frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Firebrand Galloway beaten in Poplar
BNP leader defiant after defeat
Greens win historic first seat
Tweet: "BBC TV shows Sun newspaper front page for tomorrow: Squatter holed up in No.10 - with photo of Gordon Brown in Downing Street ^mb"
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Cathy Crowe is running for the NDP in the Toronto-Centre by election. If you want to help her out, like we will, you can start here:
Cathy Crowe by-election website
frandroid: large crowd of indian women (women)
Leave it up to one of the poorest countries in the world to have two women fighting to lead the country!

Hopefully, there won't be too many massive street battles this time around.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
A third of eligible French voters had already voted in the French presidential election by noon, local time, today. There's big wave of new voters who want to prevent another Le Pen presence on the 2nd turn, as happened in 2002. Keep your eyes peeled.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Current Québec election standings, as we speak:
ADQ 47
Liberals 45
PQ 32
Québec Solidaire was said to be ahead in one riding earlier tonight, as well.

These are preliminary scores, there are many more votes to be counted.

For those not keeping the score, there hasn't been a right-wing government in Québec since 1959. Of course this will finish in a minority, so it's not as bad. But Dumont has like, 5 "ministrables" at most. Also, as the outgoing head of government, Charest can ask the Lt.-Governor to continue to government, if he can hold the confidence of Parliament.
Keep your eyes peeled.

ETA: The Liberals finished on top. Phew. This is the beginning of the end for separatists in Québec. If the Liberals manage to move a bit left, they might squeeze the PQ off the scene in a few elections.

A lot of people are thinking that this bodes well for a federal spring election for Harper. I'm not quite so sure, but the prospect frightens me a lot. But the politics of individualism have finally caught up with Québec.

Amir Khadir and Françoise David almost won for Québec Solidaire. That's some pressure on the left for the PQ there. Next time around, if the PQ is down in the polls, some lefties my skip on the strategic voting and vote with their heart.

ETA2: I've been invited to the La Presse examination for their summer internship!! Fingers crossed.
frandroid: We are the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite. Please wait to be assimilated. Pour l'assimilation en français.. (canada)
I always find infuriating the way in which the English Canadian media depict separatists (when not depicting Québécois in general) as racists. What I hate is the implication that the separatists are racists and that the rest of people in Québec and Canada aren't. Today the noon news bulletin on the CBC was highlighting André Boisclair's "slanted eyes" faux-pas. Boisclair was commenting on how there were a lot of students from Asia at Harvard, that developing countries sent a lot of students to industrialized countries for their education, that China wasn't just sweatshops. So you could call it an unfortunate formulation, but the intent was not racist.

On the other hand, you have the leader of a party, Mario Dumont of the ADQ, who has spent most of the pre-campaign and a fair chunk of this campaign complaining about "reasonable accomodations" and "setting limits" to what the (other) cultural communities should be subjected to, playing the "foreign invasion" card in the most disgusting way. The debate in Québec has been whether it was fair to compare Dumont to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the Front National party in France, whose slogan is "La France aux Français". Does the CBC report on this barely closeted racist populist's campaign? Do the National Post, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star have headlines about whether Dumont should present excuses? They don't, because the ADQ is not a separatist party, and it's not quite newsworthy when (quasi-)federalist leaders make racist statements. Québec is about to elect what's the equivalent of the Reform Party (and I said that instead of saying the Conservative Party, because the ADQ is at the stage Reform was at back in the 90s) and somehow, that's not news.

Vincent Marissal wrote about the same thing on his blog on cyberpresse.
frandroid: (stephen harper)
Harper veut acheter le Québec avec deux milliards de dollars [cyberpresse.ca]

So allegedly Harper has decided to make the Bloc an offer it can't refuse. Should the Bloc bring down the government budget on Kyoto concerns, Harper will have a good tool to bludgeon Duceppe with in Québec. If this goes forward, it will most probably guarantee Charest's re-election this spring. Look at how federalism works. Why yes, Harper buys an election now and cuts in services (or skimps on Kyoto, anyway) later in order to pay for the purchase.

It's kind of interesting because Harper would do this mostly with Alberta and Saskatchewan's money, actually, for the perequation part. If you let me take your money to buy off Québec, we will end up with a majority and we'll rule the country from Calgary.

Once this budget goes through, not only Charest but also McGuinty will have to admit that Harper fixed a problem that the Liberals created in 1995 when they gutted social programs. That's going to be some mighty support for the next election.

After I wrote my entry on simultaneous elections (which now makes even less sense), I was thinking that it would be just much cheaper to buy off the Bloc than the NDP, both economically and ideologically. The Bloc has conflicting interests that can be played off each other, whereas the NDP's conflicting interest is the Conservative Party.

This could work for Harper. Be watchful.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
My editorial for this week's Excalibur, yet to be published (i.e. you lucky people! you get to see this before anyone else!)

Strategic, schmrategic
By François Villeneuve
Technology Editor

It has been a short 18 months since the last election, and many York students will get to vote a second time while studying for the same degree, an unusual occurrence. For those of you voting again, the question arises: Did your vote matter?

Those that voted Conservative, Bloc or NDP saw the Liberal majority melt into a minority, which you would think would make Paul Martin lose the banana-republic arrogance that his party was starting to sport. It didn’t work. Other than changing the wording of the throne speech, the Conservatives and the Bloc were not able to have much of an impact on government.

It was the NDP that managed to have the greatest impact on government policy. In exchange for its support, the NDP got corporate tax cuts that the Liberals had not promised cancelled, and instead made the government spend money on education, housing and the environment. These were all kinds of things that the Liberals had promised they would do, but needed extra pressure from the NDP to actually feel like doing. Eventually though, when the NDP demanded that the Liberals live up to their public healthcare rhetoric, the Libs balked, thinking that they could win the ensuing election.

So here we are now, asking the same question a-new: How can I make my vote matter?

In terms of progressive policy, the NDP is clearly the best choice, promising more money in education, healthcare, a national childcare program and an especially innovative environmental program that has brought Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to support the NDP rather than the Greens. It’s that good.

In recent weeks though, the rise of the Conservative Party in the polls has frightened a great many Canadians, who do not fall for the newly minted “benevolent leader” image that Stephen Harper has carefully manufactured. His dollar-store benignness can only be a thin veneer that will come off should the adoptive son of Western Canada acquire a majority. On the flipside, the NDP cannot aspire to form a majority–its best hope is that of a coalition partner, the conscience of a minority government.

So as they have done in the past, many Canadians will resort to so-called strategic voting. They will vote for a party that repulses them in order to attempt to keep at bay another party that frankly scares the hell out of them. I cannot blame them, as I think of the Harris years in Ontario. I shudder, should such a caustic kind of government rule ad mari usque ad mare.

Personally, I have never voted strategically, always placing my vote with the NDP, no matter the circumstances. I know that whatever the outcome is, I voted with my conscience.

For those whose conscience includes trying to outsmart other voters though, it is imperative that they are well-informed before voting. In this regard, there is a good site, democraticSPACE.com, which offers a non-partisan strategic voting guide for supporters of all parties. It is surprising how few ridings actually offer any potential for strategic voting.

In most places, voting “strategically” at best does nothing at all, and at worst results in the opposite of what one hoped it would be.

Every election, even the best pundits and political scientists cannot predict the final result. For example, no one foresaw the Conservatives’ 1993 collapse, which reverberated across the world. So why do voters keep thinking that they can see the big picture from their armchair?
frandroid: "End the lock-out" with a CBC logo shaped into a lock (End the lockout!)
confidential to [livejournal.com profile] threeliesforone

Whoa, we've had the most amazing snowstorm. I went out and went to the bank machine just so I would be walking in the snow. It was totally awesome!

The French debate is very uninspiring. Harper's and Layton's cognitive weakness in French is giving me headaches. Plus, there was a fastball throw right onto the plate for Layton and he missed the homerun because he didn't understand the question. Arggg.

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