Canadian election parallels 
1. Better the devil you know.
2. Moral issues bring out the vote.
Sound familiar?

The vote on June 28th surprised quite a few pundits - especially the results in Ontario. The polls were off and the change from the seat predictions was massive as a result.

Let's break down the American issues down to three issues - foreign policy, the domestic economy, and moral issues.

If you try to compare the Kerry plan to the Bush plan for the first two issues what do you get?
I don't really see a polarizing difference - differences yes but not ones that create a ballot question.
While you could argue it is a referendum on Bush's handling of the war, voters are voting on the future - and what actually was the difference between the two plans going forward?
In my opinion, it's really quite similiar to our election in June - whether one party was going to spend x billion on health care and the other x+1 on it wasn't going to move the voters.
Both incumbent parties tried to scare the heck out of the voters by claiming the other party wouldn't be able to fund their programs and would either raise taxes (US) or gut services (Can).
It really comes down to - as Joe said, it's better to go with the devil you know.

Moral issues - same issues on both sides of the border - same-sex marriage and abortion.
Many think this is what brought out the vote and the swing in Ontario especially in the last weekend - both from undecideds and from the NDP to the Liberals.
In Ohio yesterday, the percentage of voters who identified themselves as born-again Christians was very high and exit polls (can I use that still) identified that moral issues were the top priority for many of them.
Much will be said about these moral issues and many will make further conclusions about the differences between our two countries based on the results of ballot questions regarding same-sex marriage and politicians stances on abortion. Attention should also be focused on how the two parties, on either side of the border, presented their views on these sensitive topics. Bill Clinton would use the phrase "legal, safe, and rare" in describing his stance on abortion - a way of addressing the concerns of mainstream voters. I thought Bush's phrase "culture of life" was also effective.
Kerry could not state his position on same-sex marriage in a similiar way - he focused on Bush's policies as being divisive and therefore left voters to decided themselves where Kerry actually stood.
Up here, I feel that the Conservatives were in a terrible position in trying to defend a free vote policy on social issues that left them wide open for hidden agenda charges - they will have to address those policies whether they want to or not.

Will the Democrats in the US and Conservatives in Canada learn from their mistakes on social/moral policy?

Will we ever vote for the devils we don't know?

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