When I left for Japan, following Canadian politics along with my intense anti-American, pro-Canadian nationalism went out the window rather quickly. In an international setting, Canada and it’s politics, didn’t really seem that important. So, for the last four and a half years I really haven’t been on top of what’s going on in Canada. With everything that’s happened in Japan over the last two months I’ve become even further removed from Canadian news.
With that being said, here I sit on the night before Canada’s 41st Federal Election, with 20 tabs open in an attempt to educate myself on what has happened in this country and what the best future is for it. It’s good to see that my ability to procrastinate didn’t die when I graduated from university. I can remember countless nights, that turned into early mornings all too quickly, spent researching and writing in order to feverishly complete an essay due the following morning on. Just like in university, the night before something happens, I’m playing catch up and trying to finish my research. This probably isn’t the best way to go about educating myself, but given the history of past elections in Canada the fact that I’m under 30 and planning to vote is a good thing either way. While due to my age I am no longer associated with the “youth vote” which is apparently going to make all the difference this election, I feel like the difference will only be a couple of percent from the previous election. The following was taken from an Elections Canada research paper on voter turnout in the last election in 2008.
Via Elections Canada
Canadians have dealt with Stephen Harper and the Conservative party in charge since 2006. Not that I agree with it, but being 29 and closer to 20 than 40, Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain,” still applies to me and I am definitely a left of center liberal. With Canada’s multi-party parliamentary system, and my intense dislike of the Conservative party, the real question is to vote strategically in order to oust a Conservative representative in my riding or to vote for the party that best represents my views. The Toronto Star had a great article about this recently and I think they have it right (be sure to read the second section of that article titled But vote strategically). There has been a wave of support for the New Democratic Party, pushing the Liberal Party, the major largest opposition party since 2006 down in the polls. While I slightly disagree with the image below and where it places each party. It’s a decent representation of where each Canadian party lies along the political spectrum. N.B – PC should be the Conservative party. Two parties merged in 2003.
With all of this being said, I’m going to delve into the ever changing world of Canadian politics. Anyone reading this, please be sure to vote tomorrow, regardless of if your political views clash with my own.
UPDATE: Wikileaks has come out with quite a few cables from the U.S that have to do with Canada. Here’s the CBC’s take on a leak of one of those cables that goes over each political party.
As well, for those debating not voting, check out this comic (if you’re not voting, I assume at least comics will appeal to you) as to why you should be.