Tag Archives: Vote

Vote for Hope – Obama 2008 Video


With the 2008 presidential election, Americans face a pivotal choice between not just two candidates, but two paradigms. We need someone who understands the complexity of our time. Someone who believes in investing in renewable energy, in education, in women’s rights, in civil rights, in healthcare for Americans. Someone who believes in dealing with global issues with diplomacy so we can restore our respect in the world. Barack Obama represents the change we need and can lead us into a brighter future.


“Vote For Hope” was written to encourage and inspire the hip hop generation—and everyone—to get involved, and contribute their time, energy, creativity, and other resources to be the change they want to see in the world. We have been inspired by the artistic and musical contributions that have been pouring out accross the nation in support of Barack Obama’s campaign. Vote for Hope is our offering to this creative movement. It is our way of adding our small voice to the collective voice of millions of Americans calling for a change.

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Voter turnout is heavy in Durham and York region, the middle class is voting for Harper and splitting the vote to Layton. Dion’s leadership maybe in question?


Update (7:56pm):Just came back from voting and turnout is heavy. I had to wait in line for a long time as it went outside of the High School and into the parking lot. Durham residents are voting, are you?

Update (10:14pm): It will be a Conservative win for Harper. The question is how large of a win? In Durham region there are some tight races in Oshawa. There is no way to declare a winner at the moment. Tonight is definitely a strange night. The Conservatives are doing well across the board. However, the Liberals are actually looking strong in Quebec, which is a definite blow to Jack Layton and the NDP. It will be interesting to see the numbers from B.C as they come in. However, no matter how you  put it, at the moment this is the Conservatives night. Albeit, still a minority at the moment they are picking up seats in Ontario. Dion has helped in Quebec, however strangely they are hurting in Ontario, which is there base. An interesting note is Ontario’s north has gone NDP. I am not sure if this is a pattern for Jack Layton to go on, however it’s an interesting note for the future. The NDP vote is definitely up in percentage, however he must be disappointing with the seat total. Also, the Conservatives are doing well in Thornhill with Peter Kent. Better thank Peter Shurman for that pick up! Dion will definitely have to explain the Carbon Tax to his caucus. Canadians were either in fear (a general lack of understanding) of the Carbon Tax. Or is this a message from Ontario on his leadership?

BIG NEWS: Oh my! Garth Turner has been defeated! Harper must be happy….

Update: Voter turnout may have been heavy in Durham, however across the Country it seems NO ONE CARES. Voter turnout was the lowest in Canadian history at only 59%.

Layton appeals to Quebec voters


RICHARD BRENNAN
OTTAWA BUREAU
GATINEAU—NDP Leader Jack Layton today urged Quebec voters to turn their backs on the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

“There’s a new choice for Quebec in this election – a choice of hope and optimism,” he said, adding the province would benefit in many ways from a national party, as opposed to one that has no MPs outside Quebec.

Layton pointed out many things that Quebecers hold dearly, such as the environment, that require strong actions across provincial boundaries that can only be offered by a national party.

The NDP is hoping to make a breakthrough in the riding of Gatineau with Francoise Boivin, a former Liberal MP in the Paul Martin/s Liberal government. The riding is now held by the PQ’s Richard Nadeau.

Throughout the election, Layton has been appealing to voters of all political stripes to side with the NDP, promising a New Democratic government would kill the Conservatives’ $50 billion corporate tax cut and use that money to improve child care, hire nurses and doctors, and bring in pharmacare, among other things.

Earlier in the day in Toronto, the NDP campaign turned to veteran New Democrat war horse Ed Broadbent to shore up support.

“It is good news for the NDP in every part of the country,” he told the adoring crowd, adding that the party is challenging in 20 ridings where the NDP have never been a contenders.

“We will bring in new seat after seat and we will have the largest caucus in the history (of the party),” Broadbent, who had a record 43 seats in 1988, told about 400 supporters.

read more | digg story

Propaganda – Do Americans really believe this stuff or is America just one strange place?


I was sent this clip and could not believe what I was seeing. We have seen some attack ads in the past from the Conservatives, however not to this extreme. I cannot believe that this is really and ad endorsed by the Republicans?  You hope that people do not vote based on propaganda or a political party playing to their religious fears. However, it looks like they continue to. I guess it just works? I heard a radio show on CBC and the guest believed that there should be “an intelligence test” or some type of qualifications for voting (I.e. a slight bit of education…). I doubt that would ever happen, however with only 50-60% of voters even bothering to show up, really what is the point. We fought wars to protect this freedom. One day we will loose our right to be an informed voter and we will say “what the hell happened”.

American Voters

American Voters

But I digress, this is America and the politics of fear work the best. Based the information I was given, the intent is to slightly imply that Obama is the somehow the anti-Christ. Basing your vote on how you think the Bible is to be interpreted? That says it all! But I guess if you base your thought process on Biblical interpretations who am I to judge? Biblically speaking I guess it was fine for African-Americans to be treated as “less than human” for hundreds of years. Maybe it is fine, Biblically speaking, to eradicate the “savages”? Biblically speaking, as I guess Palin may believe, Russia is “Gog and Magog”, so they are the “bad guys”? Oh, I am forgetting those immigrants who are a threat to out way of living? So much for the ideology of removal of Church and State.

If people are actually believing this propaganda than all I can say is “America is a strange place”. No matter who you vote for, make sure it is grounded in facts. Think about what is best for the country. Remember those who used Christianity or their “faith” as a crutch to do the most hideous of crimes against humanity. Use the mind that God gave you and educate yourself before you make ANY choice. The same applies to Canadians. As the old saying goes, “don’t believe the hype”. God forbid Canada ever gets like this! If it ever does, please get help, get medicated and get educated!

The 50% factor – Only half of Ontario’s voters bothered to even vote!


The Green Party seemed to bleed votes from the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives tonight, not the Liberals. Provincial and Federal parties across the county will take note. Voters seem to be hearing the “green mantra”. However, unfortunately this did not translate into any seats. The Green Party actually took 8-9% of the vote in Ontario. In many ridings they placed 3rd and in one 2nd. The Liberals ended up with a majority; however they only had 42-43% (this may change +/-) provincial support, with the Conservatives taking 31-32% (this may change +/-). In many ridings the count was extremely close. Albeit this was a big win for the Liberals. MMP lost, in a disaster! There was just not enough information, which begs to question the wisdom of the proposal in the first place. Or was it a plan to say that “we tried”? It seems to have been sabotaged or on death row from the onset. Just too complicated for a quick decision. Now, if only 50% of Ontario voters decided to kill MMP, than what does this say? Our current system we have works well for a 2 party system, such as the United States, but with multiple parties our system still needs to somehow improve. But I guess since the other 1/2 of the province did not show up then it means they don’t give a damn about it either, or anything else! However, the biggest story tomorrow, which I hope the media will resound tomorrow, is only approximately 50% of the province, or electorate, actually bothered to come out and vote tonight. 50%, that’s all! The other 50% decided to stay home and play with their XBOX 360, new iPod or attempt to figure out why they could not get their latest sitcom on TV. This is a sad day for democracy and even the need for an electorate. What half of the province said today is “I do not care, so do not bother me”. With the defeat of MMP, this can only get worse. How can a government have a mandate with only 50% of the vote? It boggles the mind, but I guess WWI and WWII, and what people fought for long ago is no longer on the minds of individuals in this province. We are truly now a society that only cares about the “me” factor. Although the Liberals have a larger majority, they will have to think long and hard. The voter turn out is going to get worse because somehow we are not engaging the electorate. Every party will need to take a hard look in the mirror. Now that MMP is dead, what will happen in 4 years? Based on the results tonight I believe that the Liberals will govern as they always have to ensure that the win next time round. The assumption is now that since no one cares any government can go ahead and do as they wish. But is that a democracy? Or is our democracy the fact that people can choose not to vote? Maybe people just do not think there vote matters anymore or they just don’t care?

The GTA Patriot
Toronto, Ontario

So far a Liberal majority has been declared by most of the GTA media tonight


One of the most interesting things about the Liberals is that they have held on to most, if not all, of the seats they had previously. Unfortunately, it seems that the ‘faith-based funding’ issue was truly the “Pandora’s Box” issue in Ontario. Regardless of all of the other issues on the table Ontarians have chosen to stick with what they currently have. Ontarians are simply not ready to deal with the funding issue in education at this time. Ontarians are also quite comfortable; however it will be interesting to see how the Liberals govern for the next 4 years. It also seems that John Tory may have actually lost his own seat in Don Valley West (not all of the votes are in yet). I still believe he is the best leader for the PC Party at this time (no one waiting in the wings to replace him); however I am not sure how he will be able to hold leadership of the party. With the Liberals clearly as the winner, who was the loser? Well, in my estimation it is MMP. This may change, however based on the numbers at the moment it is unlikely. At the present moment it looks like MMP will not pass. People simply did not have enough information about MMP to make an informed decision. Albeit, to no fault of their own. MMP was left off of the radar until the final few days of the election. Green Party support has risen, however in order for them ever to see a seat in the House of Commons a lot of ground work will need to be done. The lesson learned in this election is to stay away from controversial issues, no matter how much it may be the right thing to do. Ontarians will only tackle the issue when they are actually ready to. Congratulations to all of candidates during this election and best of luck in the legislature to all of the winners.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

For Ontarians, especially 905ers and 289ers, be sure to vote today!


Do not make the excuse of not voting today! We like to say that we do not care, but complain later when we do not get what we want. For more information on candidates, please check out http://www.democraticspace.com

Make sure you know about the referendum, for both the “Yes” and the “No” camps!

Vote MMP

No MMP

 

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Using fear, ignorance and racism as an advantage in politics


The faith based funding issue should have been about simple human rights. The U.N has already indicated that the practice of funding only Catholic schools in Ontario is unjust. John Tory hoped to address this issue by fixing the problem and allowing fairness. Fund all or fund none, and he opted to fund all. Unfortunately, reality occurred and we found out that Ontarians are actually a lot more racist, ignorant and bigoted then they like to believe. Not all Ontarians are like this, but based on call-in shows and the general mood of people, many are. In reality the question should have been “would you like Islamic schools to get public funding”. Many Ontarians have extreme stereotypes about Islam, to some no fault of their own. The images they see, and are bombarded with, tend to be on the extreme. On the radio comments, in regards to faith-based education, revolved around fundamentalist Islam elements and “terrorists”. I have even heard a voter say that they do not what terrorist schools to get funding. Now a lot of this is based on fear, since 9/11, but in essence we still extremely fearful and ignorant in Ontario. Now the question is, does that fear show how successful the media has been in planting the wrong image about Islam in the minds of Canadians? Because it’s absolutely amazing how clueless people are about various religions in Ontario. Rather than be properly educated about any group of people, we like to remain in our sheltered domain; ignorant to the facts around us.

What was really sad, and not becoming of an elected leader, is how Premier Dalton McGuinty used this situation to the advantage of the Liberal Party of Ontario. Dalton McGuinty, at one point, called the funding of religious schools “segregation”, along with others in the Liberal Party who called it divisive. This was one of the most irresponsible things for Dalton McGuinty and the party to do. Dalton McGuinty ignored that fact that he was educated in a Catholic school. His wife is a teacher in a Catholic school and his children attend one. Does Dalton McGuinty, and the Liberal Party, believe that Catholics and Catholicism are better then all other groups? Are other groups like Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims somehow not pure Canadians, or dare I say white or Anglo-Saxon Canadians? Are they not as enlightened somehow? What is amazing when asked by reporters Dalton “never” responds to the question with a “straight” answer. I assume that proper “political spin”, and his handlers, are making sure that he does not. Now another question to be asked is are the Liberals themselves only using this situation to play on the fears of Ontario voters? Regardless of how you feel in this election, this was an issue of fairness. The status quo was not good enough. Also, those who like to state that it only an issue of the constitution, hide in it. Tell me just because something was done years ago, does not make it right. With that fuzzy logic should a lot of old racists and ignorant laws should remain on the books; keeping the minority at bay.

To address the fears of Ontarians we must think deeply about the idea of funding faith-based schools. No fundamentalist Islamic or Christian school would accept funding or want to be under the umbrella of public education. It would require them to teach the curriculum, which may come in conflict with some of their essential beliefs. But for those who fear “terrorist schools”, they are probably already here. Even one Global TV reporter asked John Tory what he would do if Islamic schools wanted to “separate the boys from the girls”. This was an ignorant and, quite honestly, a stupid question. I have to believe that Global TV was obviously trying stir up trouble and play to the ignorance and fear of Ontarians also, seeing that Catholics already have some of their schools divided between boys and girls. I do not want to forget the element that legitimately, without the racist or ignorant feelings, have wanted to remove faith-based funding for years from Catholics. In the end this may be the only solution to the problem; however those who want this option, and can properly argue this point, are not the majority of enlighten and learned individuals. We must accept that there is still a lot of fear, ignorance and racists in the generally public. Let me be clear, not all are racist; but the element of it exists, however suttle. No sense trying to hop on the high ground on this issue. There is nothing wrong with those who fear, however they must face those fears and learn from them. Ignorance is unacceptable and racism should just not be tolerated. In the end, however ironic, it seems that the Liberals have used that fear and ignorance to their own advantage. For a party that claims to be for all, including the immigrants of Ontario it makes me wonder. What does Dalton McGuinty really believe? Is his only aim to get into power at whatever the cost? Playing to the fear of Ontarians is a low-ball strategy that will fail in the end. Do you want to live in a province based on fear, intolerance and ignorance? Liberals around Ontario should ask themselves if they truly want to continue down the Dalton McGuinty path. However I sense that they will wake up the next morning and wonder, what in the world did we just do?

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Vote Yes for MMP and electoral reform in Ontario


Why are voting systems important?

The voting system is the foundation for representative democracy, because it translates votes into seats. Citizens use the voting system to delegate power to political parties and politicians.

What’s so bad about the present Ontario electoral system?

“In a democratic government,” wrote Swiss philosopher Ernest Naville in 1865, “the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all.”

FPTP undercuts both of these core principles – equal representation for voters and true majority rule. That and other shortcomings are addressed in more detail below.

  • Denies representation for all voters
  • FPTP provides political representation only for those voters who support the most popular party in their riding. Most voters in Ontario elections (two million plus) cast votes that elect no one. In many cases, the winning candidate does not even receive a majority of votes cast in the riding.

  • Distorts the will of the voters
  • Because many voters, often the majority, do not win representation, overall election results are distorted. A party winning only 40% of the votes may gain 1 60% or more of the seats and 100% of the power. A party winning 30% of the votes could find itself with only 10% of the seats. Smaller parties that may attract 5% or 10% of the vote will almost never be represented.

  • Produces phony majority governments
  • Because of these distortions, Ontario is generally ruled by phony majority governments – i.e., by parties that captured a majority of seats without winning a majority of votes cast. In fact, the last time an Ontario election produced a legitimate majority government was 1937. Consider these more recent examples:

    – The current Liberal government won 70% of the seats with only 46% of the popular vote.
    – In 1995, the Tory government won 63% of the seats with only 45% of the vote.
    – In 1990, the Ontario NDP received less than 38% of the popular vote but won 57% of the seats.

  • Fails to produce accountable governments
  • Governments that win with less than majority support nonetheless claim a “mandate from the people”. Once any party controls a majority of seats, nothing can stop a premier from enacting unpopular laws that are not supported by a majority of voters.

  • Gives us stagnation or wild swings but not responsive government
  • Ontario often has periods where one party is entrenched in power for an extended period. Then, even with a relatively small shift in voter attitudes, the composition of the legislature can swing wildly from one side of the ideological spectrum to the other. This can produce what is sometimes called “policy lurch”. Neither trend is responsive to the evolving political will of citizens.

  • Results in low percentages of women and visible minority MPPs
  • Every voting system produces incentives for parties to bring forward certain types of candidates. In a FPTP system based on electing only one candidate per riding, parties have little incentive to field a diverse range of candidates. Other voting systems in which parties must bring forward lists of candidates for larger regions have the opposite incentive. A more diverse array of candidates is often the winning strategy.

  • Promotes apathy, cynicism and negativity among voters
  • When voters believe their votes do not make a difference, they have little motivation to cast their votes. In Ontario, nearly 40% of eligible voters do not bother casting ballots. Countries using proportional voting systems generally have higher voter turnouts.

How will the MMP system help with the election of more women and minorities?

The proposed MMP system will improve women’s representation because parties will be forced – for practical reasons – to adopt new strategies for nominating their candidates. Most parties will quickly learn they will win the most votes if they have nearly equal portions of women and men appearing on their lists, and an appropriate portion of visible minorities. Any party that presents a list that is largely male and without minority candidates will very likely lose votes.

In many European countries, parties “zipper” their lists, alternating male and female names on their lists so equal numbers are elected. Parties are very competitive in seeking votes and will apply whatever strategy wins the most seats under the voting system being used. The evidence is clear. Proportional voting systems help produce what most Canadians want: more diversity in our legislatures.

What voting systems are newer democracies choosing?

According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (http://www.idea.int/esd/world.cfm), not one of the 26 countries that were part of the old Soviet bloc picked first-past-the-post.

Two countries adopted MMP, 13 chose other forms of proportional representation and seven picked semi-proportional votng systems, while four countries moved to two-round systems.

What is the Vote for MMP campaign?

Vote for MMP is a multi-partisan campaign initiated by Fair Vote Canada to support adoption of the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system in the Ontario referendum on October 10. Fair Vote Canada is a national citizens’ campaign for electoral reform.

Through the Vote for MMP campaign, Ontarians from all backgrounds, regions and political views are uniting to support a new voting system that will give all of us more choice, fairer results and stronger representation.

For more information on MMP, go to http://www.voteformmp.ca