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I Think I’m Going To Be A Seperatist

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I’m very disappointed with the Canadian election. Not that the Liberals won but that the NDP candidate in my riding did so poorly. Whatever, that was kind of no surprise, but the fact that they came in 4th in my riding made me angry. I was either going to vote Bloc or NDP in Monday’s election, but I wanted to vote for the candidate for the best chance because I didn’t really see a difference in their platform (other than that the Bloc promotes Quebec soverignty). I called the NDP office in Montreal and asked them if they’re candidate had a hope in hell in winning my riding (the NDP is pretty much non-existant in Quebec, so “hope in hell” is a pretty accurate term). I explained to them my problem and the woman I spoke to on the phone told me that that the NDP are in a better position than the Bloc to win, although they were definitely well behind the Liberals. After talking with her for ten minutes, she had me convinced that a vote for the NDP would help knock out the incumbent Liberal out of the seat in my riding.

Well, not only did the NDP not come close to winning, they were behind the Bloc in the riding as well. I hate being lied to. I mean, I know that I should have done more research in the polls, but still, the way the NDP were saying that the Bloc was pretty much non-existant in the riding and the they would be eating the NDP’s dust, it seemed to me that my vote was better off with the NDP. The woman told me (as did a supporter who came knocking on my door) saying that voting for the Bloc would be ok to them because they believed in many of the same principles as the NDP, it doesn’t make sense to me why they would want to decieve me like that (okay, decieve is too strong a word, but I hate being lied too.

I think NDP leader Jack Layton is a good guy, but unless he wants my vote in any future election, he’s going to have to shake my hand and personally apologize to me. He’s lucky I don’t make him eat his parents because I really hate being lied too.

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About James Gore

  • Jim Carruthers

    I haven’t lived in Quebec in a long time, but I know bien sur that the NDP have no chance of getting any votes. Since there has never been a provincial NDP, and any of the few founding Quebec NDP members left to form the Bloc, it seems silly to me to blame your lack of local politics knowledge on Jaunty Jack, the leader of the Nude Democratic Party. You would have been off voting Rhino.

    Now, here in Toronto, where we actually had a chance to get some NDP seats, but the likely ones were lost by slim margins (under 10 per cent) because of a last minute Gliberal campaign: “if you vote NDP, you’re voting for the Conservatives (who didn’t stand a chance downtown)”. Now, that’s frustrating.

    Oh, and Happy Canada Day! (half an hour later in Newfoundland).

  • James Gore

    That’s so cute, the way you make up names like that.

    Actually, in my riding, there is heavy support for the NDP, but analyzing the way the vote turned out in the riding, many people voted Liberal to counteract the Conservative vote (it had been closer than anyone originally thought). The riding has many students, of which feel more comfortable with the NDP or Green Party than the Liberals.

    However, I voted NDP because I was told that they had a better chance than the Bloc to defeat the Liberals. My problem is that the NDP came in fourth, behind the Bloc. My theory failed me (although on election day, I was starting to wonder if I had been better off voting Liberal in the advance polls) and the lies about near victory from the NDP camp.

  • Jim Carruthers

    For those reading in the States, a brief, confusing primer on Canadian politics. Wednesday, we had a federal election which resulted in a minority government in the House of Commons.

    Federally, we have Liberals, Conservatives (who changed their name from the Alliance party (separatists) after a hostile takeover of the Progressive Conservatives), the Bloc Quebecois (separatists) and the NDP (Nude Democratic Party).

    Traditionally, success in federal politics is based on controlling seats in Ontario and Quebec. In Ontario, the provincial government has been between the Liberals, the Conservatives (who really aren’t the same as the new federal conservatives) and the NDP.

    In Quebec, you have the Liberals (the leader is the former leader of the federal PCs), the Parti Quebecois (which was founded by former Liberals), and the Conservatives, but they don’t really exist anymore. In addition, the federal Bloc was founded by former federal Conservative cabinet members.

    I won’t even get into what “crossing the floor” means.

    Happy Canada Day.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Just two points, James, a campaign worker who tells you the campaign is doomed is an ex-campaign worker, or working for another party. Second, most students don’t vote, and of the few who do, most of them (especially in Montreal where the majority of students at the Universities are registered in other ridings from where they live and go to school.

    Since Elections Canada had a whole campaign about how about 80 per cent of young people don’t vote, the few you know in your downtown riding, probably supported the NDP, but most of them voted in other ridings (especially it being summer and all). However, since only about 61 per cent of registered voters actually voted, that’s where the NDP support probably went.

    Here in Toronto we have an online site called Toronto Votes which has a database on party percentages in the last election, MP speaking records in the House, and who is running. Surely there must be something similar in Montreal (yeah, I know, don’t call you Shirley).

  • James Gore

    Two points, Jim, I don’t live downtown. My riding is situated in the same area as about half of the students of my school (most of the others comprise of students from the Pierrefonds-Dollard riding and German exchange students). True, the voter turnout rate for students is pretty low, but in my area, students are very politcally active. The candidate of the NDP party in my riding, myself, and a couple of other started a small newsmagazine that were being sent to the CEGEPs of Montreal and was being recieved very nicely despite having very little funds. It is now one of two official John Abbott College newspapers (although I no longer write for it).

    Secondly, when I called the NDP a week before the election, she told me that the Liberals had a 90% chance of winning in my riding. I’m not complaning about the fact that the NDP lost. I’m complaining about how poorly they did. They only had about 10% of what the Liberals had. The Green Party had only a few hundred less; not that much difference. I’m not pissed that the NDP lost; I was expecting them to lose. It’s how big they lost that gets me.

  • Steve Rhodes

    Obviously not enough people called the NDP office.

    While occasionally people working on a campaign are honest and realistic about their chances (I was), it isn’t often enough. Most of the time it is more about being realistic than being honest. The campaign workers have to at least tell themselves their candidate will win in order to work such long hours, put relationships at risk, etc.

    We just need Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) everywhere so you could have put NDP first, Bloc second, etc. And then if your first choice isn’t in the top two, you vote goes to another of your choices.

    We are going to have IRV for the first time this fall in San Francisco local elections and Berkeley has also voted to implement it.

  • James Gore

    I’m not much a fan of the IRV. I don’t think your vote should be given a second chance. I’m not even a fan of multiple ballot voting where if there are more candidates in the election, each round of elections knocks out the candidate with the least amount of votes, unless someone manages to get 50%+1 of the total vote.

    It’s an idea to improve democracy, but I don’t think it’s the best idea. Although, it’s not like I have a brilliant solution to reform the system for the better.

  • Jonathan

    The NDP candidate in my riding is only two years older than me (20) and a bunch of my friends used to sit around in his garage and smoke weed with him.
    In the election his garage was his campaign office..Go figure.
    You should have done your own research and found out that NDP havn’t ever won a seat in quebec.
    Sadly in Quebec it seems that the only choices are Liberal or Bloc, anything else is a protest vote.

  • James Gore

    Whoa. Wait a minute. I know that the Liberals and the Bloc have a lock on the province and that the NDP have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the province, but it’s not impossible for them to win a seat. Last election, a Conservative won a seat in Quebec. There have also been prior elections were independent candidates have won.