Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Car crashes, bad guys, and the boogie man

There are lots of odd and interesting things going on in politics today. For instance, Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate - a woman who only got a passport last year and had never met a foreign leader until the last couple weeks - has been trying to pass off the fact that Alaska and Russia are side-by-side as foreign policy experience. As her lack of political competence is turning the McCain campaign into a sinking ship, I garnered this amusing anecdote from the news:

If Thursday's debate is television's highest-rated vice-presidential debate ever – as expected – it might be because U.S. politics is now drawing the type of crowd that flocks to car races.

They say they are there for the speed, but a lot of them are there for the crash.

I found this particularly amusing because my sister has firmly asserted her belief that people watch car racing for the crashes (and that explains the emphasis on it in video games). I aways told her that was just plain morbid... but hmm... maybe she was on to something after all.

Now if we can rip our eyes away from our neighbours to the south, who are busy bringing world economies to the brink of destruction, there are plenty of interesting things going on here. For instance, the Conservatives are poised to win a majority with only 40% of the Canadian vote. Meanwhile the Greens are favoured to win zero seats in Parliament, despite the support of 12% of Canadians. Some clever people have proposed a solution to this at http://www.voteforenvironment.ca/, who assert that if we vote as we are inclined to we will end up with the following seat distribution:

Conservative
Liberal
NDP
Green
Bloc
IND
147
76
34
0
49
2







However, if we vote strategically, we can dramatically change the outcome:

Conservative
Liberal
NDP
Green
Bloc
IND
97
109
46
1
53
2







While I'm not in favour of vote swapping (since I don't think you can trust strangers that much), I think is worth taking a look to see where your vote will be best invested. For myself, I've been told:
This is a safe Liberal riding. Vote your heart's desire.
And indeed, Susan Kadis has been our MP for quite some time, and she seems to be doing alright. Of course, none of this "strategic voting" would be necessary if poor Stephane Dion had done a better job of selling his not-all-that-bad Green Shift program. But unfortunately, the Liberal advertising campaign has been complete bollocks, and the Conservatives have done a pretty good job of convincing people that the Green Shift is a scam and that Stephane Dion is a weak-kneed, incompetent intellectual. This is because many Canadians still believe what Stephen Harper says (the idiots) or are just completely apathetic to politics (my friends). What Stephane Dion needs to do is lay down the law like Jack Layton has done: "I am in control now, this is not the party you knew, you did not trust, and you did not like. We are the Liberal party now."

Why is this so important? Why have I taken an embarrassing photo just to get you to read this? Because the face of our country may be very different based on who we vote on. And if we do not vote, if we turn down the power to influence our contry that is our priveledge - or if we do not care enough to try and understand the world we live in - then we will get the government we deserve. We will get the country we deserve. It will be a different country from this one.

Please watch the English language leader's debate on Thursday, October 2, from 9-11 PM on CBC, and cast your vote on October 14.

1 comment:

sandlot said...

"Why is this so important? Why have I taken an embarrassing photo just to get you to read this?"

There is no photo. Lies! I didn't know that you were prepping yourself for a career in politics.