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How Stephen Harper holds his own

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

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By now Stephen Harper should be down to the low teens in popularity, in territory last occupied when Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was at 11 per cent, just before he decided to leave politics in 1993.

Yes, 60 per cent of Canadians disapprove of Harper as a leader say EKOS Politics. But an astonishing 50 per cent think the Harper government has the country going in the right direction.

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Is the time right to discuss electoral reform?

Photo: Roland Tanglao/flickr
The momentum is building towards a more democratic electoral system based on proportional representation. Can we seize this opportunity this election?

Related rabble.ca story:

Columnists

Will we seize the opportunity for electoral reform in this election?

Photo: Roland Tanglao/flickr

Perhaps the only thing more offensive than the way Stephen Harper has changed Canada is the fact he's done it without the support of anything approaching a majority of Canadians.

Under our "first-past-the-post" electoral system, it's possible to win control of Parliament and exercise enormous power over the country even with only a minority of voters actually voting for you. The democratic shortcomings of such a system have long been evident.

But the rise of Stephen Harper's Conservatives -- with their aggression, their willingness to flout democratic rules and traditions, their indifference to the interests of those who didn't vote for them -- has highlighted the danger of an over-empowered minority in an urgent new way.

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Columnists

Harper is election ready. Are his opponents?

Photo: Jason Ransom/pmwebphotos/flickr

With 10 months to go before the expected October 19, 2015 election, the Harper Conservatives are running full out for re-election. Their strategy is simple. First, satisfy the party base, the some 25 per cent of eligible voters who will turn up on election day and vote Conservative. Second, suppress the Liberal vote.

The current incentive for Conservatives to vote Conservative is the so-called "Family Tax Cut." The Conservative tax relief policy will be compared to the "NDP-Liberal coalition" which wants "to increase taxes and wreck business."

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Columnists

Voter turnout delivers real people's verdict in Toronto election

Photo: postbear/flickr

I support voting for the most politically experienced and best representative of our diverse and aspirationally inclusive city, the daring one who is explicitly caring, the unapologetic policy wonk and artist, the bicycle pedaller and community convener, the youthful grandmother warrior, Olivia Chow.

But I think we need to realize that there's something even more important in this race than whether Chow or John Tory is elected the next mayor. It is us.

The main and most important thing about this election is getting your ass out to a polling station and voting.

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Columnists

Your vote: It's what the Harper Conservatives fear the most

Photo: Andrew Bates/flickr

Less than a year from now, on October 19, 2015, Canadians will vote, or not, in the next federal election. If the next election is like four of the last five contests, about 40 per cent of Canadians will not cast a ballot on election day.

Choosing not to vote is as good as voting Conservative. If you did not vote in the last election, you put Stephen Harper in the prime minister's office with a majority government.

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Columnists

A number is never just a number: Voter turnout -- how low can we go?

Photo: postbear/flickr

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52.1

Percentage of voters who cast a ballot in the 2014 Ontario election (unofficial count), up a bit from the province's 2011 historic low voter turnout of 48 per cent. (Source and source)

64

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Photo: League of Women Voters of California LWVC/flickr
| March 17, 2014
| February 20, 2014
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