Saturday, October 10th, 2015 -( 9˚C / 48˚F — Clear, Bright, Sunny and Breezy — A bit nippy —@ 4:53 pm in this little corner of Atlantic Canada )- It’s my nephew, Westley’s Birthday, and his father, Mike’s Birthday today.
— The News Media warned us yesterday, So many Canadians were turning out for ‘Advanced Polling’ that many had to wait as long as 2 hours and quite a few people were upset that only one polling booth was open at each advanced polling location. As we approached the front door of the Marysville Baptist Church, which will be open for our advanced voting for 4 days – yesterday, today, tomorrow and Monday – from noon to 8 pm local time – A smiling woman we’d never met before came out of the building, almost walked past us, quickly caught the door before it closed and held it for us, happily telling us “It only took two minutes – Um, the line was about fifteen minutes long -” We thanked her, smiled back – Yes, smiling is contagious – and thought, “Yes, I love New Brunswick people.”
— There was an older man with a slight hearing problem checking to be sure we had proper I.D. before waving us through to stand in the line behind something like twenty people while three volunteers were again checking I.D.s, crossing names off their lists of registered voters, handing paper ballots to voters – one at a time – and occasionally making sure of things, like the older woman who had to sit down in a chair knew where her place in the line was, and the younger gentleman who was out of line talking animatedly to a couple he obviously knew and knew well, and liked – knew where his place in line was and wasn’t trying to jump ahead of anybody.
— A woman ( best guess – she was probably in her thirties or forties ) looked like she was in a hurry, came in after we did, quizzed the older man checking I.D.s at his table outside the church gymnasium – “Is the line always this long? You only have one polling booth? Why do you have only one booth? Okay, I’m coming back later -” and she left. The older man called after her, “It might be worse later, I’ve seen this line almost out the door -” But she waved him away and hurried back outside.
— The man immediately in front of us came back out and basically asked the older man checking I.D.s the same questions and then grumbled, “It’s almost as if they want to discourage us from voting.” The current ‘Government’/regime has rushed through a 1984 double speak type bill called “The Fair Elections Act” or something very close to that. The bill – which was passed into law – took a lot of power away from Elections Canada – and severely limited their ability to investigate claims of election fraud, among other new limitations imposed upon the agency which is supposed to insure fair and honest elections. — The Harper ‘Government’ has also had a lot of its party members convicted of Election Fraud – such as setting up “Robo-Calls” to deliver mis-information to voters not likely to vote for their party’s candidates. Quite a few members of the Harper ‘Government’ have been investigated and charged with not just questionable ethics, but outright illegal practices, claiming travel expenses to homes in distant provinces they never visited, claiming residence in various provinces when they actually lived in the Ottawa area, writing $90,000.00 + cheques that looked way too much like a bribe to keep a sitting Senator from squawking about a bill that may or may not have been fraudulently submitted, depending on what the final ruling will be in a situation where Senate Ethics were so vague that teams of lawyers couldn’t agree on what was or wasn’t allowed. And then there was a stream of minor stuff, like submitting fraudulent claims for travel expenses, demanding five star hotel services, submitting incredible invoices like $16.00 for a glass of orange juice – complaining that snacks in their first class airplane compartment were served too cold and on broken crackers.
— But anyway, back in the line, waiting to cast a ballot in the advanced voting line – One woman began to fill out a ‘feedback’ form that was supposed to be feedback on accessibility, one of the volunteers brought a chair over so the woman could sit down if she wanted – Then one senior citizen, wondering why there was only one polling booth pointed to two women sitting at a table with signs up declaring that this table was for Registering to Vote, and wondered what they were doing there. Nobody spoke to the man in the sort of derisive tones I have expected to hear, ( like, “Read the sign, you moron, they’re here to register people who haven’t registered yet.” ) and I was happy to see that everybody was courteous and friendly and nobody was belligerent –
— And there were several young children running around the gym, playing tag, getting down and rolling around on the floor – one girl who was probably about five years old told a boy who around the same age that she wanted him to ask her to marry him. One of the younger voters behind us laughed and quietly said, “Woa – I bet she’s going to be trouble in a few years.”
— We were happy to see that maybe half the people in line, especially those behind us, appeared to be young adults, from the 18 to 24 year old group which has a bad record for turning out to vote – about 38% of those eligible to vote actually voted in the last Federal Election.
— But the line moved more quickly than we expected and we were in and out in less than half an hour. And watching the kids run around and make happy noises while we waited in line was a definite plus.
— One note I might add: Concerning Polls – Two networks: CTV and CBC – one of them says their polls indicate that if everyone voted the way they responded to pollsters – The Liberal Party would win the most seats, about ten more than the second place Conservatives. The other one had opposite results, projecting that the Conservatives would have their candidates elected in about ten more ‘ridings’ than the Liberals would. Both polling outfits count the NDP (New Democratic Party) in 3rd place right now, one network says the NDP has the approval of about 23% of those polled and the other network says the NDP would get about 26.5% of the votes, if everybody actually cast their ballots according to what they told the pollsters. One network says the NDP is gaining support right now, the other one says the NDP is losing support these days.
— Cathi shrugged last night and told me, “The thing about polls – is – nobody thought the NDP had a prayer in the provincial elections in Alberta last spring, and they won that one handily. Nobody saw that coming.”
— And another thing — The Niqab ‘issue’ — This one really baffles me. The Prime Minister is getting so much traction from this non issue that he’s promising to ban Federal Employees from wearing Niqabs or serving anybody who is wearing one, claiming this is a security issue. WHAT??? – People in Quebec have been having fun this since the ruling went down that the Supreme Court said it was a person’s right to vote with her (or his) face covered, as long as the identity of that person was confirmed. The Prime Minister’s Office tried to object to that ruling but got nowhere. One guy in Montreal voted wearing clown make up. A woman somewhere in Quebec voted wearing a burlap sack over her head with eye slits open. There have been others who voted wearing masks.
— I can’t wait to see a Facebook Page: “Idiots Against Niqabs” – Bet’cha it “goes viral” –
& Now a few photos:
— I better quit here and post this before I reach 100,000 words in a single post.–,