Doug Rutherford

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Firming Up

March 2011
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OK. The slate seems full, or at least as far as the major parties are concerned. There’s still time before the deadline (21 days before Election Day), so we may see an independent or someone from one of the smaller parties. For example, we had candidates here for the Christian Heritage Party and Marijuana Party in the 2004 Election. Running will be:

  • Larry Bagnell (LPC) – Incumbent
  • Ryan Leef (CPC)
  • Kevin Barr (NDP)
  • John Streicker (GPC)

Now that everyone has been nominated, we can at least expect a broader variety of campaign signs. So far, the Green Party is miles ahead and the only party to have signs up. The fact that their candidate is a repeat from the last election does give them a bit of an up on the Conservatives and NDP.

In case you are curious, or your memory needs refreshing, the results of the last election were:

  • Larry Bagnell (LPC) – 45.80%
  • Darrel Pasloski (CPC) – 32.66%
  • John Streicker (GPC) – 12.83%
  • Ken Bolton (NDP) – 8.70%

(Source: Elections Canada –

So far, what are the issues? That’s a good question, since the only ones that have put forth anything in the way of a policy-related statement is the Green Party. John Streicker has called for a more respectful parliament and an increase in voter turnout.  Since nine of the provinces and territories had a higher voter turnout percentage in the 2008 election, that might not be a bad idea.

There is a lot to be said, by the way, for compulsory voting. After all, we pay a pretty cheap price for living in Canada. You really only have three civic duties. :

  • Voting (which isn’t mandatory)
  • Jury duty
  • Filling in the census

The last one, of course, is a topic for another day.



  1. Murray says:

    Compulsory voting would merely mean that those who would normally choose not to vote would just put their “X” anywhere simply to avoid being fined. A vote without thought is much worse than no vote at all. I’m not sure what the answer is when there’s no party worthy of my vote – this year I can vote to support the dictator’s party, the American guy’s party, a local candidate with only a racially-focussed background, or toss my vote away to the Greens.

  2. Actually, compulsory voting works in a number of countries. People who can’t see a specific choice will, for the most part, use their right to spoil their ballots.

    As a side effect, you may find that those who don’t vote simply because it’s too much effort to leave their couches may actually become engaged.

    There was a good tweet on Twitter last week. I should have written down who actually said it, although it was retweeted by William Gibson.

    It more or less said: In my twitter box today… Syrians dying for the right to vote. Canadians complaining about having to go outdoors to do it.

    It’s a sad but true observation…

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