Thursday, September 17, 2015

Are Progressives Winning or Losing the Election Campaign?

Well there is now just over a month to go before the election. And in the leafy lanes of Ward's Island it's easy to relax, for everything is so peaceful, progressive, and mostly orange.

In this riding the battle is between the NDP and the Liberals, and the Cons don't stand a chance. 

But that can give you a false sense of security, so I thought it might be a good idea to take a wider look at the way the campaign to defeat Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime is going. 

And in that regard I see that two writers who I admire, have very different opinions.

For the Star's Richard Gwynn the battle is already decided and the dictator is done. 

This election is over. Its details, such as the counting of the votes and the official declarations of the winners in each riding, have of course still to be completed. The election’s essence, though, is already part of our history. And this is that as soon as the election is held, Stephen Harper will cease to be Canada’s prime minister.

While for the Globe's Lawrence Martin the Cons are down but not out. 

Beware of conventional wisdom. The prevailing prattle has it that the Conservatives are doing dismally this election season, when in fact they have lost no ground since their campaign began. The latest supposition was that they would take a hit in opinion polls from the Syrian refugee crisis. They haven’t.

And we should be worried.

The Tories aren’t toast. It’s the progressive parties who need worry about getting burned. Talk to liberally minded voters and you can sense fear and frustration growing. The Liberals and the New Democratic Party are backed by close to two-thirds of the Canadian electorate. But there’s a strong chance they’ll lose because they divide up that support in equal measure. That is precisely the formula Stephen Harper’s Conservatives need to win.

And I find myself caught somewhere between both writers.

For while I believe that Gwynn is right, there is a sense of loss:

For some time now many amongst us have feared that this country — in essence, a kinder, gentler one — has been vanishing inexorably.

And a desire for something better, which amounts to a wind for change.

He is wrong to think that the death of this poor little boy changed everything.

For while many Canadians were moved by the death of Alan Kurdi, it did not move them to bring in many refugees. 

And as Martin writes, progressives were wrong. It did not hurt Harper, it helped him.

They assumed the issue was hurting the Harper party. But the Tories’ stance against a major increase in refugee intake has the backing of more than one-third of the population. That’s all they need. Given the electoral math, given our democracy’s deformities, the Tories can bring in policies that 65 per cent of Canadians oppose and still be popping champagne corks.

And when you add that to the ghastly niqab issue that I wrote about in my last post, it's clear that there is a bigot wind threatening to sweep across this country and poison everything it touches.

Like the cold wind sweeping in from the lake is slowly killing these flowers...

And then there is the nature of the campaign, which sometimes seems so bland, so fixated with numbers and budgets balanced or not, that it's more numbing than inspiring. 

This is supposed to the battle to save Canada and its values, but you'd never know it.

That is making it hard for Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair to break away from each other, which as Martin points out could be dangerous. 

With a virtual three-way tie at the top, the progressives need one of their parties to break away. If their combined 60-per-cent support were split 40-20, the Tories would be doomed. But such a separation is unlikely to happen.

And the sight of the NDP and the Liberals spending more time attacking each other than they do attacking the Cons couldn't be more depressing.

But it's no good moping like many progressives I know are doing. And no reason to feel down either. 

Harper can only still hope to win a minority. And there are many things we can do to try to ensure that even that eludes him.

We can volunteer to work with the parties, answer phones, stuff envelopes, or put up signs... 

We can make sure that we are registered to vote, by checking out this Elections Canada website.

And mailing it to everyone we know.

And above all we can remember that we are not alone, and that there are millions of Canadians out there who are desperately hoping to defeat the ghastly Con regime.

And that they are some of the best of people in this country, scientists, students, seniors, veterans, unions.

Who together have the power to defeat Harper....

And that we still have time to reach out to them, and encourage them, and build that movement for change that so many of us have dreamed about for so long.

And one way to do that today is to join the Harperman sing-a- long.

Or just sing these lyrics wherever you are.

We want you gone (gone, gone) 
You and your pawn (pawn, pawns) 
No more con (con, cons) 
Time to move on (on, on)  
Get out of town (town, town )  
Don’t want you round (round, round) 
Harperman, it’s time for you to go.

Because we are going to defeat him, and he is going to go.

We have all the energy and the creativity we need to confront that bigot wind...

And expose Harper as a hatemonger and a fraud...

Or as the depraved leader of a corrupt and rotting party...

Summer may be ending.

But the tide of change is coming in.

It will sweep all before it.

And it will be a glorious fall...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


Anonymous said...

Canadians have played the Liberal and Reform-Conservative lines in the governing hockey game for many decades (to borrow from the hockey metaphor of American Republican strategist Frank Luntz), but they haven't been scoring many goals. Personally, I think it is time to send a new, fresh line - the NDP - into the game.

The Mound of Sound said...

Simon, I don't mean to be facetious but I wasn't aware that either major party was remotely "progressive." Sure they're somewhat left of Harper's gang but still well past anything genuinely progressive. Oddly enough a great way to recalibrate one's political compass is to go back in time to the writings of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt encapsulated in the latter's "Square Deal" speech delivered at Osawatomie, Kansas in the summer of 1910.

Read Roosevelt's stirring words and then compare them to what's on offer in this election. Progressivism has at its core the endless struggle between labour and capital and the corruption of democracy when capital, corporatism, infiltrates government. We live in a neoliberal world of free market capitalism festooned with trade agreements built on a foundation of surrendered state sovereignty. The fact that we are beset by a tightly-owned corporate media cartel is a tribute to the triumph of corporatism and the measure of how democracy has become degraded.

Do read Roosevelt's speech and you'll see my point clearly.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that if heil harper gets back in it will directly be, in no small part, because of the premeditated vote splitting fomented by trudeau's kid. His refusal to even consider a coalition government and his serial narcissism are going to be directly responsible for the CON crime family holding onto power. This really is just a famous guy's kid riding on his daddy's coattails and, unlike the CON attack ads bullshit regarding his "just not ready" status, nobody seems to be able to bring any sort of list regarding his credibility to the table, other than his corporate asskissing and voting FOR bill C51. (why would trudy want to give up dictatorial powers that he "inherited" from the harper crime cabal anyway?) If you have a real concern for how this election is going to affect Canada, Simon, you better start doing a little promo work for the only party that actually stands a chance of beating the harper crime cabal, and it aint the LIBEROcons.
Or we can just kiss the real Canada goodbye and watch the new "great white north banana republic" hatch in front of our very eyes.
This fucking vote splitting thing has got to stop. It's playing right into harper's hands AGAIN!

Scotian said...

I said it to you a long time back, and I am saying it now, until I see Harper formally removed from the Office of the Prime Minister I am fighting him with all that I have and taking nothing for granted, as I have in every election he has been a party leader in. I trust in NOTHING less than giving it one's all, and while at this point I am firmly convinced the Liberals and Trudeau are the best path for this for reasons I will not bother going into here (since I know many to most of your readers have seen them elsewhere and likely mocked me for in some cases too) I will be relieved to see him gone from power in the end, although I am far closer to Martin's POV than I would like. I also like you have been disgusted and dismayed by just how open and obvious fear-mongering and pandering to bigotry has not only worked in the past decade but has managed to go without much truly potent backlash, and that is part of what has made me ashamed to be a Canadian these days in the Harper endarkenment.

I also think that even if the NDP win progressives already lost, because the modern NDP is no longer a progressive vehicle in any serious sense of the word, only when compared to the current government does it carry that sheen. I'm old enough to recall the decades of when the NDP WAS a progressive party, and Simon, this NDP, starting under Layton and clearly accelerated under Mulcair has run away as far as it can to the center from its progressive roots, so much so that one can no make the case legitimately that the Libs under Trudeau are as progressive or even more so overall than the Mulcair NDP. I'm saying that as a political observer, not as a partisan of the Libs trying to make the Libs out to be the progressive choice, since I am as you well know a centrist who is a mix of traditional progressive, centrist, and traditional Red Toy conservativism that is not something I am overly worried about. However, also because I am what I am I always follow the internal politics of all the major parties and always have, which is why I make the observation that I have.

No, in the end Simon, progressives already lost far more than any Lib or NDP victory will gain at this point, all that will do is stop the arterial bleeding and possibly keep the body alive for a time longer, maybe long enough for real transfusions to save it, maybe not, and that presumes there really is a true progressive "blood donor" in either Trudeau or Mulcair. This was why I kept trying to get Dippers in 2005, 08, and 11 to recognize that stopping Harper was always the most important thing, that nothing the Libs had ever done in government to date was a pale shadow of the destruction to progressive values and policies that would come from Harper, especially should he ever succeed in getting to a majority. What we saw in minority was clear enough for that case to be made. So no, Simon, no matter the outcome progressives already lost far more than they will ever gain, both in the nation and in their preferred vehicle the once progressive and now Lib wannabe Mulcair NDP. I'm still for removing Harper of course, but to brand it as any sort of victory for progressives at this point is being willfully blind, because victory was lost a long time ago, and progressives, as I have noted to you many times in the past, have to take a long hard look at their own choices which led us to this place. I know my hands are clean, unlike far too many Dippers/progressives, which is why I have such anger and bitterness these days for them, because they sold out my country and I do not appreciate it, especially when they still want to portray themselves as the only values/progressive choice.

Gale said...

The one good thing right now is that it appears most of the Liberal and NDP support is strongly regional based which minimizes the vote splitting to some extent.The NDP is dominating mostly in Quebec and is fairly strong around coastal BC. The Liberals are strong in Atlantic Canada and have picked up support in Ontario, but mostly around the GTA and appear to be taking more of the suburb seats that are more likely to go Conservative. Same with Ottawa to a lesser extent. In the downtown seats the Conservatives are really a non factor so it doesn't matter so much if it goes Liberal or NDP unless you are a party supporter.

David said...

Most voters will cast their ballot based on which party they think can best manage the economy. The refugee issue is an important issue but not the central issue.

Leaders Debate tonight at 5:00 pm PT/ 8:00 pm ET

Elizabeth May will be responding live to debate questions using Twitter video. You can see Elizabeth’s answers by following @CanadianGreens and @ElizabethMay on Twitter.’

Irene said...

Anon 12:12

Trudeau is not a kid. He is 44 or 45 years old. Are old are you anon?

Trudeau has not been attacking the NDP but some of his policies have been stolen by Mulcair.

Some of you are as bad as Harpers trolls promoting lies and stupid untruths about Mr.Trudeau.
Keep that up and we will see Harper winning again if Canadians are attacking the other parties.

Irene said...

Great post Scotian
I totally agree with you. Splitting the votes between the liberals and NP will mean another term of Harper and his fraudulent government of losers. Making us, Canadian's all losers.

Scotian said...

Funny thing, I was saying the same thing to Dippers in 2005, 08, AND 11 to support the Libs until Harper lost power within the CPC, but I got told it was more important to vote your belief than it was to protect the country, but now that your side is the one in second looking at first NOW you think vote splitting is all the fault of the third party?!?!?!? That shows YOUR true colours right there, as does your rather insulting "trudy" instead of proper name use for Trudeau. I always use the last name of all party leaders without such insulting nicknames because it is polite and respectful, you know, traditional Canadian values! You like sounding like a power at any costs CPCer instead of the principled Dippers that used to exist? Rhetorical question of course since you clearly do.

You Dippers are at least as responsible for the Harper years as anyone, and it is more than a little disgusting to read you trying to shift all the blame onto someone else yet again. Yet again you show that when it comes to the choice between power and principles power wins yet again, which coming from the party and supporters who preach the opposite and claim to be the only true party of principles is especially foul. At lest the Libs don't piss on me and tell me its raining when they ask for my vote!


Sorry, but this sort of thing is exactly why I can not support the NDP anymore in any way. I also find the way I see so many Dippers these days being as callously insulting as any good CPCer towards the Libs and their leader further evidence of how the wrong lessons are being learned by the NDP in how the CPC managed to gain and hold power. As I said before, progressives already lost, they lost a decade ago, and these days there are no true progressive choices anymore, Mound of Sound is exactly correct in that. This willful blindness I'm seeing from Dipper partisans like this one I am replying to only underscores my point, the new NDP is not the NDP of old, and to expect it to act like the NDP of old once it finally comes to power instead of just like Libs and PCPCers did when they came to power aside from superficial policy direction differences is in my view disconnected from reality.

David said...

Three Economic Risks Now Backfiring on Tories

Anonymous said...

And if you cry-baby LIBEROcons (or more correctly cpc wannabes) would take a realistic look at the current party you're whining about so fanatically, you'd see that it isn't anything but con light and harper will be back because of poor, misguided pseudo-intellectuals like yourselves.
Anon 12:12--think remedial English. Also, better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you an idiot than to open it and confirm their suspicions like you did.

Anonymous said...

If trudy deserved respect, I'd give it to him. You earn don't deserve it just because your daddy was famous.

Scotian said...

Anon 3:14pm:

You know, it takes a lot of SKILL and LEADERSHIP to take a party as beaten broken and on the edge of oblivion after 2011 as the Liberals were in the wake of the Ignatief disaster and make it a competitive viable choice for government in 2015, but I guess that isn't worthy of respect in your eyes. No, everything that went right for the Liberals after Trudeau became leader is because of his name and father, it has nothing to do with anything Trudeau himself did. You are shoveling bullshit with a bulldozer there and so brazenly I'm amazed you are even willing to do so under the alias of anonymous. Seriously, you represent everything wrong about the new NDP with such crap.

Anon 3:12pm:

Librocon, another way of saying Lib Tory same old story, which in the years of PCPC had some truth to it, but in the Harper CPC years has little to none, yet that doesn't seem to stop some people from believing it is so. Faith based politics, whether it is religious or social/ideologically based, whether it is from the right or left is equally bad. I prefer to rely on actual evidence and my own eyes, which is why for all their faults this year I am actively supporting the Libs and the current leader.

Anonymous said...

Something interesting for us ABC types who would accept either an NDP or LIb or combined NDP/Lib government to ponder, Simon, especially about vote splitting being enabled by the partisan NDP and Lib voters stupidly attacking each other instead of their common foe, the Cons.

Though this analysis is not scientific, it may still give us an idea of which party and its supporters (i.e. NDP or Lib) are more aggressive at attacking the other. :)

The second commenter, MOS, essentially disses both the NDP and Libs. This person probably is a Green supporter (nothing wrong with that). Note that there were no replies to it.

The first and third commenters (both Anons) were apparently NDP supporters or friendlies. No reply to the first Anon but note there were two replies from two apparent Lib supporters/friendlies, attacking the other Anon commenter and the NDP. One of these replies (Scotian) was quite verbose; this commenter had an even more verbose comment dissing the NDP and Libs. The other reply was from Irene, apparently a fan of Trudeau, who accused others, presumably NDP supporters, of being Harper trolls.

Scotian, as mentioned, had anoter more verbose comment telling us why he is angry with both the Cons and NDP (nothing wrong with expressing his/her opinions). Remarkably, however, that there was no reply from any NDP or Cons supporter/friendly taking Scotian to task but there was a comment from Irene, our apparent Lib supporter, expressing his/her agreement, presumably that Cons and Dippers are evil.

The fifth and sixth commenters did not express either support or non support for either NDP or Lib and were thus not relevant to this "study".

Thus while this "study" is not scientific because of the extremely small sample size (ha, ha), we could still be forgiven for concluding that the Lib supporters who read Simon's blogs are more aggressive at attacking NDP supporters (despite what they may say about the Dippers attacking the Libs). :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, correction, Scotian was dissing the NDP and CONS, not NDP and Libs (my mistake in the fourth para. , line 4 above).

Anonymous said...

Sadly Simon, progressives are going to lose because our heads are up our own asses and we can't see that our only enemy is Stephen Harper and not other progressives.

Harper has know this for more than 2 decades and has ruled for a decade because we can't act.

It makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the media tell you it's about the economy.

The only issue that matters to 70% of Canadians is electoral reform.

Scotian said...

I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say/imply here, but I for the record have a few comments to make. First off, my first post in this thread was to Simon regarding his post. Now, while I haven't commented here in several months now I have a history with Simon that goes back a couple of years or so, so he is well aware of my feelings on a lot of Canadian politics and why. I chose to reply to this post because I feel strongly in what I said, that there is NO true progressive victory to be had anymore, for reasons both I and Mound of Sound (who if you read his blog is yes, a Green, but also a clearly well educated, well informed former national journalist whose comments and positions are well thought out and documented/backed up with in more than just his opinion) pointed out, and ones I've made for most of the past decade here and elsewhere.

I responded to the first anon post because I find this behaviour from far too many NDP partisans online is much the same in tone and language as the CPC, especially where Trudeau is concerned, and I find myself more than a little disturbed by it, especially from the party that is supposedly the most principled and therefore one would expect so would be its supporters. I also responded to it because of the argument being made about how we must all put aside our differences to support the second place party as the only way to stop Harper, an argument made by many including myself in three prior elections to Dippers who mocked it and worse, yet suddenly when THEY are the ones to benefit it is not only acceptable it is selling out the country for partisanship to not be doing so? Sorry, as someone that was only ever partisan in my desire to stop Harper from the outset and someone that pleaded in 2005 onward to let the Libs stay in power until Harper fell from power within his party before taking out the Libs was the less dangerous path for our democracy, and for progressive values and policies, I find this sudden turn around more than a little bilious making.

I'm also very tired of this Librocon/Lib Tory same old story meme that keeps being tossed out as if it carried any amount of real truth to it. It doesn't, and any well informed political observer of any political flavour is well aware of this. This used to have some real truth at the core when it was the Libs and PCPC, but the CPC is something entirely else altogether, and continuing to make this claim is as dishonest as calling the CPC Tories, because they have as much connection to Toryism as say Jack Layton or Alexa McDonough, the differences are truly that pronounced. So I went after that fallacy as well.

You see for me one of the bottom lines I have is that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. This has become especially important to me as in the age of Harper facts have become harder and harder to find, and I find it exceptionally disturbing to see the NDP pulling the same sort of deceptive tactics as Harper and the CPC used to gain and hold power, and I feel it worth calling out. I speak for myself, sure I am a long winded blowhard, but I am an honest one, and I speak for myself alone, not any campaign, and my sole political crusade over the last decade was stopping Harper.

However, as I noted in my earliest comment, the damage had mainly been done by now, and especially for anything remotely resembling the progressive agenda, and if anyone believes that Mulcair after moving so far to the center and right economically that balanced budgets are more important to him than job creation will suddenly practice any real progressive politics beyond the superficial, well I have some lovely wetlands in Florida along with a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...


Bottom line, I came to respond to this post of Simon's because I felt it worth it, and while here I saw some rather offensive examples of partisan Dipper lies and poison in the same style as that routinely seen from the CPC and with much the same language and form to it, of course also with old school smears of the Libs that is clearly no longer supported by factual reality. I can not longer consider supporting the NDP because in my view they were Harper's willing allies to his power because it mattered more to both side that they eliminate the Libs from the national scene for their own respective political purposes than it was for Layton/NDP top stop Harper in 2005/2008/2011, and this decade is what we got from it. I have this problem with seeing those who commit such horrible acts getting away/profiting from them, so my preferred anti Harper vehicle is Trudeau and the Libs.

However, I have a more practical basis for wanting Trudeau over Mulcair that I think Dippers don't get. Anyone that trusts the numbers that have come out of the Harper government these last few years is in my view a moron, regardless of political flavour. I also believe that the underlying institutions and infrastructure of government has been far more damaged and destroyed than we can see even now, that what we see is but the tip of an particularly nasty iceberg in that respect. Mulcair has no real experience in his life in coming into such a disaster and making real repairs, Trudeau clearly does given how he turned the Libs from a party expected to either disappear altogether by this election, merge with the NDP, or at least be non-viable as a serious choice for several elections, and brought it into equal contentions, repaired the fundraising issues neither Dion nor Ignatief could (and which freed them from their reliance on corporate donations and therefore being their surrogates, not something I see getting much note from people either) and rebuilt the party infrastructure nationally at the riding/constituency level, and did so in 2 years. That is the kind of leadership and skill set the person follow Harper will badly need, and that is a very practical reason for why Trudeau and the Libs are the better choice, and to date I have yet to see anyone credibly refute that argument.

Right now it is most important to remove Harper, then it is next as important to have that remover be the best qualified to clean up the disaster being left in his wake. Trudeau has a proven track record for that, and that is something his name had little to nothing to do with, no that came from his hard day to day work, and to fail to acknowledge/recognize that speaks to a dangerous blindness IMHO. I will add this is my own thinking, not something from any Lib partisan or operatives, and as Simon can confirm I am my own person. Yes, this time out I support the Libs because I believe they are the best choice overall, but in the prior elections I only did so because I saw them as the only way of credibly stopping Harper in each election, and that clearly was true given the results in each, and I was basing that argument on the demographic realities shown in elections, not polls and such. This time I support them because Trudeau has proven to be a capable leader and skilled in rebuilding majorly damaged national organizations, and the Mulcair NDP has shown that it is becoming the Libs in Dipper drag with at its core a lust for power being its dominant driver, not the best replacement in my view for someone like Harper.

David said...

Simon said...

hi anon...well of course you are entitled to your opinion, but although I'll probably be voting for the NDP myself, I try to stay as non-partisan as possible because for me the only enemy is Stephen Harper. And I should point out unless things change dramatically the NDP and the Liberals will have to work together to topple the dictator, so you guys better start practicing how to be nice to each other... ;)

Simon said...

hi Mound...I understand what you're saying, and I share it to this degree. I agree that both the NDP and the Liberals are not as progressive as they think, and since I'm far to the left of both them that is a bit disappointing. But one also has to recognize that this is a quite conservative country, and one must work with what one has. So while I also agree that the real work of trying to turn this country into a truly progressive place needs to begin soon as the capitalist system collapses around us and the planet burns, that cannot begin until we defeat Harper. For if we don't we will end up living in a fascist police state. So yes, I use the word progressive loosely, but what I mean is Anyone But Harper... ;)

Simon said...

hi anon 12:12...look I too am very concerned about vote splitting. But to be fair it's not Trudeau's Liberals who are entirely to blame for the situation, we all are. Or should I say the system is. As I've said before I'm probably going to vote for the NDP because I've long supported Olivia Chow, but on this blog and unless something changes dramatically I want to be as non partisan as possible so that I can keep on marching to my own drum, and make everyone feel welcome. And of course because, as I pointed out above, the NDP and the Liberals are almost certainly going to end up working together, I want to be one of the ones that helps facilitate that process, in the best Canadian peacemaking tradition, and my only real enemy is Stephen Harper and his filthy regime...

Simon said...

hi nice to hear from you, have you been shunning my blog because it's too non-partisan? :) Look I know your position and you know mine, because happily we go way back. You also know that I always try to treat the partisans of both sides with as much respect and warmth as possible. But I will not be shaken from my elusive dream of seeing progressives united into one party that could smash the Cons beyond recognition, and hopefully drive them from power for a generation. And all I would add is that if vote-splitting allows the Cons to stay in power, the pressure for a merger will become almost impossible to resist. It won't be pretty as Lawrence Martin points out in that article, so you will need people like me more than you can imagine. So I want all of you to start calling me Jesus Simon from now on... ;)

Simon said...

hi Scotian...I realize there are many reasons to despair at times, but don't lose hope in the future, for then we are really are doomed. Canada has always been a conservative country from the moment it refused to join the American revolution. And it will take a lot of patient work to change that course. But the good news it can be done. As you may know I have seen first hand how the Scottish National Party managed to transform itself from a crusty nationalist party into a pretty progressive one. And the same thing can happen here. As I told Mound, I wish it was different, but we have to work with what we have been given...

Simon said...

hi Gale...yes, that's a very good point and all I can say is thank goodness for small mercies.There is also the encouraging fact that polls show the a large number of NDP and Liberal supporters are prepared to vote for the other party if that's what it takes to defeat the Cons. I know it won't be easy for some, people can grow very attached to their parties, but all I'm asking is that this time, if for the only time in their lives, people put their country before their party. Because we simply must defeat the Cons, before those maniacs destroy this country....

Simon said...

hi anon 3:30...I very much enjoyed your analysis, but as you yourself point out, it is a small sample and not scientific. And I'm afraid that people who support both parties can be equally hard on each other. I see it in my own life where I have very partisan friends who I love dearly, and I am always having to pull them apart and make peace, which I quite enjoy. I think I was born to play that role, even if it means that both sides get mad at me. But that's when I tell them the story of a nightmare night in Belfast, on the eve of the Orange parade. When while at some wild street party in a Protestant area call Sandy Row, which resembled with its roaring bonfires something out of Lord of the Flies, I was confronted by a very dangerous looking teenage thug. Who informed me that he could line up five naked Protestants and five naked Catholics against a wall and be able to tell them apart. And how he'd like to shoot all the Catholics. with a machine gun. Which alarmed me greatly, for although I am a Protestant myself, I did sympathize with the Catholics. But what it did teach me is that people frequently exaggerate the differences between themselves and others, and that they need people like me to remind them that they are actually more similar than they imagine. I should have told that Protestant goon that I had seen both Catholic and Protestant guys naked and that he was wrong, But he did look rather dangerous, and so did his friends, so on that night at least I decided that discretion was the better part of valour... ;).

Simon said...

hi David....yes I think you're right. Unless the Cons are successful in beating the bigot drum, other issues should shove that one into the dark corner where it belongs. But with a guy like Lynton Crosby trying to pit Canadians against other Canadians, we can't be too careful....

Simon said...

hi anon....don't be sad and don't lose heart. I've been a bit gloomy myself recently, mostly because I hurt my leg and can't get on my bike, even as summer rides off into the distance. But there are many reasons to be optimistic. As Gale pointed out regional differences may help us avoid the danger of vote splitting, and as I pointed out, there are a lot of NDP and Liberal supporters who are prepared to do what is necessary to make sure we defeat the Cons. I'm not saying it will be easy but as long as see can turn out the vote we can do it. And then how happy you're going to be... :)

Simon said...

hi, you and I might be excited about the possibility of electoral reform, but all polls show that the economy is the number one issue. Health care and the environment are also important even if so far they have been all but ignored in the campaign so far. But the good news is this: defeat the Cons and everything is possible...

Scotian said...


Hi back, no, to be honest you aren't the problem for me, but some of your regular commentators still feel entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinions, and I get tired of correcting such time and again. I also get tired of having others tell me what my real motives and beliefs are instead of being taken at face value, so I decided to stop commenting here for the most part. I obviously still read you though, as I said you aren't my problem. I also think you are wrong in the belief that the Libs and NDP are similar enough in political culture to be able to merge into one progressive party, as I believe I've noted before, but I can understand where you are coming from. I understand how your experience in Scotland reinvigorated you in this, but I'm nearing 50 years old now, and I have been immersed in our political culture since childhood and with strong exposure to all three major parties from childhood onward, which was in part why I was always a swing voter with no partisan loyalties beyond an election by election case/basis, and I simply do not see that possibility you do.

For one thing I have a hard time seeing either wing/party allowing the other into the dominant position, AND I also have the same problem with them truly being equally fair in such a merger. No, the only way I see it as even remotely possible is if one side is massively weakened and able to be taken over or worse, murdered as we saw happen to the PCPC by its leader the "no merger" candidate three months after winning the leadership and the connivance of the leader of the CA who became the leader of the new party and essentially purged most of the PCPC side from the new party.

As to my disillusionment on progressives having any victory, it is one thing to be an optimist Simon, and I truly am, but I also must be grounded in reality, and the sad yet factual reality as I see it is that progressives already lost far more than they can can back in at least a generation regardless of the outcome of this election. This is something I am not happy about, no not at all, but it is reality as it is, the last decade of endarkenment has been incredibly damaging to our progressive policies, values, and governing institutions/infrastructures, and to fail to recognize that and acknowledge it is more than I can do, sorry Simon.

I may have hope for the long term, but it will be a very long and harsh slog to even get back to where we were when Harper come to power, let alone even farther, and we need to recognize this if we are to have any real chance at doing so instead of holding onto possibly/probably false hope that it really isn't so bad after all.

Anyway, turns out I have yet another weekend of parental aid I wasn't aware of, so this will be my last comment/reply for a couple of days, so take care and be well.

Unknown said...

This election has gotten so depressing. Why can't these two parties work together? Why, for example, can't each of them pick 15 ridings where their party is running in the 15-25% range, and say, OK we'll pull out of there, if you pull out of your riding where you are at 15-25%. Arrgh! Or even simpler: NDP, you get Quebec, the Prairies, and BC interior/Vancouver island. Liberals, you get Ontario (except for NDP incumbents), the Atlantic Provinces, and the BC Lower Mainland.

So simple, so blocked by the egos of the boys.

Unknown said...

Why oh why can't these two (three) parties pull together, for Canada? If each just gave up on 15 hopeless swing ridings and helped the party that has a chance (e.g., West Vancouver for the Liberals; Coquitlam for the NDP, etc, across the country), that could swing the election. Arrgh! Leadnow has some good thoughts on this, of course. But all I can say is... arrgh!!