Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dear Dippers: What the fuck is wrong with you?


In the riding of Saanich -- Gulf Islands:

CPoC Gary Lunn: 27,988
Liberal Briony Penn: 25,367
Margin of victory: 2,621

Number of votes for withdrawn NDP candidate Julian West: 3,667.

Thanks, Dippers. Thanks ever so fucking much. Assholes.

LEARNED WELL FROM THEIR REPUBLICAN MASTERS, THEY HAVE. It's amusing to see how thoroughly Canada's conservatives have taken to the thuggish, sleazy election tactics of their ideological colleagues down south. Here's one of the GOP's favourite voter suppression tactics:

In Maryland's 2002 gubernatorial election, anonymous fliers were distributed in black neighborhoods in Baltimore gave voters the wrong date for Election Day and told them to be sure to [unnecessarily] pay parking tickets, overdue rent and outstanding warrants.

Why, yes, hit the electoral district with misleading information that will clearly benefit your candidate, and do it so close to election day that there's no way to counteract it. And how would that work up here? I'm glad you asked:

Automated phone calls urge vote for candidate who withdrew
Saanich-Gulf Islands residents targeted in apparent scam

A number of residents in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding received recorded telephone messages Monday, urging them to vote for NDP candidate Julian West - who left the race after controversy over a public-nudity incident 12 years ago.

Irene Wright, executive member of the NDP's federal riding association for Saanich-Gulf Islands, said Monday night night people started phoning her around 5 p.m. to say they had received an automated call encouraging them to vote for West in Tuesday's election.

And who would be responsible for such reprehensible tactics? Gosh, I don't know -- which party would be the only one to benefit from siphoning off Liberal votes to a non-existent NDP candidate in a tight race?

Think hard ... it'll come to you.

BONUS TRACK: The Onion weighs in.

35 comments:

Greg said...

After learning about the dirty tricks campaign, do you stand by your assholes comment?

CC said...

Dear Greg:

In the first place, I knew about the dirty tricks campaign before I wrote this post.

In the second place, how clueless do you have to be not to understand that your candidate withdrew three weeks ago?

Now, Greg, you were saying?

psa said...

seems to me that the dippers of the area need a good hard slap across the chops. but then, they aren't alone. canadians are awakening to the sort of government they deserve. after all, not only did reprehensible shit for brains gary lunn get reelected but so too did such stellar characters as tony clement, maxime bernier and helena guergis.

as for the dippers in saanich-gulf islands, what do you call people so blissfully stupid that they don't even know that the candidate they are voting for is withdrawn from the race? noble partisans? hopeless dreamers? i think you could safely go with assholes, ignorant assholes, dupes, rubes, goobers, lackwits or just plain old negligent fools.

Robert McClelland said...

Lots of voters don't vote for the local candidate. They vote for the party and many are probably not even aware of who their local candidate is.

Aside from that, do you think it's wise to continue widening the rift between liberals and dippers?

CC said...

So your defense, Robert, is that 3,667 NDP voters aren't assholes -- they're just so depressingly stupid that they didn't know that their candidate withdrew three weeks earlier?

Are you sure you want to go with that defense, Robert?

Mapo said...

Let's hope whoever is responsible goes to jail for this, the results are declared null and void, and a by-election is called.

thwap said...

mapo,

excellent point. The dippers might have been voting to give their party the $1.75 each for their vote.

Or they're clueless.

Anyway, they helped elect a Con.

Red Tory said...

I think Bob is waaaay off base here. We're quite legitimately entitled to be pissed off at the NDP slackwits that voted for a guy not even in the race. Might as well have voted for a dead guy. Oh wait... they did! Tommy Douglas! Or something. Grrrr.

Robert McClelland said...

It's not a defense, CC, it's simple reality. There are a group of voters in this country who pay very little attention to politics and only vote for a party. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if half of those 3,000 votes were cast by people who didn't know the NDP candidate had resigned. I also wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the other half of those votes were a great big fuck you to the Liberals.

JPV said...

I don't post often to this blog, but in this case, I have to disagree with you, CC.

Yes, it might have been better overall to have strategically voted for the Liberal candidate to trump the Conservative, but I can understand how some people didn't want to give the Liberals their vote.

I, for one, voted NDP because I believed in the party: I believed Layton would make a solid PM, but realistically, I was hoping for Leader of Opposition. I voted for an NDP candidate I honestly didn't know much about because, in our system, the only way our leaders become PM is if they get the most seats. Doesn't matter who's in them, just that they get them. That means to support Layton, I unfortunately have to support a relatively unknown candidate. Until we change the system, that we can vote for a local MP independently from our choice as PM, that's simply the way the cookie crumbles. I wanted to support the NDP regardless of the overall standings of the other candidates in my riding (my riding went overwhelmingly BQ anyway). Wasted vote? Perhaps. But I prefer having voted for my party than supporting one I don't.

Altogether, not as different as, say... voting for a losing Independent in a riding that flipped from "shoe-in" Lib to Con. In that case, said blogger in question did so because he believed in the politician. In my case, I voted because I believed in the party.

Perhaps a large majority of those Dippers in S-GI were dupped and voted for a candidate that had withdrawn unbeknownst to them. The only tragedy in that situation is an evidence of how uninformed people can be.

BUT, it is also possible that people simply wanted to have their vote register to the PARTY that they wanted to support. Unfortunately, there is no other way to support a PARTY unless you vote for the candidate representing that party in that riding... even if that candidate has withdrawn.

Námo Mandos said...

I'm not entirely sold on strategic voting, even in the face of a Con majority, and I might conceivably have been willing to vote for a withdrawn Dipper in full knowledge.

But yes, Robert is right. There's a very large segment of the public (possibly the majority) that doesn't really think about the local candidate or is even aware that local candidates exist or matter.

Red Tory said...

Well how sad is that?

Námo Mandos said...

Well, sad enough that I definitely believe in proportional representation, as I believe that that is the natural and correct state of affairs---that people care more about party platforms than which nobody (sorry) runs in which trivial riding.

EvilIncoherent said...

What I find crazy is these people who claim they refused to vote strategically because they prefer the policies of the NDP.

Does it really take that much of a brain to realize that a Harper government has absolutely no reason to include NDP in any policy discussion so long as they can confidence vote their way past a Liberal party busy bankrupting itself with a leadership convention?

On the other hand, a Liberal minority government, especially one with the leftist leanings of Dion, would have had to turn to the NDP to get policies passed, because you know damn well the conservatives have the money to vote down any confidence matter that comes up.

Instead, what these "principled" NDP voters have done is ensured that confidence voting will get their "conservative" agenda through undiluted, while the Liberal party retools back toward the right (having now experimented with a leftist slant and been told in no uncertain terms where that gets them)

Congrats Dips. Hope those extra seats at the kid's table were worth it. I imagine progressive voters will be trapped there for quite a few years now.

Námo Mandos said...

I was fortunate enough not to have to hold my nose, but blaming nonstrategic NDP voters is kind of like blaming Nader voters in the USA. It treats the conservative vote as static and principled, and takes the onus off the Liberal Party to, like, run a campaign or something.

The NDP has to run hard to sit still.

Frank Frink said...

Well, the conservative vote is pretty much static - an approximately 1.4% increase over 2006. There really is only ever going to be about 36% of the voting public who will vote Con with Harper at the helm.

The NDP isn't much better - a .72% increase over 2006. There is only ever going to be 18-19% who will vote NDP with Layton at the helm. And they're still going to be the fourth party in the house.

Leadership problems are right across all party lines. With the exception of Duceppe, sad to say.

Dion, Harper, Layton, May - none of them will ever inspire a majority of Canadians to vote for them. None. Ever.

Námo Mandos said...

By static, I meant, not amenable to a good campaign, with inspiring policies. A reasonable chunk of the 36% or whatever than went to the Cons was actually just people who swallowed the "stable leadership" drivel.

Like the people who inexplicably want a majority just as a matter of principle, or impatience, or something.

Greg said...

I would agree with you if I thought they did it deliberately, but I agree with Robert that many, many people in this country don't follow politics and yet they still vote. It really doesn't give me any comfort to admit that those people were ignorant as to make one cry, but to call them assholes is a bit OTT.

EvilIncoherent said...

namo: That's exactly it though. All the hard running -- I've heard this was their highest election spending ever, it certainly was their best campaign I've ever seen, I'll readily admit that -- coupled with dippers everywhere screaming "For the love of God don't vote strategically, look at our campaign, we can win this thing!" and yet their percentage of the vote increased less than a percentage point.

Why is that? Because Canadians don't believe that the NDP have real workable policies, regardless of how good their campaign is. And the unfortunate thing is, they'll continue to believe that so long as the NDP don't have any policy influence to let them demonstrate how NDP policies actually work to make Canada a better place.

Should the Liberals have run a better campaign? Damn straight. But their failure to do so means that, if the NDP really wanted to have any chance at being on the field, the NDP needed to help keep the ball out of the Conservative hands, rather than cheering on the Liberals getting tackled.

NDP keeping their eyes on the prize meant that they lost sight of the big picture. The big picture is getting the chance to show Canadians that NDP policies work.. something that ain't gonna happen under the Confidence Conservatives.

Námo Mandos said...

I'm sorry, but Liberal victories usually mean NDP irrelevance, politically. The Chrétien years demonstrated that. The NDP has never been more relevant than now. I have to keep reminding you, in swathes of the country, the NDP has a better chance of winning than the Liberals. This effect is not nearly as stark when the Liberals are strong.

It's not showing that NDP policies work that matters---it's showing that the NDP is a competent Parliamentary grouping. The strongest argument against the NDP has always been the Liberal argument that the NDP is not credible in Parliament.

Námo Mandos said...

The NDP kept a Quebec seat and knocked over Rahim Jaffer finally. It's hard to see how they could have done that if they tried to prop up the Liberals the way you seem to think they should have. And having no Quebec base has also been an argument against them. If the Cons hadn't made the blunder that rearranged the outcome in Quebec, the NDP may well have won more seats.

At the expense of the Liberals.

While strategic voting has independent merit (keeping the Cons out), your arguments don't make it sound like a strategy for actually growing the NDP.

Beijing York said...

I think there are many people who actually do vote for their local candidate while factoring what party they belong to. While in Nova Scotia, the local papers were much more focused on individual candidates, riding by riding, and editorials focused on whether one should vote for the best candidate or for representation at the cabinet table. So not everyone was taken in by this stupid US-style campaign of focusing on the leader.

Here in Winnipeg, media coverage was 80% focused on the leaders with very little attention paid to local candidates. In NS, candidates made time going door to door to meet constituents. Here, you'd be hard pressed to find many signs, brochures, phone calls or visits.

Someone in St. Boniface that I know voted Conservative because that candidate was the only one who courted her. The Harpercons kept their wing nut candidates on a short leash but put a lot of grass roots muscle in place on targeted ridings that they wanted to take from the Liberals.

As for the whole $1.75 excuse for being partisan at all costs, donate to the party if you're concerned about their future campaign chest.

Cameron Campbell said...

I have no problem with people voting how they believe, I don't like vote trading etc etc etc.

But to vote for someone who isn't in the race and then hand the riding to someone that should be your natural political enemy?

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Stimpson said...

One party of the business class or the other. Given that choice, my vote would be for neither.

sooey said...

Ugh. What's to like about the Liberals?

deBeauxOs said...

Lemme think ... could the MASSIVE wave of automated phone calls have originated from a small polling and marketing company in Manitoba?

Bob Smith said...

The belief of Liberal commentators that Liberal and NDP votes are interchangeable is simply not made out by the available evidence.

Extreme case in point, the riding of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission saw a drop in Liberal support of 7000 votes.

The Conservative candidate saw his support go up 7000 votes.

Wayne said...

The dippers are idiots, this could be common ground for a Conservative/Liberal coalition.

ch said...

Saanich is really irritating because the vote was so close and Lunn got back in. However, Durham was pretty sleazy too. There the missing NDP candidate, McKeever, got over 10% of the vote and people were complaining about all the NDP signs that went up after he withdrew. Elections Canada said it is not illegal for a withdrawn candidate to try to get votes, although if they win, there has to immediately be a by-election to select a real representative. In Durham, like Saanich, there were so many local news stories about McKeever so one would have to be quite ignorant to not know he had withdrawn.

There was a lot of bad NDP behavior, including trying to disrupt all the strategic voting sites all while happily accepting vote-swaps and strategic voting in ridings where the NDP candidate was favoured. A number of them were hammering away that E May was running third which was false. I didn't see Liberals trying to trash strategic voting while simultaneously trying to benefit from it.

janfromthebruce said...

Of course, Liberals like strategic voting, because it tends to mean vote liberal. I noticed on the strategic voting for liberal site, where the local race was being won by the NDP, and that so smart site said, you guessed it, vote liberal. Or where there was a tight race, and guess what, they said vote with your heart. Sorry, but strategic voting makes zombies of us all, and encourages voters to stay disconnected rather than encouraging them to be actively engaged. I prefer an informed citizen over "just vote the way the site says, do not ask questions, like lemmings going over the cliff."
I do want to respond to a "wrong statement made by a liberal leaning person who posted this:
"Why is that? Because Canadians don't believe that the NDP have real workable policies, regardless of how good their campaign is. And the unfortunate thing is, they'll continue to believe that so long as the NDP don't have any policy influence to let them demonstrate how NDP policies actually work to make Canada a better place.

Should the Liberals have run a better campaign? Damn straight. But their failure to do so means that, if the NDP really wanted to have any chance at being on the field, the NDP needed to help keep the ball out of the Conservative hands, rather than cheering on the Liberals getting tackled."

I suggest you look up most of the social policy created in this country and know that most of it came out of New Democratic Policy. Your ignorance or lack of historical social policy knowledge was quite apparent in that statement, which just verifies to me, why we need more New Democrats in the Commons, and less "self-serving Liberals."

I can understand your frustration with Penn losing and your over the top frustration. Take note in a much closer race, by about 200 votes, the NDP candidate in Saskatoon lost to a con. I do so hope that you rant at all those stupid liberal voters who voted liberal and didn't keep that vile Con out.
I'll be waiting for that subsequent post. I guess those liberals did not follow that mindless strategic voting site.

At least I know with this NDPer - Netty Weibe - that when she is elected, she will not be walking across the floor to sit as a "green" say, and using the "brand of the NDP" to get herself elected.
Has it ever crossed any of your minds that perhaps some of the good folks in Saanich-Gulf Islands riding had the "insider knowledge" that was Penn's game plan, and perhaps they just didn't think that was "doing politics different" and felt more uncomfortable rewarding "bait and switch" than having one more con who makes no difference in a minority situation.

I'll be waiting with baited breath for your rant post on Netty Weibe who lost by about 200 votes.

janfromthebruce said...

And I'm not done with your over the top rant at NDP voters in this riding. Let's compare 2008 results with 2006.
2008
Party Candidate Votes
Vote Share (%) Status
CON Gary Lunn 27,988, 43.43 Elected
LIB Briony Penn 25,367, 39.36
GRN Andrew Lewis 6,732, 10.45
NDP Julian West 3,667, 5.69
LTN Dale Leier 246, 0.38
WBP Patricia O'Brien 195, 0.30
CAP Jeremy Arney 139, 0.22
CHP Dan Moreau 114, 0.18

2006

Cand. Party Vote Count Vote Share
Gary Vincent Lunn CON 24416 37.15%
Jennifer Burgis NDP 17445 26.54%
Sheila Orr LIB 17144 26.09%
Andrew Lewis GRN 6533 9.94%
Patricia O'Brien WBP 183 0.28%

When comparing shift in voters, it appears that in fact the vast majority of NDP voters shifted to Penn. Remember Lewis angrily refused to earlier, citing "democracy." Good for him.
So most NDP voters, despite the fact that it was THEIR democratically nominated candidate who was "sandbagged" by the liberal Penn camp (on an already known story apparently) just when it was "too late" for any other NDPer to be nominated. How convenient.
So perhaps, just maybe some "in the know" NDP voters - "refused to reward this Republican style behaviour," and plumping the liberal vote, thus seeing this "scam" for what it really was. Small island politics!

Next, as we are all rational strategic voters here, did ONE SINGLE LIBERAL or GREEN candidate Choose* to Step Down IN ANY AREA WHERE it was THE NDP RUNNING THE CLOSEST to the CONS? Anyone?

*Choose, as in of their own free will, in accordance with the wishes of most of their constituent members.

The repair work necessary after all this in the BC environmental movement will take a long time - way to go liberals!

Beijing York said...

You don't think that Lind Duncan in Edmonton-Strathcona benefited from strategic voting? Who knows how many other NDP victories were effected my strategic voting grass roots movement.

janfromthebruce said...

You know Beijing, once of the false assumptions purported here is that NDP voters were the problem. How about the fact that those supposed "liberal voters" abandoned the liberal ship in droves and voted Tory. Why isn't CC ranting at his "own liberal voters"?
The truth of it,is no party owns any votes or voters, and thus votes must be earned and won and not taken for granted. Few people belong to any political party and thus there is much fluidity, as we saw with the liberal supposed voter bleeding into the cons. That's the real story that CC refuses to acknowledge - hence the creation of the "straw man argument."

It is this liberal sense of entitlement that creates "posts like this" that turn off the very voters liberals are trying to entice. It's just a turn off.

Linda Duncan won because she ran a clean campaign, used no dirty tricks, and won by hard work. Duncan's campaign sold Linda at the doorstep rather than selling "her out" in the backroom. Duncan and the campaign team recognized that "in order to win" one needs to run more than once, and do lots of building in the community between this and the previous election - again at the doorstep, and not in the backroom or bedroom of convenience and conniving.

As we get to see the entrails of this election, in the backrooms of the liberal party, they had already given the green shift the red shaft. So Penn in all her scheming brilliance, if elected, would have defected to the Greens, as planned. No matter, as stated here, "During the 37 days of the election campaign, Dion abandoned the Green Shift, the economy tanked and took over as the number one election issue. Talk of new or different tax schemes based on pollution ended up in the proper spot -- the recycling bin."
And with it, the soft liberal right side of the liberal vote flooded to the Cons.
How about those stupid liberal voters, don't they deserve a rant?

Personally, this kind of liberal "entitlement" just pushes that "progressive vote" one way.

janfromthebruce said...

Hmm, just got to love votefortheenvironment, I mean vote for liberal site.
I wonder if, in the case of South Shore - St. Margaret's, voteforenvironment.ca had anything to do with this stupid end result. Sure ignore the polls because beating cons is secondary to ensuring New Democrats don't win. A total Liberal crock.

Lore_Weaver said...

Briony Penn is an r-tard. Maybe the Liberals should run a viable candidate next time instead of some loon who thinks that the only way to get her point across is to sally around nekkid on a horse.

Why aren't you complaining about the 6,700 Green votes? Biased Much?

Try not to sound retarded when your being witty.