Friday, August 24, 2012

CRTC Fines Liberal Party For Illegal Robocalls

It is nice to see that the Liberal party has been fined for making illegal and misleading robocalls during the last election in the riding of Guelph, breaking election rules. Interesting though that the penalty is coming from the broadcast regulator, and not the electoral regulator (which did not consider the matter worth investigating). Elections Canada is far too pre-occupied with the hunt for Pierre Poutine to actually reprimand the third place party for breaking the rules. The CRTC seems to take the enforcement of rules and regulations more seriously. But hey, what's wrong with paid partisan phone calls pretending to be from a regular citizen and not from a political party? Some might call that fraud, others might call it an accidental misunderstanding.

Don't forget, Valeriote had the biggest vote gain of any Liberal in Canada over 2008. He jumped from 32% to 43% while his party was decimated, his leader defeated. Whatever Frank did, you can't argue that he got strong results. With Liberals collapsing all around him in apocalyptic fashion, Frank gained ground. Good job Frank.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Here Comes The PQ!

The slow painful death of Jean Charest's political career in Quebec appears to have finally reached its end, while the separatist Parti Quebecois is poised to recapture the reigns of power lost in 2003. This is by no means a sign that another referendum will be coming anytime soon, but rather an indicator of the weakness of alternative choices. Charest did prove to be a survivor winning 3 elections, a difficult feat for any Premier in any province. But that elusive 4th victory is proving to be out reach. The surprise is not that the PQ is ahead, but that Pauline Marios, not Gilles Duceppe, is leading the way. I really thought Gilles would be the one leading the mothership back to glory, but evidently his larger than life federal persona did not translate into popularity in sovereignty's circles.

Is this the end of Charest's political career? Well there is a power vacuum at the top of the federal Liberal Party. If he has interest in taking a shot at the Prime Minister's job in 2015, his best chance at leadership of a major party would be Liberal. Granted, I still don't believe Bob Rae is giving up his best chance to lead a major federal party into an election, despite what he has announced. I'll believe it when we get to the next election and Rae is not running for the top job. That being said, in the event that Rae does not run, there's a strong chance that the Liberals will choose a leader from Quebec to try and take power and seats away from the NDP (good luck with that).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney And Ryan: The Economic Dream Team

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced his running mate for the November election, Congressman Paul Ryan, head of the House Budget Committee. Many pundits are calling this a "risky" selection, as the Ryan agenda to slash government spending has earned him the ire of many Democrats. Despite how Democrats and media people feel about the new VP candidate, he is the perfect selection. Romney has no choice but to fight the election on the economy and government spending. His own greatest strength is his business acumen, so it makes perfect sense to double down on the budgetary portfolio, a file that nobody knows better than Paul Ryan.

Frankly, I would argue that there is no such thing as a "safe pick". Romney is going to face a trial by fire during this election campaign, regardless of his VP selection. There was a significant risk to every possible candidate, so best to select the optimal choice to fight economic battle that Romney has to fight. Joe Biden is going to struggle mightily when he has to face Ryan in the VP debates. Romney was already facing an uphill battle with Obama ahead in the polls. Of the last 4 times an incumbent President has run for a second term, 3 of them have won re-election. Under Obama's watch, Bin Laden was killed and Gitmo is still operating. If you try to fight Obama on national security, he can counter with having issued the order to kill America's #1 enemy. The economy and the budget have to be center stage, and if it is, Romney/Ryan have a better chance of winning.