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This Website is a Work of Fiction

CanadaVotes 2008 is not affiliated with Elections Canada and has nothing to do with the real federal election that may yet occur later this year. Instead, CanadaVotes 2008 was a site created in support to a work of blog fiction called The Week of the Rhinoceros, a multi-author blog drama depicting a fictional election in 2008 where the Conservatives fall, and a majority Rhinoceros Party government is elected.

For more information about the real 2008 election, you should visit:

Speech from the Throne

Quote from Hansard:

At 10:15 p.m., Her Excellency the Governor General having come and being seated upon the Throne —

The Hon. the Speaker said:

Usher of the Black Rod,

Proceed to the House of Commons and acquaint that House that it is the pleasure of Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada that they attend her immediately in the Senate chamber.

The House of Commons arrives,

Their Speaker, the Hon. Peter Milliken, said:

May it please Your Excellency,

The House of Commons has elected me their Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If, in the performance of those duties, I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault may be imputed to me, and not to the Commons, whose servant I am, and who, through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and Country, humbly claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to Your Excellency’s person at all seasonable times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your Excellency the most favourable construction.

[Translation]

The Hon. the Speaker of the Senate answered:

Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by Her Excellency the Governor General to declare to you that she freely confides in the duty and attachment of the House of Commons to Her Majesty’s Person and Government, and not doubting that their proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, she grants, and upon all occasions will recognize and allow, their constitutional privileges. I am commanded also to assure you that the Commons shall have ready access to Her Excellency upon all seasonable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as your words and actions, will constantly receive from her the most favourable construction.

[English]

Speech from the Throne

Her Excellency the Governor General was then pleased to open the First Session of the Fortieth Parliament with the following speech:

Honourable Members of the Senate,

Members of the House of Commons,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

And everybody watching at home:

As the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am honoured to welcome the newly elected members of the House of Commons on the occasion of the opening of the First Session of the Fortieth Parliament of Canada.

As is traditional for this position, my task today is to read the speech prepared by the right honourable prime minister, before the combined assembly of the House of Commons and the Senate. At my first throne speech, I was given the opportunity to add a few words of my own at the start of the speech, an opportunity I greatly appreciated, as I appreciate here.

[Translation]

Doubtless some people think it odd, even funny, that the Head of State of this country would be obliged to read a speech on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, that was written by someone else. Thus the elected representatives of this country have the power to get Her Majesty’s representative to say absolutely anything, so I can understand how the temptation to play with that power might be irresistible.

[English]

Therefore, I must begin by saying, I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout.

Hon. Senators (Interjection): Oh! Oh!

Right Hon. Prime Minister (Interjection): You’re supposed to move your hands!

The Hon. the Speaker said: Order!

Her Excellency, the Governor General: I only have to read it. I don’t have to act it out. That’s the limit of my constitutional obligations. I checked.

Now, if I may continue.

Two days ago, the Canadian people elected a new government. The Government is honoured and humbled by the responsibility it has been given, and it will not shirk that responsibility. Two days ago, the Canadian people voted for change, a change in the attitude both in and around parliament, and we will implement that change.

[Translation]

Our first act, to be introduced at the sitting of the House later today, will be to insert the word “fun” in all Acts of Parliament, from which it is conspicuously absent. Once accomplished, we will call a meeting of First Ministers, to begin negotiations to insert the word in Acts of Provincial Legislatures, and the Bylaws of municipalities, thus preventing a fun imbalance in this great land.

We anticipate a hectic session in parliament as we strive to implement the policies Canadians have chosen, but we believe that there is no time like the present. Some of our policies, such as repealing the law of gravity, will take time to implement, possibly with significant investment in quantum physics institutes, but we can signal our intentions as early as today to make this country a leader in bold an outrageous policies to change the world — nay, the Universe!

[English]

In conclusion, the previous government said it would not try to do all things at once. That showed an unfortunate inability to multitask. During this fortieth parliament, the Government will bring forward policies that will change the way Canadians think about their politicians, about politics in general, and the strength of their democracy.

[Translation]

Honourable Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Commons: May Divine Providence guide your deliberations.

[English]

And may God help us all.


The sitting of the Senate was resumed.

Prime Minister Elect Brian Salmi

A great man once said ‘I have but two things to say to you: Celery and Sidewalk. Thank you, good night.’

(cheers)

We are humbled by the verdict Canadian voters handed down. Humbled and a bit flabbergasted. I think it’s safe to say that nobody in this country expected to find me here, talking to so many cameras, and so many Canadians. I do not take this honour lightly.

However, Canadians sent a message to Ottawa tonight, a message that rang out loud and clear. Myself, and the 159 other members of the Rhinoceros Party who will make up our caucus, will carry that message to Ottawa. We will not be intimidated by the size of the stones on Parliament Hill, or the paintings in the chambers of power. Canadians want us in Ottawa, so we will proceed to Ottawa with due haste.

I have communicated with the Governor General, and with outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper. It is my pleasure to tell you that we will head to Ottawa first thing tomorrow, to swear ourselves in and get down to the business of government. Parliament Hill won’t know what hit it.

You may think that tonight was a historic night, and it was. But to quote those great philosophers, Bachmann Turner Overdrive, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Hit it!

The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper

stephen-harper-2008-08-26.jpg

My fellow Canadians, even before my time in public life, I have had foremost a respect for the wisdom of the electorate. True enough, I haven’t always agreed with the outcome of your collective decision - and tonight, I must admit, is one of those nights - but I have accepted that when the broad consensus of an election night is reached, it is surely the Canadian people who know what’s best for Canada, not me. I won’t pretend that I am not disappointed with tonight’s results; I can’t pretend that I anticipated them either. But I accept them and appreciate the message you have sent us.

I have been your Prime Minister for nearly two years. It is the highest honour that can be bestowed to a fellow citizen and each day I woke up humbled by the trust you placed in the Conservative party and its leader. I do not look back at these past years with regret or disappointment. I am a proud of our achievements. In a short time, our government introduced the most significant anti-corruption legislation passed in Canada’s history; we advanced the cause of aboriginal Canadians further than had been done in the past generation; we launched the rebuilding of our woefully neglected military; we resolved trade disputes that lingered for decades; we returned to the Arctic and the world. All the while, our economy boomed, joblessness fell and our fiscal house never looked stronger.

I am proud of our government and proud of our party.

Fellow members of the Conservative party,

From you, your tireless efforts and your boundless creativity, I have drawn immense inspiration. In tonight’s defeat you should draw no lessons. You fought the good fight, you ran to the last mile. I believe in the Conservative party and I believe in the ideas that make the conservative movement in Canada. I believe in you. There is only one conclusion I can draw in from this campaign: I failed you. Effective immediately, I resign from my post as leader of this great party so that we can renew ourselves and take government once more and soon. Make no mistake, I am not resigning and withdrawing. I am here with you, fellow Canadians, fellow conservatives, to soldier on and make Canada a great place.

God Bless Canada and thank you very much.

Mes cher Liberaux,

I’d like to thank you all for being here tonight. I’ve been on the road campaigning from coast to coast to coast this campaign so I haven’t had the chance to thank the hard working volunteers of St.Laurent Cartierville. So, merci. Merci beaucoup! It’s been my honour to represent the citizens of St.Laurent Cartierville for the past dozen years. I will continue to fight for your concerns in Ottawa for the next four.

I’d also like to offer my sincere gratitude to the men and women who ran under the Liberal banner. I’d like to thank the men and women who knocked on doors, pounded in signs, and made phone calls. There are over 40 Liberal MPs who owe you their gratitude for getting them elected and hundreds more who are equally grateful for your work. Even if they didn’t all win, every candidate I’ve talked to was proud to run as a Liberal and fight for the Canada we wanted.

And remember, mes chers amis, what we fought for, was worth fighting for.

Social Justice. This is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is the party of same sex marriage. This is the party of child care.

Economic Sustainability. This party restored Canada’s finances after the Mulroney years. The work of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin has not been in vain and every day Canadians benefit from the decisions they made during our 13 years in power.

And, the environment. We went out there every day for the first week of the campaign talking about the need for action on the climate change crisis facing the world. We gave Canadians a green plan and talked about the need for environmental sustainability. We can all be proud of that.

We all know this wasn’t the night we’d hoped. Canadians sent a message to ALL parties tonight. A message that they are sick of politics as usual. Sick of rhetoric. Sick of hollow promises. The Liberal Party has heard this message loud and clear and we will respond.

I can assure you all, that the Liberal Party is not going anywhere. This party has done so much for Canada over the years from Laurier, to King, to St.Laurent, to Pearson, to Trudeau, to Turner, to Chretien, to Martin…we will be back. Don’t anyone doubt that.

I have called the leader of the Rhinoceros Party and conceded. I wish him the bets of luck and offered him whatever help he needed in governing Canada. Quebecers rejected separatism tonight and Canadians from coast to coast rejected the current government. We need to spend the next four years convincing voters that we are ready to govern again. Voters didn’t feel that way this time and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to renew this party. I can assure you that I will put all my energy into rebuilding this party. However, it will not be as the Liberal leader. In the next few days I will consult with the party executive to plan for a leadership contest - I will stay on as interim leader but it will be up to someone else to lead us back to power.

I’d like to thank all Liberals for their support over the years. And, above all else, I’d like to thank my wife for standing by my side. Je t’aime cherie!

I will always be proud to be a Liberal.

Vive le Canada!

The Leader of the New Democratic Party, Mr. Jack Layton

Good evening, my friends.

Well, never let it be said that the people of Canada don’t have the power to effect change.

My fellow Canadians, this has been a historic night.

For the first time in the history of this country, Canadian voters rose up and delivered a message to the established parties. They said no more to politics as usual. And by golly, did they ever get what they asked for.

I must say, I am disappointed by the results.

I will be honest with you, however. While Canadians have punished the New Democratic Party to a lesser extent than the Conservatives and Liberal parties, they were clear in their message: we need to work much harder in respecting and understanding the wishes of ordinary Canadians.

My friends, the New Democratic Party has devoted itself to serving the needs of ordinary Canadians. We were instrumental in the creation of Medicare. We fought things that benefit Canadians as a whole, such as labour standards, clean air, child care, and social justice.

But Canadians have come to disbelieve in the credibility of politicians of all stripes. It’s not enough to champion what we believe Canadians want; we have to learn to listen, to hear what Canadians actually want.

The New Democratic Party is in a unique position to do this; to reinvent politics to serve Canadians instead of politicians. We believe that the electoral system needs to be changed to reflect the will of Canadians; that a better code of conduct needs to be implemented in our Parliament, one that removes the childish insults of Parliamentary Debates; and that the unrepresentative Senate needs to be abolished.

Therefore it is up to us to take advantage of NDP’s desire for meaningful change, to remodel ourselves into what Canadians need us to be. We must be open to new ideas, or we must get out of the way. And to that end, I shall get out of the way.

I have notified our party president of my intention to resign as the leader of the New Democratic Party. I will hand over power to an interim leader, to be decided by NDP Caucus and Federal Council, who will hold power until a leadership convention can be held. I do this with regret, but with confidence.

We’ve had setbacks before, and we’ve always returned, revitalized, reinvigorated. Soon, we shall be back.

So, tonight, let us celebrate our achievements, and tomorrow, plan our rebirth. Thank you and good night.

The Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the Honourable Gilles Duceppe

(Translated from French)

My friends… My friends…

Tonight we have suffered a great blow. Tonight, we have lost seats and we have lost influence. There is no escaping that fact. There is no shame in it either. We fought a hard campaign. We fought a disciplined campaign. We took our message to the people of Quebec and the people of Quebec listened. And they disagreed with us.

That’s life. That’s democracy. We have to respect that fact, even if we do not appreciate it. Or understand it. We serve the people, so we respect their judgement.

There is a fault line in parliamentary democracy. It comes in the form of the undecided, of the disgruntled voter, of the individual who chooses not to vote. For several elections, we have seen voter turnout slide lower and lower, and through it all, we have said that silence equals consent. We are like the people beside the San Andreas fault who say that no movement today means no movement ever.

But today, the people of Quebec have spoken, along with the people of the nation of Canada, and they have given us all a stern judgement. Every party has suffered, shaken apart by an earthquake down the fault line of Canadian politics. Institutions have toppled.

Tomorrow, Quebeckers and Canadians will have to wake up, and assess the damage their judgement has done. They may not like what they see. But I will not be around to tell them I told them so. They have made their decision and they will live with it. And they have told me that I am not the one who can deliver their future. Therefore, effective immediately, I must resign my position as leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

This party needs to do some soul searching, as do all parties, as do I think the people of Quebec. Whatever we decide, whatever Quebeckers decide, we will see a new political order emerge, governed by the wishes of the people of Quebec. Perhaps the old parties will adjust to this reality, or perhaps new parties will form.

Of one thing I am certain: Quebeckers showed the power they still wield over the political process. Therefore they have the power to reform it, and have expressed the strongest interest to do so. I regret I cannot be a part of that. But it will be an interesting future.

Bonne chance, Quebec. And good night.

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