Sunday, May 1, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
On Cross Country Checkup: election eve
It started out as an election nobody wanted, but it turned into a campaign of surprises.
Did you change your mind along the way?
Has the campaign changed the way you planned to vote?
With Rex Murphy.
From the middle of a snowbank in east central Saskatchewan, I am definately changing my vote from the way I voted in the previous election. When the election was called I knew who I was not going to vote for. I watched and listened to the parties and candidates that were left to me to see if either of them would say or do something that would make me stay with or change from the party I was probably going to vote for when the campaign started, and something did happen and it did not happen to me alone. I kept listening to all the parties and one voice stood out among them all, the voice was honest, funny, and sending a message that was something I wanted to hear at this time in this election. I don't know why it happened when it did but I can only figure the messages from the other parties weren't doing it for me. Not that my choice will win, but it may send enough of a scare into the rest to indiciate change in someway for the better. Electoral and parlimentary reform would be nice, but we may never find out.
Basically, I am a Conservative, have been all my life. Because of Stephen Harper's disregard for the parliamentary process, his controlling nature which makes voting for the Conservative candidate a vote only for Harper, and most of all because of the negative ad campaign run by the Conservative Party, tomorrow for the first time in my life I will vote NDP.
David T. Roberts
Amherst, Nova Scotia
We residents of Saanich-Gulf Islands are poised to make a gift of inestimable value to the people of Canada. We're about to elect Elizabeth May to parliament. This intelligent, articulate, principled woman has been making a difference for many years. She will not be bound by the idealogical claptrap of the old-line parties, and will be a breath of fresh air in the House. It will be our pleasure to make her our present to Canada.
Keep up the good work!
Victoria, British Columbia
I am changing my vote from Harper to the NDP for one reason and one reason only. This last-minute, sleazy tactic of trying to smear Jack Layton has turned me right off. It's the worst kind of bottom-feeding. So what if he went for a massage? Big deal. I go to a bank that was robbed once. That doesn't make me a bank robber!
I was a Progressive Conservative. I think Mr. Harper tried to hoodwink us with a script that left him hiding. He failed to engage me and I resent his style. He will not get my vote. I will vote Liberal this time because Ignatieff has run a campaign of substance and he is the only leader that has engaged me with policies and values that reflect Canadians. The Liberals wil surprise you tomorrow night. I predict they will win 80-plus seats.
Victoria, British Columbia
I'm in a Conservative stronghold, so I am using the Vote Swap Canada 2011 Facebook site to exchange my vote with someone in a swing riding where they have a better chance of unseating a Conservative candidate. According to the new Angus Reid poll more than a third of Canadians (36%) are considering voting strategically in order to reduce the chances of a specific party forming the government, even if it means casting a ballot for a candidate they dislike. To me this indicates a very strong indictment of our first-past-the-post electoral system and of Mr Harper.
Wells, British Columbia
Good day Rex,
For the sake of Canada, we need a majority government. But most important, the rampant use of the Notwithstanding Clause guaranteed in our constitution is just around the corner. We will soon end up with a country that no one ever imagined. Good luck to those people who want change at any cost!
Besides the nasty way in which Harper speaks to us, the voter, and the way he twists the meaning of words and concepts to make them seem dirty and nasty, I have also been blown away by his overconfidence in getting a majority that his promises are so far ahead in time that they would actually be his platform for the next election four years from now. Mr. Layton speaks to the middle class of all ages which is fighting for survival within the programs from the Conservative old boys club for already wealthy elderly people only.
East River Point, Nova Scotia
If the NDP prevail over the Liberals and hopefully the Conservatives it would create the necessity for negotiation and collaboration in our parliament. Perhaps it would open the door to thinking about the public good and shouldering responsibility for the legacy we are leaving our children and our childrens' children. Vive Quebec for leading the way!
Vancouver, British Columbia
I'm very proud of Canadians standing up and saying they won't be pushed around. I love this country so much and it's been disgusting the way Canadians and our land have been abused, beginning with Trudeau. (Though he stole many hearts I don't believe history will look well upon him.) Never thought I'd vote for the NDP but they are the only one's I trust, believe and respect. The NDP could possibly win and I hope they do. I listened to Mike McCracken on The Current Thursday and he seemed to praise the NDP's platform financially and ethically. He spoke so well about it that I'm 100% confident in the NDP now. I wish all Canadians could have heard that program. I first saw Mc Cracken on The Agenda and being very impressed have listened to him whenever possible.
I have mostly voted Conservative in the past. It's a sad day when Canadians don't like either of the traditional leaders and votes are in protest. I've been so scared that we would end up being run by the Big Machine that runs the U.S. and in fact lose our freedom. Since 911 I don't think Americans realize how they've been manipulated and are losing their independence.
Thanks for a great show guys.
Smiths Falls, Ontario
The big issue as I see it is that we are not a U.S.-style democracy where we vote for a leader. We vote for a local Member of Parliament, not a prime minister. In the last election, although I generally vote Liberal, I voted for the Conservative candidate, because I thought that he was honest and had integrity. Unfortunately he has shown that he is simply a puppet of Stephen Harper, and cannot publicly say what I believe that he thinks, and the views that he has privately expressed to me. Our Liberal candidate is a man of proven integrity and much political experience in whom I feel that I can put my trust. The NDP candidate really had little to say except that she has been a member of Local... whichever (union) it was. I am not voting for any of the leaders per se. I do feel saddened by the numbers of friends, and friends of my children, who tell me that they respect and believe in the local Liberal candidate, but cannot vote for him because it would be a vote for Michael Ignatieff, and the only thing that they seem to all have against him is that they say that he is American and not Canadian. This is a direct result of all of the attack ads and very far from the actual truth. He is a true Torontonian who is so Canadian that he gave up his career to return to Canada. I sadly have no respect for a leader who prorogues Parliament twice to hide the shortcomings of his government.
I am a long time NDP supporter who has volunteered for the party both provincially and federally in the past, and I am absolutely thrilled to see what is happening in Quebec. However, I live in North Vancouver, a Conservative-held riding, and this time I am voting strategically against the Conservatives. I will support the excellent candidate who is running for the Liberals. He has the best chance of defeating the Conservative.
The Harper government has been extremely arrogant in a minority situation. When they talk about an evil coalition they are talking about MP's representing almost two-thirds of the population. Best case scenario is an NDP/Liberal coalition government. The worst thing that could happen to Canada would be a Harper majority.
My two cents.
North Vancouver, British Columbia
If Jack Layton and his collision form government, we in Alberta will be big losers and I will support Alberta leaving Canada. The NDP and Liberals have no suport out here. They just want to rip off Alberta. So I would spend the rest of my life working to separate from Canada. The 25 to 50 billion (dollars) we send east every year is a rip off.
I am surprised at how voters forget. When Harper came to power there was a 10-15 billiion dollar surplus in Ottawa. Before the recession of 2008 (so the Harpers had been in power since 2005) they had already created a 15-18 billion dollar deficit. The recession was a godsend for Harper! It hid their economic mismanagement. Now we have a 56 billion dollar deficit!
In Ontario we need to remember that Flaherty left us with a 5.6 billion dollar deficit provincially, and has moved on to bring his same economic flare for deficits to Ottawa. I am tired of paying off the Conservative deficits.
The right move is to punish both the Conservatives and the Liberals for boring us to death. Go with Layton. At least he has a real smile!
The interest in this election and the surge in the NDP reflect a wider urgency felt around the world for the control of democracy. What we have taken for granted in Canada, others are dying for today in Libya and Syria and elsewhere. The abusive tyrants we now see discredited were good friends of many power brokers in the West. People are more aware than ever of the abuse of power from wars about oil, to Wall Street greed, to the old-style dirty politics of Ottawa. The NDP has run a positive campaign with a hopeful message that reflects values which average Canadians cherish. The NDP has proven many times at the provincial level that they can govern responsibly, wisely and humanely.
When Stephen Harper suggested the choice is between the Conservatives and the NDP, he gave those who wish him out of office a clear directive on how to do it. I think with the NDP surge in popularity the vote for a different government will go to them. There has never been any question of my voting to re-elect my current NDP MP. I am voting directly for the candidate and I'm extremely pleased with the progress of his party. I hope he has an active and influential part in the new government.
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
I'm not politically savvy and had to drive over to a neighbour's to send this as I am unable to get high-speed Internet at my rural address. Here's my uniformed but fervent wish: That Ignatieff will step up tonight and urge that all Liberal supporters vote for the NDP this one time, to get rid of Harper once and for all. Or, at least urge all Liberal voters in ridings that are strong NDP supporters to vote NDP. Then the Liberals can work it out from there, hopefully in a spirit of collaboration that both parties are paying lip service to during this campaign. I don't really worry about whether a strong NDP result will effect interest rates or the dollar. In the medium and longer term, global commerce, industry and trade has enough confidence in Canada regardless of the party in power. Excuse any typos. I'm writing this sitting under a tree and it is hard to see the screen, but my neighbour's not home so I had to steal his wifi from outside!
Since only one party was faced with an eleventh-hour smear, it would have been fair of the media to give it short shrift. As a non-partisan massage therapist, I am glad to witness the last of the neanderthals (those who dug for dirt) brought to the light of day. Most Canadians are enlightened about genuine therapy as compared with the other stuff. There may have been a few businesses that housed both practices. Thank you, Laytons and millions of Canadians who support the massage therapists of the nation. We may all need a session by Tuesday.
Sarah Gwen Peters
I was listening to the show and found my self shaking my head at some of the comments. Mr. Harper was found in contempt of Parliament, he was not defeated on his budget. He has concentrated the power of government in the PMO, he has repeatedly refused to tell the Canadian public and the house information that they have the right to know, he has effectively muzzled his caucus. Right from the start his campaign has been a negative one, telling Canadians that Mr. Ignatieff is not a real Canadian because he has been educated and has worked elsewhere. Does anyone call Sydney Crosby un-Canadian? The Conservative ads have not offered any positive information on what they would do. Instead they have made coalition a bad word, insist that electing anything but a Conservative majority would be the end of the world. Does anyone really think that a power-hungry person like Harper will not be begging for other party support if it meant he could form yet another government? I was pleasantly surprised by Mr. Layton's performance at both debates and if the local NDP candidate was halfway decent I would have voted for him. The latest dirty trick about Mr. Layton being found in a massage parlour 16 years ago just shows how desperate the Conservatives have become. Mr. Harper makes me wish that Mr. Mulroney would come back.
H. M. Champagne
Saint John, New Brunswick
I live in Alberta and have been a small business owner for the better part of 20 years. I have always been very small "c" conservative on political and social issues. When Steven Harper was first elected, I felt it was the best thing to happen to this country. I hope that the majority of our electorate will come to their senses tomorrow and ditch this clown. I'm voting NDP because it is time for real change, and by God, if Jack Layton does receive a mandate, I hope he governs this country with the wisdom and compassion Canadians desevrve.
I feel déjà vu about tomorrow's election.
I flew out of Montreal the night before the first PQ referendum. The effects on our national economy of near separation were disastrous. I recall 24% mortgages that followed. This is no idle fear-mongering. I agree with "vote for experience in government, not experiment." To me, managing a national economy to create jobs is top priority in this fragile global economy. Michael Ignattieff is right about one thing: the Liberals and NDP are very different families. Yes, provincial NDP parties have learned how to balance a budget in some cases (such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan). That's why Harper and the Conservatives appointed ex-MB NDP Premier Gary Doer as Canadian ambassador to the U.S. (Canada's highest foreign post). But the federal NDP have no experience balancing a national budget where the mandates and expectations are really quite different (like managing a national economy to create jobs, foreign affairs, international trade, First Nations, EI, immigration, defence, military, etc.).
Frankly, I feel sorry for Ignattieff and the Liberals as they ride in the back seat of either opposition or government driven by Layton and the NDP. Thanks Scott Reid, for your confession on P&P this week that your report a year ago was unfounded that the CPC had hired bloggers to promote their views on news blogs like the CBC. We need more such candour from all spin doctors. Mr. "Beer & Popcorn" Liberal strategist we've read this myth too many thousands of times on the CBC site in the past year.
If Gilles Duceppe loses his seat, few outside Quebec will be disappointed.
Perhaps other Conservatives like me, appalled by Harper's actions (including some since the govt. fell) resulting in the vote finding Harper in contempt of Parliament, will be voting Liberal since the NDP's fiscal record is lacking. Harper tried to cry wolf chanting 'reckless' coalition. But if you believe in democracy, if two parties get more votes together than one, then it's logical and they would have to compromise and come to consensus.
Given what Harper has done with a minority, I fear a reckless majority even more. The Liberals deserved to lose because of sponsorship; Tories for contempt. If we reward contempt, it's a terrible precedent and less likely to dissuade any party from such disregard for our parliament and the people.
Control? to attend a Tory meeting tonight you are asked to register and will be called in advance. They'll call it protection, I call it frightening. As they say, the Conservatives have left me.
Unfortunately those negative ads on Ignatieff were dreadful but effective. Harper's stern, Layton's folksy, Ignatieff has been serious, more modest, and understated - more like a typical Canadian. He reflects decency and competence somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis.
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I am sick to death of all this political stuff. I am a 45-year-old married woman with two kids from southwest Nova Scotia. I am voting NDP, however, they don't have a shot in this area. I have listened to Cross Country Checkup since it began. Every week I turned it on only to hear about political stuff and then again the next week and so on. Thank God we vote tomorrow so I guess I can look forward to one more week of this analysis. I guess Laureen is really kicking herself now that she had to pass on the Royal Wedding and stay by Stevie Harper's side, just to watch him lose his job. And good riddance to him!
Digby County, Nova Scotia
I am conservative but before the election call I decided to not support the Tories. For me, openness and accountability are more important than ideology. Case in point: I wrote Vic Toews to state my opposition to prison farm closings and received only a form letter several months later. Also, Harper's muzzling of the media and strong-arm anti-democratic methods he and the party use leaves me no choice but to send a strong message and that message is "enough!"
I don't think Layton's popularity in Quebec has anything to do with anger at the Bloc. Many people are ready for a change, and Layton has a lot of appeal with his street French and his cane, his moustache and his smile. He went viral in Quebec, a "black swan" type of event Ã la Nassim Taleb, just like some books become major bestsellers while others, just as good, have only average sales. The real question: Will these new NDP supporters actually vote tomorrow?
I am a business owner and I have had to expirence what can happen when the governing party shifts from a Conservative minority to an NDP majority in my province of Nova Scotia, and I can confidently and firmly say that never has Nova Scotia been more fiscally responsible than they are now. The NDP is doing an excellent job in Nova Scotia and their actual approach to balance and spending within our means is preparing our province for a much brighter future than we ever had with the Liberals or Conservatives. For all those who think an NDP government will be out of control with their spending, I urge you to look at the progress we are making here in Nova Scotia with Premier Dexter and just give Ol' Jack and the NDP a chance to make our country great again!
Halifax, Nova Scotia