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Forums - Politics Discussion - Holy shit, Canada's having an election! But why?

I mean they basically agree on everything anyway, so what's the point?

Seriously, I was recommended a live cast of the English-language federal leaders' debate the other day...

...and what stuck out to me the most was the uniformity of opinion among them. With the sole exception of the Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, all the other candidates are essentially running on variations of the governing Liberal Party's program: scaled-up versions were offered by Jagmeet Singh of the New Democrats and Annamie Paul of the Greens while a scaled-down version was offered by Conservative leader Erin O'Toole. The baseline program on offer though seems to be the same across the board for all Canadian parties. Nobody's atually offering a different program. Except Blanchet on behalf of the Bloc. But that's because he represents Quebec, which, as of June 16th, is now officially recognized as a separate nation, no longer considered simply a province of Canada. He's not even seeking to be the Prime Minister of Canada like the rest of them; he's there simply to advocate for Quebec's national interests within the federal framework.

As I watched this debate, Blanchet quickly emerged as my favorite of the leaders precisely because he was the one who dared to be different. Since English isn't first language, he sometimes struggled to translate his thoughts and accordingly had a very plain manner of speaking that was actually usually much easier to follow than how the other leaders (especially the polished bureaucrats of the bigger parties) communicated, IMO. I liked his simple, straightforward presentation of what struck me as a moderate, common sense kind of worldview within the framework of his distinctive goals. I didn't agree with his stance on just everything, but he came off to me as a human being, not a robotic ideologue.

Because the Bloc's program stands out for not being socially liberal across the board, Blanchet, and frankly Quebec as a whole by proxy, faced breathtakingly blatant political discrimination and marginalization from multiple presenters (which he called out) on a level that honestly shocked me. Right off the bat, the very first question directed at Blanchet was...

"Mr. Blanchet, to you: You deny that Quebec has problems with racism, yet you defend legislation such as Bills 96 and 21 which marginalize religious minorities, Anglophones and Allophones. Quebec is recognized as a distinct society, but for those outside the province, please help them understand why your party also supports these discriminatory laws?"

For perspective, Bill 96 is a local proposition applicable only to Quebec that seeks to equalize the treatment of the French language, which prevails in Quebec, therein by banning most large and medium-sized businesses in Quebec from offering services exclusively in other languages (such as English, for example; the prevailing language in Canada). Bill 21 is a local Quebec bill that prohibits government employees from wearing ostentatious religious symbols (such as giant cross necklaces, burqas, or turbans) while on the job. These are the "discriminatory laws" of which the presenter spoke. The query forced Blanchet to remind the presenter that his was officially recognized as a nation and not a "distinct society", whatever that means; not a mere province of Canada, and also to rebuke the notion that Quebecers are collectively racists for overwhelmingly supporting laws preserving their common language against English encroachment from without and the local separation of church and state. I found the boundless obnoxiousness of this kind of official wokeness, and the ironic utilization of it to justify transparent Canadian national chauvinism, absolutely insufferable, and so apparently did the people of Quebec, as by the following morning the Premier of Quebec had requested an apology and the leaders of Canada's two main parties, Trudeau and O'Toole, had both made public statements denouncing the notion that Quebecers are collectively racists. (Notably, Trudeau and O'Toole waited until the following day to offer solidarity, as if to perhaps gauge the public response first before deciding their opinion. ) Anyway, this was the kind of treatment that he, and Quebec, received broadly, and it continued even in the CBC's post-debate coverage later in the evening, in which I noticed that Blanchet was scarcely mentioned and de-contextualized the one time his partication was even brought up. There is indeed a bigoted nation here, but it's not the historically colonized, and apparently still marginalized, Quebec.

To my immense satisfaction, Mr. Blanchet did force an opportunity to briefly but specifically defend Bill 21 eventually, and had this to say of it: "Quebec wants religion out of the state affairs because religion never protected equality for women, and..never..will." Truer words were never spoken and I never thought I'd see the day that someone would have the audacity to speak that kind of controversial truth in a debate of party leaders for any country! Ask the women of Afghanistan if they feel liberated by the burqa, for example. Many women are forced by their husbands to conceal every inch of their bodies for shame of being female like that and might frankly find something like Bill 21 a nice excuse they can throw back to avoid doing so for at least part of their day. Either way, it's not the message to young girls and women that the state should be supporting. I like and respect the secularism of majority French-speaking countries like France and Quebec. Detractors will speak of discrimination against beliefs, but they'll never say a thing about the way those beliefs discriminate against actual people; namely women. People matter more than opinions, and especially groundless ones. For the daring frankness of this take alone, I'd support Blanchet's party in a heartbeat were I a Quebecer, personally.

Blanchet's perspective as the representative of a traditionally marginalized nation I felt became especially valuable when the treatment of indigenous nations was brought up. In response to an 18-year-old Ojibway first-time voter who asked all the leaders what they'll do to rebuild trust between his people and the federal government after 150 years of broken promises, Blanchet offered this clearly heartfelt opinion:

"Your question is quite moving. I would say that no one is entitled to tell any nation what to do or what to think and that every nation has to be recognized as such. Either [he meant 'whether'] it is a nation of 300 [indigenous] people like there is in Quebec or 8-million-people nation like Quebec is, it calls for a relationship between equals. It calls for a relationship in which nobody tells the other party that they are stronger, bigger, richer, and therefore you will do as you are told, even if we say it politely, and first you provide clean water to everybody."

I found it quite powerful and a perspective born out of the kind of indisputable sincerity that could only come from someone in his position vis-a-vis the nation of Canada. Even if other leaders had spoken the exact same words, the impact wouldn't, and couldn't, have been the same. In fact, all of his remarks on the subject of first nations, even beyond these, seemed the most spot-on of all.

I hope Blanchet's party does well in Quebec (which is the only place they campaign for obvious reasons). He comes off to me as an honest and straightforward person and offered a breath of fresh air from the predictable plastic phrases, political correctness, and generic styles and attack lines of the rest. Beyond that, I don't think I care what the outcome of this election is.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 12 September 2021

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Bad time for an election imo.

The 'debate' on TV was a mess. I'm planning to abstain, not worth the risk to go vote. None really speak to me, none really stand out as bad to me. Just Erin O' Toole keeps sending me letters how bad Trudeau is lol. That's basically all I got from the election campaigns, Trudeau is bad. No clue what they want to do what's so different? (Not that I'm a fan of Trudeau).

Anyway I agree with Blanchet, but I live in Ontario.



The reason why the national party candidates all sound the same is because these four parties all have the same globalist controllers. They are shoots of the same tree. The BQ can be a little different because they aren't really a threat to anybody and mostly serves to split the conservative vote in Quebec which works in the interest of the ruling liberal elite in Canada despite the fact that the BQ doesn't always toe the establishment line. This election is all about giving the people the illusion of choice while not doing anything to derail Trudeau's Great Reset targets set by the UN and the multinational banks. The one national party that actually stands for something unique, the PPC, was barred from the debates this year despite polling around 10% nationally which is higher than the BQ and Greens. Original thinking has always been a threat to authoritarianism.

Last edited by Illusion - on 11 September 2021

Illusion said:

The reason why the national party candidates all sound the same is because these four parties all have the same globalist controllers. They are shoots of the same tree. The BQ can be a little different because they aren't really a threat to anybody and mostly serves to split the conservative vote in Quebec which works in the interest of the ruling liberal elite in Canada despite the fact that the BQ doesn't always toe the establishment line. This election is all about giving the people the illusion of choice while not doing anything to derail Trudeau's Great Reset targets set by the UN and the multinational banks. The one national party that actually stands for something unique, the PPC, was barred from the debates this year despite polling around 10% nationally which is higher than the BQ and Greens. Original thinking has always been a threat to authoritarianism.

I'm am American and I don't know just everything about how Canadian politics work, but it's been my understanding that a party has to be represented by at least one member of the parliament in order to participate in these leader debates; the case being that the lone People's Party of Canada MP was defeated in the 2019 election? Or do I misunderstand how the system works?

Anyway, conservative vote? There is no conservative vote in Quebec per se. As in other marginalized nations like Scotland, Quebec's politics break down more along nationalist vs. federalist lines than along a conventional left-to-right spectrum. The Bloc is a Quebec nationalist party. The country's federalists are just called the Liberal Party; the same party governing Canada at present.

Hoooo boy do I remember that 2019 leaders' debate that PPC leader Canadian Donald Trump Maxime Bernier participated in! I couldn't forget Bernier's role because his monumental ego compelled him to interrupted everyone else so constantly that he got like the majority of the air time despite being only one of six leaders on the stage. Blanchet was my favorite participant in that debate as well and the differences between the two of them really highlighted how different in nature Quebec nationalism is from Canadian nationalism. Namely, Bernier's hostility toward Quebec sovereignty really brought that home for me more than anything else. Blanchet considers all nations to be equals  and seeks out an equitable relationship with Canada, while Bernier rejected the idea that Quebec is a nation at all and wanted it politically and culturally subordinated to Canada in every way possible. "Original thinking!" Too bad for him that he lost his seat in that election and that the Canadian parliament has since come to officially recognize the nationhood of Quebec.

As to Quebec's ostensible irrelevance, I would note that it's pretty tough for any party to get a majority of parliamentary seats without holding a substantial number of seats in Quebec. The Bloc's entire purpose is to ensure that each government is a minority one, as this situation gives the Bloc, and therefore Quebec, maximum leverage to advocate for their own interests.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 11 September 2021

Jaicee said:

I'm am American and I don't know just everything about how Canadian politics work, but it's been my understanding that a party has to be represented by at least one member of the parliament in order to participate in these leader debates; the case being that the lone People's Party of Canada MP was defeated in the 2019 election? Or do I misunderstand how the system works?

Anyway, conservative vote? There is no conservative vote in Quebec per se. As in other marginalized nations like Scotland, Quebec's politics break down more along nationalist vs. federalist lines than along a conventional left-to-right spectrum. The Bloc is a Quebec nationalist party. The country's federalists are just called the Liberal Party; the same party governing Canada at present.

Hoooo boy do I remember that 2019 leaders' debate that PPC leader Canadian Donald Trump Maxime Bernier participated in! I couldn't forget Bernier's role because his monumental ego compelled him to interrupted everyone else so constantly that he got like the majority of the air time despite being only one of six leaders on the stage. Blanchet was my favorite participant in that debate as well and the differences between the two of them really highlighted how different in nature Quebec nationalism is from Canadian nationalism. Namely, Bernier's hostility toward Quebec sovereignty really brought that home for me more than anything else. Blanchet considers all nations to be equals  and seeks out an equitable relationship with Canada, while Bernier rejected the idea that Quebec is a nation at all and wanted it politically and culturally subordinated to Canada in every way possible. "Original thinking!" Too bad for him that he lost his seat in that election and that the Canadian parliament has since come to officially recognize the nationhood of Quebec.

Quebec has a solid 10-15 ridings that usually go conservative each election in suburbia in and around Quebec City.  Liberals win a tsunami of seats in the mega population centre of Montreal where they are unchallenged and so usually only a minority of seats get scooped up by the cons and BQ in the more rural areas and in Quebec City.  There is some correlation between Quebec sovereignty and Canadian conservatism but you are right that Quebec has its own unique brand.  Conservatives like Brian Mulroney won massive majorities in Quebec in the 80's by tapping into this sovereignty.  Harper tried this as well back in 2006 when he declared Quebec a "nation within a nation" but it didn't pay off as much.  Quebec can be tough to figure out though because 10 years ago almost the whole province pivoted on a dime and voted NDP on the basis of a very popular leader who had a very strong debate performance.  Outside of this one election, the NDP have done dismally in that province.

Bernier is definitely hostile towards separatism and this does put him a bit at odds with potential supporters both in Quebec as well as within Alberta as both of these provinces have significant separatist movements.  It probably actually hurts him quite a bit in Alberta as there is a very strong growing separatist sentiment there but no national parties to occupy that space.  It might be the difference between him winning a seat vs not in the rural parts of that province.  That said, I do appreciate a politician who is willing to stand on principles when caving could give an immediate payoff, even if I don't agree with the position.

I don't remember Bernier's ego or him getting the majority of debate time.  Actually, I thought his poor English skills really hurt him in that debate and his performance was a bit forgettable.  It would have been interesting to see how much he could have improved on that this time.  The PPC really should be an Alberta/Sask centered party because outside of Bernier's home riding of Beauce, the PPC doesn't have a hope in Quebec.  Some recent polls show the PPC scratching at 20% in Alberta which is unprecedented.

My issue with the PPC ban from the debate is the poll numbers.  Bernier was invited in 2019 at a time when the PPC also had not won any seats either (he won his own seat sitting as a CPC member but left the party between elections and formed the PPC) and the PPC was polling at like 3%.  Honestly, the PPC probably shouldn't have been invited in 2019 but it made sense for the liberal dominated media to do so because his presence could help split the vote with the CPC and let the libs inch out a very tight election.  That said, in 2021 he is polling more than twice as high as he did before and there is considerable evidence of major momentum behind the PPC right now.  The reason for both the PPC surge and his absence from the debates is the same:  policies of the 4 major parties such as mandatory vaccine passports to go to work, etc is clearly coming from some very powerful controllers that are sitting in shadows and pulling the strings and this is turning a lot of people off.  In 2021, people are seriously looking at rejecting globalist policies which wasn't an issue in 2019 or really any time before that in Canada in the last 50 years.  Bernier is now a real voice of change who can finally do some damage to the New World Order agenda in Canada and that makes him too dangerous to attend the debates.

Last edited by Illusion - on 12 September 2021

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SvennoJ said:

Bad time for an election imo.

The 'debate' on TV was a mess. I'm planning to abstain, not worth the risk to go vote. None really speak to me, none really stand out as bad to me. Just Erin O' Toole keeps sending me letters how bad Trudeau is lol. That's basically all I got from the election campaigns, Trudeau is bad. No clue what they want to do what's so different? (Not that I'm a fan of Trudeau).

Anyway I agree with Blanchet, but I live in Ontario.

I figured this was the likely way the Cons would market themselves. By not marketing themselves. They're taking a page from what the Dems did in the last U.S. election. Which is don't vote for who's in power now because they're horrible, and since the next choice is almost certainly us, well...

Canada overall, especially due to the big city pop, is quite liberal, so the Cons can't present what you'd expect from a Con platform because they'd never stand a chance of winning today. Unless they win and do a 180, which is possible though seems unlikely, I don't see things changing all that much.

Polls show O'Toole ahead by enough for a probable minority right now, but my gut ain't so sure about that. Liberal people have become a little more quiet as right wing and populist politics have gained in popularity over the last while. Could end up a silent majority 2016 U.S. type election maybe.

All I know is, if O'Toole wins, there needs to be enough change or it'll go straight back to the Libs next time around with whoever they run. I'm far from confident that change will happen. Many people around here aren't and it wouldn't surprise me if turnout is low.

As mentioned in another thread not long ago, it only makes sense to me that the Libs wanted the election now because they think things are headed terribly south in the next year or two and don't want to have to deal with it. If the Cons get stuck with whatever that might be, it'll be an easy wins for the Libs next time assuming the Cons can't execute and adapt.



EricHiggin said:

I figured this was the likely way the Cons would market themselves. By not marketing themselves. They're taking a page from what the Dems did in the last U.S. election. Which is don't vote for who's in power now because they're horrible, and since the next choice is almost certainly us, well...

Canada overall, especially due to the big city pop, is quite liberal, so the Cons can't present what you'd expect from a Con platform because they'd never stand a chance of winning today. Unless they win and do a 180, which is possible though seems unlikely, I don't see things changing all that much.

Polls show O'Toole ahead by enough for a probable minority right now, but my gut ain't so sure about that. Liberal people have become a little more quiet as right wing and populist politics have gained in popularity over the last while. Could end up a silent majority 2016 U.S. type election maybe.

All I know is, if O'Toole wins, there needs to be enough change or it'll go straight back to the Libs next time around with whoever they run. I'm far from confident that change will happen. Many people around here aren't and it wouldn't surprise me if turnout is low.

As mentioned in another thread not long ago, it only makes sense to me that the Libs wanted the election now because they think things are headed terribly south in the next year or two and don't want to have to deal with it. If the Cons get stuck with whatever that might be, it'll be an easy wins for the Libs next time assuming the Cons can't execute and adapt.

It's an inherent problem with bringing change. It takes a while. 'Canada's 10 year recovery plan' spans 3 terms in government. The start of change is always hard, the benefits come at the end. People aren't patient, can't see the big picture and only see the inconveniences at the start, and we're back to the other 'side' undoing everything again.

Ha, yes, the elections do kinda of feel like a hand off. Here you can deal with the current mess, we'll be back next term...

Canada’s net debt is now over $1 trillion for the first time ever, after a $354 billion deficit for the pandemic year just over. It is expected to keep climbing with deficits of nearly $155 billion this year, and $60 billion in 2022-23.

Government Debt to GDP in Canada is expected to reach 120.00 percent of GDP by the end of 2021, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations.

This pandemic made a big mess and it will take a long time to clean it all up.



Illusion said:

Quebec has a solid 10-15 ridings that usually go conservative each election in suburbia in and around Quebec City.  Liberals win a tsunami of seats in the mega population centre of Montreal where they are unchallenged and so usually only a minority of seats get scooped up by the cons and BQ in the more rural areas and in Quebec City.  There is some correlation between Quebec sovereignty and Canadian conservatism but you are right that Quebec has its own unique brand.  Conservatives like Brian Mulroney won massive majorities in Quebec in the 80's by tapping into this sovereignty.  Harper tried this as well back in 2006 when he declared Quebec a "nation within a nation" but it didn't pay off as much.  Quebec can be tough to figure out though because 10 years ago almost the whole province pivoted on a dime and voted NDP on the basis of a very popular leader who had a very strong debate performance.  Outside of this one election, the NDP have done dismally in that province.

Bernier is definitely hostile towards separatism and this does put him a bit at odds with potential supporters both in Quebec as well as within Alberta as both of these provinces have significant separatist movements.  It probably actually hurts him quite a bit in Alberta as there is a very strong growing separatist sentiment there but no national parties to occupy that space.  It might be the difference between him winning a seat vs not in the rural parts of that province.  That said, I do appreciate a politician who is willing to stand on principles when caving could give an immediate payoff, even if I don't agree with the position.

I don't remember Bernier's ego or him getting the majority of debate time.  Actually, I thought his poor English skills really hurt him in that debate and his performance was a bit forgettable.  It would have been interesting to see how much he could have improved on that this time.  The PPC really should be an Alberta/Sask centered party because outside of Bernier's home riding of Beauce, the PPC doesn't have a hope in Quebec.  Some recent polls show the PPC scratching at 20% in Alberta which is unprecedented.

My issue with the PPC ban from the debate is the poll numbers.  Bernier was invited in 2019 at a time when the PPC also had not won any seats either (he won his own seat sitting as a CPC member but left the party between elections and formed the PPC) and the PPC was polling at like 3%.  Honestly, the PPC probably shouldn't have been invited in 2019 but it made sense for the liberal dominated media to do so because his presence could help split the vote with the CPC and let the libs inch out a very tight election.  That said, in 2021 he is polling more than twice as high as he did before and there is considerable evidence of major momentum behind the PPC right now.  The reason for both the PPC surge and his absence from the debates is the same:  policies of the 4 major parties such as mandatory vaccine passports to go to work, etc is clearly coming from some very powerful controllers that are sitting in shadows and pulling the strings and this is turning a lot of people off.  In 2021, people are seriously looking at rejecting globalist policies which wasn't an issue in 2019 or really any time before that in Canada in the last 50 years.  Bernier is now a real voice of change who can finally do some damage to the New World Order agenda in Canada and that makes him too dangerous to attend the debates.

Concerning the internal dynamics of Quebec, I was referring to Quebec's internal politics. As you can see from the outcome of the most recent election thereto, sovereigntist parties currently hold 94 out of the 125 seats in Quebec's internal parliament and enjoy the cumulative support of more than 70% of the population. The only Canadian party that holds seats in Quebec's internal parliament is the Liberal Party, which is also the only federalist party with any seats. There is no domestic Conservative Party in Quebec; no party that wants to define itself more by right wing ideology than by sovereigntism.

The question in federal elections isn't whether Quebecers want national sovereignty (they clearly do, and that fact is persistent), it's how much of a priority they consider that to be as an issue at a given moment in time. Any Canadian party that wants to contest in Quebec will do better though to recognize and support its nationhood.

To understand the details, one should notice that there are Quebec sovereigntist parallels to all of Canada's parties (e.g. the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec = the Conservatives, Quebec Solidaire = the New Democrats, and the Parti Quebecois is a sovereigntist analogy to the Liberal Party), but the social liberal vote in Quebec is split between its sovereigntist faction (the Parti Quebecois) and its larger federalist faction (the Liberal Party), which is why the right-leaning Coalition currently prevails. Were the social liberals united on the issue of sovereignty, they would clearly dominate because there are more of them per capita in Quebec than in Canada. By contrast, the Coalition's support level simply parallels that of the Conservatives in Canada and Quebec Solidaire's support level likewise parallels that of the New Democrats in Canadian elections. That's the political composition: high support for liberal multiculturalism, but even broader and more unanimous support for national sovereignty, with some, but a finite amount of, overlap.

You're nonetheless right in the sense that nationalist parties in any country tend to have a somewhat socially conservative bent in that one is somewhat required to embrace the concept of national values. Concepts like national values can naturally run a bit contrary to the liberal ideal of multiculturalism, or at least position multiculturalism within stricter limits. To that end, it makes sense that the most dedicated nationalists would be social conservatives who live in rural areas and that liberal values would prevail more in urban centers. Softer nationalism that embraces multicultural values more though is common in all different kinds of places. It's not a coincidence that it's specifically Quebec's social liberals who lean toward federalism while the social conservatives and progressives alike are both one-sidedly pro-sovereignty. One could say, in this sense, that the Quebec nationalist (or most any nationalist) coalition demographically resembles Franklin Roosevelt's old, now-defunct New Deal coalition here in the U.S. in that it mainly revolves around politically uniting workers and farmers. The Bloc Quebecois seeks to represent all of those people.

Anyway, there is definitely evidence that the People's Party has acquired a real base of support in this election that they just didn't have in 2019 and I suspect that as much is owed to...

1) The coronavirus being an issue in this election, unlike in 2019. There is no pro-Covid party other than the PPC in Canada, so the minority of the population that opposes vaccines and such needs somewhere to go and they can't look to Conservative leader Erin O'Toole to back their position. Being an American, I'm fully aware that that's likely a significant chunk of the population, albeit definitely a minority. That and...

2) Exclusion from the debates. Maxime Bernier was terrible at defending his positions in 2019 and having to on a national debate stage definitely hurt him (he lost his re-election bid) and his party as a whole in a way that caused most of its supporters to abandon it for the Conservative Party when it came time to actually vote. I'm actually kind of with you on the merits of including the People's Party leader in these debates for that reason. Exclusion from the debates has allowed the PPC to claim social cancellation and persecution instead of having to defend their unpopular "populist" positions, which they're terrible at doing. The BQ isn't really a good comparison here considering that they only contest in Quebec for obvious reasons and currently hold 32 seats in the federal parliament, which is out of Quebec's 78 total for perspective, while the People's Party of Canada is obviously supported pretty exclusively in a different country (Canada) wherein their support is spread out far more thinly across the much larger space they actually contest. However, in terms of popular support, you're right in that it's tough to explain the inclusion of Annamie Paul of the Green Party in these debates while PPC, which currently polls about twice as well, enjoys no representation. (Paul is proving to be no Elizabeth May and her pick as the new Green leader expresses a recent shift into unpopular wokeness territory that runs parallel to the New Democratic Party's analogous, and analogously unpopular, shift toward concerning itself only with the opinions the youth. To this end, the Greens so far are so far only polling about half as well as in the 2019 election.)

As to my characterization of Bernier's debate style, I linked to the 2019 debate I was referencing in my previous post, so you can judge for yourself. It's impossible not to notice how much time allotted to other leaders he manages to absorb through constant interruptions and trying to talk over other people. I believe normal people found his disproportionate aggressiveness off-putting. I know I sure did. He was just a Trump-like person who behaved like his American idol.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 12 September 2021

I wonder when they're going to deal with this?



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

The one who had a different opinion about forced vaccination was Maxime Bernier of the PPC, and he was refused from the debate you posted.

So make of that whatever you think is a logical conclusion.

I also kind of find it a bit unkind to put into doubt the purpose of a democratic election process in Canada, I as a canadian voter take offense, and was proud to cast my vote.

You can however put into question why the leaders all have the same opinion on what to me are fundamental matters, that I will support allll the way.