The coming Tory majority

Conservatives could rule more than half the country by next fall. What’s behind the blue surge.

by Colby Cosh

The coming Tory majority

Jacques Boissinot/CP/ John Woods/CP/ Pawel Dwulit/CP

David Alward is not the planet’s most impressive politician. The New Brunswick Conservative leader lacks the emotional fire of his Liberal rival Shawn Graham. He’s 50 years of age, and looks exactly 50. His French could best be described as the “your dad reading sarcastically off a cereal box” kind. His opposition to last year’s attempted sale of NB Power assets to Hydro-Québec had economists gnashing their teeth in frustration. His post-secondary education was earned at Bryan College, the evangelical institution in Dayton, Tenn., named for William Jennings Bryan after he fought the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial” in the town and died there. (The college’s Center for Origins Research still flies the banner of young-Earth creationism today.)

But on Sept. 27, Alward did something no one has done in New Brunswick since Confederation: he held a governing party to just one term in office, beating Graham in a landslide. He had started the campaign with his party behind the Liberals in voter intentions, and his personal ratings even further back. But the pollsters’ voter-satisfaction numbers hinted that New Brunswickers hadn’t forgiven Graham for the NB Power deal.

“We had an unbelievable, spectacular summer in Atlantic Canada, and people just weren’t paying a lot of attention to political issues,” says Don Mills, president of Corporate Research Associates. Halifax-based CRA predicted a Tory win with a week left in the campaign, and its “rolling poll” of New Brunswick voters was very close to the final vote share (49 per cent for the Tories, 34 per cent for the Liberals). “The Liberals spent that time on a traditional pre-election strategy, trying to pave everything that wasn’t moving,” recounts Mills. “The Conservatives disappeared. They were election planning behind the scenes.” Graham was caught off-guard by Alward’s surprisingly credible performance as an alternative premier. “The Liberals tried to run on future promises in the hope that voters would forget about the past. Alward didn’t let them.”

The fortunes of Conservatives in Canada’s provinces briefly reached a new ebb last summer when New Democrat Darrell Dexter took over as Nova Scotia premier. That left just two nominally Conservative provincial governments, in Alberta and Newfoundland. It’s still a slightly eerie landscape for those who grew up watching Pierre Trudeau square off against no fewer than seven Conservative first ministers during the constitutional repatriation fight. Nowadays the Conservative brand is genuinely competitive in seven provinces, although the Saskatchewan Party’s leader, Brad Wall, emerged from the PC side of the red-blue merger that formed his party, and Jean Charest’s Conservative past is well known.

But Alward could represent the start of something big. He brings the number of Conservative-blue provinces to three out of the seven. Barring some apocalypse, three of the remaining four will hold elections on legally fixed dates within the same week next year: P.E.I. on Oct. 3, Manitoba on Oct, 4, and Ontario on Oct. 6.
Robert Ghiz’s government in Prince Edward Island will probably survive, although Ghiz, like the ill-fated Graham, is a second-generation Liberal dynast who has some political problems with electricity generation (in Ghiz’s case, a imploding plan for expanding windpower production). But beginning on the morning of Oct. 4, 2011, the Conservatives have a clear chance at pulling off a Manitoba-Ontario bank shot.

Manitoba PC Leader Hugh McFadyen’s debut performance in 2007’s election was not auspicious. His rash promise to bring the Jets back to Winnipeg got him razzed by opinion-makers, his star candidates struggled, and his personal riding visits seemed to do little good. Gary Filmon-era minister Jack Reimer, who had held down a southeast Winnipeg seat forever, dismissed a TV personality drafted by the NDP to run against him as a “prop”; the prop whupped him. Premier Gary Doer had, for the fifth consecutive time, raised the NDP’s seat total.

But before long, Doer had quit provincial politics and absconded to Washington to become ambassador to the U.S. In the vacuum he left behind, hydroelectricity is again a key issue. Manitoba needs a new hydro line to connect Winnipeg and other cities in the south to new generating capacity in the north. The existing north-south lines share a corridor, leaving Manitoba industry and homeowners vulnerable to natural disaster. Manitoba Hydro proposed to run “Bipole III” more or less straight north-south through the boreal forest east of Lake Winnipeg. But Premier Greg Selinger’s NDP government intervened to protect caribou habitat, insisting on a more costly route lurching west through farmland and almost grazing the Saskatchewan border.

Increasing anger over that choice may hand McFadyen the defining cause he lacked in ’07. A late-August Angus Reid poll had the PCs ahead 49 per cent to 34 province-wide, with more than half (52 per cent) of voters agreeing with the statement: “It is time for a change of government in Manitoba.” One month later, Probe Research had the Conservatives ahead 42-40; the two polls differ most significantly within Winnipeg, with the NDP possibly getting a bounce in Probe’s later count from Judy Wasylycia-Leis’s mayoral campaign.
“Selinger and McFadyen are both in a situation where their political lives are probably at stake,” observes John Loewen, a Winnipeg entrepreneur who has been both a PC MLA and a Liberal MP. “The New Democrats can no longer call on Doer’s political capital. Hydro will be the hot button, and it will get hotter as the province runs deficits and the feds look at cutting back transfer payments.”

The third of the three battles for a Conservative revival is already well under way in Ontario, where polls say the race is Tory Leader Tim Hudak’s to lose. Hudak’s PCs began to pull roughly even with the governing Liberals about this time last year. But an Angus Reid poll taken Sept. 21-22 of this year was full of evil portents for Dalton McGuinty and the Grits. Hudak leads in voter intention 41 per cent to 29, despite feeble levels of name recognition, and Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats are strong on the left at 22 per cent. Seventy-one per cent of voters declared the government to be on the “wrong track” overall; 65 per cent described its recent economic management as “poor” or “very poor.”

While McGuinty has taken steps to resist the fussy-paternalist “Premier Dad” label the Conservatives borrowed from the media and slapped on his forehead, support is mixed at best for his recent policy choices. The harmonized sales tax, whose impact he was thought to have avoided better than B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, is called the “right thing to do” by just 19 per cent of voters. (Here again hydro turns up; Ontarians’ bills are now subject to the provincial portion of the HST.) McGuinty’s poorly designed eco fees, withdrawn three weeks after their July 2009 introduction and mothballed officially on Oct. 12, found just 27 per cent support. But on the liberalizing side, his thumbs-up to online gambling got only 29 per cent backing, and even the legalization of mixed martial arts split the electorate evenly (52 per cent to 48).

These lowlights from one poll don’t include older McGuinty hangovers like the eHealth scandals and the dithering over the “Supercorp” merger of Crown energy, gaming, and liquor assets. The Liberals signalled strongly at their annual general meeting last week that they are prepared to run from behind. Speeches by McGuinty and campaign co-chairman Greg Sorbara revealed the plan of attack: make the recession an asset and link Hudak to the Harris government at every possible turn.

Indeed, even though the highest post Hudak occupied under Harris was culture and tourism, they’ve retrospectively rebranded it the “Harris-Hudak government.” Hudak, said McGuinty, represents “a legacy of closed hospitals, countless school days lost to strikes, fired water and meat inspectors, and shortsighted schemes that have taken years to undo—and they did all that in good times. Now imagine what they’d do in lean times.”

Historian Michael Bliss thinks the nascent Conservative resurgence in the provinces may reflect the anti-establishment mood visible across the continent; he notes that Rob Ford’s strong showing in polling for Toronto’s mayoral election suggests that no place is safe for establishment candidates. “I was reading the paper this morning,” says Bliss, “and thinking—if McGuinty goes on accusing Tim Hudak of being Mike Harris, Hudak may well start to say, ‘What’s so bad about being Mike Harris?’ ”

David Alward’s New Brunswick victory certainly wasn’t a win for conservative or laissez-faire ideology—a conservative would have taken Hydro-Québec’s money, and with grovelling thanks—but it certainly reflected a populist, throw-the-bums-out collective temper. If it lasts, it could facilitate the Manitoba-Ontario double in fall 2011 and leave Canada with five provincial Tory governments representing nearly 20 million Canadians.

But after that, Conservatives have more to lose than they have to gain. Danny Williams will face Newfoundland voters, probably very confidently, on Oct. 11. But the most comfortable PC bums of all, the ones in Alberta’s legislature, face new Wildrose Alliance foes on the right and will probably become eligible for tossing sometime in spring 2012.

Read Colby Cosh’s follow-up article “Two appendices to ‘The coming Tory majority’”




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The coming Tory majority

  1. This has to be a great news story for all those conservative commentators out there…
    unless this all portends a return of Trudeau to Sussex Drive?

    • If more of the conservative commentators (at least the ones who frequent MacLeans) took a moment to differentiate between the actions of a government and the colour of it's election signs, they would realize much of this article is a waste of time. The Nova Scotia PC party spent like drunken sailors and the NDP has been cutting ever since they got in.

      NB is so broke, I don't know if it matters who is in office. Alward's stated plans for NB Power just mean more deficits and debt. Political ideologies are fun and all, but when you're in danger of losing your credit rating, the colour of your tie and pocket square doesn't exactly fire the imagination.

  2. It could either be viewed as a "blue surge" or an anti-incumbent movement.

  3. When Ottawa was ruled by Chretien/Martin, Ontario swung to Harris/Eves.
    Then the parties flipped their domains. This is the way it often goes in Canada.
    Each level of government becomes, in a few years, the opposition to the other level of government, especially when the provincial interest conflicts with the federal.
    If the trend of provinces swinging to the Conservative side continues, it may mean trouble for Conservatives at the federal level. (Notwithstanding the reality that the names of parties at the Provincial level can be deceptive — BC and Quebec's Liberal parties aren't the same as Ontario's, etc. and they have very different alliances federally.)

    • I don't think that common analysis holds up so much as the Libs usually win Canada, and conservatives Ontario.

    • Except you are forgetting the Count Ignatief factor. Canadians will never allow this visiting intellectual to become PM of Canada.

  4. I wouldn't be so quick to describe Ontario's Liberals as liberal either.

  5. As lefty policies are failing worldwide, in France and Greece to name just the most obvious, its only natural that Canadians vote conservative.

    • sarkozy of France is Conservative.

      • That's right. And that's why he's fixing the mess left by 50+ years of insane lefty politics. The math just doesnt add up. And that's why he's facing riots from over-coddled permanent teenagers who cry like babies who just had their pacifiers taken away.

        • And yet left leaning Germany is doing very well for itself.

          As usual people who reduce complex issues to left vs right always miss the mark by trying to prove that everyone else is wrong and they've been saying it all along.

          • you're right that its more complex then left v. right. that doesnt mean that generally speaking, left policies of borrowing and overspending are responsible for the current predicament of Greece and France.

          • 'righty' policies in the U.S. got them in the predicament they're in

            I'm not saying you're wrong… I'm just sayin'.

          • what predicament? the predicament of having liberated Iraq? because the trillion dollar debt is definitely lefty policies, whether it was implemented by republicans or democrats.

          • So Harper's policies are lefty?

      • Sarrkozy Conservative LOL he make Jack Layton look Coservative.

  6. Peolpe are seeing the left for what they are- its simple .And It really doesnt need to be dissected.

  7. I don't care about party affiliation – all I want are politicians who take urban voters seriously and focus on important issues like public transportation and the environment. I'm done with the Harper/Harris style of governing where a disproportionate amount of power comes from suburbanites and rural constituents. This is an urban country, and the sooner our electoral system is modernized to reflect the true will of the electorate, the better.

    • This is an urban country? Your food comes from rural areas. Rural areas depopulate as people move to cities for work and government services. The fact that there are few voters left there does not mean we should ignore rural areas. Canada is more than a collection of transit bus riders.
      Environment? Cities suck resources and belch pollutants. Nothing is worse for the environment than cities. With respect, Canada is both urban and rural.

      • The parts of this post which do not contradict other parts are untrue.

      • The amount of energy used per person is far smaller in cities than rural areas, and thus, per person, is easier on the environment. Cities have pollution because so must energy is consumed there, but if the number of people in urban areas were spread over a rural density we'd all be choking to death by now.

      • Food and land don't vote. People do. And most of them live in cities.

    • This is strikingly similar to the wails from various liberal corners of Toronto last night and this morning about Ford's election as mayor — and they DON'T have the electoral system to blame. So what gives?

      Toronto's liberals are blaming the roughly 48% or so of voters for being stupid or homophobic or (insert insult here). With Ford, it's those dumb suburbanites who imposed their ignorant views on the enlightened urban dwellers, and we'll just ignore the fact that with the kind of plurality Ford won, chances are he dominated pretty much every poll, urban or suburban. There's no "disproportionate amount of power" coming from them in a mayoral race where every vote has the same weight, yet here we are with a mayor-elect that has a decidedly small c and likely big C conservative viewpoint on every issue you can name.

      The way current voting/polling trends appear to be heading, "politicians who take urban voters seriously and focus on important issues like public transportation and the environment" are going to get defeated quicker than you can say "Gravy Train".

    • Our population density is 3.3 people per square km. And you say urban?

      • If you take the generally populated portion of the country, the 400k wide and 4000k long strip along the US border, the density would should waaaaaaay up. All that tundra and permafrost that hardly any Canadian has ever seen distorts our density numbers.

    • There is little doubt that Canada is an urban country since such a high ratio of people live in cities (definitely over 50%), but to outright dismiss those that don't is self defeating.

    • A majority of Canadians are only urban if you classify urban to include suburbia, and small cities like say, London, Ontario. However, judging from your comment, you mean urban in a much narrower way that includes downtown Toronto and perhaps a few bits of Ottawa. There is no reason one can't combine self-righteous anger with at least a modicum of precision.

  8. "Anti-incumbant"

    Ahh yes, it must be, it tuly must be, just as the left in the US is attributing the certain loss.

    That principally left leaning incumbants are getting tossed matters not.

    For once that pandora's box is opened here in Canada (the box that keeps hiddne the fact that Canadians are by and large conservative, far left out of touch media's proclamations notwithstanding), there's no telling what may happen to progressia in Canada.

    • Naheed Nenshi — a progressive — won in Calgary, defeating the candidate backed by Harper's campaign team.
      London, Vaughn and Ottawa, Ontario were all won by Liberals.
      Hamilton was taken by a left-leaning radio host.

      You were saying?

      • London — incumbent defeated (longtime popular former MP making second run at mayor wins).
        Vaughan — incumbent defeated (longtime popular former MP wins.)
        Ottawa — incumbent defeated (former mayor, former MPP and Cabinet minister wins against highly unpopular mayor)
        Calgary — no incumbent running, pretty wide open race

        Looking at the tea leaves of each of them briefly, right or left didn't seem to matter much in any of these. Mostly, it looks like anti-incumbency, combined with a bit of name recognition and solid reputation of the winners.

        • Forgot to add Hamiton — incumbent defeated (along with a FORMER incumbent too).

        • Agreed … anti-incumbency is colour blind. The only caveat is several of those who defeated the incumbents were themselves long-time politicos.

        • Sorry, but Fontana's platform was not a Liberal platform. It was Tax Freeze and Change.

  9. I keep saying it, Harper is going to get a majority, most people thinks is not going to happen, but the Liberal party is doing the same mistakes the PC did under Mulroney and Campbell, the Liberal party is going to have a rude awakening!

    • The Liberal party is introducing unpopular regressive taxation, putting free trade deals with inadequate dispute resolution mechanisms into place and trying to woo Quebec separatists with sweetheart constitutional amendments that won't satisfy them?

      • I know you might not like to hear that but is not even about legislation right now, is about popularity, right now it is an advertising game and the Liberals can make a huge improvement but they need to be very bold and change their strategy 100%, they priority is to make Ignatieff click with canadians the rest can come later!

        • They will never be able to make Count Dracula .. err Count Ignatieff 'Click" with Canadians. He is just plain creepy.

      • Mike T, the government is not about legislation, it's about advertising!

    • They're going to lose ground in Quebec, and take flak for being partners of the HST in BC. The new seats alloted to BC, AB and ON won't be won in enough numbers to make up for that. As long as the Bloc exists, no party will ever win a majority.

      • I know Quebec is a though market but you will be surprised and it doesn't matter that the block exists, their have been majority before with them around!

    • Actually, if you look closer, it's more an anti-incumbency movement than anything.
      People are getting tired of the same-old, same-old. To be honest, I think they were starting to get tired in 2002 and Harper promised something better. Well.. now he's had four years and the anti-incumbency feeling is growing.

      This doesn't bode well for Harper at all.
      Doesn't bode much better for Ignatieff though either.

      Next election is probably a good one to be an independant in.

      • I respectfully disagree, I know it's not what people wants to hear but Harper is here to stay for a while.

        There is not going to be an election for a while, I don't think it will be next spring or fall, I think the earliest will be spring 2012, if not the fall.

        I know it sound to good to be independant but actually, for the most part, people rather have a party, their odds are not so good, a few might get in but that's it!

      • Stopped reading after "To be honest, …"

  10. I`m not surprised that Canadians are voting conservative even in municipal elections like Toronto yesterday. For too long people have put up with left-wing politicans who use the tax dollars of all constitutents to further the agenda of their small percentage of smug and arrogant followers.

    It is a big mistake to imagine that their is a true representation of Canadians on Facebook, or on the CBC, or in the civil service,or in the court houses, or indeed on the MacLeans comment board. Canadians who are told that they should vote in the " progressive " manner that so-called progressives preach about are just as likely to take their undecided votes to the conservative side in protest.

    • It's not just tax dollars either. It's things like the green agenda and forcing people to pay 5 cents a bag, or "encouraging" (ie. social engineering) people away from the lives they want to live (suburbs, car, family) and how the "elites" believe we should all live (vegetarian, single and mingling, owning only a bicycle… etc.).

      With liberals, you know you're going to be told or coerced into doing things you disagree with. With conservatives, in the truer form of conservatism, you're going to decide for yourself. Like an adult.

      • Was it not social engineering when our governments actively encouraged young families to move to the suburbs and buy a car? In fact, I believe they still do. Isn't that what CMHC or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are designed for?

        • Who cares what they're "designed" for, I know what I want and I'll do what I want to get it. When the government gets in the way with stupid five cent bag fees or clogs the roads with bikes, then there's a problem.

          • 5 cents for a plastic bag. Is it truly killing you to get a reuseable shopping bag? Has it really impacted your life?

          • Why do you believe you have the right to pass the costs of your lifestyle on to me?

          • Apparently you seem to think your life has no impact on others. Do you feel you are special?

          • I'm sure it does, and no I don't feel "special" as you put it, I simply respect the individual's right to direct their own life.

            It's not as if this means one doesn't interact or have impacts on other lives; on the contrary. Without government impediments, I am encouraged to trade and encouraged to produce. My production is worthless without trading, and it's a mutually beneficial relationship for all involved. What is not beneficial is when some believe they have some sort of priviliged right to my earnings.

          • As do I, but my conception of liberty is different in part than yours.

            There are costs as well that aren't reflected in the prices we pay for things that are thought of as externalities, but have to be payed by society or whoever is left with the tab at some point. For example the plastic bag, which you think should be free: http://www.reuseit.com/learn-more/myth-busting/pl

            The suburban lifestyle as well as the urban lifestyle(among others), although a choice, have costs as well that aren't reflected in the price you pay for them. I don't see a mechanism in the 'free market' for that to be reflected, and without it we are borrowing from the future to pay for present excesses. Wholly un-Conservative in my view. That is why taxing negative externalities is a good thing to correct market failures, given a lack of realistic alternatives in which to internalize external costs.

            This isn't about regulating behaviour or coercion, since you still have choices. It's about making your choices clearer in terms of its impacts up front.

            Here is a conservative case for a carbon tax from the national post some years back: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/st

  11. ….. are just as likely to take their undecided votes to the conservative side in protest. ……..

    that might be true IF we still had a "progressive" conservative party.

    • No, I don`t think people have any interest in supporting the John Tory—Joe Clark Progressive Conservative types.
      The word " progressive " has been hijacked by the left in Canada in the hopes there are a few former PC`s out there who are willing to hold their nose long enough to vote Liberal.
      It`s a new time—–voting Liberal is just so 1990`s.

      • I expect that there are many Liberal voters who would vote in Joe Clark over any of the current candidates…

      • Seems to me it's the so-called right that is eager to turn "progressive" into an epithet.

        I'll take that insult any day.

  12. I proudly confess to being a partisan Conservative. My fondest political hope is a majority. Ironicly, I started out on the other side and was brought to the light so to speak by the same people I see disparged daily over at Wherry's blog. I bought the BS at first too, but I challenge any of the bashers to meet some of the men and women of the Conservative caucus and just speak with them. Probably you will discover, as I did, that they are just normal people, representing the values most families resonate with. They are workers, not dreamers. Doers not talkers

    • Welcome to the fold Peter. I too used to identify as a liberal but just by doing a bit of soul-searching on my own, I found conservatism was much more in line with my true beliefs, rather than the ones I thought I held that were liberal.

    • The libs need to regroup.They simply never took the time to be in opposition.It was a case of, “lets win more seats and be in power.”That isnt how it works, Harper is methodical, and smart. This bodes well for him,and his party.The days of glad handing alongside Chretein, that is seen as old, old and tired.Iggy will never be PM, and neither will Bob Rae.

    • The Harper caucus are nothing but trained seals. Not a gonad in sight.

      • Are you not aware of Michael Chong?

  13. Big spending, big government days will be over whether we like it or not – Liberals just aren't sustainable.
    The choice is becoming more clear: Do people want jobs, money and freedom, or a government stipend and Liberals controlling their lives?

    • Wow, that's hilarious — have we had a bigger or more spenderific government than Harper's ever?

      How Conservatives manage to hold onto that fiscal restraint myth is beyond me.

    • Canada has the 10th largest economy in the world (GDP) and is ranked 8th in total government spending (federal, provincial, etc.). In broad terms, Government spending in Canada is NOT out of whack with our economic output.

      Germany, another federal system, has the 4th largest economy and ranks 3rd in government spending.

      That our confederation is among the most decentralized governmental systems on earth adds a lot of inefficiency to the mix. If you want to pay less, you might consider becoming a supporter of a bigger, more centralized federal government. If you want to see more inefficiency and duplication of effort, hang out with Max Bernier.

    • Oh please. As if either side of your supposed choice is what's on offer.

  14. The libs need to regroup.They simply never took the time to be in opposition.It was a case of, "lets win more seats and be in power."That isnt how it works, Harper is methodical, and smart. This bodes well for him,and his party.The days of glad handing alongside Chretein, that is seen as old, old and tired.Iggy will never be PM, and neither will Bob Rae.

  15. And cutting against any "blue surge" narrative, the NDP remain way out in front in opinion polls in BC, despite their internal issues. The only good news for Gordon Campbell is that an election is a couple of years off.

  16. I think it's important to note that the non-Conservative governments that are in trouble, or which were recently turfed, are/were unpopular not because of 'left' policies (or not strictly left-wing policies). In NB, it was the power deal with Quebec. I'm not sure that was a 'lefty' policy to sell that off. In Ontario and BC, it's the HST that is the biggest irritant — and, again, the HST is not a 'lefty policy'. That said, I do think over the past 20 years Canada has become more conservative — but all the parties seem to be shifting to the right.

    • I blame old people. Once they've got some savings, they want the government to back off. Next we'll get tax-free withdrawals from RRSPs etc. Anything the boomers can do to rob the country blind before they pass.

      • Yeah, that's it, it's the boomers' fault.

        Anyway, I suppose you could say evidence of a rightward shift could be detected in the NDP's recent behaviour, both federally and provincially. Although they remain solidly joined to the hip of organized labour, consider the fact that their two most notable policy stances in BC are/were:

        1. opposing a carbon tax; and

        2. opposing the HST.

        The NDP as tax slayers. Who'd have thunk it?

        • In both instances the NDP is complaining about who pays the taxes. The HST is a tax break for small business. A neighbor who runs a business bought a truck last week and saves $4000 on HST. The NDP wants business to pay the taxes, not consumers.

          Similar with the carbon tax. Consumers pay. The NDP wanted caps and penalties for business on energy use.

          • Except what the NDP doesn't realize is that when businesses pay more tax, consumers automatically pay higher prices. I'm not against taxes per se, but the NDP lives in this la la land where business taxes magically somehow aren't passed on to consumers.

          • Think hard about that. In a land where the businesses pay taxes, individuals can choose to avoid taxes.

            You see, we're not just consumers. We're citizens. That means we get to make a choice as to whether we consume or not. So let the consumers pay the tax. Let the citizens choose whether they want to be consumers.

          • "That means we get to make a choice as to whether we consume or not. So let the consumers pay the tax. Let the citizens choose whether they want to be consumers."

            The HST is a consumption tax, not a "citizen" tax. You can always choose not to buy things that are subject to the carbon tax too (not in reality, but in your hypothetical world).

            It's you that should think harder about it methinks.

            What you propose would lead to a place where the rich can consume as much as they like and get away with paying less tax… as long as they don't go into buisness and create jobs, or anything crazy expensive like that.

            Watch tax revenues plummet, and unemployment soar. Think about it.

          • DDD, that makes the NDP position completely retarded, because consumption taxes are the least economically damaging of any tax. Taxes on business income are perhaps the most economically damaging. It's the same reason Harper received so much legitimate criticism for his GST cut. He cut the fairest, most efficient, least economically damaging tax – for a handful of seats in the 2006 election. Sooner or later, we'll see it back up to 7% or even higher, but Harper will likely leave that distasteful little task for his successor to grapple with.

        • "1. opposing a carbon tax; "

          The federal NDP supported a Carbon Tax until the Dion Liberals adopted the same position.

          The only reliable predictor of NDP policy is that they will do the opposite of the Liberals.

  17. Yuck, aren't Canadians embarrassed enough with this government, how can anyone imagine these incompetents with a majority government. But then again we will have jails and fighter jets to be thankful for, education, medicare and eldercare, who needs it!

  18. They will be chipping ice off of the gates to hell before Bozo gets a majority in Canada .
    Wishful thinking does not translate into votes . Dummies .

    • And with insightful analysis like that, who could possibly disagree with you?

  19. The last race in Ontario was John Tory's to lose as well. McGuinty looks like he's in bad shape right now to be sure. Just wait until people start asking what Hudak actually believes in. He's running commericals right now in Ontario attacking things like the HST despite the fact that he's never actually said he's going to get RID of the HST, lest Jim Flaherty and Harper, the ones who were actually pushing Ontario to implement the HST, get angry.

    • Hudak has comported himself so poorly with his asinine HST position that I am almost ready to give provincial politics a pass. A choice between McGuinty and Hudak leaves me pining for Mike Harris.

  20. This ain't rocket science. The economy sucks and most incumbents are Liberals. Non-Liberal incumbents are having trouble too. Harper survives because of a left-wing vote split not because of strong support for his party. Ed Stelmach, similarly, has been polling behind the Wild Rose party and faces being on the losing end of Alberta's once a generation transition of power.

    Danny Williams and Brad Wall are doing a bit better, however that has a lot to do with the fact that they are premiers of provinces where the economy does not suck.

    • I think this is far closer to being accurate than anything else I've read on this thread.

      Former Liberal MPPs and MPs and cabinet ministers won in London, Ottawa, Vaughan and elsewhere. A very large number of incumbents lost in Toronto, half of them were right-leaning. Look at any in-depth poll on Ford's supporters and you'll see he pulled support from all parts of the spectrum because of this anti-incumbency feeling and Smitherman started his campaign on his experience as an incumbent (ironically, he is the one who came from a working class background who had to make his own way through life and it is Ford who inherited a successful business from his family… if only they had asked me to run his campaign!) and had ehealth.

      This could be bad for McGuinty but Hudak is a career politician with no consistent message which lessens the impact. Harper too should be concerned about this as a career politician with a legacy of big spending and waste; but fortunately for him, Iggy like Hudak can't claim to be the common man here.

    • Agreed. There is no Conservative wave in these numbers at all. We could just as easily point to Nenshi in Calgary and Watson in Ottawa and call it a Red wave. And we'd be just as wrong about that.

  21. The perverts and parasites on the left are being 'outed' all over the world and those who earn an honest living and do not leech off others have had enough. How many socialist ocuntries do people have to see before they realize socialism is a losing proposition for everyone except those sucking the system.

  22. This is not a "blue" wave.

    Former Liberal MPPs and MPs and cabinet ministers won in London, Ottawa, Vaughan and elsewhere. A very large number of incumbents lost in Toronto, half of them were right-leaning. Look at any in-depth poll on Ford's supporters and you'll see he pulled support from all parts of the spectrum because of this anti-incumbency feeling and Smitherman started his campaign on his experience as an incumbent (ironically, he is the one who came from a working class background who had to make his own way through life and it is Ford who inherited a successful business from his family… if only they had asked me to run his campaign!) and had ehealth.

    This could be bad for McGuinty but Hudak is a career politician with no consistent message which lessens the impact. Harper too should be concerned about this as a career politician with a legacy of big spending and waste; but fortunately for him, Iggy like Hudak can't claim to be the common man here.

  23. As Canadians, we need to remember what our Conservative Prime Minister has said about Canada and Canadians while employed by the National Citizen's Coalition in the time between serving as a Reform MP and serving as leader of the Alliance:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2010/07/who-

    Ponder those thoughts while you enter the polling booth during the next federal election.

    • Your spam is getting a little tiresome. Whatever I'll be "pondering" the next time I enter a polling both, it won't be a link to a 13 year old speech.

      • Perhaps to be fair, then, you'll disregard all the 13 year blame tactics.

        • Pretty much started ignoring those three years ago. But thanks for the reminder.

  24. It's unfortunate that Shawn Graham lost. He had stones enough to make real changes and implement an actual platform. One of the few leaders in Canada for whom policy actually mattered, and who's economic instincts were in fact sharper than his political ones. Which, I suppose, explains why he couldn't win a second term. And of course, the PC leader rides to power on some silly populist wave of opposition to the sale of crown assets. From what little I know of Alward, he sounds like Danny Williams Lite. Here in Ontario, we're little better off with Hudak and his opportunistic, knee-jerk opposition to the HST. Then of course there is Brad Wall and his "principled" stand against the takeover of Potash Corp. I doubt the shareholders who purchased those shares when the Sask government first unloaded them would have been so eager to buy them if they knew Wall was willing to cut them off at the knees when they dared to sell at a profit.

  25. "Hudak's PCs began to pull roughly even with the governing Liberals about this time last year. But an Angus Reid poll taken Sept. 21-22 of this year was full of evil portents for Dalton McGuinty and the Grits."

    Actually that Angus Reid poll was almost identical to the last Angus Reid poll from around one year ago http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/arch

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