what is right.

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Stand up for what is right?

I think that focusing on his sexuality with that comment is a bit dramatic considering that there are far more issues (especially those that have a more direct impact on most people than 'pride') that Baird doesn't stand up for in the right way.

entirely correct though.

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It's another silly comment that supposes that Baird doesn't really speak to the needs and values of the immediate geographic community.

A nice place to vote!

And while it's close to a bunch of rather nice townhouses and single detached homes, it's also nestled beside affordable rentals.

Maybe it's how livable the neighbourhood is (it's pretty darn nice here (here's to finding work in the city for when school's done)) and maybe it's how the Conservatives' approach speaks to people worried about the price of gas and the projected effects a 'socialist' government has on investments that kept Baird where he is.

I don't see that loudmouth jerk rallying to help get people out of poverty and to be fair I didn't get any sense of rallying voters around any central values from either of the other viable parties.

While the numbers of voters increased slightly compared to the '08 election the same blame game could easily be played on this split left.

I still think that if more people voted that could be served by a shift were to have voted we would have seen a different result here.

...but that doesn't make this riding unique in any way.

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  • 1 month later...

I have thought again and again about that silly comment almost every time i walk down the hill and around my neighbourhood but more for wondering how specifically any needs could be met on a federal leve than much else...liked what the heck would my solution be for that anyway?

How could an mp vitalize carlington park?

I wish municipal politics were sexier than sewage and burst water mains

where is the real effectual politics anyway?

Provincial?

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