Coyne v. Wells on five years of Harper

Paul Wells’ and Andrew Coyne’s weekly podcast is back

macleans.ca 78

ON NEWSSTANDS NOW: Paul Wells and John Geddes’ special report ‘What you don’t know about Stephen Harper’ and Andrew Coyne’s column ‘The damage done by doing so little’

Download | Feed | iTunes

Coyne v. Wells on five years of Harper

  1. After a too-long hiatus, Coyne v. Wells returns in fine form! Great discussion.

    I agree with Wells's election prediction: the government will pick up seats, but not a lot (just a dozen or so). Of course, I suppose we'll have to wait until 2012 to find out… :)

    • I kind of want an election to happen this year just for the sake of pushing a huge reset button.

      I can see a scenario where every party comes up short and we end up with new leaders for all the parties (and hopefully some interesting substantive policy discussions too….I know…dare to dream!)

      If the NDP loses seats, Layton may resign. He would have been leader for 4 elections and the NDP may want to change.

      If the Liberals gain a few seats, but not enough to beat the Tories, Ignatieff may resign (or get pushed out by Rae supporters)

      If the Greens fail to win a seat again, May may have to go.

      If the Tories hang on to a minority but it is reduced, Harper may resign.

      Duceppe may resign just because this would be his 6th election campaign and he may want to take a stab at jumping to provincial politics.

      This is wishful thinking on my part…but we could end up with five new leaders! (I live in hope)

  2. After a too-long hiatus, Coyne v. Wells returns in fine form! Great discussion.

    I agree with Wells's election prediction: the government will pick up seats, but not a lot (just a dozen or so). Of course, I suppose we'll have to wait until 2012 to find out… :)

  3. Great podcast. I really agree with Andrew's last point: so long as the parties make politics almost purely about partisanship, they're not going to go anywhere in the polls. None of the parties are really offering anything substantive to non-partisan voters, and the constant ad hominem attacks have gotten a lot of eligible voters to tune out. There's really not much there to keep their interest, and watching our leaders behave worse than our children gets tiresome quickly.

    I really think that the best way to discourage this kind of heavy-handed and never-ending partisanship is to reshape our institutions so that it isn't rewarded. One of the worst culprits is our first past the post voting system – there's just no incentive to be decent when you can win seats with 30-40% of the votes (or less!).

    We need to change the way we vote to a Ranked Ballots. If parties are not only competing for first votes, but also second and third, there's an incentive to be respectful of your competition. Personal attacks against someone's favourite party/candidate will only reduce the likelihood of them giving you their alternate votes. Respectful disagreement about issues are much less likely to do so.

    Another side benefit is that we wouldn't need all of this talk of the Liberals and NDP merging (unite the left), nor would the CPC have to remain as one party. Preferential Ballots would eliminate the ridiculous phenomena of vote-splitting, and would create a much more representative government.

    Check out http://www.123toronto.ca/main.htm for more info on a campaign for Ranked Ballots in Toronto.

    • I like this idea. I like it a lot.

    • I'd never heard this particular argument for ranked ballots (as an incentive to be respectful of the competition), but on first blush, I find it attractive. Anything that can reduce the kind of juvenile, ad hominem, uber-partisanship we see these days would be a bonus IMO. I suppose if you wanted to be contrarian, you could point to the US — although they don't have ranked ballots, they have essentially a two-party system in which you do have to win a majority of votes, not a plurality. And the rhetoric down there is pretty damn nasty too . . .

      • The argument is that competing for one vote encourages a no-holds-barred (is that right?) attitude toward campaigning, whereas competing for second and third votes encourages more amicably disagreeing, as in respectful debate. That's the theory, anyway.

        Of course, if we were only to have two main parties, ranked ballots would be pointless. Let's just hope that doesn't happen. I'd hate to see our range of choices shrink even more than it already has.

    • I completely agree with this. While I don't think electoral reform will lead to some sort of post-partisan utopia (it hasn't in other countries), I do think it will reduce some of the vitriol. It would also reduce the instances of holding one's nose and strategically voting for a party one doesn't really support.

      As you mentioned, it would probably cause the formation of more parties, meaning more choices for the electorate.

      • I think you're right, probably because people are willing to tolerate a degree of partisanship. I don't have a problem with some friendly competition. But, as you said, a reduction in the vitriol and in the need for strategic voting would be very nice.

        Something that I just thought of that would be another added bonus: Just imagine polsters, pundits and politicians struggling to interpret people's responses to poll questions! I'm sure it would do a lot of damage to the reliability of polls to predict things like seat count. I tend to think that reducing the reliance of politicians and the media on polls could only add to the level of political discourse and culture. May that's just wishful thinking, but we've got to dream!

        One other thing is that it would make gerrymandering pretty damn difficult.

    • I agree that we should move to ranked ballots. But let's not kid ourselves, the same partisan bickering will happen. In Australia, the tone of government is roughly the same as in Canada, despite the presence of ranked balloting (and proportional representation in the senate). The ranked balloting does help introduce some wheeling and dealing in relation to preferencing (ie, the Labor Party and Greens had a preferencing deal where Labour voters would vote for the Greens in the senate vote, while the Greens would vote Labour as their first preference in tight seats where the Liberals/Nationals could win).

      • Got my vote.

      • Interesting point about deals being made with the ranking system. How on earth does the political party ensure that its voters actually follow through with the proposal though? For example, just because Green Party HQ says that I should vote Labour in tight seats, how can they enforce that voters actually do that?

        It's hard enough in a delegated convention for a leader to convince delegates to follow him or her when they drop off the ballot and endorse another candidate. Getting the general electorate to cooperate would be even more unwieldy.

  4. Great podcast. I really agree with Andrew's last point: so long as the parties make politics almost purely about partisanship, they're not going to go anywhere in the polls. None of the parties are really offering anything substantive to non-partisan voters, and the constant ad hominem attacks have gotten a lot of eligible voters to tune out. There's really not much there to keep their interest, and watching our leaders behave worse than our children gets tiresome quickly.

    I really think that the best way to discourage this kind of heavy-handed and never-ending partisanship is to reshape our institutions so that it isn't rewarded. One of the worst culprits is our first past the post voting system – there's just no incentive to be decent when you can win seats with 30-40% of the votes (or less!).

    We need to change the way we vote to a Ranked Ballots. If parties are not only competing for first votes, but also second and third, there's an incentive to be respectful of your competition. Personal attacks against someone's favourite party/candidate will only reduce the likelihood of them giving you their alternate votes. Respectful disagreement about issues are much less likely to do so.

    Another side benefit is that we wouldn't need all of this talk of the Liberals and NDP merging (unite the left), nor would the CPC have to remain as one party. Preferential Ballots would eliminate the ridiculous phenomena of vote-splitting, and would create a much more representative government.

    Check out http://www.123toronto.ca/main.htm for more info on a campaign for Ranked Ballots in Toronto.

  5. I like this idea. I like it a lot.

  6. Nice to see you guys back. Coyne and Wells is an interesting contrast in style. Coyne invariably plumps for the big picture or the moral one – he likes absolutes. Wells on the other hand seems to like rooting around for nuance, subtext, hunting for the intangibles – seems not to fond of absolutes. The split screen invokes an image [for me] of two halfs of a giant pundit brain.
    I'm sure i'm not the only one who finds himself listening to one and nodding "you're right", and then the other, "and so are you". What i'm really saying is i hate you both! Get out of my head right now!
    Lucky us at Macleans central.

  7. Nice to see you guys back. Coyne and Wells is an interesting contrast in style. Coyne invariably plumps for the big picture or the moral one – he likes absolutes. Wells on the other hand seems to like rooting around for nuance, subtext, hunting for the intangibles – seems not to fond of absolutes. The split screen invokes an image [for me] of two halfs of a giant pundit brain.
    I'm sure i'm not the only one who finds himself listening to one and nodding "you're right", and then the other, "and so are you". What i'm really saying is i hate you both! Get out of my head right now!
    Lucky us at Macleans central.

  8. When Trudeau donned his Cap'n Canada cloak and uttered those words: " Who speaks for Canada"? all those years ago, it was a stroke of genius. Whether by design or not he set the liberal party up for the next 40 years. I agree with Coyne, the change will be good for the country. Maybe some of those cons who felt they were left out in the cold can come in now and hopefully feel at home and start behaving a little more maturely.
    nteresting point as regards the switching of turf by the two parties here.The tories grabbing the Captain Canada suit from the feeble grasp of the libs, and they in turn saying: " ok you ^&*%$ two can play at that, we'll become the party of family/ middle class values/concerns. Where have we seen this before? Free trade, reciprocity…maybe politics is just one really long game of musical chairs?

  9. When Trudeau donned his Cap'n Canada cloak and uttered those words: " Who speaks for Canada"? all those years ago, it was a stroke of genius. Whether by design or not he set the liberal party up for the next 40 years. I agree with Coyne, the change will be good for the country. Maybe some of those cons who felt they were left out in the cold can come in now and hopefully feel at home and start behaving a little more maturely.
    nteresting point as regards the switching of turf by the two parties here.The tories grabbing the Captain Canada suit from the feeble grasp of the libs, and they in turn saying: " ok you ^&*%$ two can play at that, we'll become the party of family/ middle class values/concerns. Where have we seen this before? Free trade, reciprocity…maybe politics is just one really long game of musical chairs?

  10. I'd never heard this particular argument for ranked ballots (as an incentive to be respectful of the competition), but on first blush, I find it attractive. Anything that can reduce the kind of juvenile, ad hominem, uber-partisanship we see these days would be a bonus IMO. I suppose if you wanted to be contrarian, you could point to the US — although they don't have ranked ballots, they have essentially a two-party system in which you do have to win a majority of votes, not a plurality. And the rhetoric down there is pretty damn nasty too . . .

  11. The argument is that competing for one vote encourages a no-holds-barred (is that right?) attitude toward campaigning, whereas competing for second and third votes encourages more amicably disagreeing, as in respectful debate. That's the theory, anyway.

    Of course, if we were only to have two main parties, ranked ballots would be pointless. Let's just hope that doesn't happen. I'd hate to see our range of choices shrink even more than it already has.

  12. hey andrew, you might want to check out where andrewcoyne.com redirects…

  13. hey andrew, you might want to check out where andrewcoyne.com redirects…

  14. Would either Coyne or Wells, once and for all, be ready to explain why Harper would not be likable.

    It's one thing to repeat the mantra ongoing – he's just not liked – but has it dawned on either one of you that such repeticious name calling would become a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Perhaps Harper could be reaching the 40% benchmark, if people in the media would stop repeating the phrase 'He's just an unlikeble guy."

    What's so much likeable about Ignatieff???

  15. Would either Coyne or Wells, once and for all, be ready to explain why Harper would not be likable.

    It's one thing to repeat the mantra ongoing – he's just not liked – but has it dawned on either one of you that such repeticious name calling would become a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Perhaps Harper could be reaching the 40% benchmark, if people in the media would stop repeating the phrase 'He's just an unlikeble guy."

    What's so much likeable about Ignatieff???

    • Fascinating switch in logic at the end there, really buttresses your argument.

    • Neither Harper nor Ignatieff give off warm and cuddly vibes. They both come across as a tad, well, douchey to be honest. I think that's why the polls have essentially been static for so long.

      • Matthew, your point is well taken – that point that neither Harper nor Ignatieff give off warm cuddly vibes. You may very well be right even if it is a personal opinion.

        But by stating your opinion, you're enforcing my reason for concern, namely, why is Harper being singled out, time and again, as being the one unlikeable? Why not attach the same label to Ignatieff when talking about him?

        I haven't heard Coyne or Wells say repeatedly that Ignatieff is rather "unlikeable"…………………Get my point?

        • I do see your point: that a media narrative can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          I disagree that Harper is the only target of it though. The "Dion is not a leader" meme, the "Martin is Mr. Dithers" meme, and the "Stockwell Day is a scary so-con who will eat your puppies" meme are other notable examples of narratives that became stuck once everyone collectively bought into them.

          • Yes, Matthew, the meme is sticky, and rather succesfully at times. However, at least those characterizations were specifically mentioned. The not so good leader could try and become a better leader; the ditherer could perhaps try and dither less; even Stock could have come toward the middle somewhere, say within a million years, give or take a few :)

            But how is one to come to a middle of nothing in particular? All that's being said is that Harper is not a likable guy. Well, in what sense? If he would try and change one particular thing, the users of the term not-likable could still insist that Harper is still missing the point: he is just not likable.

            Pretty difficult, if not nearly impossible, to make any changes to something so undefined.

          • Ah, now I see your point. Your concern is that the criticism is too vague. I agree with that.

            Also, since when have our Prime Ministers been likeable? No one can possibly tell me that Trudeau, Mulroney, and Chretien were kindly, gentle souls despite other merits they may have possessed.

          • I agree completely.

            It is not easy being PM. A PM must be able to deal with many balls up in the air, all at the same time, while the air around the balls keeps changing besides. Chretien was lucky in that he had been given the meme of 'the little guy from shawinigan' early on. It stuck very well.

            I find it very reasonable if particular policies advocated by Harper or the Tories, are being attacked or are argued against, but to state repeatedly that Harper is 'unlikable' is misleading; it sounds innocently enough and therefore no one feels wrong in doing it, yet, the corner Harper is thereby being pushed into, is not such an easy one to get out of. What a waste of energy, trying to climb out of the corner first, before voters are willing to take any of your proposed policies under considerations, seriously.

  16. Fascinating switch in logic at the end there, really buttresses your argument.

  17. So Harper gets a free pass on his short term tactics; because 20yrs ago he was a dependable right wing guy; wonder if the first offence drunk driver could use that type of defense; I've always taken a cab home but last night there were no cabs available; besides my buddies made me drink it was my birthday.

    Vote Harper! He says he loves Canada more than the other guys. Looks like we have two guys who desperately want to be invited to the PM's next sing a long.

  18. So Harper gets a free pass on his short term tactics; because 20yrs ago he was a dependable right wing guy; wonder if the first offence drunk driver could use that type of defense; I've always taken a cab home but last night there were no cabs available; besides my buddies made me drink it was my birthday.

    Vote Harper! He says he loves Canada more than the other guys. Looks like we have two guys who desperately want to be invited to the PM's next sing a long.

  19. Tories need to sell themselves, and their ideas, much much better than they have done so over the past few years if they want to reach 40%-majority government territory. Canada not natural right wing country so I use M Harris in Ontario as template for how to get Cons elected to majority governments. Harris told Ontarians what he planned to do, was elected, and did most of what he promised and was rewarded with second majority government.

    Harper/Cons, on the other hand, spend tens of millions of $$$ on not communicating with electorate. Cons give impression they have something to hide, always operating in the darkness, and they will have hard time growing support with their behaviour.

    Cons should stop acting like they are under attack all the time, send out a few happy warriors, and start defending conservatism. For example, the cut in corporate taxes is not being defended very well at moment. Cons just expect people to figure out that corporate tax cuts lead to job creation, cheaper prices, improved productivity … they need to get out there and defend their policies.

  20. Tories need to sell themselves, and their ideas, much much better than they have done so over the past few years if they want to reach 40%-majority government territory. Canada not natural right wing country so I use M Harris in Ontario as template for how to get Cons elected to majority governments. Harris told Ontarians what he planned to do, was elected, and did most of what he promised and was rewarded with second majority government.

    Harper/Cons, on the other hand, spend tens of millions of $$$ on not communicating with electorate. Cons give impression they have something to hide, always operating in the darkness, and they will have hard time growing support with their behaviour.

    Cons should stop acting like they are under attack all the time, send out a few happy warriors, and start defending conservatism. For example, the cut in corporate taxes is not being defended very well at moment. Cons just expect people to figure out that corporate tax cuts lead to job creation, cheaper prices, improved productivity … they need to get out there and defend their policies.

    • The reformacons need better ideas, not better marketing. Until they come to grips with the reality that most Canadians actually like the country we've built over the past century and stop trying to burn it to the ground and salt the earth, Canadians simply will not trust them with the blank cheque a majority would give them.

      • Sigh. Here comes the predicatble partisan "tories hate Canada" nonsense. When can we get to a place where we can all admit that NONE of the parties hate Canada, they just have different ideas on how it should be governed.

        Ok, I may except the Bloc from my "no party hates Canada" rule lol

        • Nice try, but actively sabotaging programs and undermining our institutions is not just a different idea on how our country should be governed.

          • And what programs have been actively sabotaged? And what undermining of institutions has been accomplished? The Conservatives operate in the darkness? What are you doing?

            If any party in this country is trying to sabotage anything, or is trying to burn to the ground that which we have built over the past century, it would be the BQ. Harper knows this. Ignatieff knows this. Layton knows this. The question is: why could they not stand up for federalism and be counted AND be proud of it!

    • I agree, a different strategy will change things, but in my personal opinion I feel they are under attack all the time. I do wonder why they don't defend the corporate taxes and the planes purchase more vigorously, it's hard to swallow the silence!

  21. The reformacons need better ideas, not better marketing. Until they come to grips with the reality that most Canadians actually like the country we've built over the past century and stop trying to burn it to the ground and salt the earth, Canadians simply will not trust them with the blank cheque a majority would give them.

  22. Question for Andrew Coyne: What is acting more prime misterial?

    (Enjoyed the podcast)

  23. Question for Andrew Coyne: What is acting more prime misterial?

    (Enjoyed the podcast)

    • Oops – make that "prime ministerial"

    • Good question! Silence……………….

      not so good.

  24. Oops – make that "prime ministerial"

  25. I completely agree with this. While I don't think electoral reform will lead to some sort of post-partisan utopia (it hasn't in other countries), I do think it will reduce some of the vitriol. It would also reduce the instances of holding one's nose and strategically voting for a party one doesn't really support.

    As you mentioned, it would probably cause the formation of more parties, meaning more choices for the electorate.

  26. Sigh. Here comes the predicatble partisan "tories hate Canada" nonsense. When can we get to a place where we can all admit that NONE of the parties hate Canada, they just have different ideas on how it should be governed.

    Ok, I may except the Bloc from my "no party hates Canada" rule lol

  27. Neither Harper nor Ignatieff give off warm and cuddly vibes. They both come across as a tad, well, douchey to be honest. I think that's why the polls have essentially been static for so long.

  28. I kind of want an election to happen this year just for the sake of pushing a huge reset button.

    I can see a scenario where every party comes up short and we end up with new leaders for all the parties (and hopefully some interesting substantive policy discussions too….I know…dare to dream!)

    If the NDP loses seats, Layton may resign. He would have been leader for 4 elections and the NDP may want to change.

    If the Liberals gain a few seats, but not enough to beat the Tories, Ignatieff may resign (or get pushed out by Rae supporters)

    If the Greens fail to win a seat again, May may have to go.

    If the Tories hang on to a minority but it is reduced, Harper may resign.

    Duceppe may resign just because this would be his 6th election campaign and he may want to take a stab at jumping to provincial politics.

    This is wishful thinking on my part…but we could end up with five new leaders! (I live in hope)

  29. Nice try, but actively sabotaging programs and undermining our institutions is not just a different idea on how our country should be governed.

  30. Matthew, your point is well taken – that point that neither Harper nor Ignatieff give off warm cuddly vibes. You may very well be right even if it is a personal opinion.

    But by stating your opinion, you're enforcing my reason for concern, namely, why is Harper being singled out, time and again, as being the one unlikeable? Why not attach the same label to Ignatieff when talking about him?

    I haven't heard Coyne or Wells say repeatedly that Ignatieff is rather "unlikeable"…………………Get my point?

  31. "Someday he'll come back to the one true faith".

    That notion right there ("He's not acting AT ALL 'conservative' now but someday, oh someday, he'll be able to!") is exactly where the notion of a Tory "hidden agenda" comes from.

  32. "Someday he'll come back to the one true faith".

    That notion right there ("He's not acting AT ALL 'conservative' now but someday, oh someday, he'll be able to!") is exactly where the notion of a Tory "hidden agenda" comes from.

  33. I think you're right, probably because people are willing to tolerate a degree of partisanship. I don't have a problem with some friendly competition. But, as you said, a reduction in the vitriol and in the need for strategic voting would be very nice.

    Something that I just thought of that would be another added bonus: Just imagine polsters, pundits and politicians struggling to interpret people's responses to poll questions! I'm sure it would do a lot of damage to the reliability of polls to predict things like seat count. I tend to think that reducing the reliance of politicians and the media on polls could only add to the level of political discourse and culture. May that's just wishful thinking, but we've got to dream!

    One other thing is that it would make gerrymandering pretty damn difficult.

  34. I do see your point: that a media narrative can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I disagree that Harper is the only target of it though. The "Dion is not a leader" meme, the "Martin is Mr. Dithers" meme, and the "Stockwell Day is a scary so-con who will eat your puppies" meme are other notable examples of narratives that became stuck once everyone collectively bought into them.

  35. Yes, Matthew, the meme is sticky, and rather succesfully at times. However, at least those characterizations were specifically mentioned. The not so good leader could try and become a better leader; the ditherer could perhaps try and dither less; even Stock could have come toward the middle somewhere, say within a million years, give or take a few :)

    But how is one to come to a middle of nothing in particular? All that's being said is that Harper is not a likable guy. Well, in what sense? If he would try and change one particular thing, the users of the term not-likable could still insist that Harper is still missing the point: he is just not likable.

    Pretty difficult, if not nearly impossible, to make any changes to something so undefined.

  36. And what programs have been actively sabotaged? And what undermining of institutions has been accomplished? The Conservatives operate in the darkness? What are you doing?

    If any party in this country is trying to sabotage anything, or is trying to burn to the ground that which we have built over the past century, it would be the BQ. Harper knows this. Ignatieff knows this. Layton knows this. The question is: why could they not stand up for federalism and be counted AND be proud of it!

  37. Good question! Silence……………….

    not so good.

  38. I agree that we should move to ranked ballots. But let's not kid ourselves, the same partisan bickering will happen. In Australia, the tone of government is roughly the same as in Canada, despite the presence of ranked balloting (and proportional representation in the senate). The ranked balloting does help introduce some wheeling and dealing in relation to preferencing (ie, the Labor Party and Greens had a preferencing deal where Labour voters would vote for the Greens in the senate vote, while the Greens would vote Labour as their first preference in tight seats where the Liberals/Nationals could win).

  39. Got my vote.

  40. Interesting point about deals being made with the ranking system. How on earth does the political party ensure that its voters actually follow through with the proposal though? For example, just because Green Party HQ says that I should vote Labour in tight seats, how can they enforce that voters actually do that?

    It's hard enough in a delegated convention for a leader to convince delegates to follow him or her when they drop off the ballot and endorse another candidate. Getting the general electorate to cooperate would be even more unwieldy.

  41. Harper keeps his 30% because it's a religious base, evangelical. Love how Canadians are just too polite, especially in Toronto/Ottawa, to even mention it; outside that author who came out with a pretty good book on the Christian Evangelical element in Ottawa.

  42. Harper keeps his 30% because it's a religious base, evangelical. Love how Canadians are just too polite, especially in Toronto/Ottawa, to even mention it; outside that author who came out with a pretty good book on the Christian Evangelical element in Ottawa.

    • There's just NO WAY that 30% of the country is Evangelical Christian. Only around 29.2% of the country is even Protestant, and 9.6% are members of the United Church of Canada. Factor in the Anglican Church and you've accounted for about 16.5 of that 29.2% of Protestants, leaving only about 13% remaining. So, even if every other Protestant in the country outside of the United and Anglican churches were "evangelicals" (which isn't even REMOTELY true) even THAT would only be about 13% of the country.

      I'd argue that evangelicals are outnumbered in Canada by people with "no religious affiliation" by about 4 to 1, and there aren't even that many people who claim no religious affiliation (about 16.5% of the country).

      • Thanks, LKO. It really bugs me when people make assumptions about a party's voters. I agree there is now way that the Conservative base remains at 30% simply because of evangelical Christians. As you said, there are simply not enough evangelicals to do so. Plus, I imagine many of them are annoyed with the Conservatives for not pursuing social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. I imagine of them don't vote or vote for minor parties, like the Christian Heritage Party because of this.

        I'm an openly gay agnostic who voted Conservative in the past couple elections because I felt it was a time for change. I don't exactly fit into Margaret's demographic assumptions lol.

        By the way, did you know that the NDP has a base of around 15% because of former Soviet sympathizers? teasing! :o P

        • You will find that a lot of people who makes comments here, make no sense, they just hate Harper and go on and on with bunch of nonsense. They take away the fun of a healthy debate were you have a chance to learn and take something positive from it, I don't mind being wrong but I do mind the replies with bunch of hateful nonsense!

          It is great to see Andrew and Paul back, good healthy debate very respectful!

  43. There's just NO WAY that 30% of the country is Evangelical Christian. Only around 29.2% of the country is even Protestant, and 9.6% are members of the United Church of Canada. Factor in the Anglican Church and you've accounted for about 16.5 of that 29.2% of Protestants, leaving only about 13% remaining. So, even if every other Protestant in the country outside of the United and Anglican churches were "evangelicals" (which isn't even REMOTELY true) even THAT would only be about 13% of the country.

    I'd argue that evangelicals are outnumbered in Canada by people with "no religious affiliation" by about 4 to 1, and there aren't even that many people who claim no religious affiliation (about 16.5% of the country).

  44. Thanks, LKO. It really bugs me when people make assumptions about a party's voters. I agree there is now way that the Conservative base remains at 30% simply because of evangelical Christians. As you said, there are simply not enough evangelicals to do so. Plus, I imagine many of them are annoyed with the Conservatives for not pursuing social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. I imagine of them don't vote or vote for minor parties, like the Christian Heritage Party because of this.

    I'm an openly gay agnostic who voted Conservative in the past couple elections because I felt it was a time for change. I don't exactly fit into Margaret's demographic assumptions lol.

    By the way, did you know that the NDP has a base of around 15% because of former Soviet sympathizers? teasing! :o P

  45. Ah, now I see your point. Your concern is that the criticism is too vague. I agree with that.

    Also, since when have our Prime Ministers been likeable? No one can possibly tell me that Trudeau, Mulroney, and Chretien were kindly, gentle souls despite other merits they may have possessed.

  46. I agree completely.

    It is not easy being PM. A PM must be able to deal with many balls up in the air, all at the same time, while the air around the balls keeps changing besides. Chretien was lucky in that he had been given the meme of 'the little guy from shawinigan' early on. It stuck very well.

    I find it very reasonable if particular policies advocated by Harper or the Tories, are being attacked or are argued against, but to state repeatedly that Harper is 'unlikable' is misleading; it sounds innocently enough and therefore no one feels wrong in doing it, yet, the corner Harper is thereby being pushed into, is not such an easy one to get out of. What a waste of energy, trying to climb out of the corner first, before voters are willing to take any of your proposed policies under considerations, seriously.

  47. You will find that a lot of people who makes comments here, make no sense, they just hate Harper and go on and on with bunch of nonsense. They take away the fun of a healthy debate were you have a chance to learn and take something positive from it, I don't mind being wrong but I do mind the replies with bunch of hateful nonsense!

    It is great to see Andrew and Paul back, good healthy debate very respectful!

  48. I agree, a different strategy will change things, but in my personal opinion I feel they are under attack all the time. I do wonder why they don't defend the corporate taxes and the planes purchase more vigorously, it's hard to swallow the silence!

  49. great podcast…..need more politics opinion/discussion.

    Until the system reflects the fractured nature of the stage of Canadian politics, I think, everyone is a bit afraid of anything but a conservative minority.

    I don't see a change until the Green Party or Bloc diminishes substantially.

  50. great podcast…..need more politics opinion/discussion.

    Until the system reflects the fractured nature of the stage of Canadian politics, I think, everyone is a bit afraid of anything but a conservative minority.

    I don't see a change until the Green Party or Bloc diminishes substantially.

  51. Please note which scripts are required to view the video.

  52. Please note which scripts are required to view the video.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *