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Which Party Will You Vote For in the 2004 Canadian Federal Election?

Which Party Will You Vote For in the 2004 Canadian Federal Election?

By Richard Eriksson on May 26, 2004 - 6:02pm

Conservative
10% (5 votes)
Liberal
20% (10 votes)
New Democratic Party
45% (23 votes)
Bloc Quebecois
0% (0 votes)
Green Party
2% (1 vote)
Communist Party
0% (0 votes)
Marijuana Party
4% (2 votes)
None of the Above
0% (0 votes)
Undecided
8% (4 votes)
Undecided Whether I'm Voting At All
10% (5 votes)
Not Voting / Spoiling My Ballot
2% (1 vote)
Total votes: 51
Submitted by Richard Eriksson on May 26, 2004 - 6:10pm.

I created this poll with lots of choices, with the addition of "Undecided Whether I'm Voting At All" and "Not Voting / Spoiling My Ballot" because both are legitimate political expressions, the former being one where you don't know if any of the candidates are worth voting for and the latter because not voting or spoiling one's ballot can be an expression of disgust with the process or with the electoral system or just plain apathy. Apathy is not an ideal situation by far, but rather than shame people into voting, it is probably best to find out why those who don't care about the process and find ways to make people care about how their tax dollars are spent (or even *if* they should be taken in the first place!).

I'm especially interested in how this pertains to youth, because the youth are too busy being young, but a friend suggested to me that if you replace the word "politics" with the word "opportunity", you might better grab young people's attention.

Submitted by Devon on May 27, 2004 - 12:45am.

For once in my life, I feel *pleased* about deciding who to vote for. It only took me until I was 25 to figure out that I can make a difference.

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on May 27, 2004 - 2:01am.

I would suggest that your view that you can make a difference puts you in the minority. Care to expand on why that is though? Right now the priorities aren't making a difference but earning a living, which is a lot different than when I was in school because politics were all around me (being a Political Science major and all), but now that I'm in the so-called real world--as if universities aren't part of the real world--I've found the opposite: the media has such a tight control over what views we see that making a difference seems less possible than when I was surrounded by interesting new ideas and people.

Anticipating Boris, weblogs will change the world, and they have grown so much in popularity that the mainstream media have stopped bothering to explain what weblogs are. Someone recently said that a weblog isn't that big a deal, which is so wrong that I can't consider it seriously. It's just that voting is just one small part about democracy, and I guess that's part of why I'm undecided about voting: as important as voting is, speaking out (and having the choice not to speak out) is a bigger deal to me than who gets to sit in Parliament for the next few years, and the choice isn't very appealing when the choice is between which colour of cat gets elected. If you don't mind what colour of cat it is as long as it catches mice (and since I just looked it up, here's the Chinese, or at least one version of it: 不管是黑猫或是白猫,能抓老鼠的猫,就是好猫), this election is for you.

The NDP, is the most appealing party not because of any election platform promises, but because they seem like the most principled party of the major three. (I disclose a bias that I grew up in an NDP family.) They seem more interested in changing the system, and even if I may not like the changes they propose, I admire them for believing significant change is necessary.

Submitted by Boris Mann on May 27, 2004 - 10:01am.

Are you sure you didn't mean Roland there? Weblogs won't change the world, only people can do that. "Blogging" is not some special religion -- I always use the term "personal publishing": it's just a really easy way for anyone to put content on-line.

However, by being able to put content online and easily commenting and cross-linking to other content, blogs enable "conversations". Brochure-ware websites will never have the same power or impact as a real-time, interactive blog site.

I also come from an "NDP family". But when I try and classify my ideas/ideals, I'm all over the map. With Canada's current political system, it seems we have two, perhaps three choices.

1. We can vote for our local candidates on the basis of their own personality and stated aims.
2. We can vote for the party that the local candidates represent.
3. We can vote for the leader of the party.

In BC, every party has had a chance to screw up the province. Shouldn't we give another party the same chance at the federal level?

Submitted by NickBagley on June 3, 2004 - 11:27pm.

There is a fourth choice Boris: We can vote for a candidate/party/leader purely to try to prevent another candidate/party/leader from winning. Think of it as a vote "against" rather than "for".

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on June 3, 2004 - 11:32pm.

There is a fifth choice, which is to either not vote or spoil your ballot. I lump the two together, since the latter is a less subtle version of the former. Spoiling your ballot is effectively saying "none of the above" or "the political system is not legitimate". It's a lot harder to determine why people don't vote, although calling it "apathy" does not take into account those who don't vote because they don't think their vote is necessary for their candidate to win. I don't like mandatory voting like in Australia because sometimes not voting is a legitimate political expression.

Submitted by Boris Mann on June 4, 2004 - 1:59am.

So, rather than "the lesser of two evils", you figure you know which one is worse, and knowingly cast your vote in the other direction.

But are you not then also responsible for electing the entity you voted for?

I don't think I could do an against vote.

Submitted by Anonymous on May 27, 2004 - 1:51pm.

I live in Libby Davies' riding, and so I'm leaning NDP. I recently wrote a bunch of politicians about transportation issues, and Libby took the time to write me back personally, rather than send a form letter, and she also saved my mail and wrote back again when something new came up in that area. I was impressed. For the most part, I like the NDP platform (or what I know of it, haven't read the whole thing yet) and I like Jack Layton. I like the idea of the Liberals, but I'm pretty disappointed in their performance of late. I am very concerned about the Conservatives growing in power. So I think if the vote was today I'd pick NDP, but I'm still considering, and the Liberals or maybe even Greens could still woo my vote.

Submitted by Ian Bruk on May 27, 2004 - 7:48pm.

Found a great Drupal based web site today.

From the Governux & Legal section:
11 May 2004 - 07:00 Freedom, Laws, Conscience and Government by Wonko The Sane
7 May 2004 - 07:28 Use an Access Point, Go to Jail in the US? by Willy Smith
5 May 2004 - 14:39 Litigation-Free Village by Willy Smith
23 Apr 2004 - 07:11 Online Game Seeks to Rethink Governments by Willy Smith
22 Apr 2004 - 16:15 Brazil Aims to Save USD 1.1 Billion per Year with FLOSS by Willy Smith
8 Apr 2004 - 17:21 Company in US releases Source Code to Electronic Voting System by Willy Smith
24 Mar 2004 - 07:56 Macedonia: The agreement with Microsoft and the Government was non-transparent and corrupted by stojmir
6 Jan 2004 - 12:07 The Open Source Dilemma for Governments by Tom Adelstein by Willy Smith

My take is that government is the biggest "zero sum" game out there. What's the current date average Canadians work until solely to pay taxes? I believe it is July 2nd. Weblogs will change the way government works by exposing the waste and giving people options to organize themselves.

Submitted by Anonymous on May 31, 2004 - 8:02pm.

"Blogging will fundamentally change the (way) people interact with media and politics and provide us with an opportunity to overhaul our outdated democracies," he said.

Link to article in USA Today.

Submitted by Anonymous on June 1, 2004 - 4:00pm.

anyone know what makes communist appealing in Canada?

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on June 1, 2004 - 7:15pm.

According to our very unscientific poll, nobody yet finds the Communist Party or Canadian Communism appealing. I know a former Communist (who's now an NDPer, go figure) and every time I'm up at SFU I see honest-to-goodness communists handing out their newspapers and leaflets. People keep asking me if SFU is as politically active as it once was, and from what I know of its political activist history, the answer is an unequivocal No.

Communism has a really bad name, and justifiably so, so it's interesting that the Communist Party exists using the Communist label. You'd think they'd come up with something a little more catchy, like the Social Democratic Party, although when you use the word "social" in a phrase, you risk negating the word after it.

Submitted by Anonymous on June 1, 2004 - 8:46pm.

Stephen Harper MP: "When Mr. Harper rose to blast the Liberal government for "shameful" conduct and alluded to newspaper "mug shots" of four Liberal ministers. He remarked that the pictures could be posted "in most of the police stations in the country."

When Mr. Robinson rose to complain about the unparliamentary language, Mr. Harper retorted: "Mr. Speaker, I am sure the picture of the honourable member of the NDP is posted in much more wonderful places than just police stations."

Stockwell Day, MP: “God, as a God of love, warns us about things that can be detrimental to us. One of those things is sodomy.�

Myron Thompson, MP: “I want the whole world to know that I do not condone homosexuals. I hate homosexuality.�

Garry Breitkreuz, MP: "If this Bill passes, the institution of marriage will be the next casualty of gay and lesbian lobby groups and weak-kneed politicians. In the 1950s, buggery was a criminal offence, now it’s a requirement to receive benefits from the federal government.�

John Williams, MP:“Going back to the dawn of history and even before, society has organized its way in solid, committed unions between men and women. That is the way in which every society in the world has organized itself. There must be something in it.�

Lee Morrison, MP: “I frankly do not care how homosexuals choose to organize their lives, but to treat their unions as de facto marriages is downright silly. Not too many years ago, if anyone had suggested that homosexual couples living together under the same roof should be awarded the same social benefits as married people, they would have been laughed out of town. It would have been considered hilarious. Yet here we are. Is this progress? I doubt it.�

Reed Elley, MP:“By the mid-1960s we were in the midst of a sexual revolution. The feminist movement started a strident campaign to bring women into the 20th century. They wanted vengeance and retribution. A gradual blurring of the sexes occurred that gave young men growing up in many female dominated, single parent homes an identity crisis. This led to a rise in militant homosexuality The things that had been considered improper went looking for a desperate legitimacy.

In my view, no government can make legitimate any behaviour that has for centuries by tradition, custom, faith and the social contract been seen as destructive to family life If this bill passes without the amendments we have suggested, it will be a sad day for Canada and I, for one, would never want to be a part of that kind of country.�

Robert Ringma MP: Said in May, 1996, he would fire a black or gay person or move them "to the back of the shop" if their presence offended bigoted customers. Mr. Ringma quit as Reform party whip.

David Chatters MP: Echoed Mr. Ringma's remarks about gays and said a private religious college would be justified in firing an openly gay teacher. The Alberta MP was temporarily suspended from caucus.

Grant Hill MP: Alberta doctor described homosexuality as an "unhealthy lifestyle" in making references to certain illnesses more common among gays. He has repeated the remarks, even while running for party leader five years after first making them in 1996.

Cheryl Gallant MP: In April, 2002, the Ontario MP shouted "ask your boyfriend" at Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham in Question Period. Ms. Gallant denied making the comment, telling local reporters she was a victim of a "smear campaign" by the national media. She later apologized.

Larry Spencer MP: Said homosexuality should be illegal and alleged that a conspiracy to promote it includes the infiltration of North America's judiciary, schools and governments. The Saskatchewan MP was suspended from caucus.

Spencer's apology:

"I wish to apologize completely and without reservation for the personal comments I made in an interview yesterday with Peter O'Neil of the Vancouver Sun.
"I retract the statement I made indicating I would support a bill to criminalize homosexuality. I do not believe that homosexual behaviour should be criminalized or that homosexuals should be persecuted.
"I apologize for linking the homosexual community with pedophilia. I was wrong to draw such an inference.
"I apologize to my colleague Svend Robinson. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Robinson as both an individual and as a parliamentarian.
"Lastly, I apologize to Stephen Harper, the Canadian Alliance Caucus and supporters of the soon-to-be formed Conservative Party of Canada.
"I take full responsibility for my comments.
"They do not, in any way, reflect the views of my leader nor my party.
"This is why I volunteered to withdraw from the Canadian Alliance Caucus.
"I will not be making any further public comments on this issue."

Stockwell Day, MP: "On the links between abortion and child abuse:
"The thinking is, if you can cut a child to pieces or burn them alive with salt solution while they're still in the womb, what's wrong with knocking them around a little when they're outside the womb?" Edmonton Journal, March 10, 2000

Betty Granger, candidate: In November, 2000, Ms. Granger told University of Winnipeg students an "Asian invasion" was choking Canada's universities and influencing the West Coast economy. She resigned from the campaign.

Brian Fitzpatrick:candidate: In the November, 2000, election theSaskatchewan MP said during a native-organized candidates debate: "You can't scalp me because I haven't got much hair on top of my head." He was elected.

Ted White: MP ""At least 40 per cent of all the Iranians living there (North Vancouver) are refugee claimants�. "Most of them are bogus."

Ted White: MP "I cannot conceive of any way in which research in the fields of fine arts, classical studies, philosophy, anthropology, modern languages and literature, or medieval studies, which together accounted for over $5.3 million in grants from SSHRC in the last fiscal year, contributes to any ‘understanding of Canadian society of the challenges we face as we enter the 21st century.’ Research into such fields, as far as my constituents are concerned, constitutes a personal past-time, and has no benefit to Canadian taxpayers. As their representative, I cannot justify funding such activities with their tax dollars."

Dr. Laura Moss, a professor of Canadian and World literature at the University of Manitoba, feels that White's attack on federally funded research itself undermines the mandate of the SSHRC.

"The list of topics that MP Ted White finds questionable may be roughly broken into five categories: those based on gender norms and critiquing gender roles in Canadian society, those based on race, those based on youth culture, those based on studies of 'foreign' cultures, and those based on reassessing history," Moss explained.

"Paradoxically, by calling into question the value of work that deals with gender, race, multiculturalism, culture, history, and generational differences, White is reinforcing the very necessity for such work as representing some of the challenges we, as Canadians, face as we enter the 21st century,"

Stephen Harper 2001: "West of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.�

Submitted by Anonymous on June 2, 2004 - 6:14pm.

According to stats Canada there are 2.62 million Canadians aged 18 to 24. There are 9.09 million Canadians aged 25 to 44. There are 7.29 million Canadians between 45 and 64. Finally there are 3.88 million seniors. 25.4 per cent of 18 to 24 years old vote. 54.2 percent of 25 to 44 year olds vote. 70.9 percent of 45 to 64 years vote. Lastly, 82 percent of seniors vote. If these groups vote in the same ratio this time around, the numbers break down like this: 8.35 million voters will be 45 and older and 5.60 million will be 44 and younger. What this means is that once again the parties will be offering up a Grandparent government. After all, that is where the votes are.

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on June 2, 2004 - 6:33pm.

As the population ages, and as people get older, their priorities change. Voting is a right afforded only to those who are 18 and older, which means that a significant portion of the population is not represented. Some of them are even taxed without representation, because they have part-time and/or summer jobs in addition to school. (There are more voters than taxpayers, and this will always be the case if a minimum age is the major requirement for voting, since many are unemployed, students, between jobs or don't make enough to pay taxes. Because there will always be more voters than taxpayers, policies encouraging progressive taxation will always therefore be fairly popular.)

I had thought last week about how controversial a *maximum* voting age would be. I decided it would be too controversial to support, and besides, being in my mid-twenties makes me more than hypocritical: why should I support denying a group their existing voting rights if I get to keep mine? Is there any support out there for a maximum voting age, or is that idea too looney to even consider?

Submitted by Anonymous on April 29, 2005 - 6:06pm.

Yes and this is the reason behind the opression and legal destruction of families by grandparents under varies Grandparent Rights acts in Canada and US. For more information about this phenomenon that stripped parents of their fundamental rights refer to www.parentsrights.com and www.parentsrights.net and www.parentsrights.org

Submitted by Anonymous on June 3, 2004 - 12:56am.

I think the solution is not making political platforms more attractive to young people per say. Anyway, this is very hard to do and still run an effective election campaign. There are some very large generational gaps opening up (e.g., gay marriage) and in so long as the under 45 crowd shows up in far fewer numbers than the over 45 crowd, the political parties have no choice but to pander to that older demographic. What I think needs to be changed is the answers people give to the question “why vote�? Indeed, I do not think that we as a society have come up with compelling response to great numbers of young people who say that they find none of the parties appealing and so they are not voting. I think the only answer we can give is this: it is not so much who you vote for but rather that you vote. If young people start voting in greater numbers, the parties will start building the platforms around them.

Some people mention that they are tired of all the candidates being 55 year old plus white males. Although I must second this, my response is, well, get off your ass. While the problem is, of course, wrapped in low voting turnouts among the younger generation, this problem is far less intractable. Young people should take a page from the book of many minority groups, join parties on mass and nominate the candidate of their choosing.

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on June 3, 2004 - 1:04am.

I recently read two excellent articles about voting and youth. One is a Slate article which argues we need to put the party back in political party, and another in the Village Voice that argues youth fight are active politically, but are more inclined to fight for causes other than their own. Politics is a dirty word with the youth, but if you use a different word like, say, "opportunities", then I think you'll have a better chance of getting young people involved.

Submitted by Anonymous on June 3, 2004 - 1:02am.

Another problem associated with young voters is their ignorance of the issues. An easy way of making them aware of them is to hand out flyers. Put flyers up on boards. This, of course, will be better suited for some issues than for others. However, it can be effective. If, for example, someone feels that the Conservative Party is not a good fit with Canada’s multicultural society they could simply hand out flyers with offensive quotes from various Conservative members on them.

Stephen Harper leader of the Conservative Party “West of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada: People who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western society� Do not let this guy win. Vote on June 28.

Failing that, people can just send out mass emails to people they know.

Submitted by Richard Eriksson on June 13, 2004 - 12:17am.

Today I saw two negative ads: one by the Liberals against the Conservatives, and another by the NDP against both the Liberals and the Conservatives (granted, the NDP ad at least said what they'd do as an alternative, but keep in mind my bias). So far the Green Party has stayed above the fray by...well, I haven't seen an ad by them yet, but I was impressed by the composure of its leader Jim Harris. Add those two negative advertisements to the Conservatives (you know, the one where it shows people throwing bags of money out to the trash), by process of elimination...

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