Yep, I can vote by mail, likely for the last time. After five years out of the country, Elections Canada will probably start questioning my extended absence from Canada, so by 2012, I may only be able to contribute through what meager influence I can make on other voters.
I'll probably vote in Kitchener Centre, as my last 'permanent' address. Unfortunately, it's an unfamiliar riding to me, since my last (counted) vote was Kitchener-Waterloo (I was eligible in 2006 in KC by mail, but the ballot didn't reach me). KW was easy, especially with the on-campus debates. The charismatic Liberal veteran versus the asshat Conservative, the NDP nooblet, and ridiculous Greeny. It was a pretty easy call.
In my latest riding; well we'll see who the candidates are. If voting by party, the Liberals get a massive 'meh', and I'm still waiting to see if the NDP can pull some excitement out of their ass. So really, it'll probably come down to candidates.
In terms of candidates, I'd probably support the NDP guy, Richard Walsh-Bowers. I appreciate his hefty professional and university academic backgrounds in clinical psychology - I believe higher education, especially in the sciences, can lead to a candidate better predisposed to critical thinking and objective analysis. Still, I haven't seen or read much on him, so we'll have to wait and see if he's persuasive, or if he supports any crackpot policies.
Karen Redman, the Liberal candidate... meh. She's the Liberal whip, and apparently fairly competent. But she lacks the powerhouse academics of Walsh-Bowers (BA English... fries with that?). The groups she's involved in seem like the polar opposite of anything I'd remotely care about - heavy church involvement, disabilities, dependent children, blah blah blah. She campaigns a lot for her riding's interests, which is great for her riding, but meaningless to me here in Seattle.
Even if I hadn't already summarily dismissed the Conservatives for their disregard of their own accountability platform, Steven Cage sounds like a pretty big asshat. Big MBA education and money job is his background (as a techie, I naturally distrust MBAs). Standard anti-Liberal rhetoric instead of an actual platform of his own... except for an aggressive opposition to gay marriage of course.
Oh, and a Communist Party candidate. Yarly! If that wasn't hilarious enough, he's a former truck driver on disability for stress and depression. What a winner!