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‘The next election will be a choice between a coalition government … or a stable Conservative majority government’


 

Fewer respondents than four years ago are completely comfortable with the prospect of a Conservative majority government—34% in 2007, 26% in 2011. If you combine the currently comfortable with the slightly comfortable and the uncomfortable with slightly uncomfortable, you get a tie—48% to 47.9%.

Add those figures as you see fit to previous attempts to poll Canadians on hypothetical options.


 

‘The next election will be a choice between a coalition government … or a stable Conservative majority government’

  1. 40% is a majority in our system, provided enough support is coming from Ontario, Quebec, and BC.

    Brian Topp was writing about how a leader's numbers will merge with the party's numbers during a campaign.

    Harper is 46% approval. This measure is 48%.

    Meanwhile the party is at 40%.

    That's an upward trajectory.

    Believe it or not Ignatieff has LOWER approval than the amount of people who will vote Liberal (26%).

    Liberals will get 22% of the vote in the next election.

    Sad and pathetic.

    Cats away!

  2. ‘The next election will be a choice between a coalition government … or a stable Conservative majority government'

    Those are the facts, and we already know how Canadians reacted to the first coalition agreement – which was signed by Ignatieff – disgust.

  3. Put another way, 74% of Canadians do not love the troops.

  4. So basically people feel that the CPC is the best party but not good enough for a majority.

    Seems like a good assesment of the situation. Who would have thought that sheep aren't dumb?!?

  5. Bad kitty…40% is not a majority….in any system….however, I get what you mean…the problem with your equation is that the Tories could very well pull in 40% of the popular vote but that does not necessarily mean more seats.

    I also wouldn't put too much trust in Topp's leadership theory…Layton is leading that number and Topp is a well-known NDPer

    All in all, you are right, the Tories are currently in a upward trajectory but once the writ is dropped that could fall off…especially with that recent poll suggesting many Canadians are not eager for a Conservative majority.

    As for Iggy…yep…sad and pathetic pretty much sums it up.

    Despite all these polls, you have to wonder if Canadians are really paying that much attention and what the polling numbers will say once (and if) the (official) campaigning begins.

  6. Harper is 46% approval. This measure is 48%. Meanwhile the party is at 40%. That's an upward trajectory.

    While I don't disagree that the three numbers are related, you're comparing apples, oranges and bananas here.

    Plus, the number of people who say they're somewhat-outright uncomfortable with a Tory majority was 44% in 2007. Today, it's 48%. That's NOT an upward trajectory (though I'll grant that it's basically no trajectory at all, it's just the continued status quo). I do think it's noteworthy that over five years of Tory government hasn't shifted the line on Canadians' comfort with the idea of a Tory majority, but at best this is a no-news story for the Conservatives, not a good news story.

    What also strikes me as strange here is that they measured the comfort of Canadians with the idea of a Tory majority, and that's it. What good does it do me to know that 30% of Canadians are uncomfortable with the notion of a Tory majority if I have no idea how they'd feel about, say, a Liberal majority?

  7. I would think that after the stunts they've pulled, the CPC would be ecstatic that only 4% more people don't want to hand him a maority!

  8. Those are the facts.

    I don't think the word "fact" means what you think it means.

  9. Which is silly because Harper passes legislation by bullying the other leaders into submission.

    Ie. a de facto majority.

    The things people think they like about a minority, Harper's acomplishments and the good economy, are a function of his governing as if he had a majority.

    The things people don't like about a minority, the brinksmanship and fighting, would fade for 3 of the 4 years of a majority.

    People really want a majority and just don't know it !!

    CATS

  10. So you're saying that all the money spent on stimulus is now entirely at the feet of the CPC? You sure you want to run that way?

  11. Really Ld, ya gotta keep up on the lingo FACT

    Fictional
    Allegations by
    Conservative
    Tacticians

  12. the problem with your equation is that the Tories could very well pull in 40% of the popular vote but that does not necessarily mean more seats

    I think the other problem with his equation is the absolute dearth of evidence suggesting that the Tories actually COULD pull in 40% of the popular vote. Leaving aside the fact that the last time a Conservative government got over the 40% barrier in an actual election was 22 years ago, even the most recent polls that the Tories were so over the moon about didn't have them hitting the 40% mark (though I did see one that had them at 39%).

    I'm not saying it can't happen, but the Harper Tories getting more than 39% of the popular vote in an actual election seems like rather a pipe dream to me, and I'm going to need to see them poll above 40% pretty consistently if I'm going to be swayed into thinking otherwise.

  13. "want to hand him a maority!"
    Government by Chairman Helmsman?

  14. Harper passes legislation by bullying the other leaders into submission.

    Does this not fly directly in the face of the Tories' "Don't blame us for the massive spending increases and large deficit, the opposition bullied us into enacting those policies!" talking point?

  15. Elsewhere in the world they form coalitions to ensure political stability. Are the Cons implying that Canadians so second rate that we would be unable to do this here in Canada – are they saying we're dumb?

  16. Yes, but why would CATS care?

  17. So polls that ask: "If the federal election were held today, which of the following parties would you vote for?" are horribly flawed, but polls that ask about comfort levels with hypothetical options are valid and meaningful? It's hard to keep track sometimes.

  18. Agreed….although, I do think the Tories could pull it off…nothing seems to stick to them and the electorate (if awakened by an election) disinterested and apathetic (thank you attack ads) may just go with the incumbents for the sake of 'the devil you know'….combine this with the Tories rock solid 27-33% partisan support and you may very well be in majority territory….just speculating but it would be interesting to see if the high numbers can stick over the next few weeks.

  19. This latest poll is a bit misleading in that some folks who would be uncomfortable with a Conservative majority still might vote Conservative, for any number of reasons (better local candidate, prefer Conservatives to alternatives…)

  20. In a tie the sitting gov't gets it by default !!! and with all the tight 3 – ways out there count on more – this time there is no massive ABC as it is counter balanced by the ABL – as I type this Jack and Harper are clearly in the catbird seats and both are zeroing in on Iggy – make no mistake about it – the hard core Left in the LPT is very upset and know that at best Iggy is a drain on the party's number at present. The NDP have made some inroads to captruring some of this support as well soft centre Lib's are migrating to the Tories out west and back east – right now according to every and I mean EVERY poll the Liberals and their leader are in serious trouble and even the talking points from the party do not lineup with what concerns canadians – in otherwords = Harper's plan is working so far next stop after turning the dagger in the heart of the LPT Harper will be throwing the inert body to the side of the road

  21. I always kind of assumed that Cats was Brian Topp.

  22. which part of it do you disagree with? what other option can you conceive of which is at least plausible?

  23. Indeed, and that's part of the reason why any time the poll numbers start approaching majority territory, Harper downplays it, because he's well aware there's a contingent out there that will vote conservative unless they think conservatives have a good chance of winning.

    Personally, I tend to think any person who doesn't want to see Harper with a majority should take every opportunity to point out that he's getting awfully close to one — and what that means.

  24. HQ called to say you're off message. Please stick to claiming a coalition is absolutely being planned by all non-CPC parties.

  25. The option we currently have in place. Conservative minority, liberal, ndp, and bloc sitting in opposition.

  26. You'd think after the two excellent articles by Joan Bryden on polling the media would tone down on the push poll stories but it is like they are addicted to them. Check out this example of the dangers of writing while high on poll-crack http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/jump-in-po

    We know* only 15% pay attention to politics but somehow 33% of Canadians think the PMO ordered Oda to add the NOT. That the 33% who already know the PMO is guilty didn't know that until the pollster asked never enters the mind of the columnist. She just suggests it might have an impact on the party's topline numbers.

    I think Kady O'Malley should organize an intervention for reporters like Taber and Rabson and get them off the poll-crack.

    *I know because a pollster told me

  27. You forgot to start this with "Once upon a time"

  28. "Harper will be throwing the inert body to the side of the road "

    Lovely visual, there. Thanks. The Liberal Party may be many things, but 'bushwacked hobo' is not usually the first thing that springs to mind.

  29. And why wouldnt the 3 stooges of the 08 coalition try the same trick this time around? Keep in mind that Harper will be campaigning on ending the public subsidy for political parties.

    Have they clued in to the fact that a coalition including the Bloc is an insult to this country?

    Have the Liberals finally found principles which are more important then their ambitions?

    I doubt it, but I suppose its not completely impossible.

  30. I'm curious, what does that mean?

  31. I think Kady O'Malley should organize an intervention for reporters like Taber and Rabson and get them off the poll-crack.

    Weaning them off the poll-crack will be almost as difficult as weaning them off the "anonymous source" heroin.

  32. Quite frankly, neither option is very likely. I see no indication a conservative government would suddenly become stable, and a coalition will form only if Harper forces one with a nasty post-election surprise.

  33. Well I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert on why (or how) Canadians reacted to the coalition agreement. But I think its reasonable to suspect that people didn't like how that the opposition attempted to form a coalition after at least some of them had explicitly ruled it out during the election.

    So maybe the electorate won't react in the same way if the Liberals and NDP don't rule out a coalition.

  34. …or the 'party spokesman' salvia (which is still legal, but dammit it shouldn't be…)

  35. In other words, vote for us or we'll be sure to do everything we can to destabilize Canada.

  36. Poor, Iggy……..he actually believes his handlers when they say the Libs have a shot of getting at least a Minority.

    Too bad the real plan was conceived by Bob Rae (and his brother…president of Power Corp) to let the Liberals lose another election, provide another Conservative MINORITY….and then get Iggy to resign, thereby opening up the chance for brother Bobby Rae to be the new Liberal Leader.

    Rae(s) figure another year or two of Harper….and then Bobby will have a shot.

    Now…..if only those stubborn NDP voters would vote Liberal.

  37. Whoops, misread that – thought Harper said MINORITY. Makes even less sense now. Those aren't teh only two possiblities, they aren't even likely the least likely outcomes.

  38. Armageddon.

  39. To start, it means the dismantling of the wheat board, regardless of how many independent farmers support it.
    It very likely means the re-opening of the abortion debate.
    It means continual massive deficits brought on by increasing corporate tax cuts for little benefit to Canadian citizens.
    It means more resources wasted on the "War against drugs"
    It means funding for worthwhile causes without an evangelical christian component will get cut.
    It means a total loss for any sort of environmental regulation or intelligent energy policy.
    It means even more centralization of power into the PMO.
    It means the elimination of the per-vote subsidy — the most democratic of the election subsidies — with nothing done, or even increases of the others.
    It means a continuation of the CPC pattern of obstructing information from being released to the public.
    It means an increasing of governance as an adhoc affair.. done by the seat of the pants, without any planning or solid research behind it.
    And it means thousands upon thousands of Canadians lose their jobs as the CPC chases after the ludicrous notion that is supply side economics.

  40. For the same reason we don't have a coalition now, obviously.

  41. Seems like a good assesment of the situation.

    ***

    Why? Iggy may not be perfect, but it's difficult to imagine him as worse than Harper.

  42. I think a Conservative majority means the rivers turn to blood and frogs rain from the skies. Also, I hear there is a secert agenda to have the lion lay down with the lamb

  43. Okay, time to withdraw your claim that the headline is a "fact" given that you are now making arguments about why the opposition parties might "try this same trick."

    Facts aren't conditional or predictive, they are verifiable. Your prediction might even become a fact, but until it occurs it's just an opinion.

  44. It's simple really: When the stimulus spending is being described as a job-creating miracle it was all the Tories' brilliant idea and they're the visionaries who saved us despite the objections of a do-nothing opposition. When the very same spending is being described as a deficit-creating mistake, well, in that case the Tories were reluctantly forced into implementing such a horrible idea by the spend-happy opposition.

  45. Oh, I understand the blatant hypocrisy behind Cats' statement.

    I'm just wondering if it does.

  46. And what reason is that?

    It's because Harper prorogued Parliament (thereby causing faux-outrage by the usual suspects), and because Dion was pushed out by the Liberal party.

    There's no guarantee things will happen this way this time around. In fact, one would expect that opposition leaders would try to correct their mistake from last time, and usurp power even before the throne speech.

  47. Thanks. Well I support some of those (if not your interpretation of them), agree that others are undesirable and that there is some evidence that the CPC will do them, and at least one of them seems scare-mongering.

  48. Ok fine…

    It's a fact that the most likely outcomes are a conservative majority, or a coalition government.

  49. Hey Wherrrrrrrrrey! You finally got it right!

  50. I tend to agree that the Tories "could" do it, I just don't believe it's at all likely that they will.

    I'm a victim of my own social circle on this point of course, but I don't know a single person who didn't vote Tory in 2008 who'd even consider voting Tory today. I used to consider myself one of those potential "swing voters" (I've voted Tory in the past) and I'd vote for a Cats government at this point before I'd vote for another Harper government.

    Again, my inability to answer this question may simply be a reflection of my personal surroundings, but where are these people who voted Liberal, or NDP, or Green in 2006 or 2008 but who are thinking of voting Tory the next time around? My presumption has always been that these folks live somewhere down the block from unicorns.

  51. why bother?

  52. It will be another minority; or a coalition.

    Since Iggy wants it all for himself; it will be a minority. (And its working just fine)

  53. No just the politicians who would make up the coalition in this case.

  54. Which one seems to be scare-mongering to you?

    Those were just off the top of my head. Drilling down a bit, let's look at education and research.

    The CPC has already shown that they are antithetical to research activities. So I would expect to see a massive reduction in federal research grants, to be replaced by tax credits to private corporations who choose to do research (most of which, however, won't).

    Similarly, I would expect to see the Canada Student Loans program essentially gutted, or at the very least the requirements changed so as to increase profits realized by the private company which administers them.

    Currently directed equalization transfers for education would be, I expect, eliminated. The funds dropped into general use for the provinces thereafter, and in the years subsequent, phased out.

    I would also expect to see RIAA sponsored copyright legislation in place within 6 months of a CPC majority.

  55. I don't think that's a fact either.

    I actually think the current status quo is the most likely outcome, by far. I mean, give or take a few seats of course, with the Tories perhaps making marginal gains, but definitely not more than a 10 seat gain (which is what they'd need for a majority). I could be wrong, but I don't see Harper even giving the opposition the opportunity to form a coalition unless the Tories lose a significant number of seats.

  56. That is the correct Liberal interpretation of polls, yes. Unless the numbers change tomorrow. In which case today's poll was more accurate.

  57. Hm. Think really hard on that. Who was the leader of the Liberal Party after Dion was removed?
    Who's the leader now?

    There might be something in common there.

  58. Actually the first coalition agreement was in 2004 when Harper wrote to the Gov Gen: "We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority."

    At the time, the Liberals had 135 seats, the Conservative Party had 99 seats, the Bloc Quebecois had 54 seats and the NDP had 19 seats, so when Harper said that "the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority," that included the Bloc Quebecois. He could not have formed a minority coalition government without the 54 Bloc Quebecois seats. Which means the first party to suggest that they would govern "propped up by separtists" is the Conservative party.

    I guess that's why they know it was evil, they tried it first.

  59. He he he….Poll?…..crack? You made a funny!

  60. It means that for four years we wont have to listen to Liberal BS like this and that will be the best part of a majority!

  61. Also, harper would have been far more likley to make a blind power grab without getting the Bloc to agree to two years of complete support without joining the government, as the Libs and NDP were sure to do. Harper would have put us at separatist mercy!

  62. And genital warts!

  63. What Harp'll get is another minority at best.

    Hopefully smaller than now.

  64. The abortion debate, which Harper has been pretty clear is not on the agenda. And while he may be lying, if we are going to assume that he is then there is really no basis for discussing their platform at all.

    Of the others, I'm in favour of removing the pre-vote subsidy (and the tax credit for that matter) and, as an aside, I think you use the word "democratic" in a much broader way than I'm comfortable with. I'm also in favour of lowering corporate tax cuts. Mind you I'm also in favour of reducing spending which seems to be something the CPC has decided would be too courageous.

    Many of the other things you mention (with the possible exception of the wheat board which I don't know enough about but would be interested on how it affects consumers as well as producers) I think are valid criticisms of the current government. Of course that doesn't mean that we can assume their replacement would be any better.

  65. "where are these people who voted Liberal, or NDP, or Green in 2006 or 2008 but who are thinking of voting Tory the next time around?"

    To make the CPC's fondest dreams come true, they have to hope they can suppress the Liberal vote with their relentlessly negative attack ads. So, many of those who voted for the Liberals last time around would have to simply stay home, while the rest of the opposition vote would be split amongst the other parties, allowing the Con candidate to sneak up the middle.

    If they pulled this scenario off in key, targeted ridings, they might pull off a majority.

    And we know voter participation has declined with each successive election, so the Cons would need to focus on getting their own hard core support out to the polls on election day in those vulnerable ridings.

    Scary prospect, IMO.

  66. ABSOLUTELY all the future wealth we just farted away on pseudo-stimulus crap is at the feet of the CPC. They deserve all the scorn we can muster for that bone-headed move.

  67. Can we have the locusts, too? I always wondered what Canada would look like overwhelmed by locusts.

  68. Meet me by the river.

  69. Also my guess.

  70. *facepalm*

    Why didn't we think of this before??!? Here we are voting for wee little MPs in wee little ridings, when we should really have the following options on everyone's ballot:

    ( ) CPC majority
    ( ) CPC minority
    ( ) LPC majority
    ( ) LPC minority
    ( ) NDP maj — no, I can't even complete this or the next line, sorry…

  71. In my experience, real cats in the real world will break your stuff or claw it to pieces, and then you look in their eyes and realize they just don't care. They followed their self-centered impulse, did what they did, and the impact on you or anyone else is entirely irrelevant.

    CPC Cats!

  72. Harper doesnt have to give them an opportunity or even an opportunity. It's not his to give. After the election results – which I agree, will most likely produce something like the current house – the coalition parties will be free to go and ask the GG to form a coalition. Then it will be up to the GG.

  73. Probably the best thing for the country but it's a long-haul way of doing things.

  74. 1. Why can grain framers in Ontario sell wheat to the highest bidder but in Manitobia west grain farmers have to sell to the government who then sells on the free market? | grant that it made sense in the 50s but not now.
    2.Really most of your points are just fear mongering, do you really believe that the only thing holding the government back from outlawing abortion is the Liberal parties MPs? Grow up that kind of fear mongering didn't work for Paul Martin so why after 5 yrs of the CPC being in power do you think Canadians will fall for it now?
    3. If that list is all that the Liberals can come up with they will be out of power for quite sometime. How about some policies?

  75. Actually the first coalition agreement was in 1917 but the 2004 letter makes no mention of a governning coalition and in public statements at the time and since the signators to that letter said that it did not mean a coalition. But I think you knew that already

  76. i like iggy. He handles himself with dignity, is thoughtful, aware of the issues and respectful of democratic principles. if we get another tory minority or heaven forbid a majority the only trajectory we will be on as a country is straight down hill. Attack ads, chronic financial mismanagement, dishonesty, international embarrassments, dysfuncional parliament and a whole lot of inept members of parliament. The world political structures are a-changing. Do we as Canadians want a government that is intellectually diminished, partisan and diplomatically foolish to have the reins of power. We can, and should, be able to make a difference in the world our children will inherit, lets not sell them or ourselves short.

  77. Harper, as sitting Prime Minister, has first kick at the can. It's his government until he steps aside. We just never really think about that nuance in our system because throughout most of our history it's been OBVIOUS that the previous PM has to step aside, because he or she just got beaten by another party that won a majority of seats. Harper could easily argue immediately after an election in which his party won more seats than any other party, that he should be allowed to continue in government until the opposition chooses to defeat him in the House (though, I don't think he'd actually have to ARGUE that with anyone, as it's pretty much axiomatic). The only ways I can see Harper getting replaced by a coalition without first being voted down on a Tory Speech from the Throne is if one of the opposition parties gets more seats than the Tories (unlikely, imho) or, despite having more seats than any other party, Harper simply refuses to allow the House to sit because he doesn't think he can win a vote on a speech from the throne (even less likely, probably IMPOSSIBLE, imho).

    After this next hypothetical election the opposition would go before the GG AFTER voting down the Tories in the House, not before. I do agree though that if the opposition went to the GG after voting down the Tories at the first opportunity that she would allow them, if they wished, to form a coalition government (depending upon the distribution of seats she might allow the Liberals to just form a minority government without entering a coalition with anyone else, though I HIGHLY doubt that the Liberals would be close enough to the Tories in seats to realistically attempt that).

    I still think "status quo" is overwhelmingly the most likely outcome of the next election, but whatever happens, Prime Minister Harper has to do SOMETHING before the opposition can form a government (any kind of government), even if it's just acknowledging that his party is unable to do so.

  78. Really vague on the concept, aren't you?

  79. The abortion debate, which Harper has been pretty clear is not on the agenda. And while he may be lying,

    ***

    Given past practice it's not wise to take his word on anything. And the maternal health care in Africa thing kinda shows he's not totally comfortable with a woman's right to choose, even if he's wary about imposing it on Canadian women.

    A certain columnist has opined that Harper would stay middle of the road in a majority to ensure longevity. Maybe. Probably true in 2006. But after five years of minority, is he going to think of himself as getting two more four year terms? Or does he finally go for broke and try to force his NCC vision on Canada?

  80. See above. After the African thing I view abortion as 50/50 with a tory majority.

  81. He handles himself with dignity, is thoughtful, aware of the issues and respectful of democratic principles.

    ***

    Comparatively, sure….

  82. have you ever attended one of his speeches – I have – it was awkward and after 3 – 5 minutes you just can't listen anymore as this sort of background noise starts to interfere and you start getting sleepy and tuning him out … the liberal party is empty of ideas, devoid of policy and without any guiding principles except to gain power by continuing it's strategy, failed though it is proven to be – of either spinning or outright creating a daily scandal du jour – canadians have obviously tuned out Iggy as the trend lines have indicated in every poll ever taken in point of fact more people would like to see Jack Layton as leader of comapred to the Igster – and that is just SAD ..

  83. Its possible to cut other spending and still have a stimulus …

    LGR, per vote subsidy, CBC

    (That's only a few billion but there are plenty, plenty more examples.)

    Cats away!

  84. I have taken more than enough statistics classes (more than Dean Del Mastro anyways!) to know better than to believe the results of any media poll out there…

    But for those who do on these boards, EKOS has the Tories back at 32%.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/02/23/

    I'm looking forward to the brief respite from media polls as a response to any Tory criticism on these boards.

  85. I blame the deficit on the recession (obviously) but it was certainly made worse by the oppositions' refusal to allow proposed CUTS to go through.

    Small government Cats

  86. Why are you talking about this Wherry?? Why aren't you talking about the brand new EKOS poll that has Harper's support in a free fall after the Oda Ado? 5 points in a week? By this time next week Ignatieff will have a majority!!1!

    (see how stupid it is to incessantly bleat on about polls now? I'm looking at you Cats…)

  87. You'd vote for a CATS government ?

    (Really ? It would be pretty conservative ! Basically i'd turn everything over to the provinces except national defence, immigration, and foriegn policy.)

    Cats!

  88. I'm just saying that according to Brian Topp's logic …

    Another poll asks if Harper would have a positive or negative effect on their local candidate. He's +12, Iggy is like -12.

    Leaders are front and center during a campaign. I would expect that the national numbers and the leadership numbers would move towards each other.

    (Not automatically in the middle but there would be a pull.)

    Glad I don't have Dion/Iggy deadweight as my leader Cats !!!

  89. Alternatively:

    ( ) Socialists
    ( ) Separatists
    ( ) Adscam!!!
    ( ) I love the troops

  90. Well, before I'd vote for another Harper government anyway.

    Keep in mind though that my vote for a Cats government would be based mostly on the anticipated entertainment value of such a government.

  91. i would rather listen to a speech by Ignatief than have to listen to harper bleat on. Harper speaks unturths, is spiteful and maliciious, a meglomaniac without a conscience, willing to spend exhorbitant amount of taxpayers money on his constant campaigning and he manages to do it all with an extremely mendacious tedious delivery.

  92. "A certain columnist has opined that Harper would stay middle of the road in a majority to ensure longevity. Maybe. Probably true in 2006. But after five years of minority, is he going to think of himself as getting two more four year terms? Or does he finally go for broke and try to force his NCC vision on Canada?"

    ***

    But again this just seems a version of "Harper is an evil right wing Christian who will …". It just isn't a good starting point for substantive debate and seems equivalent to the die-hard Conservatives who still whine about Adscam whenever someone criticizes the CPC.

    I'm all for criticizing the government's drug policy or their inability to manage the G20 conference competently or their insane replacement of the census with a more expensive but less useful version. But aren't there enough things to criticize without having to invent stuff?

    One of the reasons it bugs me is that I think it allows people to cast the Conservative government as evil and malicious instead of overly controlling and incompetent. They can then say "so because they are evil you must vote for someone else …".

  93. You do know that letter was to stop a snap election right ??

    Ie. The GG would tell Martin to shut up and get back to work if he asked for an election without an actual non-confidence motion being passed.

    Oh wait, you DO know that, you're just intentionally lying ot people.

    Disgusted Cats

  94. Is that really all that you would do?

    I mean on the one hand (the constitutional, theoretcial hand) that would represent a significant change to the status quo, but on the other hand (the practical hand) it seems very modest.

  95. If he wanted people to think more highly of his intentions he could have spent the last five years doing something other than showing contempt for parliamentary institutions and needlessly shredding his own credibility.

    If people start to think, "I can't believe a word that comes out of this guys mouth, who knows how he'll act if he lame ducks himself in four year majority" he has nobody to blame but himself.

  96. Are you talking about the deficit they had us in before the recession actually came?

    Cats chasing its tail

  97. A Cats government would pursue its misguided 'tough on mice' philosophy… when statistics consistently show that rodent rates have gone DOWN. I think there's a better way to spend our cheese.

  98. Your statement is an absurdity.

  99. It would solve the wheat board issue, at any rate.

  100. I came here for a break from the 81 page policy document I have to digest and prepare to debate before the weekend. At this exact moment, I WISH the Liberals had no ideas and were devoid of policy!

  101. Unreported crime is UP UP UP.

    You're late to the game with that tired argument.

    Plus Stats Can has come under major criticism for how they handle crime stats.

    STATS CATS

  102. Yep, we can have our left/right fights at the provincial level.

    I'd also get rid of equilization which is a really, really big deal.

    And federal transfers to the provinces would go to.

    Core government federal Cats

  103. Yep, we can have our left/right fights at the provincial level.

    Any predictions regarding how the left/right balance point would shake out at the provincial level?

    And federal transfers to the provinces would go to.

    Well, duh!! (Ie I took that as a given from "Basically i'd turn everything over to the provinces except….."). ;-)

    Core government federal Cats

    Thank goodness you didn't say "Core government feral Cats"……or maybe……

  104. "major criticism"?

    Nice try. One conservative organization with no credibility published a criticism.

    silly cats

  105. Keep putting on the tin foil hat and circling the wagons.

    A detailed study that PROVED crime was on the rise.

    Dissapointed in you Cats.

  106. Start in Alberta and the further east you go the more left things go.

    Exception: Quebec will be most left and BC would tie Ontario.

    I'd still see an economic role for the feds though. We need a common market in Canada. They should break down provincial barriers as much as possible.

    Impose TILMA on everyone and kill supply management CATS !

  107. No its not.

    GG – :"No I won't call a snap election, you have the confidence of the house and its only been a year since the last election. Do your job or i'll find another Liberal who will."

    That was the point of the letter.

    That's why Harper supports fixed election dates.

    The PM shouldn't call snap election when he still has the confidence of the house. (In 2008 Harper met with the opposition and they all said they were planning to vote him out…)

    Cats away.

  108. If the 2008 fall update had been passed there would have been no deficit that year.

    That was the fault of the coalition.

    Catzs!

  109. Start in Alberta and the further east you go the more left things go.

    I wonder if things would be all that different….

    Eg, the health care system in Alberta seems fairly indistinguishable from the health care system in Ontario….as best I can tell, that has more to do with resistance from Albertans themselves rather than Alberta feeling particularly constrained by federal regulations.

    And somewhat unrelated, after this realignment, I wonder if Albertans will be happy about paying more than their share of the funding for the armed forces, armed forces that everyone benefits from, yet not everyone would pay equally.

  110. Harper has been clear that abortion is not on the agenda during his minority government. He has made no statements regarding what would happen in a majority, and the in fact the only statement we have regarding what would happen in a CPC majority is that of Gerry Ritz, "all bets are off". Given Mr. Harper's evangelical roots and base, I would not be at all surprised if abortion became the quid to repay the quo. It fits both into the law and order shtick, and into fiscal policy in that it doesn't cost the gov't anything.

    And while what you say about lying is true, the evidence of how easily, frequently, and blatantly Mr. Harper lies to us is yet another reason why we cannot trust the man with a majority. Because we already know that what he says is completely unrelated to what he may cause to occur.

    Democratic I use in the original sense. Rule by the people — without regard to their status, their financial ability, their resources control, etc. Per-vote subsidy is the most democratic of all the current subsidies, as it awards control of resources by the people in an even amount.

    Of course we can't assume their replacement would be any better.. but neither can we assume it would be worse. It is, at the moment, an unknown. And given what we *do* know about the CPC currently, I'm willing to brave the unknown.

  111. 1. Because the farmers in the various areas wanted it that way. That's the bottom line. The majority of individual farmers in the west prefer single desk marketing (which allows them to leverage their grain to attain greater economies of scale both in marketing and in negotiating) while they did not in the east.

    There are a bunch of reasons for that, but if you really want to know, you can read up here: <a href="http://www.cwb.ca/public/en/hot/future/action/summaries/…” target=”_blank”>www.cwb.ca/public/en/hot/future/action/summaries/…

    2. No, I believe the only thing holding the gov't back from outlawing abortion is that if they tried it, they would immediately have to face an election with them wanting to outlaw abortion being the key issue. Let them do it early in a four year term, and I wouldn't at all be surprised.

    3. I'm not shilling for the Liberals. I'm shilling against the CPC. There's a difference, and I get so tired of the Liberal obsession the CPC supporters have. Grow a pair guys, realize that you already are the government, so stop cowering under the threat of the big bad liberals.

  112. Late to the game? It was DAYS ago that the 'major criticism' (from one person, who happens to have ties to the Conservative Party) drew 'major criticism' from, well, everybody who knows anything about crime statistics.

    Cherrypicking which expert to believe CATS

    Plus I was just making a joke about your 'tough on mice' strategy!

    Hypersensitive CATS

  113. Um, that study was proven as complete bunk by many criminologists.
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/02/23/jo
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opin

    "In response, a slew of crime experts, including criminologist Neil Boyd of Simon Fraser University, have called the study “embarrassing.” A University of Victoria criminologist maintains that Newark's numerical gyrations amount to trying to prove that the world is flat.

    But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good argument? Indeed, Newark's mathematical mischief doesn't stop at definitions. Elsewhere in the report, he compares the volume of offences in 1999 to 2009 — without adjusting for 10 years of population growth. Is it any surprise that under this contrivance crime seems to go up?"

    It's pretty easy to show crime is rising if you don't control for population growth and show crime rates instead of the raw volume of crime.

    Disappointed in you. Period.

  114. QUESTION:

    If you had to choose between voting Conservative or being beaten about the head with a blunt object, which would you choose?

    HEADLINE:

    Majority of Canadians prefer Conservative government.

  115. Cherrypicking which expert to believe CATS

    Which "experts" to believe? I don't think I'd class the guy who wrote a report widely criticized by scholars as "embarrassing", which included chronological statistical comparisons that didn't even bother to adjust for population growth an "expert". From the accounts of that report that I read, my five year old niece has a better grasp of statistical analysis than Cats' "expert".

  116. Regardless, the Conservatives are pushing ahead with the 'TOC' agenda, no matter what the statistics say, according to Toews.

  117. Yes cats. Yet again, when called on one of your blatant misrepresentations you resort to "if I say it often enough it magically comes true" tactic.

    Desperation cats!

  118. Well, you are just asserting that it is the most "democratic" vote subsidy. It has nothing to do with ruling with the people, it's just a formula to distribute taxpayer's money to parties in a way that (unsurprisingly) benefits the parties with most power.

    I realize that this is a fairly pointless argument but as I see it you are just using the word democratic to avoid real debate, in the same way some people use words like human rights to avoid debate. It's a rhetorical trick so that you can imply: "How can you not support the subsidy because it the most democratic form of funding?".

  119. …it's just a formula to distribute taxpayer's money to parties in a way that (unsurprisingly) benefits the parties with most power.

    I'm a little confused regarding what you are getting at here. For the sake of the discussion, take it as a given that the federal government is going to provide a subsidy to political parties – please expand on what would you suggest as being the best way to distribute those funds.

  120. Blunt object, please.

  121. I don't want to take it as a given that the federal government is gong to provide a subsidy to political parties since I feel very strongly that it shouldn't be providing them with any subsidy at all (including political tax credits).

    But since you asked … I don't see that subsidizing parties on a per-vote basis is either fair or "democratic". If we want a level playing field then it makes sense to give all eligible parties the same amount of money. So the next question would be which parties are eligible. And if it sounds like I'm making this up as I go along please recall that I want to eliminate subsidies. OK, here is a version that I think is better:

    Parties that run in all ridings get a fixed subsidy amount (call it S) regardless of their level of support. Parties that only run in some ridings (the Bloc, the Pirate Party of Canada and so on) get a lesser amount based on how many ridings they are planning on running candidates in. So if they have candidates in only 12 ridings they only get $ 12/308 * S.

    This scheme encourages parties that are trying to break into the system, and doesn't unreasonably favour the status quo like the current system. It also recognizes that just because more people voted for a party the party doesn't deserve more public money to spew its misleading bile over the airways.

    It's also just as "fair" and "democratic" as the current version, particularly since those words are usually used completely subjectively to justify someone's position.

  122. In fact the 40% that was news in last week's polls (but has now evaporated in this week's) was reportedly due to increases in the west where they are already pretty close to capacity on seats.

    Harper majority = el chupacabra
    None of us will ever have to face one in reality.

  123. Not according to the non-partisan PBO

  124. That was for the next fiscal year, when the recession was in full tilt.

    Economic Facts Cats

  125. I'd be even more in favor of that system myself. With the one caveat being that a candidate only counts if they receive a certain minimum percentage of the riding vote. I'd suggest 5% or so. Basically a small amount, but enough to keep everybody and their dog from "running" to get free elections money.

    That said, such a system doesn't exist, and of the ones that do, the one that the CPC seeks to remove is far more democratic than the donation tax-credit subsidy.

    And I'm not using the word democratic to avoid real debate. I'm sorry it makes you uncomfortable to feel you have to argue against it, but in a world where control over resources = power, equally distributing the control of the resources *is* democratic.

  126. Once I'd written it down I was actually quite pleased with it :)

    But again, please don't forget that I want to get rid of the tax-credit as well (I realize that the CPC doesn't since it would probably hurt them more than getting rid of the subsidy).

    And we'll just have to agree to disagree over your use of the word democratic (and I'll try not to get annoyed by it).

  127. In a van?

  128. Start in Alberta and the further east you go the more left things go.

    If you're starting in Alberta, ANY direction you go (that doesn't take you out of the country) will take you "more left". So what?

  129. Thanks very much for "playing along" with my theoretical question!!

    And, just like Thwim, I really like your idea. It is much better than the 75%** tax credit, and it also compares adequately against the per-vote subsidy.

    And, like Thwim (again) I really don't understand your "grief" regarding the term "democratic". I mean I can understand that it is a word/idea that too often gets co-opted to provide cover for some other much lesser idea that really can't stand up to scrutiny on its own merits.

    But that does not mean that every use of the term democratic is only providing cover for a fundamentally bad idea – there must be some occasions when it is absolutely correct to say that "this" idea is more democratic than "that" idea.

    Seems to me that Thwim is making the case that for an idea to truly qualify as being democratic it should be an idea that aligns with the basic ideal of democracy, which, I believe, is that "power" comes from all of the citizens of a state, not just some citizens, AND that each and every citizen has an equal share of that power, that power should not be portioned out on the basis of class or status or financial wherewithal.

    Interested to read about the source of your angst. :-)

  130. For your reference, here are the "numbers".

    The CPC would lose about $10 M if the vote subsidy is cut, about $13 M if the tax credit is cut, out of a total budget of about $27M. So after subsidy cut CPC is left with $17 M, or with $14 M after a tax credit cut.

    The LPC would lose about $7 M if the vote subsidy is cut, about $3.5 M if the tax credit is cut, out of a total budget of about $12M. So after subsidy cut LPC is left with $4.5 M, or with $8 M after a tax credit cut.

    So the net effect on the CPC is almost a wash either way. But if Harper wants to cut only one of those two subsidies, it just makes perfect sense for him to eliminate the vote subsidy, which leaves the CPC with 4 times as much money as the LPC. Cutting the tax credit would be stupid, because that would leave the CPC with just less than twice as much money as the LPC.

    **Does assume that party members do not adjust their contributions to make-up the shortfall.

  131. A pleasure, it was an interesting exercise. I wanted to make a quick reply since I won't have a chance to post for the next day or two. The shorter version of my angst is that I think that modern democracies (at least Canada, Britain and the US) have a lot of problems and many of those problems (IMHO) have political parties at the heart of them. Therefore I'm loathe to characterize anything that encourages political parties as being democratic as I think they (parties) are essentially anti-democratic since they tend to remove power from the hands of our elected representatives.

  132. Ahhh. Well why didn't you just say so!

  133. I'm not sure I understand the difference.

  134. Uh . . . no. Wrong again. Don't make things up.

  135. Some numbers to ponder…

    I believe that right now the federal budget includes an allowance of about $40M per year to subsidize federal political parties. Based on 4 ~mainstream parties available in a typical federal riding, we could set S = $10M, and still spend $40M. Of course we could lower the overall cost of subsidies, but for this example, lets spend the same amount.

    On that basis:
    – CPC, 308 ridings, target is $10M – actually get ~$10M for votes and ~$13M for refunds, over the target
    – LPC, 308 ridings, target is $10M – actually get ~$7M for votes and ~$3.5M for refunds, basically right on the target
    – NDP, 308 ridings, target is $10 – actually get ~$5M for votes and ~$3M for refunds, a bit under the target
    – Green, 308 ridings?, target is $10M – actually get ~$2M for votes and ~$1M for refunds, way under the target
    – BQ, 75 ridings, target is $2.5M – actually get ~$2.5M for votes and ~$0.5M for refunds, just a little over the target.

    So, in summary, the LPC, NDP and BQ are already receiving subsidies very close to your "off-the-cuff" plan, whereas the CPC is getting way more in subsidies than they "should" and the poor old greens are not doing so well at all. As I said a day ago, I think your plan would be great! (…..and more democratic than today.)

  136. Interesting to see that my off-the-cuff plan seems reasonable. Of course I'd love to remove the subsidies altogether.

    I'm reasonably happy with the other side of funding for parties, I think both corporations and labour unions should be banned from making political donations. Not necessarily because they might exert undue influence on political parties but more because I don't think they have any business using shareholder or member money on the party choice of their leadership.

    So that would leave us with the apparent inequity of the CPC having a budget of twice the LPC after cutting the subsidies. Is this a problem? I don't really know. To go back to my distrust of the use of the word democratic, I don't see this as a anything to do with democracy, it just means that the CPC are better at fund-raising. To go back to whether or not its a problem, I'm not at all convinced that having twice us much money as your opponent helps you get more votes (though I admit its unlikely to hurt).

    Of course in my ideal world all parties would have just enough money to research and widely distribute a platform and pay their administrative costs and no money to spare for any advertising. Unfortunately I suspect that this would involve more interference in the political market than I'd be comfortable with :).

  137. Yeah, I think your last paragraph kind of sums it up.

    Personally I wouldn't have too much grief trying to enforce such a system.

  138. Monsieur Duceppe has now given the Prime Minister ammunition on a silver platter by suggesting that preventing a Conservative majority will help sovereignty in Quebec. Little did Monsieur Duceppe realize how that would play out in the rest of Canada, as well as among the federalists in Quebec. He actually helped the federal party that has the best chance of formning a majority, and for challenging separatism in Quebec from the standpoibnt of a strong, federalist government.

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