I know that most of you probably aren’t Canadian, or care about Canadian politics, but it’s halfway through the campaign and while I’m amazed I’m managed to keep politics off the blog for this long, my tongue hurts from the biting. Of course, I speak only for myself and not the other Interrobangs, and, full disclosure, I (strongly) support the NDP. I have virtually nothing good to say about Harper and his government, and if anyone gives two hoots about it I’d be happy to discuss it further (this post is mainly a link dump). The debates were on Tuesday and Wednesday; if you want to watch them the CBC has the full video.
(For the non-Canadians in the audience: the NDP [New Democratic Party] is Canada’s left-wing party, which has never formed government but has been influential in minority government situations like the one we’ve just had. The Liberals are a centrist party, and power oscillates between them and the right wing Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper who’s been in power for five years with three minority governments. Harper’s government was found in contempt of Parliament for lying to Parliament about some budgetary figures, though this is frankly just the icing on the multi-tiered cake of a long line of travesties of democracy and good government. Note that before this, no government in the history of the Commonwealth had ever been found in contempt of Parliament — this is a big deal.)
So here’s some groups, sites, and tools to help you vote. Note that all of these are either non-partisan or anti-Conservative — your political stripe is your beeswax and that’s fine, but from my perspective Harper and his government need to be turfed immediately and resoundingly (though sadly the resoundingly bit is unlikely to happen).
- CBC’s Canada Votes Page
- Elections Canada
- The Globe and Mail’s Compare the Platforms page (with links to all five of the major platforms)
- The Defeatist — bilingual analysis blog
- Open Parliament — compiles information about MPs voting records and contributions to the House of Commons (not so much relevant now since there’s no sitting Parliament, but a fantastic resource nonetheless)
- Project Democracy — Strategic voting information
- Swing 33 and Catch 22 — strategic voting in a few tight races.
- Vote Pair — A site for organizing a vote swap, when your preferred party has no hope of winning your riding.
- Lead Now — a youth voter advocacy group.
And if you’re looking for reading material, here’s some election-related articles (many about why Harper needs to go) in no particular order.
- Sh!t Harper Did
- Canada watches its democracy erode.
- Transcripts of Rick Mercer’s recent rants
- What are Canadians really afraid of when it comes to crime?
- University of Guelph students’ Vote Mob (which was taken as a protest by the Conservatives)
- Elizabeth May has been barred from the televised leaders’ debates, and her court challenge was thrown out (in spite of teh fact she was invited to the debates in the last election).
- Stephen Harper does not want you to vote
- How can Conservative senators look themselves in the mirror?
- Which Canada will you vote for?
- Arcade Fire urges Canadians to not vote for Harper.
- Harper’s campaign screening is un-Canadian, says Ignatieff.
- The Harper Government meme tumblr.
- Contemplating the unthinkable Harper majority.
- Stephen Harper’s previous endorsement of coalitions when he wasn’t in power.
- Trading public safety of gun registry for political gain.
- Per vote subsidies? We don’t need no stinkin’ per vote subsidies!
- Conserving Canada or a Conservative Canada?
Closer to the election I’ll post a “this is what you need to vote” post, because there’s often lots of a confusion especially with students about what’s needed and who’s eligible to vote where. I’m more than happy to discuss politics further if you’re curious — if you want to take it off the blog, feel free to email me at the blog address.