A boardgamegeek's guide to the 2008 Canadian general election
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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While most of the world is fixated on the McCain-Obama showdown, we here in Canada are having our own election on October 14. Since most boardgamegeeks are too busy playing Agricola or Race for the Galaxy to pay attention, here's a gamer's guide to some of the issues in the election.

I've tried to be neutral and balanced here: this isn't an attempt to bore you with my own political views.
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1. Board Game: Election Day [Average Rating:4.01 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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The first issue was that Prime Minister Harper promised to have fixed election dates. He passed a law setting the election for the fall of 2009. But then he decided to call it a year early. We do have to point out that this is not technically a violation of the letter of the law, but does seem to go against its spirit. The Conservatives contend, however, that Parliament was unworkable, necessitating the election call.
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2. Board Game: Debate This! [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
 
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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The big issue in week one was whether Green party leader Elizabeth May should or should not be in the leaders' debate. Initially, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton threatened not to participate if May was invited. After a public uprising, Harper and Layton relented and May will be on the podium. Unfortunately, the English language debate will be the same night as the US vice-presidential debate. I wonder what most Canadians will be watching?
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3. Board Game: Afghanistan [Average Rating:5.36 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Here's one point of overlap between the Canadian and American elections: Afghanistan is an election issue. The decision to extend Canada's participation in Afghanistan through 2011 was controversial and the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois hoped to hit the Conservatives with this one. But Harper announced that his government would not extend the mission past 2011, largely defusing the issue.
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4. Board Game: The Green Earth [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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The centrepiece of the Liberals' platform is the Green Shift, which would implement a carbon tax in return for cuts to income taxes and increased spending on social programs. The Liberals contend this would help Canada achieve its Kyoto targets and put Canada on the road to environmental sustainability. The Conservatives contend this is economic suicide.
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5. Board Game: Ax Your Tax [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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The Conservatives have responded to the Green Shift by promising to cut taxes on diesel fuel. They argue this will help Canadian farmers, truckers and fishers. The Liberals argue that this will do little to make Canada's economy more sustainable.
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6. Board Game: Leader of the Pack [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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The Conservatives want the campaign to be all about leadership. They think they have a stronger leader in Stephen Harper. Polls suggest that most Canadians seem to agree, finding Harper to be stronger than his Liberal counterpart, Stephane Dion. Who Canadians think is a better leader will play a big part in shaping the outcome.
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7. Board Game: Quebec Libre [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Is sovereignty still an issue in Quebec? This is a big deal because a lot of the outcome of the election will depend on what happens there. If sovereignty is less relevant than it was, then the BQ will do less well, likely to the benefit of the Conservatives and the NDP.
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8. Board Game: Road to the White House [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:5763]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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How much will the excitement over the American election affect Canada's election? A recent poll showed that 70% or so of Canadians want Obama to win. Will Canadian parties try to link themselves to Obama. The NDP is already trying to ride the Obama wave.
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9. Board Game: Parliament [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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What will the outcome of the election be? Will we have another minority government? Will one party do what hasn't been accomplished for the last two elections and win a majority? This is the big question. Early projections suggest the Conservatives will win, but the majority is looking doubtful.
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10. Board Game: Voter's Choice Election Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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In the end, it's up to voters. The biggest choice we have is whether to vote or not to vote. In the last several elections, fewer and fewer Canadians are exercising their right to vote. So, Canadian boardgamers, whatever your political persuasion, try to get out and vote on October 14.
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11. Board Game: The Stupid Game [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
Ken Newell
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
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Green Party Leader gets caught on audio tape making remarks about Canadians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIxmfBPrptM

Elizabeth May's full comment:
"All the other Politicians are scared to death to mention the word tax. And they think Canadians are stupid. And cannot.... And I fundamentally agree with that assessment. But most politicians think that if you say we're gonna put on a carbon tax and reduce your income tax, they don't think they can sell it. It's all about votes."

This surfaced on a blog site and the Green Party has now threatened legal action against that blogger when he had the video up:
Follow the story here
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12. Board Game: Reading for Detail [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Michael Barlow
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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Don't just rely on the big corporate papers and television for your political opinions:

http://www.straightgoods.ca/index.cfm
http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/cat_off_the_hill.htm...
http://www.thefilter.ca/
http://canadianspectator.ca/
http://reseaumedia.info/ independent French Canadian media
http://www.labourstart.org/canada/
http://www.rabble.ca/
http://www.independentmedia.ca/
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13. Board Game: Don't Quote Me: TV Guide Edition [Average Rating:5.53 Unranked]
Chris Johnson
Canada
Guelph
Ontario
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One of the issues this week seems to be Stephen Harper's blunders on a few issues like the Tory website ad showing a bird pooping on Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, he suspended his party's communications director over a partisan swipe at a dead soldier's dad, and he backtracked amid public outrage after threatening to boycott the leaders debate if Green Leader Elizabeth May was allowed to participate.
 
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14. Board Game: Home Improvement [Average Rating:5.22 Overall Rank:12898]
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Newest campaign promise: the Liberals and Stephane Dion are offering Canadians millions of dollars in incentives for energy efficient retrofits of their homes.
 
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