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Election 2015

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Rifleman62

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http://epaper.nationalpost.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true

20 Jun 2015-National Post-Rex Murphy
   
Trudeau’s Gambit

Can a man who ignores his own promise to hold open nominations credibly claim to be a great reformer?
Murphy: ‘The most blatant carry-away from Trudeau this week is the purely political one: the party is not in crisis, but it is in trouble.’

It may be stated as an axiom that the desire to reform Parliament and the democratic system that underwrites it is proportional to any given political party’s distance from achieving power.

Parties already in power bathe in the pleasure that they have mastered the arcane and often outdated rules by which they have achieved office. While in opposition they rail at the putative inequities of the electoral system, the closed or secret nature of cabinet government, or the “topdown” nature of modern day Prime Ministerial administration.

They almost certainly declaim at the deficiencies of Parliament itself, the ritual exchange of talking points and insults (these are not mutually exclusive) during Question Period, or the disgusting incivility of parliamentary exchange in general. Parties waiting for their chance at government take an almost pastoral view of politics: they see a sky unclouded by partisan interest, ministers who stand to give real information, uninflected by partisan impulse, when asked a question; they see a prime minister as an ideal leader, one formed of the sagacity of a Socrates mixed with the temperament of an Abraham Lincoln, a creature of the greatest wisdom married to the deepest morality. They see democracy and parliamentary debate as a sweet Disney-world, drained of all rancour, emptied of all anger and bluster, utterly uncontaminated by the messy, compromising, shallow and self-serving measures and halfmeasures that — in reality, and sadness — constitute the living reality of almost every democratic government that is or ever has been.

I might offer as a corollary to this axiom that the slimmer a party’s chances of winning power, the more extravagant the vision it will offer voters should it ever achieve it. I have no doubt, for example, that if the Green party could promise to eliminate global emissions in a week and install Al Gore as the head of a new world government in two — both dreams securely fastened to their sheer impossibility — it would.

To descend to plausible reality, we may look at Justin Trudeau’s new broad-ranging, 32-point reform package as a more contained example of opposition projection. Its themes of electoral reform, ministerial accountability, a refreshed parliament, and a prime minister bound to openness and answerability are — setting aside a few points that are little more than sloganeering — a plausible set of ideas, which, if introduced and faithfully adhered to, would work to the betterment of our democracy.

But they have to be tested on a number of grounds. The first and primary one is that of trust. Even should we agree on all of these proposals, how likely is it that this fair catalogue — so bright and shiny in the months before an election — would survive and find execution in legislation and practice, should Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals actually win next fall. How many of Mr. Trudeau’s mini-magna carta for Canadian democracy would survive his victory? What do voters know of Mr. Trudeau, actually know, that would rationally lead them to believe that he would be different from so many other opposition politicians before him, who promised the world and all its delights, while on the campaign trail – and if and once successful – shuddered into being just like every other politician, who promised and reneged.

The one reform over which, indeed, he has had control, and which he did commit himself to, was that of open nominations for his party now — while still in opposition. That has gone the way of all political flesh. Liberal nominations are still as much within the gift and whim of the leader as ever they were. So, why trust him on the bigger scheme?

A second test comes to motivation. And timing. For the better part of his tenure as leader, Mr. Trudeau, in his public appearances, has confined himself to buoyant meet and greets, harvesting his undeniable celebrity persona and the gift of his truly great name. On policy — to now — he has been as taciturn as the Sphinx. The theory from his advisers was it was best to hold fire, not to give the demonic Tories ammunition to attack him too early. Recent motions in the polls, however, particularly the surprising but substantial rise of Tom Mulcair and the NDP (perhaps aided by the miracle of NDP Alberta) has shaken the Liberals. Their own fall from 39 per cent to 23 per cent has been noted not just outside the party, but also within.

How to stop the slide has to have been the question of the last month or more. The embargo on policy had to go — smiles and handshakes were clearly not enough. Thus, this week, he made his move.

Voters therefore may look at the reform package from the point of view of what prompted it, as much as for its substance; and they would be justified in doing so. Does it appear as a consequence of the Liberal’s newfound fear that their party and their leader are in a real decline? That the original flash and favour they found with their leader has dimmed and that they must, quickly, come up with proposals large enough and of sufficient headline-commanding power to slow or still Tom Mulcair’s gradual emergence as a favourite? If voters so conclude, that this package is one of partisan and not democratic necessity, that reform as an idea is itself a vote-getting gambit, then they may dismiss the whole catalogue as just another manoeuvre in the always dismal and cynical game of politics.

What is done under necessity is not always what is in the heart. So there are two areas in which this latest and largest presentation has real challenges. First, will voters trust any comprehensive reform package from any party in opposition as anything more than they have heard long and often before?

Secondly, how much will they trust so large a package that came — relatively late — from a leader sinking in the polls, who up to this point was determined to shield his policy measures till such time as the writ was near dropping, and with an already established willingness to ignore his own prior declarations on such a fine democratic notion as open riding nominations whenever he sees fit to impose his will on his party?

The most blatant carry-away from Mr. Trudeau this week is the purely political one: the party is not in crisis, but it is in trouble. And it needed something big to get it started again. Democratic reform was their answer. Will it be believed?
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
... I'll repeat:

    1. The NDP has, probably, peaked too early ... it will be hard to sustain their current support for four months, much less improve upon it in Oct;

    2. The Liberals are playing "catch up," e.g. by releasing policies earlier than they wanted, because M Trudeau's charisma has worn too thin; and

    3. The CPC is in a "sweet spot" IF it can shift enough of the the "Manley Liberal" and "undecided" votes into its version of the centre.

Rifleman62 said:
http://epaper.nationalpost.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true

20 Jun 2015-National Post-Rex Murphy
   
Trudeau’s Gambit
...
... For the better part of his tenure as leader, Mr. Trudeau, in his public appearances, has confined himself to buoyant meet and greets, harvesting his undeniable celebrity persona and the gift of his truly great name. On policy — to now — he has been as taciturn as the Sphinx. The theory from his advisers was it was best to hold fire, not to give the demonic Tories ammunition to attack him too early. Recent motions in the polls, however, particularly the surprising but substantial rise of Tom Mulcair and the NDP (perhaps aided by the miracle of NDP Alberta) has shaken the Liberals. Their own fall from 39 per cent to 23 per cent has been noted not just outside the party, but also within.

How to stop the slide has to have been the question of the last month or more. The embargo on policy had to go — smiles and handshakes were clearly not enough. Thus, this week, he made his move.
...
The most blatant carry-away from Mr. Trudeau this week is the purely political one: the party is not in crisis, but it is in trouble. And it needed something big to get it started again. Democratic reform was their answer. Will it be believed?


Although Rex Murphy and I agree on Why M Trudeau's team released their interesting policies, I still agree with the Globe's Jeffrey Simpson than the Liberals (not M Trudeau, specifically because I think these policies are far too sophisticated to be the product of the imagination of a high school drama teacher) and the NDP deserve credit for, at least, putting the ideas out for discussion.

    (Now, I, personally, have no real problem with our "first past the post" electoral system. I did a fairly sound statistical analysis, a few years back, that showed that, yes, the first past the post system does reward
    the first place vote getting party with too many seats (10 to 25% too many, as I recall) and it does punish the weaker parties, but maybe that is not a bad thing, or, at least, an acceptable price to pay for a clear, simple, constituency
    based/representative system. I'm not unalterably opposed to some form of preferential voting ~ but it must be an electronic voting system: voters ought not to have to wait for weeks to find out who they have elected. (But I worry that
    many (most?) Canadians will not understand preferential ballots and the number of spoiled ballots will drive participation rates down to new lows, for generations.))
 

ModlrMike

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I was reminded by a coleague at work today that the first thing dictators do once elected is to mess with the political system. Not that I'm saying that Mr Trudeau has dictatorial aspirations.

As much as I take the comments with a rather large grain of salt, he has direct personal experience.
 

Brad Sallows

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To be fair, the dictators rarely ever announced their proposals in advance.

I am strongly against PR, MMPR, preferential voting, etc, etc; however, if the parties are willing to advertise their intentions in this regard prior to an election, voters can not complain of being hoodwinked.

The problem with these schemes is that the choices generally hinge on what would benefit a party right now, and are ill-conceived with respect to the long view.  I favour FPTP because it allows parties which command only ~40% of the popular vote to form a majority government; a majority government can get things done; and there is not really a practical risk in Canada of a "permanent <insert colour here> majority".
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ABvLHvwMAs

heres a new one gents against the cons, straight to the point
 

Edward Campbell

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MilEME09 said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ABvLHvwMAs

heres a new one gents against the cons, straight to the point


It's slick, polished, very well produced and, of course,  misleading.

Engage Canada, which produced this, is a consortium of sorts of public sector unions and other progressive groups, built upon the foundation of e.g. RightsAtWork.ca and others that were so successful in the Ontario election in 2014. My sense is that Engage Canada is, honestly, not (yet) pro Liberal or pro NDP, it is just anti-Conservative ... until they see a chance to support a "winner," at which time, I suspect, the coalition will dissolve and it will reform to support either the Liberals or the NDP.
 

Remius

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There's a CBC article on this ad campaign here and echoes some of what E.R. Campbell has noted.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/engage-canada-s-anti-conservative-tv-ad-all-about-timing-1.3122069
 

a_majoor

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I think on a more "meta" scale, the real things to be looking at are the issues raised in "The Big Shift", and most particularly the timings of things. Demographic and economic power is still flowing to the West, but has not fully consolidated there, hence a lot of fluidity in the runup to this election.

External events also have more influence than we think (but as second and third order effects; Alberta's NDP government would never have happened if Saudi Arabia wasn't using the oil weapon against Iran, Russia and US shale oil frackers).

We cannot predict the external events. Perhaps a major Russian incursion into the Donbas region of Ukraine, an armed clash on the South China Sea, Greece defaulting on their debt or defeat of the Assad regime by ISIS will create a major global crisis with unpredictable consequences for the election. OTOH, we do have a handle on the Big Shift, and a close study of Ontario and the West may reveal where the election will go.
 

Underway

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Crantor said:
There's a CBC article on this ad campaign here and echoes some of what E.R. Campbell has noted.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/engage-canada-s-anti-conservative-tv-ad-all-about-timing-1.3122069

I like the analysis.  It's interesting however to see that the article brought up millenial voters opinions, which are irrelivent.  They don't vote (in numbers big enough to matter) so what they think doesn't matter at all.  Conservative adds are aimed at their parents, their grandparents and anyone else who actually has property or something to protect.  If you don't have anything you tend to vote left, if you have something you tend to vote right.
 

Edward Campbell

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Tim Harper suggests that the Liberal-NDP battle this summer is the key, for both parties, in this article which is reproduced under the Faior Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Toronto Star:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/06/21/the-summer-mulcair-trudeau-battle-a-key-to-election-tim-harper.html
logotorstar_06.gif

The summer Mulcair-Trudeau battle a key to election: Tim Harper
Mulcair has momentum but if he and Trudeau head into Labour Day splitting the anti-Harper vote, the prime minister will be all smile

By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Sun Jun 21 2015

OTTAWA—The two men who would unseat Stephen Harper face two very different challenges this summer.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is about to discover how difficult it can be to regain political momentum once you’ve lost it.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will learn it is often easier to claw your way to the top of the political heap than it is to stay there.

If by Labour Day, the two have settled into a familiar pattern of splitting the anti-Harper, so-called “progressive” vote, that equilibrium will likely lead to the re-election of the Conservatives.

So, the real summer skirmish for political-watchers will be between Trudeau and Mulcair.

Right now, Mulcair is making a far more compelling case as the real threat to Harper, but with that status comes increased scrutiny.

How he handles that scrutiny — from the media, from the voters and from his political opponents — will be key. Despite an embarrassing misstep in which the NDP leader appeared at a loss on this country’s corporate tax rate, Mulcair appears ready to handle that scrutiny.

Canadians may have seen a preview of the campaign when Harper and Mulcair went mano-a-mano in the last question period attended by all three leaders before the campaign.

The dynamic was fascinating — while those two men duked it out on a series of issues, Trudeau was a spectator. This is precisely the dynamic the NDP wants to take on the campaign trail, distilling this battle into a left-right struggle with the incumbent while squeezing Trudeau into irrelevancy.

To protect themselves heading to October, the party has taken some smart, pragmatic steps.

Don’t expect a budget from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, for example, until after a federal vote, reducing the odds of any NDP buyer’s remorse in that province.

Mulcair laid out much of his election platform early in a bid to allay fears of a radical agenda. He is now preaching a more moderate version of “change,” than Trudeau, who is campaigning under the slogan of “Real Change.”

A string of Senate scandals has been a never-ending gift for the party, but the NDP knows Senate reform will not swing an election so Mulcair will tack close to the flame — fanning populist disgust with the institution, but pulling back in time to avoid being painted as a potential prime minister selling constitutional logjams.

That only works, however, if his opponents let him pull back and they know there is no way to open the constitution to a single issue. First Nations and the Bloc Québécois, under the new (old) leadership of Gilles Duceppe will see to that.

Alleged spending irregularities by the party do not receive nearly the attention of spending irregularities in the Senate, but the longer he constitutes a threat, the louder Conservatives will shout about a satellite office controversy which hasn’t really busted out of the Ottawa bubble.

The Board of Internal Economy, which New Democrats delight in labelling a “kangaroo court,” has ordered 68 current and former NDP MPs to repay $2.75 million for the satellite office scheme plus $1.2 million for misuse of parliamentary mailing privileges.

Mulcair maintains his party has played by the rules.

Harper has his woes. He has now lost his two key political players from both coasts and conspiracy theorists may want to look at the gala send-off from the prime minister to Justice Minister Peter MacKay in Nova Scotia and the lack of even a formal statement wishing Industry Minister James Moore of British Columbia well.

For his part, Trudeau will continue to lay out policy planks, beginning here Monday when he wades into the Canada-U.S. relationship. He is expected to characterize it as the worst in at least two generations, a deep freeze he will blame on Harper and his inability to co-operate with anyone of a different ideological stripe.

Trudeau will also tell an audience our neglected relationship with our third NAFTA partner, Mexico — notable because of an unnecessary visa spat initiated by Canada — has further cost us influence in Washington, where the stalled Keystone XL pipeline is emblematic of a lost opportunity on continental energy and environmental policy.

Trudeau will also roll out environmental policy in Vancouver at the end of the month, flesh out an urban infrastructure program, unveil immigration policy and deliver his aboriginal policy to the Assembly of First Nations next month.

Trudeau must find a way to bust back into the national conversation and do it during the summer months.

He’ll find that chase for the lost momentum daunting because merely catching Mulcair will not be enough. That would allow Harper to play vote-split bingo again in a return to power. Voters will understand that.

Tim Harper is a national affairs writer. His column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. tharper@thestar.ca Twitter:mad:nutgraf1


I think Tim Harper is pretty much correct ... there are three key challenges:

    1. M Trudeau must (try to) regain some momentum. He's been lagging since late last year. he needs to turn on the after-burners;

    2. M Mulcair must (try to) maintain the initiative, and the lead; and

    3. Prime Minister Harper must develop a campaign that pulls Manley Liberal voters away from the LPC and helps M Trudeau pull centrist voters back from the NDP so that he (PM Harper) can come up the middle with 35-38% of the vote.
 

JS2218

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MilEME09 said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ABvLHvwMAs

heres a new one gents against the cons, straight to the point

Why do we care (and why are we surprised?) that a much of back-room Liberals and New Democrats don't like Conservatives?
 

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Justin Trudeau's Concession Speech?

"Justin Trudeau: I'll end ISIS combat mission, restore relations with Iran"

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/justin-trudeau-ill-end-isis-231934956.html

I see he inherited his old man's backbone.

If he's trying for the Arab Muslim vote - they hate Iran more than they hate Israel.
 

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He is proving the point that "promising anything that will get votes to get into power works"....


this kid, and that is what he is, has no clue whatsoever  ::)
 

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Turns out CSIS didn't even need the information sharing measures. Yet more evidence that C-51 is primarily a political move, and has little to do with actual security. Any government playing politics with security and privacy needs the boot.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csis-didn-t-need-c-51-to-improve-information-sharing-briefing-suggests-1.3125611

Venner cited a number of recently successful pilot projects and outlined "future opportunities" for sharing — all of them deleted from the memo.

CSIS clearly saw "room for workarounds" in the existing law "with a little bit more co-ordination within government," Forcese said in an interview.

The spy agency's memo seems "to belie the whole justification for the controversial information-sharing regime" in the government's subsequent anti-terrorism bill, he said.

The office of Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney had no immediate comment on the documents.


 

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Rocky Mountains said:
Justin Trudeau's Concession Speech?

"Justin Trudeau: I'll end ISIS combat mission, restore relations with Iran"

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/justin-trudeau-ill-end-isis-231934956.html

I see he inherited his old man's backbone.

If he's trying for the Arab Muslim vote - they hate Iran more than they hate Israel.

It is a completely valid approach, and refreshing in its intellectual honesty
 

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Glad to see the NDP has reaffirmed its policies to fan the candle of QC separatism.  I was afraid it was almost snuffed.
 

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PPCLI Guy said:
It is a completely valid approach, and refreshing in its intellectual honesty


I agree.

I oppose Canadian involvement in the Arab-Persian/Iranian morass because I cannot see any strategic imperative, and vital national interest at stake. Is IS** a barbaric organization? Yes ... but the fact remains that it is just one of many in the world and we, Canada, stand idly by when equally barbarity happens elsewhere.

The mistake M Trudeau made was tactical, not strategic. Valid as his policy might be ~ and I would withdraw trainers, too, if it was up to me, he needed to enunciate it in a far, far better way. I'm pretty sure he was briefed on the likely question ~ the latest IS** atrocities were "news," after all ~ and it was, in its way, a "softball" question: designed to allow him to give a thoughtful answer. Instead he "shot from then lip" and gave David Akin the right, even duty to say, "No, it is hardly a nonsensical question for a reporter — or a voter this campaign season — to ask, given all of this, what would it take to get either Trudeau or Mulcair to support real military action." And, of course, this was a "natural" consequence:

11222735_10153433457924204_5857503700292514120_o.jpg


The right answer was, something like: "Terry, Canadians have 'values' that we, Liberals, share, and they do not involve sending our military, in penny packets, into every local "hotspot" that might win us a few votes, here and there. Yes, IS** are barbarians, but they need to be stopped in the Middle East by Middle Eastern powers, and those Middle Eastern powers are rich and well armed, Terry ~ able to fight their own battles on their own home ground."
 

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Someone ~ I cannot find the reference now ~ said, within the last 48 hours, that the Liberals are overreacting, now, and rolling out too much policy, too fast. His important policy statement on Canada-US relations was, for example, sandwiched in between his electoral reform policy release and his "nonsense" remarks on CBC TV and it's now "lost" in the noise.

I suspect that assessment is right and I'm guessing that there must be some HUGE tactical disagreements within "Team Trudeau:" real fear, perhaps, that Prime Minister Harper and M Mulcair are going to make it a two horse race.
 
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