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CuriosityCat: Election 2015: The Shift to the Liberal Party starts

The Second King of Austerity?

With the dog days of summer ending, and only 6 or so weeks left in the interminable campaign, one of the most interesting sites to check on every now and then is the CBC Poll Tracker, run by Éric Grenier, the founder of, a website dedicated to political polling in Canada and electoral forecasts.

The latest Poll Tracker finding is fascinating. The gradual erosion of support for Mulcair’s NDP has started, and will continue at a slow pace. I believe the NDP hit the highest point a short while ago, and will now (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Harper’s ‘New’ Conservatives Slow-Motion Implosion

When even Conservative supporters in the media start musing with friends about the possibility of a collapse in the Harper Conservative Party vote on October 19, you know that the drip-drip-drip of wet deposits from chickens coming home to roost is attracting attention: Talking to a Liberal friend Wednesday evening, we mused on whether the progressive vote would eventually coalesce around one or other of the opposition parties. “There is another scenario,” he said. “The complete collapse of the Conservative vote.” I said I thought this was unlikely, given the party’s apparently rock-solid voting base. But each passing day (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Harper’s ‘New’ Conservatives Slow-Motion Implosion

A Different Point of View....: National voter support campaign could mean the end for Harper

The primary objective of Stephen Harper’s new absurdly-named Fair Elections Act  is to prevent hundreds-of-thousands of Canadians from voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens, etc.

The Conservatives are, in effect, “cheating” the electoral process again, just as blatantly as in the past. They know that a large number of people – students, marginalized people and First Nations – will have a hard time voting because of the changes. It’s also likely they would not vote Conservative.

If this latest unprincipled scheme works, it could be a major factor in allowing the Conservatives to sneak in the back door with a minority victory. It’s possible that, come election day, the opinion polls could show both the NDP and Liberals ahead of Harper but Harper winning the election.

Volunteer for – one of dozens of NGOs working to defeat the Conservatives. 

The Council of Canadians contends that some 770,000 people may . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: National voter support campaign could mean the end for Harper

Politics and its Discontents: Something For The Harper Base To Ponder

Unless they want to add complete hypocrisy to their many other shortcomings, members of the Harper base have much to consider these days, not least of which is their leader’s contemptuous behaviour of military veterans. The group Harper has been quite fond of using for propaganda purposes knows only too well how shabbily they have been treated upon their return from risky, some would say foolhardy, engagements abroad. Finally, if the veterans have their way, a day of reckoning is at hand.

Two veterans with combined service of 52 years, Tom Beaver and Ron Clarke, write that the upcoming election (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Duffy Trial: Not Unexpected Consequences

Can we expect this soon?

For those Conservative spokespersons who don’t believe that the sorry tale of a Prime Minister’s Office scrambling to come up with the very best way to deceive the public, as told by witnesses at the Senator Duffy expenses trial, has had an effect on the popularity of their leader and of their party, welcome to the latest polls. Here’s the gist: The latest survey by Ipsos Reid for Global News, also published Thursday, showed weakening support for the Conservatives. Like Forum, it placed the Tories in third place, though with 29 per cent. That put them (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: Harperman, a Protest Song

CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau, the King of Growth, leads with honesty

Mulcair took a dangerous step with his pledge not to go into deficit:

Despite the low price of oil and Monday’s tumultuous day on the markets, Mulcair said he does not foresee having to go into the red.

“We’re of course going to finish the fiscal year on Mr. Harper’s watch – 2015-16 is his budget, but our first budget will be a balanced (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau, the King of Growth, leads with honesty

CuriosityCat: Duffy scandal: The Troublespotter who did not read line 5 of the email

Chris Troublespotter Woodcock

Imagine you hold one of the most powerful offices you can hold in a democracy such as ours, and your job is this: “My job was to spot trouble, try to identify it and come up with a strategy for dealing with it,” Mr. Woodcock testified. And one day you spot some trouble brewing: He said the Duffy affair landed on his radar in February, 2013, as stories appeared in the media about Mr. Duffy’s expenses related to his long-time house in Ottawa.

“Suddenly, we were encountering a bunch of unwelcome stories about members of the government (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 4):Supporting Local Representation

A common complaint that the electorate has year-after-year is that MPs do not represent them. As party discipline hastightened into a stranglehold it has, in effect, made it impossible for MPs to represent their constituents’ views inParliament. The Pirate Party rejects this model of how a party should be run. Fundamentally we see a political party asan alliance of equals with shared values.

“The party will avoid the use of whipped votes in Parliament. Instead opting to seek caucus consensus through debate and discussion.”

No person matches their party’s policy platform exactly. Because of this leeway must be given (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 3): Fairness For Independents

Every election people across Canada seek to be elected as independents. Independents face a number of hurdles notshared by their party-nominated cousins. Obviously, they do not benefit from party brand management and national advertising. Perhaps more unfair is the requirement that all money raised by independent candidates be forfeited toElections Canada after the election, forcing them to start over next time. The Pirate Party of Canada believes that thisinherent unfairness is both harmful to democracy and easily fixed.

“We propose allowing independent candidates to raise funds in the two months leading up to a scheduled general election (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Look for Ms Clean to replace Harper as Leader of the Opposition on October 20

Dianne Watts, Leader of the Opposition?

With poll after poll showing the most likely election result in our federal election on October 19 will be a majority of seats held by the opposition parties, the NDP and LPC, the chances of Stephen Harper remaining as prime minister are slim to zero.

There might be a bit of messiness if he decided to stay in power as a minority government, but the more likely outcome is that, in the wee hours of the morning of October 20, Harper will walk to the podium of his riding meeting, and step down as (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Duffy scandal: The differences between the Duffy Trial and the Harper (Governance) Public Trial

PM Stephen Harper, the leader of the “Harper Government”, is on trial by the public for the manner in which he governed his Prime Minister’s Office (the PMO), while senator Duffy is facing 31 charges in his criminal trial.

That there are two trials is undeniable, despite the PM’s attempt to only talk about the Duffy criminal trial. What are the differences between the two trials? The Type of Trial: The Duffy trial is a criminal trial, held according to the criminal laws of Canada, which deal with the types of charges, what evidence may be led, the crime of (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 2): Mincome

Poverty is an ongoing and tragic failure of Canadian governance. It has been an issue for so long that it is suspected themajor parties no longer believe they can truly solve the issue. The Pirate Party of Canada does not embrace such uglydefeatism. But what is the solution? It obviously isn’t the current host of welfare programs since they have done nothingto end poverty and may in fact be contributing to keeping people in poverty. The Pirate Party feels that solving thepoverty issue is both achievable and less expensive than relying on a failed welfare system. (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Duffy Scandal: PM Harper does not get it that there is a second trial going on

Harper defence to Trial #2

Here’s what Harper is saying in response to questions about the senior advisors and senators involved in a cover up of the real facts in the Duffy senate expenses scandal:

The Conservative leader refused to respond to direct questions whether Novak had his support and would remain involved in the ongoing election campaign. “Once again, I am not going to cherry pick facts that are in dispute before a court,” Harper said, to the applause of Tory supporters at the campaign event. He repeated his assertion that Duffy and Wright alone are the ones responsible (Read more…)

The Tory Pirate - Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 1): Intellectual Property Reform

Welcome to the Pirate Party Platform Spotlight where I explain a selected planksfrom the party’s 2015 election platform (since I highly doubt the media will). Ok, letsget this over with.

What’s with the attitude? Well, the Pirate Party of Canada is hopelessly typecast. Ifpeople are aware of the Pirate Party they already know it opposes intellectual propertylaw but absolutely nothing else about it. So covering this aspect of the party’s platformboth potentially feeds the public’s erroneous perception of the party as being ‘singleissue’ and completely necessary if its economic outlook is to be (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Tory Pirate – Politics & Policy: Pirate Party Platform Spotlight (Part 1): Intellectual Property Reform

CuriosityCat: Duffy trial: How many in the Harper PMO were walking around in a cloud?

Donald ‘Darth Vader’ Bayne

Barrister Donald Bayne, the Darth Vader defender of democracy (and of the sad figure of Senator Duffy), scoffedat the answer given him by Harper’s former Chief of Staff about the reactions by Canadians to Wright’s payment to Duffy of $90,000:

Nigel Wright testified Tuesday that he knew there was a chance his $90,000 personal cheque to cover Mike Duffy’s Senate expenses might not remain a secret, but said he didn’t expect the public impact to be as great as it became.

“My view was when I decided to write the cheque myself that it could well (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Election 2015: Is the Liberal Party ready for October 20th?

Who will be our next PM? Probably Harper

We vote on October 19. It will be a cliffhanger, with final results only out early the next day. A minority government is possible, as the Poll Tracker shows with today’s results: The Poll Tracker’s polling average currently awards the Tories 29.3 per cent of the vote and between 99 and 139 seats nationally, compared to 32.3 per cent and 110 to 139 seats for the first-place NDP. The Liberals, with 27.3 per cent support and a projected range of 77 to 110 seats, have a better chance of (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Duffy trial: Nigel Wright and Emails change the ballot box question

The Plausible Deniability chickens come home

Stephen Harper, blinking furiously, tries to stick to his two self-chosen ballot box questions (security and economic growth), while disregarding question after question about what he knew about the cesspool of misdirection and lies that a group of senior Conservatives indulged in while trying to make the Duffy matter disappear.

Donald Bayne, the methodical, effective barrister defending senator Duffy from 31 serious charges, has gone through the hundreds of emails tabled in court, walking state witness Nigel Wright through each one, and exploring who said what, to whom, when and why. In the process, (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Duffy Senate trial: The Missing Prime Minister “Shut Down” Email

Barrister Bayne, Duffy and Nigel Wright chronicleherald

Yesterday Donald Bayne, the bulldog barrister acting for senator Duffy in Duffy’s criminal trial, focused on an email that Nigel Wright, the prime minister’s former chief of staff, had not disclosed as part of the 400 plus pages of email data dump.

Found here, in Macleans delightfully detailed analyses of every day of the trial, the email deals with PM Harper’s statement that he would have “shut down” an inquiry long before it reached the stage it did:

Consider the events in Courtroom 33, where Sen. Mike Duffy is on trial on (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Duffy Senate Scandal: Nigel Wright tells the truth and sinks Harper

Things have veered sharply off course for the most controlling politician Canada has had for many decades. What was to be a tightly controlled and swiftly administered exercise in damage control, has turned into a nightmarish exposure party that is guaranteed to sink Stephen Harper’s government in the coming elections.

The Feint & The Hand Grenade: What went wrong? Two things: a highly skilled barrister who uses The Feint and The Hand Grenade tactics in a masterful way during his cross examination of state witnesses, and a former chief of staff who wrote many emails, with copies to a Who’s (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Duffy senate scandal: Nigel Wright says PM Harper “good to go” on coverup points

As expected, the now famous words “good to go” were front and centre in the cross examination of state witness Wright by Duffy’s defence counsel yesterday (my underlining): It gripped a packed courtroom, not because Wright dropped bombshells but because the top insider finally told the story behind one of the biggest mysteries in the capital — what role did Prime Minister Stephen Harper play in what Wright called a “plan” to “force” Duffy to repay housing expenses claimed for his Ottawa home.

 Wright testified Harper had no detailed knowledge of his personal decision to pay for Duffy — (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Duffy senate scandal: Nigel Wright says PM Harper “good to go” on coverup points

CuriosityCat: Duffy & Senate Scandal: Email snippets

Going squirrelly

Nigel Wright is on the stand, and a blizzard of emails is being released (see hereand hereabout them and how to access them). In no particular order, here are a few extracts from the emails that The Cat finds either curious, worthy of further exploration, raising questions about the morality of actions taken by senators and others during these events, or amusing. I’ve added underlining or bolded some words. Here and there, I’ve tacked on a few questions I have. Item 1: About the core residency issue, this intriguing snippet right at the start of the (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Linda McQuaig’s nettle gift to Tom Mulcair

About to grasp the McQuaig nettle?

One of the NDP’s prize candidates has opened a can of worms that Mulcair wishes was not opened.

Here’s one report on what Mulcair said, trying to douse the flames (note the part I have bolded and reddened):

He pledged that an NDP government would bring in sustainable development legislation, including a polluter pay system where companies that damage the environment are responsible for cleanup costs. Environmental assessments would also include an analysis of whether or not the project allows Canada to meet internationally agreed upon targets for greenhouse gas reductions, he added. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Linda McQuaig’s nettle gift to Tom Mulcair

CuriosityCat: Prime Minister Trudeau will lead us out of the Harper darkness

Harper’s sham democracy

It is difficult to think of a more important election for Canada’s future than the coming October one. The choice is stark: more of the Harper Conservative chipping away at our democratic institutions, or, under Justin Trudeau as our PM, a refreshing change that will usher modern democratic methods into Canada.

Make no bones about it. If Trudeau is PM and Harper is not, Canadians will have wrested control of Parliament away from the highly centralized, undemocratic PM Office and returned it to their representatives. We will notice the difference within months, starting with the first few (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Forum poll: Harper in free fall and Mulcair headed for strong minority government

Forum tale of the seats

Tom Mulcair is headed towards becoming prime minister of a government with a hefty chunk of seats in Parliament, just shy of a majority, according to the latest Forum poll: A Forum Research poll conducted a few hours after Stephen Harper officially called the 2015 federal election on Sunday shows that 39 per cent of Canadian voters would vote NDP if the election were held today. According to the poll, released Monday, the Harper Conservatives, who tied the New Democrats on the even of the call, tumbled to 28 per cent. The Liberals came (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Forum poll: Harper in free fall and Mulcair headed for strong minority government