Federal Debates/Student Voting

(Kind of long post ahead) I am finally typing up this post on the debates with an election update. I had my Spanish exam last night (7 till 10 pm. Stupid exam times). It was hard because all those drugs from the surgery on Friday were impeding my ability to concentrate and so for about a good 30 mins I was planning what to do in case the 100+ students in the gym taking the exam with me we suddenly stuck inside due to horrendous weather and how we would survive. Anywho, time for politics:

Elizabeth May
On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, Canada held their political debates between the federal party leaders. (my post about the election here). Before the debates even began, there was controversy. 4/5 main federal parties were allowed to participate. The Green party, the smallest of them all, was excluded. Why? Because that party doesn’t have a seat in parliament. Despite receiving around 1 million votes in the last federal election, their lack of parliamentary representation did not allow them to participate. 
Some questioned why the Bloc Quebecois, a separatist party from Quebec, should be permitted to debate, seeing as they only have seats in Quebec and that’s where their interests lie. Others defended the Green party’s position that they have a significant number of votes and a female voice (the head of the Green party is a woman) may be needed. The leader, Elizabeth May, participated in the previous debate a few years ago and handled herself quite nicely.

The debaters
The Tuesday debate was in English. Although I have yet to watch it, it seems to have been entertaining, or so the media, my brother and my friends have said. Apparently Twitter was a buzz, with #db8 (or something like that) being the trending topic. (I don’t know if my terminology is correct since I don’t use Twitter.) I’ve heard barely anything on the actually politics, so much as one liners, insults, the PM’s behaviour and the set.
The NDP Leader Jack Layton seemed to have delivered the best performance, attacking the Conservatives and making his parties policies clear. The randomest line I heard of was one my brother told me about, by Liberal leader Iggy, on the controversial long gun registry. He said “Women get killed with long guns, short guns, they don’t care. All they know is they’re dead.” Random I know. I don’t even see how it’s relevant.

Kind of creepy right?
The prime minister’s behaviour was talked about everywhere. Instead of addressing his fellow debaters when answering a question, he looked into the cameras, as if he was talking to the Canadian people. I watched some of the French debate on Wednesday and he did it there too. It was weird and kind of creepy. I understand that you want it to seem like you are having a direct conversation with the audience, but you’re not. It just looked wrong and out of place. 
Lastly there was the issue of the set. It looked like something out of a bad 70’s game show. The colours ranged from dark grey to light grey and from orange to burnt sienna. Exciting. It was so drab and dreary and completely unnecessary. It is not very hard to find a suitable place to put four podiums, two moderators and an audience of 120 people. Go to any university, news studio, auditorium or theatre. Hopefully someone took note for next time.
I just read an article today about how some Americans have been taking note of what has been happening here; not so much on how it will affect the States, but rather our “antics”, if you will. The French debate was originally scheduled to be held on the Thursday, but was moved because of a Montreal Canadiens game. It was a smart choice because it was the first in the playoffs (I think) and since the French debate really is aimed at Quebec, and Montreal is in Quebec, they would have watched the game. Although apparently Americans should be taking note, because other parties besides the Conservatives, are taking aim at American energy imports and ways to decrease them. 
Also, there is a movement started by Canada’s favourite political comedian and ranter, Rick Mercer, to get students and youth to vote. And it seems to have been met with some success. I can say that I have seen many political debates and ideas, as well as groups and pages on Facebook to encourage people my age to sign up vote and become involved. We are not taken seriously as a political group and our needs are not met. I hope that will change and people will vote!
Election days is May 2nd and I still have not registered o_o. I completely forgot and now that it is Easter Weekend, I am not sure if I can, but I will be looking into that… Sorry this post is so long, but, have a good weekend 🙂  
Happy Easter/Passover/Earth Day/General over all day!!!

♥ Turtles

Rick’s last rant about voting
and a website that went viral about our PM: http://shitharperdid.ca.nyud.net/


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