The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.

Campaign Silliness So Far

A special election version of the Tyee's Fast Rewind.

By Mark Leiren-Young 1 Oct 2008 |

Mark Leiren-Young is a Vancouver screenwriter, playwright and journalist, and files his "Fast Rewind" summary of the news for The Tyee at the end of every month. His podcast interviews with notables about "Trees and Us" also appear on The Tyee.

image atom
Cartoon by Ingrid Rice.

ReformaTory leader Steve Harper slipped on his comfy sweater vest to announce his new campaign slogan: "Let them eat cold cuts."

Puffins pooped on Stephane Dion, Dion pooh-poohed the polls and Steve Harper pooped on Canadian culture. Meanwhile, Jack Layton suggested a coalition with the Liberals while the B.C. wing of the NDP merged with the Marijuana party.

Steve dreamed of a majority, Jack dreamed of redecorating Stornoway and Stephane dreamed of speaking English as well as Michael Ignatieff, or at least Jean Chretien.

The green shift was shafted, and so was the Green party leader, when Steve and Jack decided it would be unfriendly to their environment to let Elizabeth May debate them. Meanwhile, the Green party leader urged strategic voting to defeat the Tories, begging the question, what exactly is the strategy behind voting Green?

And Bloc-head Gilles Duceppe tried to separate himself from separatism, while looking like the best hope for blocking a Tory majority.

In honour of Stephen Harper's speechwriting team -- and because I was "pressed for time" -- I was hoping to crib this month's special election edition column from an Australian satirist, but that just didn't seem fair dinkum, eh.

So I've emerged from my niche and taken a break from moaning about subsidies at all the fancy taxpayer funded galas I attend to look back on the early days of a political campaign that has electrified Canadians from coast to coast and start making fun of Sarah Palin, because look how well that did for the CBC and Heather Malick.

When I hear the word "culture," I reach for my revolver...

The ReformaTories™ reminded voters they were more Reform than Tory when Steve took a run at Canadian culture claiming it was a "niche" issue. The arts community terrified the Tories with a quick and powerful response that included crafting several limericks beginning with the line, "There once was a Tory named Steve…"

Former Stephen Harper speechwriter, Owen Lippert, resigned from the Tory staff after it was discovered that the speech he wrote where Steve urged Canada to send troops to Iraq was plagiarized from a speech by former Australian prime minister John Howard. However, there's still no word on who's expected to resign over all the Tory campaign tactics that have been plagiarized from Karl Rove.

Ritz Crackers

Tory Agriculture Minister Gerry "wise cracker" Ritz made headlines after joking about that wacky listeria outbreak that has killed 19 Canadians, claiming the controversy was causing the government to suffer, "the death of a thousand cold cuts." Since then, the minister in charge of Canada's food safety has ducked reporters, but offered to hire Owen Lippert as a food taster.

The Tories kicked off their campaign with a Benny Hill-ish online ad showing a puffin pooping on alleged Liberal leader Stephane Dion. Following controversy over the tasteless and juvenile ad, Steve promptly offered a sincere apology to puffins everywhere.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows that more than 50 per cent of Canadians are pooping like puffins over the possibility of a Tory majority, but most are unwilling to change their votes to stop it. And we mock American voters why exactly?

Canada launched a new "do not call" website. Unfortunately it won't block calls from politicians or pollsters.

All Apologies

Two BC NDP candidates resigned over their drug use, while BC NDP candidate Julian West resigned for getting naked in front of minors and a Liberal candidate in Winnipeg was cut loose over her 9-11 conspiracy theories. The mass of resignations proved conclusively that while Canadian political parties apparently don't know how to Google potential candidates, reporters do.

NDP leader Jack Layton occasionally got bored of saying "when I'm prime minister" and was caught musing about "when I'm president" and "when I replace the Edge in U2 and headline 'Live Aid' with Bono."

Foreign Affairs Minister David "If this is Tuesday, I must be Tory" Emerson announced he wouldn't be running for reelection in Vancouver Kingsway. Apparently Emerson felt it was time to retire after realizing he wasn't sure what party he wanted to defect to after the election.

Newfies screech about Harper

Newfoundland's Progressive Conservative Premier, Danny Williams, is urging Canadians to vote "anything but Conservative" because he's afraid Steve Harper's no longer Progressive Conservative party will move even further to the right if reelected. Williams launched an anti-Tory website and has threatened to expand his anti ReformaTory campaign across Canada. Just thought I'd mention it before heading back to my niche....

Related Tyee stories:


Read more: Politics

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Is One Art or Design Skill You Wish to Learn?

Take this week's poll