Defusing an Issue - Ending the Afghanistan Mission in 2011

By Harold Jansen on Sep 11, 2008

Besides the news that Elizabeth May would be joining the leaders' debate, the big news yesterday was Stephen Harper's announcement that Canada's current military mission in Afghanistan would not be extended past the 2011 deadline established by Parliament. It is important to note that this does not mean a complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan at that point, but that the Canadian mission will change dramatically at that point.

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Predictive Stockmarkets Favouring Conservatives Over Liberals

By Greg Farries on Sep 11, 2008

A quick glance at the two major predictive stock markets have Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada leading by a considerable amount. The 2008 UBC Election Stock Market and the Intrade Prediction Market both place a Conservative plurality (meaning, either a minority or majority) at 80% or greater.

Urban-rural split likely back on the table

By Harold Jansen on Sep 10, 2008

The Conservatives' high-profile promise yesterday to cut the tax on diesel fuels likely won't have much impact on the average Canadian family, but it's big news if you're a heavy user of diesel fuel. Truckers, farmers and fishers will likely benefit. It also sets up a nice contrast with the Liberals' Green Shift, which would increase taxes on fuels. However, what I think is interesting is that it sets up a rural-urban policy showdown. Two of those three groups (and probably many truckers, too) are primarily rural.

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Focus on B.C.: Richmond Part I

By Royce Koop on Sep 10, 2008

One of Harper's first stops in this national campaign was on Lulu Island, home of the city (and electoral district) of Richmond, which in my opinion is one of the most interesting and dynamic ridings in B.C..

This is for several reasons. First, the city is home to several distinctive communities that play a role in shaping local politics. In 2001, 57% of the riding's population were new Canadians, and 44% identified themselves as Chinese. Together with visiting a local Chinese family, it's no wonder that the media interpreted Harper's high-profile visit to Richmond as an attempt to appeal to urban ethnic communities.

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Puffingate 2008 and

By Royce Koop on Sep 10, 2008

I'm not that young nor the hippest cat on the block, but this latest example of bowing before middle-aged squareness is a bit much.

Dion's weakness is that he is perceived as weak and indecisive; in other words, not a leader. So how best to exploit that? With an entire website mocking him! Thus, a puffin defecates (to use the aghast term of national media writers) on his shoulder; you can play as Dion in a game of "Street Debater" against "The Russian Bear"; or generate Liberal policy in a slot machine. I was already laughing when the preview page came onscreen, asking, "Do you think it's easy to load websites?" And be sure to visit the blog that Dion's dog, Kyoto, generously maintains on the site:

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Pick Your Party on

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 9, 2008

Straight from the horse's mouth! - has a fun yet substantive way to determine which party is right for you. Pick your Party (located on the right side of the site about halfway down) amalgamates party leader quotes on various topics and asks respondents to choose which particular quote best suits their own position.

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So much for dignified debate

By Harold Jansen on Sep 9, 2008

Every election, we hope for dignified debate over policy. But eventually, the whole thing grinds down into petty partisanship. It only took until the third day, but we're there. The Conservative website briefly had a puffin pooping on Stephane Dion.

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Has Harper violated the fixed election law? Will it mattter?

By Tom Bateman on Sep 9, 2008

Have the Conseratives violated the fixed election date law passed by Parliament in 2007?

No. The Canadian Constitution requires that the Governor General retain the prerogative to dissolve Parliament at her pleasure. Yes, she takes advice on this from the Prime Minister, but the decision is still hers. Any law depriving the Governor General of the legal capacity to dissolve Parliament would be unconstitutional. Patrick Monahan in the Globe and Mail on Saturday August 30 was very good on this point.

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May Excluded from Leaders' Debate

By Harold Jansen on Sep 9, 2008

The big news on day one of the campaign was that Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party, would not be allowed to participate in the leaders' debates. It's easy to see why the other parties wouldn't want her to participate. The Conservatives are weak on environmental issues and they know it, so having a leader wel versed on those issues would only show up their weakness in that critical policy arena. The NDP didn't want her in because they're worried about bleeding votes that way. The only one who seemed willing to have her participate was Stephane Dion and the Liberals, who have developed an understanding with the Greens.

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When Lawn Signs Aren't an Option

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 8, 2008

I am convinced that, as a displaced Albertan, I will always find politics in Quebec somewhat odd.

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The MLW Off-Topic Forums are Now Open!

By Greg Farries on Jul 31, 2008

I've recently added five new off-topic forums in the Maple Leaf Web discussion forums. We have chosen five topics spanning a wide range of issues.

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Conservatives Introduce Copyright Bill

By Greg Farries on Jun 12, 2008

Industry Minister Jim Prentice stated yesterday that he will be tabling amendments to the Copyright Law in the House of Commons this morning,



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Submit Questions for our Interview with Honourable Stéphane Dion

By Greg Farries on Jun 2, 2008

Mapleleafweb is scheduled to do an interview with Honourable Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Official Opposition and Liberal Party of Canada. We are providing visitors to Mapleleafweb the opportunity to submit potential questions to Hon. Stéphane Dion.

Read More » Blogging Tools - Free NDP Themed Templates

By Greg Farries on May 13, 2008

In addition to the typical videos and banner ads that nearly every political party gives way on their political party websites, the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) has gone the extra mile and created NDP themed weblog templates.

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