Canada’s Next Top Prime Minister: This just in – you’re boring us to death

The Huffington Post recently shared a video comparing the US Republican debate with the first Canadian leaders debate that aired on Thursday August 6, 2015. The video basically shows how well behaved and civil we are as compared to the shit shows that make up the top half of the Republican presidential nominees. Professional heatbag Donald Trump even announced at the very beginning of the debate that if one of the other hopefuls actually won the nomination he refused to say that he wouldn’t run as an independent. What. A. Douchebag.

The two debates were hilarious in their contrast. The US debate was set in some sort of football stadium with the candidates on a brightly lit stage with famous talk show hosts, and was assumedly adjudicated by an applause’o’meter borrowed from the Saved by the Bell set.

Then, there was the Canadian debate. Our host was respectable political editor for Maclean’s magazine, Paul Wells. There was neither cheering nor applause. The craziest thing that happened was Stephen Harper’s insistence on saying that the budget was balanced (which I suppose it is if you live in a glass cage of emotion instead of real life where the Parliamentary Budget Office suggests that Canada will run a deficit of $1.5 billion for 2015-16).

Where Stephen Harper lives with the balanced budget of his day dreams.

Where Stephen Harper lives with the balanced budget of his day dreams.

Anyway, while I was watching the YouTube video with the radical differences between our two elections I got to wondering whether we Canadians – especially young Canadians – would care more if our political sphere was more like an episode of Jersey Shore? In the last federal election, 38.8% of people in my then-age bracket voted. A further 45.5 of Canada’s 25-34 year-olds also voted. Our apathy knows no bounds.

So then, the question: would amping up our election into a reality television spectacle improve our impressively unimpressed voter turnout?

It wouldn’t be that hard. There’s Elizabeth May: super likeable hippie chick who accidentally got blitzed and gave a speech a few months ago but it turns out she’s actually completely bright and on point. Remember The OC? Elizabeth May is Summer from The OC.

Then there’s Father Christmas, Tom Mulcair, who literally had St. Nick’s twinkle in his eye during the debate. Who is the nicest person who was ever on television? I’d say it’s Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. That’s who Mulcair is except that also in a surprise turn of events Mulcair decided he was sick and tired of people saying this kinda stuff about him so when he announced his campaign he didn’t even take ONE question from reporters. He just dropped the mic and left the stage like Eminem at the end of Eight Mile.

Obviously the most interesting personalities involved in this year’s election are Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper who I’m sure have never actually been friends. BUT, let’s imagine that they were for one second. Come with me if you will, and let me tell you just how their twisted saga began.

Basically, Justin Trudeau (“JT”) and Stephen Harper (“Steve”) were on Big Brother (the original) together. They met on the first day and upon falling in a deep bromance (‘cuz don’t forget that opposites attract) they decided they would band together and form an alliance for all the voting and whatnot. And week after week they did…until week 6 when, suddenly and without warning, JT made a sneaky switch to The Hot Girl’s team and didn’t vote in concert with Steve. Steve got booted off the show that very same episode, and then JT went on to win the whole thing. So now, Steve really has it out for him.

And so now, in this extra long election season, Steve’s a bit mad. This could even be the real reason why Steve has decided that it would be appropriate to call JT the familiar “Justin” instead of Mr. Trudeau.

You can’t make this stuff up!

The new cast of Jersey Shore Photo: CBC

The new cast of Jersey Shore
Photo: CBC

May’s outstanding performance as cool and smart chick has made her the winner of Twitter momentum: she gained 3,300 new Twitter followers – more than any of the other parties. With that said, JT earned the spotlight of being discussed on Twitter. Quandary whether gaining followers or being tweeted about is the better postive indicator of Twitter success.

Try not to get too excited about your favourite new Twitter account though: May has not been invited to any of the following three debates, so the next chance you have to see a little head to head action about who should get voted out of the house will only be featuring The Boys.

Never fear though because the campaign is set to be 11 weeks long and that means lots of time for the four stars of this show to get all up in your faces. With Harper’s parade of new legislation, the ongoing debate about the oil sands and the pipelines, and what’s sure to amount to lots of name calling, the drama will be at its finest. I  think we’re set to see the best reality television since Flava Flav’s Flava of Love.

However, even without any of the foolish parody and I’ve set out above, this should be on your radar. Why? Why does it matter? Well it matters because you live here and you have an option to exercise some amount of control over your life. It matters because democracy – real democracy, with real votes and real outcomes – is one of the most beautiful social structures we have decided upon. And on a really practical level: it matters because we have to pay for it.

You may not yet be paying taxes, but believe this girl – who recently used up the last of her tuition credits – that you will, and that’s when it has the greatest potential to sting. Stephen Harper has been in power for an entire decade, which means that plenty of people who didn’t have to actually pay taxes when he went into power now pay them. How many of those people wouldn’t have voted for him? Don’t let someone else buy something on your behalf that you don’t like.

Not voting is like going on a first date with a person who orders your meal for you when you’re in the bathroom. When it comes out, you don’t like it. Don’t spend the next four years on a series of bad first dates accompanied by food you don’t like when you could have had something different. Vote. Vote. Vote.

Next week I’m going to review the new Fair Elections Act (and discuss the uber drama of non-Conservatives calling it the UNfair Elections Act) and tell you every nuance you need in order to make sure you get your say on October 19th.

Hey one last thing! If you liked this blog, make sure you follow me by clicking the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of your screen, or follow me on Instagram at emstockley or on Twitter at @EmsMaggie.


The main thing the 2015 election has me feeling: stop messing with my crap

With the upcoming election, I can tell based on my Facebook feed that people are irritated by what appears to be Harper’s absurd gimmick to win the election through effectively being the richest kid with the richest parents who can throw the biggest party at high school. I tried to put my finger on exactly how I felt about this. Am I mad that this pompous dude who’s been in power for a decade is being manipulative? Am I disappointed in all the people who are somehow nodding and smiling and telling him it’s a good idea? Am I embarrassed to be Canadian?

Nope. I’m none of these things. What I feel is possessive.

I feel like the rich kid in high school is in the process of making moves on my boyfriend, flashing all kinds of money and making promises of all the sweet, expensive booze that her rich parents have at her sweet, expensive house. And at what cost? None apparently! Only good things to come. Well, I’m feeling really possessive.

Stop messing with my crap.

Stop overcoming the airwaves with embarrassing negative advertising that is so passive aggressive it makes me purely aggressive with an urge to smash my radio.

Stop making up nonsense about your new child care benefits that are just cleverly worded because the reality is most everyone benefits less now.

Stop posing in this picture with this cat. I like cats. STOP MESSING WITH THE THINGS I LIKE.


Stop creating laws that are contrary to law and thus a waste of tax payer’s dollars and of the time that you could be productively working at Parliament. Stop making legislation that you know is contrary to the Charter, like Bill C-51, the new anti terrorism legislation. Did you know that this piece of legislation was only law for like five minutes before it had its very own Charter challenge? Has it crossed your mind, that in defending this Charter challenge a whole bunch more time, money and resources will be wasted?

And while we’re on the subject, have you considered that this Charter challenge will probably make it to the Supreme Court of Canada? And if you have, maybe you don’t know the statistics about just how difficult it is to get a matter in front of the highest Court in Canada. I know first hand, because I drafted an application for the Supreme Court and despite the fact that the case should have probably been heard, it got rejected. And now here you are, just messing with my crap again! Taking up time in courts left, right and centre. Can you just stop drafting Charter challenge centric legislation? Jeez b’y.

I like law. I like all the rights we are afforded under the Charter. I like thinking the Supreme Court might have time for a few civil matters. Stop messing with my crap!

I’m possessive about all of this stuff: cats, and laws, and the money that Canadians pay every year so they can have things like health care, reasonable law and policy, paved roads, education, fire stations, and parks. I hate to see you cleverly launching a campaign because you know you’re the richest kid in class and that you have this theory you can bulldoze your opponents.

Can’t you just be chill for a minute? Or on second thought, how about for 37 days more.