Welcome to Canada! Home of glorious workers' revolution! - Macleans.ca

Welcome to Canada! Home of glorious workers’ revolution!


You could pretty much set your clock by it: Two weeks of disdainful coverage about how Tom Mulcair just doesn’t understand how much he’s blundering into a powderkeg are followed by today’s National Post poll, featuring the largest NDP margin over other parties that I have seen since things got weird for a minute in 1988, or maybe the best poll ever for the NDP.

Polls are, of course, for dogs, and there’s three years until the next election, and so far the Conservatives have carefully run only their most listless, non-leader-focussed online-only “attack” campaign against the NDP. So everything could change, and indeed it will. Somehow. In the meantime, this National Post poll (conducted by Forum Research) is a trip. A 138-seat NDP plurality dominating a — hmm — non-existent 303-seat House of Commons! An 8-point drop in Conservative support since the election! A five-point increase in NDP support in the same period! And most intriguing, if we can stow the exclamation marks for a second, two things:

(1) an apparent new-normal plateau for NDP support, higher for now under Mulcair than it was under Jack Layton;

(2) a very marked swing in support in British Columbia, where the Conservatives are down 15 points and the NDP up 6 since the election. When Christy Clark called Mulcair “goofy,” it apparently didn’t have the desired effect.

Anyway, discuss among yourselves. In the meantime, we’re pretty happy here at Maclean’s, because last week we decided to write about Mulcair’s energy/environment discourse from the novel perspective that perhaps the NDP leader is not a vandal or an idiot. John Geddes took the challenge, and his excellent profile of Mulcair is here.


Welcome to Canada! Home of glorious workers’ revolution!

  1. I am curious to see what Mulcair has to say after visiting Fort Mac, and whether or not he meets with any of the western premiers.

    • I think he will offer to meet with the premiers. It will be up to them to accept or refuse. I w ould be really interested to see if he meets Adrian Dix!

    • Ms. Redford said today that she will be away when he’s there.

  2. If the narrative is:

    NDP: Dutch disease and environmental concerns are on the upswing and we need to create a program where all regions of the country can prosper rather than blindly continue an unblanaced course of action


    LPC: While we are too scared to take a real position, we also would like to pretend Muclair is attacking the West…

    Then among voters who appreciate actual argument, the NDP will hit near 100% support.

  3. Welcome to QUébec! Home of glorious student and people revolution!

  4. This poll is a “trip”…how can the NDP and Muclair be getting so much lift from this issue when according to another poll 55% of Canadians don’t even know about the issue (see Aaron Wherry)? Having lived through the last Alberta election and the supposed “slam dunk” for the Wildrose Alliance, pardon my suspended belief.

    • Those are all valid concerns, except that the poll is still in line with a general trend of NDP upswing, and there could be other reasons the CPC is falling/NDP is gaining.

    • Just before the election she was asked if she thought the conduct of one of her MLAs was racist and something else. She responded: we’ll let the voters judge that.
      I think I’m awaiting a K.Ashfield thread. I don’t know.

      • I’m not sure. I’m not sure!! Dammit it is easy to forget your line.

  5. It is worth noting that while Harper’s approval number slides (or stagnates), Mulcair’s shot up.

  6. The B.C. numbers are all about Northern Gateway and, now, maybe Kinder Morgan. That’s what “critical of the tar sands” means out there.

  7. Canadians will smarten up at the ballot box when they realize how deep “hands in my pocket” Mulcair will be reaching. People work hard enough to get ahead, we don’t need to destroy our ability to provide for our families because these pie-in-the-sky socialists don’t understand reality.

    • Maybe you should change your moniker to Yellowknife Received Wisdom.

  8. Majority gvt. 3 years from election. Who cares…

    • I think this is right. The Tories are going to be perfectly happy to let Mulcair have a run now.

  9. What a fascinating poll – surprised the heck out of me, although I did keep
    PW’s trend piece in mind, somewhere in my mental Atic.
    I felt sure though that Mulcair’s DD spiel would hurt him, much better to stick with the environmental freeloader arguement , as a way of highlighting the high $ argument- which I see he does on JG’s linked article.
    The numbers on income disparity angst must be terrifying if you’re a conservative – I’m not, so I’m delighted.
    It saddens me to see the LPC not leading the charge. Perhaps they might yet get to play a positive role yet in a new Parliament, who knows? But if they assist the CPC too much or keep on fence sitting they’re gonna be steam rolled- rightly so IMO.

  10. As Colby and other Macleans editors pointed out, http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/05/25/so-much-for-dutch-disease/
    “DD” cannot really be an issue UNTIL the booming commodity collapses in price AND the manufacturing industry is unable to respond to restore its prior levels of production.

    But, I found this curious. Compare the historical world price of oil from 1970 onward: http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1970.gif

    with the course profile of the recently Canadian won Giro d’Italia:

    Canada has Giro d’Italia fever!

    • What it takes to make full blown dutch disease is far more than what it takes to create a problem in the manufacturing sector, however.

    • Why wait for petro demand to collapse? Collapse was the title of a J.Diamond book. I’d guess it talked about how climate change and crop failures ended past civilizations. Of course we have 33 days of grain buffer and Stanley Cup rings in our ears?
      Why not save revenues like Norway does in their Trust? Harper should know Aristotle was an atheist.

      • Whatever you’re on, I want some too please. :)

        • It’s called senility, ignorance, and old age.

          Be patient. you’ll get some.

  11. “Home of glorious workers’ revolution!” That is not so far from the truth. At the depth of the recession (2009) Canada was #1 in labour disputes. Toronto/Windsor city workers, Ottawa bus drivers, U of T staff/assistants – and it hasn’t really let up.

    Striking facts

    Working days lost due to labour disputes

    Sep 6th 2010

    “WORKERS on London’s underground rail network begin a strike on Monday September 6th, while across the channel French workers are also on strike in protest at attempts by the government to change the retirement age. Both countries come fairly high on the list of countries that lose working days to labour disputes. South Africa, where Cosatu, a federation of unions with some 2m members, has been on strike since August 18th, also scores highly on this measure. But all of these places are left in they shade by the Canadians, who lost 2.2m working days to strikes last year. Greece, which is also fond of striking, does not appear on this chart as its numbers are not comparable.”


  12. Would be nice if we ignored polls for facts checking and actual details. Sort of like the Krugman blog where he displays actual charts of how the “good” countries – austerity champions – are faring – Ireland and Spain and Italy (pretty badly and continuing on that trajectory) – versus the “bad” ones, like Iceland who didn’t bail out their banks, which is to say their euro-creditors and are, a la Argentina before them, on an upswing. And who actually practices what they preach – or others preach (Ireland again) – versus those who don’t (Germany, which actually spends more in social programs than the so called PIGGS). Polls, I realize are easy and fun, but who wants to vote based on who’s most likely to win? Isn’t it really a measure of just how witless is your fellow Canadian, which might be fixed by emphasizing facts over polls. Might not, because people still have to read facts and it’s a lot of work. I think this depression is going to be good for that, combined with Google and other internet sources. If we survive it – and global warming – we may remember it this time.

  13. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/the-chinese-resource-supercycle-slows-down/article2444088/?service=mobile

    Wonder how this going to play out for our politics down the road? Certainly it ought to be good fodder for the opposition parties to hammer the Tories over betting the house on “red”.
    Here’s hoping economic incompetence will yet come to bite Harper in the arse.
    What’s his next plan? Oh, I know, free trade with Columbia- how’s that going?
    Hmmm, maybe he can revive that Belgium thing he had going there for a while?

  14. Proof positive that pols like Christy Clark oughta not run around calling people or their policies “goofy”.

    • Saw CC interview last night on the National, she also used the term ‘kooky’ to characterize Mulcair’s economic theories. That and her use of “But here’s the thing . . . ” (and several other uses of the “the thing is . . .”; that grates almost as much as PMSH’s overuse of “Frankly”) conveyed quite a sense of gravitas.
      She reminds me of nothing so much as one of the popular girls running for class president, like in Napoleon Dynamite. I suppose that would make Adrian Dix “Pedro”.

      • She irritates the hell out of me too, and that’s quite an achievement after Gordon.
        For me at least she positively radiates an aura of opportunistic incompetence; she literally gives liberals a bad name.

  15. Wait until people get to know how he feels about the student terrorists in Quebec. I think that most Canadians would be disgusted to know that he and his party fully support them.

    • That word, “terrorist”, I don’t think you’re familiar with what it means.

      • Yep. Que had real terrorists.

      • Sad to say he probably does, and goes there anyway.

  16. I’m not surprised the NDP has eventually done better. It seems to be Sask/Manitoba, BC and Atlantic Canada where they’ve gained. These are all places where the NDP has done well at the provincial level.
    Can the Conservatives rebound? I think the answer is yes, based on where the economy goes over the next 3 years.
    It should also be interesting to see where the remaining Liberal voters go. Do they stick with the Liberals or do they migrate to one of the two parties? I think the NDP has already absorbed the left-Liberal voters before or since the last election, and the Conservatives have already absorbed the right of center Libs since 2006. So the remaining 20% have a deeper attachment to the Liberals and an aversion to the other parties. But eventually they may drop the Liberals as time goes by and the Liberals’ prospects remain dim.

    • I still think Liberals output the economically most efficient platforms. Harper’s oily/deficity and Mulcair comes after a terminally ill leader ran without disclosing illness severity. Greens blew me with EI support. I guess I can be swayed by Bloc or PCs. We went from less than 50% debt to 80% debt under CPCs, and USA, our trade partner, is above 110%. This debt is reinforcing Gini not lowering it. I foresee a CPC collapse before grain harvest collapse.
      I’d like to know what our R+D has dropped to. I’d guess 2.1% to 1.9%. That is our seed corn. USA at 3.7% though GERD is less. I like Garneau because space makes me forget the idiots here.

      • God, are you now here polluting this comment board as well with your sentence fragments and incomplete thoughts?

        • I just don’t want to have stagflation or hyperinflation. I can’t move the Hudson’s Bay Lowlands…

        • Sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. I just meant idiot as in: selfish, short-term, unnecessarily unread.

  17. “When Christy Clark called Mulcair ‘Goofy'” Paul Wells should check out the provincial polls in BC (where the election is approaching). Christy Clark is set for a crushing defeat of historical proportion by … … … The NDP! In BC, the provincial NDP are above 50% in popular support now. They may actually win the biggest landslide in that province’s history.

  18. Mulcair has so far not offered anything specific on how he would deal with Dutch Disease. AFAICT his musings have been limited to “internalizing costs”. Once he starts laying out specifics (e.g. carbon tax) the NDP’s poll numbers could very well change.