Photos from the 2011 Federal Election

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Election Day minus 32 The beauty of competition...almost

Day 6: Yesterday I mentioned that Elizabeth May (Greens) has been shut out of the leaders debate by a consortium of TV networks. This morning Channel Zero (formerly CHCH TV) offered a full debate with May on their SuperStation. That's the beauty of competition, options and alternatives, I thought. So far no one is biting, May has filed a court challenge so we'll see.
Meanwhile the CBC is getting flak over their Compass questions (see earlier this week). Many are saying its skewed to favour Liberals, no kidding. What about libertarians, we're not even on the chart, as I pointed out on Monday (Day 3).
I keep saying its still cold out, well, this morning there was a dusting of snow around here, so much for global warming. We are one day before opening day for the Blue Jays. On the first opening day 34 years ago it snowed before and during the game, see below. Really not unusual for these parts, but we have a Dome now so it will be shirtsleeves no matter what.

The graph above is from ThreeHundredEight, a blog devoted to tracking polls. Notice the interesting upturn for the redline, the Liberals. Must mean their promises are better. Is Harper in trouble early? We can only hope.
Play ball! :-)

More evidence they are all the same

Need more evidence that each of the people who belong to those colourful logos on the left are virtually identical in their politics? Some of you might recall a recent by-election in Vaughan (the city above Toronto), a close battle between a Conservative former cop and a Liberal. The Conservative won and was instantly put into the Federal Cabinet. A Libertarian actually ran in that by-election.
Yesterday (March 30) the Liberal foe actually came out of the closet and declared his support for his former opponent. That's why politics makes strange bedfellows, the truth is they are already married to one another. The terms left and right are totally meaningless in the context of the mainline parties.
Of course there is the much older example of Bob Rae, now a darling of the Federal Liberals, but once the Leader of the Ontario NDP and the former Premier of Ontario. Their hats are interchangeable, like light bulbs!
By the way, Mr. Rae could become the next Federal Liberal leader if Ignatieff makes a poor showing in this current federal election.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Election Day minus 33- Good to Go!

Day 5 - A consortium of TV networks has decided Green Party leader Elizabeth May will not take part in the leaders debate next month. Reason? She has no members in the House even though she has candidates running in every riding across the country and got about 7% of the popular vote last time. Of course the leader of the Block Quebecois will be at the debate even though he is running in just ONE province, Quebec. He also wants to split the country up, details, details. Personally, I would let the Green leader debate and disallow the Quebecer, but thats just me.

I have my nominations papers printed and a cheque and papers ready for the local Returning Officer. Now all I need is 100 signatures and I'm good to go. I've spent much of the last two days working on a trifold brochure, the first page is posted, now I just need to print it.
It was warmer today, spring is coming, the Blue Jays opener is Friday and its sold out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Election Day minus 34 - Apathy and Choice

Day 4 - Still cold out, and the promises are flying thick and fast. So I recalled a line from William Gairdner's new book The Trouble with Canada.......Still : "No government can confer a benefit upon one person or group without penalizing another."

I must be watching the CBC too much, yesterday I thought they actually asked the right question but came up with the wrong answer. The question: What causes voter apathy? They did street interviews and got good answers, like: "I'd vote if I thought it would make a difference."
Exactly right, I thought while watching. People do vote if they think there is an issue, as happened in 1988 - the "free trade" election.

Voter Turnout Rates*


In 2008 the turnout was just 59.1%, the lowest EVER.  You don't need to be a statistician to see the steady decline since 1988. Why bother voting if you don't think it will make a difference? By that I mean, does it matter to you if the guy that beats on you is wearing a blue hat, a red hat, an orange hat or a green hat? You are still being beaten! They are ALL the same, no wonder people are apathetic, I would be too, if I wasn't running.
Unfortunately the reporter doing the piece did not say that, he came up with some other poor excuse, but good try.
Here is a more complete list of voter turnout - as government got bigger turnout got smaller, in general.
• March 31, 1958: 79.4%
• June 18, 1962: 79%
• April 8, 1963: 79.2%
• Nov. 8 1965: 74.8%
• June 25, 1968: 75.7%
• Oct. 30, 1972: 76.7%
• July 8, 1974: 71%
• May 22, 1979: 75.7%
• Feb. 18, 1980: 69.3%
• Sept. 4, 1984: 75.3%
• Nov. 21, 1988: 75.3%
• Oct. 26, 1993: 69.64%
• June 2, 1997: 67%
• Nov. 27, 2000: 61.25%
• June 28, 2004: 60.9%
• Jan. 23, 2006: 64.7%
• Oct. 14, 2008: 59.1%
(Source: Elections Canada) 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Election Day minus 35 - Broken compass

Day 3 - Still too cold to get out and knock on doors, saw the first lawn signs (all Conservative - do you think they knew?), and I'm getting sick of the word "coalition" used by the media.

Do you ever feel as though no political party represents you? Our government funded People's Network - CBC TV, can now help you prove it. They have this interactive Q & A thing called Compass on their website. It looks and feels like a version of the Nolan Chart except they leave out libertarians and totalitarians. So when I tried it, it did not exactly give me a definitive answer except that I seem to be conservative with socially liberal tendencies. The box below is a pictorial view of my score - the circle with the check mark is me, doesn't really work for people like me, but the Nolan Chart as calculated on The world's smallest political quiz suits me fine. You should try both, if you are a Canadian taxpayer, hey you helped pay for the CBC thing whether you wanted to or not. Thats how coercion works.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Election Day minus 36 - Breaking through

Day 2
It's still freezing cold outside, a bit too early for door knocking, but that will be necessary shortly.
The mainline parties have made it difficult to topple them any time soon. Using their legislative clout over the years, the main parties that are already comfortably seated in the House of Commons Ottawa, have created several roadblocks to prevent a proliferation of frivolous contenders.
In each riding across the country, every prospective candidate or his/her representative must put up $1000.00 in order to run for office. That's not a problem for the larger parties, flush with donations from expectant supporters. But for the smaller parties like us, it is a roadblock. The money is refundable however, if each candidate or representative completes the required paperwork and follows the rules, but few libertarians like those kinds of rules.
That's not all, each candidate or his/her representative must obtain the signatures of 100 eligible citizens within the riding in order to stand for election. Again, for the main parties not a problem, they do it at their nomination meeting by passing around the form. For the little guys, well, we have some door knocking and a bit of cajoling coming up, I hope some warm weather arrives this week.
Meanwhile a friend to the west has produced (with a bit of help from me) a promo YouTube video that tries to differentiate Libertarians from the Statist parties (the rest of them). Here it is, I love it:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The price of being green

I'm writing this posting during Earth Hour, just to make a point. My letter to the Markham Economist (March 26, 2011) appears in this post and below is a more readable version with a links to my sources. 

All three letters on the Opinion page last week (March 19) dealt with environmental issues. Jon Van Loon wrote about the skyrocketing price of electricity due to Mr. McGuinty’s Green power dreams. Matthew Lohbihler wrote about David Suzuki’s deluded war on cars, and Kathy Mann threatens to stop recycling compost because York Region will ban plastic bags from green bins on May 1st.

Each writer alluded to excessive costs in one form or other. After reading those letters I recalled a column in a national newspaper two weeks ago that was titled “Green except when it costs.” The author wrote about the massive “behavior modification” program instituted by governments around the world to reengineer people’s behavior through public policy. He described a study done by the OECD in 34 of the richest countries on earth that showed that 50% of the 10,000 people surveyed were unwilling to pay more for green energy. Of the remaining 50% most would pay no more than an additional 5% for green energy, and a final 2% of the people were willing to pay a 30% premium for green energy. My point is; the cost of subsidizing green energy and other environmental boondoggles will result in their ultimate demise. That is already happening in Europe, and I expect it will be in focus during the upcoming elections, federal and provincial.    
The backlash against the reengineering of our lifestyles, by environmentalists in cahoots with government, I believe is just beginning. Recently I read a statement that I hope is true: “Environmentalism is collectivism in its demented old age.”

Election Day minus 37 - Lies from the Conservative elite

May 2, just 37 days from today has been set as election day in Canada, the fourth election in just seven years.
Aside from the government defeat for contempt of Parliament yesterday, the most interesting line for me, came from the leader of the separatist party when he pointed out in French: "The Minister of State for Science and Technology (Gary Goodyear) is a creationist and believes that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. He thinks that The Flintstones was a documentary and Dino was the star." Thats right "science," the guy is a chiropractor, so that should tell you something about the Harper Conservatives. Science and Technology is a department that to my way of thinking a Libertarian government would eliminate completely even though I'm not sure what they do. What I do know is that they likely contribute to overspending, and that private interests would do a better job.
Speaking about overspending, I almost choked on my morning coffee reading David Frum's column in the National Post (the Conservative newspaper). David Frum was once a speech writer for the POTUS George W. Bush, and is alleged to have authored the famous phrase "axis of evil" in a Bush speech. Today Mr. Frum suggests that the question in this election is "Who should be trusted to manage the economic recovery - the people who want government to spend more or the people who want government to tax less?" The implication being that Conservatives spend less, which is not quite true.
Last week that same newspaper showed that Conservatives have actually spent more historically, and increased our debt-load more, than did the Liberals.
The graph from that Post article shows Conservative governments in blue and Liberals in pink. During the Mulroney government from the 1984 to 1993, debt rose dramatically in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars or as a percent of GDP. The Chretien-Martin years (1993-2006) at first showed an increase then a dramatic decrease as government actually shrank. The Harper Conservatives at first benefitted from the Liberal surplus, then began spending recklessly themselves so that they are now in worse shape than when they took office.   
Mr. Frum points out that we have had a bit of a financial crisis world-wide, as if the Harper Economic Action Plan made a difference to our recovery. Mostly it just increased our debt, as you can see on the graph. Mr. Frum also asks voters to give Harper a majority, because as he states "minority governments are vulnerable to blackmail." If that was true then what was Mulroney's excuse in 1984 with the largest ever majority in Canadian history? Look at the jump in debt on the graph. Who was blackmailing Mulroney to spend? Lies are lies.

FYI. I will be running as the candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada in Markham-Unionville during this election campaign. My plan is to add daily posts of events and my progress.  

Forget Earth Hour, its Human Achievement Hour! HAH2011

Annoyed with the TV/radio media people encouraging you to sit in a dark room for one hour tonight? I am.
I have twice written about Earth Hour, 20092010. But this year I am encouraged that the green revolution is losing support. I hope people are starting to get it, electricity is not evil, and using it is not evil, and in fact if you live where I live, in the Great White North, it was minus 10 Celsius this morning with a windchill around minus 17C. For those of the US persuasion, that is about 12 degrees F but feeling like zero. Electricity is survival, it's not a luxury, just ask those poor people in quake ravaged northeastern Japan today.
If you want to spend some time celebrating human achievement rather than darkness tonight, fire up your computer and join the party by visiting visit this website at 8:30 pm local time (actually starts at 8pm EST).
If you need some more convincing, then read this eloquent "Dissent" from one of our local economics professors, Ross McKitrick who "likes visiting nature," but doesn't want to live there.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Removing safe and reliable electricity generation in Ontario

In Ontario the Provincial government has demonized coal-fired-thermal-power-generation. Lets put aside for the moment the obvious question that asks why is government is involved in supplying electric power to homeowners. I think competitive free enterprise would do a better job, but I will deal with that issue later. In the meantime an Ontario election is looming and citizens will have an opportunity to pass judgment on the policies and practices of Dalton McGuinty's Liberals soon.
One of those policies is McGuinty's plan to remove the option of coal and reduce natural gas usage for power generation, replacing them with solar panels and wind mills. This ideologically driven policy may lead to some serious unintended consequences for Ontario's future. It's "ideologically driven policy," because McGuinty is convinced that the waste gas carbon dioxide is a significant cause of the evil global warming. Why global warming is a problem for Ontario, I'm still not certain?
In a widely distributed pamphlet McGuinty's Liberals claim the reason for removing coal power is because it pollutes the air, even though there are ways of mitigating that problem that are less expensive and less risky for the future. If air pollution is a primary effect of coal-fired-thermal-power-generation, then the closure of these plants should reduce air pollution. Does it? Have a look at my answer in this video: