Canadian Election 2011: Post-mortem

Videos above by Fair Vote Canada, (First one general. Second one = 2008 election.)


The numbers (308 total seats)

2008 — Conservative 143, Liberal 77, BQ 49, NDP 37, Independent 2, Green 0

2011 — Conservative 167, NDP 102, Liberal 34, BQ 4, Green 1

If seats were won in proportion to votes cast:

2011 — Conservative 122, NDP 95, Liberal 59, BQ 19, Green 13


10 ridiculous facts about the 2011 Canadian federal election

  • Thanks to our flawed electoral system, 40% of the 61% of Canadians who voted (only 25% of all eligible voters) gave a majority mandate to a leader and party — the Stephen Harper-led Conservative regime — that had fallen because they were found in Contempt of Parliament.  A first in Canada, no government in the 54 member nations of British Commonwealth had ever been dealt such a conviction and it is without precedent in countries governed by a Westminster-style system.
  • Conservatives won 54% of seats (167, up from 122) with only 40% of the vote (5.83 million)
  • Opposition parties collected 60% of the vote (8.76 million), but were left with no official power
  • The Conservatives won just 2% more votes in 2011 than in 2008, but acquired 24 more seats
  • The Liberals lost 8% of their votes, but it cost them 43 of their 77 seats
  • A non-French speaking NDP candidate registered in a Quebec riding with no experience, who didn’t campaign, was not in the country during a key period of the election, and who had never set foot in the 98% French-speaking constituency, was elected!
  • With the exception of the Green Party, during the 6-week election campaign and 2 debates, there was almost no mention of the climate crisis, the energy crisis, or the Canadian oil/tar sands, the single most environmentally destructive and deadly greenhouse gas and hydrogen sulphide-emitting industrial project on Earth (Scroll further down for more info)


The need for Canada to transition from our current, antiquated, ‘first past the post’ voting system to one of proportional representation, the potential implementation of online voting, and maybe even a mandatory voting law


The bigger picture

Our political system is neither fair, proportionally representative, functional or effective and our consumption-based economics are rapacious, oppressive, destructive and suicidal.

Many feel a non-vote is a valid and important statement of disillusionment, disenfranchisement, resistance or refusal to participate in, perpetuate, lend legitimacy to or tolerate the predominance
of our growth and profit-obsessed, ‘business as usual’ status quo.

And no Canadian political party’s platform proposes anything close to the emergency action at emergency speed necessary to attempt to preserve a livable future for our kids because actual science-based responses to the climate crisis cannot be achieved without a radical transformation away from inequitable, unsustainable growth.

Noam Chomsky put it well in the final paragraph of a speech he gave in September, 2010:

“…the only potential counterweight to all of this is some very substantial popular movement which is not just going to call for putting solar panels on your roof, though it’s a good thing to do, but it’s going to have to dismantle an entire sociological, cultural, economic, and ideological structure which is just driving us to disaster. It’s not a small task, but it’s a task that had better be undertaken, and probably pretty quickly, or it’s going to be too late.”


The climate crisis

Our shared atmosphere is on an accelerating course to reach a state of potentially unsurvivable, runaway climate extremes during the lives of today’s children. Only emergency international action at emergency speed *may be* proportional enough to confront the scale, scope and urgency of what is already the greatest crime against humanity, most life and most future life ever (Climate Change Human Impact Report).

Canada’s oil/tar sands

(Alberta) Tar sands ‘development’ targets a total area the size of Florida and decimates huge expanses of boreal forest into toxic wasteland in violation of the traditional land and water rights of Indigenous peoples and other frontline communities who suffer direct threats to their health.

The insane, resource intensive and rapacious extraction process causes 3 to 5 times more global heating emissions than conventional oil and requires 2 to 5 barrels of fresh water, a soon-to-be-scarce resource in a climate threatened world, to make just 1 barrel of oil.

The tar sands are the largest source of projected new greenhouse gas pollution in Canada and most of the production is exported to the U.S. to fuel its heroin-like addiction to oil.

This ‘arrangement’ is the primary reason why the current Canadian government is a major obstructer at international climate negotiations and a shameful embarrassment to our nation.

Perhaps worst of all, investment into projects like the tar sands are massive obstacles that delay humanity’s one-time chance to initiate emergency global investment in, and urgent transformation to, a clean, survivable, zero-carbon world before the rapid approach of irreversible climate tipping points are passed.



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