The Parliamentary Budget Office has come out with a report, suggesting that the Conservatives will likely balance the budget ahead of schedule. But, and it’s a big but, if there were no EI surplus, there would be no balanced budget in 2016. And the annual surplus in the EI Operating Account is no small potatoes – it’s forecast to be at least $3.5 Billion in 2014. But this forecast is based on an EI coverage rate of 41%, and recently it’s been more like 38%, meaning the 2014 EI surplus will probably end up being over $4 Billion.
The recent byelection in Toronto center – won handily by the Liberals’ Chrystia Freeland in a race against the NDP’s Linda McQuaig – ruffled quite a bit of feathers. Justin Trudeau’s victory speech in particular gained a lot of attention, in part because of the controversy it drummed up of quoting Layton’s final letter while accusing the NDP of running a negative campaign.
Linda McQuaig has now issued a post election op-ed, addressing the charge of the alleged NDP negative campaign head on: As the NDP candidate who ran against Freeland, I disagree. My campaign was heavily focused on issues, (Read more…)
News roundup: November 30, 2013
Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).
Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election
Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).
First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)
Day in and day out, or so it seems, Justin Trudeau hammers away at one theme above all else: that he is, or so he claims, engaging in positive politics. It isn’t the Senate Scandal that he cites most often, it isn’t big issues like the economy or climate change, it isn’t little but novel policy details like legalizing marijuana. His focus, the defining element that commands our attention in the time since his ascendancy, has been that he keeps telling a us how positive his leadership has been.
Politicians should run positive campaigns. But they shouldn’t run on the (Read more…)
In case you’ve been living under a rock, there is a by-election coming on Monday. Candidates are going head to head (to head) in Manitoba, Montreal and Toronto.
There’s been the usual tricks and nastiness endemic to backroom politics. In Montreal, candidate Stéphane Moraille’s signs were taken down by Liberal campaign staffers in Bourassa In Manitoba, some anti-Liberal literature raised eyebrows: A mailout to voters in Manitoba’s Brandon Souris riding that baldly states the Liberal leader “does not have the judgment to be prime minister.”
Sadly, these tactics are nothing new. But transposing legendary Black leaders apparently is. First, (Read more…)
Worthwhile article from Chantal Hebert here.
She’s not the first to link Harper’s gutting of environmental regulations, skeptical attitude towards climate change and attacks on the environmental movement to other countries (particularly our major trading partner south of the border) reluctance to embrace Canada’s natural resources, but in just two sentences, Hebert does a good job of exposing the box that the Conservative government has painted Canada’s economy into:
“Harper has made it impossible to have a national conversation on the economy without talking about pipelines, but just as impossible to debate those without addressing his climate change record. (Read more…)
I found this interesting; one of the Toronto LPC riding associations put forth a list of policy resolutions over the weekend and sounds like it asked their member what should be top priority for a new LPC government to implement. I have a copy of the preliminary paper which lists everything that was discussed, but I’ll refrain from posting it online for now, as I understand several of these were combined in subsequent revisions. If I get my hands on a “final copy” and I’m permitted to do so, I’ll post that.
Until then however, I can post what my (Read more…)
One of the not-so-solemn duties of the blogosphere is to hold the Main Stream Media in check when they go a little astray. I’m not sure if I should hold Andrew Coyne’s hand as I walk him back to where he was a week ago, or if I should slap it for being caught in the Conservatives’ propagand acookie jar. Mmmm, raisins.
Here’s where Coyne was last week:
.@acoyne: We’ve grown used to seeing prime ministers sealed inside an impenetrable bubble, but a whole party? ow.ly/qs0nR #CPC13— canada.com (@thecanadacom) November 04, 2013
Here he was (Read more…)
Ipsos Reid just released new federal poll numbers. Their latest poll was conducted between Oct. 25 and 28, 2013. Their previous poll covered Oct. 16 to 20, 2013.
Here is a comparison between their 2 polls
Oct. 20 Oct. 28 NDP 27% 31% up 4% Lib 33% 31% down 2% Con 31% 30% down 1% Grn 2% 2% Blc 6% 6%
With the Senate scandal being front and centre in the news for the past couple of weeks, and with the performance of Thomas Mulcair hammering away at Harper in Question Period, I think we can see Canadians (Read more…)
NDP vows to keep pressure on PM over Senate expenses NDP’s caucus chair speaks to media after meeting with MPs
CBC News Posted: Oct 30, 2013 11:07 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 30, 2013 11:31 AM ET
Frankly, I’d much rather that Mulcair pressure the Cons about the EU Trade Pact and why the citizenry was not consulted, or the pipeline idiocy that could destroy the environment of the East or the West…the fact that Mulcair is focusing on Cons whingeing at Cons does nothing to further the interests of the country..Let Junior Trudeau have at this issue, after (Read more…)
It’s very important to Canada’s economy that we send a resource (we can’t use without killing the planet) to Communist China so their economy can continue to pollute at record pace as they ship unneeded goods to the United States and Canada so we can bury them in our landfills when we aren’t burning them to create electricity to power our other throw-away devices.
I’ve predicted for a year or so that the power brokers in Ottawa will soon sense that Harper isn’t their meal ticket any longer and jump bandwagons to Trudeau because they are not (Read more…)
Hey, before you take a look at who has come out of the wood work early to run for nominations, why don’t you take a look at my policy on Common Ground, Encouraging Youth Voter Participation and Improving Civic Education? Lots of political space being paid attention to right now on the federal scene (and rightfully so) to the upcoming by-elections, the Throne Speech, CETA and the Senate, but I thought I’d do a blast from the past, and take a look at who has declared themselves running for a Liberal nomination for the 2015 election. The nomination (Read more…)
That’s what Pundits’ Guide and David Akin wrote about new Mulcair candidate Linda McQuaig’s approach to politics in their (both very good) summaries of the Toronto Centre nominations.
I was happy to spend the day pulling vote for Chrystia Freeland, who McQuaig wasted no time in attacking. Those who read my blog frequently will know that I would be a wild hypocrite to pretend to be offended by going on the attack, but as Liberals, we have to realize both that Mulcair’s NDP will pull as few punches as the Harper Conservatives in both Toronto Centre and Bourassa going after (Read more…)
There was a time in Canadian history when it was possible to elect a politician who wasn’t an alcohol drinker (Gardiner, for example). Now it may still be possible to elect someone who doesn’t drink coffee.
.@RealMattHopkins @margaretresin How DARE the Liberal leader NOT abuse a widely accepted drug! #Caffeine— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) August 22, 2013
It’s time to end prohibition on marijuana. This isn’t said to support the Liberals, it’s to support what will create the best society for Canada. The Drug War is an American political invention, boosted by Reagan, and it’s a social (Read more…)
The opposition says PM Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament to kill a tumultuous session that saw his Conservative government rocked by the Senate expense scandal.
The post Stephen Harper Proroguing Parliament “To Avoid Accountability” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Many Canadians simply will not consider voting for the NDP and one of the most common reasons for this provided, either explicitly or implicitly, is that the NDP are socialists, or at least far left nutters. While there is undoubtedly any number of more legitimate reasons to not support the NDP, this reason – they claim that they are something approaching socialists – is simply objectively false. The NDP are not socialists, they have not been for a long time, and are currently positioned the furthest right in their history. NDP leader Tom Mulcair has given recent comments on (Read more…)
Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein has interviewed the presumptive Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre, Chrystia Freeland, who declares, “I’m a capitalist red in tooth and claw.”
To his credit, Klein asks her a couple of times for policy specifics. She concludes the interview by saying:
My job right now is to win the right to be part of the conversation in the Liberal Party. If I do that, I win the right to have a seat at the table as the Liberal Party comes up with that agenda. And in 2015 the Liberal Party can present that agenda to (Read more…)
For the “You Read It Here First” file, I wrote on Friday:
Toronto Centre needs a candidate with a track record of advancing more substantive and more progressive positions on economic issues. Specifically, the NDP should nominate someone who can take on Freeland regarding inequality and what to do about it.
Today, Linda McQuaig announced her candidacy for the NDP nomination for the upcoming federal by-election in Toronto Centre. She is no stranger to the Progressive Economics Forum, having made several appearances on this blog and having once helped adjudicate our student essay contest.
If vitriol on Twitter (Read more…)
Ontario Conservative Tim Hudak’s Vandal horde sacks Rome Upon Lake Ontario, the media narrative for last Thursday’s Ontario by-elections that was sensibly ignored by the province’s voters. Below, Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. Was she taking a page from the Book of Alison Redford, also below?
One can read too much into any by-election result, I suppose. And it’s particularly dangerous for a commentator from far away to divine profound truths from the results of an election to which he paid scant attention until the final tally appeared on the Internet.
Still, maybe distance lends an opportunity to see the (Read more…)
Chrystia Freeland, The Globe and Mail’s candidate in Toronto Centre, recently wrote a book about inequality (which I have not yet read) and is supposed to “bring fresh thinking to the Liberal Party’s economic team.”
She has already attracted a few jabs from right-wingers Terence Corcoran and William Watson. But is she progressive?
The Globe gave Freeland more than 900 words on Monday’s opinion page to articulate her political vision. It featured only one paragraph of policy proposals:
We know some of things we need to do. As University of Ottawa economist Miles Corak has shown, social mobility (Read more…)
The Prime Minister’s Office is a partisan waste of taxpayer money. $10M a year goes there to die.
Huffington Post uncovered the PMO coordination of the silly protest aimed at Justin Trudeau [link may autoplay annoying audio, sorry] announcing he wanted greater transparency from the government. Ha, why would the CPC want to protest against transparency when they campaigned on that in 2006 (and completely failed to deliver on their promise)?
HuffPost has learned the PMO assembled several Conservative party interns and staff to draw up signs mocking Trudeau after being tipped off by Twitter that the Liberal leader planned (Read more…)
I’ve felt badly for a while now that conservative voters have no ethical right wing party to vote for in Canada (or the USA, for that matter). The Conservative Party of Canada is the only Canadian political party with the word “coalition” in its Constitution. The CPC coalition of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, removed right wing voters’ choice, so Harper’s new CPC could more easily cheat their way to victory.
Rathgeber: "There is speculative talk about starting a new political party and even reviving old ones." brentrathgeber.ca/brents-blog/— Paul Wells (@InklessPW) June 17, 2013
With the (Read more…)
Giving some dap to an article written by Hillary Buchan-Terrell for Samara about her experiences in politics, and why political parties matter.
Conservatives have created a new idea. It’s Leadership Stealing. You can Steal, like a Leader.
“How can the Liberals actually, with a straight face, pretend to stand up for the middle class, when Liberal senators are stealing money from taxpayers?” – CPC Minister Moore
“Conservatives praise Duffy’s ‘leadership’ in Senate expense scandal”
Senate committee told about Wallin expense concerns 18 months ago > bit.ly/16ak0CD #cdnpoli— Global Regina (@GlobalRegina) June 11, 2013