Day 30 — NDP SURGING: The Globe and Mail reports, “Jack Layton and his surging New Democrats are poised to see their representation in the Commons increase from 36 to 60 seats, denying the Harper Conservatives their coveted majority, according to a new EKOS Research poll. …The EKOS numbers show remarkable gains for Mr. Layton, with the NDP winning 24 more seats nationally and the Tories considerably diminished, not even close to a majority government. Under the EKOS scenario the Tories would see their seat count reduced from 143 to 134; the Liberals would gain five more seats, going from 77 to 82. The Bloc Québécois would lose in Quebec — going from 47 to 32 seats.”
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION: The Ottawa Citizen reports, “The Conservatives could win 69 fewer seats if an election were held today and Canada used proportional representation (PR) rather than the existing first-past-the-post (FPP) electoral system, according to an analysis of the latest poll results. …One analysis based on (recent Ipsos Reid polling) results suggests the Conservatives could win a majority 201 seats, the Liberals 53, NDP 48 and four for the Bloc. The Greens would be shut out again. But under proportional representation, which awards at least some seats based on the popular vote, Commons’ seating would change considerably. The Conservatives would shrink to 132 seats and the Liberals would expand to 68 seats. The NDP would soar into Official Opposition with 74 seats, the Bloc would garner 19 and the Greens, which gain dramatically under most PR scenarios, would win 12. The numbers were produced by a vote calculator sponsored by Fair Vote Canada, a group campaigning for voting system reform.”
GREAT LAKES: Environmental Defence, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Equiterre and the Pembina Institute asked the major parties, “If elected, will your party invest $1.1 billion over 5 years, as requested by the United States and Great Lakes Commission, for Canada to start doing our fair share to protect and restore the Great Lakes?” The NDP, Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party said ‘yes’, the Liberals said ‘no’, and the Conservatives did not respond. The Council of Canadians has called for $1 billion from the existing funding in the Building Canada Fund and Green Infrastructure Fund, plus $3.375 billion in new funding over five years, to clean up polluted lakes and rivers, protect Canada’s waterways from invasive species, and to clean-up the Great Lakes.
FIRST NATIONS ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION: The Vancouver Sun reports, “While the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green party platforms all mention First Nations to varying degrees, there appears to have been little outreach to communities from the federal leaders and even less mention of aboriginal concerns on the national stage. The reason, say First Nations residents and experts, is that aboriginal people are less engaged in the federal race, stemming from a voting ban from 1898 until 1960, and culminating in a widespread feeling of disconnection with Ottawa and subsequently, Canada at large. …Elections Canada doesn’t track aboriginal voting patterns for each election, but research from 2000 showed turnout levels at 48 per cent… Groups such as the Assembly of First Nations are trying to change attitudes on all sides. According to National Chief Shawn Atleo, aboriginals are engaging in this election like never before, thanks to the national organization’s efforts, such as online forums and an upcoming town hall in Toronto on Wednesday.”
MISSING FROM DEBATES: The Calgary Herald reports (again), “Heading into the final week of the federal election campaign, community organizers and opposition party hopefuls are questioning why Conservative incumbents in Calgary aren’t participating in more candidate debates. …(For instance, in) Calgary Centre-North, a potted plant replaced Conservative candidate Michelle Rempel at a forum last week, albeit it was sponsored by the left-leaning Council of Canadians and the Friends of Medicare.”
MAUDE BARLOW ELECTION VIDEOS: The first three Maude Barlow election commentaries on video have now been viewed 3,587 times. To watch them, go to www.canadians.org. A new one will be coming soon.
NEWSPAPER ADS: The Council of Canadians will be running an ad campaign in Metro newspapers from coast to coast starting this coming Tuesday. The ads, mostly on the front-page of the newspaper, have the potential to reach more than 200,000 voters. You will see our ‘Vote for Democracy’ ads in those newspapers, but also on our e-mail lists, on social media, and more. For an advance look in video-format, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxfMcwARE5o. You can also see it as the top banner on our website now at www.canadians.org.
THIS ELECTION: Thirty-one days ago, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow commented, “The Council of Canadians focuses on critical issues and highlights to Canadians our shared values, concerns and priorities for social, environmental and economic justice. We do not tell anyone who to vote for, nor do we advocate strategic voting. This enables every Canadian to make an individual choice on voting day. But, at the same time, we must highlight the negative implications of another Conservative minority government, or worse, a Conservative majority government. Most Canadians have not voted for the Harper Conservatives in the last three elections. Stopping the Conservatives from gaining power in this election will be a win in and of itself. We continue to believe that the best likely outcome is a coalition government — based on a progressive policy platform. And whoever forms the next government, the Council of Canadians will hold them accountable to the demands of millions of Canadians for climate, trade, health care and water justice.”
Brent Patterson, Political Director, Council of Canadians