Will our children inherit a Canada where polar bears can only be found on Toonies?

polar bear on toonie image photo illustration by franke james

TORONTO, September 30 — Concerned that one day polar bears may only be found on Toonies, and that Canadian voters are wrongly being asked to choose between the economy and the environment on October 14th, Canadian artist Franke James has created a visual letter to Stephen Harper.
Dear Prime Minister
“Dear Prime Minister, You say a pollution tax would wreak havoc on our economy”
See the visual letter.

Weaving together expressive drawings with photos and hand drawn text, James asks the Prime Minister simple and thought-provoking questions including this pivotal one, “why are you making us choose between the economy and the environment

James challenges Harper’s assertion that the other parties are “dangerous because they will tax polluters.” She asks, “But if we don’t tax polluters, who will pay to clean up the mess? Will my children — and yours — be paying?” She backs up her statements on the Alberta oil sands and China, with facts from the Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, The Telegraph UK and other sources.

The “Dear Prime Minister” letter urges all Canadians to vote for the environment and the economy on October 14th. James says, “Canada has one of the worst records for emissions of any G8 nation. Pollution is a bullet we can’t dodge. If we don’t act now we are only fooling ourselves. Our children will pay the price in a damaged environment. The upcoming federal election is an opportunity for us to send a strong message that we must tax pollution now, rather than pass the mess (and expense) onto our children!” She asks, “Will our children inherit a Canada where polar bears can only be found on Toonies?”

What People Are Saying:

“With wit and flair, Franke shows the Harper government’s environmental policies are nonsense — and severely jeopardizing our children’s future.”
Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

“Wowzers! This is FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for sharing it. Your visual essay clearly articulates the risks of NOT acting. Policy analysts struggle to convey what you have so clearly expressed.” Eli van der Giessen, David Suzuki Foundation

About the Artist:

Franke James is a Canadian artist and writer who blogs at MyGreenConscience.com (www.frankejames.com). She is also an entertaining and persuasive advocate for the environment. In 2007 James battled Toronto City Hall for the right to build a “green driveway” and won. She has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University. James’ environmental essays have been featured in newspapers, TV, radio, books and online.

Web links:

Dear Prime Minister visual letter
Franke James’ bio

Contact information:

Franke James, MFA
Email: franke@frankejames.com
Website: MyGreenConscience.com
(resolves to: https://www.frankejames.com)
Tel: (416) 256-9166

Can Whack the PM accurately predict Canada’s federal election results?

Whack the PM is the election polling game no leader wants to win.

So far our track record is 100%. Can we do it again in 2008? We need your help.

In 2004, Stephen Harper received the most number of whacks, giving him the dubious distinction of being the most despised leader. Whack the PM predicted that Harper would lose the election. And he did. (Click on the image to view it bigger.)

whack the pm final results screen from 2004

You can also read an analysis of the results: 2004 Whack the PM Summary. It shows the issues the leaders were getting whacked for. And the differences by region, right across Canada.

In the 2006 election, Paul Martin received the most number of whacks. We predicted that he would go down to defeat. And he did. Uncanny but true. Correct for both elections.

whack the pm final results screen from 2006

Will Whack the PM accurately predict election results for 2008?

We don’t know. As of today, September 17th, Stephen Harper is leading, which would mean he’ll lose the election. But that can’t be right can it? All of the official polls have Stephen Harper winning the election. So, we’ll just to have to wait and see.

Add your voice by playing www.whackthepm.ca


Whack the PM, an online polling game and strategic voting tool at www.whackthepm.ca, is helping Canadians address the election issues and decide who they should vote against.

Whack the PM puts the leaders of the five top parties in a simmering hot tub with tough questions about global warming, the economy, leadership, food safety, Afghanistan, minority governments and the kicker — “All politicians are liars. Why should I trust you?”

With each question, voters respond by whacking the candidate who has the most irritating answer on the head. Using this visceral and interactive process, voters determine which leader is most deserving of their distrust.

Whack the PM offers strategic voting advice on a riding-by-riding basis. It has been designed to select the candidate who has the best chance of defeating your detested leader in your riding. For example, if you want to defeat the Liberals, you may be advised to vote for the NDP, the Tories, or whichever candidate has the best chance to defeat them. It helps voters make the most effective and strategic use of their votes.

2004 and 2006 Media Buzz on Whack the PM:

“The most interesting “poll” to follow this seething country may, in fact, not even be a proper poll at all but a bit of a prank on the Web called Whack the PM. Run by a Toronto visual-arts group called the James Gang, the site has been tracking nothing but public anger — and has run uncannily close to the shifts in the more legitimate polls.” Roy MacGregor, The Globe and Mail

“www.whackthepm.ca, created by the clever and irreverent minds of Bill and Franke James of Toronto’s The James Gang, not only sweetens an otherwise humourless campaign, but also ties a fun game to a (highly informal) poll.” Jack Kapica, The Globe and Mail

“Arguably the most fun un-scientific election prognosticator is the Web site “Whack the PM!” run by the James Gang…” Tom Blackwell, The National Post

“Hot: Whack the PM. The Internet election game has been a big hit during this campaign, and not only in Canada. Recent statistics show that 33 U.S. Government employees have even played the game as well as 230 people in Britain and 11 in Switzerland. Says the game’s operator, Franke James: “I thought the Swiss were neutral.” Jane Taber, The Globe and Mail

2006 Articles:
Jane Taber: Whack the PM is HOT
National Post: Whack the PM is Front Page News
Jack Kapica: Whack-a-pol: Here’s an election poll nobody wants to win