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A little Canadian politics update!

Just an FYI - Canada has (well, once he's sworn in) a new Prime Minister...yup...another Trudeau. Pierre's son Justin. Canada sent a pretty strong message to the conservative party and Stephen Harper that it was time for them to go, giving the Liberals an overwhelming majority (from third place last election). Keeping my fingers crossed for the best - sorry to all the Con and NDP supporters out there...

Posted by
16817 posts

I saw that last night. It was in regards to the speculation that the Canadian Dollar would drop now that the "tax and spend" Liberals would be in power. However, this morning, I see that it has actually appreciated almost a penny. Or maybe that is just because the Blue Jays finally won a game.

Hey, what is the "New Democratic Party"?

Posted by
3933 posts

Well, sometimes things other than travel creep in. There was just a posting a few weeks ago about one of the Americans on the French train takedown who was assaulted in the USA. Has nothing to do with travel but some folks find it interesting. There may actually be people in the world who care about the politics of the country they are going to. I always keep up to date on the goings on in the countries I am travelling to...sometimes to the amazement of people we stay with that I know the names of their premiers and presidents and prime ministers and some of the politics of the day. Thanks for the comment tho.

Posted by
3933 posts

Oh Sam...I think the NDP are now known as the biggest losers of this election. I actually feel a little sorry for them! Go blue jays!

Posted by
6871 posts

Do you watch John Oliver (HBO) by any chance? Funny segment on this which included Mike Myers. He was trying to turn out the vote against Stephen Harper. Is that kid who won actually experienced enough (or is it only due to Daddy)?

Posted by
8293 posts

Since when is a man in his 40's with a wife and a couple of children considered "a kid" ?

Posted by
1350 posts

Many people would have voted for the Liberals because of who Justin's dad was. Probably as many would never vote for the liberals because of who Justin's dad was. Don't think it made a difference.

There was a great interview on the BBC website with Rick Mercer and they asked if Justin Trudeau had the experience. His reply was that nobody, until they become Prime Minister, has the experience.

Here in Canada, we don't vote for a Prime Minister, we elect our local MPs and the leader of the party with the most seats becomes Prime Minister. That said, the election, IMO, did become a referendum on Harper.

Although I'm "orange" (NDP), I am very happy with the result.

Posted by
2246 posts

"Since when is a man in his 40's with a wife and a couple of children considered "a kid" ?

Uh..since we got old? ;-)


From Reuters:
Trudeau has said he will repair Canada's cool relations with the Obama administration, withdraw Canada from the combat mission against Islamic State militants in favor of humanitarian aid and training, and tackle climate change.

What a radical! He must be a communist or something.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/harper-at-risk-as-progressive-parties-surge-in-canada-election_5624f4bde4b0bce34701442b

Posted by
21724 posts

Maybe, just maybe, our Canadian friends do know a thing or too. Unfortunately it will not rub off on us.

PS. -- I just traveled to Canada last month.

Posted by
3933 posts

Since we got old...haha.

Rick mercer rocks and was doing a lot to encourage people to go vote (I think I saw 68%) and I did catch the John Oliver thing. I love me some John Oliver but that fell a little flat for me...not sure why...but it was funny in parts.

I laugh at the 'youngsters' on the radio station saying Trudeau 'looks so young...like he looks 35'. Like 43 is that much older. (And I'm 42). Sigh.

Signed...old at 42 (at least according to the 26 year olds on the radio).

Posted by
1350 posts

A little note about the MP elect in my riding - I love this story.

She ran for mayor, but didn't win. (Peterborough is an Old Boys Club type of place). Anyway, the criticism levelled at her by her opponents was that she couldn't handle City Hall.

Apparently she replied that she is a female who grew up in Afghanistan under the Taliban, and as such was confident she could handle Peterborough politics.

Posted by
12040 posts

As a frequent visitor to Canada ( I can see Toronto from where I live), let me just say that as long as the poutine doesn't change, I'm happy.

Posted by
2526 posts

Our friends from the north have throttled back visiting Montana of late compared to recent years. Will the new government have any significant impact on tourism on either side of the border?

Posted by
3933 posts

A lot of it could be our weak dollar. It's trading at about .75 right now, so that hurts...especially after we were above par for a bit a few years back. If our dollar starts rising again, hopefully you'll see more Canadians visiting.

I was reading an article saying a lot of Canadians are staying close to home this year. Even hubby and I next year may just visit Toronto (which we haven't been to since 2001) because of the dollar. It hurt a little when we spent a few days in the uk at the end of our trip a few weeks ago where everything is double with our poor exchange rate...so that supper that didn't seem so bad for £35 actually cost us about $70. We were lucky in that our accoms were with friends and relatives, so that helped ease the sting.

Andrea...that's awesome. We voted bill Casey back in here. He was the one who was conservative and disagreed with Harper on the Atlantic accord back in 2007 and got booted from the caucus. He sat as an independent and in the next election, ran as an independent and people loved him so much here we voted him back in. Then he retired because of a cancer diagnosis. Then he came back, this time as liberal and beat the conservative guy who won after he retired. He's a bit of a local folk hero.

Posted by
8294 posts

Lol Dave!

42 is actually middle-aged. Ugh.

Posted by
8294 posts

"then your southern neighbors voted for his idiot son, GB2."

Lol. Not all of us Keith.

Posted by
6642 posts

Well, Kansas City 14, Toronto 2. I love Canada no matter who's in charge.

Posted by
4637 posts

Keith, we did not vote for him. Majority voted for A.G. Because of electoral college everything was decided in Florida. Guess who was a governor then. And then Supreme Court by not allowing recount appointed GWB as President and Cheney the Dick as his boss.

Posted by
3933 posts

The elder Trudeau was before I was aware of politics (being the same age as the younger Trudeau) - but he seems mostly beloved here...maybe it's the mists of time. I know a lot of people hated him as well, but the concensus seems to be mostly good...

Posted by
1437 posts

Living in Ottawa, I can certainly say that everyone that I know here who works in government (at all levels) heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Our non-Canadian friends may not fully realize that many voters in this election did not vote for the candidate/party that they really wanted to.

In the last couple of elections, many Conservative party candidates (blue) were elected simply because the majority of all votes got split between the reds, oranges and greens. I live in a riding that tends to elect blue. In a normal election, I would cast my vote to maybe orange, green or 'independent' and cross my fingers.

However, this time, I felt so strongly that Harper was destroying the fabric of Canada, that I voted strategically. I voted for the Liberal red candidate - the one with the best chance at defeating the blue where I live. Enough other people in my riding felt and voted as I did (even normally blue supporters).

In order to quite literally save our democratic system - the one that would allow my future votes to be cast according to my conscience, I did not vote for whom I really wanted to. How many of us did this is what made this election noteworthy and why we're posting about it on a travel forum.

Trudeau was elected on a wave of such 'borrowed' votes. I 'lent' his candidate my support this time. I think that Trudeau is aware of this trust that people like me placed in him. It will be very interesting to see if he can 'return' my vote in such a way that will make me want to do it again.

Posted by
8293 posts

Diane, I am in agreement with every word of your post.

Posted by
3933 posts

Just to expand on Diane's post...
red is Liberal
blue is conservative
(which she said)
orange is NDP - New Democrat party
green is...well, the green party - 1 seat!

Posted by
16817 posts

I saw where the Green Party's one riding (see how I'm picking up the lingo) is in the Strait of Georgia. Do Orcas have the vote there?

Posted by
31471 posts

This election seemed to be more of a vote against Harper than it was vote for anyone else. The voters seem to have forgiven the Liberals for the sponsorship scandal, which just about wiped the party off the map 10 years ago. Of course, the Conservatives have their very own senate expense scandal now, so that probably factored into the results.

The feelings of many were articulated well in a letter written to our new P.M. by a woman from B.C., which can be seen here.....

http://globalnews.ca/news/2290319/dear-justin-trudeau-b-c-womans-top-10-list-to-new-pm-goes-viral/

I had thought the NDP would have done better, since they started out in first place at the start of the campaign. However, I watched a graph showing the popularity of the various parties from the beginning, and the line representing the NDP took a sharp dive when their position on the Niqab controversy was mentioned. The Liberal policy of running a deficit for the first few years seemed to help them, and their stated objective of not just decriminalizing pot but legalizing it, was no doubt popular with some.

I expect that Justin will be watched to see how his style of leadership differs from his father. Pierre was a somewhat "colourful" politician and one of his most memorable moments occurred during the FLQ crisis with his famous "Just Watch Me" statement. A couple of other memorable moments were the famous "Salmon Arm Salute" that he presented to protesters during a whistle-stop rail tour through this area (interior of B.C.), and of course his famous "Fuddle Duddle" remark.

Sam,

"Hey, what is the "New Democratic Party"?"

At one time they were referred as "the socialist hordes". I don't think they're as far to the left as they used to be. The federal parties have provincial equivalents of the same name, but these don't always follow the same philosophical line. I'm eternally thankful that the NDP government of Dave Barrett had the foresight to form the B.C. Ambulance Service in 1974, something that was unheard of in other jurisdictions at that time.

"I saw where the Green Party's one riding (see how I'm picking up the lingo) is in the Strait of Georgia."

That riding is not exactly "in" the Strait of Georgia, but includes Saanich (Victoria area) and more importantly the Gulf Islands, where lots of environmentalists and "alternative lifestyle" types live. It's not surprising at all that the Green Party would win a seat there. The riding in this area (North Okanagan-Shuswap) stayed Conservative, although the Liberals and NDP both had a strong showing.

One thing that always amazes me about our elections is that all the ballots are counted "by hand" when the polls close, and yet the results seem to come in fairly quickly. No fancy high-tech methods are used, and "the old way" still seems to work fine.

The next four years should be interesting.....

Posted by
1350 posts

Ken, you forgot Pierre's pirouette behind the Queen's back!

Posted by
6871 posts

Since when is a man in his 40's with a wife and a couple of children considered "a kid" ?

When his party trick consists of falling down stairs...(youtube footage available to confirm this). Hope his head is still intact to govern.

(On another topic mentioned on this thread, I sure hope 42 is not middle age...I hope to live wayyy past 84 :-)

Posted by
8294 posts

Agnes, officially and statistically, it's 42 for women. Less for men. Of course there's lots of exceptions, my grandmother lived to be 100, and my dad, 97.

Posted by
541 posts

Other than knowing Canada has a parliamentary constitutional monarchy I am woefully ignorant of the politics of Canada so this has been interesting. I do a lot of trade with Canadian companies, especially now since its to both our advantage, but oddly, the politics never come up. I guess US news is so saturated with our own future election it's just a scroll along the bottom of the screen. Big question I have is what was the driving force for the power change? Was it a populist stance for the victor or a scandal on those defending their seats? I'm not a side picker, especially in foreign elections, just find the whole thing fascinating.

Posted by
3933 posts

Leslie - it was more of a desire for change. A lot of people were tired of the heavy handed tactics of almost 10 years of Harper and the Conservatives (I won't go into it, but lately the Cons were starting to remind people of the Republicans). Closing Veteran's offices, tamping down on scientists, neglecting the environment, a whole bruhaha over the niqab, ignoring the issues of missing and murdered Native women...and on and on. One of the ads going around was called 'ABC' - anything but conservative...this group didn't care who you voted for, as long as it wasn't the Cons and called for people to use their vote strategically to rid us of Harper.

We had a 78 day campaign, which was twice as long as usual. (Laughable to Americans!). I think in the end that actually worked to the Liberal advantage. The NDP were actually polling #1 early on, so if it'd been the usual shorter campaign, we could've been looking at an NDP gov't. I was gone for 2 of the 3 weeks leading up to the election, so (luckily) I missed out on a lot of the annoying crap. I did keep up to date with the local paper and MacLean's magazine while away.

Apparently the folks in Washington are happy with our choice! Let's hope Trudeau comes thru.

This may sum it up a little:

http://www.quebec.attac.org/IMG/pdf/10reasons.pdf

Posted by
68 posts

It's shameful how little I (and most Americans) know about Canadian politics. Thanks for sharing all your views on the current election. Any good links to unbiased info sources appreciated!

Posted by
8293 posts

Nicole P is dead on in her assessment. Maybe soon I can be glad again to be Canadian, and not embarrassed as in the past couple of years.

Posted by
31471 posts

Leslie,

To add to Nicole's post, after talking to many people in this area, it wasn't just an anti-Conservative vote but rather an "anybody but Harper" vote, and the Liberals were the most realistic option. I suppose that a small amount of "Trudeau-mania" may have also been a factor. Our former P.M. tended to personify all the negative events which have occurred over the last few years, which Nicole mentioned. There was also decreased funding for the CBC, the "robo-calls" scandal in the last election, the controversy over the long form census, and of course the senate expense scandal (which is still under investigation by the RCMP and also being dealt with in the courts). Here in B.C., the closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station (Vancouver) was a huge issue, and hopefully that will be reversed very quickly.

A lot of people were rankled by Harper's "top down, controlling" style of governance, with a tight leash on his M.P.'s and anything they said in the media. All media statements had to be approved through the P.M.'s office first. There were often "consequences" for any agencies which criticized him (ie: the scientists that Nicole mentioned) such as sudden audits by Revenue Canada or funding cuts.

Although the NDP were the "official opposition" in the last government, I suspect a lot of people weren't sure if they were ready for the reins of power. There was also the niqab controversy which seemed to really hurt them, according to the polls I mentioned in my earlier reply in this thread. The Liberals have been in power before, so there will be less of a "learning curve" for them.

The last Liberal government had its faults too, but I'm hoping this one will be better (although Trudeau's plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of this year is raising a few eyebrows. His promise to legalize pot will likely take longer than he envisioned, as legislation will have to be drafted and then go through the process in Parliament, and also amendments made to the criminal code.

Posted by
3933 posts

Ok...honestly...I voted for Justin because he had nice hair. Take that, Harper. Ahahahahahaha...(inside joke...for the Americans, one of the ads the cons ran was basically...'Justin is not ready, but he has nice hair though'...rolling my eyes)

Posted by
3933 posts

Oh...and another tidbit. A few years ago, Trudeau was on a flight and a guy sent him a note asking if he thought he could defeat Harper. His reply on paper was 'just watch me' (echoes of something his father said...before my time...). This smart dude kept that note (which Trudeau tweeted was authentic)...he just sold it for I think $12,000 on eBay! Sweet.

Posted by
541 posts

All very interesting. Thanks for the insider replies. It's crazy how much it's similar to US politics. I hope this change works out well for our northern neighbors!

Posted by
31471 posts

Nicole,

I remember Pierre's "Just Watch Me" quote vividly (I provided a video link for it in one of my earlier posts in this thread). At the time he had lots of support for his position, especially after the kidnapping of James Cross and after the fate of Pierre LaPorte became known.

Posted by
3933 posts

Ken - I knew it had something to do with the October Crisis. I don't tend to follow politics on the whole, but I do try to pay attention to the news and pick up bits here and there about political stuff that happened in the past (better to understand the present!).

Posted by
13511 posts

This has been a fascinating discussion, and thank you, Canadians, for your insights! It hasn't been uncommon for Americans to have had to make similar voting choices (the one most likely to win versus personal favorite) but I sure envy your 'long' 78 day campaign! We're a year away and I'm already good and sick of it. Eeeesh.

My state shares a border with Canada so it feels more neighborly than the many U.S. states much farther away. :O)

Posted by
1940 posts

Nicole, thanks for this posting, and thanks to all the other Canadians who provided additional insight.

We are just back from a journey through some of the eastern provinces. I would call the tone of those with whom we chatted "politically hopeful." Also, thanks for the explanation about the "nice hair" ad. One of our taxi drivers said the new PM had nice hair, and we thought maybe he was digging deep to say something nice, but that explains why that came out of his mouth so quickly.....the ad. Every single Canadian who brought up politics mentioned the need for change.

Interestingly (and totally off topic...sorry), several people (Canadians and other nationalities) when realizing we were from America commented about our serious gun issue, mentioning the frequent shootings. And, when we arrived home, our local news covered a random shooting of a woman through her car window (seems some random guy unknown to her was yelling at her) that happened at 10pm, shortly after she left work in a very populated area.........police pulling all security camera footage, etc. Please send good thoughts to America that our elected officials and our citizenry will somehow get control of what could be a worsening situation......seems the more that is televised about these happenings, the more others decide to take similar paths. It really is embarrassing for our nation. Embarrassing for us as travelers that repeated shootings are the first thing people from other countries seems to think about (or comment about) when they meet Americans in their countries. We have a problem. End of rant ;o Again, apologies for the off-topic second part of my posting.

Posted by
31471 posts

Margaret,

Thanks for your thoughts on the gun issue. I agree, hopefully something will change for the better soon.

Posted by
13511 posts

Margret, I've heard the the same fears about guns from foreigners for quite some time now, and it makes me flinch too. I'm sad and embarrassed that they get the impression everyone in the U.S. is armed to the teeth and trigger happy.

We have a problem.

Posted by
3933 posts

Kathy - re - 78 day election campaign - well, I for one am really getting a kick out of all the Republican debates - well, more like I'm getting a kick out of the comedians take on them. I'm a bit fond of Bernie Sanders myself ;)

As for the guns - for me, now when I see something about a mass shooting, it's like...sigh...again. It just gets so tiring knowing this is going on over and over and nothing will ever get done about it because of the gun lobby and the 2nd amendment people. They just can't seem to see beyond their 'right to own a gun' superseding the benefits of tighter gun control on the country as a whole. Most of the other countries in the World can't be wrong! Anyways, I don't want to turn this into a 2nd amend thing. If it makes you feel better, I generally don't say anything about mass shootings and guns when I meet Americans - I rather talk about where they are from and some of the beautiful places I have visited in the US. I've had some nice convos with Americans while on a train to Florence, waiting for trains in Nice, sitting outside the Colosseum (and of course people we have stayed with in the US)...I don't think guns or violence ever came up once :)

Posted by
4637 posts

It's sad that for many people in the US guns are almost something like religion. They need guns for self protection, against government to keep it in check so it cannot become dictatorship. In people thinking like that I would suspect paranoia. Well, being paranoid and own a gun is not the best thing.

Posted by
31471 posts

One more comment on the 78 day election campaign (one of the longest in Canadian history). I'm not sure what the strategy was in making the campaign that long, but as history will now show the tactic backfired on the incumbent. I suspect that a shorter time wouldn't have made any difference in the outcome, as it seems quite apparent now that the voters wanted a change. However a shorter campaign would have been cheaper for the taxpayers.

Posted by
6487 posts

"However a shorter campaign would have been cheaper for the taxpayers."

Yes, just think of all the starving people who could be fed using the money spent on the US's 1-1/2 year campaign. Seems so stupid since a good percentage of the voters don't make up their minds until just before the election anyway.

Posted by
3933 posts

It boggles the mind the money that is spent on the US elections - all the fundraising and tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars that is spent...I just think of how much good all that money could do in the world...to be spent on mostly losing politicians (only one can win the nomination, right...). These people have wayyyyy too much money of they can't think of something better to do with it than to buy favours for someone they hope will be president.

Posted by
6487 posts

Shoot, they could support a whole 3rd world country for that! But then, they are not known for their ethical and/or humanitarian choices.

Posted by
1437 posts

Unfortunately, in a way, this kind of spending also reflects volumes on the skewed priorities of the politicians that stand for election...

Posted by
2246 posts

It sounds like the Keystone XL Pipeline just died too, in part due to the political climate in Canada. Apparently Harper was a supporter, Mr. Trudeau, not so much. This, combined with a loud anti XL lobby in the U.S., and Hillary Clinton finally (and I do mean finally) coming out against it, has turned the tide, and Trans Canada today withdrew their application. A soft oil market probably didn't hurt either. Ah, the knock-on effect.