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 ThreeHundredEight.com, a website dedicated to political polling ...

Political Eh-conomy: Is Canada the Sweden of anything?

There was an odd article last week on the explainer site Vox that argued Sweden doesn’t achieve its relative equality with very progressive, “soak the rich” taxation. While Matt Bruenig and Mike Konczal have already provided excellent, US-centred rebuttals to this argument, I thought this would be a good occasion to take a look at ...

Political Eh-conomy: Economic history in the present: Potlatch and tax

This post inaugurates an occasional series I’m calling, “Economic history in the present”. This series will look at vignettes from global economic history with an eye to current phenomena or particular events. Some will be more speculative, drawing on anthropology and philosophy; some will be more rigorous. Hopefully, both aspects of this approach will produce ...

CuriosityCat: The Battle for the Soul of Canada’s NDP

Tony Blair wrested control of the British Labour Party away from the hardliners who had successfully run that party into the ditch in election after election, by concentrating on a small core of voters, and offering policies that were outmoded, anti-capitalistic and unappetizing to most British voters. Thomas Mulcair faces the same problem that Blair ...

CuriosityCat: Harper’s Permanent Majority through Redistribution & FPTP

A Confederation denied legitimacy Here is a startling analysis of the impact of the recent redistribution, the probability of a permanent Conservative majority in the House because of our archaic First Past the Post system. A must read for everyone interested in politics in Canada. Please pass on this post to those you know, and ...

The Scott Ross: Why Liberals Should Fear Gerrymandering

Recently Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale wrote a post echoing a sentiment surprisingly popular among what’s left of the Liberal Party membership, and that is, this Conservative government is going to use its influence to gerrymander ridings to maximize support to guarantee future victories.   But Liberals shouldn’t be worried that the Conservatives will actually gerrymander, ...

Song of the Watermelon: The Point of Taxes

What follows is my submission to BC’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Any other British Columbians interested in influencing next year’s budget have until October 18 to do so by clicking here. Taxation has three major purposes: raising government revenue, redistributing wealth, and discouraging “bads.” The first is the most obvious. Taxes ...

Blunt Objects: New Sask Ridings Give NDP a Leg Up

The folks doing the federal redistribution for the province of Saskatchewan has come out with their proposed boundaries today, finally putting to rest those horrible eight ridings that broke up the cities of Regina and Saskatoon into four parts each, combining urban and suburban parts of the cities with huge swaths of rural land and ...

Calgary Grit: Riding Talk

The electoral commission could have saved us a lot of time by painting this map blue The new riding maps are out! The new riding maps are out! It’s Christmas in July for political geeks! As you may be aware, new riding boundaries will be in place for the 2015 election, and the commissions tasked ...

Pample the Moose: Partisan dreck: Seat Redistribution Edition

The new seat redistribution bill recently passed the House of Commons, awarding new seats to Ontario, Quebec, BC and Alberta. Rarely have I seen commentary about legislation so thoroughly skewed by short-term partisan and regional interests, and it makes me ill. I’ll get my principles on the table. I favour representation-by-population in the House of ...

Blunt Objects: Liberal seat proposal, by the numbers

A follow up on an earlier post by Volkov. There is a new CBC News story outlining the number of seats in the Liberal proposal for seat redistribution. In short, this proposal would remove 1 seat from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and 2 seats each from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Quebec would also lose 3 seats; ...

CalgaryGrit: Opposition for the Sake of Opposition

The Liberals have come out against an expanded House of Commons, arguing we have enough MPs as it is. I personally feel the problem is one of quality rather than quantity, but most Canadians would likely agree with the Liberal position and it makes a certain amount of sense when you consider Canada’s population-to-MP ratio. ...

CalgaryGrit: Redistribution Update

Just what we need – 30 more MPs! Ontario will get 15 new seats, British Columbia and Alberta six each and Quebec three in the latest and probably final attempt by the Harper government to rejig the House of Commons in favour of the fast-growing provinces. I took a look at the impact of this ...

CalgaryGrit: Redistribution Winners and Losers

Even though it was the right decision, the Harper government likely didn’t do itself any electoral favours by shutting Quebec out of the new ship building contract and the 15,000 jobs that go with it. However, they did announce two new jobs they will be creating in Quebec: Ontario and B.C. will get fewer new ...

Blunt Objects: New seat distribution formula to look a lot like the old one.

I’ve taken a close look at the proposed numbers in Harper’s new plan for seat redistribution. This is a difficult to understand issue, so I will begin by explaining the history a little bit. Canada has had a number of different formulas to distribute seats across the land. From 1867 to 1915, we used a ...