08 Canadian Election

Well, the inevitable Canadian election that's been pending for weeks has finally come. Yawn.
But I can't let the American's and their historic election have all the fun - our run of the mill, every 2 years like clockwork election is important too!
I'm extremely interested in politics but pretty disenchanted with Canadian politics. I'm socially very liberal, but fairly fiscally conservative, and moderate on foreign policy.
Frankly, none of the Canadian Parties appeal to me - Conservatives are too socially conservative, Liberals and NDP are too fiscally liberal. The Paul Martin liberals were OK except for the fact that I didn't like Paul Martin as a person and a leader.
None of that even matters, though, because every riding I've ever been able to vote in has been a solid lock. I've lived in Gilles Duceppe's riding in Montreal and 2 liberal strongholds for the past century. The riding I'm currently in has NEVER voted anything but Liberal. So what's the point of even voting?
I'll probably vote Green, not because I agree with all their policies, but because I think they deserve a bigger voice then they currently have, and at their level, every vote counts. I think it's ridiculous that a party that gets 10% of the popular vote gets 0 seats in parliament. But that's a discussion for another time...

So, my fellow Canadians - are you just as disenchanted as I am? Who are you voting for?

I always vote Green or Marijuana. Partly because I believe neither will even hold office and partly to scare the big boys. Usually Green though.

My thinking is if green starts to creep up to a reasonable percentage then the major players will start to respond or at least get scared.

I think not voting is stupid, if you want to protest the major parties vote for a smaller one.

Dysplastic wrote:

The Paul Martin liberals were OK except for the fact that I didn't like Paul Martin as a person and a leader.

Plus you know, all that Chretien corruption that Martin did absolutely nothing to curtail.

I will probably be voting the Marijuana Party again as well, only because I can't stand the thought of not voting but I refuse to vote for any of the major parties currently running. I voted for Stephen Harper last time but his party's stance on Net Neutrality and Copyright (which are basically just caving to American big business) are draconian. I'm socially Libertarian and fiscally Conservative which no one in this country currently represents. I also think Stephan Dion is a weak leader and forgive me if this sounds rude as I don't mean it to but if someone is going to be the leader of Canada, he needs to be fluent in both our languages. His English skills are no better than the people at Xbox customer support and I don't believe that will represent us well.

A while back, a couple of college age girls came to my door asking for my support of the local Conservative candidate. I said absolutely not due to the party's stance on Net Neutrality and Copyright. I would've left it at that but then they said "Yeah, there's been a lot of misinformation going around on those issues." In my head, I just went "OK, now you've stepped in it!" I proceeded to talk their ear off for the next 2 minutes on those issues and how Harper's stance is ruining innovation in Canada because he still sees this need to kiss up to American business. Just as they were leaving, Stylez showed up and went "What did you say to them?" I told him and he went "They look totally disheveled. I think you may have them reconsidering their support." It was awesome.

I'm in the same boat. Nobody worth voting for, few people worth hating all that fervently.

That said, the conservatives are too socially conservative? Any examples? I thought Harper's decision to leave gay marriage alone was kind of a herald of change in their ranks? Have I missed some controversial remarks they've made, lately?.

[edit] - Also, Dion is a weenie.

I usually vote Green.

All the Harper adds that I have been seeing recently make me ill to my stomach; so very sleazy. I started seeing them several weeks before the campaign was even called which makes it worse. The conservatives have seemed to have done nothing towards the environmental issues, and I really don't trust them to change that (but I think we will get a lot of promises from them).
I think for the most part Morrolan, the gay marriage thing was left alone due to the conservatives not having a majority in the house. It seems that they (PC) are trying to build up trust, but really who knows about their current stance on the issue.

As for the Liberals, they have been a very corrupt party in the recent past, I would hope that they have changed. They also do not have the greatest track record with environmental issues, but with Dion being the former minister, we may get some progressive ideas from the liberal camp.

Morrolan wrote:

I'm in the same boat. Nobody worth voting for, few people worth hating all that fervently.

That said, the conservatives are too socially conservative? Any examples? I thought Harper's decision to leave gay marriage alone was kind of a herald of change in their ranks? Have I missed some controversial remarks they've made, lately?.

[edit] - Also, Dion is a weenie.

Not sure how much of him leaving it alone is what his party believes in now but him being smart enough that poking at controversial issues is a lose lose situation for him especially when he only has a minority.

I'm kinda scared actually of them winning a majority as they might start being more involved in social issues when I rather them just sit on their hands while our economy keeps rolling over those surpluses.

I might just throw my vote in for green to bump their %. Not that I agree with how they might approach energy issues but this way the big parties might start taking the issue more seriously. There could be some serious opportunities for Canada to stake their claim in renewable energy industry going forward.

Pretty much agree with what everyone is saying. What a boring agreeable Canadian thread. Someone needs to insult someone. Wheres our Palin to get worked up about.

and yea Dion is a weeny.

edit: here let me try and stir the pot. Does anyone else feel like the NDP is one good leader away from making a pretty good run at the other 2 parties? The fact we have mentioned green more then them even once in this thread is a pretty good indication of how meh Layton is.

We are a shining bastion of agreeable-ness. We should create a new sub-forum for Canadians called "Politics & Non-Controversy".

Morrolan wrote:

That said, the conservatives are too socially conservative? Any examples? I thought Harper's decision to leave gay marriage alone was kind of a herald of change in their ranks? Have I missed some controversial remarks they've made, lately?.

Conservatives are too socially conservative in their philosophy (See - Stockwell Day) but they can't push that Agenda in a minority government. I'll agree that in their 2 years of office they haven't pushed that much social conservatism, but Bill C-10 is one great shining example of the conservative social agenda that I don't like. If you don't agree with Arts funding, that's fine, but don't cut it arbitrarily based on some presumed moral imperative.

jowner wrote:

and yea Dion is a weeny.

edit: here let me try and stir the pot. Does anyone else feel like the NDP is one good leader away from making a pretty good run at the other 2 parties? The fact we have mentioned green more then them even once in this thread is a pretty good indication of how meh Layton is.

I'll agree that Dion is a weeny. I think Ignatieff would have made a much better Liberal leader. I saw him at a restaurant the other day, it was fun.

As for stirring the pot - you've succeeded, because I disagree with you 100% on the NDP. I think that Jack Layton is actually a pretty good leader and speaker, but I don't think their policies are close enough to most Canadians to get them elected. The Green party is biting into their vote, so they're basically relying on disaffected liberals - I still think they're too left of centre for a country that basically forces it's leadership to govern in the middle of the road.

Didn't even realize we had an election coming up. That's how disenchanted I am.

Can you guys get a GWJ party going, and vote Certis for a PM?

Ok, but only if Elysium rides as VP on Nader's ticket.

I'll be voting Liberal in the hopes that the Conservatives do not get a majority government. I am not fond of Harper and his policies, and I have heard rumblings that if the Conservatives get a majority government, it could be mean drastic cuts to where I work.

I am not sure if many people have been following the ongoing clashes the Premier of Newfoundland has had with our Prime Minister, but right now our provincial (conservative, I might add) government has it's own slogan for the upcoming election: A.B.C.: Anything But Conservative.

Haven't decided yet who I'm voting for as I haven't read any of their platforms yet.

Does anyone else think that Harpers the blandest PM we've ever had, looks wise? I don't think I've seen a shot of him where his suit looks like it fits, his hair doesn't look like a helmet, and his face doesn't have the tone of silly putty

Dr._J wrote:

I'll be voting Liberal in the hopes that the Conservatives do not get a majority government. I am not fond of Harper and his policies, and I have heard rumblings that if the Conservatives get a majority government, it could be mean drastic cuts to where I work.

I agree that Harper getting a majority would be a scary thing. I've been telling friends who think he's been pretty light as Conservatives go that the only reason he hasn't come through with much more drastic measures is because he knows he can't get away with them right now. Given the amount he's already capitulating to the US business lobby, I can't even fathom what he'd do if his measures couldn't be defeated in the House.

This may be a stupid question, but here goes:

Anyone know how I'd find out if I still have voting rights up there? I'm still a citizen, but I've not lived up there in a long while. Considering the rumblings I'm reading about, I'd be interested in seeing if I can keep Harper from getting too much power as well (like Parallax said, it'd be a scary thing if he was in an unshakeable majority, and I don't even LIVE there).

Wow, we are a pretty agreeable bunch.

It makes me wonder if a socially liberal, fiscally conservative party could actually get started and make any decent progress.

Rubb Ed- Check out this link at elections Canada. It will ask you questions to determine your eligibility and give you further instructions.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I agree that Harper getting a majority would be a scary thing.

I agree and disagree - it would be scary, but not as scary as we might think. Right now Dion is running on a "The Conservatives are really scary and too right wing for Canadians" - which isn't really matching up to their record over the past 2 years. If the conservatives were to get a majority, they'd still be limited in what they can do by the fact that they want to get elected again - if they started letting their agenda loose in the house, the "Conservatives are scary" message would ring a lot more true and would probably be enough to unite the left/moderates to vote against him. The conservatives don't really have a mandate - they're not going to get more than 40% of the popular vote even if they get a majority. Their electoral strength lies in the fact that the right is united and the left is divided - this could change if they get to cocky.

Kier wrote:

Wow, we are a pretty agreeable bunch.
It makes me wonder if a socially liberal, fiscally conservative party could actually get started and make any decent progress.

You could argue that at different points in time, some liberal governments and some PC governments acted kind of like this. Compare the liberal government and fiscal philosophy of Paul Martin and that of Pierre Trudeau, for example - for all his flaws, Martin was much more of a fiscal conservative focused on debt-reduction. As for a new party starting up - I think that the way our system works (first past the post) means that new parties have virtually no shot of unseating people. The conservatives were only able to get elected by merging with the alliance. If anything, we're more likely to see a liberal/ndp merger in the next 10 years if the conservatives stay in power for any length of time.

Kier wrote:

Wow, we are a pretty agreeable bunch.

*Insert colossally obvious, lame polite Canadians joke*

Sounds Like You're Having Fun Up There Too

Green party Leader Elizabeth May sharply criticized Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton on Tuesday, demanding they publicly admit they threatened to boycott debates next month if she were to be included.

"I think we have to out the leaders who secretly threatened not to participate," May said in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday.

Her comments come a day after a consortium of television networks declined to let May participate in the nationally televised debates, saying three parties threatened to boycott but providing no more details.

The Green party will file a formal complaint with Canada's broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission on Tuesday, May said.

The party also started an online petition Tuesday demanding May be included in the debates.

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe didn't threaten a boycott, but did express a preference for only the four major parties at the debate, and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has said he supported May's inclusion — but wouldn't attend the debate if Harper wasn't there.

"It looks like it's Mr. Layton and Mr. Harper," May said. "I think the Canadian public deserves an answer from each of them. Would they actually refuse to appear on a stage if I was there?"

In arguing against May's inclusion, the Tories and NDP cited a deal she struck with Dion, in which they agreed not to run candidates against each other in their respective Nova Scotia and Quebec ridings.

The NDP confirmed late Monday that Layton had said he wouldn't attend the debate were May allowed to participate, on the grounds that she has already effectively endorsed Dion for prime minister.

"We have someone else who wants to be in the debate who actually supports the leader of one of those [other] parties," Layton said of May.

"I don't agree with that position. I think what we want to do is take on the same old same old, which is the Conservative and Liberal governments in power year after year."

That Gilles Duceppe still considers the Bloc one of the four major parties is so arrogant its hilarious. I also wish the Greens luck in complaining to the CRTC, probably one of the biggest wastes of oxygen in the country.

I live in Libby Davies riding, who'd probably win out against a zombie Tommy Douglas, so I'll either send a vote to the Rhinos or the Marijuana party... keeping them stocked in beer and rollies seems like proper civic duty

Harper scares me for two reasons. The first being Bill C-61 and the second... purely conjecture and blatant speculation... but if McCain wins I really don't want us going into Iran alongside that clusterf*ck.

But the bloc is a major party, holding more seats than the NDP. I certainly don't like it, it demonstrates everything that is wrong with the interaction with Quebec and the rest of Canada, but it does mean they have alot of power for our minority government.

Personally, I'm voting conservative. It doesn't really matter, as said earlier, alot of ridings in Canada are very much strongholds that don't like change (mine has nearly always been conservative), I've liked what Harper is doing so far (although he does look very doughy... Canadian PMs are uniformly unattractive white guys) but C-61 does worry me. I see another minority government next month, conservatives in power again.

Anyone have a site that breaks down the potential swing seats?

My riding has been NDP the last 2 times and I think Liberal before that. The Conservatives really have no chance of winning it I'm pretty sure.

I am voting NPD but I think it will be a conservative minority government again.

Paul Dewar was one of my junior high teachers. NDP ftw (my riding).

The biggest problem with the Conservatives not getting a majority is that it will allow the Liberals and friends the oppourtunity to drag their heels for another four years, opposing or refusing to vote on everything just for the sake of opposing, regardless of whether or not a given bill is a good idea for Canada or not. The job of the Opposition is not to oppose everything, but to ensure the leading party is kept in reasonable check.

And if you're voting FOR the Green Shift, I'm glad you can afford higher home heating costs, as well as higher costs for EVERYTHING due to high diesel prices.

Opposition is needed in Parliament, especially with Harper. He has things on the books (like C61) that are downright scary and that he will ensure get fast tracked through if he gets a majority. No government should be able to pass legislation unchecked. I don't like the Liberals any more than I like Harper but I think a Harper minority government is the best we can hope for right now.

Also, what exactly has the current government done about high fuel prices? The prices to heat my home and fuel my car that I need for work have gone through the roof under their watch and they've so far done exactly nothing about it.

Baredil wrote:

The biggest problem with the Conservatives not getting a majority is that it will allow the Liberals and friends the oppourtunity to drag their heels for another four years, opposing or refusing to vote on everything just for the sake of opposing, regardless of whether or not a given bill is a good idea for Canada or not. The job of the Opposition is not to oppose everything, but to ensure the leading party is kept in reasonable check.

And if you're voting FOR the Green Shift, I'm glad you can afford higher home heating costs, as well as higher costs for EVERYTHING due to high diesel prices.

Between the tainted food and water scandals, the Conservatives have an actual body count in the double digits. They joke about how it's killing them in the polls as a 'death by a thousand cold cuts'.

The job of the opposition fails when bills are crafted outside committee and exclusively by the PMO. Harper even demands that his own ministers and backbenchers do not speak to the press at all, though having seen what they do say, I don't blame the guy.

As for the Green Shift, take the bus to work or ride a bike more often. Cancel your cable and start liberating your television off the internet. My family will probably see two or three thousand dollars disappear from our yearly income and that's just fine. One can really only have so much stuff and it's a pretty great trade-off for a healthier planet. There are a huge number of ways that you can absorb the costs in your daily life and like Parallax said, Harper has pretty much sat on his hands while these gas prices went through the roof anyways.

Ride a bike 25km each way through downtown Edmonton traffic at -35C? You're on crack. Spend 2-3 hours a day on the bus? Great, so I can sleep and work and do nothing else.

Sorry, if you're in Vancouver, you don't understand having to heat your house in the winter. And you've got an extra $3000 per year just lying around? Where do you work and when can I start?

I drive a Civic or a motorcycle, so gas prices only bother me slightly (~$40 a month), its paying more for EVERYTHING that needs to be shipped from one place to another that concerns me. Which is everything I have to buy on a regular basis, like say, FOOD. I don't have cable. I don't watch tv.

I do try to make environmentally conscious choices in my purchases and habits; I don't need the government doing it for me. How, exactly, do taxes help the planet again?

Hey, I'm not crazy about everything the PC's have done (I agree with you on C61), but I really can't forgive the Liberals for not doing their jobs. They weren't opposing, they just weren't even showing up for votes on things. We don't pay them to be passive resisters; we pay them to help govern the country by keeping the party in power in check, not stalling everything until it dies. Don't like a bill? Great, debate it, suggests improvements or changes, or vote it down, but don't just take your ball and go home.

At least the Conservatives kept many (most?all?) of the promises they made in the last election - still waiting for Chretien to 'kill the GST'.

What has the current government done about high fuel prices? Exactly what they should do - nothing. Government intervention in market prices never goes well, assuming there's no illegal trading practices going on. Several investigations into fuel prices have shown no collusion between the producers - not everybody in every department involved could be part of some massive cover-up (see moon hoax believers). The price at the pump is influenced by the price of a barrel of oil, but it's not the oil companies that are setting the price of a barrel of oil; it's the market speculators trading oil futures and options that keep driving it up.

(going to stop ranting now before I burst a blood vessel...)

Ride a bike 25km each way through downtown Edmonton traffic at -35C? You're on crack. Spend 2-3 hours a day on the bus? Great, so I can sleep and work and do nothing else.

Move closer to work. It's a little disingenuous to bitch about the price of gas and public transit when you're participating in urban sprawl. If it's taking you two to three hours to get to work via the bus, that's a civic planning issue and by no means a federal one. However, why hasn't your mp done anything to influence the terrible state of affairs that is seemingly your public transportation system? They've got lots of money to dump into subsidizing the oil sands but no cash for extra buses or commuter rail?

You get what you vote for. Calgary is one of the most energy efficient cities in North America and are building up an incredible public transit system at the same time. Edmonton is not following suit.

I drive a Civic or a motorcycle, so gas prices only bother me slightly (~$40 a month), its paying more for EVERYTHING that needs to be shipped from one place to another that concerns me. Which is everything I have to buy on a regular basis, like say, FOOD. I don't have cable. I don't watch tv.

Perhaps we should be moving away from trucking as a primary means of distribution and onto a more interconnected rail system? Are there parties who are advocating the use of these systems? I do believe there are. Complete reliance on a dwindling resource for the essential movement of goods is short-sighted at best. I'd rather we start building these now, creating jobs and adding to the stability of our infrastructure rather than trying to play catch up some thirty years from now.

I do try to make environmentally conscious choices in my purchases and habits; I don't need the government doing it for me. How, exactly, do taxes help the planet again?

Are you even going to be taxed at a higher rate? Have you looked at the breakdown of the Green Shift tax structure? My paycheque won't be affected, my wife's will.

The cap and trade system is incredibly beneficial. Making polluters go carbon neutral as possible will have a positive benefit for the planet, and if it takes kicking them in the ass to get them there, so be it.

The restoration of our water and food safety programs benefit us all. These have lead to deaths amongst our population. These 'outbreaks' do not exist in a vacuum, they are the result of trying to 'lower taxes' yet at the same time the Conservatives somehow managed to rack up a deficit.

Sorry, if you're in Vancouver, you don't understand having to heat your house in the winter. And you've got an extra $3000 per year just lying around? Where do you work and when can I start?

I think this is honestly driving down the political discourse in this country. A completely manufactured divide between so called 'rural' and 'urban' voters which the Tories lovingly exploit. Do you think for a second I've never had to pay a heating bill? Seriously, it like rains and snows here as well. We do have to heat our home as well, but have taken on additional methods of cutting the costs involved. Better windows and seals being the most important part of that.

I did my practicum in the Yukon and NWT, specifically Dawson City and Inuvik. I'm fully aware how much it costs to heat a home in those places over the winter and I could not afford it on my $26k a year at the time, that includes my NLA benefits, minus student loans. I found ways to work around the issue for two years. Part of that was riding a bike in -60c weather, in a snowsuit and giant bearfur parka. It was pretty much the most stupidly awesome time in my life for just that reason. Patently absurd, but I got a great kick out of hearing people moan about the price of gas while they tooled around in giant f-350s to run to the store for smokes.

Ten years later and I really don't get paid all that much more, but my wife does and she's at the end of the tax bracket where she will lose about 3k per year. It's perfectly fine with us.

If you want to be angry, that's fine. But your statement was pretty much a cheapshot with little to no basis in fact. Where you might pay more to heat your home, I pay an additional 5% in Provincial Sales tax.

Hey, I'm not crazy about everything the PC's have done (I agree with you on C61), but I really can't forgive the Liberals for not doing their jobs. They weren't opposing, they just weren't even showing up for votes on things. We don't pay them to be passive resisters; we pay them to help govern the country by keeping the party in power in check, not stalling everything until it dies. Don't like a bill? Great, debate it, suggests improvements or changes, or vote it down, but don't just take your ball and go home.

It's Harper who's ordered ministers and back benchers not to show up for committee meetings, or public hearings on the hill. I have no idea where you're getting your information from. They will quite literally blow off summons to the house while giving a speaking engagement at private foundations at the exact same time.

Stalling terrible pieces of legislation until it dies a slow withering death on the vine is how government works with a minority party in power. Anything else would trigger a vote of non-confidence sending us back to the polls every few months. There are no debates or ways to change a bill when they're moved out of committee and drafted entirely through the PMO. Seriously, legislation is not crafted on the floor of the House of Commons, it's done in various offices, where the ministers and members of the Conservative party just do not attend.

I'm wondering where you get your information from. Is it entirely the National Post and Canwest outlets? I'd suggest a plurality of sources instead, each taken in measure.

At least the Conservatives kept many (most?all?) of the promises they made in the last election - still waiting for Chretien to 'kill the GST

Oncle Jean is not in government anymore. Seriously, he's not. I'm not sure how else I can explain that to you.

It's like me getting pissed at Dave Barrett or Tommy Douglas cuz they're dead. 'Damn you for not rising from the grave and turning this country in the socialist utopia you promised! DAMN YOU!!!'

If Harper promised to cut arts funding and safety inspections, I guess he held to his word. Wee! I'm not gonna call risking the lives of Canadians and hamstringing an industry, arts, that accounts for some 18% of our gdp, a promise I really want made to me or kept.

going to stop ranting now before I burst a blood vessel...

That is the exact feeling the Tories campaign is trying to invoke amongst voters. Is it healthy in any way, shape or form for the health of political discourse in this country?

Baredil wrote:

What has the current government done about high fuel prices? Exactly what they should do - nothing. Government intervention in market prices never goes well, assuming there's no illegal trading practices going on. Several investigations into fuel prices have shown no collusion between the producers - not everybody in every department involved could be part of some massive cover-up (see moon hoax believers). The price at the pump is influenced by the price of a barrel of oil, but it's not the oil companies that are setting the price of a barrel of oil; it's the market speculators trading oil futures and options that keep driving it up.

kung fu grip addressed most of the points but I'd like to chime in on this one. I don't care what the studies say frankly. When every gas station in Ottawa from every chain, has the exact same price and changes them all the same amount in unison, there's collusion plain and simple. And I'm not even saying that the government should step in and control prices but since over 60% of the pump price is taxes, there's most certainly something they can do. Harper likes to claim he's for reducing taxes but aside from a meaningless 2% drop in the GST, nothing's changed at all. I'm generally Libertarian in my points of view and I don't think the Liberals or the Conservatives accurately represent my point of view but when I see Stephen Harper's policies and interests seemingly more focused on US business interests (interests that are currently driving their economy into the ground), the thought of him getting a majority frightens me.

Move closer to work. Ok, I'll just sell my house and buy an older, more expensive one downtown, complete with hookers, no problem. Or I could get an apartment - instead of having a paid off house with some actual value in 20 years, I'll have nothing! That's a fabulous idea!
Actually, I used to live closer to work until said workplace disappeared; now I happen to work downtown.

I'll agree with you Edmonton's transit system sucks, which is why I don't use it, and that's not going to change any time soon. You'll note that I wasn't complaining about gas prices.

Moving away from truck use is a great idea (I wish people could get over the 'gotta have it right now' mindset), except trains run on diesel too, so that still drives the cost of items up. And the rail companies aren't any less greedy than the trucking companies; if they have no competition from trucks, they'll jam their prices through the roof too.

Calgary may be more energy efficient (linky?) but has no recycling program; Edmonton does. Tomayto, tomahto.

My point on the Chretien bit that you missed? This PC government did what they said they were going to do, unlike pretty much every other government in the last 15 years. Should that not be considered a good thing?

Cutting arts? Ya, because Celine Dion really needs some more funding for her next concert.

Meh, I'm not going to go point for point here. We're not going to change each others minds.

My feeling(perception?) is a Liberal or NDP government (and this goes for you Democrats in the US too) takes too much money from honest, working people and gives it to too many special interest groups because they're somehow 'entitled' to it. Certainly some people need a hand up; too many get hand outs. The Conservatives appear more fiscally responsible, are offering more reasonable promises, and not having knee-jerk reactions to the media crisis of the day, climate change/global warming.

Not to go off on a CC/GW rant here (there's another thread for that), but several recent studies, using new data and old, have come out with evidence indicating it may not be as bad as initial reports indicated; so maybe we should hang on a moment and look some more before taxing our economy into a recession? Does that not seem the more prudent(or perhaps conservative?) thing to do?

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

When every gas station in Ottawa from every chain, has the exact same price and changes them all the same amount in unison, there's collusion plain and simple.

I used to work at a gas station. In the morning, the boss drove by several competing stations on his way in, noted their prices, and set our price to match or slightly beat theirs. The local prices don't necessarily all get forced down from on high by the bigwigs in a different province or country. It's just a matter of a guy who runs a gas station trying to get the best margin he can so he can stay in business and pay his employees, without losing his shirt in a price war.

For that matter, prices here in Edmonton can vary by anywhere from 3 to 10 cents per liter from the west end (where there's a gas station every 3 blocks) to downtown (where it seems to be hard to find a gas station), even at the same chain. If that's a vast conspiracy of collusion, they're not very good at it.

You do realize many of the stations are franchises, right? Owned by some regular guy trying to make a living?