catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Canadian Federal Election 2004


Jun 01 2004
10:37 am

After months of speculation Prime Minister Paul Martin anounced two weeks ago that the national election would be on June 28. When Martin took over from Jean Chretien in December 2003 it looked as though Martin would call a quick election and sail the Liberal Party to another majority government (they’ve been in power since 1993). But then broke the “sponsorship scandal” when it was revealed that government agencies had funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to companies that supported the Liberal Party. It’s much more complicated than that, but ever since then the Liberals have dropped in the polls.

The newly united right (Progressive Conservatives and Alliance Party joined in Fall 2003) is riding high. Party leaders Stephen Harper is playing up his “boring but competent” image in the face of recent Liberal “exciting but scandalous” shinanigans.

Even the left-wing New Democratic Party is sitting at 21% of popular support. The NDP leaders Jack Layton recently blamed Martin for the death of homeless people in Toronto because he cut funding for urban poor. Layton has a mustache middle-aged women find sexy.

The Bloc Quebecois, a separatist party that currently holds 21 (I think) seats in the 300 seat House of Commons, is set to win 54 this time. They don’t really want Quebec to separate anymore, but they love their cushy Ottawa jobs. And they love to be a pain in the government’s arse.

The Marijuana Party rolled out its campaign platform: “The Marijuana Party: Let’s Roll.” But the leader, Marc-Boris St-Maurice, regrets that he doesn’t have time “to smoke pot during this damn election.”

The Green Party has a whopping 2% popular support (mostly in BC). They advocate such novel ideas as drastically reducing personal income tax and drastically increasing taxes on natural resources.

In a month it will all be done and we will likely be left with a government that looks a bit like this:

130 seats: Liberal
100 seats: Conservative
50 seats: Bloc
20 seats: NDP

Which means that absolutely nothing will get done unless parties can learn to agree on stuff. But who knows what will actually happen. Canadian politics is soooooo exciting! Here’s some links for those of you who are interested:


Jun 02 2004
08:40 pm

so which ones are republicans and which ones are democrats? I’m totally lost over here.

Tee Hee.


Jun 29 2004
10:01 am

The election was yesterday! Sorry y’all south of the border missed the fun. My prediction was remarkably accurate. The Liberals did hang on to power, the Conservatives did make some gains in Ontario, the Bloc pretty much swept Quebec, and the NDP once again got pretty good voting numbers that failed to translate into seats (15% of popular vote gave them 7% of seats). The final results were:

135 Seats: Liberal
99 Seats: Conservative
54 Seats: Bloc Quebecois
19 Seats: NDP

To get a majority, the government would have to hold 155 seats, so we are left with a minority goverment. There have been 8 of these in Canadian history, most have lasted around one year. The government often fails when it tries to pass a budget in a minority situation.

I love politics!


Jul 05 2004
09:16 pm

dan, what more can you tell me about the green party? i hear that they are actually developing a coherent platform (though i don’t know what it is) and that they will now receive federal funding because they won 4% of the vote.


Jul 06 2004
10:07 am

The Green Pary did extremely well in this election even though they didn’t get any of their candidates elected. 4.3% of the vote is nothing to sneeze at, especially when the party gets $1.75 per year for every vote they received (adds up to nearly $1 million). Their support was strongest in BC and Alberta.

Their platform is less kooky than we’ve come to expect from some green parties. There is still the basic environmental concern that drives everything, but their platform emphasizes the common-sense elements of environmentalism. For example, they want to decrease income tax for everyone, but they want to raise gas taxes dramatically. The point is to use taxation to discourage bad things (like burning gasoline) and to encourage good things (like making money). A few other things they want to do:

-correllate immigration numbers to unemployment numbers, so you don’t have large numbers of immigrants arriving when there are no jobs to be had.

-encourage better health by shortening the work week and spending more money on sports and fitness programs (saves tax-payers in the long run because less people need to use the health-care system for couch-potato diseases).

-use monetary incentives to encourage doctors to focus on prevention rather than prescription-writing.

-pay down national debt (there have been surplusses in the last few years but the money always manages to get spent on stuff, especially before the election)

The Sierra Club and Greenpeace both endorsed the NDP, saying their environmental platform was the strongest of all the parties, but then again, the NDP had a much better chance of electing members also.

That’s all I know really. Here’s the website: