When Stephen Harper’s spinners start pontificating about his steady hand on the tiller over the past decade or so, think on this: Is Canada’s economy really that much better off under his watch? Or has he presided over a country whose financial and economic muscles had continued to waste away.
Sometimes the facts get the way of a good story, and the facts about the sinews of our country’s economy are bleak indeed. As Eric Reguly summarizesin today’s Globe & Mail: Entire Canadian industries – steel, brewing, mining, forestry – got hollowed out, leaving a few sorry subsidiaries behind. (Read more…)
Wise money chases low margins
After the last election, I wrote a post that pointed out that these 14 seats were won by the Conservatives by the slim average of 443 votes per seat. With the Tories ahead of the Liberal Party in fundraising so far, the Liberals could be well advised to set aside a sizeable whack of cash to contest these fifteen low-margin seats. Better bang for your buck, eh?
Den Tandt: Muclair cannot count
So, what will our next federal government look like? Today is the last day of the year 2014, and most commentators have hidden their heads in the sand rather than venture a public guess.
Michael Den Tandt is one of the braver ones.
In an article in the National Post he forecasts a minority government for Stephen Harper, without any attempt by the two opposition parties – which combined will have more MPs than the Tory minority government – to vote him out in a no-confidence vote. Den Tandt believes that Harper will survive for (Read more…)
Pollster Nick Nanos has just released a Christmas goodie for the party leaders of the three parties vying to form the next government of Canada. Based on just one question – how fluid the electorate is – either one of these three parties could form a majority government come the next election, if the election campaign gave them a few breaks. Here’s the percentages: When asked about whether they would consider or not consider voting for each of the federal parties in a set of independent questions, the Liberals continued to enjoy the highest proportion of accessible voters in the (Read more…)
Mulcair: The man who would bring democracy to Canada
Thomas Mulcair, that very capable MP who is leader of the NDP, has publicly committed himself to remedy our democratic deficit, as this post indicates. Mulcair is to be commended for two things. First, for signing the Fair Vote Canada declaration (click herefor the full text). Second, for strongly coming out in favour of a modified proportional representation system of electing our federal MPs. The Fair Vote Canada declaration has this very important commitment:
What is important about the Fair Vote Canada declaration is that it is the modern equivalent (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada
Let’s talk coalition …
The recent poll showing that most Liberal and NDP supporters would rather have a new government than have a Harper one after the 2015 election, even if this means some form of a coalition, has sparked renewed talk about the possibility of a coalition.
One problem with such talk is that a lack of understanding of our constitutional laws clouds the issue, as Andrew Coyne has pointed out in an interesting article.
And in a recent interview, Justin Trudeau has added to the confusion by slipping into the Either-Or mode of thinking, which sorely limits the permissible (Read more…)
Which one, or two, of these men will lead Canada?
The end of the Harper government is clear from this latest poll, which shows that the Harper scare tactics of the past have run their course: Liberal and NDP supporters, meanwhile, have expressed a tepid willingness to consider each other, suggesting that a Liberal-NDP coalition may be feasible should the Conservatives pull off a minority win in 2015. Indeed, unlike in 2011, it appears now that Liberals and NDP supporters are equally likely to say they are certain to be voting. The rise of greater commitment to vote in (Read more…)
Gordon Gibson: The Nailer
If you are a politician, or work with any political party –federal or provincial or municipal – you should definitely read the succinct, well-written and politically significant articleby Gordon Gibson in the Globe & Mail, entitled Enough with pipelines. Refine it. Gibson summarizes, in one short article, the crux of the national debate about our crude oil pipelines. Here’s some of the article: There is a win-win-win response to all of this, if any national political party has the savvy to step up. The public opposition is really against pipelines to export bitumen and the (Read more…)
Big Brother is watching …
There is a clear fault line between the two opposition parties, and PM Stephen Harper’s policies with regard to how to combat ISIS.
The Conservatives favour actual fighting (planes dropping bombs etc.), while the opposition parties are against this.
The NDP is further from the government’s position, while the Liberal Party would have Canadian armed forces join the anti-ISIS coalition led by the US and help its efforts (including transporting goods for the coalition), but short of Canadian planes dropping bombs on ISIS targets. Now another fault line has appeared: the Conservatives want (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Will Canada have a snap election over new anti-terrorist laws and ISIS?
Heather Malleck in the Toronto Star has a few good reasons why our next Prime Minister will be named Justin Trudeau:
But what makes some politicians attractive and others repellent?
Trudeau is intelligent, humane and self-confident, a Québécois who is devoted to Canadian unity and has the most marvellous family: a sophisticated career-minded wife, Sophie Grégoire, and three adorable young children with the interesting names that only confident parents bestow: Xavier James, Ella-Grace and Hadrien. He has an English degree from McGill, a UBC teaching degree and taught for several years. He has his father’s intellect and wit, while being (Read more…)
“Shake hands with the nice man. First, I’ll take his job, and then later, when you’re all grown up, you can take mine!”
Susan Delacourt neatly sums up the state of play in Canadian politics in her article in the Toronto Star:
In that same vein, we have been told repeatedly that Canadians want people in power who are “good managers” of the economy, but what about being a good manager of democracy? Doesn’t that entail a commitment to keeping citizens involved and (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Congratulations to Susan Delacourt
Mulcair in denial
Four byelections, and a thumping for the NDP, but that party is still refusingto face up to reality (my bolding):
Mulcair said the NDP needs to run campaigns that go beyond strictly local matters and focus on broader “kitchen table” issues, such as gas prices, ATM fees and transit, which are of concern to many Canadians of different political stripes.
“When we head into the general (election), we’re going to be broadening from where we are,” he said.
The NDP leader said Cressy got strong support from the party base, but the “mathematics of the vote” (Read more…)
Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don’t cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.
Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.
Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of (Read more…)
Harper Norquist: Ideological soulmates
Many feared (and fear) Stephen Harper’s hidden agenda, and for good reason. Patterned on the far right wing Republican model, Harper’s Reform Party took over the old Progressive Conservative Party in a semi-hostile merger, and has systematically set about implementing the strategy of Norquist Grover. Grover’s gift to modern politics is the single-minded drive to remove the central government from the public space in the USA. His means is simple: starve the government by cutting back its revenues, so that it becomes weak enough to drown in the bathtub. Here in Canada, Harper has worked diligently (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Harper’s new Conservatives out of step with Canadian values
Justin Trudeau: Decisive
Ever since Justin Trudeau’s team came out with the announcement that anti-abortion supporters need not bother to run as candidates for the nomination of Liberal MPs in the coming election, the right wing has had a field day trying to make hay out of this single straw. Take the absurdity that Robyn Urback wrote in the National Post, as an example:
What twaddle. The Liberal Party supports the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to choose. Fullstop. So why not expect potential candidates to do the same in order to run for nomination? The Liberal Party (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Abortion: Why Trudeau’s decision on pro-choice candidates is a good one
When it comes to elections in Canada, with its relatively low voting rates, age matters. Older folks vote with their feet, all the way to the polling stations, while younger folks go about their busy lives, voicing discontent but not doing anything about it. Federally, the Stephen Harper new Conservatives have made consistent inroads into the demographics that vote – they have solid ties to older Canadians. The NDP, under Layton and also the more volcanic Mulcair, appeal to younger voters, as do the Liberals. What’s happening in the June 2014 provincial election in our biggest province gives us clues (Read more…)
A man of principle
This is a mess. Justin Trudeau and his advisors had better get on to this debacle post haste, reveal all the facts and communications, and make sure the principle of open nominations is adhered to. If we start retreating from opennes and transparency before the election is here, we will not form the next government. And congratulations to Zach Paikin for taking a principled stand (my underlining): But a letter sent to Innes by Liberal national election readiness chief David MacNaughton and obtained by the CBC has suggested the move may have been driven by a (Read more…)
Andre Turcotte – the Curves Tracker
Sometimes a picture is really worth a thousand words, much to the consternation of the conservatives huddled in Ottawa for the annual Manning Centre rightwing navel-gazing gathering. Pollster Turcotte presented a series of graphs showing what a poll of a thousand Canadians today think about the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Election 2015: The Crossing of the Curves
The latest Angus Reid poll highlights the Achilles heel of Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Most Canadians do not trust him to protect our elections, as Susan Delacourt points out. This is a stark finding of the Angus Reid poll: The views of an increasingly larger number of Canadians have hardened about Harper’s likeability, trustworthiness, and fitness to lead the country. And this swift, dark and deadly undercurrent is what will ensure that this is his last term as prime minister of Canada. . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Stephen Harper’s Achilles heel: Trust
At the Montreal convention, the Liberal Party overwhelmingly agreed to Priority Resolution 31, Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy. An important part of that resolution is this: AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, an all-Party process be instituted, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with recommendations for electoral reforms including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent Canadians more fairly and serve Canada better. Electoral reform has a bad record of success in Canada, with several referenda for modernizing our antiquated and undemocratic (Read more…)
In my view, the single most important policy resolution at this week’s convention in Montreal is the prioritized number 31, which should significantly reduce our democratic deficits. That resolutionreads: 31. Priority Resolution: Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy* BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote: Open, democratic nominations of candidates; Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions; Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting (Read more…)
Dr. Clotiere Rapaille
Within 18 months of so Canadians will elect a new prime minister and a new government. Of the three contenders for the top job – Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau – which one offers Canadians a leader best in tune with what Canadians really, really want in their leader, deep down in the innermost recesses of their hearts?
Because if you are a leader offering them something else, that does not fit that deepest desire, you will not be the next prime minister. So what do Canadians want in their prime minister? Dr Clotaire Rapaille (Read more…)
Two of these men could be PM in the next 18 months
Thomas Mulcair says he and his NDP have learned from the disasterous provincial NDP election: “It’s not enough to look at the electorate and say, ‘vote for me, I m good.’ You have to say, ‘vote for me, I’m a good person to replace the party that’s there, and the government has to be replaced for the following reasons.’ “And I don’t think they did a good enough job of defining what those reasons were.” Mulcair, who keeps a scuffed-up hardball on a table behind (Read more…)
George S. Patton
I expect the Throne Speech in late January 2014 to be the timing for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dissolve Parliament and call for an election in the spring of 2014, rather than wait for the legislated October 2015 date. The Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau are targeting a spring election a year later: “We’re building a (campaign) approach that’s very much flexible. I think one of the aims we’re working at is spring of 2015,” he said, noting that Harper has ignored his own law in the past. Paul Wells in his Macleans article, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Why Stephen Harper will call an early election in spring 2014