Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 Polling

Here are the results from your January poll questions. You would most like to see Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin on the November Presidential ballot, though that is unlikely to happen. 8% of you are interested in the new vacation packages being offered by North Korea, 4% have watched the NDP leadership debates. 81% of you think it is unfair to the other leadership candidates if a potential leader is also serving in the interim role, and 82% consider Elizabeth May to be an Environmental radical.


Yes, major changes (63%)
Yes, minor changes (29%)
No change at all (6%)
Undecided (2%)


No (89%)
Yes (11%)
Undecided (0%)


Sarah Palin (19%)
Herman Cain (10%)
Marco Rubio (9%)
2nd Place Finisher (likely Romney or Gingrich) (9%)
None of the above (9%)
Chris Christie (8%)
Rick Santorum (7%)
Ron Paul (7%)
Rudy Giuliani (5%)
Rand Paul (3%)
Mike Huckabee (3%)
Bobby Jindal (1%)


Newt Gingrich (46%)
Mitt Romney (20%)
Ron Paul (10%)
Rick Santorum (9%)
Barak Obama (7%)
Undecided (5%)


No (96%)
Yes (4%)


No (89%)
Yes (8%)
Undecided (3%)


Merged Lib-Dipper Party (64%)
Liberal (20%)
Undecided (8%)
NDP (6%)


Something to keep the CBC busy (57%)
Bob Rae coronation (18%)
Waste of time and money (17%)
Liberal convention (5%)
Undecided (1%)


No (53%)
Yes (44%)
Undecided (3%)


No (81%)
Yes (18%)
Undecided (1%)


Yes (82%)
Who is Elizabeth May? (13%)
No (5%)


No (79%)
Yes, only if it's free (15%)
Yes, even if I have to pay (4%)
Undecided (1%)


No (85%)
Yes (13%)
Undecided (2%)


No (54%)
Yes (31%)
Undecided (13%)


No (85%)
Yes (10%)
Undecided (4%)


Planet outlives Mayan calendar (49%)
Allison Redford loses election (11%)
NDP polling below 20% (11%)
Bob Rae remains laregely unchallenged for Liberal leadership (8%)
Republicans take back Senate (4%)
Assad regime ousted in Syria (2%)
Putin remains in charge of Russia (2%)
Romney defeated by Obama (2%)
None of these things will happen (2%)
Hostilities with Iran (2%)
Sid Crosby plays fewer than 30 games (0%)
No hostilities with North Korea (0%)
Irwin Cotler will not retire (0%)

Romney Wins Big In Florida

As the results pour in from the critically important Florida primary, it has become clear that Mitt Romney has won the state by a large margin. Newt Gingrich had all the momentum following a big win in South Carolina, securing endorsements from Sarah Palin and Herman Cain. Either those plugs benefited Romney more than Gingrich, or Newt's brilliant idea to colonize the moon did not go over as well as expected. Florida has by far the most delegates of any state thus far in the primaries, and is a big prize for the Mormon millionaire. As of right now with 81% of county's reporting, Romney has 47%, Newt 32%, Santorum 13%, and Paul 7%.

I have never been a fan of Mitt Romney, but believe he has the best chance of defeating Obama. Republicans need to attract people who voted for Obama in the last election. Romney is almost a carbon copy of John Kerry (minus the military service), where Gingrich is much more of a John McCain (again minus the military service). Besides, every time I hear the name Newt, I'm reminded of a centaur from a bad Hercules cartoon from the 60s. If we're lucky, Romney will pick up Newt's colonize the moon plan, allowing Gingrich to go quietly into the night instead of trying to help Obama win re-election.

I would like to run a poll question regarding Newt's biggest weakness and one for Mitt's biggest weakness. Your suggestions are welcome.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Parliament Is Back!

Canadian Parliament is back in session after a lengthy winter vacation, so please try to contain your enthusiasm. Here's what you can expect in the immediate future; the NDP will go bananas on pensions making exaggerated speculative speeches and proclamations that are more fear mongering than actual facts. You won't hear the NDP propose sustainable solutions to a real problem, then again, that's nothing new for the Dippers. Nearly two more months with Nicole Turmel at the helm means that Bob Rae and the Liberals will surely continue to siphon support from the slowly crumbling NDP.

Bobby will be selective in his battles, but the longer he's the alternative voice to Nicole Turmel, the more the NDP will bleed support to the Liberals. I'm trying to get a bet going with "Pundit's Guide" that the NDP will do worse in the next federal election regardless of who wins the leadership. I'm even offering odds. Let's face it, for as much as I dislike Bob Rae, he is a far more deft politician than anyone in the NDP caucus. There has to be at least a few Dippers that wish Bob were running for the NDP leadership instead of the Liberals.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Preaching Pension Reform To Europeans

Why are some people so pissed off that Prime Minister Stephen Harper included pension reform in a speech to European economic leaders? Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse, due in no small part to an unsustainable public pension system and aging work force. The Canadian and European economies are closely linked, and if the Eurozone crumbles, it will have a significant negative effect on Canada. Frankly I'm happy that Mr Harper took that opportunity to discuss this globally important subject to that particular crowd. The NDP has been burning a lot of calories slamming the PM about where the words were spoken, but none of them have a decent answer for how we address these systemic problems.

There have also been gross exaggerations in the media and among opposition members about what exactly Harper said in Davos and the magnitude of the proposed changes. Brian Lilley wrote a great piece yesterday on his blog regarding this subject.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What About Canadian Pensions Needs To Change?

Stephen Harper's recent announcement that Canada's pension system needs an overhaul elicited an angry response from a number of different groups. Today I'd like to ask two poll questions: 1) Should the age of pension eligibility be slowly raised from 65 to 67? 2) Should public sector pensions be scaled back (including those of MPs)? The proposal that civil service pensions be reduced drew the ire of the usual suspects; while the suggestion that the retirement benefit eligibility age be raised produced criticism from across the spectrum. It would be very interesting to see how parliament would vote on legislation to reduce their own pensions. The NDP would surely vote against it, and the Conservatives could certainly gain significant respect for passing that bill.

Regardless of the changes, the government says they will be "grandfathered in" over time, not affecting those currently retired or nearing retirement age. The Tories are looking at the longer term, with Canada's population over the age of 65 expected to nearly double in the next 20 years. Canada currently spends %2.4 of GDP on Old Age Security, which is decent considering Italy spends %14 of GDP on public pensions.

I'm 32 years old. My greatest concern is what's going to happen when I turn 50 and 30%-40% of the Canadian population is retired. If we don't make some changes, we're not going to be able to pay for that.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Canada Need Pension Reform?

Today's poll question; does the Canadian pension system need to be reformed? Do we need major changes, minor tweaking, or no change at all? There are several options on the table, like bumping back the age of eligibility, reducing public sector pensions (which should include members of parliament), even making a major overhaul of CPP. Prime Minister Stephen Harper today addressed world leaders at Davos Switzerland and announced that there would be "major transformations" in the Canadian system coming soon. With any luck the world will take notice, as European financial collapse could be avoided if they follow Harper's leadership and "Canadianize" their own finances.

Wouldn't it be great if Stephen Harper were Prime Minister of the World? We are truly blessed to have him in control right now, and we've got him for at least 3 more years, regardless of the *bleep* complaining that comes from the opposition. Regarding pensions, one of the best things we can do is develop our resource infrastructure, where the CPP undoubtedly has an equity position. It will increase our national wealth by bringing in trillions of dollars in foreign money over the next 30 years. Filibustering the oil sands might be popular with the NDP, but it would have a serious negative impact on our country's financial future. If Meghan Leslie gets her way, we'll be unlikely to meet our existing pension obligations. Personally I don't think bumping back the age of eligibility is going to be very popular.

I asked this question in Oct 2010:


70+ (23%)
55 (16%)
60 (15%)
30 (9%)
64 (8%)
68 (7%)
62 (5%)
66 (5%)
50 (4%)
40 (2%)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Newt To Colonize The Moon

Thus far in the campaign to select a Republican nominee to face Obama in a battle for the White House, I have been skeptical of Newt Gingrich. But today he officially won me over by promising to build a permanent base on the moon by the end of his 2nd term. Sign me up for Team Newt, and let's go to the moon! YEAH! Finally a Presidential nominee serious about space exploration that we can get excited about, capturing the imagination of Trekkies and nerds around the globe.

My sincere apologies if I was not fair in my initial opinion of the future Republican President, this totally makes up for it and I genuinely hope he wins. Now it doesn't seem so ridiculous to have put "golfing on the moon" on my bucket list...though at the time it seemed very unrealistic...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nycole Turmel Does The Rounds Ahead Of Parliament's Return

Parliament must be returning soon, as today NDP leader Nycole Turmel did the rounds in the media and politics shows previewing the upcoming session. She certainly seems like a nice lady, but wow the NDP can't pick a new leader fast enough. It is painful to listen to her try to speak English. Parliament resumes January 31st and the NDP will choose a new leader on March 24th. That leaves two more months of bleeding support to Bob Rae's Liberals until there's a change at the top.

Good luck with that!

Ann Coulter Doesn't Like Newt Gingrich

Ann Coulter really doesn't like Newt Gingrich. She's endorsing Romney as the only candidate who can beat Obama, and is miffed that Newt managed to win the Carolina primary. See the video below for her full argument on why Gingrich is the wrong candidate for the Republicans in this election. Coulter, you may recall, once said she'd rather vote for Hillary Clinton than John McCain. That was at the beginning of the 2008 primary process. She said she would campaign for Hillary if McCain was the Republican candidate. McCain went on to lose the election.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Aboriginal Uprising Inevitable" If Harper Doesn't "Do Better"

A Canadian Native leader suggested today that an aboriginal uprising would be inevitable if Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't "do better" in meetings scheduled for Tuesday. Among the demands of the Aboriginal leaders are for a "revisiting" of Paul Martin's five billion dollar Kelowna Accord and the right of "consent" on major industrial projects. You might recall the Kelowna Accord from the dying days of the Paul Martin regime, after Martin's alliance with the NDP had crumbled, an election was inevitable, and Paul was touring the country desperately dumping promises of money to everybody. His government fell 3 days after Kelowna. Paul's attempt to "buy" the election ultimately failed, and he was voted out of office 2 months after his "landmark" Accord.

Aboriginal leaders should be more cautious with their words, as they do have considerable influence over their communities. Suggesting that there could be an "uprising" if meetings don't produce a better deal can create a self fulfilling prophecy. Making that statement increases the likelihood that it happens, and feels more like a threat than honest negotiation. Instead of asking a poll question about an aboriginal uprising, I'll ask if the Kelowna Accord should be revisited. By the way, the name "Kelowna Accord" was first coined by the Toronto Star a week after the "agreement", during the election campaign.

I would like some more clarification on what precisely the Native leaders mean when they demand "consent" of major industrial projects. Do they not already have the right of consent to projects that are on their land? Or are we talking about projects anywhere near a Native reserve or land dispute? I'm already having nightmares of Caledonia...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Who Should Be The Republican Nominee For Vice President?

The race to lead the Republican Party in the next Presidential election is now down to a two horse race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Who should be the nominee for Vice President? Should it be whichever of the two main candidates finishes in second place, going with a Gingrich/Romney ticket? It would be difficult for either Mitt or Newt to name their rival as their running mate given the bitter attacks that have been flying back and forth since the campaign started. Rick Santorum is probably the most likely VP candidate out of the people still running for the top job. Ron Paul would make for an interesting running mate and I'd surely tune in to watch him debate Biden, but I doubt Paul will get the nod.

Should the VP nominee be a person who did not run in a 2012 primary? Herman Cain deserves some consideration, and he could attract votes from Stephen Colbert fans. There are a number of quality options; Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Rand Paul, Rudy Giuliani, even Sarah Palin. I'm not sure that Palin is interested in another run at VP or if she's got her eye on 2016. My preference would be either Rudy or Pawlenty.

This will be the subject of a webpoll in about an hour or two. Before I do, am I forgetting anybody?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Next President Of The United States?

If you had to choose the President of the United States from the following list of candidates, who would it be; Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, or Barak Obama? I'm doing my own little straw poll going into the Carolina primaries. Thus far this Republican leadership race has seen the main candidates spend so much time attacking each other that they are damaging the brand. I ran a similar poll back in November (see below) when there were more candidates, and Herman Cain won the most of your votes. Now that the field is down to 4 Republicans, I may as well add Obama's name and ask you to choose a President.


Herman Cain (30%)
Newt Gingrich (24%)
Mitt Romney (17%)
None of the above (7%)
Ron Paul (6%)
Undecided (5%)
Rick Perry (2%)
Michele Bachman (2%)
Rick Santorum (1%)
John Huntsman (1%)

This poll was taken in the immediate aftermath of Rick Perry's memory fart in a debate. Gingrich has been under attack for his infidelity, Romney under attack for being a successful businessman who likes to fire people, while Santorum and Paul have made the biggest gains over the past 3 months. Newt is hands down the best debater, and may have won Carolina for his spat with the CNN moderator last night. Romney looked unstoppable a week ago when Newt was attacking his success in business, but is starting to lose momentum, especially now that he has lost Iowa. Santorum is just a younger, less polished version of Mike Huckabee. Last night on Fox someone pointed out that 50% of Ron Paul supporters don't have a second choice.

Who would you vote for?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

NDP Leadership Debates: Paying Attention Yet?

It may feel to us political junkies like the NDP has been hosting debates every single weekend, but they have been getting remarkably little news coverage or media attention. Today's poll question; have you watched any of the NDP leadership debates? Thus far the consensus (outside NDP circles) has been that they are very boring with too much agreeing, where no one candidate is distinguishing him or herself in either a good or bad way. The whole thing is disinteresting, but frankly, who can blame them? They are all too paranoid about making a mistake to say anything provocative or interesting; unfortunately it takes something on that level to get people to take notice. If you are too concerned with avoiding a "do you think it is easy to make priorities" moment, you end up with boring crap nobody cares to watch leading to a lack of significant news coverage.

That being said, the worst possible case is what's happening to the Republican Party right now in the United States. They are basically tearing themselves apart from within. Newt Gingrich is doing more to help get Obama re-elected than Obama is (who doesn't want an open marriage, right Newt). So yes, there are examples of how infighting in leadership contests can derail the future electability of the entire party. The Dippers are right to be cautions, but going too far the other way creates bad television that nobody cares to see. Don't be afraid to throw some punches guys. That's how you get people to pay attention.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Mark Carney A Liberal?

When exactly did Mark Carney become a candidate to lead the Liberal Party? I wasn't even aware that the Bank of Canada Governor was a Liberal, let alone a contender for their leadership. From the 30 minutes of research I did on Google, it looks like Lawrence Martin (the not so trusted author of "Harperland: the politics of control") just pulled the idea out of his ass one day and others have since used that to speculate that Carney could run for Liberal leader. Now he's even being included in EKOS polls regarding the leadership race, enthusiastically reported by Jane Taber:

"And just to stir the pot, Mr. Graves threw Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney into the mix.

Some pundits, like The Globe’s Lawrence Martin, have suggested the central banker could become Liberal leader after the next election."

Did anyone ever think to ask Mark Carney? Should somebody ask him to set the record straight? Quite a number of journalists and bloggers have since reported about the possibility of Carney running for the Liberals, and those voices are coming from the left. It's spreading, due in large part to the number of Liberals desperate for a respectable candidate.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NDP Dirty Tricks

The NDP has been bombarding a Quebec riding with automated phone messages calling for a non-existent byelection, and I don't see any outrage at the CBC over NDP "dirty tricks". They have a "robo-phone" calling every household in the riding criticizing the sitting MP and demanding a byelection. Classy. The Dippers feel it justified because they originally won the riding, or at least Jack Layton did. It is the legal right of MPs to sit with their party of choice. If she only ran because of Layton and Jack is gone, then it is her right to choose a new party. That's a Canadian tradition, a part of our heritage going all the way back to the government of Sir John A MacDonald.

The Dippers are acting like a terrible offense was committed against them, which they feel justifies assailing the people of St-Maurice-Champlain with phone spam. Or they are over-reacting with the goal of discouraging other discouraged MPs from crossing to another Party. She'll run in the next election, so voters will eventually have the chance to boot her from office if they so choose. Though historically, floor crossers tend to perform well in their next election with their new party.

North Korean Vacations

Great news for travelers out there, as North Korea will be opening its borders to international tourism. Sure, cell phones will be confiscated and you will have two government "chaperons" following you everywhere; but you will finally get the opportunity to experience this beautiful utopia in the flesh. Who wouldn't want to golf the same course where Dear Leader famously shot 11 holes in one in a single round? The amusement park "POW Land" is still in the planning stages...

All joking aside, it is a step in the right direction that the North Koreans will start letting people in; but it remains unclear how many they are going to let out. I'm sure most tourists will be allowed to leave, but question how many North Korean citizens will be permitted to vacation abroad. Anyone planning to visit North Korea should go to great lengths to memorize all of their laws inside and out. The last place you want to end up is in a North Korean prison without your phone.

Today's poll question; are you interested in taking a vacation to North Korea?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Liberals Or NDP Greater Electoral Threat?

Today's poll question in the aftermath of the Liberal convention, err Bob Rae coronation; which party represents the greatest threat to the Conservatives in the next Canadian federal election? There are some on the right who would like to see a modest revival of the Liberal party because they are frightened about the NDP sitting in opposition as the "government in waiting". However a strong Liberal party is a greater threat to seduce the Tory left flank than a strong NDP. It is about choosing the lesser of two evils. The most likely outcome of the next election is probably a Tory minority that will see the opposition vote against the throne speech and ask to form government. Whichever of the Liberals or Dippers wins the most seats in that scenario will get the keys to 24 Sussex.

I believe that another Tory majority in the next election is more likely than either the Liberals or NDP finishing in first place alone. This will be especially true if both screw up their leadership races. The NDP are a virtual lock to select a less popular leader than their previous guy, whereas for the Liberals, just about anybody will be stronger than Ignatieff. I'm hoping that Gerard Kennedy runs. As a Conservative with every intention of voting as a $0 "supporter" in the Liberal leadership race, Gerard would get my vote for sure. Gerry has the opposite of the "Midas touch", as everything he touches turns to s**t. He still has a 0% chance of winning if he does enter the race, unless he can get enough votes from Tory moles trying to scorch the earth.

Come on guys, we can do this!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dream Of Liberal Primaries Dead

Yesterday the Liberals voted that anyone will be able to walk in off the street and vote for their next leader (for free), but today shattered my dream of Liberal primaries coast to coast to coast that all Canadians could attend. Now if "supporters" want to vote for the next Stephane Dion, they will be forced to travel to a convention. Dammit! Then again, the last time the Liberals held a leadership convention, they did a pretty good job of screwing it up themselves without any help from so called "supporters". Much now depends on where they decide to hold this convention, as Conservatives in that city will be able to walk in off the street and vote for their "favourite" candidate. This likely means that the convention will be in Montreal or Toronto.

Not only Conservatives will be voting on the next Liberal leader, but Dippers will also have the opportunity to vote for their man Bob Rae. By killing the primary idea, they will make it more difficult for Tories and Dippers to scorch their earth, but will also damage the party's ability to grow in the West. The Liberals desperately need to add to their ranks, and holding mini-conventions in every city would have provided an opportunity to attract new supporters by focusing on local issues. Granted this could all be rendered moot if Bobby figures out a way to secure permanent leadership before a convention even takes place.

Also today, Sheila Copps healthy sex life was not enough to win her the party presidency, and the Liberals voted to legalize weed. It is unlikely though that it will appear in the party's next platform, as Bob Rae was granted unilateral power to determine what policies will be in the next Red Book (we may have to call it an orange book). The legalization of marijuana will only be in the platform if Bob Rae decides to make it so. We'll see.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rae's Coronation Or Liberal Convention?

If you haven't been watching Bob Rae's coronation disguised as a convention, don't worry, you haven't missed much. Highlights from Saturday include Justin Trudeau shaving and an announcement from Sheila Copps that she still has a satisfactory sex life (more specifically, "it isn't bad"). Will the "I can still get laid" strategy help her win the election to become party President? We'll find out soon enough. It's nothing if not original.

This whole event feels more like the coronation of Bob Rae than it does a Liberal convention about renewal. If by renewal you mean more Bob Rae and Sheila Copps, then okay. But under those leaders the word renew is more like renewing an overdue library book than to "make new again".

Today's poll question; do you feel this weekend's gathering of Liberals is: 1) Liberal convention, 2) Bob Rae coronation, 3) waste of time and money, 4) something to keep the CBC busy, 5) I don't care

Friday, January 13, 2012

Well Done Andrew Coyne

While it is true that I was not nearly as excited about Andrew Coyne's return to the National Post as the National Post was, tonight he authored a magnificent piece about the shoddy journalism that went bananas yesterday over the phony gay marriage conspiracy story. This was better than anything he wrote for MacLeans.

"This week’s media meltdown over same-sex marriage for foreign tourists was one of the more disgraceful episodes in the long history of phoney controversies in this country: a toxic mix of shrewd lawyering, shoddy reporting and partisan opportunism, all without the slightest reference to the relevant, and easily obtainable, facts."

Eliminating Election Blackout Law

Twitterers rejoice, in the next election you may write whatever you want on the internet about election results as they are known because the Tories will scrap the election result blackout law before the next vote. When the law was drafted in 1938 the concern was that results from the east could influence votes in the west, which is mostly theoretical. It is plausible that knowing the results could affect how some people vote, or if they even show up at all; but it is next to impossible to measure empirically (especially regarding undecided voters). Last election I turned on CBC Newsworld when the polls closed out east, and they broadcast a few minutes of results from Atlantic Canada that looked very favourable for the Liberals (a party in fact en route to one of their worst election results in their history).

It is next to impossible to enforce the election blackout law in the modern age, so it makes sense to scrap the outdated legislation. My question is why not have Elections Canada withhold eastern results until the polls close in the west? Boo hoo, so Ontario would have to wait 3 hours to get election results. This will not cause any pain or suffering. It is far easier to gag Elections Canada workers than it is to gag the internet.How lifting the blackout would affect undecided voters is anyone's guess.

Today's poll question; Is it possible that releasing eastern election results before all polls close could affect how some westerners cast their votes? I agree with the government that the existing blackout has to go, but I believe that Elections Canada should delay releasing results until the polls close in Vancouver.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Legalize Foreign Gay Divorce!

It is unfortunate that when the Liberals legalized gay marriage they did not make it easier for gay foreigners to get divorced, even if those unions are not recognized where they live. Irwin Cotler really dropped the ball (maybe he should consider retirement). Twas a bit insane how the media caught fire today speculating about a Tory secret plan to crush gay marriage because a foreign couple filed a legal claim against a provision in the law that denied them a divorce. The crown attorney (independent of the PMO) tried to make a case defending our Liberal law as it exists, and suddenly the Stephen Harper conspiracy theorists went bananas. What the f**k?

I have no objection to gays getting married, and I have no objection to them getting divorced. What seems ridiculous to me is that this case is even before our courts. The places these two live never recognized the original marriage, so spending money to have it reversed serves an entirely symbolic purpose. It doesn't legally affect their lives at home, because there, it never legally happened. Gay foreign divorce is legal in Canada, provided you have lived here for a year, these two did not. Why the Liberals put that in the law, I have no idea. So if Stephen Harper wants to appease those in the media upset about this, is his only recourse to fully legalize gay foreign divorce? Would that shut up the conspiracy theorists?

This feels oddly similar to that time when Ignatieff blew a gasket because the government decided not to fund foreign abortions as part of a maternal health initiative abroad, and the media spun it as the Conservatives trying to re-open the abortion debate. Same shit, different day. It's not like we need to protect the sanctity of divorce. Like a moth to the flame, Evan Soloman's poll question today was "Do you believe the federal government is trying to reopen the debate on same-sex marriage?" 67% of his audience voted yes.

If Bob Rae Wants To Run For Leader, He Should Resign Interim Job

If what many people believe is true and Bob Rae intends to break his promise and run for permanent Liberal leadership, then he has an ethical obligation to resign from the interim job. Staying in the leader's job while he campaigns for full time status provides him with an unfair advantage over his competitors (should any ever arise). Being the leader (even if it is for the 3rd place party) means he gets more face time on television and holds enough levers of power to advance his interests ahead of the other hopefuls. Having that power might also discourage others from entering the race. That's a big reason that the party made him promise that if he becomes the temporary leader that he would not run for the permanent job. There's nothing wrong if he has ambition to be leader. If he wants the job he should run for it, but do so fairly.

Today's poll question; is it fair to the other competitors if a political leadership candidate holds the interim position of party leader?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bob Rae Fighting Words!

Today Bob Rae gave a rousing speech ahead of the Liberal convention that he's ready to fight back against Stephen Harper's attacks. He's ready to drop the gloves with the big bad wolf, except that I'm not aware of any coordinated campaign "attacking" him, certainly not in the same manner as Ignatieff. Most of the chatter right now are from bloggers and pundits complaining about the things he says and does. Why would the Tories waste time and money attacking the TEMPORARY leader of the 3rd place party when they are in the first year of a four year majority? Aren't you stepping down in 2013 Bob? Isn't that the promise you made in order to get the leader's job?

This speech today about fighting back against attacks is more about rallying the troops for the convention and trying to get attention than it is about making on honest appraisal of the political climate. He needs to win some hearts and minds in his own party, because there's a reason he was made to promise he would not run for permanent leader if he became temporary leader. In terms of campaigning to get the job, it is an unfair advantage, even if you're only just leading a third place party.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead"

Ouch, now that's cold. It was not a statement by Ezra Levant or a Blogging Tory, but rather a floor crossing Dipper. It is unlikely that Lise St Denis intended to offend her former NDP colleagues when she made that statement as her explanation for defecting to the Liberals, but that's still a low blow when it comes from your own side. What's frightening for the NDP is how many other MPs or NDP voters are thinking the exact same thing? Once the mourning period has passed and the Dippers begin evaluating their situation more pragmatically, they're gonna start to see that life after Jack will not be smooth sailing, especially in Quebec. Polling has already started to indicate that Dipper support has been slipping in Quebec since Jack's passing, where their remarkable gains were based on the cult of his personality.

How many of the NDP's 4.5 million voters actually voted for Jack Layton instead of the NDP? More than a few, and clearly this is on the minds of the MPs now sitting parliament. The last time the NDP fought an election without Jack was 2000, when they had a little over 1 million votes (ergo 3 out of 4 current NDP voters only decided to "go orange" after Jack became leader). Outside of Quebec the NDP has a more established party infrastructure to fall back on, but in la belle province, not so much. They made rapid gains in a short period of time because Jack Layton was such a likable guy and he dominated Gilles Duceppe in the French debates. Anyone who looks at the cast of characters now running to replace Layton can understand why Dippers have cause for concern. There are no Jack Laytons in that field. Good luck with Brian Topp.

We'll see if Lise is required to learn the national anthem before officially becoming a Liberal...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Environmental Radicals

Today Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver released an open letter about the development our oil infrastructure which included the "controversial" statement; "unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade." I'm not sure that the minister was trying to characterize all environmental groups as radical, but that is not how the CBC's Evan Soloman saw it today. This topic consumed most of his program with their question of the day being "is it fair for Joe Oliver to characterize environmental groups as radical?" Eventually it led to speculation that the government is waging war on the environment. Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion were lead guests, and Mark Holland even showed up for a rant.

For my poll question, I'd like to know if you think Elizabeth May is a radical. The word radical doesn't imply violence, but rather a person who advocates far reaching opinions. Certainly conservatives are often characterized as radicals by the left, so their furious response to the minister's statement is somewhat hypocritical. Stay tuned, Evan insists he's going to be following this story very closely this week, as parliament is in recess and he has precious little else to talk about. You might remember Mr Oliver from Meghan Leslie's "if being a grumpy old makes you an expert" comment in Question Period not long ago, though sources tell me he has not yet been called a piece of shit.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Would You Attend Liberal Primaries?

Today's poll question; are you interested in attending a Liberal primary near you to vote on their next leader? The Liberals are holding a convention in the coming weeks to decide which process they will use to choose Bob Rae to lead the party into the next election. Right now the popular idea is to hold American style primaries in a number of cities and provinces. I'm definitely interested in attending the Vancouver primary to vote for the next Stephane Dion, but only on the condition that it is free to vote. I'm not giving a penny to the Liberal party, but absolutely I'd show up to help them choose their leader if given the opportunity.

Since this primary process is a potentially expensive proposition for the nearly bankrupt Liberals, it is unlikely that there would be free admission to cast a vote. The most likely method would be selling $10 or $20 memberships for the right to vote in order to help them pay for the process. The more expensive they make it, the fewer people will show up. I doubt that the Liberals want Conservatives voting on their leader.

Given that there is an "anybody but Rae" camp within the Liberal party there will be proposed rules to curb the future leader's power. Many of them are afraid at the carnage that would ensue if Bobby were allowed to unilaterally write their party platform heading into the next election campaign, especially regarding mergers and coalitions. Though I imagine that Liberal opposition to a power sharing agreement with the NDP will gradually diminish the longer they are out of power.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Elected Senate Fading Away

The dream of an elected Senate is one that is unlikely to be realized in this Conservative majority. The best we can hope for is term limits because for an elected Senate we need to re-write our constitution and for that we need the provinces. Some provinces want to retain the status quo while others want to abolish the chamber altogether. The re-election of Dalton McGuinty (who favours abolishing the Senate) decreases the likelihood that constitutional reform will pass without a national referendum. Otherwise we need individual provinces to hold their own Senate elections so that the feds can appoint them. Thus far Alberta is the only province to do so.

I'm not happy seeing Stephen Harper appoint new Senators when the Tories already had a Senate majority. I could see the argument in appointing enough Senators to pass term limits, but doing so with the majority doesn't feel right. Yet, there has to be an intersection of ideology and reality where we compromise on what we originally sought to accomplish. If any provinces want to hold elections for Senators (concurrent with municipal or provincial elections), then Stephen Harper will appoint them. If you want to take the road of abolition or nothing at all, then he can appoint whoever he pleases. Abolishing the Senate is far more complicated than abolishing the gun registry.

"How many Harperites does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

"None. They would contract the job out to an ad agency." Ha Ha Ha Ha! Ladies and gentlemen a round of applause for the humour of Liberal leader Bob Rae (via Twitter). Gee, Bobby really missed his true calling as a comedian, though he seems truly oblivious to his own party's rich history of contracting ad agencies. How many ad agencies does it take to promote national unity in Quebec? At least 6. Groupaction Marketing ($1.6M), LafLeur Communication Marketing ($1.3M), Gosselin Relations Publique ($1.3M), Groupe Everest ($1.3M), Vickers and Benson ($250K), and Le Groupe Polygone Editeurs (nearly $40 million dollars in sponsorship funds).

How many Liberals does it take to change a light bulb? I'm sorry, that's a trick question; when sitting in opposition without access to cash stuffed envelopes, they are unable to change any light bulbs. How many cash stuffed envelopes does it take to promote national unity in Quebec? More than we know...

Are You Worried About Our Economy?

This morning on the CBC they were reporting a poll that many Canadians are pessimistic about the state of the economy, which the CBC financial analyst speculated could lead to a "self fulfilling prophecy". That even if the economy is strong relative to the rest of the world, the citizenry need only believe we are experiencing a catastrophe for it to become reality. Today's poll question; do you feel that Canada is in the midst of an economic catastrophe? I'm assuming that Tory supporters are more optimistic about Canada's economic reality than those on the left.

Ultimately the greatest concern for Canada is the potential collapse of the European economy and what the implications of that would mean for us here. But our financial system is very strong and our economy will endure any global crisis better than most countries. This is the time of the year when people are more likely to be pessimistic about their own finances once their credit card bills start coming in from Christmas and retail outlets experience a holiday hangover. But the sky is not falling. You don't need to run to the bank to empty your account, or start hoarding resources.

Canada will be fine, and the right people are in charge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Liberals Seek To Reduce Leader's Power

At next week's Liberal convention, members will be voting on a set of new reforms designed to curb the power of the party's leader. The party must recognize the inevitability of Bob Rae running for permanent leadership and are seeking to reduce his power before he's able to do so. The two major powers they are seeking to eliminate are Rae's ability to unilaterally decide party policy and his ability to bypass individual riding associations to appoint his own candidates. It makes sense for the Liberals to prevent Rae from having these powers before the next election, as the former NDP Premier is a serious risk to enact his Marxist hidden agenda and appoint his cronies who helped make his government one of the most destructive in Canadian history.

This is a smart move for the Liberals. Cut Rae off at the knees before he becomes the permanent leader. At this point does anyone doubt that Bob is going to fight for the full time job?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December 2011 Polling

Here are your polling results from December 2011. There were a number of year in review questions such as the top parliamentarian (Jason Kenney), top news story (Tory majority), and biggest political gaffe (Iggy forcing election). Should gun registry data be shared with the provinces? That question went 92% no on my site, but more shocking was that a majority voted no to a similar question on the CBC website.


Canada's victory in the War of 1812 (93%)
Undecided (4%)
CBC 75th Birthday (1%)
Renaming Strombo Show (1%)


Yes (89%)
I don't eat bananas (6%)
No (5%)


Ignatieff forcing early election (61%)
Redford becomes AB Premier (12%)
Turmel appointed NDP leader (9%)
Christy Clark becomes BC Premier (6%)
Trudeau S-bomb tirade (4%)
Duceppe forcing early election (3%)
Undecided (1%)
Cotler early retirement (0%)
Pat Martin F-bomb tirade (0%)


Jason Kenney (53%)
Jim Flaherty (20%)
John Baird (6%)
Candice Hoeppner (4%)
Jack Layton (3%)
Peter Kent (3%)
Bob Rae (2%)
Peter MacKay (1%)
Rona Ambrose (1%)
Maxime Bernier (1%)
Bev Oda (0%)
Vic Toews (0%)
Leona Aglukkaq (0%)
Tony Clement (0%)
Chris Alexander (0%)


Conservatives win majority (55%)
Japanese disasters (14%)
European debt crisis (10%)
Death of Bin Laden (6%)
Arab spring (4%)
Royal wedding (2%)
Undecided (1%)
Death of Jack Layton (2%)
Death of Kim Jong Ill (2%)
Occupy protests (1%)
Death of Steve Jobs (1%)
Norway shootings (1%)


No (92%)
Yes (6%)
Undecided (2%)


No (92%)
Yes (7%)
Undecided (1%)


Only when convenient (41%)
Very Important (34%)
No concern at all (25%)


Yes (75%)
No (21%)
Undecided (4%)


No (82%)
Yes (14%)
Undecided (4%)


Tom Mulcair (56%)
Undecided (17%)
Brian Topp (6%)
Paul Dewar (6%)
Nathan Cullen (5%)
Niki Ashton (4%)
Romeo Saganash (2%)
Martin Singh (2%)
Robert Chisholm (0%)


Yes (95%)
No (5%)
Undecided (0%)


Yes (96%)
No (4%)
Undecided (0%)


Terry Milewski (43%)
George Stroumboulopoulos (16%)
Evan Soloman (13%)
Mary Walsh (9%)
The cast of This Hour Has 22 Minutes (6%)
Peter Mansbridge (4%)
None of the above (2%)
Zaib Shaikh (Little Mosque) (1%)
Rick Mercer (1%)
Anyone from InSecurity (0%)
Erin Karpluk (Being Erica) (0%)
Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle) (0%)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Will Mitt Romney Ever Be Elected President?

Today's poll question in the wake of the Iowa caucus; will Mitt Romney ever be elected President of the United States? The live results with 97% of Iowa primary precincts reporting has Santorum with a razor thin lead ahead of Mitt. Fox News is currently reporting a dead heat. While Santorum might be the candidate about which I have the fewest complaints (we don't yet know much about him), he's more of a poor man's Mike Huckabee. There's a lot that I like about Ron Paul, but he takes Libertarianism too far for my comfort. He'll never be President, his son maybe.

At this point I'm pretty much convinced Romney will win the eventual nomination. Santorum will ultimately underachieve what Huckabee did last time around. Gingrich might be the smartest politicial mind in the field, but I have some trouble taking him seriously as a legitimate candidate. Rick Perry should drop out of the race as soon as is possible.

My question for you right now, will Romney ever hold the Oval Office?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Does Paul Martin Deserve Induction Into The Order Of Canada?

Six years ago this month Paul Martin retired from politics after 2 years and 56 days as our Prime Minister and now he is being inducted into the Order of Canada. Today's poll question; does he deserve it? Historically most PMs are inducted within roughly 5 years of retirement, though Joe Clark was forced to wait 14 years after leaving office and Kim Campbell waited 15 years. Lester B Pearson had to wait a month before his induction. So the obvious answer to the question is that all the Prime Ministers we've had over the last 50 years are members. If Joe Clark is in, then who can argue against Paul Martin? Or are too many people inducted, thus cheapening the value of the appointment?