Canada Election 2011: Canadians Vote
Canadian Federal Election 2011
Canadians are voting today in a federal election, the fourth in the last seven years. At stake is who will control Parliament following a vote of no confidence in Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government. If you're outside of Canada, the only reason you know about the election is because of a Google Doodle.
The Major Players in the Canadian Election
- The Conservatives (economically conservative,socially liberal compared to American Republicans)- Led by Stephen Harper, who is seen as arrogant and more conservative than much of his party base. A Canadian George W. Bush.
- The Liberals (socially and economically liberal)- left of the US Democrats. Let by Michael Ignatieff (ig NAT-ee-eff), who is seen as out of touch, annoying, and absentee- he has lived south of the border for years.
- The NDP (New Democratic Party (socially and economically way, way left)- Led by Jack Leyton, whose policies are seen as fiscally fantastical. Also, he really looks like John Locke from Lost.
The Greens and the Block Quebecois are also players, but Canada's is a parliamentary government, and no one party is expected to dominate the election. Strangely, the Conservatives stand to gain, due to Ignatieff's unpopularity. The NDP will likely be the real players here, as the more seats they seize from the Liberals (their main competitors for votes), the more influence they will have.
Get Your Ass Out and Vote, Canada!
Find your polling place and vote, Canadians. If you don't you hereby lose the right to whinge about domestic politics until the next election. Don't tweet local results, though, or post them to Facebook. That's illegal under current Canadian law, which was made with carrier pigeons in mind.
Canada's elections are characterized by apathy, since none of the major parties are expected to mess with core institutions such as provinical healthcare, gay marriage, or civil rights. While the three major parties are making noises about fiscal policy, this is basically a senior-year popularity contest between Harper, Ignatieff and Layton, which is somewhat strange: in Canada, you don't vote for the party leader, but for the party itself.
Posters around Vancouver encourage young people to "do the unexpected" and vote. Do it- citizens of other countries are killing and dying for this right, so you better exercise it.