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Author: Subject: Canadian Federal Election Thread
Slade
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posted on 5-24-2004 at 02:12 PM Edit Post
Canadian Federal Election Thread

The writ dropped yesterday. Governor General Adrienne Clarkson dissolved the 37th Parliament, triggering a general election. Canadians will vote on Monday, June 28, 2004, and for the first time in over a decade, this election will not be a foregone conclusion. Support for the Liberals is waning, the CPC is stuck at 25%, the NDP is surging and looks like it will be relevant for the first time since the 1980s, and le Bloc Québequois is poised to make large gains in Québec due to the Liberal government's sponsorship scandal and the fact that the CPC and NDP have no support in that province. Everybody is predicting a minority government, but nobody knows who will be leading it. This will be an interesting 5 weeks to say the least. If you want to talk about the election, this is the place to do it.





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Krydor
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posted on 5-24-2004 at 08:40 PM Edit Post
The best thing for this country right now is a minority, and I don't care which party heads it. Minority governments are actually beholden to the voice of the loyal opposition.

I really think the Liberals should be careful with their attack ads against the Conservatives. The "Stephen Harper Said" ads, which tout Mr Bland as an extremest simply don't have the oomph of similar ads against Stockwell. Besides, the Conservatives made some similar web based ads that really show the hypocrisy of the Liberal ones.

Oh, and if Jack Layton says "that guy is an extremist" when he heads the extreme left party, it's a fair bet that the only people who find him extreme are those within the NDP. It isn't the party of Tommy Douglas, anymore. Hell, it's barely the party of Roy Romanow.

What's really telling is that the only leader that gets high "trustability" numbers is Gilles Duceppe. His agenda is naked, and he repeats it as often as possible "we want to leave Canada." After the stupid sponsorship scandal, I expect gains for the Bloc in Quebec.

The NDP will remain about where they are, with possibly a loss in SK and a loss or two in BC. The Liberals will lose any close seat in Ontario. I don't expect any western gains for the Libs. The real question becomes "can they hold Ontario and hold Government?" That's the fun stuff.

I have no idea how much Martin will bribe the Maritimes to make 'em vote Liberal, but he will. He doesn't have to deliver, just promise. The problem is that the Liberals have yet to fulfill their promises from the First Red Book, Son of Red Book and the Red Pamphlet, so I doubt the current incarnation will mean anything.






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Omega
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posted on 5-25-2004 at 01:54 PM Edit Post
The election will come down to how well the Liberals can do in Ontario and I do not think that it looks good for them. Ontarians like to hedge thier bets and have seperate federal and provincial political parties in charge. The recent liberal victory in Ontario will mean that many Ontarians will probably want to balance that off with a federal right leaning party. The only problem is that that Conservatives now seem a bit too right wing for some as some people see them as the Alliance or Reform but with a new name.

Also, with the recent Ontario budget meaning that average Ontarians will be paying hundreds more in taxes for health care they may want a federal government that will lower their taxes resulting in a zero-sum loss for them.

It should be an interesting race and the NDP will probably play an interesting role but their problem is that they do not have a solid regional base that will result in many seats. They may get 15 - 20% of the vote but it will most likely be spread across the country and they will not wind up with too many seats. This is what happened in Ontario during the recent provincial election, the NDPs popular support went from 12 to 17% but they went from 11 seats to 7. Also the NDP has the problem that the green party is polling at around 3 - 4 %, which is pulling support away from them and for the first time they will be running candidates in all 308 ridings.

Martin has already come through with the bribe for the Maritimes, at least Cape Breton, they are cleaning up the toxic tar ponds. And for the rest of the country Martin came up with $11 billion today for health care (maybe now McGuinty will not need the health premium, never happen but it would be nice not to have to pay that).

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1085436609938&call_pageid=968332188492&col=96879397 2154






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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 5-25-2004 at 08:12 PM Edit Post
Ontario will be the key for the Conservatives...if they can match the Liberals seat for seat from Ontario east then they will win...buut it's by hhow much that's tricky to call.

One thing that gets me is that this election will have nothing to do with any canidate running except for Martin, Harper, and Layton. This will be an election voted based on party, not about who the average Joe wants as their areas MP. I HATE that. I'm not saying I don't do that...but it's VERY annoying.

Although right now I have to say as much as I know one vote can make a diffference, I still don't know who to vote for. In the end I've lost a lot of the good will I had for Martin back in the day, and hate the Liberal party for the most part.

It's too bad that the Conservatives couldn't have gotten Mike Harris to run. Sure he's an asshole, but at least he did in office what he said he would do while trying to be eleceeted. Not all of it was good...but I'd rather have an honest asshole fucking me over then a liar.

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Omega
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posted on 5-25-2004 at 08:38 PM Edit Post
"One thing that gets me is that this election will have nothing to do with any candidate running except for Martin, Harper, and Layton. This will be an election voted based on party, not about who the average Joe wants as their areas MP"

That is because the average MP in the house of commons is a sheep. If they are a backbench MP, which most are, they are told when and how to vote and that is really their only job. Personally, I hate the party politics that we have and would want one of the politicians to follow through on the promise they make to allow more free votes but that never seems to happen. All the Liberals have a big "Team Martin" on the top 1/3 of their signs, they are running on his name and not that of the local candidate.

I am leaning now towards Conservative. They used to be a bit too right wing for me but I can not vote Liberal after the scandal. And the fact that they have not resolved the scandal at all, they held a few hearings and made some noise then hoped the country would forget about it. I do not trust Martin that he did not know what was going on, and even if he did not he was the Minister of Finance during most of that time. Either he is a liar or incompetent, not good choice for a PM.

I think that Harris held off when he should not have. I think that when people say I might not have liked Mike Harris and his policies but I knew what they were and I knew he was going to follow through on his promises is a feeling that many have now. They want to have a politician that they know will follow through on their word. Especially in Ontario with the provincial Liberals breaking a promise every week, high taxes and a balanced budget among the biggest lies. Harris thought that the parties would unite and would get trounced by the Liberals in the election and he could come in at that point, clean of the stink of the loss, and lead that party to a victory in the next election. Now it looks like it would be close enough so that he should have jumped in. If the Liberals win and it is minority my guess is that their popularity will continue to decline and they will lose a vote of confidence on the first budget, setting up a new election sometime in 2005, where Harper is still leader of the Conservatives and might be able to pull out a victory.






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Slade
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posted on 5-25-2004 at 11:48 PM Edit Post
That may not be true. I've been told that one survey found that 60% of Canadians said that they were disillusioned by political parties and that they would vote for the candidate they believed would be the best representative for their constituency. I have not yet looked for any media reports on this to substantiate what I was told. However, I trust my source of this information.

The NDP may not have a solid regional base, but they have pockets. Certain cities are NDP strongholds and are more likely to be battles between leftists and centrists. Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Winnipeg and Halifax will be where you will see NDP vs. Liberal battles. Perhaps Regina is teetering more Conservative these days, but Lorne Nystrom should not have a problem being re-elected. Toronto and Ottawa ought to be in play for the NDP this year since Ontario is falling out of favour with the Liberals.

Also, of note is that Joe Comartin was elected in Windsor-St. Clair in 2000 and Brian Masse won a by-election in Windsor West in 2002. This may indicate that southern Ontario is going left or, at the very least, the city of Windsor has gone to the NDP.

The NDP stand to make big gains. I'm not claiming that they have a shot of forming the government, but to right them off is ridiculous. I strongly believe that they could very easily triple their numbers in the House of Commons on June 28. For the sake of those not in the know that means I think they could win between 40-45 seats.

As far as the Green Party goes, I doubt that they will make a difference anywhere except for maybe in British Columbia. However, I think even that is a stretch. They will not take votes away from the NDP. If the Greens were not running, most of the people who will vote for them probably would not vote at all. There is a greater chance that Green Party voters would not vote than vote for the NDP.

The Conservatives stand to lose a lot of ground in Atlantic Canada. I will be surprised if they pick up the same number of seats as they did in 2000. A lot of Conservatives in my part of the country did not like the merger of the two parties. In fact, Atlantic Canada remains united in its distain for the Reform/Alliance party, and view the CPC as a Reform takeover of the Progressive Conservative Party. For example, in Nova Scotia, Peter MacKay will be re-elected and Bill Casey should be re-elected, but a lot of the other Conservatives are in trouble. Cape Breton is a Liberal stronghold. If Capers are angry at the Liberals, they will vote for the NDP. Halifax has become an NDP stronghold. Scott Brison should make Kings-Hants Liberal for the first time in decades. Robert Thibault will be re-elected in West Nova, a traditionally Torie riding, against Conservative candidate Jon Carey. I feel safe predicting this because Carey was trounced in last summer's provincial election in Kings West, which went Tory for 64 years prior to 2003. Carey won it in 1999 just for winning the PC nomination and sucked so bad as a MLA that he lost the seat. He will not become the West Nova MP. But I digress. My main point is that the Conservative Party of Canada will have problems winning seats this side of Québec.





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posted on 5-25-2004 at 11:59 PM Edit Post
Slade,

With the right "united", as it were, the left is now split. No one really trusts the Liberals, and it is my opinion that the left of center Liberals might go NDP. Layton is a solid and charismatic fellow, despite his politics.

The right of center Liberals will probably go Conservative. I see gains in every province for everyone but the Liberal Party.

Maritimes goes NDP, Quebec goes Bloc, Ontario splits between Conservative and Liberal. The West splits with the urban NDP and the Rural Conservatives.






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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 5-26-2004 at 12:54 AM Edit Post
see that's the thing....west of Ontario, a lot of people will turn to Harper and the Conservatives, east of Ontario a lot of people wil either go with the NDP...or decide that it's better to stick with the devil you know in Martin.

And that scares me almost as much as American Idol being thhe only thing on TV...fucking summer shows.

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posted on 5-26-2004 at 03:47 AM Edit Post
Another thing in Layton's favor out west is the fact that we have been stuck under the thumb of an egomaniacle right wing "Liberal" dictator for the last 4 years.

I think most people out here are fed up with bully governments who throw their weight around and do what ever the hell they want whether we like it or not.

I think the gains the Greens might make out here will be more likely felt in our next provincial election. They made great strides here last time and their leader Adrianne Carr is a straight shooter who doesn't sound like the typical flakey hippy most would associate with the Green Party. So as I see it, full slate or not, the greens are going to continue to be a non factor because those who care enough to find out about them, will likely vote for them but they are not going to get any significant coverage. And really it's all about face time.


That said, it's face time...

The face of the future. Love it, live it, twirl it in your fingers...

...and on June 28th, make the mustache your man.

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posted on 5-26-2004 at 01:28 PM Edit Post
I have an uncle-in-law that is the identical twin to Layton, it is freaky the similarity.

NDP should do better this time around with the new leadership but as with the Ontario provincial election I am not so sure that will translate to more seats.

I think that in Ontario you will see a lot of seats held by the liberals go to the conservatives, not in Toronto itself but in some of the 905 / 519 / 705 areas. Toronto will probably elect a few NDPers, Layton among them (maybe his wife too, but that is a tight race).






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posted on 5-26-2004 at 01:39 PM Edit Post
As long as David Anderson goes bubye, I will be happy.

I do think the NDP support will translate to seats in BC.

"Her Majesty's Official Opposition" has a nice ring to it.





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posted on 5-26-2004 at 01:43 PM Edit Post
Olivia Chow ran in 1997 for the NDP and only lost by about 2,300 votes. Given her name, relationship to the party leader, and experience on Toronto city council, I would peg her as a shoe-in. Broadbent should give the NDP a breakthrough in the country's capital.

The Conservatives have one incumbent running in Ontario. It is that Goddamn helmet-head woman from Pembroke-Arnprior-Renfrew (I don't know the riding's official name, but it is something like that). I bet she gets re-elected if only because her helmet-head gives her something in common with the military personnel in Petawawa. I am glad I do not live in that riding anymore. I do not ever want to be represented by a Conservative.

I agree, 2HoT. Even the British Columbia Liberals are angry with Team Martin. He hand-picked practically every Liberal candidate in your province. The constituency associations were completely cut out from participating in the selection of their nominees. Everybody is pissed off at the 'I want this party to be more democratic' espousing dictator Paul Martin.

[Edited on 5-26-2004 by Slade]





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posted on 5-26-2004 at 01:52 PM Edit Post
Speaking of past candidates in Ontario I was driving on the highways on Monday and went through a few ridings. I was surprised that many many provincial torries who lost are now running for the feds.

I think that the Liberal number now are soft and the upper hand they have in the polls will drop as the election goes on. People will start to look at the platforms and what the parties are saying and start to change opinions within the next few weeks. I think that the NDP will be the 4th place party coming out of this. Liberals or Conservative minortiy government with the Bloc holding the balance of power and the NDP have 20 - 30 seats.






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posted on 5-26-2004 at 10:06 PM Edit Post
I've noticed the same thing with people who couldn't win a seat as an MPP hoping for better luck this time.

It's kinda sad because I like Paul Steckle, am a fan of hearing Ken dryden speek, and loved a lot of the early work Paul Martin did when he was first a cabinet member...but there's no way in hell I'm voting Liberal.

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posted on 5-26-2004 at 10:20 PM Edit Post
It's too bad that write in votes can't be elected (perhaps they can but there are NEVER enough) because really I don't anybody that is running to be in power. It's like choosing the lesser of the evils, when they are all the same. Which lying candidate do you want in power, that's all it's asking.


Its much the same with the US elections. It's almost a foregone conclusion that Bush will be gone, but will Kerry represent the country any better?

Bad times ahead for Canada AND the US.





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posted on 5-26-2004 at 11:18 PM Edit Post
I just wish that we had more choice in candidates. I caught the tail end of an interview with Preston Manning, and he raised a superb point: The HoC is made up of career civil servants and lawyers. There are few (I'd be pressed to name one) scientists, for instance. During our wild and crazy interesting times, I'd like to be able to vote for a respected history professor, or a skilled mathematician, or a good engineer.

Someone, you know, with life experience outside politics. It would be nice to have an environmental minister who knew something about science, or a defense minister who understood historical precedents. People firm in their convictions and unable to be swayed by special interests.

A resume that has something besides "Party Hack, Lawyer and general dick" would be superb. A reflection of the country, not a country club.

We, as a country, will probably swing Conservative this go round. Of course, that means (for our American Friends) Democratic Party. Yes, our extreme right wing party is about as extreme as a centrist Democrat.

Oh, and if I see one more "we're gonna cut the WASTE in government" without specific examples (which are myriad) I think I'll hurl. Lemme see some numbers, tell me how you'll pay for this and that.

First one to call Stephen Harper names in leiu of constructive criticism gets a large "Boo Urns". I'm all for running on records, and not gutter politics.

While Layton seems like a generally nice fellow full of good intentions, the NDP are (and always will be) taxaholics.

The Liberals of today make the Mulroney Conservatives look pristine in comparison. There's a real good reason so many incumbents aren't going to run.

Should be interesting after the debates.






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posted on 5-26-2004 at 11:19 PM Edit Post
See that's why I liked Mike Harris...sure he was a rat bastard and did things that pissed people off...but @ least he said he was gonna do those things BEFORE he was elected.

I really want to know what the fuck Martin is thinking though...because a lot of the crap he is saying lately has been a repeat of the stuff Dalton McGinty said to become Ontario's Premier...and that's not a way to win votes in Ontario.

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posted on 5-26-2004 at 11:44 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Krydor
While Layton seems like a generally nice fellow full of good intentions, the NDP are (and always will be) taxaholics.




That might be true but I can tell you that I have absolutely no problem whatsoever paying higher taxes if I can see that they actually are or are actually going to get used for something useful and not just to pay for fishing trips with potato barons.

Tax me to the hilt if you like but fucking DO something with it besides pissing it away.





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posted on 5-26-2004 at 11:51 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by 2HoT
That might be true but I can tell you that I have absolutely no problem whatsoever paying higher taxes if I can see that they actually are or are actually going to get used for something useful and not just to pay for fishing trips with potato barons.

Tax me to the hilt if you like but fucking DO something with it besides pissing it away.


See here's the thing...for the services we get right now in Canada we pay TOO MUCH!!! Seriously, every study done on government spending shows that we get a pretty weak bang for our buck. Which pisses me off when you see people drop programs and say there isn't enough money to keep them. If we stopped wasting money then we'd have better services and could lower taxes.

It's just too bad that while that makes great sense in theory, in practice nobody is willing to admit they could afford to spend a little wiser instead of cutting services.

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posted on 5-27-2004 at 01:39 PM Edit Post
I think that Layton's pledge of higher taxes on the rich is stupid idea. The NDP seems to want to punish and tax the hell out of someone who has been able to provide a skill to have made a decent chunk to change. Now their plan is probably good on paper because very few people make over a million and those will not be voting NDP anyways but just the fact that this tax is so punative on the rich is wrong.

Layton says that he is going to spend $79 billion more if he is elected PM. As others have stated, government does not spend thier money wisely as it is and throwing another $80 billion at the problem will not help. I would agree that it would be better for government to do a serious audit of all spending and see how and where money is spent and then try to figure out how much more, or less is needed to fund programs.

Layton plans to get some of this $80 billion from taxing large corporations. Higher corporate taxes will lead to companies leaving Canada for jurisdictions where they will pay less taxes and make more profit. This will mean job losses in Canada.

Layton also promises balanced budgets under the NDP government. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. NDP government have never balanced budgets when they take power, they spend recklessly and build up huge deficits and add to the debt. I would believe a promise from Dalton McGunity over Jack Layton promising a balanced budget.






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posted on 5-27-2004 at 03:08 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Omega
Layton also promises balanced budgets under the NDP government. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. NDP government have never balanced budgets when they take power, they spend recklessly and build up huge deficits and add to the debt. I would believe a promise from Dalton McGunity over Jack Layton promising a balanced budget.


You are jumping to the wrong conclusions about the NDP based on the performance of past NDP provincial governments. It is not fair to assume that Jack Layton's NDP will bankrupt Canada like Bob Ray's NDP bankrupted Ontario. Those who state that an NDP government cannot manage money, that they overspend, run large budget deficits and sink this county deeper into debt always site Bob Ray as an example. However, these people conveniently forget that, in Manitoba, an NDP government led by Gary Doer has balanced its budget every year it has been in office, while pursuing policies that have improved the overall quality of life of the citizens of their province. They have been so successful with their platform that they have even done something that the "taxaholic" NDP never do - cut taxes!

And if I had your attitude, Omega, I would have said that the John Hamm led Progressive Conservatives were full of shit when they promised to balance the budget in Nova Scotia for the first time in over 40 years, because the John Buchanan led Tories ran the largest budget deficits in this province's history. But then I'd have mud all over my face because unlike Buchanan, John Hamm balanced the budget and has done so for three years running.

I agree with you, Krydor, about the lack of variety at the federal level. I have not put a lot of thought into why it is that there is not much variety at the federal level, but a great deal of variety at the provincial level. In Nova Scotia, we have some lawyers, but we have just as many, or more, MLAs that come from other backgrounds. Junior Theriault, from Digby-Annapolis, is a fisherman with a grade 9 education. Speaker Murray Scott and Bill Langille are retired police officers. Premier John Hamm was a family doctor and physician. Min. Ernie Fage is a cattle farmer from Cumberland county. Min. Angus MacIsaac, Min. Jamie Muir, Leo Glavine and Bill Estabrooks were teachers. Those are but a few examples of the different backgrounds from which are MLAs have come from.

While it seems as though there is much less of that at the federal level, maybe the MP’s background has something to do with what part of the country he/she comes from. Perhaps in central Canada and maybe even in Western Canada all of the MPs come from a legal or public service background. However, in Nova Scotia, I can tell you off the top of my head that retiring MP Wendy Lill is a play-write, MP Bill Casey is a car salesman, and MP Peter Stoffer worked at the Halifax International Airport as an airline clerk (ticket salesman/baggage check-in guy). Perhaps Nova Scotia (and/or Atlantic Canada) goes against the norm in this respect.





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posted on 5-27-2004 at 03:21 PM Edit Post
I see Doer as the exception rather than the rule. And it is not just Rae, the BC premier, Dosonjji or something like that(sp?), ran some pretty big deficits that had to be cleaned up when they got booted from power.

In the previous Ontario government there were several cabinet ministers and MPPs who were not lawyers. Snobelin was a rancher, and did not have a high school diploma. Hodgson was in real estate development. Janet Ecker was in PR.

It seems to be that most Liberals are lawyers, both federally and provincially and members of other parties have a variety of professions.






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posted on 5-27-2004 at 03:23 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Omega
NDP government have never balanced budgets when they take power, they spend recklessly and build up huge deficits and add to the debt.



If I had a loonie for every time I heard that, I'd need a fork lift just to get out from underneath them.

Seriously though, how many Federal NDP governments can you cite having done this? What's that? None? Hmm, thats interesting. You are in fact accusing a federal party of something they have never even attempted let alone made common place.

And if my memory serves me right, the Mulroney-led Torries were the pinnacle of fiscal responsability right?





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posted on 5-27-2004 at 03:32 PM Edit Post
Mulroney did his best to kill the Torries from the inside....he's like the political version of Kevin Nash!!!

One thing I will say is that I think a LOT of votes could still be won be any of the three parties. Ontario has the habit of believing Liberals even when we shouldn't so that could help them...and bothh the NDP and CPC could win votes over by presenting a strong case that they have a plan and will stick to it.

I think that's why a lot off people are worried about the NDP...they've never had a chance to do what they've thought was best on a federal level, and have often given people bad impressions on the provinncial level. In Ontario durring the provincial election they had the best leader...but nobody had much doubt which party would win. The NDP will have to blow people away to win the election.

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Omega
Call me McIan






Posts 1466
Registered 4-29-2004
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Mood: MacIan

posted on 5-27-2004 at 03:45 PM Edit Post
2Hot - the principles that both the federal NDP and provincial NDP parties follow is the same. The failures of the provincial parties to balance budgets means that myself and many others are not willing to give the federal NDP a chance to fuck up the entire country with a massive ammount of debt.

Mulroney was 10 years ago and a lot has changed for conservatives since then. Harris, Lord, Binns, Klein and Hamm were all elected and balanced budgets. This is the foundation of the new conservative party not Mulroney and his fucked up policies.

[Edited on 5-27-2004 by Omega]






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