Federal Election 2011: May Barred From Debates

Another Federal election and another disappointment for Canadian democracy.  Elizabeth May had been barred from joining the debates.  Instead we will have 4 men debate the future of Canada.

I think it is time Elections Canada took over the debate setup.  There should be clear rules of inclusion.  For example if your party is receiving federal financing based on the results of the last election then you should be allowed in.  Or any other rule, but something that parties can aim for and not the arbitrary decision of a closed door meeting.

Let your displeasure be known.

Demand democratic debates!

Ontario Green Energy Act

If you live in Ontario then I highly encourage you to check out  Green Energy Act and sign the petition.  The Ontario government is supposed to bring forward a new Energy Act later this month.  The hope is that the act will contain provisions for a much needed  transition of the electricity gird to support more renewable energy production at the local community level.  The act and subsequent follow through could help catapult Ontario to the forefront of green energy in North America.  We have a lot of catching up todo to countries in Europe but this could be a great first step.

Google Trends: Election 2008

Polls have become the addiction of the election world and I am hooked. After last nights debate I found myself scouring the web looking to see if there was any change. A few points shift here or there but nothing yet that indicates the debates had a major impact on the election.

So with polls not showing much I went looking for something else.  If you have yet to see Google Trends let me explain.  It allows you see graphs of what people are searching for on Google.  You can chart search terms against others, for example cat vs dog, and see the trend of searching over a period of time. You can even narrow it down to a specific country or region.  The amazing thing is the sample size compared to polls that usually only ask a few hundred people.

What can Google Trends tell us about the election?  Well take a look at the data that compares the 4 main national parties.  Interesting to see NDP and Greens well above Liberal and Conservative. Not really sure what it indicates.  Maybe people no less about the two smaller parties. The parties attract more young people then the other two, I figure more young people get there news via the internet then traditional sources.  It won’t probably help predict the winners but I find it interesting.

Google Trends: “Conservative Party”, “Liberal Party”, NDP, “Green Party”.

Google Trends: Harper, Dion, Layton, May.

Virtual Mudslinging

Well it seems that in just under 3 years the federal political parties in Canada have started to pay a lot more attention to their online campaigns.  In 2006 the Conservative Party of Canada pretty much copied the site from the Republican National Committee.

This election has seen a lot more online activity (mudslinging) from most of the parties.  Instead of putting everything on the national party sites there have been a horde of new sites created to showcase one issue or another.  Here is a list of some to check out.

  • sCandalpedia – Features a history of Conservative government scandals since 2006 with lots of focus on Harper.  An impressive list!  (Liberal Party of Canada)
  • Promise Breakers – A list of broken promises of Harper in B.C.  (Liberal Party of Canada)
  • Anything But Conservative – Danny Williams is not happy with the Harper government over some broken promises.  I think the site is interesting in that it is the provincial conservative party picking on its federal counterpart.
  • You Will Be Tricked – Tax, there is no other word that gets conservatives more worked up then this.  This site takes direct aim at the Liberal carbon tax plan.  (Conservative Party of Canada)
  • Not A Leader – This one goes right after Dion’s leadership.  Kind of reminds me of when the Liberals did the same thing to Stockwell Day. Site was made famous by the pooping puffin.  (Conservative Party of Canada)
  • Green Train – Well maybe the Greens are just too nice to get into the mud.  The site tracks May’s train tour of Canada.  (Green Party of Canada)
  • Democratic Debates – Probably one of the most successful sites so far this campaign – trying to get Green Party Leader into the debates.  Seems to have done its job.  (Green Party of Canada)

A second thing I have noticed is that the NDP seems to be buying up Google Adwords for the election.  On this sites’ political posts I have seen several NDP ads pop up.  Would be interesting to find out their return on this advertising expense.

I think it is too bad that the parties have spent so much effort in cutting each other down.  It would be nice to see a more adult debate on platform issues.  For example the Green Tax Shift – two parties have this in their platform – they obviously think that this will work and be good for Canada.  The Conservatives don’t share the same opinion but I have yet to see a detailed analysis on why they are so against it, “You will pay more!” does not cut it!

If you have found some other election related sites that are worth checking out then leave a comment with a link.