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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #125 on: January 08, 2009, 09:52:47 »
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail, is a flattering portrayal of MND Peter MacKay by oft’ reviled Good Grey Globe columnist Lawrence Martin:
--------------------
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090107.wcomartin08/BNStory/politics/home

How Peter got his groove back

LAWRENCE MARTIN

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
January 8, 2009 at 2:43 AM EST

The situation in Afghanistan gets grimmer. Despite Ottawa's stay-the-course confidence of recent years, there's no halt to the perdition. The government, some would think, should be paying a price.

But such is not the case and it's due in part to the steady hand of Peter MacKay at the Defence Department. Under Gordon O'Connor, the well-meaning stumblebum who got canned in 2007, the department lurched from one controversy to another. The young Mr. MacKay, adept at dodging bullets, has set it right.

He came to Defence after heading up Foreign Affairs. With precious little experience abroad, he made some early missteps there. He was such a greenhorn, one wag cracked, that he mistook Mozambique for a calypso band. But he got a handle on the department, something his successor, Mad Max Bernier, was unable to do.

In the recent federal election, rugby-player MacKay was supposed to face stiff competition from Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. Stiff, it hardly was. He ate her granola, emptied her cranberry-juice canteen, moved on.

He's 42, two decades younger than Michael Ignatieff. Highly articulate and TV-friendly, he's arguably the best communicator in the Conservative Party. He easily doubles the charisma of Stephen Harper and Jim Prentice.

The credits don't stop there. Mr. MacKay is the player, along with Mr. Harper, who made today's conservative success happen. He played a pivotal role, some say even greater than Mr. Harper, in the 2003 unification of the party.

All this poses the question. Why is Mr. MacKay, in a party short on front-bench talent, not being touted as the next leader? The explanation isn't hard to find. Chalk it up to those old dark shadows that chase him even into his Nova Scotia church on Sundays.

Many still recall his duplicitous display with David (The Walking Time Bomb) Orchard in the Tory leadership convention of several years ago. To win the prize, Mr. MacKay signed a secret pact with the left-leaning Tory, only to renege on it later. Many will not forget or forgive.

Then there was his hitch-up with Belinda Stronach, who bolted Peter and the party in the black of night to join Paul Martin's Liberals. Being a ladies' man works in politics sometimes, other times not. Bachelor Peter has never been in a league in the stud department with the fabled Charles Tupper, the Nova Scotian who earned the moniker "The Ram of Cumberland." But his image was further tarnished.

Although fast on his feet, Mr. MacKay has also been portrayed as policy-lite. You can walk through his deepest thoughts, critics suggest, without getting your feet wet. They said the same of Ronald Reagan - never noted for being excessively encumbered by mental equipment. At times, Brian Mulroney and Jean Charest got similar knocks.

The setbacks laid Mr. MacKay low and, seen as a rival to Mr. Harper, he wasn't about to be showcased by the Prime Minister's Office. But in the three years of Conservative rule, he has slowly but steadily regained credibility. Away from the cameras, he's chafed a bit at his treatment, once complaining to Mr. Mulroney that he was being left on the sidelines. But for the most part, he's been a loyal soldier, doing his job, staying out of trouble, learning French and gaining valuable experience in important portfolios.

On the East Coast, he's emerging as the dominant political force. David Angus, the highly influential lobbyist, who has noticed the turnaround at the Defence Department, put it this way: "I think Peter's got the opportunity to be the regional powerhouse in taking an area of Canada from shithouse to lighthouse."

MacKay admirer Bob Plamondon, author of the Tory history Full Circle and another, Blue Thunder, which is about to be published, maintains that Mr. MacKay has never been rightly recognized for his role in unifying the party. "I would give him more credit than Harper."

Mr. MacKay's Tories were in better shape than Mr. Harper's Alliance party back then and in a merger, suggests Mr. Plamondon, Mr. MacKay had the most to lose. To go ahead with it, he had to renege on the Orchard pact and sink a Tory party with more than a century of history. Leading the Alliance in the polls at the time and being a strong campaigner, Mr. MacKay might have been able to post a decent showing in an election. "But he accepted the inevitability of unification."

The merger turned out to be a gold mine for Stephen Harper, hardly the same for the Maritimer. But he's begun to work his way out of the shadows, to recapture his once promising image and the ultimate reward may one day come. Father Time - a couple of more decades in politics should he wish it - is on Peter MacKay's side.

--------------------

I agree that MacKay can become the Tory’s leader but I suspect 52 year old Jim Prentice will be the next one.


It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline GAP

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #126 on: January 08, 2009, 10:02:13 »
Mulroney was a dark horse before being selected.....both McKay and Prentiss are possibles, but not for awhile, and not for sure.....
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #127 on: January 08, 2009, 10:07:51 »
He easily doubles the charisma of Stephen Harper and Jim Prentice.

In math, two times zero is still zero.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #128 on: January 09, 2009, 00:41:02 »
Smiling Jack's smile is a bit strained these days...

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/todays-paper/Layton+will+surely+loser/1149584/story.html

Quote
Layton will surely be the big loser
 
By Lorne Gunter, The Edmonton JournalJanuary 7, 2009

The Tory-versus-coalition flap defined Canadian politics this past year. The constitutional crisis caused by the Tories' overreaching attempt to defund their opponents, and the Liberal-NDP-Bloc attempt to overturn the results of an election less than two months after it was held, will be the political event longest remembered from 2008.

And the more I reflect on it, the more I am convinced Jack Layton was the crisis's biggest loser.

If we assume the coalition is dead (and it 99.9 per cent is), then the party and leader who have fallen the farthest back as a result of the power play are the NDP and Layton.

New Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is keeping the possibility of a coalition alive rhetorically because without the threat of the coalition toppling the Tories at the end of this month, the Liberals' bargaining position would be greatly weakened.

Ignatieff would have little chance of convincing the Tories to include his stimuli in the upcoming budget if he announced today that, no matter what, the Liberals will not pull down the government over the budget.

But it is not in even in Ignatieff's interests over the next three to six months to keep the coalition alive.

For his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, the coalition was the only hope he would ever become prime minister. Yet for Ignatieff, the coalition is the biggest impediment to him becoming prime minister and staying in the job.

Can you imagine a new, energetic Liberal leader being saddled with running a government in co-operation with the NDP? One-quarter of his ministers would be under the control of another leader and Ignatieff would have a great interest in keeping them in the dark about Liberal strategy and in keeping them from snatching the credit for popular moves.

In the end, the hodgepodge government would almost certainly fall apart, dissolving in petty bickering and finger-pointing, giving the Tories a running start in the election that would follow.

It's true Ignatieff has other big impediments in his path to 24 Sussex, such as his old New York Times columns championing an American empire and referring to "we" Americans.

And he is also going to have to live down his signature on the coalition agreement that in its first line talks about the coalition being in the best interests of "Canada and Quebec," as if the two were separate nations already.

But Ignatieff will be aided by the infinite malleability of the Liberal conscience. Anything a Liberal does can be forgotten by all other Liberals (and the vast majority of the Parliamentary press gallery), if shoving it down the memory hole is in the best interest of the Liberal party.

For instance, senior Liberal strategist Tom Axworthy has written that Ignatieff's selection gives the Liberals their best chance in a generation of "democratic renewal of the party," even while also admitting that Ignatieff's selection marked the first time since the 19th century that the Liberal rank-and-file played no direct part in choosing the party boss. (interpolation: a real life example of Doublethink; the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs)

Nonetheless, I think the Liberals will turn out to be winners if they back away from the coalition idea, as I suspect they already have. This crisis enabled them to dump an awful leader in Dion and replace him with someone who, no matter his political warts, is instantly a more attractive leader. And it has made the Tories more reluctant to yank the other parties' chains (especially the Liberals') in the Commons.

Stephen Harper and his Tories have slipped as a result of the crisis and the way they provoked it. If nothing else, their shenanigans indirectly led to the early resignation of Dion, who was so bad he had been the Tories' ace in the hole.

Harper could once, with just a glance, send the opposition parties (especially the Liberals) scurrying into a corner of the Commons cowering in fear.

Now they no longer fear him. And it will take a long time, if ever, before he has the full command of the House he enjoyed before the crisis.

Still, it was Layton who suffered most.

First, he had a chance to do the Liberals in and replace them as the default selection on the left had he gone along with the Tories' plan to end public funding to parties. Next to the Tories, the NDP have the best chance of replacing public handouts with private donations. Layton could have crippled the Liberals; instead he tried to vault himself into cabinet by riding into power as the Liberals' shotgun.

Layton was exposed as a self-serving opportunist with no compunction about making a deal with separatists, even weeks before the Tories lit the match on the crisis
.

And with the coalition's demise, Layton is now even further from power than he was before.

The Tories and Harper were undeniably scathed, but Layton and the NDP were hurt the worst.

Lorne Gunter is a columnist with the Edmonton Journal.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #129 on: January 12, 2009, 09:51:25 »
Although the article is about Ignatieff, it tells the larger story of the Liberal's move to the Left:

http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/569245

Quote
Liberals ponder merits of a shift left

Chantal Hébert

OTTAWA

The most fundamental question Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will have to address as he ponders whether coalition-building with the NDP is still worth pursuing is whether the key to the future electoral success of his party lies in moving it further to the left.

If the answer is yes, then Ignatieff has his work cut out for him for he would have to try to turn last month's coalition pact into a stepping-stone towards a historical reconfiguration of the progressive forces on the federal scene.

Under that scenario, the Liberals would spend the time between now and the next campaign striving to unite the left. But if Ignatieff chose that path, Stephen Harper's recent success at reuniting the right would not offer him much of a road map.

The so-called merger between the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative parties was really just a reconciliation between two factions that shared both a common past and a common culture.

Moreover, the Reform/Alliance party was never active at the provincial level. Almost to a man and a woman, its members fought alongside the federal Tories in provincial campaigns.

In contrast, the NDP and the Liberals are political animals whose genetic make-up and historical baggage are strikingly distinct. In most regions of Canada, their differences have been sharpened by years of federal and provincial battles.

That makes even the lesser goal of an electoral coalition between the two as daunting as that of a full-fledged merger.

On paper, a pact that would see the two parties divvy up the federal map so as to not oppose each other in the next election might make sense; after all the NDP is the dominant coalition partner west of Ontario while the Liberals are in the driver's seat east of that province.

But it is awfully hard to see how organizations that fight each other mercilessly at the provincial level could come together productively for a federal campaign. And then, under such an arrangement, a vote for Jack Layton would be a vote for Michael Ignatieff and vice-versa, a prospect that would undoubtedly confuse and eventually leave many voters cold on both sides of the Liberal/New Democrat divide.

There is, of course, a less positive way of seeing Stéphane Dion's deathbed legacy of a coalition than as a landmark beginning and it is as the dubious culmination of two years of misguided efforts to bring the left together.

For his entire tenure as leader, Dion pushed the envelope of a greater integration of the country's progressive forces. He tested an electoral coalition with the Greens and Elizabeth May. He endorsed left-leaning signature policies. He brought the Liberals under the umbrella of a progressive parliamentary coalition.

Those efforts resulted in Conservative gains at every step of the way. While Dion led his party to a historical low in the popular vote, Harper took over some key Liberal real estate in the October election. The subsequent crafting of the Liberal/NDP coalition propelled the Conservatives into majority territory in the polls for the first time since they came to power in 2006.

Much has been said and written about how its association with the Bloc Québécois poisoned the public opinion well of the coalition. But there is precious little evidence that the sight of the NDP within reach of the federal levers of power has made the deal more palatable to voters.

Dion's experience actually is hardly an abstract one. It suggests that moving the party to the left and closer to the NDP is a prescription for future Conservative majorities. Harper's strategists certainly think so as they prepare to turn the next election into a plebiscite on the coalition and a trial of the Liberal party for having endorsed it.

Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer. Her column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The one thing that the author hasn't mentioned is that so long as the "Coalition" exists; any Liberal party leader will have his room for manoeuvre severely constrained by the demands of the coalition partners. Dumping the coalition might not be too simple either; the NDP and Bloc can campaign against the Liberals in the urban ridings for their lack of principle and snatching away the keys to the treasury (although they certainly won't word it that way), meaning the Liberals will be caught between the "Progressives" and "Classical Liberals" in the next election; they can't offer a chance to grab the levers of power and they have no substantive platform or philosophy to campaign on.

Sucks to be them
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2009, 23:05:32 »
Steven Harper interviewed:

http://www.bluelikeyou.com/2009/01/15/pm-harper-tspeaks-with-john-ivison-of-the-national-post/
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2009/01/15/q-amp-a-prime-minister-stephen-harper-speaks-with-the-post-s-john-ivison.aspx

Quote
PM Harper speaks with John Ivison of the National Post

Don’t miss the Q & A posted at the National Post between John Ivison and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Some of the major issues developing between Harper and Ignatieff are the Quebec issue and the subject of tax cuts for the middle class:

    Ivison: Coming on to the politics, Mr. [Michael] Ignatieff said last week that you are “smartening up” and that co-operation looks possible. At the same time, he has talked about voting against middle-class tax cuts. Where do you see this going?

    Harper: I would point out Mr. Ignatieff only about a week ago was very vocal in demanding the government bring in middle-class tax cuts. [link added by BLY] I think it is very important, without committing to any particular budgetary measure because we haven’t made our final decisions yet — I hope to sit down with Mr. Ignatieff to hear a little bit more of his views before we make any final decisions. But, make no mistake, that as a Conservative government, we think it is very important that the middle class be part of a stimulus program. Yes, it is very important to help the vulnerable, struggling sectors and help people who are losing their jobs, but you can’t sustain economic activity without having stimulus for the middle class as well. That’s very important. Since the middle class is paying most of the freight, the middle class has to share in the stimulus program and we will be making sure that is the case.

(. . . )

    Ivison: …Mr. Ignatieff gave an interview to Le Devoir and seems to be reaching out to Quebec. He said that Bloc MPs are duly elected and are not the enemies of Canada. That seems to be in comparison to what you were saying about the coalition before Christmas. Do you think you endangered national unity with some of those comments?

    Harper: No. On the contrary, what endangers national unity would be giving people who want to break up the country a veto over the government of Canada. That is not in the interest of this country. The Bloc Québécois MPs are duly elected. Their views are legitimate in that sense and everybody does listen to the positions they take on issues, including the government. But that’s a big difference from taking their views into account and saying they would have a veto over the decisions of the country. Nobody voted for that — not even the supporters of the Bloc. I think it is unwise for any federalist to suggest that somehow criticizing the Bloc is criticizing Quebec. That’s separatist propaganda. The separatists don’t represent Quebec. If the separatists represented Quebec, Quebec would be a separate country. When push comes to shove, Quebecers always reject them.

    So look, I have a lot of regard for Mr. Duceppe personally — that’s not a secret. I listen to his opinions. But I also know he’s not a friend of Canada — his objective is to break up the country. If you find common ground and some things he can support, that’s one thing. But never fool yourself about what his objective is. And that’s why no prime minister, no sensible prime minister, would ever allow himself to be put in a position where the Bloc would have a veto on the decisions of the government. This Prime Minister won’t do that, this government won’t do that, no government has ever done it before. I quite frankly think Mr. Dion, one of the reasons people saw fit to replace Mr. Dion is that obviously he failed to understand that. The message from Canadians was loud and clear.

Norman Spector gives his version of Ignatieff’s dance with the Bloc on the Globe’s website.

Somehow I’m not getting the impression that Iggy is distancing himself from the Bloc. Not at all. He doesn’t seem to have a problem using them as an ally in the Coalition.

I see a lot of games-playing and posturing, as all three opposition leaders try to save their collective necks while pretending to be oh-so-loyal to the voters, whom they plan to disenfranchise if given the opportunity at the end of the month.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #131 on: January 22, 2009, 06:36:13 »
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail is a fine bit of pot stirring about political pot stirring by long-time Army.ca favourite Lawrence Martin:
-------------------------
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090121.wcomartin22/BNStory/specialComment/home

Talk of drafting Hillier stirs the political pot

LAWRENCE MARTIN

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
January 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST

"Have you heard about the movement to draft Rick Hillier?" Someone popped the question at a gathering this week at Ottawa's Rideau Club of the think tank 20/20. "It's serious," the well-connected source added. "It's really happening." A quiet thing, the source said. Too early to get out front on.

Military luminaries, fans of the retired general, attended the event along with many Liberals, who are only too happy to sow uncertainty among Tory ranks. On the same day, an Ekos poll showed Stephen Harper's popularity considerably down and Michael Ignatieff's considerably up. John Manley, looking unusually jaunty with closely cropped hair, commented enthusiastically on what a difference a new leader makes: clarity, direction, organization.

Rory Stewart, a specialist on Afghanistan now at Harvard, gave the gathering a non-optimistic assessment of the war. The military men vowed that Canada will definitely be out of there in 2011, adding that President Barack Obama will not be exerting pressure to change that date.

Mr. Hillier, the former head of our armed forces, has been quiet lately. He's on the sidelines, writing a book, professing little in the way of political ambition. It is readily agreed that he is politically gifted, possessing a splendid way with words, national name recognition and a leadership aura. Moreover, he has a quality that Mr. Harper has never enjoyed in abundance: charm.

With Mr. Harper's future unsettled, it's not surprising that some would want to talk up potential stars, such as Mr. Hillier. It stirs the pot, exerts pressure on a PM who faces challenges he didn't have a short time ago. There's a new Liberal leader, a slumping economy and some dismay in Conservative ranks over Mr. Harper's needlessly hurtling his government into crisis with November's loopy economic statement. Given the Obama example, the push is for dynamic leadership. And given that the Conservative front benches are not exactly overburdened with talent, Mr. Hillier, comes to mind for some.

But any talk of pressing Mr. Harper is premature. His exit is very likely to be of his own volition. He'd either have to suffer a quick election defeat or decide before another campaign that it's best to hand over the reins.

With regard to Mr. Hillier, there are questions. To be considered alongside his many flattering qualities is his paramount role in the Afghan conflict. It is, from a Canadian standpoint, his war more than anyone's. He pressed the Paul Martin government into committing to it, and, with his encouragement, the Harper government upped the ante. Many years and Canadian deaths later, the consensus is that little progress has been made.

How would he sell that in a leadership fight or in a campaign?

Mr. Hillier is popular, but Canadians don't have a big tradition of turning military men into political stars. Another popular soldier was Lewis MacKenzie. The retired major-general was drafted by the Tories but defeated, albeit during the Chrétien years, when winning an Ontario seat as a Tory was next to impossible. He was recently overlooked for a Senate seat.

Some are pressing Mr. Hillier, who is also thinking of setting up a think tank on leadership, to succeed Danny Williams in Newfoundland. That might be a better place to start, should he choose the political route.

We don't know what he thinks of Mr. Harper's leadership. The two men didn't get along spectacularly well when he was chief of the defence staff. That some now wish to promote him for federal leader is a further sign of restlessness in the Conservative camp. There is disagreement over whether Mr. Harper should be allowed a fourth election bid, since he failed to win a majority against an easy opponent in the last one.

For the Liberals, any news of dissent among the Tories is a welcome change. For years, they have been racked by leadership quarrelling. They'd like nothing better than to see the roles reversed.

In the past half a century, there has seldom been respite from destructive leadership wars. In the 1960s, the John Diefenbaker-Dalton Camp traumas dominated. Later came the rebellion against Joe Clark. The Liberals followed, with the John Turner-Jean Chrétien rivalry. Conservatives then split into two parties, and the infighting became particularly bloody when Stockwell Day was overthrown as leader of the Canadian Alliance. Then came the brutal Martin-Chrétien hostilities.

It's one ugly constant in our politics: overstuffed egos - incumbents staying too long or challengers moving too early - dragging their parties down.

-------------------------

Martin revisits the lie that Afghanistan is Hillier’s War – but it’s a lie that ardent Liberal supporters must tell because, otherwise, they would have to admit that Liberal PM Jean Chrétien committed troops to Afghanistan, twice, Liberal Paul Martin selected Kandahar as a base for operations and current Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff voted (in 2006) for an extension of the mission. Liberals need their lies for their own, ever shifting, internal consistency.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #132 on: January 22, 2009, 10:23:20 »
Well, Lawrence Martin has certainly stated the obvious about himself:  "one ugly constant, overstuffed egos - incumbents staying too long"

This phrase was about him was it not?

I hear there are to be layoffs at the G & M due to lost circulation/revenues.

If the G & M ever got out of the GTA/LPC a__, then possible it could achieve the status of Canada's national newspaper.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 10:26:34 by Rifleman62 »
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline GAP

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #133 on: January 26, 2009, 08:53:11 »
Nanos-Policy Options Poll - Canadians see recession lasting into 2010; Support deficits and Infrastructure spendingTom Good
 Article Link

Canadians expect a severe economic downturn lasting into 2010 rather than a mild recession ending by the summer of this year. A majority of Canadians also support federal and provincial governments going into deficit to stimulate the economy, with infrastructure spending and personal tax cuts being the preferred course of action to jump start the economy. There is very little support in the country for industry bailout programs.

These are the principal findings of a Nanos Research poll conducted exclusively for Policy Options in a random telephone survey between January 3 and January 7. The margin of error, in the sample of 1,003 Canadians, is plus or minus 3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.

The poll clearly reflects a deepening pessimism in the country about the prospects for economic recovery in the near term, as well as a consensus that governments should prime-pump the economy, even though there is no great enthusiasm for a return to deficit spending.

In our poll for Policy Options, 57.8 percent of respondents expect a more severe downturn lasting into 2010, while only 34.1 percent of Canadians expect a mild recession ending this summer (question 1). A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The pessimistic mood on the prospects for an early recovery is shared in all regions of the country, though it is least prevalent in the Atlantic (47.5 percent) and most apparent in Quebec (61.7 percent), possibly because Premier Jean Charest has just sought and received an electoral mandate to deal with the coming economic crisis.

While Canadians support (33.1 percent) or somewhat support (23.5 percent) deficit spending to stimulate the economy, that still adds up to only 56.6 percent, while 25.4 percent of Canadians oppose deficit spending and another 12.5 percent are somewhat opposed, for a total of 37.9 percent (question 2). This is a lukewarm endorsement of deficits as a necessity in the current economic emergency.

In terms of fiscal stimulus, we asked Canadians to indicate their first and second ranked options from a menu of four items (questions 3a and 3b). There is strong support for infrastructure and public works programs (the first choice of 39.6 percent of Canadians, and second choice of another 24.5 percent). Three Canadians in four support infrastructure spending as their first or second choice.

The next preferred option is personal tax cuts to stimulate consumer spending, the first choice of 23.4 percent of Canadians, and the second choice of another 27.2 percent. Half of Canadians like the idea of personal tax cuts.

Canadians’ third choice from the menu offered by Nanos Research was investment tax incentives for industry to create jobs, the first choice of 19.8 percent of respondents and the second choice of 26.9 percent. That’s an idea that finds approval with nearly half the population.

The least popular option, by far, is rescue packages for industries such as the auto sector, which is the first choice of only 12.8 percent, while another 17.8 percent put it as their second choice. In other words, only 3 Canadians in 10 support industry bailouts of the kind Washington and Ottawa have approved for the North American auto industry.

Support of rescue packages as a first choice is actually weakest in Ontario, home of the Canadian auto industry, with only 11 percent of respondents favouring rescue packages. In other words, only 1 Ontarian in 10 favours government coming to the aid of the most important industry in their own province as their first choice for addressing the economic crisis.
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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #134 on: January 26, 2009, 11:21:24 »
Oh well.... the XMass break is over and the dog & pony show is about to start.
Iggy is upset because Mr Harper & his gang have been going around the country selling everything they have in their new budget ... BEFORE the budget has been passed. 

If the budget now passes, all to the good - the Conservatives will say that the "alliance" was a dismal failure. 
If the budget does not pass.... then all the promissed relief will STOP, the government will shut down when we need it the most AND we'll be back into election mode (if Mr Harper has it his way) OR the Governor General could ask the Leader of the oposition if he is able to assemble and lead a government.
Chimo!

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #135 on: January 28, 2009, 12:14:26 »
Well not sure where to post this.......

[sarcasm] And so the great Coalition that was set to bring down Harper is now dead (maybe) [/sarcasm]

Ignatieff demands budget reports as price of support
If Tories fails to meet these targets, 'it will not survive for long,' Liberal leader says
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | 11:53 AM ET CBC News


The Liberal Opposition will only support the Conservative government's federal budget if Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to an amendment calling for a "clear marker" of regular updates to Parliament on the impact of economic stimulus projects, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters from the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Ignatieff lambasted the Harper government's record in handling the current economic crisis and said the Opposition will be "watching like hawks" to ensure the "investments Canadians need actually reach them."

"We are putting this government on probation," Ignatieff said. "For their failure to plan and act as a government, we hold them responsible."

The amendment, which will be tabled in the House of Commons later Wednesday, will require regular reports to Parliament on the budget's implementation and costs, to be delivered in March, June and December of this year.

Each report would be an opportunity for the opposition to express confidence in the government, he said.

"We've put down a very clear marker; this money has to get the money out the door," the Liberal leader said.

"If this government fails to meet these targets, it will not survive for long."

With the NDP and the Bloc Québécois set to vote against the government, the Conservatives need the support of Ignatieff's Liberals to ensure the budget passes and prevent a Liberal-NDP coalition — or another election.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has not yet commented on whether he's willing to change elements of the budget.

Flaherty's budget promises billions of dollars in new spending — ranging from money for infrastructure projects to aid for worker training and cash for more EI benefits — to help the country ride out the economic downturn.

But it also projects a total of $85 billion in deficits by the spring of 2013.

Ignatieff said the budget doesn't go far enough to protect Canadians who have lost or will lose their jobs and also fails to extend employment insurance eligibility.

He also said Flaherty's plan opens the door for a tax on pay equity for women and provides no new child care spaces.

With files from the Canadian Press
CHIMO!
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2009, 20:04:08 »
Aside from the push to spend - and let us not forget that there was no noise of this prior to last December's parliamentary machinations, so let us please stop pretending this is entirely a Conservative undertaking - I found one comment of Flaherty's interesting: "The stimulus package is a use-it-or-lose-it deal, he said."  May there be many delays.

Meanwhile, I see the US has voted to **** itself.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #137 on: January 28, 2009, 22:11:14 »
I see the US has voted to **** itself.

How do you mean?

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #138 on: January 29, 2009, 07:58:17 »
The House of Reps passed the "stimulus" bill.  The deficit will be very large; the amount of spending in the bill which truly constitutes "stimulus" is very small.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #139 on: January 30, 2009, 10:31:16 »
The House of Reps passed the "stimulus" bill.  The deficit will be very large; the amount of spending in the bill which truly constitutes "stimulus" is very small.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Parliament, New Leaders?
« Reply #140 on: January 30, 2009, 10:33:55 »
Maybe Jack Layton is smarter than we give him credit for (naaahh.... :o)

http://splatto.net/blog/?p=953

Quote
Other Parties Should Take Lesson From Layton’s Messaging
Posted on January 29th, 2009 by Matt, proud member of the Blogging Tories
Listen Now to the latest podcast.

I do believe Jack Layton is smarter than he is generally given credit for. this is a sentiment shared by a close friend who sat around the council table in Toronto with Jack, once upon a time.
 
Layton’s messaging is spot on. 

Yesterday after Ignatieff more or less gave his approval of the Consevative’s 2009 budget, Jack Layton came out to say that the new coalition is between the Tories and Libs. Doing so keeps the buzzword coalition in everyone’s head and gets them used to the idea of a coalition in Canada. A coalition is, of course, likely the only way a fringe party could achieve power in Canada.

Today the NDP launched a series of radio ads against the Liberals and specifically against Ignatieff for their support of the budget. These aren’t ads that were produced overnight, I would imagine, but ads that were produced in in anticipation of the Liberals support. We can therefore find some disingenuity in the NDP message from yesterday, expressing their disappointment in the Liberals doing the unexpected.

That’s not to say that Layton hasn’t made errors in his journey to replace the Liberals as the voice of the left, but he is acutely aware of how to use his messaging to better his party. The question is - is anyone listening?

Popularity: 5% [?]
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.