Federal Election 2011

Conservatives Win Majority Government

Canadians redraw the electoral map as Canada returns to majority government rule for the first time in seven years.

By Adrian Duyzer
Published May 02, 2011

In an election that saw the Liberals crumble, the Bloc destroyed, and the NDP make historic gains, the Conservatives have reached their long-sought majority, taking Canada back to majority government status for the first time in seven years and giving Stephen Harper a powerful mandate.

Stephen Harper returns as prime minister, this time leading a majority government. Jack Layton will become the leader of the official opposition. And it seems inconceivable that Michael Ignatieff will stay on as leader of the Liberal Party, leaving that party to ponder its future after a crushing defeat.

The Bloc Québécois has been virtually destroyed, replaced by the NDP and left with a mere three seats. Where the Green Party sits at the moment in the vote count, precisely, isn't clear, but what is clear is that they had no major impact on this election.

From the Globe & Mail:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives surged to a majority government Monday, winning their third consecutive election, as voters dramatically redrew Canada’s political map.

The New Democratic Party, propelled by the personal popularity of Leader Jack Layton, also scored a stunning success, becoming the Official Opposition, as the Liberal vote collapsed and the Bloc Québécois was all but wiped out. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe were battling for their political lives in their own ridings.

As of 10:45 p.m. ET, the Conservatives had won or were leading in about 165 seats out of the 308 in the House of Commons, 10 more than needed for a majority, while the New Democrats had soared past 100 and the Liberals had tumbled to about 30. The Bloc had less than a handful of seats.

At the time of writing the Conservatives had picked up 40% of the popular vote, with the NDP coming in at 30%. Voters resoundingly rejected Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party, with less than one in five Canadians casting a vote in their favour.

Locally, the NDP did very well, winning in Hamilton Centre, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, and Hamilton Mountain. The Conservatives took Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough and Niagara West-Glanbrook.

Winners in the region are as follows:

The next four years will be, without a doubt, interesting. They'll also be, I think, controversial. Given the way Hamiltonians voted tonight, I have no doubt many Hamiltonians will be watching quite closely to see what happens.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

95 Comments

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2011 at 23:42:39

Well Ignatieff wanted this election.

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By jasper (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2011 at 23:43:46

pretty much the same story as Toronto 2010. The suburbs have spoken. Tim Hudak is licking his chops.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted May 02, 2011 at 23:56:43

David sweet returns to put women in their places as born followers.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 14:56:04 in reply to Comment 62987

Exactly seancb !!

If enough women in A.D.W. etc. 'did as they were told', that would explain a lot of those votes.

Pretty sad to think that that many people think contempt of Parliament charges, proroguing twice, & telling the Supreme Court ,"I'm Not Listening, la la la." is just another bunch of legitimate options in getting your own way when you are outnumbered. (which seems to be name of the game.)

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted May 02, 2011 at 23:58:26

first bratina, then ford, now this...ughhhhh

Comment edited by mike_sak on 2011-05-02 23:58:34

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By FTW (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:34:06 in reply to Comment 62988

insult spam deleted

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 01:47:50

poor losers. democracy rules.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:01:27 in reply to Comment 62991

Yup. The kind of democracy where 40% is a majority.

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By mb (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 23:53:15 in reply to Comment 63012

You DO realize that in a 5 party system, it is very difficult to get over 50% of the votes. However, many majorities throughout history have been won with less than 50% All 3 Chretien majorities were won with less than 50% of votes. Just curious... were you complaining about the electoral system at that time, or is it just sour grapes that the 'evil dictator'(lol) Harper won.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-05-03 23:53:49

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 04, 2011 at 10:41:36 in reply to Comment 63043

Just curious... were you complaining about the electoral system at that time

Yes.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 15:25:04 in reply to Comment 63055

comment from banned user deleted

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 09:37:19 in reply to Comment 63043

No, it's been around for a while. The Bloc wouldn't have had near the power that they did for the last decade without the current system. Proportional representation would have seriously cut them back.

The problem is that neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have any interest in changing the way things work.

Kim Campbell's 2 seats despite over 2 million votes should have been a warning.

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By JonD (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 09:02:51 in reply to Comment 63043

This is true in the First Past the Post voting system. If we adopt the Alternative Voting system with run offs as they've done in many other countries we'd have a more engaged electorate and better representation of the majority.

These 2 videos do a great job of explaining both.

First Past the Post

Alternative Voting

Comment edited by JonD on 2011-05-04 09:03:24

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2011 at 10:33:00 in reply to Comment 63051

These are superlative pieces. (As are many of the guy's videos. And his blog, too.)

They deserve to be seen by any and all concerned about our voting system's pros and cons.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 03:52:09

"pretty much the same story as Toronto 2010. The suburbs have spoken. Tim Hudak is licking his chops."

Actually it's not a good sign for Hudak. Historically, Ontario never votes for the same party for both houses. Usually if we have a Conservative federal government we vote Liberal provincially or the other way around. It's been a very rare occasion when we have the same party ruling both governments at the same time and when we do one of them is usually a minority.

If this remains true it may auger well for the NDP provincially, since the Liberals seem to have worn out their welcome.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2011-05-03 03:53:57

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:54:30 in reply to Comment 62992

Is it maybe worth noting that Ontario’s political coat of arms pays tribute to American Loyalists who came here under fealty to King George III? "Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet" is a motto of rebellion against revolution, of unshaking acquiescence to the throne. We crave a strong master.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:29:12 in reply to Comment 63016

Actually only those who feel too weak and afraid to stand on their own and take responsibility for themselves crave a strong master. I suggest you read Erich Fromm`s Escape From Freedom for some great insights to your points.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:48:34 in reply to Comment 63019

I agree. My point being that we're conflicted as a population, that servitude is inscribed in our institutional DNA.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 09:59:01 in reply to Comment 62992

"It's been a very rare occasion when we have the same party ruling both governments at the same time and when we do one of them is usually a minority."

AFAIK, it has tended to be the Tories who see overlap:

Diefenbaker-Robarts (1961-1963) *Minority
Davis-Clark (1979-1980) *Minority
Mulroney-Peterson (1985-1990)

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 14:17:47 in reply to Comment 63003

Peterson was Liberal.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:18:55 in reply to Comment 63026

And an insufferable egotist to boot.

My bad.... the electoral contusions of last night obviously caused cerebral hemorrhaging. (I can't be the only one.)

Diefenbaker-Robarts (17 months, 1961-1963) *Minority
Clark-Davis (9 months, 1979-1980) *Minority
Mulroney-Davis (9 months, 1985-1990)

Even so, the twofer precedents of last half-century favour the Tories alone.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 03:48:38 in reply to Comment 63030

How do you figure that. A grand total of 36 months overlap in 60 years does not make for a precedent. It's more of an anomaly. Most of those overlaps were at the end or begining of terms.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2011-05-04 03:50:02

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 08:55:58 in reply to Comment 63045

Precedent as in "preceding" (or, as the Canadian Oxford suggests, "a similar event or action that occurred earlier", "preceding in time"), as in "AFAIK, the previous twofer occurrences of the last half-century favour the Tories alone." AFAIK meaning "as far as I know," because I am unaware of any such overlaps during the last 50 years that were experienced by the Ontario Liberals or Ontario NDP.

Apologies if my phasing was as sloppy as my memories of the Mulroney era.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 09:23:09 in reply to Comment 63050

The Diefenbaker-Robarts parallel is the true precedent in that the electoral order (federal followed by provincial) is the same as we would be seeing were we to get a Harper-Hudak twofer this fall.

I will concede, however, that there is, AFAIK, no precedent for a 42-month double-up in Ontario's history, and no reason why it should happen this fall.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 15:08:24 in reply to Comment 63053

I think McGuinty has cooked his own goose into a 5 alarm grease fire. Political Suicide(s) on a monthly basis?

Hudak inspires fear & loathing via The Ghost of Harris Past. ( involuntary shudder)

It would be nice to think that Andrea could pull off a 'Layton' in Ontario, or better yet-WIN!!

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By Steve (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 08:37:46 in reply to Comment 62992

With the Provincial Election so close - only 6 months away - I don't think the Conservative majority will have enough time in office to cause that traditional vote for the other party effect.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 07:39:54 in reply to Comment 62992

Historically, Ontario never votes for the same party for both houses.

Granted. But sometimes history goes out the window - no-one was predicting the NDP sweeping Quebec and the Bloc crumbling when this election was called.

Once in a while, Canadian politics gets interesting :)

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 03:52:04 in reply to Comment 62993

I did say usually, I know it's not written in stone.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 07:46:29

Two meta-points ...

One of the surprises-that-shouldn't-have-been in this election was the voter turnout: an historic low at 58% nationally. I allowed myself to hope that people - particularly students - would turn up in the light of the Middle East protests and Mercer's goading rant.

And by gosh and by golly I do love our voting system: paper, pencil, box. A half-hour of counting by impartial paid and very partial volunteer staff ... and presto. No machines; no contracts; no consultants. I loves me some technology and am thrilled by data munging and visualization tools. But I am equally enamoured of things which are almost unbreakably simple.

Comment edited by moylek on 2011-05-03 07:48:10

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 11:11:35 in reply to Comment 62994

I agree on the beauty of the simplicity, but I would like to see one more act of simplicity: ink dip for the voter's finger.

The simple act of the ink dip achieves two goals at minimal cost and complexity: reduction of election fraud via multiple ballot-casting, and a visual indication of pride for exercising the democratic responsibility to cast a vote (and for those without ink on their finger, shame for shirking that democratic responsibility)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:04:19 in reply to Comment 62994

The election was may 2nd, a day after the biggest moving day of the year for ever-transient students, and the one thing you need to vote is proof of your address.

The campaign also overlapped with final exams.

It was the worst scheduling possible for the student vote. We should happy the students voted as much as they did.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-05-03 11:04:47

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By FTW (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:36:49 in reply to Comment 63013

insult spam deleted

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 08:54:04 in reply to Comment 62994

It would appear they've adjusted their numbers...voter turnout is now pegged at 61.4%. That would make it the fourth-lowest.

Gotta agree with you on the paper votes, though. Cheap, easy, simple.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 09:05:15 in reply to Comment 62997

Gotta agree with you on the paper votes, though. Cheap, easy, simple.

And best of all as we have seen, they're also recyclable, neat and clean!

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By Inhocmark (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 09:05:20

If there's one thing to be wary of is the fact the NDP might have got too much too soon. Once Quebec takes a good close look at some of the no-hopers that were elected based on Jack Layton's charisma they'll revolt en mass back to one of the other parties. Perhaps in a longer term view for the NDP the better result would've been some of their less than quality candidates getting beat while giving their more credible candidates a chance to shine.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 09:16:59 in reply to Comment 62999

Quebec certainly has elected a startling slate of NDP MPs ... neophytes, faint-hopers, students, a non-resident even. It might make for some fascinating political theatre.

For good or ill, we can count on Quebecers to thrown the political cards up in the air once a generation or so.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 09:42:10

Democracy is working much as it always has. I don't know that it's any more Manichean than it was seven weeks ago. It might even be less so.

Our country was forged by a coalition. Our first PM resigned over a scandal. Our second led a minority government. Fully half of our 22 PMs have been designates. Since WWI, roughly half of the parliaments have been led by Liberals, half by Tories. Even the current arrangement of a id-superego government may not be so novel. The WWI-era Conservative-Unionist governments of Borden and Meighen seem like they might have exhibited a similar ideological chemistry (albeit necessitated by industrial workplaces and the need for conscription).

And if you think that the Grits are less electorally manipulative than the Tories, consider that in 1993, 5% of the Liberal caucus was made up of appointed candidates; by 2008, that had almost quadrupled to 19%, meaning that almost 1 in 5 aspiring pols skipped the nomination process entirely.* (This, for those just joining us, was during the ethically less-than-sterling Chretien-Martin era.) This obviously centralizes power in the office of the party leader and isn't especially great for democracy.

[*Data drawn from Royce Koop and Amanda Bittner’s "Candidate Nomination, `Parachuted Candidates', and Legislative Roles in Canada," a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Concordia University, June 1-3, 2010.]

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 10:01:47

Martin, Dion, Ignatieff: The Liberal Party just kept drifting away further and further away from what Canadians were trying to tell them with each of those leader's election losses. I do not think any of these Liberal losses were due to policy, there were due to personality.

Is the Liberal seat count as destructive as the old Joe Clark Progressive Conservative 2000 election count of 12? The PC's were really left with no other option but a right wing merge with the Reform party after that election. The Liberal big red machine needs repairs but will most likely keep running on its own for another 4-5 years. A full re-build, not repairs will be required to get Big Red on its feet again. That re-build will require truck loads of new blood, but first they have to attract it.

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By WTF (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:38:49 in reply to Comment 63005

insult spam deleted

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 10:10:41

Layton lead NDP seat counts:

2004: 19

2006: 29

2008 37

2011: 104

Martin, Dion, Ignatieff lead Liberal seat counts

2004: 172

2006: 103

2008: 77

2011: 34

Liberals, look at the numbers. Something is broken. It`s obvious. Fix it. Or Leave.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-05-03 10:11:46

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:00:27 in reply to Comment 63006

I saw Martin speak a year or so back. It shocked me how much more charismatic he was than Dion and Ignatieff.

When you can't even live up to the guy who started the party's downward spiral, you know you failed hard.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 00:49:54 in reply to Comment 63011

You miss the fact that Martin's leadership began at the beginning of the merger of the reform / cons ....

martin is the man responsible for flahertys success.

it's the negative campaigning and the republican tactics that have won the day....

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By FTW (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:39:56 in reply to Comment 63011

insult spam deleted

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 10:16:16

Sweet finally won ADFW with a legitimate majority instead of just rolling in thanks to the left-wing vote split.

Either way, I think the last few elections demonstrated how broken our system is - the leader of the party is so fundamental to how the party does, despite the fact that the leader is just one MP in one riding. We're supposed to vote for our local candidate, but the elections are really about the party itself and its leaders. There's an abstraction failure here. When Ignatieff can ruin the Liberal party regardless of the quality of the local candidates, I start wondering whether even having local candidates is a meaningful concept.

We vote for the party and their leader, regardless of what the parliamentary system says. Maybe it's time the system itself started reflecting that.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 11:43:54 in reply to Comment 63007

He did this time, but not the previous two elections. Had the left not been split previously, Sweet would never have had the advantage of incumbency this time around. Not saying this makes it unfair somehow, just saying ADFW is not necessarily a true blue riding.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 10:29:45 in reply to Comment 63007

I think the best example of this is MPs of all parties who are of questionable skill, or embroiled in scandal, winning, likely simply because their party is popular in the area, and there is no other option for voters.

I loathe "star" candidates just as much. TV and radio personalities should be barred from running for office.

Oh how I wish Canadians had voted for electoral reform some years ago...

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:08:29 in reply to Comment 63009

The Liberals had a decade of majority governments facing down a divided right and a substantial NDP contingent... all of whom probably would've happily received some means to reduce the problems of vote-splitting and whatnot.

If the Liberals wanted to reform our electoral system, they had ample opportunity under Chretien. Instead they decided to push their advantage and ignore the fact that one day the shoe might be on the other foot.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 10:16:50

The demise of the Liberal Party of Canada under Michael Ignatieff can draw some eery parallels of the demise of the Liberal Party in the UK under Lloyd George post WWI. Both very intelligent guys. Both somewhat pigeonholed into parties that didn't really represent their personal views. Both undermined by a usurping of their political turf by parties that more dynamically expressed the side of the political spectrum they were trying to inhabit.

The LPC if it ever hopes to survive is going to spend a long long time in the political wilderness.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 11:23:39

If all the big elections in the past few years - from Obama to Rob Ford, are telling us anything, it's that people favour ideas and principles over "practical concerns" and powerbrokers. Left or right, and even when it seems almost scary, people want someone who believes in something. And for some reason, there's a widespread sense that the Liberals don't care about much beyond holding power.

They had their chance at a coalition. All they had to say was that they weren't going to back down over it. But they didn't, and couldn't even clearly state what they were going to do this time. They backed up most of the Conservative policies with votes, but not voices, and alienated both sides.

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By misc (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 23:13:17 in reply to Comment 63015

I'm not sure I'd lump Harper or Ford into the 'something to believe in' camp. Harper didn't promote one idea the entire campaign. He just focused on how bad other situations (a coalition, NDP in power would be for everyone.
Rob Ford won on a promise to cut a vehicle and land transfer tax.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 14:08:33 in reply to Comment 63015

"people want someone who believes in something"

And some people also want someone who has a knowledge and proved record. Harper does has economic education, and strong economy is what's needed now, so that the government can afford to spend more on social programs.
I beleave it's a perfect balance of Con and NDP now.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 18:01:10 in reply to Comment 63025

Keep in mind that Harper fought hard and lost to deregulate the banks, which would have allowed us to join the Americans in the bank follies.

Since when has Harper ever supported social programs? Perfect balance? All NDP can do right now is ask questions. Harper will probably limit them to no more than 5 a day.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 15:20:28 in reply to Comment 63039

I holding out hope that the Harper Tories have learned from the Mulroney crew. Exploit your majority at your own peril. But agree, it will be a frustrating 4 years for Uncle Jack.

Personally, I'm not big on majorities no matter what party gains one. Tough to have much of a democracy when the deck is stacked.

Worse when the 'majority' represents the 'minority'.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:14:02

So, anybody looking forward to Hudak taking over in six months? More expressways, less money for cities to spend on transit, and more municipal downloading so that the refuse of society that collects in the city can be quietly forgotten by suburbanites.

Hamilton, the old NDP stronghold, is hopelessly screwed.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 15:32:48 in reply to Comment 63017

Would not mind expressway going right where Burlington st is. Add nice parks and bridges around, and it will be like Gardiner. It would also cut the industrial zone from the city.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 16:53:48 in reply to Comment 63028

Burlington St practically is an expressway, just one with more speed-traps and stop-lights. The problem is that any Burlington St highway/expressway would necessarily have to end somewhere around Victoria where the businesses and homes nearby are too dense to knock down to create the kind of spacing an expressway needs. That's barely worth building as an upgrade over the current setup.

Either way, that's not the expressway I'm talking about - I'm talking about the Mid Pen running way way to the south of the city, running vaguely near the airport and serving the southern rural communities as a means to create more housing sprawl.

Irrigating the farmlands with commuters so we can grow a nice bumper-crop of tract housing and box malls.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:34:55 in reply to Comment 63029

Mid Pen it is. Save escarpment and branch Mid Pen into Burlington st. Businesses should be re-located, but escarpment saved.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:45:55 in reply to Comment 63017

Hamilton's NDP-held ridings were Liberal previously, I think. It's the recessionary rodgering that downtown has taken that has pushed it from red to orange.

Stan Keyes was MP of Hamilton West starting in 1988, the year Christopherson re-elected to city council; he held the seat for the Liberals for 16 years. By comparison, Marston and Charlton have been at it since 2006, Christopherson since 2004.

Hamilton's NDP ridings – 3 of 308 seats – are probably of marginal consequence in most federal equations. The ratio changes provincially but the seats are not much more important if Hudak's Conservatives are looking to pry apart the McGuinty Liberals. I would expect more effort to go into ADFW and Hamilton Mountain races than Hamilton Centre – though the zany HESC is always a possibility.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:59:09 in reply to Comment 63020

I don't mean that the NDP in Hamilton is screwed. I mean that downtown Hamilton is going to be a write-off for the provincial Con government. Solidly-left urban centres like downtown Hamilton are going to be a the eggs they break to make omelettes. At least for downtown Toronto, despite being anti-Con, the people of the province will notice if the provincial conservatives screw it over... but for places like Hamilton?

We're all going to be a whole bunch of acceptable losses.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 23:44:54 in reply to Comment 63024

aren't all downtown ridings of major cities in the country (outside of Alberta) orange or red? Last election the Cons didn't get any of them. It's not just Hamilton...it's all major urban cores.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 04, 2011 at 10:51:00 in reply to Comment 63042

Not all of them. London centre went blue.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 17:40:37 in reply to Comment 63024

I didn't take that do be your meaning. Was just illustrating that the money and influence will spill in winnable ridings.

Horwath and Christopherson are formidable community-based leaders and smart cookies, but because they've been outsiders, their strength is potentially the riding's weakness. The core could well be a political dead zone for the next four years, save for scraps of mercy in the run-up to the elections. (That's when the Lister Block funding dropped, for example.) But as far as being a player at the table, or enjoined in the conversation, we're pretty much looking like a petulant footnote. (Although with the NDP in a power position, it'll be interesting to see if they can bring home any bacon -- or even just rid downtown of the federal halfway house that was supposed to have been removed at the end of 2008.)

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 12:57:42

Hey, look on the bright side – at least we'll be spared a Ward 9 byelection.

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By Matt (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 14:58:58

While I agree with most of Adrian's piece, I do take issue with the claim that the Green Party had no major impact on the national election. This is a little bit misleading as the Green Party focused the majority of their resources on Elizabeth May's riding, Saanich-Gulf Islands, rather than spreading their resources out across the country. In this respect, the Green Party has made a big step forward in having their first candidate elected to a seat in the House of Commons. In effect, they have changed the make-up of the House even if May is only one seat among the 308 seats. Their intention was not to continue to build on a share of the national vote, but rather to focus on getting one seat in the house. I believe that this may be the step forward for the Green Party in the future as it can now build from this platform. To be sure, it is far too early to predict the next election, but it does represent a new direction for the Green Party and Canadian politics more generally.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 20:59:34 in reply to Comment 63027

Matt, at the time I wrote the piece they hadn't declared that the Greens had won a seat. They just showed "Other" with one seat, and I wasn't sure who it was (it may have been May's, but it may not have been).

I agree with you that this is a big step forward for the Green Party. With that in mind, I probably would not have used the rather negative phrasing that I did, although I don't think it was unfair.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 04:01:16 in reply to Comment 63027

They were insignifigant the last election and their popular vote went down this election. You can't get much more insignifigant than that, barring no votes.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2011-05-04 04:02:20

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By nuts (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2011 at 18:30:13

I am very disappointed the Harper got his majority, I think for many people who struggle, things will get worse.

Mr Layton, I will watch because I do not think that he represents all of the WORKING CLASS. Time will tell.

45 percent of the people did not vote, this is more telling then anything, as almost half the people of this country no longer believe the system anymore.

What gets me is that many who may of voted for Harper, especially those in the middle class are one pay cheque from complete disaster if they lost their job. The reality will set in if they canno find work, EI runs out and left with Socail assistance, that will not support tehm and they lose everything. Maybe that is what needs to happen for people to wake up!



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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted May 04, 2011 at 06:17:04

There are some intriguing comments...from Canadians, at least that's what they claim...in the Comments section of this Salon article:

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_r...

The truth is that the Conservatives have finally accessed the immigrant vote in Canada (that is in fact something that is different from the US) and got them to buy into their very strange narrative. Ontario went Tory in this election. That was the story. The big, long term story. We could have these thugs for a very long time. And at the end there will be nothing left: the one thing the Liberals knew, idiots though they were, is that Canada needs some kind of central government (not just to keep the Americans at bay), and always needs some way to keep the polarization of the country from turning into Quebec vs. the rest of the country at a fundamental political level as well as geographic. That has now happened. We are now entering an era when we will have a right wing rest of the country with no interest in a central government, and a social democratic Quebec (to which the NDP just pandered inexcusably about the Constitution). The Bloc Quebecois (gone, thank goodness) never got anywhere with this at the federal level, but this time it is different -- the voters in Quebec just made this unignorable and gave this whole poisonous debate one last federal throw of the dice by voting for the NDP, a throw of the dice which will go nowhere. The rest of Canada is no longer interested in the Quebec issue. This is a recipe for real, real trouble very shortly in an era of coarsened Canadian politics.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 04, 2011 at 11:35:43 in reply to Comment 63049

The rest of Canada is no longer interested in the Quebec issue.

I'd say that the "Quebec issue" has been one of the hottest in this election. Quebec nationalism is still very taboo in the rest of Canada. Fear of a coalition with separatists played a huge role in the Liberal defeat - especially in Harper's rhetoric. Interestingly, the NDP did far less to distance themselves from the bloc, suffered far less in the polls, and managed to rout the Bloc.

I've travelled Canada. And while most people don't want much to do with the Bloc, most aren't big fans of Southern Ontario, either. Both the Conservatives and NDP did very well because they appeal elsewhere in Canada (both with Western roots, etc). The Liberals really only managed it in Newfoundland, and certainly not here.

The underlying message seems to be that people want a party that respects their region, as well as one capable of respecting others as well. It's a shift in viewpoint from the notion that a party which focuses on the west/east/Ont./Quebec/North can't focus on the rest. Now it's essential. Perhaps we're finally becoming less Ontario-centric, or at least starting down that road.

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By AnotherView (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 09:19:45

I think this will really shake things up in the population - We are entering a new era of community activism across the country and having a Conservative majority government will undoubtedly provide the ongoing fuel for the activism. These are the times there are creative booms - counter culture flourishes. Perhaps we needed this collective slap in the face to get things going.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 21:01:31 in reply to Comment 63052

I love this perspective. I know I can essentially say that I agree with you with just an upvote, but that didn't feel like enough.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 15:26:04

This is where it becomes even more important for our voices to be even louder. I'm about to send an email to Mr. Sweet congratulating him on his big victory - and reminding him that his party must bear-in-mind the desires of the 60% who did not vote for him.

More than likely, it will be ignored.

But, so often in life, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Thus, it becomes paramount that a grassroots effort to ensure accountability takes hold. To me, that's how any government, regardless of what party flag they are waving, can work to the benefit of all Canadians. (Plus, it only does them good to listen -- thus, avoiding a massive defeat in the next election.)

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-05-04 15:26:36

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2011 at 15:50:06

From 1982-2000, interest payments for all levels of government never fell below 7% of GDP. During that period, real GDP per capita averaged 2.016% per year. From 2000-2008, interest payments fell from 7.11% of GDP to 3.89% and due to very low borrowing costs, are likely not much higher today. However, from 2000-08 Canada's real GDP per capita only averaged 1.27% a year.

In other words, our economy seemed to perform better, or at least no worse, when debt charges were much higher than today.

Let's assume for a minute the federal government decided it wanted to build out Canada's infrastructure. As of Mar 2010, Canada's federal net debt stood at $582.5B. However, the debt charges associated with that number were only $29.4B, or 1.875% of GDP. If it took that debt to $1 Trillion, it would mean new infrastructure spending of $12,488 per person in Canada. Hamilton's share would amount to $6.565 Billion.

According to this...

http://lrt.daxack.ca/LRTvsHRT/CostCompare.html

that would mean Hamilton could afford 21.9km of subway. The distance from Eastgate to McMaster is 14.3km. That means it would still have 2.275B to use for operating costs associated with the subway.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted May 05, 2011 at 11:43:14

LMAO

There was no hard swing to the right. The Conservatives only got about 40% of the popular vote, about the same as last time around. Voters were just punishing the Liberals for putting up a vampire like Ignatief after putting up a marshmallow like Dion. Harper is smart enough to realize that he has a slim and conditional mandate that will vanish if he moves hard right. Meanwhile, the Liberals, who are not anywhere near as far down as the Conservatives were twenty years ago, will have time to regroup, and the NDP will have a chance to teach over 100 MP's, many of them total amateurs, how to be effective parliamentarians. The Conservatives are center-right, not Tea Bagger Right, and unlike the American Republicans, they aren't dominated by Bible-thumping racist flat-earth science-denying gay-bashing sanctimonious unreconstructed-Confederate conspiracy-theorist trailer-trash who believe that Rush Limbauugh is a genius and think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to Sunday school. Except maybe in Alberta, which is just Texas with snow.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-05-05 11:43:44

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 05, 2011 at 13:13:18 in reply to Comment 63107

The Conservatives are center-right, not Tea Bagger Right, and unlike the American Republicans, they aren't dominated by Bible-thumping racist flat-earth science-denying gay-bashing sanctimonious...

They may not be dominated by them, but they do harbour them, and they have an influence that outweighs their numbers. The defunding of Planned Parenthood and the original exclusion of contraception, in addition to abortion, from the G20 Maternal Health initiative, were bones thrown to the Religious Right who helped get them elected. Expect to see more under the radar social conservative policy-making like this. The voters just gave it a big ol' stamp of approval.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2011 at 13:25:53 in reply to Comment 63114

comment from banned user deleted

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 19:24:13 in reply to Comment 63115

Left wing zealots tend to be anarchists, which, by definition, means they aren't organized nor do they want any part of any existing organizations.

The religious right, however, has no such scruples.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2011 at 01:43:13 in reply to Comment 63115

It never ceases to amaze me how many "extreme left wing socialists" people think are hiding everywhere. As a member of the "radical left" (gasp!) I can assure you, there's next to none of us to be found in the Liberal Party. And few of us take the NDP terribly seriously.

I won't argue that fanatical centrism isn't just as dangerous. But seriously, a diabolical communist plot in the Liberal Party? That's howls.

On the other hand, we have the former national Presidents of the Promise Keepers holding office as a Conservative in town...we really can't pretend that the Religious Right isn't a major presence in today's Conservatives.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 05, 2011 at 14:30:42 in reply to Comment 63115

Whats your point.

Well, if 'extreme left wing socialists' wanted to ban abortion and contraception and same sex marriage I'd have a problem with them too, but they don't. The prospect of the conservatives' RR element seeing their dreams fulfilled is very scary indeed for women and gays and lesbians and their children, no air quotes about it. How entirely disappointing that you care so little for the human rights of others that you would try to create a false equivalency between the goals of a single-minded, influential element of the conservative coalition, and the disparate, uninfluential left wing elements of the progressive parties.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2011 at 16:41:11

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 16:09:37 in reply to Comment 63121

So these women are getting pregnant by themselves?
I had no idea that masturbation caused pregnancy!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 16:13:58 in reply to Comment 63213

As we have seen recently in the U.S. that The Christian Right are no longer about stopping abortion, they are about stopping contraception.

After crawling out from under that rock, they have gotten braver, & stated that in no uncertain terms.

It's no longer about Choice in Abortion, it's about Choice in Conception!

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 19:22:48 in reply to Comment 63121

How unbelievably misogynistic. A woman's body is her own to treat as she pleases. If she chooses to have sex without wanting to have a child or risk getting an STD, why does this bother you?

I can assure you that when I was young and single I certainly wouldn't have had a problem with it!

And if you choose to hold to some crazy ideal that sex is something that should only happen between married couples then more power to you, but don't try and force your "morality" on anyone else.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 22:51:03 in reply to Comment 63175

>> How unbelievably misogynistic. A woman's body is her own to treat as she pleases.

Is an unborn child a seperate person, or is it just an appendage, like a finger or toe?

If it is a separate human being, then what right does a woman have to attack that human being with a vacuum, chemicals or surgical instruments?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 07, 2011 at 09:04:53 in reply to Comment 63182

You have no idea why any individual woman wants to have an abortion.

Your natural assumption speaks volumes, which appears to be that it is simply a matter of birth control.

How do you know that the baby doesn't come from a rape? That the baby doesn't have a congenital defect that will make it impossible to survive? That the mother doesn't have a medical issue? You have no clue but you just stand there feeling good about yourself for being all moralistic and superior.

And like so many "right to lifers", you're perfectly willing to force the child to be born, but then they're on their own, aren't they?

Pathetic.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2011 at 11:09:19 in reply to Comment 63187

>> How do you know that the baby doesn't come from a rape?

So because an innocent baby is created through force (I agree, that is evil), it then means the baby is evil as well and is deserving of being killed? Why not take something bad (violence) and turn it into something good (love)?

>> That the baby doesn't have a congenital defect that will make it impossible to survive?

Yes, if a baby has massive birth defects and it is 100% clear it won't survive, then it makes sense to remove the baby.

>> That the mother doesn't have a medical issue?

I agree. If a woman is almost certain to die from carrying a baby, then it makes more sense to save at least one life, rather than have both mother and child die.

>> And like so many "right to lifers", you're perfectly willing to force the child to be born, but then they're on their own, aren't they?

You're correct. If a person fights against abortion, but then doesn't ensure that babies are also cared for in the formative years, they are a hypocrite.

Funny, you never answered my questions, so here they are again...

1) Do you consider unborn children to be unique people, or are they simply part of the woman?

2) If you do consider them unique human beings, then what right does anyone have to attack those unborn human beings, especially if they aren't a medical threat to the woman?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 09, 2011 at 07:45:59 in reply to Comment 63188

So because an innocent baby is created through force (I agree, that is evil), it then means the baby is evil as well and is deserving of being killed? Why not take something bad (violence) and turn it into something good (love)?

And forcibly remind the woman every time she looks at the child of her rape? That's up to her, not you.

Yes, if a baby has massive birth defects and it is 100% clear it won't survive, then it makes sense to remove the baby.

I agree. If a woman is almost certain to die from carrying a baby, then it makes more sense to save at least one life, rather than have both mother and child die.

At least there is some rationality here.

You're correct. If a person fights against abortion, but then doesn't ensure that babies are also cared for in the formative years, they are a hypocrite.

And you don't?

Funny, you never answered my questions, so here they are again...

1) Do you consider unborn children to be unique people, or are they simply part of the woman?

Until about 5 or 6 months, I don't think that they're truly individuals. Even so, I feel the rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the unborn child.

2) If you do consider them unique human beings, then what right does anyone have to attack those unborn human beings, especially if they aren't a medical threat to the woman?

What right do you have to force a woman to bear a child? Once pregnant does she become the property of the state?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2011 at 10:53:12 in reply to Comment 63121

What's far more important is the right of women to have sex without suffering the consequences that go along with such actions.

With this, you crossed the line into scarytown.

I can understand the basic right-to-life viewpoint. I get the logic there - if you see the foetus as a human being, abortion is murder... but the creepy way that so many conservatives seem to see pregnancy as some sort of justified punishment to women for being promiscuous is horrifying.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 14:06:29 in reply to Comment 63150

>> so many conservatives seem to see pregnancy as some sort of justified punishment to women for being promiscuous

I never mentioned the word "punishment", I said consequences, which according to the dictionary means this...

con·se·quence

1: a conclusion derived through logic : inference
2: something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions

If a person A wants to have sex, that's her right as a free person. But, if the result of those actions is to produce person B (unborn baby), it doesn't logically follow that person A can kill person B, just because person A regrets their initial decision.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 11:35:32 in reply to Comment 63150

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I didn't want to open the hornet's nest and derail the thread by replying to A Smith's horrifying comment, but let's face it, female voices are in the minority here at RTH, and it can get a little lonely sometimes. :) Thanks for stepping up and saying what needed to be said.

Not that I am claiming to speak for all women on this site. I know at least one regular contributor is pro-life and I have a great deal of respect for her position, but I think even she would be disturbed by the naked misogyny and devaluing of life behind the idea that babies are punishment for unauthorized sex.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 16:00:31 in reply to Comment 63154

Naked misogyny seems to have crawled out from under a rock lately in North America. It has gained 'legitimacy' in some circles as God's Will, & other bulletproof, Teflon coated, freedom of slur phrases.

If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

How many Right to Life groups support better child care, education, diet, & freedom from poverty for these children AFTER they are born?
Should I expect these same folks, (who strangely seem to be mostly male) actively supporting a better social safety net for the mothers, & the children that they want to demand be born?
They are strangely silent on these issues, except in their unconditional condemnation of the poor, locally as a drain on their tax dollars.

(universally,& globally the poorest of the poor are women & their children, & elderly women.)

I don't think that an affluent powerful Canadian has the right to tell to tell a rape victim who contracted HIV/AIDS during a gang rape in a 3rd world country what she should do about a pregnancy. It's Not his or her business unless that person personally is willing to Directly care for both the mother & adopt the child if she dies, or is unable to care for herself & her child. & Probably Not even then.

If you want to remove choices, please put your money were your mouth is, & support these children in life after their birth! A gift to a charity is not the same thing. Get working on solving poverty with your community & in the World at large. If you won't/can't do that, then Please SHUT UP!!

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 15:11:28 in reply to Comment 63154

>> I think even she would be disturbed by the naked misogyny and devaluing of life behind the idea that babies are punishment for unauthorized sex.

Funny how it was YOU guys/girls that brought up the idea of babies as "punishment", not me. I guess if that's the way you look at pregnancy, as some sort of weight/burden to be lifted off your back, it makes some twisted sense that you would support abortions.

But don't start claiming that you are the ones who LOVE women, when it is pro-choicers who condone the very killing of tens of thousands of unborn baby girls, every year across Canada. That's like Hitler criticizing the Allies because they didn't help the Jews sooner. Absolute garbage.

This is what abortion is...

Imagine a scenario where person A handcuffs themselves to person B, without first getting permission from person B. Then, as person A realizes that they don't have the key and will have to wait 9 months to be free from person B, they take a knife and chop off the hand of person B, freeing themselves, but in doing so, killing person B.

So to be clear, women should be allowed to have as much sex as they want, but they should NOT be allowed to kill other living things, which is what unborn babies are.

As for the moral tone that conservatives seem to put off, I agree that it is total hypocritical bullshit. We are ALL imperfect creatures, no one better or worse than another. So let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let's celebrate life and the women/young ladies who without which, none of us would be here today.

P.S. I love women. In fact, without women and their beautiful ways, life would not be worth living. So there.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 16:03:44 in reply to Comment 63170

ACK! Thank You, Maurice Chevalier!

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By stand fro women (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 12:34:18

Gee, only women are promiscious? What world of reality do these (men) come from.

Don't worry highwater, you are not alone.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2011 at 16:24:56 in reply to Comment 63162

Yup, Highwater, & SFW. We wanton, wayward Jezebels must stand together. :D
Ahh do believe Mistah Smith is givin' me tha vapours.
Please pass the smellin' salts.

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