Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Change Is In The Air

                                            http://www.threehundredeight.com/

The Harperites won both by-elections yesterday. But it's instructive to focus on the number of eligible voters who tramped to the polls. In Oshawa-Whity, only 30% of those who could vote bothered to vote. But in Yellowhead -- that Tory stronghold -- only 15% of eligible voters bothered to show up.

The big shift came in Oshawa, where the Liberals tripled their numbers. Tasha Kheiriddin writes:

They didn’t win, but they increased their share of the vote in spectacular fashion. Caesar-Chavannes received over 13,000 votes, though only one third of eligible voters cast a ballot. In 2011, voter turnout was nearly twice as high — and only 9,000 souls voted Liberal. Impressive.

The NDP vote collapsed:

Their vote in Whitby-Oshawa declined by two-thirds from 2011, to a dismal eight per cent. Since they ran the same candidate, name recognition was not a factor — which means something else was. That could have been the anybody-but-CPC vote: Whitby-Oshawa has a sizeable chunk of union voters who should have been backing the NDP, but they may have switched their allegiance to the candidate they thought could upset the Tories — ie, the Liberal. 

Last time around, Stephen Harper won his majority by dividing the opposition. And, if there is any lesson to be taken from Oshawa, it's that the opposition now refuses to be divided.

Change is in the air.


18 comments:

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Yes Owen and it feels good.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope that what happened yesterday, Pam, is an omen of things to come.

Toby said...

The way I read it is that not many bothered to vote and, of those that did, the Conservatives won. I don't see much change in that.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Toby, that low voter turn out has been the secret to their success. Likewise, dividing the opposition among a meager number of voters has put them where they are.

But, if the Conservatives can no longer count on dividing the opposition -- and if the opposition focuses on getting voters to the polls -- my hunch is that Mr. Harper's days are numbered.

Toby said...

Owen, I know what you are saying but it's all if, if, if. We both know that if 100% of voters actually voted the political landscape would be different. So far, I see no encouraging change.

Owen Gray said...

What you're saying Toby is that we get the government we deserve. And I agree with you.

I'm speculating, though, that it may be dawning on Canadians that they deserve a better government than what they've got.

Anonymous said...

And, if they are afraid they won't win? They cheat.

Stopping in a pub that serves great lunches, this what a group of perhaps, University students were discussing. They said, Harper cheated three times to win his elections. I only knew of two?

They said, Harper, Ex BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Premier Christy Clark, all cheated to win and there they stay in government. One said he won't waste his gas money, to even go and vote. Nothing is ever done about the corruption and cheating to win.

I have toned down the language, quite a lot. They mentioned a web site, SHD. The younger generation certainly despise Harper.

Owen Gray said...

There is hope that the young will change things, Anon -- if they go to the polls.

mogs moglio said...

Anon 2:20 then they should go out and vote in numbers enough to sink this con party forever...

Owen Gray said...

And that's precisely the problem, Mogs -- getting those who don't vote to show up and cast a ballot.

Toby said...

Owen said, "There is hope that the young will change things, Anon -- if they go to the polls."

There's that "if" again. I keep hearing young people complain that voting accomplishes nothing and they are too busy working and raising kids to pay attention to politics. While I disagree with them I can understand their cynicism.

We may be on the cusp of a different way of governance, one in which voting is subservient to commercial interests. It all looks Orwellian to me but the kids say it won't make any difference at all.

Owen Gray said...

If the kids have given up, Toby, we really are doomed.

Steve said...

NDP still got 8% of the vote, close to enough to make yesterday a win for the Liberals.

Owen Gray said...

The progressive vote has always outnumbered the Conservative vote, Steve. Unfortunately, progressives have had trouble uniting against a common enemy.

Lulymay said...

Owen, my granddaughter is 24 years old and votes in all elections as her parents have taught her this is one of the responsibilities of an adult citizen in Canada. I asked her if any of her friends vote and her answer was a definite NO. They do not watch TV news (and I can hardly blame them for that as I have gotten tired of having 'dog' stories rank 2nd or 3rd in importance myself).

However, I think a huge difference in both the boomers and their kids is that most born earlier, they never experienced having the males in their family off in a world war to defend our democracy. I was a 6 year old when my father came home from WW2 and I did not know who this man was walking down our driveway with a rucksack on his back. In fact, there were no men his age in my neighbourhood until the war ended - they were all overseas, and many of my school friends' fathers never came back.

There aren't so many of us left now who had to deal with the real life devastation of the effects of having lost fathers and uncles in the defence of our freedoms. Our responsibility to vote was not based so much on ideology as it is today, but rather on not ever taking a chance on having Nazis in charge. Unfortunately, I think we are closer now to having fascist governments in control of our destiny than we have ever had in our short history as a country.

I think that these boomers and younger folks just don't get it and won't until they finally understand their democratic freedoms have gone the way of the dodo bird (too late).

Sorry to be so negative, but when I see who gets elected these days, I just can't help it.
Cheers.

Owen Gray said...

My dad was also a World War II vet, Lulymay. He always claimed that he survived because of "pure damned luck."

But he passed on the notion to me that our freedoms were bought at a terrible cost.

mogs moglio said...

LulyMay

Both my mom and dad fought in WWII and they rarely talked about it. Really they did not want to identify themselves with it, it was a not fun event.

I see Harper taking us down the wrong road that ultimately may lead to WWIII such a twit he is as well as his bow down cons...

Owen Gray said...

He'll spend money to glorify the War of 1812, Mogs. But when veterans come home from Afghanistan, he cuts services for them.