This is voting day in the United States, Canadians had ours a couple of weeks ago.
The first time I ever voted was federally in 1988. It was an unofficial referendum on the “Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.” I decided I didn’t know enough about it (no Internet access) so I voted for the local Liberal Party candidate… they were against it. They also lost.
Since then, federally, I’ve voted Liberal (1993*), Progressive Conservatives (1997), Natural Law Party of Canada (2000), Conservative (2004, 2006, 2008)… the Liberal Party did some things between 1993 and 1997 that pissed me off, so I’ve pretty much voted against them ever since. And the NLP were just too funny not to vote for.
…*so I’ve only voted for an outright winner once. There are differences between the Liberal and Conservative Party’s, but policy in Canada is fairly easy to reverse so I don’t see a huge deal voting for either party. However, by losing twice in three years to the Conservatives (two minority governments in a row), the Liberal Party has definitely been embarrassed humiliated shamed kicked in the political nuts… which makes me smile.
American politics has way more glitz, and maybe even more quality candidates, but Canadians do have far more choice on Election Day than American voters. During this past federal election there were four National parties, with another sixteen regional parties.
…actually my uncle has run for a few federal elections as a candidate for the Communist Party of Canada, and my biological father has run for election a couple of times for the New Democrat Party of Ontario.
Technically Canada and America have the same British-French political roots, but after the Canadian election the Daily Show joked that our Conservative Party was the American equivalent of the “Gay-Loving Nader Fans For Peace Party.” Which is about right.
If Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain were running in Canada as they have been running there I doubt either would be elected. The abortion issue alone would automatically have 66% of Canadian voters out protesting against them.
Something I wrote on Cultural Sn:afu last year: “The biggest difference between Canadian and American politics is Canada does not have a cheerleader culture. There’s a clear separation between Hockey, Religion and State in Canada whereas, in America, football, baseball, Christianity and State are all wrapped up into one hyperbolic message which is then shouted out in short rhythmic bursts by dynamic pyramids of young, hyper-enthusiastic, impossibly healthy, ridiculously optimistic übercitizens.”
So my questions, for anyone willing to play along, is:
Who was the first person and party, you voted for?
Bonus points: What were the issues?