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Changes to original scenario...


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So I decided to go back and look at the original 2004 scenario, and I have to say that there are some things I don't really like. So, I decided to come out and ask, if you had some changes to make to the original scenario, what would they be? The purpose is finally to come up with a officious "revised" scenario.

I'll start.

First, I'd reduce the support for the Bloc in Québec and increase the Liberals there to make sure they hold on to more seats. I've too often seen the Bloc end up with more than 60 seats, which is irrealistic to say the least.

Second, I'd increase the support for the CPC in British Columbia, taking some away from Liberals.

Then I'd go about changing some issue positions:

Same-Sex Marriage for now is:

Draft legislation defining marriage as between two persons.

Leave it up to the Supreme Court.

Withdraw Supreme Court questions, hold free Parliamentary vote.

Draft legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Homosexuals need to be treated for their condition.

Which would mean that support for same-sex marriage is farther from the Center than banning it completely, and that the Center is the Conservatives' position! As we could easily see during the election, the CPC took a lot of flak for their position on SSM, the Liberals are a lot closer to Center. So I'd change it to this:

Abolish marriage, it's a useless institution.

Draft legislation defining marriage as between two persons.

Leave it up to the Supreme Court.

Withdraw Supreme Court questions, hold free Parliamentary vote.

Draft legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The terrorism Left position is the ridiculous "We should surrender to the terrorists". I'd say it should be changed to "Ignore terrorism, it's a waste of time" or "We should negotiate with terrorists".

I'd also consider changing the "balanced budget" to "debt reduction", since the issue really wasn't about balancing the budget but what to do with the debt and the surplus.

Then regional centers:

Québec having the same position on SSM as Alberta? Don't make me laugh, support for SSM is between 60 and 65% here. Québec's Center should be defining marriage as between two persons, no provincial politician even dares oppose it. I think BC, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces' Center should be "Leave it to the Supreme Court" while the Prairies' center be on "free parliamentary vote".

On abortion, again Québec is too much to the right. Sorry but a politician who would support a ban on abortion here would suffer one of the worst landslide defeat ever seen in living memory. Its Center should be on Center-Left, as should perhaps BC.

As to politicians' stance on issues, I'd change Layton's position on balanced budget to Center, since he made it very clear that he promised 4 straight balanced budget. And I'd change Harper's "military intervention" stance to center-right, his support for Canadian participation in the War in Iraq being widely recorded, so it seems he would support operations even outside a "peacekeeping" mission.

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Well, I changed a bunch of issue positions. Some were minor, but others were things I felt fit better:

//Abortion

Unrestricted access to abortions.

Legal abortions in the first two trimesters.

Hold free vote in Parliament about changing abortion laws.

No legal abortions, except for the mother's health or due to rape.

No legal abortions.

@

//Debt Reduction(as per Simon's recommendation)

Who cares about the debt - huge funding for social programs!

A small debt is okay if it means more funds for social programs.

We must balance the budget!

Cut spending to start paying off national debt.

Huge spending cuts! Make debt repayment our #1 priority!

@

//Business Tax

Significantly increase business taxation.

Increase business taxation by closing loopholes.

Business taxation is fine.

Business tax cuts balanced by cuts to 'corporate welfare'.

Significantly reduce business taxation.

@

// Corruption

Create a Ministry of Government Honesty.

More Auditor-General funding, independent ethics commissioner.

Independent ethics commissioner.

Government transparency is fine the way it is.

We need less government transparency.

@

//Education

Education is a right! Make university free!

Reduce tuition fees with increased federal funds for education.

Put more money into the Canada Student Loan program.

Cut back education funding. Encourage family savings.

Don't worry about access to post-secondary education.

@

//Free Trade

We need to erect large tariff barriers to protect all our industries.

Renegotiate NAFTA for environment, culture, and labour.

Approach open markets with caution.

Free and fair global trade.

All markets should be open!

@

//Gun Registry

We need more gun control than just a registry!

Maintain registry, no matter what the cost!

Maintain registry, but cap costs and public inquiry into overruns.

Get rid of gun registry, increase funding to RCMP!

Get rid of gun registry, and reduce other gun control.

@

//Immigration

Immigration is great, 1 million a year needed!

Immigration is great, import 1% of population a year.

Current levels of immigration are appropriate.

Focus on immigrants with needed skills and better integration.

Significantly reduce immigration!

@

//Kyoto Protocol

We should live like we were in the Stone Age.

Stay with Kyoto, with more environmental restrictions on businesses.

Stay with Kyoto.

Pull out of Kyoto, funding to other environmental initiatives.

Pull out of Kyoto, don't worry about the environment.

@

//Military Funding

Use Iceland's example and disband military. Canada stands for peace!

We should decrease military funding.

Keep military budget the same, but be more efficient.

Increase the military budget. Look into new technology.

Significantly increase military funding to meet new threats.

@

//Military Intervention

Keep the Canadian military in Canada at all times!

For humanitarian causes.

For peacekeeping.

If our national interests are threatened.

We can and should use our military might to further our own interests.

@

//Personal Tax

Canadians don't pay enough income tax! Universal tax increases!

Tax cut for the poor, tax increase for rich.

Leave income tax as is. Look into universal tax cuts later.

Tax cuts for middle-class Canadians.

The richest Canadians are the ones in need of tax cuts.

@

//Provincial Powers

Take many powers away from the provinces.

Take some powers away from the provinces.

Keep federal and provincial powers as they are.

Give some powers to the provinces.

Give many powers to the provinces.

@

//Public Health Care

Healthcare should be 100% public!

Allow existing private health clinics, but discourage further privatization.

Allow a private system to exist, but focus on the public sector.

Allow both public and private healthcare equally. Two-tier works best.

Reduce public health-care funding. Work toward 100% private.

@

//Same-Sex Marriage

Abolish marriage, it's a useless institution.

Draft legislation defining marriage as between two persons.

Leave it up to the Supreme Court.

Withdraw Supreme Court questions, hold free Parliamentary vote.

Draft legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

@

//Senate Reform

Abolish the Senate!

Immediately have elections for all Senate seats.

Begin appointing elected Senators to empty spots.

Create a committee to discuss Senate reform.

The Senate is fine the way it is.

@

//Terrorism

We should negotiate with the terrorists.

We need to fight the cause of terrorism, economic and social injustice.

Focus on better foreign policy, but use military force if we must.

We should not hesitate to use military force against terrorism.

Terrorism can only be stopped one way: military force.

@

//U.S. Relations

Reduce ties and trade with the US. Become closer with the EU.

We should stand up to the US more often.

We should strive to improve our relationship with the US

Create ministry for US-Canada relations, aim at customs union.

All the way with the USA!

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Debt Reduction

Who cares about the debt - huge funding for social programs!

A small debt is okay if it means more funds for social programs.

We must balance the budget!

Cut spending to start paying off national debt.

Huge spending cuts! Make debt repayment our #1 priority!

Unfortunately, there's a problem with this here, because there is no difference between the Center and Center-Left position. If you wish only to balance the budget, then it means that the debt will not be reduced, so that you accept a "small debt". I'd say something like:

Who cares about the debt! Huge increase in funding or tax cuts!

A small deficit is acceptable.

Balance the budget, let economic growth reduce the debt.

Use much of the surplus to lower the debt.

Huge spending cuts! Make debt repayment our #1 priority!

This would give Layton and Harper the Center position, as neither had a plan to reduce actively the debt. In fact, I never heard Harper talk of the debt while Layton put up a plan that said balanced budgets would mean a reduction of the debt-to-GDP ratio, which he considered more important than the debt itself. And the Center-Right position to Martin who normally spends most of the surplus toward lowering the debt.

I'd also consider changing military intervention to:

Keep the Canadian military in Canada.

For humanitarian causes and peacekeeping only.

For missions approved by the UN only.

If our national interests are threatened, no need for UN approval.

We can and should use our military might to further our own interests.

That would give Layton a CL position, a C position to Martin and a CR position to Harper (war in Iraq). Duceppe would be CL I think.

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Ok, anybody wants to have a glimpse of what the revised scenario would look like? I've taken the liberty to change the ridings file to

1-Reduce the Bloc in Québec, it shouldn't get 60+ seats too often now.

2-Reduce the Libs in BC in favor of the Cons, and reduced the NDP a little in Ontario in favor of the Libs.

3-Change the initial percentages of the ridings of Hamilton (the NDP was very underestimated in the original scenario in the region, while it ended up winning one riding massively and losing the others barely) and of Trinity-Spadina (still winnable for the NDP, as it was in the election, but no longer a sure thing).

Plus all the changes mentionned before with the issues.

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Thanks, Simon.

There are a few things I'd still change, though.

First off, you should put the actual population numbers for the ridings. I know it's not super important, but it's still more realistic.

Also, some of the candidate names are incorrect.

For Pontiac, the NDP candidate is listed as: Gretchen Schwartz.

Her last name is actually: Schwarz

Also, the Conservative candidate is listed for LaSalle-Emard as: Joe de Santis.

It's actually: Nicole Roy-Arcelin

I haven't found any other things yet, but I'll let you know if I do.

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