Bruce Anderson writes that as some of us have long suspected, a true three-party federal race is developing which will create some new complications for the Cons and Libs alike. But it’s worth pointing out one area where the Cons are in much worse shape than they’ve ever been.
Before the 2008 and 2011 elections, the Cons managed to render Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff radioactive with voters – with those leaders’ approval ratings running far below the Libs’ party polling results. And over the course of the campaign, an expected convergence between those numbers led to a natural (Read more…)
Here is an interesting comparison between the NDP support 8-5 months before the election in 2011 compared to the same period now in 2015. Back in 2011, support was in the mid teens at this time and didn’t start to rise until closer to the election. But in 2015, support was in the upper teens and has gradually risen (with a jump at the end of the period) to close to 30 in the same period. So, the NDP support this time around is much stronger, double what it was at the same time before the previous election. They are (Read more…)
Among the other lessons learned from Alberta’s recent election, let’s point out one more with implications for the federal scene.
While the main opposition parties recognized that they were too far apart in their general policy orientation to justify a formal coalition, both the NDP and the Wildrose Party were happy to point out some of the areas which were ripe for cooperation as part of their criticism of the governing PCs.
In other words, neither tried to pretend that there was no room to discuss post-election cooperation, nor to claim that some areas of disagreement or personal differences rendered (Read more…)
Jim Prentice is warning Albertans that they should vote for him lest they be governed by somebody like Tom Mulcair.
Jim Prentice’s approval rating in Alberta is 22%.
Tom Mulcair’s approval rating in Alberta is 42%.
Which means, shorter Jim Prentice: You may think you’re getting an exquisitely prepared filet mignon when you vote NDP, but what if you only get a juicy hamburger? Therefore, vote for gruel!
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Barrie McKenna takes a look at how the Cons are pushing serious liabilities onto future generations in order to hand out short-term tax baubles within a supposedly-balanced budget, while Jennifer Robson highlights the complete lack of policy merit behind those giveaways. And Ian McGugan writes that even as they’re trumpeted as attempts to improve saving none of the Cons’ plans have anything to do with actually improving retirement security, especially for the people who need it most: Our reliance on private savings to fund our retirements makes Canada an outlier among developed countries. (Read more…)
Shorter Justin Trudeau: When I say I plan to do politics differently, what I mean is that I’m willing to leave Stephen Harper in power based on the most petty and frivolous excuses anybody’s ever heard.
No longer is there any pretense that a flat “no” to a coalition with the NDP is based on policy differences (however implausible). Instead, Trudeau is ruling out the possibility of cooperation based on personal hostility toward Thomas Mulcair – which of course couldn’t be further from matching the public’s perception of the NDP’s leader, particularly among people with whom Trudeau supposedly (Read more…)
Some will remember the abuse heaped upon NDP leader Thomas Mulcair back in 2012 when he said that Canada was suffering from the same Dutch disease that afflicted the Netherlands after natural gas fields boosting that nation’s currency reduced the competitiveness of its exports back in the 1970s. The culprit in Canada was the unrestrained exploitation of its oil fields, leading at one point to our dollar being valued higher than the American one. Exports suffered, manufacturing continued to decline, and the Harper regime gleefully denigrated the NDP leader for an inconvenient truth.
It would seem that Mulcair’s analysis has (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Andrew Jackson argues that contrary to the attempt of the Ecofiscal Commission to impose right-wing values like tax slashing and devolution on any action to deal with climate change, we in fact need the federal government to take a lead role: While it is sensible in the current political context that provinces not wait for federal leadership, this does not mean those pushing for climate action should lessen our pressure on the federal government to lead. At a minimum, the federal government should be requiring all of the provinces to take some modest (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Arthur Neslen reports on the Health and Environmental Alliance’s study of greenhouse gas emission reductions showing that we’d enjoy both improved health and economic benefits by pursuing ambitious targets to fight climate change. And David Roberts examines the massive cost and minimal benefit of carbon capture and storage schemes which serve mostly to increase how much oil we burn at public expense.
- Chris Simpson writes about the need for physicians to consider social determinants of health as part of patient care. And Carolyn Shimmin offers a primer for journalists (and others) to (Read more…)
Thomas Mulcair’s Progress Summit commitment that an NDP government will redirect the value of a stock option tax loophole toward families in need will surely make for one of the most important moments of a summit directed at developing exactly those types of ideas.
So it’s unquestionably important that Mulcair is willing to take Canada in the direction of redirecting corporate giveaways toward people with a genuine need. That said, it’s worth taking a look at the numbers as to how far today’s announcement will go.
Canadians for Tax Fairness estimates the stock option loophole at a cost of $1 (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Both Edward Keenan and the Star’s editorial board take note of Thomas Mulcair’s plan for urban renewal, with particular emphasis on its appeal across party lines: Speaking directly to Toronto city council and Mayor John Tory, who won election largely on the basis of his promised SmartTrack “surface subway,” Mulcair said he would be a partner on transit: “Together we will get the people of Toronto moving.”
No wonder Tory declared himself “gratified and pleased” with Mulcair’s approach. Other elements of the NDP’s urban agenda include: Appointing a minister responsible for urban (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
It’s a rainy West Coast Saturday morning, mild and quite beautiful but the direction that PM Harper is taking is chilling, surreal, shocking.
Clearly our Prime Minister is launching a police state to spy on Canadians, arrest, detain, and imprison those who dare to publicly criticize this lurch to the extreme right, essentially we are being driven into a police state.
The Harper Conservatives are well organized and ruthlessly riding roughshod over our democracy at every level imaginable.
Our opposition leaders, with the exception of Elizabeth May, seem unable to fully grasp and adequately respond to the threat facing Canadians.
Harper (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”
This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)
Twice denied an opportunity to run for the leadership of the Wildrose Party, controversial Conservative Party Member of Parliament Rob Anders is still lurking in the shadows of the deflated Alberta conservative opposition party. As reported by the Medicine Hat News,… Continue Reading →
H/t The Toronto Star
Yesterday, Tom Clark on The West Block asked both Mulcair and Clark for their thoughts on Harper’s ‘anti-terror’ legislation. You will note that by the end of the interview, it would seem that Mulcair’s ‘principled’ stand against the bill is perhaps less than what it seems as he hedges his political bets:
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Your browser does not support frames. Click here to view the frameless video.. Recommend this Post
Since this headline seems to be getting far more attention than the actual accompanying interview (if mostly from people with a strong vested interest in distorting the NDP’s position), let’s take a moment to discuss what we’d expect a responsible party to do upon taking power – and what we can tell from a party’s actions while in opposition.
The NDP has rightly taken the position that C-51 deserves to be defeated. And it’s thus making a strong push to challenge the bill both in premise and in its details – in stark contrast to the Libs, who have pledged (Read more…)
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have no particular use for Rex Murphy. Yet last night I found myself in total agreement with him as he offered an eloquent rebuke of Harper’s Bill C-51 by praising NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s opposition to it. You can watch his reasons below:
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Elizabeth May and Thomas Mulcair have both shown great leadership in standing up against Harper’s reckless, vague and unnecessary Secret Police bill.
Send them a thank you by tweeting at them.
Tweet at Mulcair by clicking here: http://bit.ly/thank-mulcair
Tweet at May by clicking here: http://bit.ly/thank-EMay
Here, on the Cons’ attempt to spin an election narrative out of a fictional bogeyman rather than protecting or helping Canadians.
For further reading…- The National Academy of Sciences offers a comparison of death rates from multiple causes in Canada and elsewhere, while Statistics Canada has more detailed data. And it’s also worth a reminder as to the large number of deaths caused by inequality.- In contrast to the real risks we face and accept every day, even the Cons’ attempt to fabricate a paper trail around terrorism resorts to labeling arrests as failures or dangers (rather (Read more…)
Tim Naumetz’ comparison between the NDP’s place before the 2011 federal election and its current position is worth a read. But what’s perhaps more noteworthy is how little has changed.
Remember that the 2011 campaign was initially portrayed as a two-party race between the Cons and the Libs. And looking solely at party support numbers until midway through the writ period, that conclusion might have seemed justified.
(In that respect, the NDP is in a much stronger position now than four years ago. Even its worst recent poll results are well above the low-teens numbers which caused so many in (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
The Liberal and NDP response to PM Stephen Harper’s far reaching attempt to decimate Canada’s civil rights and privacy laws left a lot to be desired.
Justin Trudeau rolled over in support and showed us up close that he has a long way to go before he is ready to assume the role of Prime Minister.
Thomas Mulcair- is opposed to Harper’s anti terror bill
Thomas Mulcair’s early responses , although in opposition to the so called anti terror bill, was pretty tame, wishy washy, understated.
Mulcair did not support the bill but the severity of Bill C 51’s deserved, demanded a (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes (Read more…)
Two posts I recently wrote were highly critical of both Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair for their apparent embrace, for political purposes, of Bill C-51, the bill that will serve only to further erode our civil liberties in the chimerical hope of containing terrorists threats to Canada. I expressed my disgust over the fact that both leaders seem ready to abandon the broader interests of Canada for the sake of their own quest for power, fearful of being labelled by the Harper machine as ‘soft on terrorism.’
I may have been too quick to judge Mr. Mulcair.
According to (Read more…)