Dion gets the last gaffe... but shame on all of us.

By Jared Wesley on Oct 9, 2008

In a campaign that was among the nastiest in recent memory, history will record: Stephane Dion had the last gaffe.  Dion's belly flop in Atlantic Canada came on the last full day of the campaign, as Canadians prepare for the extended Thanksgiving long weekend.  Words don't do it justice -- watch for yourself.

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Endorsements: Harper Wins Again

By Jared Wesley on Oct 9, 2008

Just as in 2006, the Conservatives have earned endorsements from both of Canada's major daily newspapers (The Globe and Mail & The National Post).  We wait with baited breath to see what the Toronto Star will do.  (Rumours have it they could endorse the NDP for the first time.  Odds have it, they'll back Dion.)

Fear Begets Panic: Lessons in Credit-Crunch Campaigning

By Jared Wesley on Oct 9, 2008

The Economist weighed in on the Canadian election today, with two separate articles offering a lukewarm endorsement of the Conservatives.  Specifically, the authors suggest "another minority Conservative government would not be a bad result for Canada: neither of the main party leaders has done enough to persuade Canadians that they deserve untrammelled power." 

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Tag Clouding the Campaign Websites - Unscientific, but Fun!

By Greg Farries on Oct 9, 2008

Darren Barefoot, author of Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook, has taken a novel approach to analyzing what the political parties in Canada mention on their campaign websites.

What with the forthcoming election and all, and being in marketing, I thought it might be interesting to use Wordle to distill each of the four national parties’ websites into a tag cloud. The cloud would reflect the terms that the party uses most frequently on their English-language websites. With an assist from Ask Metafilter, I got them done. I’ll explain a little more about how after the clouds.

Only Five Days Left to Enter to Win! Post a Comment on our Blog.

By Greg Farries on Oct 9, 2008

You only have five days left to post a comment in the 2008 Election Blog on Maple Leaf Web and enter to win one of two $50 gift certificates to! Remember, the more you comment the better chance you have to WIN!

See this post for more details...

Harper's Balancing Act: Confidence & Uncertainty

By Jared Wesley on Oct 8, 2008

A lot has been made of Stephen Harper's inability to empathize with "the average Canadian" during the present economic downturn.  To be certain, Mr. Harper has done little to help his cause.  Last night on The National, he made an off-hand comment about how the stock market decline has opened "opportunities" for Canadians to invest at bargain prices.  Earlier in the day, instead of releasing his platform in a more 'grassroots' setting, he opted for a business audience at the Canadian Club.  (No sweater vests allowed.)  In Harper's defence, however, he faces a unique set of challenges -- distinct from those facing opposition party leaders and the two presidential candidates in the United States.

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The Special Ballot: Why Young People Don't Vote?

By Melanee Thomas on Oct 8, 2008

I live in Montreal at least 10 months out of the year. However, my permant residence remains my parents' farm in south-western Alberta. Based on electoral law in Canada, I could vote in my riding back home, or I could vote in the riding I live in while at school.

In Montreal, I live in Gilles Duceppe's riding. He's going to easily take the seat, and I don't want to give the Bloc the $2 that goes along with my vote (thanks to Bill C-24, passed in 2003). In Alberta, my riding (Macleod) contains five reservations, and there's a First Nation's candidate on the ballot for a party I'm happy to see my $2 go to. As a result, I needed to get a special ballot to vote in Alberta. 

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Why the Conservatives could sweep Saskatchewan...

By David McGrane on Oct 8, 2008

This op-ed piece will appear in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on Thursday, October 9th.

With Conservative support taking a nosedive in Quebec, it seems that they need to add a considerable number of seats in English Canada if they are to form a majority government. All of the sudden, a Conservative sweep of Saskatchewan's seats could be the difference between a majority and minority Harper government. While Saskatchewan is an important part of the Conservatives' pursuit of a majority, our province also plays a key role in Stephen Harper's quest to reshape Canadian political culture.

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Joyce Murray: Not a Teacher, a Doer

By Royce Koop on Oct 8, 2008

From a recent public forum at the University of British Columbia:

"Representing Vancouver Centre was NDP candidate (and UBC professor) Michael Byers, along with Green Party candidate Adrienne Carr. Meanwhile, representing Vancouver Quadra was Joyce Murray of the Liberal Party and [UBC] Sauder law professor Deborah Meredith of the Conservatives...

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Interesting American perspective on Canadian debates

By Harold Jansen on Oct 7, 2008

One of my favorite TV critics, Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star, was vacationing in Canada during the Canadian debates. He talks about our media situation and our debates in a short podcast that you can find on his website. Canadians often compare their politics with those in the United States, especially when we're both in the midst of elections. It's unusual and refreshing to hear an American perspective on the same comparison.

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What happened to the social conservative issues?

By Harold Jansen on Oct 7, 2008

I was going through various interest group web sites, looking to see what they had to say about the election when I came to the website of the Canadian Family Action Coalition, a group of Christian social conservatives. They don't endorse any particular political party, but they identify five key issues for the election: abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage, human cloning and stem cell research. What struck me about this list is how absent these issues have been from the campaign.

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More Interesting Campaign Signs in Montreal

By Melanee Thomas on Oct 7, 2008

I've noted earlier in the campaign how different and interesting campaign signs are in Quebec. A few more have gone up in the neighborhood that warrant mention.

My local Green candidate *finally* got signs up for the last week of the campaign. They are very pretty, featuring the Green candidate in a nice park (probably Parc LaFontaine, being in the riding and all). What makes it interesting is that there's a tag line on the sign referring to personal environmental sovereignty. The Green candidate ties support for Quebec sovereignty with environmental support. 

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Preston Manning Weighs in... Why NOT to Vote for Dion

By Royce Koop on Oct 7, 2008

Preston Manning has provided two highly...original reasons to not vote for Stephane Dion.

Reason Number 1: "Whereas Mr. Harper grew up in an accountant's household, Mr. Dion grew up in an academic's household."

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What's in a number?

By Tammy McCausland on Oct 7, 2008

During last week's federal leadership debate, Jack Layton mentioned that Stephane Dion had supported the Harper government 43 times. Forty-three became a refrain during the course of Jack Layton's public appearances last week. It can be an effective tactic because people tend to remember numbers--just check the magazine covers at the newsstand next time and notice how many times numbers appear.

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The US Debate and Its Spillover to Canadian Politics

By Jonathan Rose on Oct 7, 2008

The events of this week remind us that sometimes in election campaigns the efforts of political parties are constrained by events completely out of their control. The US economy looks like it is heading for a full blown recession, the stock market is in seeming free-fall and the second US Presidential debate is scheduled tonight on Tuesday, October 7. How much might the US debate affect the Canadian election?

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