As of 12:30 p.m. ET, Globe and Mail editorial endorsing Stephen Harper for Prime Minister is the most-read story on our website. It has more than 3,300 comments, 6,000 Facebook recommendations and almost 1,000 Twitter mentions (excluding retweets).
Considering that volume, we are providing a curated sampling of reader commentary. While most comment was negative, there were a range of views.
Off the top, we'll let John Geiger, editor of the editorial board, respond to one of the most common reactions to the article:
TruerNorth wrote "Why do newspapers endorse any political candidate??? Their job is to report the news, not make it."
The Globe has endorsed political parties since its founding in 1844. It was initially staunchly Liberal. It has endorsed Conservatives (Drew, Diefenbaker, Mulroney, Charest, Harper) and Liberals (Pearson, Trudeau, Chrétien, Martin).
It's a responsibility we take very seriously. I can tell you it was a real debate, there were different views, everyone had their say. But in the end, we settled on Mr. Harper for the reasons that are set out in the editorial.
I don't think endorsement editorials decide elections, they are simply another piece of information that voters consider before exercising their right and duty. And let's be clear: this is the opinion of The Globe and Mail's Editorial Board, it is not the view of the newsroom, which is non-partisan and is concerned with collecting and disseminating facts.
Readers who disagree with endorsing Mr. Harper
(Globe comment) G. Patrick: "Does the Globe remember when they went to the remarkable steps of posting an editorial on their front page in late December of 2009 against Stephen Harper? It was on your front page for cripes sake. Yet, you endorse this same man?
"Incredibly disappointing to see this decision."
(Facebook) Geoff Smith: "With all the fat cats and their minions controlling the Globe and Mail editorial page, your endorsement of Stephen Harper did not surprise. But be aware that there is now another media out there, social networking, and most of us who participate conclude that this time around, the Globe's endorsement equals a kiss of death."
Some were extremely anti-Harper:
(Twitter) @Chantaie: "Feeling very unsettled about the Globe's endorsement this morning. Seriously, though: the man hates democracy and dissent. #elxn41"
(Globe Comment) Gary Wilson: "So with your endorsement you are saying that you're okay with this dysfunctional approach to politics. Personal smear attacks? The Globe is okay with that. Lying to Parliament? No problem. Lying to Canadians? The Globe finds that just fine. Obstructing justice? Bulling government workers? The Globe sees no serious issue there. Wear a Harper t-shirt to a Prime Minister's event and you can stay. Wear an opposition t-shirt and be physically removed. Or simply have an opposition photo on your Facebook and get kicked out. Or a bumper sticker. It's all fun, the Globe says....
"The Globe's message to Harper? We're okay with your approach to politics."
Others agreed with the endorsement
(Globe Comment) L Rob: "PM Harper has methodically guided his campaign just as he has managed our country in spite of the vacant silliness of minority government. Canada is capable of so much more and, with America mired in problems for the foreseeable future, Europe in economic disarray and Asia growing into a giant hungry for our resources, it is time for Canada to step onto the world stage and define our 21st century. The only way is a majority government and PM Harper deserves the opportunity."
(Twitter) @mt_champion: "No. Read the Globe's editorial endorsements over the years you would clearly see they endorse only for the good of the country."
Some just took issue with our reasoning, or found the whole thing amusing:
(Globe comment) Sir Falstaff: " 'Unremarkable and disappointing election?/ What, you mean this historically unprecedented shift away from the two main parties? An election that's seeing Quebec turns away overwhelmingly from the Bloc to the NDP? That's unremarkable? Really? This whole article reads like an angsty teenager's journal. 'I hate this election! It's stupid! It's a stupid election for a stupid country! And I hate you, too, mom!. "
(Twitter) @gresco: "Breaking: The Globe & Mail has endorsed Stephen Harper. In other news the manual typewriter has endorsed carbon paper. #elxn41 #cdnpoli"
(Twitter) @agwTO: "biggest issue with the globe's endorsement of Harper, their claim the #CPC is a truly national party... not one seat in our 3 largest cities"
(Facebook) Matthew RaeL: "K I think the world has officially gone nuts. Jack Layton is in second right now and has a chance of being the countries first NDP PM. And now one of the most left leaning papers in this country has endorsed Stephen Harper?!...Not that I disagree, it was a well written article, but still I am shocked."
You can carry on the discussion in the comments below, or click here to join the debate in our original endorsement article.
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