Strategic voting

The CAW has picked 50 ridings. The Conservative are focused on 30.

So focused are the Conservatives on this frequently updated list of 30 races across the country that, according to Tory Senator Marjory Lebreton, these are the only ridings in which the party is conducting opinion polling to gauge voter intentions. National polls such as those published in the media are handy for the public, she said, but the real races are being fought street by street, largely in the suburban enclaves of the country.




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Strategic voting

  1. Well, this in part appears to explain the broader Conservative strategy. They do indeed seem to be engaging in a steady-as-she-goes national approach, despite polls that indicate a broader minority mandate at best. Interesting. However, I fully expect them to make a broader pitch as the campaign comes to an end; one that will focus on the need for a majority versus the consequences of not getting one, etc, etc. So, they might be pounding these 30 ridings to set the stage for their final push.

    • Harper talked about the dangers of not electing a Con majority this morning. He's been doing that all along.

      • He's certainly talked about it, but I think you'll see a big push at the end on both sides. Harper will say we don't need more minority shenanigans like we've seen throughout this campaign. Liberals will fear-monger about what a Harper majority would do. Harper wanted it to be the ballot box question. I think it will be, which means Liberals only win by forming a coalition of losers.

  2. Well, this in part appears to explain the broader Conservative strategy. They do indeed seem to be engaging in a steady-as-she-goes national approach, despite polls that indicate a broader minority mandate at best. Interesting. However, I fully expect them to make a broader pitch as the campaign comes to an end; one that will focus on the need for a majority versus the consequences of not getting one, etc, etc. So, they might be pounding these 30 ridings to set the stage for their final push.

  3. Good riding selections where strategic voting could, in fact, make a big difference.

    Now that Harper has refused to say he will be staying on without a majority, it may be easier to ramp up more public interest in voting strategically to defeat CPC candidates.

    If people begin to believe that the end of Harper may be night, then I think turnout will increase, which is the last thing the CPC wants.

    • I think you vastly overestimate the extent to which your visceral hatred of Harper is shared by the electorate at large. Undecided Normals don't base their votes on the tenuous calculus of second-order effects like that, and horror of horrors, a lot of those rank-and-file Liberal/NDP/Bloc supporters really do like and believe in their own parties more than they hate Harper. And all this based on a trivial evasion to an obvious trap question, too!

      To draw a comparison, do you really think that anyone is basing their vote on "Well, what result gets Ignatieff out of the country and back to Harvard the quickest?"

      • i'm no so sure. i hear from family and friends young and old (my grandma, aunts, uncles) how much they hate harper. a lot more so than they like the liberals or ndp. it may not be the case everywhere, but i think there is a lot of harper hatred out there.

        • Do they think Baird will be better?

        • Then why has he been the most popular leader during the longest serving minority government in the history of Canada? No, I think Harper hatred is isolated to Wherry, his blog, the media, and a few other small but vocal types.

          • You're not paying attention to his negatives. Harper is very polarizing. People either love 'im or hate 'im. IIRC his negatives are 48% between somewhat and very negative.

          • Aren't the negatives high for virtually all Canadian prime ministers? It's a national pastime: to hate our leaders.

          • I beg to differ.

            At the same time it doesn't seem smart to overly idolize or despise any leader.

      • The poll numbers suggest that the voters aren't going to give Harper a majority, and the parties that he has insulted for the past 5 years aren't likely to support another Harper-lead minority, so I'm thinking a beautiful thought — that we may be now seeing the last days of the Harper regime.

      • 'Undecided Normals' – you've studied this elusive group, I take it. What do they look like – it would be great to be able to pick them out of a crowd.

        • I've just been calling them Normals, because the only other option I could come up with was Muggles, or Mundanes – and those are just too twee, and a little bit more insulting than intended.

          Basically, the majority of voters that tune out politics, never read blogs like this or follow pundits on Twitter, never watch the talking-heads shows on cable news, and don't actually care about the specifics of governance or parliamentary procedure any more than they do the mating habits of the Australian kangaroo rat. They kind of want a presidential electoral system because they're focusing more on the leaders anyway. They're bored by elections and get irritated by overenthusiasm for trivial or impractical things. I get that these people don't obsess about politics, don't really hate any politician, and don't have that much interest in things that will cost a lot of money or happen outside Canada.

          I haven't studied them, and I'm most certainly not one of them. I'm obviously here, and paying attention; for a whole pile of reasons I should demographically be a lifetime lock for the Liberals or NDP, and an activist, engaged one at that. But I do seem to have a better understanding of the Normals, and what they do and don't care about, than the angriest conservative-haters around here/Twitter/blogs. I keep being proven correct, and the haters keep screeching that I'm just a delusional conbot fascist etc.; such is life.

          • You sound very special.

          • I know, right?

          • I would put money on "Discovery Presents: G'day, Mate! The Reproductive Rituals of the Australian Kangaroo Rat" outdrawing "CPAC Continuing Coverage of Election 2011" in the ratings…

          • Well, at least the former would have explicit sexual content.

  4. Good riding selections where strategic voting could, in fact, make a big difference.

    Now that Harper has refused to say he will be staying on without a majority, it may be easier to ramp up more public interest in voting strategically to defeat CPC candidates.

    If people begin to believe that the end of Harper may be night, then I think turnout will increase, which is the last thing the CPC wants.

  5. Mr. Harper looks very pale and disinterested a lot of the time. Probably overtired.

    • Others have noticed that too.

      “You know I'm not going to take the bite on that one,” Mr. Harper smiled wearily. (He was visibly more tired today than usual, which could account for the mixing of metaphors.)
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

    • Overtired? Campaigns are exhausting for everyone. Harper is the youngest of all the leaders. Keep reaching.

      • Layton's on a cane for a fractured hip and looks livelier.

        • It hardly matters – no one would dare to report anything but glowing health, for fear of looking like they're beating up on a cancer patient.

          • Check the photos and the vids for yourself.

          • Layton does look good for a guy coming through cancer and hip surgery. Of course, I've always felt campaigning and getting his message out have always been strong points for Layton. He's always appeared lively. I don't think many people are surprised by this.

          • No, the only surprise is that he still looks lively….and goodness knows they've grilled him enough.

          • 1. Layton and Ignatieff are extroverts, who are energized by dealing with people. Harper is not (lots of people seem to interpret this as Harper being some sort of sociopath, forgetting that sociopaths are good at passing for normal).

            2. Being PM is more tiring than being leader of the opposition (especially if you only show up to vote 30% of the time). Moreover Harper was defeated on a budget vote – crafting a budget is a lot of work. In previous elections, Harper has either been opposition leader (2004, 2006), or running in an election after the Summer recess (2008).

          • Harper is hardly an introvert…he does the tough dominating thing when he wants to.

            All former PMs have managed the job….what's wrong with Harper that he wilts.

            And no, Harper was not defeated on a budget vote….he was defeated on comtempt of parliament.

            Harper doesn't do the budget in any case…neither does Flaherty for that matter….they have entire depts to do that…FinMins just indicate the direction they want it to go in, then Flaherty goes out to 'consult'. Flaherty is an accident and personal injury lawyer….he knows zik all about making budgets.

          • 1. There is nothing about introverts that prevents them from being dominating or liking power (or from being likable). It is a matter of their preferences – are they energized by being around people or not.

            2. Minority governments are tough, because you have to govern amidst a constant election. Both Lester Pearson and Paul Martin found it especially tiring as well. Harper also micromanages more than most Prime Ministers before him. In that sense he is closer to being a Nixon (Nixon worked very hard, and paid close attention to details) than a Reagan (Reagan delegated, and left the details to his advisors).

            3. Budgets are generally political documents, as well as policy ones. A smart Prime Minister will always have their hand in its crafting. Moreover, the Conservatives have relied on large omnibus bills around budget time, so it isn't just their economic agenda that was on the table. And whatever Harper was technically defeated on, there was a lot of preparation behind the agenda he was presenting.

          • Are you now suggesting people are 'draining' Harper….like vampires?

            If Harper can't handle the job, he can always quit.

          • Well, lets imagine there is this hypothetical person who is really obtuse, never stops talking, and never listens to other people. Some people might find it tiresome to deal with that person – not that I'm naming names or anything.

          • The opposition didn't want to non-confidence the budget, so they jumped on the contempt thing first / instead.

          • HARPER WAS NOT DEFEATED ON A BUDGET VOTE. Stop repeating this lie.

          • Okay fine. The opposition had no legitimate policy reasons to call an election, so they concocted the contempt motion, shortly after the budget was introduced. All of this is beside my point that it takes a lot of work to craft a legislative agenda.

          • " ….. report anything but glowing health, for fear …."

            I wish someone would ask Layton if he's smoking marijuana for pain relief.

      • But it's easy to see him as a man who hates what he has become, a man who believed he was a right wing genius and he would lead Canada to a right wing utopia, only to find he could only keep a scant grasp on power by lying and courting criminal behaviour.

        I'd be a little tired, too.

        • that is silly, to say the least.

          unless, or course, you are his personal physician. . .

          • oh, I'm making personal guesses not a medical diagnosis.

            But it feels pretty close to the mark, doesn' it?

      • Harper is terribly out of shape. He's the same age as Obama – hard to believe looking at him.

        • I'd think wrinkles would be a better indicator than fitness – there are lots of young out-of-shape people too. Obama has the leathery skin of a lifelong smoker, while Harper's skin is decidedly uncreased (it must be because he never smiles).

          • the extra weight really shows in his face, that's a part of it.

          • Stomach fat is a key indicator of health. It's called heart attack fat. A bad diet and lack of exercise has taken it's tole. Who cares about wrinkles?

          • Firstly, we are talking about who looks older, not who is healthier, but I'll bite.

            Actually if you look holistically, overweight people have a lower death rate than people with a "normal" (which is a misnomer because the average person is overweight) BMI. Overweight people are more likely to die of heart attacks, but less likely to die of a wide variety of other ailments ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/health/07fat.ht… ).

            Secondly, poor habits – like smoking, bat diet and excess exposure to sun – also impact a person's skin.

            So lets compromise. Harper is less likely to die of lung cancer or skin cancer. Obama is less likely to die of a heart attack.

          • And if we are getting into health, there is genetics.

            Age of Obama's parents at death:
            Dad: 46
            Mom: 52

            Age of Harper's parents at death
            Dad: 75
            Mom: still alive

          • Make-up?

          • I was actually wondering about that re: Layton. Maybe it's natural skin tone, but in a lot of pictures lately his skin tone does resemble that of TV makeup (orange/beige).

    • Probably bored. Has there ever been a time he wasn't pasty-looking?

  6. Mr. Harper looks very pale and disinterested a lot of the time. Probably overtired.

  7. I think you vastly overestimate the extent to which your visceral hatred of Harper is shared by the electorate at large. Undecided Normals don't base their votes on the tenuous calculus of second-order effects like that, and horror of horrors, a lot of those rank-and-file Liberal/NDP/Bloc supporters really do like and believe in their own parties more than they hate Harper. And all this based on a trivial evasion to an obvious trap question, too!

    To draw a comparison, do you really think that anyone is basing their vote on "Well, what result gets Ignatieff out of the country and back to Harvard the quickest?"

  8. Others have noticed that too.

    “You know I'm not going to take the bite on that one,” Mr. Harper smiled wearily. (He was visibly more tired today than usual, which could account for the mixing of metaphors.)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  9. Others have noticed that too.

    “You know I%E2%80%99m not going to take the bite on that one,” Mr. Harper smiled wearily. (He was visibly more tired today than usual, which could account for the mixing of metaphors.)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  10. Hey, in an election that's been about nonsense, why not focus on some more nonsense. lol. This is why we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years, is it?

  11. Overtired? Campaigns are exhausting for everyone. Harper is the youngest of all the leaders. Keep reaching.

  12. Harper is an old man.

  13. Layton's on a cane for a fractured hip and looks livelier.

  14. Harper is an old man.

  15. i'm no so sure. i hear from family and friends young and old (my grandma, aunts, uncles) how much they hate harper. a lot more so than they like the liberals or ndp. it may not be the case everywhere, but i think there is a lot of harper hatred out there.

  16. The poll numbers suggest that the voters aren't going to give Harper a majority, and the parties that he has insulted for the past 5 years aren't likely to support another Harper-lead minority, so I'm thinking a beautiful thought — that we may be now seeing the last days of the Harper regime.

  17. It hardly matters – no one would dare to report anything but glowing health, for fear of looking like they're beating up on a cancer patient.

  18. Check the photos and the vids for yourself.

  19. All the other leaders are older. The difference is that you (and the average reporter) aren't looking for "Wow, he looks decrepit" attack lines for them.

  20. Do they think Baird will be better?

  21. Harper is old in body, mind and spirit.

    That's why it stands out.

  22. Harper is old in body, mind and spirit.

    That's why it stands out.

    • Promise me something, Emily? Keep moving those goalposts. Never change. Never apologize. Never, ever concede that the sky is blue or the grass is green, that water is wet or fire is hot, as long as there might be a zinger bashing a conservative in it.

      • There were never any goalposts to begin with….this isn't a football game, it's the future of the country.

        And the writer there was Ibbitson….who has been solidly conservative.

  23. Then why has he been the most popular leader during the longest serving minority government in the history of Canada? No, I think Harper hatred is isolated to Wherry, his blog, the media, and a few other small but vocal types.

  24. Yeah I know right. Like, my entire family hates sushi. So I just don't get why there's all these sushi restaurants in town? Surely they should be going out of business soon, because, you know, based on my family, I just don't think anyone in Canada likes the stuff.

  25. We're having the election because Harper is/was contemptuous of Parliament.

    And after 5 years, a majority of Canadians still don't want to vote for Harper.

    What it means is this: Harper is a failed leader. It's time for a change.

  26. We're having the election because Harper is/was contemptuous of Parliament.

    And after 5 years, a majority of Canadians still don't want to vote for Harper.

    What it means is this: Harper is a failed leader. It's time for a change.

    • Nobody is buying it, which is why this election has been about one silly story after another. We're spending $300 million so that Emily can make fun of Harper's face? Wow.

      • no.

      • At the current rate, this will be three elections in a row with almost identical outcomes. I like democracy and elections as much as the next guy, but this sort of gridlock can't last forever.

    • Or as Charles Adler, throwing accuracy to the wind, likes to say repeatedly – the opposition voted down Harper's budget.

  27. Promise me something, Emily? Keep moving those goalposts. Never change. Never apologize. Never, ever concede that the sky is blue or the grass is green, that water is wet or fire is hot, as long as there might be a zinger bashing a conservative in it.

  28. You're not paying attention to his negatives. Harper is very polarizing. People either love 'im or hate 'im. IIRC his negatives are 48% between somewhat and very negative.

  29. Layton does look good for a guy coming through cancer and hip surgery. Of course, I've always felt campaigning and getting his message out have always been strong points for Layton. He's always appeared lively. I don't think many people are surprised by this.

  30. There were never any goalposts to begin with….this isn't a football game, it's the future of the country.

    And the writer there was Ibbitson….who has been solidly conservative.

  31. Nobody is buying it, which is why this election has been about one silly story after another. We're spending $300 million so that Emily can make fun of Harper's face? Wow.

  32. Harper talked about the dangers of not electing a Con majority this morning. He's been doing that all along.

  33. No, the only surprise is that he still looks lively….and goodness knows they've grilled him enough.

  34. 'Undecided Normals' – you've studied this elusive group, I take it. What do they look like – it would be great to be able to pick them out of a crowd.

  35. But it's easy to see him as a man who hates what he has become, a man who believed he was a right wing genius and he would lead Canada to a right wing utopia, only to find he could only keep a scant grasp on power by lying and courting criminal behaviour.

    I'd be a little tired, too.

  36. He's certainly talked about it, but I think you'll see a big push at the end on both sides. Harper will say we don't need more minority shenanigans like we've seen throughout this campaign. Liberals will fear-monger about what a Harper majority would do. Harper wanted it to be the ballot box question. I think it will be, which means Liberals only win by forming a coalition of losers.

  37. I was just going to make the same sort of anecdotal appeal. I hung out with my in-laws this past weekend, and the topic of politics came up. They are complete political agnostics, but they all were leaning Conservative for this election.

    I recoiled in horror when one of them–University educated in the USA–asked me why he couldn't simply vote for the leader he liked instead of his local candidate. Once I picked up my jaw we actually had a really good discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of a Parliamentary system, and how we don't have the necessary checks and balances to have a single individual run the country. But I was seriously depressed for a little while there.

    • I hate to disillusion you but I think your American-educated-in-law is probably correct in his assumption that the majority of swing voters, who tend to be less informed about politics then those who knew before the election who they would vote for, vote according to their feeling about the leader of a Party rather then the policies of the Party.

      For example, a lot of folks will not vote Conservative because they dislike Harper, and conversely many people will vote Conservative because they respect Harper as a leader and don`t think ignatieff is up for the job. I know what you mean when you talk about checks and balances and the like, however, I am convinced many votes are cast about the leaders rather then the parties.

      • I'm not so naive as to not recognize that this is indeed the case, which is why all parties spend so much time primping and preening the leaders. I just took for granted that he knew why we have the system we do. I mean, we went to the same high school (separated by a few years, mind you) and took the same history/civics class, and I was taught that, so I assumed he was too.

      • And a lot of people won't vote Conservative because they don't like conservatism, and a lot of people will vote for Harper just because he has that word in the name of his party.

  38. I was just going to make the same sort of anecdotal appeal. I hung out with my in-laws this past weekend, and the topic of politics came up. They are complete political agnostics, but they all were leaning Conservative for this election.

    I recoiled in horror when one of them–University educated in the USA–asked me why he couldn't simply vote for the leader he liked instead of his local candidate. Once I picked up my jaw we actually had a really good discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of a Parliamentary system, and how we don't have the necessary checks and balances to have a single individual run the country. But I was seriously depressed for a little while there.

  39. Or as Charles Adler, throwing accuracy to the wind, likes to say repeatedly – the opposition voted down Harper's budget.

  40. At the current rate, this will be three elections in a row with almost identical outcomes. I like democracy and elections as much as the next guy, but this sort of gridlock can't last forever.

  41. I don't think CAW should be involved in this election, there is conflict of interest. Fed government owns Canadian operations of GM/Chrysler, CAW employees are basically bureaucrats and tax $$$ being used to defeat government.

    • I agree.

      • Also, the national Citizens Coalition, the Fraser Institute and each and every registered charity or non-profit with charitable status. They all provide tax deductions to donors, thus making them "basically bureaucrats" as well. They should all step back.

    • So you are of the opinion that a worker's association's democratic rights should be suspended because their management was too incompetent to keep the business healthy and the government was silly enough to bail them out?

      That's interesting.

    • Don't worry – it is just the employees of Ford and Magna who are working on the campaign

      • Oh, and I just looked it up – 13% of CAW members work for a major auto company – this includes Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, GM and Ford ….

    • Tony Clement's entire riding should be dissolved then

    • Anyone else you'd like to ban from voting? Church congregations? Professional Associations? Hungarian dance groups?

      • Quebec snowmobilers – surely we're not letting them vote?

        • They've already been bribed, so it's payback time for them. LOL

  42. Aren't the negatives high for virtually all Canadian prime ministers? It's a national pastime: to hate our leaders.

  43. I don't think CAW should be involved in this election, there is conflict of interest. Fed government owns Canadian operations of GM/Chrysler, CAW employees are basically bureaucrats and tax $$$ being used to defeat government.

  44. Excellent analysis Mike T.

    • Hard to imagine four more unlikely words.

  45. Excellent analysis Mike T.

  46. I agree.

  47. I've just been calling them Normals, because the only other option I could come up with was Muggles, or Mundanes – and those are just too twee, and a little bit more insulting than intended.

    Basically, the majority of voters that tune out politics, never read blogs like this or follow pundits on Twitter, never watch the talking-heads shows on cable news, and don't actually care about the specifics of governance or parliamentary procedure any more than they do the mating habits of the Australian kangaroo rat. They kind of want a presidential electoral system because they're focusing more on the leaders anyway. They're bored by elections and get irritated by overenthusiasm for trivial or impractical things. I get that these people don't obsess about politics, don't really hate any politician, and don't have that much interest in things that will cost a lot of money or happen outside Canada.

    I haven't studied them, and I'm most certainly not one of them. I'm obviously here, and paying attention; for a whole pile of reasons I should demographically be a lifetime lock for the Liberals or NDP, and an activist, engaged one at that. But I do seem to have a better understanding of the Normals, and what they do and don't care about, than the angriest conservative-haters around here/Twitter/blogs. I keep being proven correct, and the haters keep screeching that I'm just a delusional conbot fascist etc.; such is life.

  48. " ….. report anything but glowing health, for fear …."

    I wish someone would ask Layton if he's smoking marijuana for pain relief.

  49. So you are of the opinion that a worker's association's democratic rights should be suspended because their management was too incompetent to keep the business healthy and the government was silly enough to bail them out?

    That's interesting.

  50. Also, the national Citizens Coalition, the Fraser Institute and each and every registered charity or non-profit with charitable status. They all provide tax deductions to donors, thus making them "basically bureaucrats" as well. They should all step back.

  51. that is silly, to say the least.

    unless, or course, you are his personal physician. . .

  52. Don't worry – it is just the employees of Ford and Magna who are working on the campaign

  53. Oh, and I just looked it up – 13% of CAW members work for a major auto company – this includes Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, GM and Ford ….

  54. Tony Clement's entire riding should be dissolved then

  55. oh, I'm making personal guesses not a medical diagnosis.

    But it feels pretty close to the mark, doesn' it?

  56. very true – in fact take a peek at history and you discover the higher the negatives the more oftebn we give them majorities – the only think canadians really don't like is incompetence like Iggy = bonehead

  57. Brilliant suggestions Dennis but both sides have been doing this all along. Try to keep up. Maybe if you stopped counting how many elections we've had you could follow the campaigns.

  58. Anyone else you'd like to ban from voting? Church congregations? Professional Associations? Hungarian dance groups?

  59. Hard to imagine four more unlikely words.

  60. The only thing tiring Harper is having to hold up Iggy between rounds to make the fight look fair – I love harper haters you guys crack me up – I can see the stock in the company that makes hyper partsian meds going through the roof the day after the polls close and no doubt about it :) – keep up the good work guys and gals becuase to the disintersted or open minded forum lurker you guys just might convince a few people to actually vote for CPC then again that must be from drinking the koolaid … hahahaha – ooooh evil meanie stevie eats kittens and looks tired – is that it? is that alll you got because if that is it then a majority is definitley coming down the line hahahah!

    • Harp headed for a minority…smaller than the one he has now.

      • Is that your prediction?

        • Not a prediction….I said some months ago it would probably be the best thing for the country.

          That way we could get rid of all 4 leaders, and start fresh with a new bunch.

          • So which is it, a prediction or a wish?

          • Neither. It's just perhaps the only way out of this impasse…however the situation may change. We still have about 2 weeks left to go, and anything can happen.

            If we end up right back where we started though…a mass resignation is the only thing we can hope for.

            A new clean page.

          • Good points. Iggy fired a round directly into his foot today, and he's still got a full clip.

          • Harper is stepping in cowpies all over the place….he even seems to go looking for them.

    • Thanks for typing.

  61. The only thing tiring Harper is having to hold up Iggy between rounds to make the fight look fair – I love harper haters you guys crack me up – I can see the stock in the company that makes hyper partsian meds going through the roof the day after the polls close and no doubt about it :) – keep up the good work guys and gals becuase to the disintersted or open minded forum lurker you guys just might convince a few people to actually vote for CPC then again that must be from drinking the koolaid … hahahaha – ooooh evil meanie stevie eats kittens and looks tired – is that it? is that alll you got because if that is it then a majority is definitley coming down the line hahahah!

  62. You sound very special.

  63. Expect big final pushes, Gomer. And, yes, people like you don't want to count the four $300 million elections we've had in the last seven years because you can't justify the nonsense.

    • Gomer – there's one from the time capsule. Next up 'You dirty rat!'

      • I just call 'em as I see 'em. If someone wants to keep ignoring what I actually write and, instead, repeat stupid one-liners, I think that's being a Gomer. Sorry.

        • I addressed what you were saying and you had a hissy fit – your standard reaction.

          • No you didn't. You had to come on here to accuse me of not paying attention, while ignoring my point that the big pushes on majority on either side have yet to come. Indeed, this is YOUR STANDARD method of operation on here – agitating one-liners against anyone who dares to oppose your precious agenda.

  64. Expect big final pushes, Gomer. And, yes, people like you don't want to count the four $300 million elections we've had in the last seven years because you can't justify the nonsense.

  65. Harper is terribly out of shape. He's the same age as Obama – hard to believe looking at him.

  66. A lot of Air Canada employees are CAW – should they be excluded?

  67. Harp headed for a minority…smaller than the one he has now.

  68. Quebec snowmobilers – surely we're not letting them vote?

  69. Basically, his argument is that since bureaucrats get their money from the Federal government, they should be excluded, because this is a taxpayer subsidy. So that leaves out:
    The civil service
    Crown corp employees
    Construction industry (if they work on government projects)
    Any seniors who receive Old Age Security

    • My argument is CAW – the organization – should not be involved in campaign because GM/Chryser are owned by Federal Government = Canadians. Whatever rules bureaucrats have to follow during election campaign, so should caw members.

      • They are not owned by the govt, be serious. They got a loan, they weren't nationalized fergawdsake.

        People who actually DO work for the govt…mounties etc vote.

  70. Basically, his argument is that since bureaucrats get their money from the Federal government, they should be excluded, because this is a taxpayer subsidy. So that leaves out:
    The civil service
    Crown corp employees
    Construction industry (if they work on government projects)
    Any seniors who receive Old Age Security

  71. My argument is CAW – the organization – should not be involved in campaign because GM/Chryser are owned by Federal Government = Canadians. Whatever rules bureaucrats have to follow during election campaign, so should caw members.

  72. Gomer – there's one from the time capsule. Next up 'You dirty rat!'

  73. 1. Layton and Ignatieff are extroverts, who are energized by dealing with people. Harper is not (lots of people seem to interpret this as Harper being some sort of sociopath, forgetting that sociopaths are good at passing for normal).

    2. Being PM is more tiring than being leader of the opposition (especially if you only show up to vote 30% of the time). Moreover Harper was defeated on a budget vote – crafting a budget is a lot of work. In previous elections, Harper has either been opposition leader (2004, 2006), or running in an election after the Summer recess (2008).

  74. I'd think wrinkles would be a better indicator than fitness – there are lots of young out-of-shape people too. Obama has the leathery skin of a lifelong smoker, while Harper's skin is decidedly uncreased (it must be because he never smiles).

  75. I just call 'em as I see 'em. If someone wants to keep ignoring what I actually write and, instead, repeat stupid one-liners, I think that's being a Gomer. Sorry.

  76. the extra weight really shows in his face, that's a part of it.

  77. Is that your prediction?

  78. Harper is hardly an introvert…he does the tough dominating thing when he wants to.

    All former PMs have managed the job….what's wrong with Harper that he wilts.

    And no, Harper was not defeated on a budget vote….he was defeated on comtempt of parliament.

    Harper doesn't do the budget in any case…neither does Flaherty for that matter….they have entire depts to do that…FinMins just indicate the direction they want it to go in, then Flaherty goes out to 'consult'. Flaherty is an accident and personal injury lawyer….he knows zik all about making budgets.

  79. I would put money on "Discovery Presents: G'day, Mate! The Reproductive Rituals of the Australian Kangaroo Rat" outdrawing "CPAC Continuing Coverage of Election 2011" in the ratings…

  80. The opposition didn't want to non-confidence the budget, so they jumped on the contempt thing first / instead.

  81. They are not owned by the govt, be serious. They got a loan, they weren't nationalized fergawdsake.

    People who actually DO work for the govt…mounties etc vote.

  82. They've already been bribed, so it's payback time for them. LOL

  83. Not a prediction….I said some months ago it would probably be the best thing for the country.

    That way we could get rid of all 4 leaders, and start fresh with a new bunch.

  84. I addressed what you were saying and you had a hissy fit – your standard reaction.

  85. I hate to disillusion you but I think your American-educated-in-law is probably correct in his assumption that the majority of swing voters, who tend to be less informed about politics then those who knew before the election who they would vote for, vote according to their feeling about the leader of a Party rather then the policies of the Party.

    For example, a lot of folks will not vote Conservative because they dislike Harper, and conversely many people will vote Conservative because they respect Harper as a leader and don`t think ignatieff is up for the job. I know what you mean when you talk about checks and balances and the like, however, I am convinced many votes are cast about the leaders rather then the parties.

  86. HARPER WAS NOT DEFEATED ON A BUDGET VOTE. Stop repeating this lie.

  87. The issue here is not their right to vote. The issue is that the CAW may be in a conflict of interest if it publicly supports a political party because GM/Chrysler are partially owned (12%) by the Federal Government just as the RCMP, Canada Post, etc. would be in a conflict of interest if they publicly supported a political party.

  88. Stomach fat is a key indicator of health. It's called heart attack fat. A bad diet and lack of exercise has taken it's tole. Who cares about wrinkles?

  89. I know, right?

  90. a) The govt isn't a partial owner of the car plants. They gave them a loan. That's no different than all the times various govts over the years have given them tax breaks and other goodies.

    b) Govts over the years have also given other companies loans, contracts, a break on taxes, help to move etc. Nobody is in a conflict of interest.

    c) In this country, people can support any party they want….privately and publically.

    • a) Check again http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business

      b) I agree. Loans, contracts, etc. differ from ownership and should be treated as such.

      c) Yes, individuals can and should support the party of their choice. However, corporations owned (fully or partially) by the Crown should not publically support political parties as this would place them in a conflict of interest.

      • I read the drivel at the time….it was a loan and nothing more

        And there is no conflict of interest.

        You are just trying to stifle dissent again.

        • You are ignoring factual information that proves your argument false.

          You are just sticking your head in the sand in a futile attempt to isolate yourself from a world filled with facts. Fact: the sky is blue. Fact: "The federal and Ontario governments will own 12 per cent of a restructured General Motors Corp." – Globe and Mail Sunday, May. 31, 2009

          • I'm a development analyst in economics…the fact you'd read a newspaper article as factual tells me you're not.

          • Developmentally disabled is more likely… I read Maclean's articles written by Aaron Wherry for my facts.

          • Like all Cons you have a chip on your shoulder, and the manners, of an ass. Ho hum

          • Like all fools you perceive facts as an unnecessary burden placed upon your dogma.

            Instead of providing evidence to counter the facts that I produce you defer to what you perceive to be your personal authority as evidence of the validity of your own opinions…

            "The US government owns 61% of GM and Canada about 12%." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8633935.stm

            "Last year, it received several billion dollars in aid from the federal and Ontario governments to stay alive. Those two governments now hold about 12 per cent ownership of GM's Detroit parent"
            "http://www.thestar.com/business/article/817092–gm-to-invest-another-245-million-in-st-catharines"

            "The Canadian government's $8.1 billion stake, which equals a 12 per cent ownership interest" http://www.obj.ca/Canada—World/2010-04-27/artic

            "Canada's government, which owns about 12 percent of GM's common stock" http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-19/gm-fi

          • Newspaper writing is geared to the grade 8 level…it appears you prefer simple words rather than actual knowledge.

            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

            Isaac Asimov, Newsweek interview. 1980.

          • I was catering to your level of literacy. Once again you ignore facts preferring to cling to your dogmatic perceptions of a world that you refuse to acknowledge. The Canadian government owns 12% of GM. I have presented five sources, a small sample of numerous others, which validate this fact. You have reproduced a quote that does not speak to this issue in the slightest; it serves only to highlight your intellectual disconnect.

          • No you weren't. You were just being smart-ass on a topic you have no knowledge of.

          • I'm not the contrarian who clings, in a sea of overwhelming evidence, to a position proved to be wholly fallacious.

          • LOL yes you are.

            The whole position on conflict of interest was assinine to begin with…then you compounded it by confusing loans with nationalization.

            Go find a dictionary.

          • Enroll in an Intro to Critical Thinking course, you would certainly benefit. The Canadian government's 12% ownership of GM is not a loan and is not nationalization it is a 12% ownership in GM Corp.

  91. "The issue here is not their right to vote. The issue is that the CAW may be in a conflict of interest … "

    Thank you. Is this really that difficult to understand?

    I was getting ready to have rant about local police "suggesting" we vote Con – hey … nice car you have … too bad about cracked brake light … is that a Ignatieff bumper sticker – or post men targeting 500 routes – vote ndp or else good bye to your timely mail delivery – but you saved me.

    • Welll you apparently have trouble understanding 'conflict of interest'.

  92. The CAW has their hands full right now, as Allied car haulers are going out of business. A lot of the drivers will be picked up by Cassens and Jack Cooper, as well as smaller (non-unionized) operators like Hansens, but that's a huge loss of seniority and many of those guys won't find jobs. Allied had thousands of drivers and hauled most of the cars for GM, Ford, Toyota, and Chrysler. They just lost all their contracts except for Ford.

    This is probably as chaotic as when Leaseway (Penske) went out of business.

  93. a) The govt isn't a partial owner of the car plants. They gave them a loan. That's no different than all the times various govts over the years have given them tax breaks and other goodies.

    b) Govts over the years have also given other companies loans, contracts, a break on taxes, help to move etc. Nobody is in a conflict of interest.

    c) In this country, people can support any party they want….privately and publically.

  94. "The issue here is not their right to vote. The issue is that the CAW may be in a conflict of interest … "

    Thank you. Is this really that difficult to understand?

    I was getting ready to have rant about local police "suggesting" we vote Con – hey … nice car you have … too bad about cracked brake light … is that a Ignatieff bumper sticker – or post men targeting 500 routes – vote ndp or else good bye to your timely mail delivery – but you saved me.

  95. The CAW has their hands full right now, as Allied car haulers are going out of business. A lot of the drivers will be picked up by Cassens and Jack Cooper, as well as smaller (non-unionized) operators like Hansens, but that's a huge loss of seniority and many of those guys won't find jobs. Allied had thousands of drivers and hauled most of the cars for GM, Ford, Toyota, and Chrysler. They just lost all their contracts except for Ford.

    This is probably as chaotic as when Leaseway (Penske) went out of business.

  96. No you didn't. You had to come on here to accuse me of not paying attention, while ignoring my point that the big pushes on majority on either side have yet to come. Indeed, this is YOUR STANDARD method of operation on here – agitating one-liners against anyone who dares to oppose your precious agenda.

  97. I'm not so naive as to not recognize that this is indeed the case, which is why all parties spend so much time primping and preening the leaders. I just took for granted that he knew why we have the system we do. I mean, we went to the same high school (separated by a few years, mind you) and took the same history/civics class, and I was taught that, so I assumed he was too.

  98. a) Check again http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business

    b) I agree. Loans, contracts, etc. differ from ownership and should be treated as such.

    c) Yes, individuals can and should support the party of their choice. However, corporations owned (fully or partially) by the Crown should not publically support political parties as this would place them in a conflict of interest.

  99. Probably bored. Has there ever been a time he wasn't pasty-looking?

  100. Make-up?

  101. 1. There is nothing about introverts that prevents them from being dominating or liking power (or from being likable). It is a matter of their preferences – are they energized by being around people or not.

    2. Minority governments are tough, because you have to govern amidst a constant election. Both Lester Pearson and Paul Martin found it especially tiring as well. Harper also micromanages more than most Prime Ministers before him. In that sense he is closer to being a Nixon (Nixon worked very hard, and paid close attention to details) than a Reagan (Reagan delegated, and left the details to his advisors).

    3. Budgets are generally political documents, as well as policy ones. A smart Prime Minister will always have their hand in its crafting. Moreover, the Conservatives have relied on large omnibus bills around budget time, so it isn't just their economic agenda that was on the table. And whatever Harper was technically defeated on, there was a lot of preparation behind the agenda he was presenting.

  102. I read the drivel at the time….it was a loan and nothing more

    And there is no conflict of interest.

    You are just trying to stifle dissent again.

  103. Welll you apparently have trouble understanding 'conflict of interest'.

  104. Okay fine. The opposition had no legitimate policy reasons to call an election, so they concocted the contempt motion, shortly after the budget was introduced. All of this is beside my point that it takes a lot of work to craft a legislative agenda.

  105. Are you now suggesting people are 'draining' Harper….like vampires?

    If Harper can't handle the job, he can always quit.

  106. Firstly, we are talking about who looks older, not who is healthier, but I'll bite.

    Actually if you look holistically, overweight people have a lower death rate than people with a "normal" (which is a misnomer because the average person is overweight) BMI. Overweight people are more likely to die of heart attacks, but less likely to die of a wide variety of other ailments ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/health/07fat.ht… ).

    Secondly, poor habits – like smoking, bat diet and excess exposure to sun – also impact a person's skin.

    So lets compromise. Harper is less likely to die of lung cancer or skin cancer. Obama is less likely to die of a heart attack.

  107. Well, lets imagine there is this hypothetical person who is really obtuse, never stops talking, and never listens to other people. Some people might find it tiresome to deal with that person – not that I'm naming names or anything.

  108. I know that…and I said he could always quit.

  109. And if we are getting into health, there is genetics.

    Age of Obama's parents at death:
    Dad: 46
    Mom: 52

    Age of Harper's parents at death
    Dad: 75
    Mom: still alive

  110. You are ignoring factual information that proves your argument false.

    You are just sticking your head in the sand in a futile attempt to isolate yourself from a world filled with facts. Fact: the sky is blue. Fact: "The federal and Ontario governments will own 12 per cent of a restructured General Motors Corp." – Globe and Mail Sunday, May. 31, 2009

  111. I'm a development analyst in economics…the fact you'd read a newspaper article as factual tells me you're not.

  112. NO U!

  113. And a lot of people won't vote Conservative because they don't like conservatism, and a lot of people will vote for Harper just because he has that word in the name of his party.

  114. Thanks for typing.

  115. Developmentally disabled is more likely… I read Maclean's articles written by Aaron Wherry for my facts.

  116. Developmentally disabled is more likely… I read Maclean%E2%80%99s articles written by Aaron Wherry for my facts.

  117. Like all Cons you have a chip on your shoulder, and the manners, of an ass. Ho hum

  118. Certainly true about Trudeau. VERY polarizing.

  119. Certainly true about Trudeau. VERY polarizing.

  120. Well, at least the former would have explicit sexual content.

  121. I was actually wondering about that re: Layton. Maybe it's natural skin tone, but in a lot of pictures lately his skin tone does resemble that of TV makeup (orange/beige).

  122. So which is it, a prediction or a wish?

  123. Neither. It's just perhaps the only way out of this impasse…however the situation may change. We still have about 2 weeks left to go, and anything can happen.

    If we end up right back where we started though…a mass resignation is the only thing we can hope for.

    A new clean page.

  124. Good points. Iggy fired a round directly into his foot today, and he's still got a full clip.

  125. Michael Ignatieff has finally come clean.

    If The Conservative are given a minority by Canadians who want Mr. Harper to remain our Prime Minister.

    It is the Liberal intention to topple the Conservatives and with the help of the Bloc controlled Coalition, steal the election and make Michael Ignatieff Prime Minister.

    Canadians have strongly expressed their outrage at this idea more than once.

    Michael Ignatieff knows this is clearly in contempt of the will of Canadians.
    The Liberals do not care.
    The Liberals can not win the election.
    So the Liberals will steal it if we let them.

    If you do not want a Bloc controlled Coalition with Michael Ignatieff as Prime Minister.

    We have to give the Conservatives a majority.

    The future of our country is at stake.
    Sleep on it, talk about it, how do we protect and keep Canada united with what we are facing.

    • You are so ignarant about how our Parliament works, it nakes me wonder why you are allowed to even vote. If you don't know how the Canadian parliament works, you should be disqualified from voting. It's ignorant comments like yours and your kind that is driving this great Country into the abyss. Read the Constitution on Parliamentary workings and gain some perspective, you Moron.

  126. Like all fools you perceive facts as an unnecessary burden placed upon your dogma.

    Instead of providing evidence to counter the facts that I produce you defer to what you perceive to be your personal authority as evidence of the validity of your own opinions…

    "The US government owns 61% of GM and Canada about 12%." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8633935.stm

    "Last year, it received several billion dollars in aid from the federal and Ontario governments to stay alive. Those two governments now hold about 12 per cent ownership of GM's Detroit parent"
    "http://www.thestar.com/business/article/817092–gm-to-invest-another-245-million-in-st-catharines"

    "The Canadian government's $8.1 billion stake, which equals a 12 per cent ownership interest" http://www.obj.ca/Canada—World/2010-04-27/artic

    "Canada's government, which owns about 12 percent of GM's common stock" http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-19/gm-fi

  127. Like all fools you perceive facts as an unnecessary burden placed upon your dogma.

    Instead of providing evidence to counter the facts that I produce you defer to what you perceive to be your personal authority as evidence of the validity of your own opinions…

    "The US government owns 61% of GM and Canada about 12%." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8633935.stm

    "Last year, it received several billion dollars in aid from the federal and Ontario governments to stay alive. Those two governments now hold about 12 per cent ownership of GM%E2%80%99s Detroit parent"
    "http://www.thestar.com/business/article/817092–gm-to-invest-another-245-million-in-st-catharines"

    "The Canadian government's $8.1 billion stake, which equals a 12 per cent ownership interest" http://www.obj.ca/Canada—World/2010-04-27/artic

    "Canada%E2%80%99s government, which owns about 12 percent of GM%E2%80%99s common stock" http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-19/gm-fi

  128. Harper is stepping in cowpies all over the place….he even seems to go looking for them.

  129. Newspaper writing is geared to the grade 8 level…it appears you prefer simple words rather than actual knowledge.

    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

    Isaac Asimov, Newsweek interview. 1980.

  130. I was catering to your level of literacy. Once again you ignore facts preferring to cling to your dogmatic perceptions of a world that you refuse to acknowledge. The Canadian government owns 12% of GM. I have presented five sources, a small sample of numerous others, which validate this fact. You have reproduced a quote that does not speak to this issue in the slightest; it serves only to highlight your intellectual disconnect.

  131. No you weren't. You were just being smart-ass on a topic you have no knowledge of.

  132. You are so ignarant about how our Parliament works, it nakes me wonder why you are allowed to even vote. If you don't know how the Canadian parliament works, you should be disqualified from voting. It's ignorant comments like yours and your kind that is driving this great Country into the abyss. Read the Constitution on Parliamentary workings and gain some perspective, you Moron.

  133. I'm not the contrarian who clings, in a sea of overwhelming evidence, to a position proved to be wholly fallacious.

  134. I%E2%80%99m not the contrarian who clings, in a sea of overwhelming evidence, to a position proved to be wholly fallacious.

  135. LOL yes you are.

    The whole position on conflict of interest was assinine to begin with…then you compounded it by confusing loans with nationalization.

    Go find a dictionary.

  136. Enroll in an Intro to Critical Thinking course, you would certainly benefit. The Canadian government's 12% ownership of GM is not a loan and is not nationalization it is a 12% ownership in GM Corp.

  137. Your arguments consistently deteriorate into ad hominem attacks for lack of factual support. If you so fervently believe that the Canadian government does not have 12% ownership of GM I suggest you find some source to support your argument.

  138. I suggest you go play outside and get some fresh air.

    Your brain will thank you.

  139. Your arguments consistently deteriorate into ad hominem attacks for lack of factual support. If you so fervently believe that the Canadian government does not have 12% ownership of GM I suggest you find some source to support your argument.

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