• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

"Canadian Forces warns members affiliated with radical groups"

The first few paragraphs of Granatstein's article can be read here, or a copy purchased.

Journal of Canadian Studies
Vol. 4, No. 1, February 1969


dapaterson said:
Don't forget, CAF electors are supposed to vote in the location identified in their Statement of Ordinary Residence, not where they are domiciled.  . . .

And if we continue to make the assumption that all Regular Forces members are abiding by Special Voting Rules then it seems that interest in the political process is not that deep in the CF.  Or else, the majority vote in the riding where they are stationed/live.

2008 Election
Members of the Canadian Forces can vote in a general election by special ballot wherever they are stationed. For a minimum period of three days between September 29 and October 4, 2008, polling stations were set up on Forces bases around the world to give all members the opportunity to vote. There were 62,401 Canadian Forces electors on the lists for the 40th general election. Of them, 23,034 voted but 437 of the ballots had to be rejected. In the end, the ballots of 22,597 Canadian Forces electors were counted.

Some 4,050 of these electors were unable to vote during the prescribed period because of their assigned military duties. To allow them to vote, the Chief Electoral Officer adapted the Act, extending the Special Voting Rules period.

Some civilian personnel supporting the Forces in Afghanistan and other locations around the world were disappointed at not being able to vote at the Forces polling stations. According to the legislation, these individuals had to complete an application requesting a special ballot from Elections Canada in Ottawa. Once they completed their ballot, they had to return it to Ottawa by the prescribed deadline

2011 Election
Canadian Forces voting

Members of the Canadian Forces (CF) can vote by special ballot in a general election wherever they are stationed. For a minimum period of three days between April 18 and April 23, 2011, polling stations were set up on CF bases around the world to give all members the opportunity to vote. Because the military voting period happened to include religious and statutory holidays, some electors may have been on leave. Liaison officers were advised to encourage unit commanding officers to hold voting at the beginning of the military voting period. For the first time, an ad was published in base papers and on the Elections Canada Web site to inform CF members of their voting options.

Some 4,598 CF electors were unable to vote during the prescribed voting period because of their assigned military duties. To allow them to vote, the Chief Electoral Officer adapted the Canada Elections Act, extending the Special Voting Rules period.

Some CF members were still unable to vote during the designated military voting period because they were deployed and not able to vote at their military base. The current legislation offers little flexibility when dealing with such situations.

Approximately 2,500 CF members stationed in Afghanistan voted. The CF helped facilitate voting by special ballot for civilian personnel in Afghanistan.

There were 65,198 CF electors on the lists for the 41st general election. Of them, 26,667 voted by special ballot but 551 of the ballots were rejected. In the end, the ballots of 26,116 CF electors were counted.

Wasn't able to find a similar statement in the reports for the 2015 election
dapaterson said:
Such information would not be releaseable to researchers, as it would be trivial to associate individuals with their ballot.

My supposition is that Dr G merely extrapolated results from ridings with large military facilities; both he & Dr Morton are typical of Canadian "all star" academics: big fish in a small pond, with reputations that they have started to believe in themselves...

First of all, Dapaterson, the very introductory page of Prof. Granastein's article gracefully provided above by  Michael O'Leary certainly contradicts your supposition, which on a personal note I must say is quite a statement on the ethics of Canadian academics. I would love to know your basis for such a negative view of these people.

Second, Elections Canada releases data all the time in forms that protects the confidentiality of the vote. I would like to point out, however, that what I theorized on does not reveal one's vote. I did not mention, BTW, that there would be any names attached to each vote - something that could not be one anyway. On any given base, there would likely be more than one voter for each riding so all you would have in the table, for instance is "Riding of Pictou-Kicking-Pass (to use a famous Canadian comedian's fake riding): PC = 7, Lib = 16, NDP = 9, etc." The actual ballots, that contain no identification of any member, would be sealed in an envelope and forwarded to that riding for inclusion in case of an official recount. Finally, on a list held only at the base's voting section, there would be an indication beside an individual's name on the local list that he/she (it?) has voted. These list would not go anywhere else.

And Blackadder, you are right in qualifying your statement on the basis of an assumption. These statistics cover only the votes cast by CAF members by way of the special ballots. I can think of three instances where the likelihood is high of the CAF members voting as part of the general public: Most naval NCM's, because they are home-ported either in Halifax or Victoria, put down more permanent roots and likely vote in their actual riding of residence; similarly, I suspect many of the members posted to Ottawa in fields where, while they may change jobs as a result of their posting, will not move out of the National Capital region for a long time; and members on their "retirement" posting that have obtained it at or near the location where they will live in retirement.
I was a Deputy Returning Officer for the military vote in Petawawa in 1983. Almost every single CF Member who came to my desk (one of five or six) enthusiastically stated their intent to "vote the (varied plural expletive) out" or "vote Conservative" or variants of those.
I fully acknowledge that Dr G's article intro does disqualify some of my inferences and accusations; I withdraw them.

That said, my impressions of much of Canadian academia remain: inward looking, quibbling for status amongst themselves, believing their own press, and lacking the depth of most of their international peers.
Oldgateboatdriver said:
. . .  The actual ballots, that contain no identification of any member, would be sealed in an envelope and forwarded to that riding for inclusion in case of an official recount.  . . . 

Not to pick flyshit out of pepper, but the ballots are counted in Ottawa.  Elections Canada have kindly outlined the process of counting the ballots of CF electors and communicating the results on their site.

Communicating the results

As soon as the special ballots are counted at Elections Canada in Ottawa, the Special Voting Rules Administrator informs the Chief Electoral Officer of the results of the special ballot vote for each riding. The Chief Electoral Officer totals the results, for each riding, of the vote by special ballot of Canadian Forces electors, Canadian citizens residing outside the country and incarcerated electors; these three categories are designated Group 1. After the polling stations close on polling day, the Group 1 results for each riding are sent to the appropriate returning officer.

The other category of electors whose votes are counted in Ottawa is that of Canadian residents absent from their ridings. The results of these votes are tallied separately from Group 1 and sent to the appropriate returning officer, who adds this result to the result for electors voting by special ballot in their own ridings. These two categories are designated as Group 2.

The results of the two groups are reported separately on polling night. All the results of the special ballot votes are then added to the total results for each riding.
Oldgateboatdriver said:
The problem with "political spectrum" theory is that, I personally don't believe that it applies much in Canada, or most Parliamentarian system countries.

In Canada, in my view, almost all politics is centrist, and then either a little left or little right. If your positions are in that small portion of the spectrum, you can achieve power after an election, if you don't and don't move there, you can't. It's the old Liberal trick, BTW. Promise on the left end of spectrum but, in office, govern from the centre. The "die-hard" Liberals know that they will govern from the centre so are not worried, while there are usually enough left leaning fools every time to vote for them thinking they will actually deliver. The recipe cannot work for the Conservatives because (1) there are not enough "hard" right people in Canada to try and fool into voting Conservatives and (2) the more centrist people are actually afraid that the Conservatives will deliver extreme right policies even when they don't promise them, or at least enough centrist that are convinced by the Liberals that it will be so, even though just about every Conservative government since WWII has been just as centrist as the Liberals.

Now, to input some facts into the CAF members view discussion: On the larger bases, with on base accommodation for members and families, the polls are usually found on the base. As a result it is possible to get an overall picture of how CAF members vote by reviewing the section by section vote on those bases. The sample is proportionally so large as to deliver an extremely high reliability figure of how CAF members vote.

As far as I know, only one such study has ever been made. It was done by historian Jack Granastein in the late 70's/early 80's, and it reviews data for Post WWII elections to 1968 (inclusive)*. The findings: The members of the CAF consistently voted for the Liberals throughout. No research has been done on this since. However, I consider the following to be anecdotal data supporting the view that this is still the case: When you look at CAF retired members standing for office since 1968, and in particular our more senior officers from Fred Mifflin to Andrew Leslie, and including people such as Mark Garneau and our DefMin Sajan, they for the most part stand under the Liberal banner.

So, personally, I am not at all convinced that overall, the political views of the members of the CAF are much different than the Canadian population's views at large. I rather think that they closely mirror one another.

I think that it would be dangerous to equate the CAF members generally more conservative (small c) personal outlook on life with their actually voting Conservative (capital C).   

*: In one of his essays published in 2013, Prof. Granastein refers to this research of his and to the fact that no other has been made since. I am pretty sure none has been done since 2013.

A debate/discussion on the political spectrum is, tbh, sorely needed in the political threads. I believe that it is a simplistic model that many many many people take too literal and use it to choose "sides" rather than to understand political nuance.

As for the poll by Mr. Granatstein, I actually don't see any reason to not believe the results. In 1969 it is entirely believable to me that military personnel would support the LPC over the PC party. The post war period saw 3 x Liberal PMs who were largely pro-military. Mackenzie-King wasn't a huge fan of the military, but supported conscription (sort of) and the Canadian war effort in WW2. More importantly Louis St. Laurent presided over arguably the last period in Canadian history where the CAF was a priority.

For his part, Lester B. Pearson's government (in power in until 68) between 2.5 and 3% of GDP on defence. Heck, even the elder Trudeau spent over 2% of GDP on the military in 68, the year of the poll. I believe that it is with the elder trudeau and Chretien where you would see a break in support for the Liberals.
Shrek1985 said:
I'll assume you're totally unfamiliar with the axiom of "Never give an order you know will not be obeyed"?

Okay; so you first have to accept that such a thing is possible and maybe you don't; sometimes orders are issued which are so asinine, so patently useless, so onerous and also so unenforceable that they will not be obeyed.

What I propose is enforceable and better still; practicable. A Canadian population which would be at peace with the values of soldiers is outside the reach of the military to bring about. A military founded on what passes for Canadian values today would be non-functional on the face of it. Of course, a reasonable person might ask; "Why should we care what values our soldiers possess, if we do not care what values new Canadian immigrants possess? After all; get in enough of them and *our* values will soon be changing, no?" One might also question; "What does it matter what values the military of the first post-national state possess?"

I would in fact propose, in a brief aside; that in order to preserve the beautiful snowflake nation that we have, that an army as different from the average Canadian as possible would be ideal.

So my responsibilities are coloured by the strict letter of the CanForGens which severely limit political action by Canadian Forces members. I couldn't write to my member of parliament as a forces member and be like; "A number of my soldiers are concerned with the direction our country is taking in regards to feminist indoctrination at all levels, the increasingly cult-like nature of our schools, and failure to attract and assimilate people from compatible cultures, could you do something about that?"

Soldiers are human; humans have limits and interests. it pays to remember that when fighting or leading them. It's one thing to end up fighting for people who think differently than you; so long as they're part of the bigger population. It's another when those interests seem to control the government, schools, the media, culture, ect.

I think we've all been in that place; coming back from the field and catching a bit of news and feeling like we're the Legion, guarding the walls of the Empire, while the barbarians batter at the gates and the wind shifts and you can just *Smell* Rome burning behind you. We need to help each other get through that and deal with it, not shun anyone who smells smoke and wonders aloud where it's coming from.

But I'm a leader and I wasn't trained to reject my soldiers for anything. Even if they're useless someone else will come take them away, *IF* I fail to remediate their performance. It would be a sin to lose a good soldier to the PC police, we don't have any to spare.

If you are a leader can I assume that you have studied "Duty with Honour?" It was published in 2009 and is found in our leadership courses and unit-level ethics/leadership professional development sessions. What you are saying throughout your post directly contradicts that publication.

Duty with Honour lays out our Canadian Armed Forces' ethos. It states that "Military values must always be in harmony and never in conflict with Canadian values." There are aspects of our military ethos that do distinguish us as members of the military. Our focus on duty, loyalty, integrity and courage makes us a little different. These values are certainly esteemed in general society, but we in the military must live by them. They are not, however, in opposition to Canadian values.

Unlimited liability, fighting spirit, teamwork, discipline and physical fitness are fundamental beliefs of our military ethos - these set us apart perhaps but they do not isolate us. They amplify things and place certain restrictions on us but they are not in discord with Canadian values.  While we sometimes live different lives than the average Canadian, we are still part of that Canada. Note the emphasis on discipline.

This is not about thought crimes. The thread is about a prohibition against joining a radical group. Joining that radical group is an action - not a thought. Registering, speaking or blogging are actions. The order to desist from such activity is completely possible to obey. I am comfortable giving orders that my subordinates may not want to follow. As long as the order is legal and in keeping with our ethos I can live with unpopularity.

I have no idea what you on about regarding being in the Roman Legions and coming home from the field and thinking that "Rome" is burning. I think that you are being melodramatic. I returned to Canada two years ago after a year-long deployment and I feel very happy about my country.

I realize that this may come across as lecturing. I read and re-read the quoted post and reflected on it yesterday and I feel strongly that I should offer a different view.


In short: you can't tell people what to think, but you can hold them accountable if they act on that thinking.
I was part of a group that received a simple message from a leader 45 years ago,
"You come from a society with many prejudices. I cannot change your beliefs, but if you treat anyone with disrespect, I can change your employment!”

It probably took less than 60 seconds.
Would a CAF member come under fire if he or she belonged to an organization that was considered radical or included hate speech/teachings if the member didn't partake in said language themselves, either in person or on social media?
Jarnhamar said:
Would a CAF member come under fire if he or she belonged to an organization that was considered radical or included hate speech/teachings if the member didn't partake in said language themselves, either in person or on social media?

Asking for a friend? :)
Jarnhamar said:
Would a CAF member come under fire if he or she belonged to an organization that was considered radical or included hate speech/teachings if the member didn't partake in said language themselves, either in person or on social media?

Tango2Bravo made it very clear.  Your actions.  By joining, you are activley supporting that organization.  What would you say if the news found out that Trudeau was a card carrying, up to date member of say the Conservatives, or Antifa, yet kept it very secret?  The public would eat him up alive.


daftandbarmy said:
Asking for a friend? :)

Ha. Definitely not in the example I'm thinking of (and I even find gun orgs too radicalized for me)

Colin P said:
So is Greenpeace a "radical" group?

Or Peta?

I was going to say how it's interesting that a member would come under fire for simply joining said radical organization (I don't disagree) however certain religious have some pretty serious hate speech built into the books and it's different.
I don't think that the restriction is meant to keep individuals from joining LEGAL organizations, regardless of what that organization holds as its values. The orders being given are that you are not to be identified as CAF member when doing so. So, if I want to join PETA, Greenpeace, the CPC, or the Arian Brotherhood, I must ensure that I don't identify as a CAF member, which means I don't show up to meetings/events, etc. sporting my uniform, ship's ballcap, DND parking pass, etc. Any mail goes to my off base address, and my social media accounts don't have any identifiers (pics, groups, links, etc.) to the CAF.

The bigger issue is whether an individual can truly integrate the CAF values with their own personal beliefs.
Nowadays just belonging is enough, if the link is made by others by searching social media and the brass are questioned on it.

You may have to define "Legal" better, because I bet an organization like the "Proud boys" would fit the term. "Mainstream" may be what you are referring to. Would attending a meeting hosted by the "Rebel" be enough to get you in hot water? Maybe not now, but maybe later.
Colin P said:
You may have to define "Legal" better, because I bet an organization like the "Proud boys" would fit the term.

I don't know what the "Legal" definition would be, but who would want to join?

Proud Boys was founded by a man named Gavin McInnes,