Here's my letter to
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean. If you agree, click here to sign a petition in support of it, or send her a copy, or write your own. You can write to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We, the undersigned are in support of the coalition agreement reached by the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada, and supported by the Bloc Québecois.
Primarily, we strongly believe that a temporary and time-limited
government formed by the Liberal Party and the NDP with the support of the BQ,
united in a spirit of collaboration and compromise is clearly more appropriate
to and reflective of the majority of Canadians' wishes for our pluralistic and
democratic society. While the Conservative Party won more seats than any other
single party in the recent federal election, their seeming disregard for the
collaborative nature of a minority parliament, especially in the current
climate of financial uncertainty has lost them the confidence of the House of
Commons and the majority of our elected representatives. In addition, it is
unsettling to hear our current Prime Minister expressing such sudden and
forceful denunciation of the Bloc Québecois, a political party that represents
millions of Canadian citizens, that he has negotiated with and accepted as
legitimate for many years, at a time when support for the separation of Québec
is very low and the potential for a strong and distinct Québec within a united
Canada is already being realized to the benefit of us all.
It is our belief that since a clear majority of Canadian
voters (over 61%) cast their ballots for our country's progressive political
parties in support of their environmentally conscious, socially progressive and
economically responsible policies, that under the current set of circumstances,
the proposed coalition government deserves your approval and the honour of
forming the next government of
Regardless of analysis however, the facts are clear: the
majority of our democratically elected Members of Parliament has lost
confidence in the current government and is in agreement on putting a coalition
government in its place.
In addition, we are extremely troubled by the current
government's attempts at misleading the public with regard to the legitimacy
and validity of a coalition government in this situation. We believe that this
type of deliberate spreading of misinformation typifies the current
Conservative Party leadership, and is indicative of precisely the self-serving
and manipulative behaviour that has solidified the opposition parties' resolve
in this matter. We believe this dishonest and unethical political style drives
Canadians apart, further lowers the standards of the Canadian House of Parliament,
and taints the proud history of Canadian politics, including the proud history
of the Conservative and Progressive Conservative movements of our great
Those who understand the Parliamentary system, including current Conservative MPs, know that the possibility of a coalition government replacing a minority government is an extremely important component of our democratic system, and that it's existence, though very rarely brought into use, is a fundamental tool available to keep those that lead a minority government from abusing their power and pushing forward a programme that a majority of elected MPs do not feel is in the best interests of the country.
Finally, we are concerned that in the Conservative Party's
reckless choice of attempting to incite anger towards the opposition, rather
than offering constructive and inclusive solutions to the problems we face as a
country, the loud voices of a minority of Canadians who are willing to accept
that type of politics will drown out the silent majority of Canadians who
support the proposed coalition and who are eager to see a new and revolutionary
phase of Canadian politics take shape.
It is for this reason that we the undersigned have put our names to this statement, in the hope that reason, intelligence, and close consideration of the best interests of Canadians prevail in the current political circumstances - and in all circumstances to come. We put our names to this statement in respect for a political system that while not perfect, is the result of centuries of human progress, and of generations of refinement by some of our country's finest citizens over the course of Canadian history, for the preservation of freedoms that the ancestors of our ancestors only dreamed of enjoying, and which we fear many of us have come to take for granted.
With respect and admiration,
Buried in the Numbers - Election Wrap Up
No matter what I hear in terms of analysis of the 2008 election, one disturbing fact stands out and must be discussed: The Conservative party won this election and what many will concede as a 'stronger minority', with 168,737 fewer votes than they got in the 2006 election! (elections Canada stats, Oct. 15 2008)
We have to take a serious look at out electoral system, and if there's been one good thing for progressive Canadians this election (other than the obvious benefit of enjoying the freedom of a democratic process in general), perhaps it's that more and more Canadians are realizing the absolute necessity for some sort of proportional representation in government. More than 61% of Canadians voted Liberal, BQ, NDP or Green, and will once again be governed by a party and a man they do not want and did not vote for.
Another alarming number is 59% of eligible voters turning up at the polls. This is less than 14,000,000 people and about 42% of our population of 33.4 million. 22% of eligible voters voted for a party that will continue to govern 100% of us, attempting to implement a narrow vision for Canada that is not representative of the vision of the majority of its citizens. And think of it - many of those 22% didn't elect a Conservative MP in their riding! I haven't yet calculated it, but if you only take the Conservative votes in the ridings where Conservatives won - that is the true percentage of people who's mandate was given to the Conservatives - I'm sure it is less than 20% of eligible voters, and somewhere around 15% of the population!!! Some would say that math isn't right, that of course you should include the people who voted Conservative in ridings where they didn't win, but what about the 7% of Canadians who voted Green? Their votes are 'wasted' when it comes to representation in parliament, and so equally are the Conservative votes in non-Conservative winning ridings. This government was elected by less than 20% of eligible voters! Wake up Canada! This has to change! The First Past the Post system only works in a two-party system and that is clearly not the case in our country.
But not only does it behoove us to change our electoral system; the progressive parties in this country must, above all else, come together to better represent the common values and hopes of their constituents, especially as they have far more in common with one another than they do with their Conservative counterparts. There is a major imbalance that remains in this country, and I look to the major progressive parties - Liberals, NDP, BQ and Greens - as well as progressive conservatives, to recognize the real mandate given by the people of Canada. To them I say:
More than 61% of us want you to be the ones making decisions in this country. You absolutely must cooperate to make that happen as soon as possible. The well-placed votes of about 15% of Canadians has just elected a party that is in perpetual denial on so many of the issues Canadians are passionate about - a party, and a leader that refuse to listen to what the country's top economic and environmental experts have to say, not to mention it's artists. Please, for the sake of the country and of the very planet, get your acts together and return this country to its citizens. I am convinced that even a large number of those who voted Conservative have little idea of the negative effect Conservative policies will have and have had on this country - why else would its leader be so obsessed with control and keeping most of his MPs silent and out of the spotlight, not to mention only releasing a weak platform a week before the election.
Progressive Canadians want real leadership, and that also means the ability to bring people together who obviously share so many of the same values. It is time to move beyond the traditional boundaries of our parties and give the majority of Canadians the country we want. I urge you to revolutionize the way politics are conducted in this country in order to accomplish this. I know it is easier said than done, but I hope that that is in large part why you became involved in politics in the first place - to bring the best and the newest ideas to the table in order to bring about the best Canada there can be, period. Please, don't let us down.
Click on your Province to the right to see who [had] the best chance of defeating Stephen Harper in close ridings. The charts are based on the 2006 election results, but I'm researching every one of these ridings to make the best recommendation. In some ridings dynamics may have changed since the 2006 election, changing the party best suited to defeat the Conservatives. If you think any of my recommendations are off - let me know, and let me know why! Leave me a message on the message board.
Help spread the word
If you want to help defeat Conservatives in as many ridings as possible, send your family and friends an email with a link to this site and others like it. The more people that have a chance to look at the recommendations, the better the chance our efforts will have of making an impact on election day. Especially important is contacting people living in the 'battleground' ridings. Also, for very close races, check back to this site and others (anythingbutconservative.webs.com, www.voteforenvironment.ca, www.voteforclimate.ca) just before the election to make sure we are all on the same page!
Why I Created This Site
There has been a lot of discussion online and in the media about strategic voting and vote swapping these days, what with the upcoming federal election on Oct. 14. Personally, I think it's great to see so many people trying to make our outdated electoral system actually do what it's supposed to do - allow the people of Canada to be properly represented in Parliament. How can we justify keeping a system where over 4% of the population support a party, but have 0% representation in government? I'm not a member of the Green party myself, but I feel that if 4% vote for a party, then that party should have 4% of the seats (12), or at least representation of some kind in parliament. Hopefully some sort of proportional representation will be adopted at some point in the future (in my lifetime would be nice) but until then, I fully agree - let's do what we can with the system we've got.
The fact is that most people in this country are progressive when it comes to social values and philosophies. In the last election (Jan. 2006) 62.7% of voters voted for parties that put a lot of emphasis on these values, i.e. strong social programs, environmental sustainability, funding for the arts and education, equality for women, health care for all, a military for peace unless war is absolutely necessary, affordable housing and child-care programs, acknowledgment of native peoples' struggles (and the disturbing historical reasons behind them), and full and equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens (and everyone else for that matter). It has always been very clear that most Canadians have a strong belief in taking care of each other, and the conviction that we're all responsible for one another, for our society, and the natural world in which we live.
How frustrating then, for us to have all lived through the past two and a half years watching our country run by a government that on the whole, doesn't share the values of the majority of its citizens. Those who have been paying attention have seen the countless ways in which Stephen Harper and the Conservative government have begun to change this country - ways that I believe most of it's citizens would not approve of, were they aware of them all (see '' and '' for many examples).
Of course, the way that he accomplished this was by 'uniting the right', joining forces with (or dismantling) the Progressive Conservative party and thus eliminating the possibility for vote-splitting among c/Conservative-leaning voters. This is obviously the current situation with the left, and we need to do something about it, especially as Stephen Harper is successfully keeping most of what he does hidden from the spotlight and is successfully buying new votes with short-term promises (GST cut, cash hand-outs) and fear tactics (telling voters that strong environmental policies mean financial ruin, while most economists now say the opposite).
What scares me though, is this very real possibility that his attempt to stay 'below the radar' is working, and that most people aren't seeing what he's doing. Stephen Harper has always tried to avoid the media and control the message because he knows that if all Canadians were fully informed on what he was doing with this country they wouldn't stand for it. Why else would he be doing that? He is right about one thing - we won't stand for it, and this was proven when Canadians found out he had threatened to boycott the televised debates if Green party leader Elizabeth May was invited to attend. I was glad that Canadians got a chance to see their Prime Minister's true colours shining through for a moment.
But the thing that depresses me most these days as the election approaches, is the notion that like the U.S. in recent history, and Ontario with Mike Harris, the people of this country might actually need to be hit over the head with the disastrous effects of short-term-thinking, neo-conservative policies to realize how damaging they can be, or that this is what we're signing up for when we vote Conservative.
So what can be done with just under a month remaining in the campaign? Well, this pessimist dares to admit it has warmed my heart to see thousands of people joining facebook groups, committing to swapping their votes and attempting to shift the numbers to defeat Conservatives wherever possible. The true joy in this strategy is that there is no way for the Conservatives to do the same thing - they are isolated on the right side of the political spectrum.
So I decided I wanted to help the cause and the most obvious thing I could think of was to help make it easier for those wanting to participate in vote swapping or strategic voting to do so. It will take many people participating for this to have the desired effect, so it should be crystal clear which ridings need which votes. So I've created some good old Excel charts for each riding where there is a close race anticipated. I began at a website called . First I selected every riding that they deemed 'too close to call' in their predictions, eliminating ones in which Conservatives weren't a threat to win. I have since added a couple of ridings based on recommendations I've received. As for who to recommend, I began with the numbers in the 2006 election (or by-elections since), and am now researching each riding one by one to see if anything has changed since the last election to put another party in the best position to defeat Conservative candidates. Once I've finished that research and I am confident in all my recommendations, I will try to get as many viewers to the site as possible in any way I can!
So click through the list on the right to see the battleground ridings and my researched suggestions for where the votes need to go. It's not likely that too many candidates will openly support this strategy as it may mean telling voters not to vote for their party, or even for them, but you have to believe that every Canadian who foresees the damage that will occur if Stephen Harper remains our Prime Minister, or even if he is able to obtain a majority government, would do whatever they could to prevent it. This is not an ideal way to approach an election, but until our election outcomes reflect the way the population votes, we have to find any way we can to get the Canada that most of us want.
The thousands of Canadians uniting online to defeat Stephen Harper and get Canada back in line with their values have made a believer of me and have given me hope. Let's get the message out there. We have to re-assert what people all over the world know: when it comes to social and political ideology, most Canadians are anything but conservative!
Cliquez sur le
lien à droite qui correspond à votre province afin de voir quel parti peut
défaire celui de Stephen Harper, dans les circonscriptions où la course entre
les candidats est très serrée. Les diagrammes que j’ai inclus reflètent les
résultats électoraux de 2006. Cependant, j’effectue des recherches dans chaque
circonscription pour donner des recommandations qui reflètent les tendances
actuelles. Le but est évidemment de recommander les candidats qui ont une
chance de battre les conservateurs aux scrutins. Si vous croyez que mes analyses sont
erronées, veuillez partager vos informations et me faire part de vos
Si vous voulez
contribuer à la défaite des conservateurs dans les circonscriptions les plus
contestées, envoyez le lien de ce site ou d’autres sites semblables par
courriel à vos amis et aux membres de votre famille. Plus les gens sont au
courant, plus nous avons de chances de voir un impact au niveau des votes. La
priorité est de communiquer avec les gens qui résident dans les
circonscriptions clefs. Dans les régions où la course est très serrée, il
serait important de vérifier les mises à jour de mon site ainsi que celles des
sites semblables (anythingbutconservative.webs.com, www.voteforenvironment.ca, www.voteforclimate.ca) juste avant le jour des élections, afin de confirmer que les
stratégies suggérées concordent bien avec les informations les plus récentes.