"This is common within the Harper Tories to find people whose views are based on... I don't know where they get their views from, but they're not scientific."
We found 16 special ridings that will change the outcome of the election. In these ridings: the Conservative candidate is ahead, one of the progressive candidates is a close second, while the other is a distant third but still has enough support to impact the result. If the Liberal and NDP parties cooperate in all 16 ridings, they will each take eight seats from the Conservatives, stopping the Conservative party from forming the government.
Caught up in its contradictions, the NDP hopes nobody will notice. There is the Sherbrooke Declaration NDP, which promises a condition-free right to opt out for the Government of Quebec. And then there is the centralist NDP, which unilaterally sets its childcare plan according to a rigid model incompatible with the contemporary practice of Canadian federalism.
Who do Canadians trust to shepherd our country though what may be a coming turbulence? Our current election sees once more a plethora of "Star candidates" that normal Canadians know nothing about -- and their victory or defeat will have nothing to do with the very little light that these stars emit.
Each of the leaders would present a different face of Canada to the world. Mulcair clearly demonstrated a new NDP approach to the realm of foreign affairs for Canada. Trudeau worked hard to dig into his opponents, but didn't present himself as a possible world leader. Stephen Harper managed to stay out of any major trouble and reinforced his image as a "tough on terror" PM.
In 1992, Canada was the world's leading contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Canada now ranks a dismal 68th in personnel contributions to UN peacekeeping. This dramatic decline began under the Liberals. Our international engagement programs took us from #1 to #32 by the time the Conservatives took office in 2006 -- they continued the Liberal abandonment of UN peacekeeping as a key role for Canada.
I was quite taken aback by Justin Trudeau's performance at the Globe and Mail debate. We have all seen how Stephen Harper's Conservatives fail to tell the truth and mislead the public, so it's hard to believe that anyone could do worse. My issue with Trudeau has nothing to do with his performance or speaking skill. It has everything to do with the substance and content of his speech, and this speaks to his integrity.
Since 1993 there were five elections, none of which were determined by Quebec's participation. None. The Quebecois vote has been meaningless federally for a long time. In 2011 Harper had only five members elected in Quebec, having had 10 in each of the previous two elections, and he still obtained a strong majority.
The trend is clear: when voters are faced with a left-leaning party campaigning on centrist economic ideals, they will pick the real deal every time. Every. Single. Time. At its best, Mulcair's NDP can inspire. Bill C-51 is the best example, but its universal child-care policy and promise to abolish the senate also fall into this category. But there have been too many blunders. Mulcair's sudden love for balanced budgets not only affirms the faulty framework that inexplicably lauds Stephen Harper as a responsible steward of the economy, it cedes precious ground to Trudeau at the moment Canadians want an alternative to neoliberal pabulum.
A year ago -- Sept. 26 to be exact -- Prime Minister Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The flights alone cost $300,000.
A large percentage each of NDP and Liberal supporters (over 30 per cent) is prepared to vote for the other if it is seen as the better option to defeat the Conservatives. However, the current deadlock has not revealed who that is and any gains made by either are small -- The tipping point, if it in fact occurs, may come down to Canadians making a judgement similar to that expressed in folklore and widely known as the Judgement of Solomon.
When we cast our ballot, most of us believe that we are voting for a prime minister. Indirectly, we are. But we actually vote for an individual who, if elected, sits in the House of Commons as the representative of one of 338 federal constituencies in Canada. -- Despite our creeping cynicism and dismissiveness of our MPs, few jobs are as important, and the people whose names are actually on the ballot matter a lot. Yet, we rarely take time to assess whether they should be entrusted with the duties of a lawmaker. Often, our only focus is on the party leader, which comes at the expense of getting to know the person we are actually going to be voting for.
All party Leaders in this election will -- or at least should -- tell you that they want to see more women in politics, and that Canadians would be better served by a more balanced representation in the House of Commons. But what sets Tom Mulcair apart from Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, is that he won't simply wring his hands and lament the sad state of affairs.
Ask yourself this: Do you have to pay back part of your salary because your employer is poorly run and losing money? Do you have to start saving six months in advance for potentially not being paid two and half months and not being told exactly how much until only months before you're getting the cuts?
As a socialist, I was excited for this election as I hoped the NDP would stretch its wings and become a vocal proponent for the poor, the under-housed, the underemployed, etc.; that they would put front and centre the issues that carry the greatest ethical and moral weight for Canada's society. But no. The party of the little man -- Tommy Douglas's party of mice refusing to be led by cats -- is now courting middle-income Canadians. For me the crisis facing Canadians is not one of an attack on the middle class.
There is a lot to consider as we approach October's federal election. But most of all, we're frightened about the potential devastation of the Earth itself. This federal election is especially important because Canada's next Prime Minister will represent us at the 21st UN Framework on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris at the end of this year -- barely one month after our new government is chosen.