Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 The Year Of Trudeau

As the Liberal Party prepares to begin it's latest leadership race, polls show that Justin Trudeau could win a majority government in the next election if he is crowned leader. This all but guarantees his coronation this spring. The other leadership candidates would be advised not to borrow too much money in a futile race with an all but certain outcome. While I might have trouble believing these polling results, their mere existence will unquestionably be enough to put Justin over the top. He'll get the lion's share of the media spotlight for the foreseeable future, probably more than NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.

It would be interesting to know what proportion of these 40% of Canadians who would vote for a Trudeau led Liberal Party are saying so just on the nostalgia of name recognition, and how many have actually been following Justin's career in parliament? Many of us who have been following his career in the House of Commons closely have unfavourable opinions of the kid. He has a temper, a tendency to speak of himself in the third person, and he holds policy positions that are farther to the left than most viable candidates. If he had a dog named Kyoto, it wouldn't surprise me.

How will Thomas Mulcair handle a Trudeau victory? The two will never need to work together to collapse the government, since we have a majority and the next election will be on Stephen Harper's terms. There is no question that a resurgence of the Liberal Party will take a giant bite out of the NDP caucus, and one assumes that Mr. Mulcair would indeed like to become Prime Minister. Does Tommy Boy play nice, or does Tom play to win? Your guess is as good as mine.

In the meantime, I'm assigning a 95% probability that Justin Trudeau will be the next leader of the Liberal Party. Who wins the next federal election? That is still too far away to start making predictions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good Riddance Puny Penny!

When it was first announced that the penny was being eliminated from circulation, I was skeptical. Rounding up or down to the nearest nickel is a less efficient unit of measure, and it won't take long for businesses to start setting their prices to exploit the inefficiency and take more of our money than they would have otherwise. Then there are all the charities who depend on people's disdain for loose change, people who are all too happy to drop those annoying pennies in the collection jar.

All that being said, here we are three days into the penny's official elimination, and I love it! I prefer cash transactions, and am very quickly becoming enamoured with our new penny free society. This morning stopping for breakfast on my way to work the cashier tried to give me 2 pennies, which I refused and said "sorry, I don't accept pennies anymore". Sure it cost me two cents, but it felt really good.

Good job Stephen Harper!