As this election is kinda a big deal, I’ll try to do some light live-blogging from this post. Depending on the results, I may do a longer follow-up.
Until then, there’s a bazillion places to check the results. Even Google has gotten in on the action, though I recommend the CBC. Bear in mind that Canada is a huge country, spanning multiple timezones. In the past, it was a huge deal when the more-populous East would start posting final results while there were still many hours of voting left in the West. Don’t bother tuning in for results until 5pm MDT.
3:34 PM MDT: In short, things are going smoothly. From worst to least, here’s what I’ve heard of:
- Pre-marked ballots: a few reports of people being handed ballots which already have an “X” are coming in, I think totalling less than half a dozen. While not everyone’s said who the “X” was for, all the reports where that’s mentioned had it for the Conservative candidate.
- ID issues: Due to Conservative shenanigans, we have to present ID at the voting booth. In most cases a driver’s license is all you need, and the list of acceptable IDs is so broad that class issues don’t enter into it. Still, some people are being refused even with valid ID, or being told they need their registration card (they don’t, it’s not even considered ID).
- Polling Station Delays: A number of stations opened a hour or two late, apparently due to volunteers failing to turn up. Unfortunately, this effected at least one hotly contested riding.
- Election Signs Near Stations: Candidates aren’t supposed to do that. The Conservatives seem to be the worst offenders here, but I’ve seen Green Party signs where they shouldn’t be.
As bad as the above sounds, bear in mind we’ve got 66,000+ polling stations up here, no electronic voting machines, and unusually large turnout. We’re guaranteed to have some issues on election day, the real thing to look out for is systematic fraud.
So far, I don’t see any.
5:29 PM MDT: Pre-marked ballots are a bit of an issue, as apparently they’ve been spotted in eight districts. They’re a lousy way to cheat, though, as nearly all voters visually scan their ballot before marking it, they leave physical evidence behind, and are defeated by just asking for a new ballot. That can be a problem if the station is short on ballots, but the only issues I’ve seen there come from the North. So I’m not too worried by it, at worst it’ll just be the fourth election where the Conservatives broke election law.
Meanwhile, early results have started trickling in. They won’t say anything useful for the next hour or so; the Maritimes are the first to report in, and they’re a Liberal enclave.
6:48 PM MDT: The Liberals are doing a little better than expected, currently I see they’ve earned 28 seats while everyone else sits at zero. They were predicted to have 50% or so of the popular vote, yet they’re actually in the 60% range. The NDP are the biggest losers, so far, with a district they thought they had a lock on turning Liberal.
I’ve got a rant coming tonight, too.
7:10 PM MDT: The Election Canada site doesn’t allow sorting, so allow me. The Conservatives are freaking out about the numbers, and the NDP are pretty dour.
7:15 PM MDT: Yes, Canada has both a Communist Party and a Marxist-Leninist Party. Also, the Rhinoceros Party is a hoot.
8:10 PM MDT: All of the countries’ polls have closed, the vast majority for about 45 minutes. Both the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Global TV are calling it for the Liberals; whether minority or majority, they don’t know yet, but it’s leaning to majority. Much of their gain comes from leaching off NDP voters.
8:20 PM MDT: Whoops, bit of a correction: British Columbia is still voting. A few places I’m looking give Liberals a majority government (for instance Elections Canada says they’re leading or have won in 173 of the 170 seats they need), though the numbers will bounce around a bit. No media network has called it yet.
8:32 PM MDT: Global News just called a Liberal majority government. CBC is holding back, citing narrow margins in some ridings.
8:46 PM MDT: CBC has also called a Liberal majority. They cut to the Conservative HQ, and there was quite an echo. I’m most bummed about the NDP, though, I really wanted them as loyal opposition at worst or coalition partner at best. Ah well.
9:45PM MDT: I just listened to Mulcair, leader of the NDP, make his concession speech. It was excellent, even if he did launch a subtle dig at Trudeau. One thing that strikes me, though, is how progressive both the NDP and Liberals are. Mulcair was bragging about that the NDP had run more women and First Nation candidates than any Canadian party… ever. Meanwhile, the Liberals pledge “We will include an equal number of women and men in our Cabinet.”
It’s refreshing to hear. Oops, Stephen Harper is about to announce his resignation…
10:03PM MDT: Ok, Harper’s speech is over. He sounded like he was still on the campaign trail when he brought up fiscal conservatism and the military. “No regrets, we remain citizens of the best country on Earth.” Rah rah democracy. Rah rah family. “Please say a little prayer for our men in uniform.” No mention of his resignation in his speech, either, even though the Conservatives already sent out a press release about it. I felt he was giving all his opponents a verbal middle finger, denying them the satisfaction of hearing the words “I resign” or “Trudeau ran a good campaign.”
Blah, I’m pissed off I share a city with him.
Hmph, I’m not liking the start of Trudeau’s speech. Like Harper, he’s going straight to thanking his family while dithering on mentioning his opponents. On the plus side, he’s pointing out that he won without running a single attack ad, and is calling on the country to become politically active. And once he did get around to his opponents, especially Harper, he was quite gracious. “Conservatives aren’t our enemies, they’re our neighbours.” Trudeau also has positive words for Mulcair, too.
Now, though, he’s back to campaigning. Ugh. It’s not as bad as Harper’s speech, but it still grates on me. Yeah, a part of me loved his digs at creating a more open government, but the last third of his speech has just been talking point after talking point. Mulcair’s speech was so much better.
I did get a chuckle out of Global’s rolling headline, though: ‘Trudeau: “You can appeal to the better angles of our nature, and you can win while doing it.”‘