Federal Election Hot or Not

Hot — Charlottetown candidate Tom Deblois, for shaving off his beard. Party operatives tried to get him to do it for the last election, but he thought it disingenuous. Now all they need to do is shoot a new official photo: the current one has him looking, literally, like a deer caught in headlights.

Not — Conservative leader Stephen Harper, for his shallow explanations as to why his party refuses to allow the Green Party into the televised debates — “She is his candidate in Central Nova, and I think it would be fundamentally unfair to have two candidates who are essentially running on the same platform in the debate.”

Not — The consortium of Canadian television networks for agreeing to cave to the Harper Conservatives (and the Layton NDP, more passively) and hold the debates without the Green Party. The Green Party has met all reasonable conditions for participation in the debates: the networks should have held their ground. Extra demerit points for the CBC’s paucity of coverage on this issue: The National’s story on the issue last night included a 5 second video clip with a representative of the consortium and excerpts from a their printed release.

Hot — The Liberal Party for taking a risk that Canadians are intelligent enough to understand their carbon tax plan. And it’s a big risk, as Canadians may actually not be intelligent enough to understand their carbon tax plan.

Not — The Conservative Party for running crass television commercials that assume that Canadians are stupid and will easily fall prey to exagerated scare tactics about the Liberal carbon tax.


Ann Thurlow's picture
Ann Thurlow on September 9, 2008 - 15:47 Permalink

I am disgusted by the exclusion of Elizabeth May from the debate and especially disgusted with the NDP for their crass, political complicity in the decision.
I am also concerned that “intelligent” (or as the CBC puts it “nerdy”) has become an epithet in election campaigns both north and south of the border.
All of a sudden, being a dumb average seems to be the best thing to be. Doesn’t give me much hope.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on September 9, 2008 - 17:57 Permalink

Not defending this decision I would love Elizabeth May to be there — possibly because she is the most articulate of the five leaders (and I hope she kicks Peter McKay’s butt in Central Nova) but….the problem with the Green party is that it pretends that the environment is not linked to other social issues. The pre-Elizabeth May version of the party was too fiscally conservative. This version is very much cozied up with the Liberals and share the Carbon Tax proposal with them. The Carbon Tax again deals with one issue and does not address society as a whole. Also, the NDP is taking the lead in attacking the Oil Sands which dwarfs all other environmenal issues in this country.

A problem I have is that I like Stephane Dion, Elizabeth May and Jack Layton almost equally…it is hard to pick between them…its actually silly (and irresponsible?) that there are three choices given our first past the post electoral system. Especially as a resident of Calgary where my non-Conservative vote is meaningless anyway. I hope non-Conservative voter consider the use of strategic voting in their particular ridings.

steve's picture
steve on September 10, 2008 - 11:25 Permalink

Just FYI CBC’s Radio Noon program in Montreal gave a full half hour of coverage the the Green Party in the debate issue yesterday, including a five minute interview with a spokesperson from the consortium, another with the vice-president of the green party and several calls from listeners

Marian's picture
Marian on September 10, 2008 - 13:35 Permalink

I’m employing an ‘anyone who can win (against the Tories) in my riding’ strategy (which in my case means the Liberals). I actually like Dion though despite all the anti-nerd talk, most of which sounds like it’s straight out of high school anyway. I hear that the price of oil is one of the only things that seems to work to get people to lower their fuel consumption (hence the taxation strategy in the Green Shift). At least the price of oil seems to be related to fuel consumption *in the US.* Don’t see why it would be different here though. From the New Yorker: “If the hard truth is that the [American] federal government can’t do much to lower gas prices, the really hard truth is that it shouldn’t try to. With just five per cent of the world’s population, America accounts for twenty five percent of its oil use. This disproportionate consumption is one of the main reasons that the United States — until this year, when China overtook it — was the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. (Every barrel of oil burned adds roughly a thousand pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.) No matter how many warnings about the consequences were issued — by NASA, by the United Nations, by Al Gore, by the Pope — Americans seemed unfazed. Even as the Arctic ice cap visibly melted away, they bought bigger and bigger cars and drove them more and more miles. The impact of rising fuel prices, by contrast, has been swift and appreciable. According to the latest figures from the Federal Highway Administration, during the first five months of this year Americans drove thirty billion fewer miles than they did during the same period last year. This marks the first time in a generation that vehicle miles in this country have edged downward. All told, undriven trips since the start of 2008 amount to some thirty billion pounds of unreleased CO2. Clearly, the only way to change America’s consumption habits is by making those habits more expensive.” (NY, Aug 11&18, 2008, page 38 )