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Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Excuse Me Mr. Mulcair. Kyoto, Really? Is That Your Final Answer?

The story of how Thomas Mulcair was going to run for Harper’s Conservatives has resurfaced, leaving the NDP leader with no choice but to answer for his actions.

Instead of simply admitting that it was over money, he has decided to soften the impact, with images of himself on a white horse, championing the Kyoto Accord.

If you are going to fabricate a story you’d better make sure that fact checkers can’t call you on it, because the fact is, it’s a bold face lie.

Before getting to the real gotcha moment, by 2005, anyone politically engaged in this country (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: Almost Blue

These days, it must feel good to be Thomas Mulcair. The polls show he has a chance to become Canada’s first NDP Prime Minister, and the entire country has been engulfed in an orange afterglow since the Alberta election. But as Uncle Ben once said, with great polling comes great scrutiny.

Indeed, one of the downsides of surging four months before election day is that leaves a lot of time for journalists and voters to put everything you’ve ever said or done under the microscope, and study it at the atomic level.

So when you make the type of verbal (Read more…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Now Has A Stable Lead And Is In Minority Government Territory

3 new polls were released today (Environics, Forum, Ipsos Reid), all confirming that the NDP has a stable and comfortable lead over the other parties. The Environics poll was in the field earlier and over a longer period (June 3-18), so it shows the older trend when the 3 parties were virtually tied. The other polls were more recently in the field, both ending June 23rd, and show a trend of the NDP being more in the lead. The table below shows the NDP rise from April to now (comparing the April average to the average (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: The abyss calling the kettle black

I’ve previously written that the Libs tend to be entirely incoherent when they can’t make any claim to votes by default – and that the lead in the polls earned by Tom Mulcair and the NDP raised a real possibility that would happen again.

But I’ll readily acknowledge that this goes far beyond my expectations.

Yes, for those scoring along at home: the federal leader of the Liberal Party is trying to score political points by noting another federal leader’s past association with a Liberal Party.

I suppose that’s one way to take “they’re all the same” messaging to a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Pop quiz

Michael Den Tandt and John Geddes are convinced that Tom Mulcair’s speech to the Economic Club of Canada yesterday represents both a massive sea change in Canadian politics, and a response to the NDP’s newfound lead in the polls. So let’s offer a pop quiz to see if that theory holds up to scrutiny.

The following passages are from speeches Mulcair delivered:(a) to the Economic Club of Canada in April 2012;(b) to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in February 2013; (c) to the Economic Club of Canada in January 2015; and(d) to the Economic (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Unblocked

In response to the apparent return of Gilles Duceppe to federal politics, I’ll offer a quick rerun on the state of the Bloc Quebecois: Once the 1995 referendum was in the rear-view mirror, however, the Bloc recognized that it would need to stand for more than sovereignty alone. And so it developed a strategy of running hard against the government of the day (which was always its strongest Quebec opponent) and serving as an opposition on behalf of Quebec alone.

That strategy was highly effective at stoking frustration against sitting governments. But in the last few election cycles, it proved (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On damaging positions

I haven’t commented yet on the latest wave of federal polls primarily because I don’t see them radically changing my existing take on Canada’s impending election. But I’ll briefly address what looks like an overreaction to the latest numbers by Michael Harris.

By way of context, here’s my previous analysis as to how the Cons have done in attacking Trudeau: Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon as Liberal leader has come to an end, due to both the usual Conservative barrage of attack ads and his own missteps (most notably his ill-advised support for the Conservatives’ draconian terror bill).

But unlike his predecessors, (Read more…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: A Sleeping Ontario Awakens

EKOS has released a 2nd poll that puts the NDP in the lead in the past couple of weeks. This solidifies things more, showing that it is not a fluke. (Actually, 8 recent polls have the NDP virtually tied with the Conservatives for the lead.) Probably the most significant number in the latest poll is the position of the NDP in Ontario. It has been pretty obvious that the NDP are going to hold onto their seats in Quebec. And, they have remained steadily competitive in BC. The key now to the election lies in vote-rich Ontario. For the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On cooperative priorities

As part of their new “Hope and Wild Flailing” campaign theme, plenty of Libs are looking for any pretext – however lacking in reality – to attack Tom Mulcair. And Mulcair’s latest comments on a coalition offer the latest flimsy excuse. So let’s look at how there’s still a huge difference between the NDP and the Libs when it comes to a willingness to talk about coalitions – but how Mulcair could do far better by working with the NDP’s longstanding willingness to cooperate.

To start with, let’s look at the obvious distinction between the parties’ respective stances.

Trudeau’s position (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dylan Matthews reports on Joseph Stiglitz’ work in studying what kinds of systemic changes (in addition to more redistribution of wealth) are needed to ensure a fair and prosperous economy. And Martin O’Neill discusses James Meade’s prescient take on the importance of social assets: Meade therefore came to endorse the extension of the traditional welfare state through the parallel pursuit of both the spread of private property-ownership across all members of society – his ‘property-owning democracy’, which would involve steep taxation of inheritance and capital transfers – and at the same time building (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s new anti-Trudeau ad is hilarious and mediocre

The Harper Conservatives’ latest 2015 federal election attack ad targeting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ignores Canadians’ appetite for regime change.

The post Harper’s new anti-Trudeau ad is hilarious and mediocre appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be getting ready to sue the Harper […]

The post Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Staying the flawed course

John Ivison is right to note that the Cons’ latest ad reflects the Harper braintrust sticking to what seems to have been a long-established plan. But it’s worth highlighting how that plan has been overtaken by events – and how even the Libs may be able to use the message to their advantage if they’re smart in the approach to this fall’s federal election.

In principle, a “just not ready” message is tailor-made for a two-party race where a party’s ability to attach a single personality flaw to the opposing leader can make all the difference between victory and defeat.

(Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: An Open Letter to Stephen Harper about the Debates

Dear Mr Harper: I understand that you’ve decided not to participate in the traditional election debates hosted by the three major TV networks, Global, CTV and CBC. Incidentally, isn’t it convenient they’re known as The Consortium? Conjures up all sorts of sinister images of The Firm and The Company and lends a smattering of credence to your objection.

You’ve rejected The Consortium because you want “more opportunities for freewheeling interaction” and greater “diversity and innovation”. Apparently you expect to get these opportunities with other media organizations like Macleans.

Have you lost your mind?

May I remind you that the last (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On complexities

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…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Support Pre-election 2011 Compared to 2015

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…)

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Working across the aisle

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: On relative popularity

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!

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: The petulant son

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Vindication Of Thomas Mulcair

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

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…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

Canadian media are a lazy bunch. They follow the paths of least resistance and false assumptions. Take this past week when some supposed progressives were gathered at the Broadbent Institute in Ottawa for its Progress Summit. The one question that was never answered was ‘Who were the Liberal Progressives at the gathering?’

Ed Broadbent never invited this progressive Liberal. Nor would this Liberal attend. This is not sour grapes. We know that Ed Broadbent is not progressive nor are the sponsors of the meeting. Ed Broadbent is a staunch unionist with a closed mind. He believes in the collective (Read more…)