Since inception, the mission of The True North Times has been to provide witty and biting commentary to Canadians about the real issues facing our nation. In this election campaign, and approaching the second anniversary of our founding, we hope that we have succeeded thus far. In the spirit of our multi-partisan ownership, authorship, and readership, we decline to endorse a single party in this election, and instead wish to talk about what matters to us in this campaign, and in our democracy. With that, we would like to endorse:
1) Talking about the issues
This campaign, at 78 days, was fairly long by Canadian standards. Including the months of the summer when parliament was not in session and the campaign had unofficially begun, it certainly felt like it lasted forever. However, in that length, we had five debates, two in French and three in English, an improvement over the two in 2011 and 2008. Despite criticisms that Harper wanted to limit viewership for the debates, having five debates gave us more time to see the party leaders engaging, and allowed greater dialogue on crucial issues. It is regrettable that we did not have the women’s or environment debate that had been hinted at, but we should hope to see those in advance of the next election. In the end, abandoning the consortium was a success, and some have called Trudeau’s performance at the Munk debate a turning point in the campaign. Even if you didn’t like what the leaders had to say, they certainly were able to say it a lot.
2) Talking about local candidates
But the Canadian system was constructed so that it’s not all about the leaders. In an age of unprecedented party discipline we seem to forget that today we are electing 338 MPs to represent our ridings. Through our Nine Days of Scandal series, partially inspired by the work of Robert Jago, we tried to get people talking about who it was we were casting votes for. Some held ludicrous views. Others had performed indecent acts in people’s kitchens. We need to hold these people accountable—we will be paying them a salary of $163,700 next year. Still, this election was the first one that saw every party committed to open nominations, and with that new responsibility of electing our candidates in addition to our representatives, we would all be wise to take a closer look at who’s carrying the party banner.
This election was hilarious, frankly. From memes dotting the internet (Harperdildos to name one, obviously NSFW), to candidates being dogged on the trail about their laughable scandals, to the Bobby Dhaliwal campaign of Jasmeet Singh (JusReign), this election had people talking and having fun with it. This is healthy, and it is our hope that in elections to come we see this trend continue. Advance voting numbers were improved this year over 2011, and we hope the trend holds today. Our country is better when we work together, and when we participate in choosing our leaders. It’s even better if we can laugh while doing it. Remember to vote today if you haven’t already, and let’s keep moving forward.