Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The First Round Begins

The field of 16 has been set in the search for Canada’s Biggest Election. For simplicity’s sake, there will be 8 federal and 8 provincial elections (even though Ralph Klein’s first Calgary mayoral run was an inspired suggestion), and will only involve elections prior to 1990.

As a fun twist this year, I’ve brought in an expert to seed the teams – John Duffy. John’s Fights of our Lives is one of the best books on Canadian elections out there so he seemed like a natural choice and I’m very happy that he agreed to do it. I sent him a list of all the nominations and comments people submitted and, from that, he produced the seedings (and the little one line synopses you’ll see bellow).

Apologies if your election of choice was left out but I believe the final list John produced has a great mix of elections on it, which should make this a fun contest.

Voting begins today and closes at noon Saturday for the four federal first round match-ups. Next week, we’ll begin what should be a series of very intriguing provincial competitions (I’ll be announcing the provincial seeds this weekend…so you’ll need to live in suspense for a bit).

1896 (8) vs. 1988 (1)
1896 (Laurier over Tupper): With the new country shaking to bits over religious education in Manitoba, a great unifier emerges in Laurier.
1988 (Mulroney over Turner and Broadbent): Turner and Mulroney duke it out over free trade with the US and leadership in an epic personal duel.
Which Election was Bigger?
(8) 1898: Laurier over Tupper
(1) 1988: Mulroney over Turner
See Results

1925/26 (7) vs. 1878 (2)
1925/26 (King over Meighen…and Byng): In a wild and wooly hung parliament, a cornered Mackenzie King outfoxes Meighen, Byng, the Progressives, everyone -- and turns House of Commons trickery into ballot box gold.
1878 (MacDonald over Mackenzie): Macdonald storms back from the wildreness of scandal to re-ignite the National Policy and complete the CPR.
Which Election was Bigger?
(7) 1925/26: King over Meighen
(2) 1878: MacDonald over Mackenzie
See Results

1957/58 (6) vs. 1979/80 (3)
1957/58 (Dief over St. Laurent, Pearson): Prairie no-hoper Diefenbaker decks the Chairman of the Board, St.Laurent, then crushes his successor, Prince-of-Peace Pearson.
1979/80 (Clark over Trudeau, Trudeau over Clark): Trudeau falls, Clark rises, Clark falls, Trudeau rises, as constitutional and energy battles rage across the regional landscape.

Which Election was Bigger?
(6) 1957/58: Diefenbaker over St.Laurent, Pearson
(3) 1979/80: Trudeau vs. Clark
See Results

1911 (5) vs. 1935 (4)
1911 (Borden over Laurier): An aging Laurier deploys free trade with the US to revive his government, but challenger Borden turns the blade to defeat the champion.
1935 (King over Everyone): Arguing it's "King or Chaos", Liberals take on all comers and shatter the Conservative brand for two decades.
Which Election was Bigger?
(5) 1911: Borden over Laurier
(4) 1935: King over Bennett
See Results



  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 9:17 p.m.  

  • 1917 not making it was kind of shocking (you know, as shocking as an academic poll can get).

    My choices:

    1988 - it has the advantage of immediacy, it revolutionized the country's economy (the long-term effects are still playing out), and set the stage for five years of harrowing constitutional debate that, again, is still with us, and, ultimately, the destruction of the Progressive Conservative Party.

    1878 - Probably the easiest choice to make; the National Policy profoundly shaped Canada (if King had lost in 1926 he'd probably have just waited until 1930 and then been swept back into office on the coattails of the Great Depression).

    1979/80 - As story, the sudden reversal is a lot bigger than Dief's progressively larger wins, and, policy-wise, Trudeau's win in 1980 is a lot more important than the Chief's tenure; it led to the repatration of the Constitution, the NEP, etc.

    1935 - King gets his foot in the door and the boys move in for a good long while (the preelection maneouvres he executed to expose Bennett's "New Deal" ripoff as a fraud were a masterwork); really, the tenure this one inaugurates is historic both in length and in policy accomplishment; and "King or Chaos" remains one of the all-time best political slogans.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 9:19 p.m.  

  • Wow - John Duffy. Very cool.

    I'm more curious to see the provincial ones, but I'd vote for:

    1988 - Just for sheer excitement
    1878 - Because MacDonald did so much over the next 20 years
    79/80 - Trudeau and Clark were so very different, and the "what if Clark had survived the budget" is one of the great "what ifs"
    1935 - Set up the Liberals as the big government party of Canada

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:35 p.m.  

  • Dan,

    You mislabled the Laurier v. Tupper election as 1898 instead of 1896 in the vote box.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:13 p.m.  

  • No disrespect intended to "Fights of Our Lives" (which I enjoyed) but it pales in comparison to "Turning Points."

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:22 p.m.  

  • Awww... I made an "inspired suggestion". [blush]

    Look forward to the 2nd round!

    By Blogger Enlightened Savage, at 10:23 p.m.  

  • 1917 not making it made absolute sense, and the people that proposed it were dumbells that should have read up on the 1921 election.

    -brought the rise of a new third party, who indirectly drove Liberal policy for a decade, while also creating a distinct political identity of the west
    -The political rise of J.S. Woodsworth
    -killed the Tories in Quebec, introducing a French-English cleavage that exists to this day
    -brought in Canada's longest-serving Prime Minister, and a new Liberal party which is largely reflected in the current one

    1921 does not necessarily follow from the 1917 election, either, since the Winnipeg general strike, Tory economic mismanagement, and the actual decision on conscription had already been made that July. Nor war 1917 close by any measure (neither was 1921 in one sense, but it produced a majority government with a majority of 1 seat).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 11:57 p.m.  

  • Early voting results are pretty close. Hard to really say any of these are "favourites" over another one. But damn, if we get good results, it would be interesting to have a free trade (1911) vs free trade (1988) second round matchup.

    By Blogger UWHabs, at 12:16 a.m.  

  • Gotta second Vollman on that one.

    Turning Points is a much better that doesn't nearly get the respect it deserves. I actually picked it up in a Chapters Bargain Bin for $5.

    Way to go on getting John Duffy in on this. I wonder what he say on this upcoming election with Harper vs. Dion over the Green Shift.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 a.m.  

  • Wow - all of those choices were really hard to make. The sign no doubt of a good competition!

    By Blogger Prairie Fire, at 1:34 a.m.  

  • I’m surprised the two King elections are winning. 1911 had some great typical Canadian election issues: free trade and our relationship with Great Britain. It also marked the defeat of Laurier which certainly makes it memorable. And MacDonald’s ’78 win was a great comeback story after the CPR Scandal and it set up the CPR, settlement of the west, and the national policy which really defined Canada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02 a.m.  

  • 1 - Because it decided Canada's future with Free trade. Laurier pretty much adopted MacDonald's policies.

    7 - MacDonald's win regained his personal image, but King's win in 1926 determined Canada's history for the following 25 years. Everything from true independance to our actions during and following WWII.

    6 - Diefenbaker's take down of St. Laurent was shocking and he secured it against Pearson. Clark was a brief interregnum in 15 years of Trudeau.

    5 - Borden's win eventually resulted in the Conscription Crisis, which sealed the fate of Quebec Nationalism for half a century. It was no surprise that Bennett lost in the middle of the depression.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 11:13 a.m.  

  • Right now 57/58 is tied with 79/80 with 78 votes each. I want to make my case for the elections of 79/80:

    Joe Clark's failure to secure a non-confidence budget vote led Pierre Trudeau out of his retirement plans to fight the election. Had the budget vote survived or had Clark won the ensuing 1980 election, the Charter would not have been implemented. Trudeau would have been remembered as a mediocre Prime Minister who great expanded the deficit while doing little while in power. It is because of Trudeau's 1980-84 period that he is remembered as a major Canadian icon (for better or worse).

    Also, his repatriation of the constitution without Quebec's direct assent led to the rise of Quebec nationalism that we still see present today. Without his victory in 1980 and the ensuing constitution of 1982, the national unity crisis may have turned out very differently.

    This isn't to say that Diefenbaker's 1958 romp, when he won the largest majority in Canadian history, isn't important. I just think that Trudeau's return to power in '80 with the constitution and NEP that followed had much more long-term implications.

    Vote '79/'80!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGenerous, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be 'hurting' right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire. ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. Thats an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THATS WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for twenty years, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market. Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, politicians, and bankers. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not 'created', 'generated', grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transfered FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don't be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire's fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil 'futures'. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the 'charitable' contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and 'good will' all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to 'federal tax revenue'. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN'T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can't afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can't even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don't blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can't be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman.. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about 'jealousy', 'envy', or 'socialism'. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

    So what can we do about it? Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is comming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THATS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satelite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, ect.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don't click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don't pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don't buy any high end official merchendise and don't support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don't buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don't increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don't be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. Afterall, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don't frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don't get yourself in too deep and don't buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accomodations for themselves. Instead, go to and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the comming US/global depression. In the meantime, don't listen to Bernenke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReiley, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or socio-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible concequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

    A word for those who choose to respond with the usual 'I know more than you. I'm smarter than you. Look how smart and knowledgable I am.' crap. Let me say this in advance. I don't claim to be an expert in this field. But I'm no fool either. This is not brain surgery. For the mostpart, its simple math. Which is all I needed to predict the current recession in writing almost 3 years ago. Since then, I've gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernenke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Did any of my wise-ass 'know-it-all' critics see this comming way back in '05'? Hell no they didn't. So before you run with all of your stupid insults, you might want to consider my motives. I'm not here for attention or praise. I'm not here to compete with the rest of you. I'm here because I'm disgusted, angry, and scared silly. I really do see this as the greatest injustice of all time. I would cut my own arm off if I thought it would make a difference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 p.m.  

  • Uh, I think anaonymous meant to vote for the 79/80 vote. I think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:42 p.m.  

  • Wow. That's one heck of a rant. What does it have to do with Calgary Grit's "most important election" race? Or did someone just need to vent?

    Vote for the '79/'80 election!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • Since leaving the Canadian Action Party, Paul Hellyer has had a lot of time on his hands. Maybe he googled calgarygrit and, seeing a chance to convert others, he figured he would make his pitch.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 9:56 p.m.  

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