A “Cut off you Nose to Spite your Face” Moment?

I apologize for in infrequency of new posts here but I have been fighting a horrible cough for weeks now and don’t have much energy. However I need to get the following off my chest so to speak.

I have been noticing a disturbing trend on my Twitter feed that many conservative fellow-travelers are getting fed up with Patrick Brown’s policies and switching to the Trillium Party. Yesterday’s PC Policy Convention seems to have caused many folks to speak out aggressively against Brown.

While I sympathize with their concerns, on a practical level I find myself worrying about a conservative split developing in Ontario, much like what had happened between the PC and Wildrose party. The outcome of that discord is the current Rachel Notley NDP disaster. Thankfully conservatives in Alberta have finally awakened to the need to stay united under Jason Kenney. I wish them great success in trying to restore hope and financial stability to their province.

So I guess my question to readers is do you understand and agree with this strategy that it’s better to have another Liberal government and thereby teach Patrick Brown a lesson?

Personally I am flummoxed by this attitude.

Update:

&nbsp
Great post here by Sandy: Beware Ontario Liberal lies about Brown’s PC “People’s Guarantee!”

Chris Selley also has an excellent column in the National Post: You can argue it’s ‘Liberal lite,’ but Ontario PC platform offers a pathway to victory.

It might not be especially conservative vision, but it is a vision — a different vision, a mostly defensible vision, an positive and upbeat vision despite its swipes at the Liberals, and a vision the Liberals will have some trouble trying to attack without looking foolish. (A simple carbon tax is the best policy, and they know it.)

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125 Responses to A “Cut off you Nose to Spite your Face” Moment?

  1. Liz J says:

    Do we really know for sure how many are fighting against Brown? Party infighting against the leader bared for all to see is a sure winner for Wynne or even the NDP.

    Next time I get a call for donations they will be told to get their act together, we are fighting a bad government not the leader chosen by our members. Until there is evidence of that happening they get not a cent from me.

    Like

  2. I think we have to be realistic here. Some seem to be more concerned about ideological purity than electability. As much as it pains many you cannot win in Ontario or Canada on a right wing platform a centrist with a few conservative ideas (which the middle class tax cut is) is unfortunately the furthest we can go and still be electable. So the focus should be on what is doable not ideal. Even if Brown isn’t as right wing as some want surely he is preferable to Wynne or the NDP. Those who feel he is not conservative enough should focus more on trying to make the public more conservative as opposed to the party. Otherwise once you have enough conservatives in the general population to win an election then the party will follow, but if done before as we saw with Hudak it will just lead to more liberal governments. Unfortunately it seems in the past five years, the mood across the country has swung leftward so first we have to stop that swing before we can move things back.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Realistic is the word alright. Idealism is great but it rarely gets you into power to right the wrongs of the previous government.

      Having said that I agree with Liz that the public airing of dirty laundry isn’t good for anyone except Wynne.

      There is honestly no perfect scenario here.

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  3. fh says:

    These are fake conservatives Do not get discouraged We must work hard to get the conservative message across MSM will be in high gear saying “Nobody likes you Patrick” Liberals will be running ads against Patrick Brown Patrick comes from an excellent family background and works hard. Pay attention to his platform and ignore the rest.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Well I don’t know if I’d call them fake but they aren’t allowing for real world politics.

      As Miles noted many times before, Ontario leans left. You’re not going to win an election on a far-right platform. Not in the current environment.

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      • Liz J says:

        Exactly,Joanne, far right will never make it in the Ontario of today, that would take a gradual weaning process, it will take decades.

        It reminds me of Gorbachev in Communist Russia, he wanted change but said it had to be a gradual process. It may not be a good comparison but with the mess we are in in this province now that’s the only way we can beat it. Nothing drastic, just common sense policies to make life better on bread and butter issues, damn the ideology.

        Liberal success comes from a bit of snake oil doctrine, anything you want we have a deal for you, whether it ever comes to pass is another story. Ontario voters have been duped through four elections, McGuinty wasn’t dubbed McLiar for nothing.

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  4. Warren Kinsella seems to think the platform is a winning one and I agree. Also having Kevin Page sign off on the numbers ads a lot of credibility and makes it harder for the Liberals and NDP to say we have a hidden agenda on massive cuts, which they will try anyway but hopefully fail.

    It seems the big anger with the more right wing elements is the carbon tax and lack of social conservatism. Social conservatism is largely federal and is a losing proposition. Identity politics will just kill our chances of breaking through in the GTA which we must do (don’t need to win downtown Toronto, but must win the suburbs). As for the carbon tax, note Brown’s position is not too dissimilar to Gordon Campbell in BC or Brian Pallister in Manitoba in that every cent raised is returned to the taxpayer in tax cuts. As long as Trudeau is PM we have no choice. While some say take him to court no guarantee we would win. Also Kenney, Brown, Wall and Pallister all have positions that make sense in their respective provinces. In 2015, Harper got 60 percent in Alberta and 49 percent in Saskatchewan, but only 37 percent in Manitoba and 35 percent in Ontario so in the former two you can win on 2015 Conservative voters alone, but in the latter two you need some Blue Liberals to come over or at least as Pallister did and Brown is trying to do win over those who voted Conservative in 2011 but went Liberal in 2015 (It is that group we need which was 54 percent in Manitoba and 44 percent in Ontario in 2011 in order to win not those who never vote conservative) thus why taking a strong anti-Trudeau stance may not work in Ontario and Manitoba where he isn’t as reviled as in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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  5. https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2017/11/24/a-brave-teaching-assistant-gets-humiliated-and-we-all-grow-a-little-more-leery-of-speaking-too-freely.html. When hardcore leftist Heather Mallick is saying WLU went too far against Lindsay Shepherd, you know they are going too far when even other leftist cannot defend this. I will admit, while off topic a bit, I didn’t realize how bad suppression of different ideas were on campuses. Certainly wasn’t that way when I went to SFU in BC around 15 years ago as even if my right of centre views were a minority, I never faced any penalties for expressing them. I am all for tolerance, but you don’t get more tolerance by silencing dissenting views. Debate over use of pronouns is not in anyway equivalent to the Holocaust and such comparisons are insult to the millions who died in them.

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    • joannebly says:

      Exactly right about Mallick.

      This left-wing SJW movement seems to have expanded within the last decade or so. I read that somewhere. Will try to find the link.

      Like

  6. Liz J says:

    Those PC’s who will not support their chosen leader and will instead vote for a fringe party or not at all may as well vote for Wynne outright. She will be the beneficiary of their stupidity. We all lose big time.

    Brown has some great policies lined up to help fix the mess, make it more affordable to live here, help those who really need it and it will take time, it’s a blooming disaster. IMO she has a lot of gall to even be running again. Even Liberals must see that.

    Haven’t heard any more from the disgruntled fools from within the PC party working on an implosion but am ready for them if I do.

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  7. Greg says:

    I’m guessing the same people weren’t satisfied with Hudak, which is why we had Wynne for 4 more years of misery and incompetence

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  8. Liz J says:

    The fools are still sending out emails to fight Brown from within….calling it “Patrick Brown’s carbon tax shell game” and looking for support. Someone needs to collar them and oust them from the party if they continue to undermine the leader.

    Like

  9. Liz J says:

    Conservatives must be shaking in their boots, Morneau is threatening to sue. Perhaps they’re getting too close to the truth?

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  10. Liz J says:

    Andrew Scheer is calling for Morneau to resign. Good luck with that!

    Like

  11. Liz J says:

    Cannot ever recall a Prime Minister turning on the tears so readily as Trudeau. His apologies laced with tears certainly is dramatic, it may be genuine but it seems a bit over the top.

    I may be in the minority but I cannot see how we can apologize for past generations or anything we had nothing to do with. We can condemn them, learn from them, feel bad about them but we can not apologize for the actions of others.
    All this ties in with removing statues of leaders of the past, wiping away our history teaches nothing, it can’t be changed or apologized for on the basis of present day thinking. What’s happening in our world today I’d say we better pay heed to the present before wiping out the past.

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  12. gabbyinqc says:

    Joanne @ December 1, 2017 at 7:55 am, your link to the Morneau Sr. sell-off of M/S shares demonstrates that David Akin, as usual, excels at fact-finding.

    The CBC is currently looking for a new host for its Power & Politics program. Yesterday, it was Andrew Coyne’s turn to sit in the moderator’s chair. I wish Akin were eligible for it; the interviews IMO would be far more balanced than they currently are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannebly says:

      Oh you are right! David Akin would be excellent indeed. But CBC would probably corrupt him. 😉

      Like

      • gabbyinqc says:

        I would like to think that Akin would continue to call ’em as he sees ’em. I haven’t always agreed with his past blog posts but I’ve always considered him an honest journalist in pursuit of facts. The CBC will make sure a ‘progressive’ opinion maker sits in the P&P chair.

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        • joannebly says:

          So true about Akin! Sometimes he makes me angry and sometimes I think he’s awesome which is probably the sign of a very non-partisan journalist. Haha!

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  13. Liz J says:

    Will the House adjourn with the Morneau controversy hanging? Are they really that arrogant to think it will go away?

    Like

  14. gabbyinqc says:

    Joannebly says: December 2, 2017 at 9:42 am You have a very impressive mind. 😉
    Or maybe a con-fused one 😉

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  15. Liz J says:

    We really don’t need a Prime Minister weeping for effect , having a PM who is famous as a heartthrob commanding selfies around the globe is enough to deal with.

    Wonder if the weeping willow act will hurt his image among his global fans? My guess is not likely, they wouldn’t hear about that.

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  16. Liz J says:

    Director, script writer, busy man that Butts fella. For his prodigy it sure is a dream role for a person who took a bit of drama training and landed himself on the World’s stage.

    May as well enjoy the show, we will get some help keep us mellow, marijuana will be available to all just in time to vote them in next election.

    Like

  17. Liz J says:

    Any bets Hollywood will do Trudeau’s life story?

    Like

  18. Liz J says:

    Trudeau’s not accomplishing much on his China trek.
    This is the country whose dictatorship he admires, where they can turn their economy around on a dime. Yeah, he did say that.

    Like

  19. Liz J says:

    74% of Ontario residents do not think Wynne is doing a good job…..well, duh!

    Like

  20. Liz J says:

    The more I hear Goodale on the marijuana file the more I know he has no clue what he’s doing.
    Coming out with slogans like “don’t drive high” doesn’t cut it.

    Like

  21. Liz J says:

    BTW, I noticed “Climate Barbie” is with Trudeau on his failed trek to China. Why? Is there a country on this earth that cares less about environmental issues than China?
    If we are seriously concerned why would we do business and promote more with one of the biggest polluters on the planet?

    Like

  22. Liz J says:

    Why are we paying for the services of the Auditor General in this province when Wynne and company just brush her off? May as well spit in her face and tell her she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Problem is the majority government. If Wynne had a minority she would be forced to be more accountable.

      Like

      • If Wynne hadn’t won a majority she would probably be gone by now and we would have a PC government as they have led in the polls since early 2016 and minority governments usually only last around 2 years so either last year or this year at the latest, the government would have fallen.

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  23. gabbyinqc says:

    Legalization of pot is all about “Keeping the children safe!” “Taking it out of hands of criminals!” Right? Nothing to do with profit/revenue for Govs, right?
    Articles in National Newswatch:
    “First Nations demand control over cannabis sales” Globe and Mail
    “Cities want a third of cannabis excise tax revenues” iPolitics

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      I wonder how long it’ll take for “pot shacks” to start popping up on reserves. A precedent has been set in that there’s very little/no attention paid to illegal smoke shops on reserves and no taxes are collected.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        Not a doubt about it, it will happen, I’d bet on it! They’re probably already setting up for it.

        Like

      • gabbyinqc says:

        Well, as long as the pot dealers are not part of the “organized crime” groups the Liberals want to undercut & chase out of trafficking, I guess it’s OK, right?. Maybe ‘disorganized’ groups will be tolerated because it’s part of their cultural heritage or whatever.

        But don’t forget that in that market transaction there’s a seller AND a buyer. I remember years ago when the government increased so-called sin taxes, including cigarettes. I still smoked at the time & was surprised when a complete stranger offered to sell me a “tax-free” carton as I was sitting having a coffee & a cigarette in a mall (that’s when malls still allowed smoking on the premises). I refused the offer but some of my work colleagues used to brag about how much money they saved, implying I was less than intelligent to keep on paying the regular price.

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        • Actually the easiest way today to get cheap cigarettes is go to an Indian Reserve. Yes they are technically only supposed to sell tax free to status Indians but considering how many smoke shops there are on some reserves I find that hard to believe. Anyways I support legalizing marijuana, but regulate it heavily and tax it too so the revenue can be used to lower taxes elsewhere. I don’t smoke unlike most of my peers never tried marijuana ever and don’t plan to even when legalized. It does though seem most who became adults in the late 60s and onwards have tried it although I am not sure if it is quite as popular as it was during the hippie era in the late 60s when it was quite huge, mind you marijuana today is a lot more potent than back then. Also perhaps limits of advertising and where you can smoke will limit it’s usage. I think social acceptability (i.e you cannot smoke anywhere except outside or your home vs. You once could smoke everywhere even offices, buses, even my Mom said she smoked during lectures in universities back in the 60s as did the profs and other students; is a big reason for its decline.)

          Like

          • gabbyinqc says:

            Legalization of pot will only serve to increase use of it. People who might have been tempted to try it but were deterred for fear of being caught & charged with possession will now feel free to indulge.

            Like the Romans’ “bread & circuses” tactic to keep its population oblivious, this government’s pious statements about safeguarding children & young adults are just part of their many sanctimonious positions on a variety of issues. Portugal is often cited by supporters of legalization as the model for harm reduction. In actual fact, Portugal decriminalized, it did not legalize drugs.
            https://news.vice.com/article/ungass-portugal-what-happened-after-decriminalization-drugs-weed-to-heroin

            IMO, Trudeau’s promise to legalize is just his way of keeping the ‘progressive’ part of the Canadian population, young & old alike, even more besotted than they already are.

            Like

          • joannebly says:

            Personally I simply see the whole pot issue as the Liberals continuing to pander to leftist voters. It’s actually difficult to think of any issues the NDP can still campaign on that Trudeau and Wynne haven’t already grabbed.

            Like

      • Could happen although my understanding is the reason tobacco is tax free on reserves is the aboriginals invented it and thus can claim it predates European settlements whereas with alcohol which they didn’t have, that is not sold on reserves tax free to the best of my knowledge so since aboriginals didn’t use marijuana pre-European arrival I think there is a strong precedent that it shouldn’t be tax free. But I would be fine if they entered and collected the taxes themselves to improve quality of life on the reserves, I think that is fair and it would save taxpayers less in paying so I am fine with that, but not tax free or at least have a minimum price like they do with alcohol in most provinces which it cannot be sold below.

        Like

  24. Liz J says:

    After listening to the Ontario AG’s report it’s not hard to figure why our teacher friends are high on the McGuinty cum Wynne Liberal government.

    Like

  25. It looks like Denzil Minnan Wong is planning to run as PC candidate in Don Valley East. He is a strong city councillor and deputy mayor so hopefully helps us in a doable but difficult riding to win.

    Like

  26. Liz J says:

    Legalizing pot will definitely increase use. Who can possibly believe it will be kept out of the hands of children and young adults?
    It’s another political ploy with no idea how it will be controlled. IMO it can’t be and the Trudeau Cabal don’t care, those who shouldn’t have will and know they will and criminal records are off the table. It’s put up there with tobacco and booze but much more dangerous for the young as well as society in general.

    Like

    • I believe it should be legalized still as I am one of those who think that as adults one should have the right to do whatever they want unless they are harming others. Marijuana is not harmless but no more harmful than alcohol and tobacco which are legal and in the case of alcohol it was a disaster when prohibition was tried. I think the goal is more to get rid of the black market rather than reduce use much like you did with alcohol when prohibition was ended. Also another reason is the number of people with criminal records would go down saving on policing costs and prisons and also social assistance too as when someone has a criminal record it’s much tougher to get a job. Not sure criminalizing was a massive deterrent when you consider the percentage of people who have tried it as adults. If anything culture rather than laws seems to be the big determinant as in the Netherlands where they have the coffee shops where one can smoke marijuana, the percentage of adults who have tried marijuana is half what it is in Canada and the US. Canada, US, and Australia have by far the highest usage and US in states where not legal have some of the longest jail sentences so I think if anything the 60s counterculture movement is what made marijuana so popular.

      Personally I am probably more of a libertarian type who generally just wants less government overall in all areas which it seems no party really believes in although Conservatives are closest to as they favour lower taxes, greater economic freedom unlike the other two parties who favour the opposite, and generally oppose social engineering. That being said trying to recriminalize it after being legalized is a vote losing proposition. Conservatives need to win more seats in BC where marijuana is huge and taking such approach will likely ensure they win no seats west of Langley possibly even Abbotsford. By all means strengthen laws where they need to be particularly for driving while high or providing it to minors and maybe as the medical community recommended raise the age to 21 but don’t recriminalize.

      Like

  27. Campaign research has a poll out which is not great news. Both it and forum seem to show the attack ads are taking its toll, while the campaign platform did little to help, although to be fair that often takes time. With how incompetent the Liberals have been and how moderate the PC’s I will be very disappointed if the Liberals get back in. That being said if you take the average of the polls and check demographics I think the PC’s are still favoured. Nonetheless I do fear the country is going through a strong leftward shift which will hurt us long term.

    Like

  28. joannebly says:

    Thanks for carrying on here everyone! I’m still sick and trying to serve as the sandwich generation helper on top of it. 😉 Life isn’t always easy. But I enjoy checking in and seeing whats going on.

    Like

    • Liz J says:

      Take care of yourself they say but life often throws us curve balls that make that close to impossible! The best we can do is hope we hold up! We appreciate you giving us this soapbox and all the effort it takes to keep it going.

      Like

  29. Liz J says:

    We are hearing more and more excitement on pot legalization and all those who are eager to get in on the sales and distribution of the stuff. I wonder if this is the Liberal dream come true, get more people doing pot and they can have their way with the electorate and stay in power forever?!

    If Wynne gets back in I may take it up myself….what’s to lose. It reminds me of Commie Russia and cheap vodka. There may not have been a tax on the vodka but all jurisdictions in this country will be after their slice of the tax bucks.

    Like

    • I hear you. Luckily I am now in BC where yes we have the NDP but they do have a history of losing rather than winning. Still despite my earlier comment I noticed the polls are not much different than in May when the labour reforms were announced and campaign research despite being run by a conservative seems to skew towards Toronto and younger voters. Forum asked about the people’s guarantee and showed it had no impact so I think the union backed third party attack ads are the main culprit and thankfully they are heavily restricted after November 9th so asides from maybe some community newspaper ads they won’t be able to advertise in prime time television without breaking the law. I think due to the strength of the liberal base in Ontario the Liberals will always be competitive no matter what and as a matter of fact so will the PC’s, but all things considered I think the PC’s still remain heavily favoured although nothing is ever a guarantee. Forum and Innovative research who show the Tories around 40 percent and 10+ points ahead have a good track record while campaign research has none and both have consistently shown the Tories in the 40 to 45 percent range in the former and around 40 percent in the latter so that suggests as long as the PC’s don’t do something too stupid they should win. And note Harper only got 39 percent in Ontario against the Hapless Dion and 44 percent in 2011 when he won a landslide in Ontario while 31 percent in the 416 so realistically it seems low to mid 40s is our ceiling so yes I wish things were better but considering the political culture of Ontario we are probably in a reasonably decent spot. Also Harper got 35 percent in Ontario and most polls show the federal Tories around 37 percent in Ontario and I have a tough time believing we will do worse than that considering Wynne is way less popular than Trudeau and Brown isn’t hated by nearly as many people as Harper was in 2015.

      Like

  30. Liz J says:

    Some freaking poll has the Wynne Liberals at 35% , nicely ahead of the PC’s and Dippers,just as they are about to shut down the Legislator for the big break.
    I believe it too, that’s because I am convinced the majority of the people are on the same track, it’s what’s in it for me and Wynne is advertising and tossing out big bucks to the right places to grab support.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      All of which makes those people very gullible because that means they trust Wynne to keep a promise.

      Like

    • The other two Forum and Innovative show the Tories ahead so while the poll is plausible, I tend to think the Tories still have a lead although not as large as they should. Liberals still being contention likely has more to do with brand than anything, otherwise 30 percent in Ontario will vote Liberal no matter what and since you will get variance in polls you will always have some showing them in contention. I take the average of them rather than one individually.

      Like

  31. News not so great in last night’s by-elections. We saw our share of the popular vote go up in three of the four while Liberals down in three of the four, but in the one it mattered most we lost unfortunately. Gordon Hogg is a good person and he will make a good MP so I have no problem with him as I know him from provincial politics but any Liberal pick up is an endorsement of Trudeau and his reckless agenda which is not good. I will have an analysis later today or tomorrow on my blog once I get home depending on how my jet lag is. Still despite the fact we’ve gone up in more by-elections than down, the spin in that Liberals have picked up two and we lost two is going to look bad. Still there is 22 months left so Scheer has time to improve how well Canadians know him.

    Like

  32. Wynne is now filing a lawsuit against Brown over false statements. While I kind of think Brown should retract just to get rid of this distraction, it clearly shows a bully attitude on the premier’s part to try and shut down opposition. This could send a chill to opposition politicians to watch their criticisms of the government lest face a lawsuit. I think voters can judge for themselves who is telling the truth. Imagine if Harper tried to sue all those who made false claims about him, which were many. The left would be outraged calling him an autocrat. I think this just proves how desperate Wynne is.

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      It could also be the straw that breaks the camel’s back a la John Tory and Tim Hudak. Just imagine the play this will get via ads and commercials not to mention the msm and Liberal pundits. It may be too late to offer an apology – he’ll be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I just hope voters have the wherewithal to withstand the pressure

      Like

      • joannebly says:

        Definitely too late for Patrick Brown to apologize. The problem is that he never should have said something that wasn’t factual in the first place. But Wynne was stupid to file a lawsuit over it. She could have just called him out on it but now she’s in a tricky spot. If he doesn’t apologize she either has to go through with the lawsuit or drop it. Neither option is particularly good for public optics before an election.

        Like

  33. Liz J says:

    Does anyone know what the offending statements/accusations Brown made that got Wynne’s knickers in a knot? Will she be able to prove them to be falsehoods?

    Like

    • It was Brown saying she was on trial when in fact she testified on the witness stand. While not true, I somehow doubt it did any more damage to her than her bad policies have done. People have low trust in politicians anyways so people make their own judgments not listen to what some politician says.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        I call that picking hairs…people in the government she presides over were on trial, it still has a bad smell to it, and the buck should stop with the leader. Good leaders take responsibility…..

        Like

  34. Miles Lunn says:

    I am now back so posting under my real name again. Anyways I tried using the simulator below http://www.tooclosetocall.ca/p/canada-simulator.html to see if we applied the by-election results how they would play out and I got the following.

    Atlantic Canada: A 12 point swing from the Liberals to Tories so this would result in 24 seats for the Liberals, 7 seats for the Tories, and 1 seat for the NDP so not a Liberal sweep again, but realistically I would be happy if we could just get some representation in Atlantic Canada, cannot see us beating the Liberals in 2019 there, that is probably a few election cycles away.

    Ontario: Only a 2.5 point swing from the Liberals to Tories so that would be Liberals 68 seats (-12), Tories 45 seats (+12), NDP 8 seats (unchanged) so right direction, but we need to improve on this. Due to our weakness east of the Ottawa River we have to beat the Liberals in Ontario to have any chance nationally.

    Saskatchewan/Manitoba: Tories 23 seats (+8), Liberals 4 seats (-4), NDP 1 seat (-4) so positive swing here but not enough seats available to radically alter the national results.

    British Columbia: Liberals 27 seats (+10), NDP 8 seats (-6), Tories 6 seats (-4), Greens 1 seat (no change) so it appears British Columbia and Quebec are the two provinces we are down a bit so need to find a way to do better in both of those.

    I think the Tories are moving in the right direction vote wise as in the 9 of the 12 by-elections since 2015 we’ve seen our share of the popular vote go up whereas the Liberals have declined in 9 of the 12, but we face two problems.

    1. We are gaining in all the wrong places (strongholds which will win anyways, or weak ridings where the gap is too large to overcome) while losing in the wrong places (key swing ridings) otherwise our real focus needs to be swinging the swing ridings in our favour. Running up bigger margins in our strongholds is useless and gaining in weaker ones is only a good thing if they are large enough to flip them which so far we haven’t reached that point.

    2. Weak NDP splits and left coalescing behind the Liberals. I hate to say this, but we need the NDP to do better to win in 2019. We only won one of 4 by-elections, yet get over 40% in 3 of the 4 (we cracked the 40% mark in both Scarborough-Agincourt and South Surrey-White Rock) and when you have normal splits like Harper had 40% is sufficient to win, but with weak splits it is not and getting over 40% in 170 ridings is doable, over 45% in 170 is probably too big of a stretch.

    I don’t think we need to go too hard on Scheer, most Canadians probably wouldn’t recognize them if they saw him on the street and admittedly having a celebrity prime-minister who sucks out all the media attention is a challenge, but he needs to keep attacking the government, but also start rolling out some policies, not the platform, but at least give us an idea what a Scheer government in broad terms would look like. In Quebec, I think he needs to have people like Gerald Detell, Maxime Bernier, Steve Blaney and other Quebec MPs play a bigger role and perhaps even have one of them (my choice is Gerald Detell) run the campaign as Quebec is tough for an outsider to win so having one of the Quebec MPs take a lead role helps. In British Columbia, I would say focus strongly on economics as BC more often than not votes for the pro free enterprise coalition provincially (who almost got a majority despite 16 years in power with all the baggage) and stay away from social issues as BC is quite socially progressive and also have a stronger environmental platform as BC with its amazing unspoiled wilderness and tourism being the biggest industry (people don’t visit here for culture and history like say in Europe, but rather natural scenery) have a conservative but credible environmental one can help. Also make affordability a major issue as the Lower Mainland is ridiculously expensive to live in so any party with a strong platform to make things more affordable has strong potential for gains and I believe the Tories have an opportunity here.

    Like

  35. Liz J says:

    Wynne doing town hall meetings is a good way to get a head start on the campaign. It’s kind of a charm initiative ,if anyone can find the charm, it’s lost on me. At this point I can’t stand the sight of her let alone listen to her, sincerely hope this all backfires.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      It seems whenever Wynne is in the spotlight her numbers fall while rise when she goes away. Essentially the Liberal brand is still strong in Ontario regrettably but she is not well liked so actually the more she is out there, the more it is about voting for Wynne and less about voting for liberalism which is good for us.

      Like

  36. gabbyinqc says:

    For some light-hearted criticism, read the poems written by Liberal Rodger Cuzner & Conservative Mark Strahl here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/12/13/rodger-cuzners-2017-christmas-poem-pokes-fun-at-andrew-scheer-jagmeet-singh_a_23306649/ (via National Newswatch)

    Mark Strahl’s poem:
    “’Twas 12 days before Christmas, almost time to head home
    But first we’ll endure that Cape Bretoner’s poem
    But before he gets up and makes fun of us Tories
    We get to stand up and tell our Christmas story.
    The Liberals have had quite a fall, it’s been swell
    To see all their plans go to Morneau-Shep-Hell.
    They went after our farmers and small business owners
    While protecting their ass-ets, and their wealthy friend donors
    And they sometimes forget, ’cause it’s easy to do
    When you’re counting your villas – is it 1, 3, or 2?
    There’ve been some big changes for us around here.
    We have a new leader, and fur us it is clear
    That he’s younger, and taller, more virile and sharper
    Than the current PM, and he smiles more than Harper.
    He works hard for our party, starts each day before dawn
    And the best part of all is he keeps his shirt on
    He has no Mercedes, no fortune, no nannies
    But he’s such a nice man, he connects with the grannies.
    Yes, in 2019 it will be quite a fight.
    But till then, Merry Christmas, and to all, a safe flight.”

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Interesting although don’t like Cuzner’s last line. Scheer is a conservative which obviously if a progressive you won’t like, but I wouldn’t call him alt right. Likewise I may not agree with Jagmeet Singh but don’t think he is far left, in fact on the political spectrum I don’t think there is too much difference between Singh and Trudeau. Strahl’s is humourous for sure and more accurate of the two, mind you like us all here I am biased.

      I will admit on a serious note, I am a bit puzzled why the NDP hasn’t gotten a bounce, but then again maybe Trudeau has sucked up most of the left wing vote so little room there. At least the centre has more space for us to pick up some

      Like

    • joannebly says:

      Gabby, it sure is refreshing to see Parliamentarians showing some light-hearted humour around this time of year! Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  37. Miles Lunn says:

    Tonight is the Calgary-Lougheed by-election. Very safe conservative riding so expect Jason Kenney to win, but the numbers will be telling. Interesting the Liberal leader David Khan is running and while he has no chance at winning a better than expected showing means the Alberta Liberals as opposed to Alberta Party is likely to emerge as centrist alternative. I figure the Alberta Party would take more votes from the UCP than NDP whereas the Liberals more from the NDP as Trudeau is not very popular in Alberta so being centrist without any affiliation with the federal Liberals could win over Red Tories from the PCs but being associated with the federal Liberals not so much. By contrast most NDP supporters in Alberta vote Liberal federally as generally progressives being a minority tend to coalesce around one party unlike other provinces where they often split.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Kenney not only won but won big with nearly 72% of the popular vote (the combined PC + WRP vote was 63% in 2015) while NDP fell from 32% in 2015 to only 17%. The next election is still 17 months away, but if I were Notley I would be very worried. And likewise the Calgary NDP MLAs might want to get working on their resumes since unless things change dramatically most will be out of a job after the next election. Edmonton is a different ballpark but if Calgary goes UCP, they win the election as Rural Alberta is already largely held by them and will stay that way.

      Like

  38. Anne in swON says:

    Miles, what makes you think Stephen Harper was arrogant? I just happened to come across your Dec. 14 tweet where you make that statement and declare that he had to go.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I found him rather dismissive towards those with different viewpoints. I probably agreed with him on more issues than disagreed but where I disagreed it seemed he wasn’t interested in those who thought differently. Marijuana legalization, gay marriage while in opposition before becoming PM, and fair elections act are a few examples. To be fair I cannot think of any PM since Lester Pearson who lasted more than a year in power who wasn’t arrogant so maybe its just something that comes with the job. Trudeau sr., Mulroney, Chretien, Martin, Harper, and Trudeau Jr., were all arrogant in their own way. Mulroney I found the least arrogant mind you probably personal bias as I come from the PC side of the merger not Reform side so philosophically he is probably the closest to me. In fact of all the politicians, I cannot think of many who I don’t find arrogant, Brad Wall is probably one of the few.

      As for saying he had to go, I meant leave as PM, not lose to Trudeau. I personally think Harper should have resigned as Tory leader sometime around 2014 and let someone else takeover. While some may disagree with this, I generally think after a decade in power, you need new blood and in some ways like the US rule of 8 years and you are out. Had the Tories chosen a new a leader it’s quite possible we could have won a minority or at least held Trudeau to a minority both which are preferable to what we have now. I would be okay had Harper lost to a Blue Liberal along the lines of John Manley but not a left wing tax and spend liberal like Justin Trudeau who has limited experience and poor political judgement.

      Like

    • joannebly says:

      “Miles, what makes you think Stephen Harper was arrogant?” Yes them’s fightin’ words on this site! 😉

      I read Mile’s response but I don’t agree with his explanation. My theory is that there were a number of factors involved, including foreign influence in our election from money coming into left-wing activist groups such as LeadNow, etc.

      And there were a few policy decisions that were not communicated well; notably the so-called “snitch line” which was meant to support Muslim women but the lefties and liberal media had a field day with it.

      I miss Stephen Harper each and every day.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        I would feel a whole lot better if he were in power right now and for reasons across the board, from security to economics.

        He was better prepared for the job, no one was behind the curtain pulling his strings. That’s not arrogance, it’s doing the job he was elected to do.

        There were some missteps with his handling of the Senate mess with Duffy and Walden. He should have said it was a matter for the Senate and walked away from it. PM’s appoint Senators but they have no control after that.

        IMO, he will go down as one of our best.

        Like

        • joannebly says:

          Totally agree with you on all counts Liz!

          Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          On economics for sure Harper was better and even Mulcair would have been. He understood that raising the top marginal rate to over 50% in most provinces was a bad policy and actually did a better job than Harper of countering the silliness of Trudeau’s tax rise. Only problem with Mulcair is he wanted to hike corporate taxes which would have been fine then as we would have still been well below the US, but with the Trump tax cuts we would have lost our competitive advantage so Harper not wanting to hike or cut the top marginal rate and corporate taxes was probably the most economically sound. I did however disagree with his GST cut and think had we left it at 7% that would be $14 billion extra so we probably could have had bigger spending promises to win over more without going into deficit or hiking taxes. Also Mulcair at least claimed to favour a balanced budget unlike Trudeau although doubt he would have run one, but as a rule of thumb I’ve found anyone who promises a deficit will almost always result in a much bigger one. For those expressing concerns with Patrick Brown, he only promises it for the first year so at least unlike Trudeau he has a fiscal anchor.

          On security I unlike a lot of Tories fall somewhere in between. I feel Harper was a bit too harsh as I am very strong on civil liberties and I believe in Benjamin Franklin’s old saying of those willing to give up a little liberty for a little more security deserve neither liberty or security. But on the contrast I believe Trudeau has gone too far the other way when we need balance. We haven’t had a major terror attack and shouldn’t panic as I think the odds of any individual being killed in one is very remote, but we also shouldn’t take the naïve view Trudeau does that if nice to others no one will harm us.

          In sum certainly the left made Harper out to be much worse than he was. That being said I think with Canada being one of the most left wing countries on earth we are very limited at the moment in how conservative we can be and be electable. Even Europe which the left wants us to be more like is moving away from social democracy towards classical liberalism and moderate conservatism. Harper also had the difficulty of keeping together two different legacy parties and I think at first you needed his iron discipline, but as time went on not so sure as contrary to most predictions the coalition has not unravelled after his loss so I think infighting between the different factions was more of an issue in the early than recent years. Yes there was always the worry of a bozo eruption, but I think he knew which MPs were most likely to make them and could have focused on those ones not the whole caucus. Off course Liberals and NDP also have bozo eruptions but it seems the media and others come down a lot harder on us than other parties when it happens.

          Like

        • Anne in swON says:

          How alarming it is that competence is mistaken for arrogance in Mr. Harper’s case. Trudeau Jr. is the incompetent poster boy for arrogance and needs to be taken down a peg or two. He is becoming more and more dictatorial and that scares me mightily.

          Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            Don’t get me wrong, Trudeau is more arrogant than Harper was and Harper only really started to get arrogant after 7 years in office, not after only 2 years. Actually to be fair it seems IMHO all PMs who are in power for any length of time become arrogant. Finding a political leader in power for a decade who isn’t arrogant is quite difficult, it is a very rare thing.

            Like

          • joannebly says:

            Perhaps one needs to define “arrogant” first. When I use that word I mean it to say someone is so full of themselves that they think everyone adores them and that they can do no wrong.

            Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        I think the loss actually was more due to a strong swing to the left in public opinion which ironically seems to be unique to Canada. I have a blog post on my blog about this earlier titled a left wing Canada in a right wing world. I think after Occupy Wall Street, income inequality became a big issue and the left did a good job of arguing, wrongly in my view, that only the top 1% benefited from the Conservatives and policies right of centre and we never really countered those very well. Still going forward the Tories should not bash Harper, but also not be seen as his successor. He got 32% which we need so don’t want to alienate those, but we need to do better than that to win in 2019 thus maintain that 32% which we seem to be doing a good job of and pick up another 10% which we are making baby steps on but still got work to do, mind you I find people tend to be quite forgiving about mistakes of governments in the first few years, but as time passes and mistakes add up less so.

        I also mentioned that in the tweet as I’ve noticed many Trudeau supporters always use as the defence Harper was worse, so I find when saying not a fan of Harper it gives me more credibility in arguing how bad Trudeau is as unfortunately if you say you like Harper many will just dismiss your opinion. Off course I wouldn’t advocate lying, if you did support Harper than best to either not mention it or find a way to show why you thought he did a good job which is tough even in 280 character. I don’t think Harper was a horrible PM like the left thinks far from it, but I tend to think he should have stepped down around 2014. Lets remember we would have had another Conservative PM, maybe Andrew Scheer for all we know and I tend to think if we had a different leader we would have lost our majority, but I don’t think the Liberals would have won a majority we probably would have a minority be it liberal or conservative or maybe even NDP as the NDP started the campaign in the lead and it is quite possible a different leader would have not run as long a campaign which is what allowed the Liberals to overtake the NDP for the progressive vote. But at least with a minority Trudeau would be on a tight leash.

        Like

        • Anne in swON says:

          Stephen Harper was demonized in the press from the word “go”. There was co-operation/interference which took many forms between the LPC and the Obama Democrats. And, as Joanne pointed out, there were third party groups which played a pivotal role in the 2015 election that were years in the making. That’s where this leftward swing originated. Canadians were hoodwinked into believing we needed our own Obama role model. Enter Trudeau Jr. and his cabal. Nothing has been done to halt any of these outside influencers. How many visits have Obama and H. Clinton made to our country and why?

          Like

          • joannebly says:

            Senator Frum is trying to do something about foreign influence on our elections.

            Like

          • Anne in swON says:

            “Conservative Senator Linda Frum has proposed Bill-S239, which would tighten up our regulations, making sure our elections are supported and decided strictly by Canadian donors. But this sensible and narrowly targeted bill is stalled for lack of government interest, and has been for months.” from an article in the National Post. “Australia and New Zealand have been rocked by scandals involving Chinese donations evidently subverting the political process down there. Russian interests, too, have apparently tried to buy influence in western political processes. Given the coziness of certain Canadian politicians with the corrupt elites of Beijing, it’s a serious risk we face here.” http://nationalpost.com/opinion/np-view-why-wont-the-liberals-stop-foreign-donors-from-influencing-our-elections

            Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            I think that was part of it, but even within Canada you have a lot of left wing groups that get no foreign funding, most union funded and since union participation rates are much higher in Canada than the US so much easier to raise funds and also we are the only industrialized country where one cannot opt out of having their union dues going to political advocacy.

            I do think though the success of the left is less to do with foreign influence and more our political culture. We seem to have very much a little guy mentality so anyone who goes about demonizing those seen as higher up the food chain tends to do well in Canada so Trudeau’s soak the rich played well even if economically bad (I know as I am part of that group he hates). One of my friends who used work for Harper in the PMO said in the US, most want to be in the top 1% so demonizing them has limited appeal whereas in Canada, they are generally despised as many think you can only become rich by taking advantage of others not through hard work. I think the reason Obama was so popular here was for three reasons.

            1. Canadians hated Bush so just not being Bush helped.
            2. The US has a long history of racism so the idea of a Black person winning in a country with a long history of racism was quite appealing, sort of like Nelson Mandela back in the 90s.
            3. His efforts to bring universal health care were popular as universal health care is almost like a national religion in this country and most Canadians cannot understand why anyone would oppose it even though Americans are split down the middle on the idea whereas we are largely united on it. The only divide is whether we should have a parallel private system like most European countries do or a government monopoly like Cuba and North Korea do, almost no one even those on the right favour a US style health system.

            Personally I find the Republicans too extreme in general for me and really wish the Conservatives would not try to copy them. I much prefer British style conservatism over American style conservatism, otherwise we should try to be more like the British Conservatives and less like the GOP. I will admit with Harper perhaps coming from the former Progressive Conservatives and him coming from the Reform Party didn’t help as I never really liked the Reform Party, I more saw the merger as a necessary evil as without it we would have had permanent Liberal governments, but if the PCs could have succeeded on their own without merging that would have been preferable for me, but the reality is neither party could win on their own thus why despite the differences (which do exist in many areas) our common enemy forces us to work together.

            Like

          • Liz J says:

            Harper had a plan, he didn’t have anyone pulling his strings, when he spoke he knew what he was talking about. If that’s arrogance, I don’t know the meaning of the word.
            From day one in power it was obvious Trudeau was managed, he’s still stumbling and bumbling. It’s Trudeau up front and a cabal running the country and it’s not looking good, 2019 is a long way off in this situation.

            The latest handling of ISIS fighters returning to the country and how Goodale, and the cabal proposed to rehabilitate them was a scary, should have everyone’s concern. They just don’t get it. This is tells these evil dregs of the world Canada is a safe haven from which to go forth and terrorize the world, they can return and be coddled.

            How many more millions will be paid out to those who make a free choice to go to hellholes then return claiming torture? What has that got to do with this free country when it’s a personal choice?

            We are not in good hands, a lot of incompetence showing more and more as time passes.

            Like

  39. Liz J says:

    As for US politics, it makes a good sideline for the Liberal left to bash the Conservatives in this country by using the more extreme examples of Republicanism to brand our Conservatives.
    Frankly I’m sick of it. The Democrats and their minions have nothing to brag about at this point beyond Trump bashing and so far he has been trumping them.

    Like

  40. Miles Lunn says:

    Liz J – True Harper had no one pulling his strings whereas Trudeau does, it is none other than Gerald Butts. Gerald Butts is the one who is really driving the agenda and considering how badly he messed up in Ontario (it was his idea the Green energy plan in Ontario), we should be very worried.

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      I can appreciate your primary concern is the economics of the country. Wealth appears to insulate you from the everyday realities of life that affect the vast majority of Canadians. Can you not see that the social policies of this government are driving this country into a ditch? The economy will soon follow as we lose more and more of our freedoms. We are such a “nice” people that we’re following a pied piper to our destruction. We haven’t learned a thing from what has happened in the UK or western Europe. We’re just moving along that path much faster. Now, where does George Soros fit in with this agenda?

      Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        What social policies exactly do you mean. I like most fully support abortion, same sex marriage, and legalized marijuana. As for immigration, I agree it needs to be updated periodically, but having lived all my life in Vancouver or Toronto which are both diverse cities, I absolutely believe immigration has been a net positive. With an aging population and low birth rate, we need immigration if we wish to maintain economic growth; just look at Japan and how sluggish their growth has been. I don’t read stuff like the Rebel, Breitbart, or Infowars as I find they tend exaggerate a lot of the threats. So I am fearful that our deficit will get too big, that our government policies will make us an unattractive place to invest, but I am not fearful will come under Sharia Law or be part of some global UN Marxist dictatorship (not suggesting you believe that, but I’ve seen some on the further right put out these ideas which are baseless). As for Europe, it has its issues, but I travel to it twice a year and was just in London and hardly think it is a hell hole like some claim. I would much rather live in Europe than the United States although I would rather live in Canada over both. If anything it is the United States of Western countries whose direction I dislike the most and worry the most about. As for George Soros, one can disagree with his viewpoints, but I find too many like to find one bogeyman than look at the complexities of things. For the right it is George Soros and for the left it is the Koch Brothers when I think people overplay how much power and influence they have. Besides Soros was right on the Iraq War which is what really started the hatred from the American right. I try to stay away from the American right. This is a good article on where a lot of the hatred towards Soros comes from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-did-george-soros-become-the-favorite-boogeyman-of-the-right-2017-5 and well balanced too. I find the American right way too extreme so I avoid them like the plague. Mind you I wish all Canadians would just avoid American politics and keep it south of the border including the left too as we are a vastly different country with much different issues.

        That doesn’t mean Justin Trudeau isn’t risky, I do think perhaps on the security front he is a little too naïve thinking if we are nice nothing will happen, but that doesn’t mean we have to go to the other extreme and become an isolationist country and close our borders. We can still have a welcoming immigration policy and constructively engage the rest of the world which I should note all PMs be it Liberal or Conservative including even Harper have done. The reality is I am far more likely to die in a car accident commuting to work or get killed crossing the street from being struck by a car than killed in a terrorist attack and likewise murder rates even when you include terrorist attacks are much higher in the US than Europe. In fact Europe is one of the safest continents to travel to. The biggest danger as a tourist I worry about is scams and pick pocketing which can be an issue in some places. I don’t think my views are for being rich and detached, if anything polls and past elections suggest most Canadians are proud of our openness and while they may disagree on some policies, there is little appetite for a nationalist leader along the lines of Trump, Le Pen, Wilders, or Farage. After all throughout Canadian history people have said each wave of immigration would undermine our identity and threaten us and every time they were wrong. The left also said the same about NAFTA back in the 80s and were proven wrong too. So there is nothing to fear other than fear of the outside world.

        I guess it all depends on what we want as a country. So this is probably one area where we will just agree to disagree. I think the party needs to stay away from identity politics and social issues as it will just tear it apart and provide lots of ammo for the Liberals to lose against it. And will ensure we lose badly in the 905 belt and Lower Mainland suburbs which we must win back if we want to win in 2019. Thankfully Scheer is staying away from that and focusing largely on economic issues as is Patrick Brown and even Kenney in Alberta.

        Like

    • Liz J says:

      Exactly what I said, Harper had no one pulling his strings.
      If ever we need proof Trudeau is fed from his crew, led by Butts, needs to listen to him when he’s off the cuff.

      Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        True enough, he does have a real foot and mouth disease when off script. Most thought this would sink him, but it seems his handlers did a good job in the election of keeping him on script, but I don’t think Trudeau is stupid intellectually, but I do think he lacks pragmatism and for politics its not something you lean in a classroom, you need good instincts which he clearly lacks. Gerald Butts seems too much of an idealist like many on the left are, otherwise thinks he can socially engineer the country to make it the way he envisions it forgetting social engineering never has and never does work. Not that I share his ideals, but just saying he bases his policies on what he thinks the country should be ideally not what is actually practical and realistic.

        Like

  41. Miles Lunn says:

    In Wynne’s year end interview she more or less made clear if the PCs don’t win a majority she will gang up with the NDP to prevent them from forming government. God help us if that happens but it seems she is veering strongly to the left and the PCs moving into the centre. Hopefully the public wants a more centrist agenda than a left wing one as Ontario will be in big trouble if it moves further left. Her next plan is universal pharmacare although she wants the feds to cough this up. Hopefully the PCs can go after them on big spending how they will live within their means not spend like crazy.

    Like

  42. Anne in swON says:

    Miles, you asked, “What social policies exactly do you mean. And in your next post you answered your own question with this line, “Gerald Butts seems too much of an idealist like many on the left are, otherwise thinks he can socially engineer the country to make it the way he envisions it forgetting social engineering never has and never does work.” I guess we’ll just have to see how his government’s pledge to bring in 1,000,000 immigrants over the next 3 years will impact the Liberal affordable housing plan, not to mention health care. Should be very interesting! Now there’s a jumble of social and economic issues to sort through.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I actually support bringing in a million over three years as long as it is primarily skilled ones as opposed to family ones. I do think though as you mentioned with housing prices they should like Australia give bonus points for those who settle outside the major metropolitan areas. As for health care, actually immigration can potentially help if they are people of working age population, its only a problem if everyone is bringing over their elderly relatives which is why I would like to see family class scaled back, but economic class increased.

      In terms of housing prices, it really is supply and demand and in most of Canada housing is quite affordable, it is only in the largest cities it is not, so that seems to me to be a market signal that too many people are living in our largest cities and maybe people should look more in smaller communities where housing is more affordable. I know if you look abroad, large cities like New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London, and Sydney have long had even more obscene housing prices and no government has found a way to fix there thus my skepticism. In London, it is impossible to get anything for under 1 million pounds unless you live beyond Heathrow Airport and in the city centre most flats sell for over 3 million pounds. New York city is much the same which is why many middle class live as far away as Pennsylvania and cross the entire state of New Jersey to get to work. I should note the business community was asking the Liberals to bring in 450,000 a year so actually they didn’t go too far although my understanding is privately the Liberals favour bringing in that many, but they are worried about the electoral backlash so won’t do so for that reason.

      Like

      • Anne in swON says:

        There is an interesting article in the National Post by Jack Mintz that issues a warning to Trudeau, Butts et al and their co-mingling of social and economic issues i.e. progressive trade agreements. http://www.nationalpost.com/m/jack+mintz+trump+tsunami+about+wallop+canadian+jobs+investment/16374135/story.html
        As far as health care is concerned one third of that million will be asylum seekers or refugees. That number does not include the elderly or dependent relatives of those refugees or asylum seekers already here and will impact health care workers and facilities needed. Open your wallet, Canada.

        Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          I don’t agree with that mix, otherwise the numbers are not an issue for me, rather the mix. We should do more to get more high skilled ones and certainly having high tax rates doesn’t make Canada attractive for top talent. I agree the virtue signaling is dumb and shows a lack of understanding on Trudeau’s part about trade agreements. Yes the EU includes all those, but the EU is an economic and political union not a trade agreement so it is comparing apples and oranges. In fact I would argue if the EU did less of this, Brexit might have been avoided so far from making things like Brexit less likely makes them more likely. I am not an isolationist, but I tend to believe in the idea of think globally and act locally and that a one size fits all doesn’t work.

          Like

        • Anne in swON says:

          If businesses feeling the pinch, particularly in Ontario, continue to move south for economic reasons as many have done and even more are contemplating, where are the jobs going to come from to accommodate this influx? For 2017 of approximately 300,000 newcomers slightly more than half (172,500) were economic immigrants, 84,000 were family reunification entrants and the remaining 43,500 were from the refugee, protected persons, and humanitarian category, whatever that entails. Those numbers are to be scaled up in the coming years. If what Jack Mintz forecasts comes to pass, how is this an affordable plan?

          Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            I agree Mintz’s forecast is worrisome but I think immigration numbers are the wrong area to look at, rather we need to look at making Canada more attractive place to invest. With corporate taxes, even after the corporate tax cut ours will still be roughly the same as the US as the US has the highest corporate tax in the industrialized world, nonetheless we need more fiscal room so we can cut taxes if US cuts further. By having a healthy surplus instead of large deficit we would have room for this, which we don’t right now thanks to Trudeau’s spending like a drunken sailor. On top marginal rates, US is only dropping them by 2.6% but they are eliminating the state and local tax deduction so the actual cut for top marginal rate will only be in states with state taxes below 6.5%, high taxed states like New York and California will see top marginal rates rise. For top marginal rates my position has been all along they should scrap the 33% bracket and go back to the 29% which would bring combined provincial + federal rates below 50% in all provinces but they would still be over 45% in 8 out of 10 provinces and over 40% in most. More importantly at that level our top marginal rate would be in line with the OECD average and G7 average. Also that is what the top rate was under Mulroney, Chretien, Martin, and Harper.

            As for jobs, more people means more demand for products so it’s not a fixed number as some think. If that was the case countries with small populations would have lower unemployment rates than ones with large populations yet there is zero correlation between population and unemployment. Where you will need immigration is once the baby boomers start to retire as we have more people retiring every year than entering the workforce thanks to our low birth rate and long life expectancy. If our birth rate was higher, we could have less immigration, otherwise we either need to find a way to get birth rates up or higher immigration. Declining populations unless a country is overpopulated have negative impacts on the economy and with Canada having one of the lowest population densities in earth we have plenty of room to grow. So for me its more we need more people, but I am indifferent to how it is achieved. If we could find a way to encourage more people to have more children then I would be fine with scaling back immigration. So in sum our working age population to retiree used to be 7 to 1, now it is 4 to 1 and if trends continue will be 2 to 1 in 2030. That is what it is in Japan who has very little immigration and has averaged at 1% growth in the last 20 years vs. our 2% so a smaller working age population will mean more unemployment and less tax revenue while higher costs relatively speaking for health care.

            Like

          • Anne in swON says:

            I agree that “more people means more demand for products”, but which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Where are the plans to attract more investment? Investment in what? Certainly not pipelines which were ready to go, would have employed thousands and didn’t call for any government money – Liberal policy put paid to that in a hurry. I will grant that Canada is becoming a magnet for AI investment which is unlikely to employ recent newcomers unless they have the necessary skill set. What else is underway or in the planning? The people left unemployed by businesses moving or closing will also require replacement jobs and need to be prioritized, in my opinion. The people who were brought in through 2017 have cost the taxpayer about a billion dollars according to Mr. Hussen’s estimate.

            You have also stated that, “Where you will need immigration is once the baby boomers start to retire as we have more people retiring every year than entering the workforce…” People in Sweden used to believe in that theory until they faced the overwhelming numbers of ‘refugees’ who required assistance. Now they’re being faced with fact that it may be impossible for them to collect the pension they have worked so hard for for all their adult years because there are insufficient capable people to replace them. Now the Swedish government is considering extending the age of retirement another two years. I don’t want to see us head down that same path. We need to forestall further illegal migration from the US which will threaten our borders in the next couple of years or we, too, will pay the price. I won’t even get into the so-called vetting of these individuals. How many years down the road will their appointments be? This government is asleep at the wheel.

            Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            AnneinSwON – Agree in Sweden things haven’t worked out, but that is why you use a points system like Australia does rather than one based on compassion like Sweden. Otherwise bring those in most likely to be a net benefit to the country, not those who are likely to be a drain.

            In terms of pipelines, agree the government hasn’t done well here although I am thinking that is something that hopefully can change in the future although admittedly even if we go Conservative in 2019, until the NDP is booted out in BC not much will happen and likewise it seems whomever Montreal elects as mayor will do everything to stop them so the only alternative is go around Quebec through the US.

            Like

  43. Miles Lunn says:

    According to Robert Benzie’s tweet from the Toronto Star, he claims the PC’s own internal polls show them 24 points ahead and on track to win 85 seats out of 124. That seems a bit too good to be true, but sure hope that is accurate. While it is tough to guess where things are, my guess is the PCs are around 10 points ahead, otherwise around 40% vs. the Liberals 30% and NDP in the low 20s and if an election were held today the PCs would win around 70 seats, but again that is just a guess.

    Like

  44. Anne in swON says:

    Kudos to the departing Ethics Commissioner! We now have two of our most highly placed government officials found guilty of having committed ethics violations. Unfortunately the fines are mere pocket change for these two. It’s the smell that will forever follow them. How it took a year to find Trudeau ‘guilty’ is puzzling.

    Like

    • Liz J says:

      Exactly. Why did it take so long when Dawson had access to the rules and had the info on his jaunt to the Aga Khan’s Island with family and others in his entourage.
      Trudeau will be speaking on the matter ….hope he doesn’t cry when he apologizes.

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  45. Liz J says:

    The timing of this is also suspect, the House isn’t sitting so it will be all forgotten when they come back and Dawson is on her way out the door. There’s a bit of a stench to it for sure but nothing will come of it. Drama boy and his director will already have it rehearsed to perfection.

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