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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

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: Trump: Finally, someone gets it

Let loose the reptiles

Here’s what I think is a really really good analysis of Trumpmania, from the August 22 New York Times: But the breadth of Mr. Trump’s coalitionis surprising at a time of religious, ideological and geographic divisions in the Republican Party. It suggests he has the potential to outdo the flash-in-the-pan candidacies that roiled the last few Republican nominating contests. And it hints at the problem facing his competitors and the growing pressure on them to confront him, as several, like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, are starting to do.

His support is not tethered (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Trump: Finally, someone gets it

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…)

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…)

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: Trump would be the Disruptive Presidency that the USA needs

Professor Rapaille, archetype guru

We first heard about the creativity of disruption in the 1950’s when Joseph Schumpeter revealed his theory: According to Schumpeter, creative destruction describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”. A few years ago, we learned about the creative role of disruptive technologies and companies, in the destruction of outmoded products, industries and companies, and their replacement by new forces, such as new dot com industries. Such disruptive innovation led to better and more profitable things, we are told, and (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Trump would be the Disruptive Presidency that the USA needs

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: Frank Luntz and his very own Trumpenstein

The Luntz Nightmare …

Poor Frank Luntz! He’s got his knickers in a knot about Donald Trump’s Patton-like charge across the 2016 Republican convention battleground: And you look at the Trump situation, where he can say just about anything, and it doesn’t seem to affect his support.

It is not about issues, it is about tonality, and the public seems to be responding to those who are the sharpest, most divisive, most outwardly negative about the system.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS: How do we change it, Frank?

LUNTZ: It is going to get worse, not better…

Candidates are being rewarded for it, (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: How Trudeau can remove the debate veto imposed by Harper and Mulcair

Possible debaters

So Mulcair has decided he will only debate if the prime minister is debating? And Harper has decided not to debate in a forum that would attract the widest public viewership. This leaves the Liberals twisting in the wind. Or does it? One of the secrets of martial arts is to use the momentum of your opponent against him. You go with his movement, but change it to your advantage. Justin Trudeau can do this and stop this Harper-Mulcair spoiled-child bickering with a proposal to the CBC consortium that would allow their debate to take place, and would (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Election: EKOS poll – Seniors will return Harper to power as Prime Minister

A key statistic is not who favours what party before election day, but how many voters actually cast a vote on that day.  Seniors vote. Younger voters don’t vote in the same proportions. The latest EKOS poll explains why Stephen Harper will be Prime Minister on September 20, 2015, leading a minority government: Neither the Liberal Party nor the NDP has managed to make big enough inroads into the senior vote in order to knock Harper’s Conservatives out of power. This means the key to who will actually govern Canada will be settled in the months after the election, (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Harper’s Just Not Ready attack boomerangs!

Seems the Trudeau attack ad works with Conservatives but is making NDP supporters think about voting for Trudeau’s Liberals: A Conservative Party attack ad targeting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for being “just not ready” to lead the country is actually working to convince Canadians to vote for him, a Forum Research poll has discovered. The survey found that 32 per cent of Canadians who had seen the ad were now more likely to vote Liberal in the upcoming federal election. The ad is having an adverse effect on NDP supporters as 21 per cent said viewing it made them more (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Harper’s Just Not Ready attack boomerangs!

CuriosityCat: Donald Trump will become President in 2016

Trump’s Powerful Slogan

Chances are very high right now that in early November 2016 we will find that Donald Trump will be the next president of the USA, after narrowly beating Hilary Clinton in the election.

And the symbol of his meteoric rise to the most powerful elected position in the world will be his newly-minted, hot off the assembly line, baseball cap. That cap, and the slogan on it, are extraordinarily powerful statements of just what Trump is hoping will be the ballot box question in 2016: The perceived loss of American power by so many Americans. Trump’s slogan (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Vanity Videos and the Morphing of the Tories

Mister 100 Percent Satisified

Move aside, YouTube: here come the new, improved Harper Tories’ Vanity Videos, made especially for every Canadian voter:

Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre won’t apologize for using taxpayer dollars to produce YouTube videos of himself promoting the universal child care benefit.Poilievre insisted Friday that he’s simply using innovative ways to inform Canadians about the newly enriched and expanded child benefit.But opposition MPs denounced the “vanity videos” as a new low for a government that has a penchant for producing partisan advertising on the public dime. And the Canadian Taxpayers Federation agreed.

The Cat has (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Perils of the Welcome Change in the 2015 Election Debates

Good news: the Conservative Party has refused to debate the other opposition leaders before the traditional news broadcasters, and have suggested a dramatically different – and very welcome – change of format.

But this decision by Harper’s election brains trust might prove to be the first major blunder in their campaign. 

Unlike the kneejerk reactions from some pundits that this change plays to Harper’s strengths, and kneecaps Justin Trudau, the odds are that Harper is the one who will lose in the new style debates.

Stephen Maher in the National Post describes the surprise change in the debate rules (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: 2015 election: Harper on road to minority government?

The problem?

The latest compendium of polls by 308 have good news and bad news.

Good news for Harper who – based on these results – would form a minority government after the 2015 election.

Bad news for the Liberals, whose support is slipping.

And good news for the besieged Mulcair’s NDP, which has steadily lost whatever magic it had in the 2011 election, despite herculean efforts in Parliament by their leader.

Here’s the chart showing the steady but slight erosion in Liberal support: And here is the 308 forecast of possible seats if those polls hold:

With these levels (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: 2015 election: Harper on road to minority government?

Accidental Deliberations: On enduring foundations

The framing panel at the Progress Summit included plenty of ideas as to how the left can shape political debates. But I’ll note that it seemed to miss a couple of related issues.

Most notably, there was an almost exclusive focus on reaching out to swing voters rather than framing issues in a way that would actually serve to build the progressive movement in the longer term. But that of course utterly misses the point that one can’t afford to completely ignore base-building in the name of appealing to the currently-undecided – as even if one’s goals focused solely on (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: The Legacy of Ottawa: The Gutting of Canada

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…)

CuriosityCat: Pipelines and Ottawa’s dropping of the ball: Gordon Gibson nails it

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…)

CuriosityCat: Will Canada have a snap election over new anti-terrorist laws and ISIS?

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?

CuriosityCat: Why is Justin Trudeau dancing to victory?

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…)

CuriosityCat: Israel & Framing the Issues: The Israel Project and Frank Luntz

A key to understanding the inner workings of modern politics is to understand what role the framing of issues takes, and the key to that is to understand why Frank Luntz, the Republican advisor, ranks at the top of political framing. The news is full of interviews of Israeli and Palestinian spokespersons, with the occasional Hamas leader appearing. When you watch and listen to these people represent their sides, ask yourself which spokespersons do the better job of framing the issues. Here’s one take of what is governing the framing of issues by Israeli spokespersons, by the senior political analyst (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Israel & Framing the Issues: The Israel Project and Frank Luntz

CuriosityCat: Visionary Concept of Wildrose Party’s Danielle Smith: A National Energy Corridor

Danielle Smith: Visionary

Canada’s wealth depends largely on our ability to export goods and services that others want to buy from us. And one of our major exports is energy – whether it be electricity or oil and gas. Our ability to export large quantities of energy is under threat from those who are targeting our oil and gas resources in order to promote their agenda of greenhouse gas reduction worldwide. There is little we can do to persuade people of that mindset to allow us to export our oil and gas. The Closing of the Windows of Opportunity: Exports (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Visionary Concept of Wildrose Party’s Danielle Smith: A National Energy Corridor