As much as I hate the guy, I have to thank Stephen Harper for the long election period… more time for the spotlight to be shone on the shitty job he is doing, and the types of characters who actually are his “friends“… those who assume everyone cheats on their taxes, and urinate in their client’s sinks. The Conservative Party should be very very worried right now about what Mr. Harper is doing to their brand. The longer it goes one, the more he slips in the polls. If the Conservatives come in 3rd place, it could potentially take decades to repair the damage he will have done to the party.
The long election period can also help the Greens. The more it looks like Harper will come in third, the more comfortable fringe voters can be about voting their conscience, rather than strategically. I am one of those fringe voters. Being politically independent, I am never certain how I am going to vote (unless I am on the ballot!). Last Federal Election I voted for the Leader more than the candidate, I loved Jack Layton and, like many other Canadians, got wrapped up in the orange hype… holding out hope that they could form the opposition in a minority government. This year, that same candidate has a different leader, Mulcair doesn’t connect with me as much as Layton did, so I won’t be voting NDP. In Federal elections past, Peter Stoffer was my MP, and it was a no brainer. Didn’t matter who the leader was, Stoffer always had my vote. That guy has mad representational skillz when it comes to his job and how he goes about it.
If I look at all 5 party leaders, and were to base my decision solely on which individual I want as my leader, I would vote for Gilles Duceppe. I love that guy. He is so feisty and defiant. He always performs well at the debates, and from what I can compare, his politics are similar to mine. Of course, I can’t vote for Gilles Duceppe because I live in Nova Scotia. So my second choice is Elizabeth May. She is also feisty and defiant, and is the only leader who I believe can fight and deal with what I believe to be the biggest threat to Canada’s National Security… Climate Change.
I had a lot of hope for Trudeau, as someone closer to my generation and demographic cohort, to be the leader who would best represent my values and interests as leader. However, his support on C-51 made me realize, he and I do not share the same values and interests.
While Harper slips in the polls and it looks more and more like Trudeau and Mulcair will be battling it out for the crown, I still fear that Harper will become Prime Minister again regardless of who actually wins the election. Let’s face it, corruption and cheating in Canadian elections has become a bit of the norm for Harper. And to what consequences? A couple of fines and a stern talking to?
I am not going to wait until October 19 to vote. I have chosen my candidate and leader, and there is really nothing that can happen between now and then to change my mind. No Facebook meme, no media article, no fuck-up that Elizabeth May can make to have me vote any other way. I know my candidate won’t win, but as a fringe voter, that is not my purpose for voting for her. I am voting for the future.
If you are like me, and know how you are voting without a shadow of a doubt, then I encourage you to also go vote before October 19th at the Elections Canada Office in your riding. Then on Election Day, you can bring one new voter to the polls instead. The key to getting Harper out will be high voter turnout, regardless of how strategic you make it.