July 29, 2015

Dear Donald Sutherland: "Go to hell, you typical weaselly champagne socialist"

Brian LilleyArchive

Hollywood movie star Donald Sutherland just wrote an op-ed in the Globe & Mail, saying that as a Canadian who lives and works in the US, he should still have the right to vote in this fall's federal election.

But Sutherland hasn't lived in Canada since 1957.

What riding would he even vote in?

And of course he falsely blames Stephen Harper for this situation.


Thomas Mulcair wants to be PM, but he holds dual citizenship.
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Dear Donald Sutherland: "Go to hell, you typical weaselly champagne socialist"

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commented 2015-08-03 23:39:00 -0400
I agree that ex-pats shouldn’t have the right to vote in Canadian elections if they’ve been out of the country for five years . But I’m sick and tired of you demonizing the word socialism it just doesn’t seem right to not care about your neighbor . Maybe it’s time you get an American citizenship .
commented 2015-08-01 16:24:02 -0400
ANDY NEIMERS – I couldn’t agree more! Great Post! Canada has to stand firm on it’s voting rights legislation. Otherwise, anyone who has ever held a Canadian citizenship, and has chosen to live elsewhere, will be able to vote in Canadian elections. I for one do not wish to have expat’s making decisions that govern my life as a Canadian.
commented 2015-07-31 22:35:59 -0400
If you are not a resident of Canada, you do not pay taxes here, so why should you vote? Do we really need all of the “Canadians of Convenience” who are back in their home countries voting in Canada. They can vote after their Canadian citizen parachute opens and they land safely back on Canadian soil. Do we really expect Canadians who have left to serve in the jihad in the Middle East or Africa to vote in the best interests of Canada?
commented 2015-07-31 14:43:14 -0400
Many of the comments on this page are very disturbing to a conservative-minded ex-pat who, like Sutherland and all other long-term expats, has long been stripped of his voting rights. I could care less about Sutherland and his political motivations but the issue is a real one and it hurts. It especially hurts that a combination of nativism, jingoism and jealousy seems to fuel resentment of expats back home, on this issue or any other. But let’s get a few things straight:

First of all, voting should be tied to citizenship. Period, end of report. You don’t like who gets to be a citizen? Fine, change those rules (and in fact they recently were significantly tightened). But if you are a citizen, and you remain a citizen, you should be able to vote. I’m still a citizen, I have no dual citizenship elsewhere, but as I have been away for 15 years now I have been unable to vote for the last decade, and that is wrong.

But wait, how would this work logistically? What is your riding? This is not complicated, the rules are already in effect for those within the five year window — you vote for the riding where you last had residency.

But you don’t pay taxes you lowlife expat! Hold on a second. For one thing, you have no idea if I or other expats still pay taxes on rental property, investment income, etc. And plenty of Canadians (1/3 of adults according to the Sun) pay no income tax because at all their incomes are too low but they can still vote. Tourists pay HST when they shop, but they don’t get to vote. Neither do MLB or NHL players who pass through Toronto even though they pay income tax. Maybe we should have revoked Alberta’s federal voting rights prior to the GST since they paid no sales tax at all back then? Or revoke all voting rights prior to income tax being invented during WWI? Get this through your thick heads — taxes are not related to federal voting rights. If you really want to address the issue, it would probably go the other way — giving non-citizen residents who pay local taxes the right to vote in municipal elections. New York and other cities are looking at this.

What vote are we talking about again? Federal. Not municipal, not provincial. Those governments do not set foreign policy, run the embassies, issue passports, etc. I want my federal voting rights back. I could care less about local governments and I agree residency is a fair test for them given their roles.

But you expats will steal our health care! No, we won’t. We lose health care privileges in Ontario, for example, after being away more than 207 days in a year. This is not about health care, we just want our voting rights back.

At the end of the day, a citizen of a country should be able to cast a vote for the government who oversees his citizenship. It’s as simple as that. Please give me back my vote.
commented 2015-07-30 09:45:54 -0400
I am a bit puzzled that voter eligibility is determined by the duration a citizen is out of the country, rather than what (to me) seems a better qualifier: whether the person has paid Canadian income tax during their absence.

Sutherland is certainly just another Hollywood Hypocrite of the highest order, but in the interests of simple fairness, that by itself shouldn’t be grounds for disqualification either; lord knows that the dickheads are well represented on both ends of the political spectrum.

However, the law is on the books, apparently brought in by a Conservative government. But having said that, the Liberals had years to change things when they were in power, and I don’t recall the NDP ever re-visiting the issue post-Mulroney.

So I guess it just sucks to be you Donald…I suggest that you hop a Lear jet to some Polynesian hell-hole and work out your frustrations on your memoires: Visions of Socialism from the Ivory Tower.
commented 2015-07-30 07:31:56 -0400
Why should someone that doesn’t pay any income taxes, doesn’t live here, and only now decides to bitch and complain that his right to vote has been taken away? After all if this was such a big issue for Mr. Sutherland why didn’t he complain 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago.
Oh, and Jimmy, making small time commercials doesn’t contribute one bit to our culture.
commented 2015-07-30 02:44:34 -0400
This whole debate highlights the “dog’s breakfast” that Canada’s citizenship and immigration policy has lead to over past decades – here evidently including voters rights – because of previous multiculturalism, family reunification, investment citizenship, refugee claimant, and offshore citizenship decisions by both the Liberal and Conservative governments… Political games have been played, and Sutherland’s claim to voting rights are just one of the chickens coming home to roost… Needless to say, it would not be tolerated in many countries but Canada has always been “weak” or perhaps “too much
of a nice guy” to define nationality and rights – the Lebanese fiasco being a prime example… Nations, like the Swiss, are very definite in that regard and don’t offer apologies for being so… It’s high time that Canadians stopped being patsies for the “Sutherland’s” of the world and started to make Canadian citizenship, and voting rights, a world class status to be sought and envied… So let’s stop being so damn “Polite” maybe???
commented 2015-07-30 02:26:09 -0400
Donald, move back to Quebec and vote there !
I like the champagne socialist label, give them hell Brian !
commented 2015-07-30 01:14:50 -0400
The “weaselly champagne socialist” Donald Sutheraland whines and blames Stephen Harper for his not being allowed to vote despite his supposed ‘right’ to do so is prohibited by a bill passed in 1993. JIMMY DA SILVA, are you being provocative or simply that stupid with your comments defending comrade Sutherland. Probably a combination of both!
commented 2015-07-30 00:44:57 -0400
this is simple. You don’t live in my house, so you don’t get to determine how the furniture is arranged, what colour of towels are used, the patterns of the dishes, and most importantly, how the household finances are handled. This isn’t a hard concept to grasp, unless you’re a far left socialist, who thrives on interfereing in other peoples lives, and has an over inflated sense of self worth and importance. In a nutshell, go to hell!
commented 2015-07-30 00:41:46 -0400
Oh! and by the way REBEL does not mean racist and prejudicial ignorant. So, consider correcting the name of this crappy blog for what it is! NOT REBEL- but rather THE RACIST, PREJUDICIAL IGNORANT!
commented 2015-07-30 00:36:46 -0400
What messed up system prevents its citizens from voting… What the #@%$?! …Dear Donald YOU SHALL vote, as it is your darn right to do so! Harper thinks that he can now take your right to vote as he can take my citizenship away (because I wasn’t born here, I only built my whole life in Canada). We will void this prejudicial government soon and get our kinder more tolerant Canada back.
commented 2015-07-29 22:11:01 -0400
The dumb fk is just looking for publicity to maybe land a “B” movie job. He’s not going to waste airfare to cast a vote. And what riding would it be if he hasn’t lived here in decades.
commented 2015-07-29 21:06:16 -0400
So when Donald Sutherland makes Canadian commercials, movies and TV shows – that’s not contributing to Canada?
commented 2015-07-29 20:42:57 -0400
Yeah, you go Brian!! Why is it they all feel so damn superior?
commented 2015-07-29 19:51:05 -0400
Donald Sutherland spent the first 22 years of his developmental life living in Canada. Born, raised and educated in Canada. But, he chose to live his adult and senior years outside of Canada. For 58 years Donald Sutherland has had virtually no ties to Canada, why his sudden interest now? Politics? He’s already demonstrated his lack of knowledge on Canadian politics by accusing the Harper Gov’t for the legislation governing his right to vote in Canada. So, what’s in it for him, why should he care who wins this federal election? Could it possibly be his stance on ‘Climate Change & Global Warming?’ Mayhap he is a major contributor to one or more of the anti-conservative lobbyist groups. So many considerations when you think about it. One things for certain – he is anti-Stephen Harper!

Should Donald Sutherland have voting rights in Canada just because he was born here – Certainly Not! He gave up those rights when he gave up residency. That was his choice!
commented 2015-07-29 19:44:41 -0400
Yes I did know that the people trapped in a war zone in Lebanon insisted the Canadian government rescue them costing millions. A few weeks later half of them went back. Leave them next time. Who goes to a war zone for vacation?
commented 2015-07-29 18:42:05 -0400
The concept of giving the right to vote to property owners is kinda tempting to champion here, but it just aint enough. I like what one poster here suggested: that absentee property owners have the right to vote in municipal elections as they pay property taxes. But provincial and federal affairs don’t directly affect an absentee citizen. It’s funny that it’s the left who are picking this up (hero worship is a symptom of socialism) but the only people who could benefit are millionaire jet-setting ex-pats. It benefits the absentee landlord, and what socialist in his right mind does that? Letting the Donalds of the world get their way could lead to the right to vote being abused. I say the right to vote isn’t automatic for citizens, one must either prove residency or pay income taxes at the provincial or federal level, or both. That seems like a common sense approach to me.
Now, about his stunt. When you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense. It turns out the blame for his problem can’t actually be laid at Harper’s feet, as it was Chretien who brought in the legislation. So all he’s fighting for is, essentially, his one vote. As heroic as that seems, wouldn’t it make more sense for a Hollywood star, with all that publicity power, as well as what is probably a pretty good sized bankroll, to fund (and likely star in) ads for Harper’s opponents? Assuming, of course, that he really is another Harper-hater. That would seem to me to be a much better use of his celebrity status than his lonely fight for his one, single vote. He should just drop this. His cause would be served much better by his publicity than his spinning his wheels in this non-scandal.
May the odds be forever in your favour.
commented 2015-07-29 18:02:34 -0400
Sorry Donald – you are acting like an entitled weasel.

I have no problem with you working in the US of A – however should you wish to vote in Canadian elections you need to change your place of residence and your place of taxation.

Now all of the above being stated I have no faith that the appointed, entitled, elitist and unaccountable judges will do the right thing and tell you to frig off – so hang tough rich guy – you’re going to get your way.

And that is too bad.
commented 2015-07-29 17:26:15 -0400
Well said Brian, a Shakespearean quality to your final delivery of, “weaselly champagne socialist”, bravo!
commented 2015-07-29 17:20:04 -0400
commented 2015-07-29 17:20:04 -0400
commented 2015-07-29 17:12:16 -0400
In the case of Americans living abroad they are still required to file a US tax return so them voting in the US election from abroad is perfectly legitimate. I would say a Canadian abroad paying any taxes in Canada should enjoy the same right. Sometimes our careers take us elsewhere but we maintain ties, if you pay taxes that would be sufficient for me. Just my opinion.
commented 2015-07-29 17:02:11 -0400
I wonder whom self entitled MR Sutherland would vote for———-Perhaps, another brain dead celebrity like himself ? Any bets? I am offering 10-1 odds.
commented 2015-07-29 16:23:53 -0400
I think the ONCA is correct on this point. you’ve got to have skin in the game. If you’re not paying taxes or living in the country, sure you’re a citizen but the day to day reality of residents ie. taxes, health care, highways, what we’ve come to call the business of government is not properly your concern – except in a highly affected, ‘look at me I’m Canadian’ way as Donald seems to think. I think it’s fair to extend the same rationale to long term prisoners (your behaviour has forced you to be separated from society – therefore you have no right to influence it’s decisions).
commented 2015-07-29 16:16:54 -0400
LMFAO!!! Outstanding!!! Well said Brian.

I would have said, “GO FK YOURSELF DONALD SUTHERLAND”, but I prefer how you said it Brian.

Stick to movies and plays Sutherland, not sucking off liberals and liberal agendas.
commented 2015-07-29 16:12:24 -0400
Yeah, but I still enjoy his acting…Oh wait, maybe he’s acting now. Like that other famous actor – that drama teacher ACTING as a politician…Justin Trudeau!
commented 2015-07-29 16:11:15 -0400
Wow that’s wonderful Brian! I was just in an argument with a friend of mine about this very topic. What I didn’t know then was that this has been on the books since the Chretien years. So I have more ammunition to attack him back because he was adamant that Harper is the worst dictator ever to run this country. This is great that I can now trace this back to his Liberal God. I love it!!!
commented 2015-07-29 16:07:39 -0400
If you hold a Canadian pass port and you are not a citizen of another country and you have property or residence or domicile in Canada you have the right to vote just fly home and vote. But if you hold dual citizenship you should not be allowed to vote. Citizenship has rights and duties being a Canadian is an honour and should be held in high regard. Voter fraud should be punished with your right to vote taken away for life.
commented 2015-07-29 16:07:18 -0400
If Sutherland only owns property in Canada he should be allowed to vote in municipal elections because that directly affects his interests, however if he does not pay federal or provincial income taxes he should be allowed to vote in those elections. Brian, you have it right by calling him out. He cannot tell Canadians how to run their affairs without ponying up HIS FAIR SHARE.