Change is in the air across Canada


The fall is auguring change for the October 19th election. Two thirds across what will be the longest election in living memory most polls vary in results, with one exception: Canadians in very large majorities want chang and do not agree with the direction of the country. This has been a great handicap for the Conservatives, as they struggled out of the gate early on in the election. They have also been sideswiped by a series of events, some of their making, some not. The list seems to grow weekly, but voters seem adamant to let them take the responsibility for the Duffy trial, the recessionary climate of the economy, low oil prices and the refugee crisis. Their chances of winning a majority, at least currently, are miniscule by all measures. The Conservative record does them no help. We have struggled economically in the east of the country for some time as manufacturing flounders and the now
the west is hit with low oil prices and higher unemployment. The great calculus of turning Canada into an energy superpower has turned to dust, even as our foreign policy master plan has whittled. At home, controversy over Bill C-51 and nonexisting environmental
policy has left the Conservative party on the outs with more Canadians than at any time over the lifespan of this government. Not even conservatives are very enthused about the party as time has proven its leadership and Harper more adept at surviving that at being truly Conservative, a too Liberal quality for most true conservatives. The government of the last 10 years has racked the most debt in history and has failed to please the social conservative base by tackling issues such as abortion or gay marriage. In essence, there is not much to show, except for things such as cuts to the CBC and government science budgets. So change is coming, and we only know that it will be a close election regardless of the outcome. The Liberals, new leader on hand, are buoyed by polls that show them still in contention, but are promising things that most of us have heard from them that they failed to do in the past. For our part at the Downsview Advocate, we feel that real change would come in the form of an NDP government. Thomas Mulcair has shown that he is ready for the job on day one and would tackle economic issues without reducing
investment in the things that are important to the community, such as employment, pensions for seniors and childcare. After 10 years of Conservative government, we need real change.


Election extended as struggling Conservatives look for Advantage



 Stephen Harper has just created the most expensive election in Canadian history and the longest one in living memory.One can assume that he is feeling the heat of dropping poll numbers. Elections are normally 4 to 6 weeks. This year’s election will be 11 weeks.

This allows the Conservative Party to spend up to $30 million more on the election (every day extended gives them more room to spend) and they have a lot of more money than the other parties. The spending advantage is seeing widely as the reason for the longer campaign. All of this is occurring after the Federal government spent millions on Conservative friendly ads (this would be your money being spent reader, tax money). The Federal contract for advertisement finished at the end of July, and Harper called the election over the long weekend.Continue Reading

Ranked Ballot Reform is Not Good for Our Cities


Electoral reform is needed in Canada. We have majorities in the Canadian Parliament and in the Ontario Legislature due to our first past the post system of elections when no party has won a majority of the vote.

We also have very large numbers of people not voting, making any government suspect to questions about legitimacy. Those are real problems. Ranked ballot reform is not the same as Proportional representation reform and would actually make these problems worse.

Unfortunately, there is a big push now to get our cities to take this system on.

What it would, were it to be implemented would be to create a system that actually reduces the number of people that vote over the long term, as well as making it easier to stay elected for incumbents. Neither of these two things are good for democracy.Continue Reading