Election 2011 fallout - over to you, readers

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

88 comments

vote-ballot
Nothing like the feeling of casting a ballot

Later this week I’ll be writing about what myself and many other political watchers in B.C. have dubbed “The Year of the Voter.” For those of us who follow politics, and take the time to “exercise our franchise” each time there’s an election, 2011 is a wealth of riches. 

Of course, changes in British Columbia’s leadership triggered a tidal wave of electioneering. The BC Liberals were first out of the gate, with a province-wide contest which had the first big application of internet voting, and a ranked ballot system to replace the one member, one vote practice from before. The end result was Christy Clark as Premier.

Then the NDP got into the leadership replacement business. They moved to one member, one vote, and began criss-crossing the province to convince members who should lead their party. The end result was Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix taking the reigns of power.

Today voters are heading to the polls to decide the future of the Conservatives, NDP and Liberal Party of Canada. The latter appears to be at a crossroads, especially outside of Canada’s big cities. What do you think will happen to the Liberal Party after this election, readers?

Let’s not forget the HST referendum mail-in ballot set for June, and the whispers of a provincial election in the fall.

For city watchers here on this site, our biggest interest will be the municipal elections in November. On Wednesday the NPA will cut off their membership in advance of their June 4th nomination meeting. If you want to support some of the candidates like Suzanne Anton, Sean Bickerton, Francis Wong, Joe Carangi, John Coupar and of course CityCaucus.com co-founder Mike Klassen, you’ve got only until Wednesday, May 4th to sign up as a member.

Of course COPE and Vision have done a backroom deal to leave much less to chance when it comes to their membership, and the results of the 2011 election. Vision Vancouver will have a meeting with their members to confirm the slate of Gregor Robertson for mayor and seven candidates for council – most likely all incumbents.

COPE will also decide soon who will fill their three spots for council. Will one of them be former city councillor Tim Louis? That would provide COPE perhaps one of the few chances to actually hold a seat on council, given Louis’ skill at getting the public’s attention.

I’ll have more to say about this election season on steroids later this week. For now, readers, I turn it over to you. What do you think will be the fallout from tonight’s federal election, or any other upcoming contests for that matter? Will there be any shake-up in all of the major parties as a result of this election?

- post by Daniel. Follow @CityCaucus on Twitter tonight after the polls close.

88 Comments

wow... did not see those numbers coming..

How will this be monitored?

Vancouver may become first city to have on-line voting
Vancouver/CKNW(AM980)

5/2/2011


Vancouver is about to become the first city in the province to allow on-line voting in a municipal election.
Vancouver city staff are recommending council approval, in principle, the use of internet voting on a pilot basis for this fall's election.

Staff say there are benefits to on-line voting such as increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities, youth and other people who may find it difficult to visit a traditional voting station. The downside they say is the possibility of stolen PIN numbers.

Staff say they are optimistic funding can be found within the existing operating budget.

On-line voting has been in place in several Ontario municipalities since 2003.

How will this be monitored?
I had the same thought Max... look at all the PIN issues that arose during the Liberal party vote...

The worst possible outcome. The only upside is that Ignatieff the foreigner is history.

A sad day for Canada as we march towards an American style system of Right vs Left. And expect a PQ government and referendum under Harper's reign.

Wonder if Gregor will call Harper now to see if he wants to get in on some of that gang war press.

@MayorGregor has sidled up to federal Liberals throughout his time as Vancouver's mayor. His caucus often go out of their way to take pokes at their federal Conservative counterparts.

Gregor was even seen by insiders as a potential member of a Liberal front bench, even someone who might replace Hedy Fry someday as Vancouver-Centre's MP.

Clearly that strategy will have to be reconsidered, and the Mayor must reign in his caucus from taking jabs at the government in Ottawa.

What Vancouver's leadership needs is a more conciliatory tone when it comes to dealing with the Tories, especially now that they have formed a majority.

While my election prediction (shared with the Vancouver Roundtable) was fairly close on the percentage vote, I was a way, way off on the number of seats won by each party.

Which has me thinking...if any party can win a solid majority when only 24% of the population vote for it, is it not time to change the entire voting system?

Of course I know this is not going to happen, at least in the next decade, but hopefully one day we will see a more representative electoral system.

One other thought. I suspect an increased youth vote, engendered by Twitter and Facebook, may have resulted in the modest increase in voter turnout...I'll be interested to know if this is right.

Now, as for the implications of last night's election on the November municipal elections, I'll leave it to others to speculate. But I'm sure there are some important lessons to be learned!

I have have just finished reading Ethan Baron's lament in the Province. I quote
"I wish I could believe that vast numbers of Canadians support Prime Minister harper because they are stupid."

" I wish I could persuade myself that almost half of the voters are so fantastically dim that they believe the contempt of parliament finding against Harper's government was political manoeuvring instead of of an attempt to impose accountability on an evasive authoritarian regime.

His rant goes on to charge the Tory Government of "unprecedented secrecy and muzzling of public servants" "endless evidence that it is the people and not just Parliament, that Harper holds in contempt."

I could go on but, I ask this question where the hell is the indignation when it come to local politics. Is he suffering from LEFT ear problems.

Insert Vision Vancouver for Tory.
Insert Gregor (Bubble Boy) Robertson for Harper.

Ethan Baron is certainly entitled to his opinion and to that degree I agree.
But for gods sake whats good for the goose must be good for the gander Ethan.

Hedy no show Fry again NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Michael, I suspect that if the Liberals or NDP formed gov't that there would be less complaining in social media circles about the percentage of vote (or the general population for that matter) that actually voted for a governing party.

In Vancouver, there was 32% voter turnout for the 2008 election. That means Vision Vancouver got their overwhelming majority with just over 16% of the electorate.

How many people have complained about this in the past three years? Do you read a single tweet or Facebook post complaining that Gregor won with the support of a fraction of the electorate?

Youth are not turning out to vote for a variety of reasons. But I think the main reason is that we're not putting enough effort into showing our kids how to be good citizens, and explaining our system of governance.

re: an American style system of Right vs Left:

Looks more like a B.C. style system of a bunch of folks amalgamating on the right (Cons) opposed by a bunch of guys amalgamating on the left (NDP). We've operated in this province on this very model forever. Give it time... it might work. The last go-around certainly didn't, and the center Libs and fringe BLoc shouldn't look much further than their noses if they wish to know why.

Congrats to Mr. Harper and congrats too to Mr. Layton, who demonstrated he deserves the opportunity to show if his party can be an effective conscience in opposition.

PS to Mr. Ignatieff- don;t let the Red Door hit your arse on the way out.

And we won't have to listen to or give into the Bloc anymore.

One of the things that stood out as far as Layton and the NDP, was the number of followers he had on Facebook and Twitter.

It was mentioned several times how he was outpacing his compeition in the social media market.

As for students - I do think there is need for a push to engage young people and as most are (heavily) hooked into technology, that is the perfect start.

I do hate hearing during street interviews the words...'yeah, I dont really pay too much attention....'

The NPA should host a pub night at the Pit or one of the other local pubs at UBC (I know there is a good Irish one in the area, but can't remember the name) Reach out to the students. (Just don't show up in a suit and tie!)

Mike,

I'm disgusted you've posted after FH and didn't delete his post.

@ boohoo:

Mike is no longer on City Caucus staff. He resigned once announcing his run for council.

to be fair boohoo,
I think I read somewhere that daniel, no longer Mike, is responsible for monitoring the blog...

@boohoo Daniel nor I simply hadn't noted it yet. It's now been removed.

I always find it amusing when someone takes the voter turnout number and then assumes that everyone who did not vote would not have voted for the winner.

Vision should feel pretty good about the local results. Liberal/NDP voters carried the night in Vancouver Centre and Quadra. That can't be bad for Vision. If Clarke and Meredith had won I think it would be lights out for Vision.

Nationally, the NDP gains seem a little overstated. They picked up about 25 real seats. Good for them. The ran 1 of 2 great campaigns.

But before anyone else trashes the Conservatives, remember that 1 in 2 people who actually voted between Ontario and BC voted conservative.

The Quebec gains are potentially fleeting. Recall when the ADQ won a ton of seats in 2007. Shortly thereafter, Quebecers realized they elected a swatch of students/waiters/warm bodies who just got a 20 fold increase in income.
They tossed them out like last nights leftovers within months.

Is Deb Meredith going to run for the NPA now? Hard to feel that she could win after the results last night.

Line of the night
Jay Hill to NDP pundit Ian Capstick

Capstick: "how can Maxime Bernier get back in cabinet. He's screwed up like 5 times before"

Hill: "I thought the NDP believed in rehabilitation!"

Mike, thanks. Makes me wonder if you actually read the comments here though! :)

Max, George, etc... No one said anything about it. That's depressing.

rf:

The NDP made great gains in Quebec. Layton made a lot of promised to the people and it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

As for inexperienced cabinet ministers, well, Quebec is a good start.

Did that one girl make it back from Vegas or is she still partying?

Time to put your big pants on kids - work is calling!

@ George:

Sorry folks hijacking this thread for a PSA...:)

Clothes2U is organizing an event in Kits. Once I hear the when and where, I will let you know.

Thanks all!

Yep MAX,the official opp.party is now Que.that should really pull the country together.Yikes!!!!

Max,
"Did that one girl make it back from Vegas or is she still partying?"

She is apparently back from Vegas, she works in a University pub... and speaks very little french..

The majority government was decided in Ontario. 20 added Conservative seats with 16 of those added in the 905 area code turning over mostly Liberal to Conservative.

Outside of downtown Toronto, the NDP has little traction and most are loathe to think of an NDP governed country. Memories of Rae Days and uncertain times during the NDP majority in Ontario still linger large.

Ontario manufacturing was hurting during the recession. They've also had a large amount of Harper Economic Action Plan money dropped on them. I think when presented with the prospect of the Orange wave that was taking over Quebec, many Ontario Liberals who were unconvinced about Ignatieff saw the Conservative vote as the only option.

Let's also not forget what had transpired since the 2008 federal election. Led by Stephan Dion, it was the first time we saw a federal campaign about climate change and the green economy (sound familiar?)

Since that election, we have seen North American urban civic governments emphasize their version of the same policies. But just look at the nature of cities contained in 905 to see how little the message plays any relevance. Single family dwellings, and the automobile dominate in 905.

Our preoccupations in downtown Vancouver or Toronto with peak oil, urban density, greenest city bluster mean little in highway crisscrossed 905.

Interesting to see Rae is looking at becoming the next leader of the Federal Liberal party.

As for Hedy Fry, I cannot believe she survived ....again. Aside from decalring the 'crosses were burning on the lawns of Prince George', and dissing military families in the Atlantic provinces, what is this woman's claim to fame?

Well, she just got a new job and a huge raise in pay, not to mention pension benefits.

I guess school is now on the back burner.

Finally we are near the end of 20th C politics. The old Liberals - gone. Bloc Quebecois - gone. Green - one person in.

I am not yet convinced that Jack Layton is a leader for the 21st C. I think we are going to see 8 years of the CPC at the Federal level.

The big question is are we evolving towards a polarized system or will a centrist option emerge and prevail?

Given that the CPC wants to reduce the scale of government this could be an opportunity for a resurgent role for municipalities and municipal politics. I will be looking to Vancouver's municipal parties for new ideas, new people and to execute on improving the quality of life for everyone.

I know that we don't (yet) have the tools at the municipal level, but I hope NPA, Vision and COPE can come together and work to give Vancouver a stronger charter.

I like my politics to be close to where I live!

Max, nowhere have I heard that she was a student... that is the problem, she now needs to go to school and learn french...

from the Globe&Mail
Ms. Brosseau – who lives in Gatineau, Que. – spent most of the campaign working in an Ottawa pub, where she is an assistant manager. That meant she was nowhere to be seen in the riding, which is about a three hour’s drive east.

I believe Rae had mentioned last night there may come a time for dialog to unify the liberal and NDP parties. So it would be interesting to see what would happen if under his leadership. Maybe he thinks he can steward the same as what Harper and Peter MacKay pulled together, then step aside for a popular leader.

Unless he thinks he is the future face of the Liberal party, in which case leading the Liberals into further demise perhaps.

Regarding Fry, it was a very close race in the end but she has large support for the work she has done in the gay community which is what probably tipped it in her favour. From what I hear her attendance in government is poor, I barely hear of her in between elections, and after hearing how long she's been in government, I was personally hoping for a change.

Viva Quebec's Libras! ...and viva Las Vegas too! This new government job is going to be tres awesome.....

She barely won by 4%. I asked my roommate who votes regularly for her about the burning crosses and military incidents, he had never heard about them. She has the uninformed vote sewn up! Her biggest claim to fame is her annual appearances in outlandish attire at the Pride parade. Otherwise pretty invisible.

It is probably impossible, but i would hope that we can keep Federal politics separate from municipal politics. The CPC has no urban policies, but maybe you guys can turn that into a good thing. Carve out more space for municipal politicians to act and take on issues that impact us.

I think there are two alternative views of good urban government. (i) the city government should do as little as possible, keep taxes as low as possible, let people make their own choices (stop subsidizing cars for example) and focus on doing a very few things well. (ii) the city government should have a clear view of where the city is going and help to shape it, it should have economic, social and cultural policies and have the taxation authority to deliver them.

As far as I can tell, both the NPA and Vision fall into the second type, though they have different views on what kind of future Vancouver should have.

boohoo,

I actually made a conscious decision not to comment.

I wanted to see what others thought... I realize that sometimes I rush to comment, so today I decided to watch..

That being said... ever consider that some of us are monitoring City Caucus decisions as well... just another perspective...

I was given what for by danial last week, for slagging City Caucus staff...now you slag me for not speaking up.... I can't win :-)

George et al

A quick observation:

George, you mentioned last week you felt a little duped by the blurriness at CC between it being a public forum and an NPA platform . I commented that I thought some clarity was required and hoped to give it time.

Boohoo just this a.m. complained to Mike Klassen about the comment by FH Leghorn, and Mike did something about it. Mike Klassen officially is not on the editorial board as of April 20th, when announcing his candidacy. His actions in an editorial capacity today ("Daniel Nor I hadn't noted it yet....") lend credence to the theory the line is still too blurry, and perhaps this forum is perhaps the NPA newspaper after all. M

Just an observation, and one I'm sure many will jump on me for making. But the point needs making - more clear definition is required there boys IMHO!


I think Hedy got a sweet pension plan for DRs.after all she is one,and cant have our DRs.eating KD and dog food in their retirement.And I wonder how libbys french is?

thank you for noticing douglas...that was my point...

@douglas. I feel responsibility for upholding the policy set out here on decorum and respect. I notified Daniel about the problem with the FH comment, and it was dealt with.

Apart from comments, my contributions to CC are at the discretion of the new editor Daniel.

@ Mike: "I feel responsibility for upholding the policy set out here "

I would think it is up to the editor of City Caucus to uphold policy. Your acting to uphold policy does reflect some of the fuzziness of which I speak..... you previously stated you resigned as editor during your candidacy but you find yourself compelled to act as policy regulator for this site. From where I sit, it's one or the other, or its hazy optics moving ahead. Your choice.

Feel free to disagree. But on future. less innocuous issues, is it disagreement with an NPA candidate or the City Caucus policymaker may not be clear. Its not too early to turn a little forethought to these optical phenomena now that you are clearly a candidate.

Thought I'd do a little copy and paste from Jeff Lee's column... here is our Mayor's congratulatory message for the new government..oh so embarrassing..Gregor shows more enthusiasm for a hockey game...

Statement from Mayor Robertson on the Federal Election

"I’d like to congratulate Don Davies, Libby Davies, Hedy Fry, Joyce Murray, and Wai Young on winning election as members of Parliament for Vancouver. I know that all of them, despite their political differences, are committed to making Vancouver and Canada a better place for our citizens.

"I am confident that by having a diverse range of federal political representation in Ottawa, the issues and concerns of Vancouver’s citizens will have a strong voice in the House of Commons. As Mayor, I will continue to champion the interests of our city and push for solutions on our most pressing issues, be they increasing affordable housing, investing in clean transportation, or strengthening our local economy.

"Our Council has worked effectively with the federal government in recent years to deliver results for Vancouver, and we intend to keep doing so. I look forward to working closely with all members of Parliament from Vancouver in the months ahead, so that we can keep improving our great city."

Max,

You have shown remarkable restraint in not pointing out that Jack Layton will once again be living in taxpayer subsidized housing.

Check out Christie Blatchford in the Globe today. You have to be pretty partisan not to feel just a wee bit uncomfortable with our new Leader of the Opposition.

Sorry, Bill, working on choking this back first....

Pierre-Luc Dusseault, a 19-year-old student of applied politics at the Universite de Sherbrooke, now becomes the youngest member of Parliament in Canadian history, according to the House of Commons website.

He surpasses Claude-Andre Lachance, a Trudeau Liberal who was elected at age 20 in 1974.

Dusseault, who will earn the basic MP's salary of $157,731, used his Facebook page to thank voters for expressing confidence in him.

Bill, as I stated before, I highly doubt it was Layton's first time 'at the rodeo'.

He would have been in his 40's at that time, not like a 20 something that makes a stupid mistake.

What's wrong with that statement George? Seems pretty generic to me.

Max, what's wrong with having a young person in government?

Nothing boohoo, provided they have the wherewithall to be there.

But there are 4 new cabinet ministers in Quebec who never even mentioned to co-workers, friends etc that they were involved with or running for the NDP.

Nothing like a free ride on the tax payers dime.

not sure what you're trying to say boo..

OK boo
I went back to see which of my comments you chose to respond to.. yes Gregor's congratulatory speech was very generic...but he forgot one really important point... he forgot that as our spokesperson he should have congratulated the new Premier.. like it or not.. it is called having some class and not being a poor sport!! Perhaps not alienate the majority government for the next 4 years..

George,

You will pointing out how little enthusiasm you thought the mayor's message showed--I'm wondering where you see that, and what does it matter?

Sounds like just another excuse to pile on the mayor.

Max,

Where does it say that?

He congratulated all the winners from Vancouver, including the Conservative so... He's the mayor of a city, that's it. You guys give this guy too much credit!

boo
the Mayor represents every citizen in Vancouver... and to be honest I don't need to look for reasons to pile on Gregor, he does it to himself..

'He congratulated all the winners from Vancouver, including the Conservative so'

boohoo

The major point you are missing here is that Vancouver is still part of CANADA.

Joel and Tides Foundation have not yet been successful, in separating us from the rest of the country.... all that federal money for housing Gregor is looking for to end homelessness comes from... you guessed it... the government that is in power for the next 4 years...

Gregor showed no class at all...never mind business or political sense..by the comments he made he revealed himself as an inappropriate spokesperson for Vancouver Canada..

whatever George, mountain out of nothing here. I'm sure Harper isn't losing sleep because one of a thousand mayors out there didn't congratulate him.

boo

"whatever George", now that is a gown up comment....it proves my point exactly boo...

Gregor hasn't got enough political savvy to start relationship building... so you are right, Prime Minister Harper won't notice....a small town like Vancouver with the small town mentality, of a non local yokel, that tries to pretend he is running it well.

Kumbaya my friend..

With only two major parties in play federally right now, Michael, I expect that the next election would be more "clear cut" in terms of % the vote.

The vote was split 3 ways, anyways, so that accounts for what we see today. How many times have the Liberals reached 50%?

The story is: You need to get a majority of votes in your riding. End of story. Who cares about "vote splitting"? It's nonsense. It's voter pref.

Also puts to paid any coalition talk, here in Canada. Two distinct and different parties, the NDP and the Liberals, could not get it together. That might change in the future, but certainly wasn't the case now.

And if too many Canadians are still not making their way to advance polls or out on voting day, perhaps the time is nigh for a very simple solution: compulsory voting.

Angry guy-

I concur with you - voter preferences all the way. The whining about proportionality seems to come when 'our candidate' (whomever it is) doesn't get the largest proportion. Joyce Murray's 'victory' speech last night began with the observation that 60% of the population didn't vote Tory. Sorry Joyce, but less than 20% voted your way. The system works.

As for compulsory voting - nonsense. Keep it strictly voluntary, but empower Elections Canada to assess a fine of $100 000 on any non-voting nimrod with the temerity to complain afterward about the results. That ought to compensate for a few of these trips to the polls!

How do the homeless, or those to which obtaining official ID poses a higher than normal bar, get accommodated in a system that demands mandatory voting?

First Jack and Olivia are caught living in subsidized housing, despite the fact they both have good paying jobs. Now they're moving into Stornoway and both have $157K MP salaries and pensions.

I guess you could argue that after 24 Sussex, Stornoway is Canada's most costly subsidized housing.

That's why Jack and Olivia will fit right at home there. Except unlike their last social housing, this time they have servants who help make their bed. All of this is just too disgusting.

I still don't see why you're so upset about these young candidates.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/pierre-luc-dusseault-becomes-canadas-youngest-ever-mp-171538874.html

Not sure what everyone was expecting last night. Maybe a minority instead of majority but there was absolutely no indications anywhere that the conservatives were going to get the boot. Perhaps his big surprise was that the Liberals did so poorly? The Liberals won 4 seats west of Toronto. Not sure how that can be viewed as a national party.

40% of the popular vote in a 4 party system is pretty good. Obama had 52% with 2 parties in play. Last time we had a 50% popular vote was 1984 and it went to the Conservatives with 211 seats. In 2000, the Liberals picked up 172 seats with 40% of the vote. They are intending to add 30 more seats to parliament in time for the next election to reflect the redistributions of populations. 18 will go to Ontario, 7 for BC and 5 for Alberta. I can't see the Liberals picking up too many of those new ridings and realistically, more than half would likely go conservative.

It will take some time to see how the NDP hold it together with such a large contingent of inexperienced MPs. ttp://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/05/03/cv-election-bartender-musician-cagefighter.html

The Liberals could be back next time around. The Conservatives have 4 years to show their true colours and the opposition has 4 years to show what they can do or regroup.

Interesting times ahead. All I hope is that the name calling stops and they get down to work. This sandbox fight is getting tiresome.

@ Julia: "This sandbox fight is getting tiresome."

Absolutely right - and the key factor resulting in the majority I figure. People now get something we've mostly longed for here.... a shake-up in Ottawa.

Government may be able to get things done, we don't face another election call two years down the road, and some new blood gets a crack at holding the government to account. Given all we witnessed in the last two years, this is all positive.

Good luck to all the new kids.

oh my, I had to post this...

Notice the time (12:21 PM) I posted my original remarks about the Mayor's lack luster congratulations ignoring Mr. Harper from Jeff Lee's column early today..... now notice the time Mr. Lee has posted his "new story" (4:03 PM)congratulating Mr. Harper also notice the hockey jersey...Perhaps the Mayor reads City Caucus, or it's just a coincidence...
You just can't make this stuff up...

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/decision-canada/Tory+government+Metro+Vancouver+projects+moving+Robertson/4720898/story.html

How would it differ from regular voter registration, Dennis?

I worked as a scrutineer yesterday. Several people, without any ID, bills, etc came with with people who could "vouch" for them, as long as they themselves were on the voters list.

Presumably outreach workers in an area could help enfranchise the homeless. Several disabled people came in with caregivers who took an oath and voted on their behalf. Not perfect, but I was impressed by how much effort and to what lengths Elections Canada went to make sure that those who wanted to, and who met the minimal criteria, could vote.

Anyone else (yes, all you whiners I saw yesterday who didn't want to be bothered go to your proper polling station, or thought you could/should be able to vote outide of your riding, or who got huffy because you didn't want to cough up ID, or who complained because you had to stand in line to register---since you were obviouly so MUCH more important than everyone else in line), has little sympathy from me.

Sorry boohoo, I had meetings out yesterday.

There were several articles within various media stating that the newbie Quebec cabinet ministers had shown zero interest in politics or the NDP to their co-workers etc .

Here is one:

She’s actually in Las Vegas,” says her boss, Rod Castro. When first asked about Ms. Brosseau’s candidacy, Mr. Castro told The Globe and Mail that there must be a mistake. But after looking her up online, he confirmed the candidate and his colleague are one and the same.

“This is all news to me,” he said, noting that she has never mentioned politics in the more than two years they have worked together as the bar’s only two full-time staff members.

****
For this particular candiate, she also never visited the riding she represented.

I have no problem with young people entering politics, but it should be for the right reasons - like understanding and passion of the political landscape. I just don't get the impression from these articles that is necessarily the case for several of the new Quebec ministers.

"I still don't see why you're so upset about these young candidates."

Not many 19 year olds have enough life experience to counter balance the distorted view of reality they get fed in school.

@ Bill - re "Not many 19 year olds have enough life experience ...."
... neither do many career politicians. It could be a gong show, but it already was for 5 years. I say that we give the accidental parliamentarians a chance. The electorate decided there was nothing left to lose - at least there's a long-needed shake-up.

Interesting article in the National Post:

Lorne Gunter; Good luck turning your 'Stunned MP's into a Caucus' Mr. Layton - May 5, 2011, full comment

http://bit.ly/iTrqpQ


Anyways, watching guys hacking at the trees over at the Naam restuarant. Not sure if they are city and don't know why they are pruning them, there is nothing wrong with them. It should have been done before the birds started nesting.

@ Max
Thanks for pointing out this article... my favorite line..

"Now, Jack, like most socialists is a master at playing victim politics. But he now has to play victimology on two fronts simultaneously –"

Priceless...

I wonder how much it will cost tax payers to teach some of these newbies.....French.

I heard an interesting comment on the radio this morning... if these newbies want they can step down and prompt a by-election.

A second point mentioned was that there is a school in France that in a few months time, can teach the student to be fluent in french...

so how much do both considerations cost us ?

As well, I think it is a folly to have a MP that hasn't reached legal drinking age yet, especially if they have a Facebook page...

With age comes experience... there is a reason our parents advised us not to marry young, to me this is an even bigger commitment!

George-

the feds have a program to train all federal employees who wish to learn or enhance their knowledge of the French language. This on-going program is a foundation of federal government training programs and is already accounted for in the government books. There should be no additional cost to the public purse for training parliamentary newcomers deficient in the language.

And the legal drinking age everywhere but BC is 18 I understand, so all these newbies are beyond that as well. While I see youthful parliamentarians as a gamble, I say give it a chance. We've had 17 years of Hedy Fry (and counting) - at least these kids have the potential to amount to something.

@ douglas

I wasn't aware of the french program... good solution.

I got my American mixed up with my Canadian drinking ages...ooops Ontario is 19 and Quebec is 18..

Not sure we are talking about the same thing. I don't know how Hedy Fry came into this.

I believe Max and I were referring back to a conversation we were having yesterday about the student in the East that was a paper candidate for the NDP... I understand your position on the young people, and admire you for your convictions...

I just have a different opinion.I think 19 is too young.Life is too short, go out and get some life experience first...

Sorry Douglas,

Only Alberta and Manitoba have a legal drinking age of 18, the rest of Canada is 19.

But you have to love the new 'training wage' - $157+ K.

If you were 19, would you pass up that salary, along with all the other benefits, travel etc?

Sadly though, as I learn more about some of these so called candidates, I can't help feel it makes a bit of a mockery of the system.

As for Layton, he will soon be learning it is not easy to heard cats....

@ Max

"As for Layton, he will soon be learning it is not easy to herd cats"....I took the liberty of changing heard to herd, I Googled the meaning, makes it even funnier...

Herd refers to a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic, and also to the form of collective animal behavior ...

LMAO.. how true is that statement!!

Bill,

I think a breath of fresh air in politics is exactly what's needed. You keep voting in career politicians well guess what you're going to get.

Hedy Fry. 'nough siad....

boohoo,

You have missed the point. This is not a question about lack of political experience but a lack of life experience. Many of these new members were strictly place holders who had no interest in getting elected but to ensure the NDP party would collect their subsidy for each vote cast. One new MP doesn't speak French, lives 3 hours away from her riding and the first time in the riding was on election night.

It is a mockery of Parliament in the spirit of sending the BQ to Ottawa all those years. Fortunately, a majority was achieved without Quebec so they cannot obstruct Parliament at least for the next four years.

I see Vegas vacation girl is having her riding results challenged.

Seems some signatures showed up on her sheet that may have been...fraud.

Some of the Facebook postings are hilarious though, but as they are mostly French, she probably can't read them.

"This is not a question about lack of political experience but a lack of life experience."

According to the Wikipedia entry on Stephen Harper he has had one employer outside of politics, the same company that employed his father. He can be tarred with the exact same brush many use to paint a fine coat of economic inexperience on countless left-leaning career politicians. He has never had to meet a payroll and has spent most of his life taking a paycheck from the taxpayer.

Worrying about the credentials of novice NDP MPs strikes me as a case of misplaced priorities. In fact, upon reading Mr Harper's bio one is struck by his inability to form long-lasting alliances or work effectively with those with whom he disagrees. Harper would make a fine small-town mayor, but his track record to date suggests he's not capable of the inspired leadership Canada needs if the country is to realize its potential to be a force for good in the world, or even be a reasonably effective steward of the country's people and resources.

Chris:

I don't care if it is NDP, Cons or Libs, 19 does not allow for practical life experience. And by the NDP's own addmitance, these kids were place holders.

Most of those kids probably have never had to live outside of their parent's house, had to balance a cheque book, figure out bills etc.

And I would bet, many have never held a job - ever.

Kids these days are a far cry from 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

When I grew up, most highschool kids had after school jobs. You rarely see that now. Heck, most kids these days don't even do chores at home.

We had to walk 10 miles to school in the snow. Uphill.Both ways......

Wow, you were able to come up with all these insights after such extensive research in Wikipedia! I know these are dark days for Progressives and we should make allowances but "small town mayor?" - this just makes you look foolish.

If you are feeling down, just remember all good you have brought to the world with your bicycle advocacy. It should cheer you up.

"small town Mayor?"
no Chris, that was how Mayor Gregor looked yesterday when he childishly refused to congratulate Prime Minister Harper until he was shamed into it..

Max:

Appreciate you actually addressing the topic. Disagree with all your points and my experiences with people under 30 has been generally positive in that they tend to be better informed, more tolerant of others who are different, and more worldly (in ways good and bad) than their parents were at the same age. Certainly don't think a person's ability should be assumed insufficient simply because they aren't the usual age for a politician.

Bill:
No, my remarks are based upon my own observations of Mr Harper's autocratic behaviour. The wiki reference is merely a means to provide background for the perspective I'm presenting. If there's an error in Harper's entry, please point it out.

George:
Not sure how Robertson's choices have anything to do with the topic raised by Max, to which I was responding.

cheers,
CK

No I get it Bill, I think a breath of fresh air is a good thing. Perhaps they can offer a perspective on politics that's missing? Engage the 'youth'? Offer new ideas?

Maybe they can't and you're right. But I have no problem whatsoever with finding out.

Seriously, you are concerned with a 19 year old that may not have enough "life" experience to become an MP!!!!

Look at the shoddy job all of these coffin dodgers have done over the years; look at the questionable ethics and actions of members in the current government. . . . and you are worried about some 19 year old who may present a fresh outlook to politics, a person who may offer up a representative point of view of her demographic!

And who are we to judge about her life experience. Have we walked in her shoes? Do we know what she has endured? Sounds like she is putting herself through school by working in a pub. Good for her, shows character.

You have to have an interest in politics in order to offer a fresh persepctive.

When someone who is elected doesn't even visit the area they are representing, doesn't run a campaign, doesn't hold medi interviews to say what he or she is interested it - it really doesn't bestow confidence.

Even Vegas girl's dd was shocked to find out she won (he din't know she was running) and said o'well, maybe this will be something new for her.

Fabulous.

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