Stephen Harper, on the Manichean choice facing Canadian voters: “If you want a prime minister who will experiment with the Canadian economy, then give Mr. Dion a mandate to impose his carbon tax. If you want a prime minister who will protect the economy, then I ask you for a mandate.”
Stéphane Dion, on what he figured would be on Stephen Harper’s agenda for the last day of campaigning: “He will be mute today and he will continue to lie about the Liberal climate-change plan.”
Jack Layton, on Stéphane Dion’s last-minute appeal to voters on the left: “I hear that he is out there telling progressives to rally behind him. My question is, why wouldn’t he rally his own members of Parliament to stand up to Stephen Harper for the entire last year? It’s Harper’s policies, but it’s Dion’s responsibility.”
Gilles Duceppe, on Quebec City Conservative MP Luc Harvey, who was heckling him at an event this past Sunday: “I’ve always thought that he was an imbecile. He once asked why Canada was not in the European Union.”
Elizabeth May, on the virtues of strategic voting: “There are a handful of ridings where three federal parties split the progressive vote, and I’m not going to be so partisan as to tell people to vote Green no matter what. It’s dishonest to say voters should vote Green no matter what because the best thing in terms of the environment is for Stephen Harper not to be elected. At the same time I wouldn’t disown my own party because my candidates are great.”
GAFFE OF THE DAY:
The new identification rules passed by the House of Commons risk disenfranchising many aboriginal voters, community leaders said over the weekend. At issue is the requirement that voters show a proof of address before receiving their ballot: “If [aboriginal voters] don’t feel comfortable going to the polling station with what’s in their pocket, they’re not going to go,” warned Grand Council Chief John Beaucage with the Union of Ontario Indians. Recall that the new rules were adopted in response to an imaginary scandal portraying veiled voters as a threat to the democratic process, something the new law does nothing to redress. Instead, it may end up alienating legitimate voters. Heckuva job, Parliament.
WHERE THEY’RE AT TODAY:
Stephen Harper will vote in Calgary.
Stéphane Dion will vote in Montreal.
Jack Layton will vote in Toronto.
Elizabeth May will vote in New Glasgow, N.S.
Gilles Duceppe will vote in Montreal.