Saturday, October 17, 2009

Details of the AR Poll

Sorry for the delay yesterday in writing more about the new Angus-Reid.

To re-cap, the Conservatives are at 41% nationally, followed by the Liberals at 27%, the NDP at 16%, the Bloc Quebecois at 8%, and the Greens at 6%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives lead with a very strong 47%, followed by the NDP at 22%, the Liberals at 21%, and the Greens at a disappointing 9%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives take a hit and stand at 52%, followed by the Liberals at 21%, the Greens at 12%, and the NDP at 11%. That is a big Liberal result, and as some have speculated, it might have something to do with the unpopularity of Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

The Conservatives are doing well in the Prairies, however, with 57%, as are the NDP with 23%. The Liberals are down to 17%.

In Ontario, the Conservatives have a huge 16-point lead over the Liberals, 45% to 29%. The NDP seems to have benefited as well, and are at a very strong 19%.

In Quebec, the Bloc is well ahead with 36%. The Liberals are at 26% while the Conservatives are very strong with 25%. The NDP, at 8%, is not.

The Liberals still hold on to the lead in Atlantic Canada with 42%. The Conservatives are weak at 28% and the NDP is even weaker at 20%.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 156
Liberals - 79
Bloc Quebecois - 47
New Democrats - 26

So the Tories get a slim majority. What hurt them was a weak performance in Atlantic Canada, coupled with a weak performance there by the NDP. In a way, this demonstrates the danger of "under-performing" in any one region of the country.

The poll also asked who would make the best Prime Minister. Stephen Harper was comfortably ahead with 29%, followed by Michael Ignatieff at a disastrous 12% and Jack Layton at 11%. The "none of them" option earned 24%. This has changed my "Best PM" track, with Harper losing three points and Ignatieff losing four.

People were also asked which leader would best handle different issues. But as I've said before, the meaning of this is useless since we do not know what is motivating these answers. A quick example is health care. If you want more public or more private, your answer as to who would best handle health care would be different.

But anyway, Harper is tops on economy with 35% to Ignatieff's 19%. He also leads on health care (23% to Layton's 22%), foreign affairs (29% to Ignatieff's 26%), and crime (36% to Ignatieff's 12%). Layton leads for the environment, with 26% to Harper's 18%.

Bad news all around for Ignatieff, while this is certainly good for Harper. This poll is also better for Layton than usual, but still means a drop of 10 seats.

46 comments:

  1. Did you implement a cap somewhere like Ontario in that 1 poll seat projection?

    Its just that "strong in que" "25+% lead every where west of Ontario" and most especially a "16 point lead IN Ontario". I might be out to lunch, but that just seems like they should pick up some significant seats.

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  2. Barcs,

    --- "Did you implement a cap somewhere like Ontario in that 1 poll seat projection?"

    Yes I did. I had to use it in Alberta for the Liberals and NDP as well as for the Tories in Ontario.

    --- "I might be out to lunch, but that just seems like they should pick up some significant seats."

    They did, didn't they? They're up 13 seats.

    I know some of you may disagree, but it is my contention that, based on researching the last three elections, getting a majority is extremely difficult. The country is politically divided in a way that makes growth over a certain point very difficult.

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  3. Eric,

    I don't think anyone denies that getting a majority in the current political climate is "extremely difficult".

    I do think that your contention that getting a majority without Quebec is "impossible", is what many of us in the rest of Canada have a quibble with, considering how close it was in the last election.

    I doubt we'll be hearing much from you in the future about that impossibility... if these poll results stay where they are.

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  4. I don't think it is impossible, just very unlikely. Winning 11 seats in the province like I have them do in this poll is enough. If the Conservatives can win 8 or more seats in Quebec, they have a chance for a majority.

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  5. I agree. Its not "impossible" for the Conservatives to win a majority with negligible support in Quebec. Its just very, very difficult

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  6. Eric wrote:

    "People were also asked which leader would best handle different issues. But as I've said before, the meaning of this is useless..."

    I would not go so far as to call this information "useless".

    The failure of the Liberals to "own" any area of public policy has been cited as significant factor in their failure in the 2008 election.

    In this survey it doesn't look like much has changed.

    The Tories are currently seen as been best in four out of five major policy areas. In the one where they are not rated the strongest (the environment) Canadians are not looking to the Leader of the Opposition, they are looking to Jack Layton (and in other surveys, not included here, the Greens).

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  7. I have to wonder if Danny will again have a ABC campaign, having been away from the table for so long.
    I believe we can get a small majority without huge wins in Quebec. But, I also believe that if it appears we will get a majority, Quebec voters will move to the PM.
    Atlantic provinces might do the same.
    Four years is a long time to not have any input into decisions.

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  8. Well that result sucks. However i have the feeling that in fact we are a long way from an election. The Liberals being in such disarray means the push to go to the polls is not really there. Short of Harper making another balls up like the party funding one I'd say it is this Govt until late Spring at least.

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  9. maryT,

    I have a feeling this ABC bussiness is over. The stimulus negotiations with Williams were a success. Note to Liberals: every dollar going to that province is a NON-TORY riding.

    P.S. WILD ROSE ALLIANCE!!

    Now if only there was a really good right wing alternative to this annoying Liberal gov't in BC.

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  10. Jesse said: Now if only there was a really good right wing alternative to this annoying Liberal gov't in BC.

    Funny, I thought they were the right wing alternative. They're certainly not acting much like Liberals.

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  11. Eric I am curious how the Liberals gain or still hold the NWT seat, the NDP gap is significant and have held that seat for a long time.

    I understand Prince Caspian has promised help from all the woodland creatures in Narnia but I don't see how the Liberals hold or gain without local polling numbers.

    In last election the numbers gap was smaller in Ontario /905 and resulted in a drop for the Liberals at the ballot box before the weekend. Many ridings that had double digits leads were reduced an in striking range.

    That pattern has played out 3x.

    Do you have any indication the drop in support the last few days for the Liberals won't happen again?

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  12. How far do the Bloc need to fall before they would win less than 50% of the seats in Quebec? Winning 2 out of every 3 seats with only 36% support is a very efficient vote for them.

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  13. Dean,

    you're joking right ? The "carbon tax" and HST guys are supposed to be the right leaning alternative ?

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  14. The BC Liberals are an amalgam of anti NDP parties. Certainly some their policies like reconciliation with the natives and the carbon tax are not to the right. On the carbon tax though a conservative like Andrew Coyne will tell you that BC has done the right thing, because the BC carbon tax really was revenue neutral with offsetting tax cuts.

    The Campbell government embodies the extreme antipathy towards the public sector of both the Bill Bennett and Bill Van der Zalm Socred government of the past. Civil servants work harder, longer and are paid less than in most of the rest of Canada. Education is treated as luxury. I think Campbell's BC is more RW than the Harris Conservatives were in ON.

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  15. Earl,

    they started out as more of a right wing party. Native reconciliation, for instance, is a new policy that replaced one that was very confrontational. Privatizing roads was another policy that went away. BC still has a gov't run liquor company. And teacher's unions are still far too powerful.

    There has been a clear shift to the left over the last few years.

    The anti-union/NDP reputation that was earned when the Liberals made deep, deep cuts to balance the budget has all but dissapeared here in BC.

    Left wing partisans will still call them right wingers but any analysis of their current political configuration would make it clear that they are NOT a right party.

    Its a very similiar situation to Ed Stelmach. People on the right are getting fed up. I wouldn't be surprised if a right wing party gains serious attention in the next BC provincial election.

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  16. Hi Jesse:

    Tell me how the teacher's unions are too powerful please? I spent three years teaching in BC during the early 1980's. I returned to Ontario to better working conditions, higher pay, better benefits. and an effective union. Ontario Secondary teachers teach 6 out of 8 periods and will make $400,000 more than their BC counterparts over their career. BC teachers teach 7 of 8 periods. It doesn't matter if BC teachers have a contract or not the government regularly tears them up. If you are referring to the right to strike when I went to BC if contracts were not settled by Nov. 15, then they automatically went to binding arbitration. The BC government gave teachers the right to strike because it didn't like the arbitration process. I'm still angry 26 years later at the absolute unfairness exhibited in the treatment of teachers. A union has no power when the government of the day regularly violates contracts. The government has all the power and uses it regularly. Teachers have only the illegal strike which simply costs them time and money. Tell me where I'm wrong, please.

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  17. Earl would you say the same about the Teachers union in Toronto, Ontario?

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  18. Earl,

    its clear where you are on the spectrum.

    As i've said, its common practice for lefties to declare that the BC Liberal gov't is right-wing, out of the mainstream, extremist, etc etc so they can replace it with an even more left leaning gov't.

    As someone who is actually on the right I have the objective ability to tell you that the BC Liberals are NOT a right party.

    And teachers unions have too much power because they are able to use union dues on political advertising and speech even though not all their members are NDP.

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  19. You know, I wish we lived in a world where people would listen to someone's arguments and debate them, rather than dismiss them entirely once that person has been pegged to be somewhere on the political spectrum different from one's own.

    "Left" and "right" are not homogeneous masses that all think alike and try to achieve the same things.

    And it is all relative. The BC Liberals and the BC NDP are the only two viable parties in BC, and of the two of them the BC Liberals are on the right and the NDP is on the left.

    Take, for example, the Democratic Party in the USA. It would be a centrist or even centre-right party in Canada, yet in the USA it is perceived as Marxist-lite.

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  20. Jesse I happen to agree with you. Federally unions can't support a political party with donations. It should be that way provincially as well. I would go a step further than we have federally and ban the $$ dinners where wealthy donors get access to politicians. I'm all for keeping both unions and business out of the political process. You are quite mistaken about where I am on the political spectrum. I was one of the first Reform Party members east of Alberta. I have voted either Reform or Conservative federally my entire life federally. I am not a Harris Conservative though. I'd even support taking away the right of teachers to strike if binding arbitration was used used to solve situations where a contract couldn't be reached. What bothers me is when governments step in and impose wage freezes on civil servants by legislation and violate previously agreed to contracts. I hope you will respond to my specific points rather than try to judge where I am on the political spectrum. Earl.

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  21. I think donations from unions AND businesses should be banned at all levels - as is the case federally and in Quebec and Manitoba. This would hurt rightwing parties much more than it would hurt the NDP since typically the amount of money provincial NDPs get from unions is nothing compared to all the big business money that flows to Liberal and Conservative parties.

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  22. Eric,

    you've missed the point completely. Not everything is relative and not everything should be judged by only the big viable parties because as we've seen in Alberta new parties can and do form.

    NDP are a left party, BC Libs are a center party lately.

    Yes, the BC Libs are to the right of the NDP but being to the right of someone is not the same as being a right wing party.

    As someone who lives in BC and has right wing views I feel I am entitled to voice my opinion that I do not feel like there is a true right wing party in the province.

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  23. You're entitled to voice any opinion you like.

    The point is that everything is relative, every definition is individual. You feel BC doesn't have a right-wing party, Dean feels that the BC Liberals are a right-wing alternative. Who is correct?

    By traditional definitions, I wouldn't call the BC Liberals a right-wing party. But then again, according to traditional definitions, Canada has very few right-wing parties.

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  24. "I hope you will respond to my specific points rather than try to judge where I am on the political spectrum."

    Sigh, this follows up with Eric's similiar declaration.

    Entreaties to decorum made in the middle of a debate are often used to hit an opponent over the head rather than to achieve the stated aim.

    I will be generous and not assume that your request was made in extremely bad faith just to score points.

    Now, as to your personal political beliefs, the reform/conservative are federal parties and we're talking provincial politics.

    Also, your standard for evaluating whether a provincial party is to the left or right seems to be nothing more than where they stand on labour relations.

    I will agree with you that the BC Liberals are not labour friendly, however, they have made efforts to improve their standing with labour in the last couple years which is just more evidence of their leftward slide.

    Regardless, please tell me if you have any more of an arguement than the BC Libs are anti-NDP, anti-labour therefore they're a right wing party ?

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  25. Eric,

    you're treating an entire field of study - political science - with a dismissive attitude.

    It should be possible to judge where a party stands on the political spectrum by analyzing their positions and how they line up with what has traditionally been thought of as parties motivated by conservative political philosophy.

    Saying its all relative and based on personal opinion, either mine or Earl's, precludes the possibility of there being an objective answer.

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  26. I actually agree. My major objection is to the constant painting with a large brush that is done when it comes to political views. How many times have I been asked, here, where I am on the political spectrum, as if that answer would explain everything, that if I wasn't on the same side of the spectrum as the person who asked the question, all my conclusions and observations could be discarded?

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  27. Jesse I don't know what your definition of a right wing party is. I suspect that it is more populist than RW though, so why don't you tell me.

    As to my definition of the Campbell Liberals, I noted that they adopted some left leaning stances. Therefore they are not a pure RW party.

    Their adoption of the carbon tax because it offset entirely by income tax cuts is a right wing move, though not a popular one. The BC Carbon Tax is essentially a consumption tax, favoured by Conservative governments the world over. Consumption taxes are regressive because they are a flat tax and not graduated, like income tax. Similarly the adoption of the HST by the Campbell Liberals ( while politically dishonest in the extreme) is a move that a RW party should support. It is business friendly and again a consumption tax. It is also a regressive tax like all consumption taxes. One would expect the NDP to oppose the HST because it is a regressive tax and favours business over consumers.

    There isn't IMO a real right wing party of any size in North America. A RW government would be fiscally responsible, respect property rights, respect personal rights while not going to the extremes we see the courts going to. A RW government would respect contracts made with both individuals and groups.

    In your response to me you totally ignored my last post to you regarding unions and the BCTF in particular. Why did you ignore the substantive issues I raised in posts 16 and 20? Please address those issues.

    You'll note I have not addressed any social conservative issues as I don't see that agenda being part of any political party's role, save for the Christian Heritage Party. A real RW party would IMO believe strongly in the sepatation of church and state. As to how I'd voye provincially in BC I would likely have supported the Conservatives, a fringe party in the last election.

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  28. Earl,

    No, I don't confuse populism and conservatism, they diverge chiefly around the issues of fiscal management.

    In the early days of the Liberal gov't we had income tax reductions on some of the highest earners, its lately that they've moved from conservatism to populism with various tax rebate gimmicks.

    The BC carbon tax isn't as regressive as you think. A cheque is sent to anyone with low income. The whole thing is redistributionary and meant to reward low carbon use.

    A truly conservative tax would be one without such a distortionary effect, applied evenly and to everyone without refunds.

    A "revenue neutral" tax is an abomination, meant to exert control over people's lives and not do what taxes are meant to do which is to raise government revenue to pay for things like the police.

    Then again putting Coyne's musings aside, a truly conservative party wouldn't support ANY carbon reduction measures beyond letting mankind's technological advancement deal with the problem on its own.

    As for the HST, its again supposed to be revenue neutral which just means more cheques to low income people.

    Social issues have been dealt with in various ways by right leaning parties and you can still have seperation of church and state with laws against abortion, so its all rather irrelevent.

    I'm not interested in addressing labour issues. This is an issue in which true conservative parties DO NOT mess around.

    More union power means higher taxes and work stoppages. This bussiness about respecting contracts is meaningless when those contracts are made under in the manner they are, with the threat of a strike always around the corner.

    With unemployment in the 8% range that recent strike in Toronto was DISGUSTING. There are many, many out of work Canadians that would have loved a job, even with half the benefits (which are totally out of line with private sector compensation).

    We need "right to work" laws that end the union monopoly on labour and allow employers to fire workers who got on strike and replace them with out of work Canadians willing to do the work.

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  29. Hi Jesse:

    Your right wing in not my right wing. I believe people ought to have the right to choose, so do away with abortion laws (as they are now), the CRTC, except to award broadcast frequencies, seatbelt and helmet laws. I'd also abolish all drug laws, making the use of any drug legal for those over twenty one.

    I believe in non regressive taxation. That is either a graduated income tax or a form of flat tax with a large personal exemption of around $20,000 covering what it would cost a single person to live a decent but bare bones existence. More for families. Along with the flattening of tax brackets I believe every dollar of income be it from the sale of your home (price adjusted for inflation), dividends, capital gains, interest or earned income should be taxed at one or two rates. Get rid of trusts for the rich, offshore bank accounts, tax shelters of all kinds. I agree that the CPC has complicated the tax system needlessly by adding the tax credits for transit and fitness and sports equipment, Etc, Etc.

    I'd eliminate all sales taxes and replace them with a personal consumption tax. It works like this: Take total earnings, subtract federal and provincial income taxes, and any net savings. Savings would include include investments and repayment of borrowed money. Any money borrowed would be added to income. The tax would be deducted at source at a rate between 3 and 5%. Like income tax things would be squared up at the end of the year. This tax would capture money spent in foreign jurisdictions and eliminate most under the table transactions.

    As for the right to work. I'm strongly opposed to such legislation. It places the employee at the mercy of the employer. There has to be some equality in the bargaining process.

    I also believe that governments should run more surpluses than deficits but that in bad times deficits are necessary.

    As for your example of the Toronto Civic workers strike last summer, I reject your solution. I would put in place an arbitration mechanism so that government workers, including teachers couldn't strike. Wage settlements granted under arbitration would be linked to those in the private sector. I'd also abolish professional rate setting organizations for doctors, lawyers dentists, accountants and other professions and open access to anyone who can pass the necessary exams. Why should the professions be allowed to operate as cartels? Every executive would have to have their pay package and benefits approved in a shareholder vote. For Companies like Teck, Magna, and Shaw for the purposes of approving executive compensation all shares would have an equal vote.

    If I follow your logic to its end, we should abolish minimum wages, welfare, government pensions, etc. If you don't make it, then you starve to death or end up in prison because you will have to steal to live. Root hog or die. I'm guessing you'd abolish medicare as well.

    Let me know what you think of those ideas.

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  30. Jesse here's why education is important:

    http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/712638

    And Teachers are important to education!

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  31. Earl wrote:

    "If I follow your logic to its end, we should abolish minimum wages, welfare, government pensions, etc. If you don't make it, then you starve to death or end up in prison because you will have to steal to live... I'm guessing you'd abolish medicare as well."

    I can't speak for Jesse but I would eliminate them all.

    You speak of stealing as the tragic result.

    But how are welfare, medicare, etc. funded now, except by government-sanctioned theft?

    You speak of starving to death.

    No one is suggesting that voluntary support be outlawed. People should by all means be free to donate their time and money to helping those less fortunate.

    You say that drug laws should be abolished. Fair enough. Why should the government ban what an individual has voluntarily undertaken?

    But why have minimum wage laws then? If an employer and a worker agree to a certain remuneration for certain work, why should that voluntary transaction be outlawed?

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  32. Martin, unions and laws regarding wages and benefits came about because without them the relationship between employees and employers is mostly one sided. If you want to see what it would be like without unions and government regulation you only need look as far as India, China or Bangladesh. Is that what you really want for Canadians? Why should a business owner even pay a living wage if there are others willing to take the workers place? Corporations have demonstrated time and time again that there only interest is the bottom line. For reference look to how the major sports league's treated their players before unions were formed. The owners were rich and could end a players career on a whim.

    I noticed that you completely skipped my sections on compensation for Corporate executives and professionals as well as taxation. It seems to me that you and Jesse want a government for the well off.

    A RW party like you are suggesting will always be a fringe party. Why, because to support it the average person would be voting against their own economic interests. Unless you go to a qualified franchise based on wealth and or education or a dictatorship I can't see a party that doesn't support medicare, welfare or minimum wages getting elected. Can you honestly?

    Thanks for the response.

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  33. Ooof, please no libertarian-free-market-rules-all debates.

    For one, history has shown why minimum wages are required.

    And there is no government-sanctioned-theft. If you want to be a Canadian citizen, you need to abide by the laws that Canadian citizens have decided upon, via our elected officials.

    You're free to renounce your citizenship and become an illegal alien or leave the country.

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  34. Hey Eric: Great way to put: If you want to be a Canadian citizen.... People have a democratic right to change things but who would support it? My wife and I make more than $150,000 a year and no-one we know would support those kinds of changes. To leave the unfortunate to depend only on the charity of others. A sad commentary IMO.

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  35. Eric:

    "For one, history has shown why minimum wages are required"

    History has shown no such thing.

    "And there is no government-sanctioned-theft."

    Of course there is. Just because a government enacts something does not mean that it is ethically defensible. If a government enacts genocidal laws, it doesn't mean that it is not murder.

    "If you want to be a Canadian citizen, you need to abide by the laws that Canadian citizens have decided upon, via our elected officials."

    So, just because some majority of people (sometimes not even that) hold some opinion, they then have the unrestricted right to force some behaviour on everyone else?

    That's a frankly lunatic idea. To build on the earlier extreme example, if Canadians voted to exterminate some minority, your version of democracy says it's ok?

    "You're free to renounce your citizenship and become an illegal alien"

    That's not much of a solution since that would not exempt me from arbitrary government restrictions on my freedom.

    "or leave the country."

    Am I not free to also advocate for a change in those laws?

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  36. Martin of course you are free to advocate for your vision of the country. Do you think your vision is realistic? I find the extreme right in much the same position as the extreme left - ideas that appeal to only a small minority of people with a few ideas thrown in for good measure. Why do you think the NDP regularly polls under 20% and it had to banish its more radical members years ago to preserve the party.

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  37. Eric,

    sorry but minimum wage laws are more or less useless.

    Just as the US increased their minimum wage recently we saw youth unemployment sky rocket to horrific levels as companies cut back on unskilled, part time cheap labour. Unfortunately, these kind of interventions really hamper small bussiness and job creation.

    Minimum wage schemes tend to increase inflation, so without a constant cost of living re-adjustment the raise just gets eaten up.

    Frankly, the government cannot artificially create economic prosperity and this sort of redistributionism usually just hampers growth for everyone by creating inefficiency.

    Some sort of protection for workers around the margins is fine so you don't have situations where people are being exploited.

    But any "living wage" scheme is doomed to failure.

    However, modest government top ups, coming from general revenue and not small bussiness, are something that's been helpful and worth exploring.

    How's that for pragmatic, evidence based Conservatism and not pure ideology?

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  38. Earl,

    i'm sorry but your professed voting record aside its become clear that you're something of a big government populist, with your own grab bag of beliefs, and not a small c fiscal conservative. Of course, you're free to call yourself anything you like...

    I'm a follower of free market, supply side economics. I believe what's good for the well off, is good for everybody.

    However, i'm also a believer in public policy based around results and evidence as opposed to ideology and speculation.

    So targeted interventions by the government to assist people is fine by me.

    But you're confusing government with UNIONS. Why is it fair for one segment of the population to get benefits that others don't ?

    Either it works for everyone and should be done by the gov't or these outrageous benefit packages should be stripped away.

    Also, a little union busting would be a great solution for education! Private schools, charter schools, even religious schools can come up with some innovative and effective learning methods that just aren't seen in traditional, union run schools.

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  39. Jesse said:

    "So targeted interventions by the government to assist people is fine by me.

    But you're confusing government with UNIONS. Why is it fair for one segment of the population to get benefits that others don't ?

    Either it works for everyone and should be done by the gov't or these outrageous benefit packages should be stripped away."

    What about freedom of choice? Do you support people's right to choose the TV they watch, whether or not to wear seat belts and helmets, to use or not use drugs? An answer please.

    Are you talking about those benefit packages for corporate executives? What about making corporate pay subject to shareholder approval? Why shouldn't the owner's of a company be able to decide what they pay their managers? Are you with me on that one?

    Supply side economics doesn't work. Ronald Reagan and George Bush have proven that.

    Do you know what the propensity to save means?

    Either you think my ideas on taxation are government intervention or you choose not to respond to them because they level the playing field. I gave you a flat tax. What more could a supply sider want. I closed all the loopholes what more could a small "c" conservative want. What I also did is widened the base of taxation so that everyone can benefit from low tax rates. I didn't tax capital, just income. What's wrong with that?

    How have jobs fared when minimum wages were increased in good times? Any data?

    You give me very general responses to very specific solutions. Can't you respond? I'd like a point by point response otherwise there is no point on carrying on the conversation. I'd really like to carry on the conversation but I can't do it if you can't or won't respond.

    See next post for education.

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  40. Earl wrote:

    "I find the extreme right in much the same position..."

    I wouldn't call the Libertarian position "extreme right" because that would only meet conventional definitions if the only consideration is the level of freedom/intervention in economic matters.

    Eliminating laws against prostitution, drugs, etc. are not ordinarily thought of as policies of centre-right parties. If anything, on some of those types of issues, parties of the left are sometimes marginally more open to greater freedom.

    In other words, to some extent, libertarians transcend the conventional left/right definitions.

    "Do you think your vision is realistic?"

    It depends on what you mean by "realistic". Of course I believe that a society can function effectively and justly along libertarian lines.

    On the other hand, the Libertarian Party of Canada is certain to not form the government any time soon. But then, previous expansions of human freedom have required decades or centuries to become established.

    In the meantime, the best that Libertarians can hope for is to grow enough to be able to influence a few issues.

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  41. Jesse there isn't one public school in Canada that is run by unions.

    Learning outcomes and teaching methods are proscribed by the provincial departments of education.

    In Ontario a student MAY NOT be penalized for handing in an assignment late or incomplete. Students CAN NOT be penalized for cheating on exams or plagiarism. A student can hand in all of their assignments on the last day of school and not lose a mark for lateness. A public school is government funded and has to accept every student that comes through its doors. Do you honestly think teachers or their unions find ANY of the above acceptable?

    A private school can give entrance exams and chose who to accept. So can chartered schools. Private and chartered schools can expel students for academic performance or for behavior problems. Public schools in ON can only expel a student who is a threat to the safety of other students and then another public school must admit that student. You sir, are comparing apples to oranges. Unions negotiate wages and benefits. That is it.

    Finally do think a party that mirrors your ideas is electable? Or would you be happy just being a "fringe" party like the CHP?

    Looking forward to your response.

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  42. Earl wrote:

    "To leave the unfortunate to depend only on the charity of others. A sad commentary IMO."

    Actually what is a really sad commentary is that socialists perpetually try to prove how compassionate they are by giving away OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.

    "Why, because to support it the average person would be voting against their own economic interests. "

    Many people would certainly _perceive_ it to be against their economic interests.

    Our society has gotten to the point where everyone tries to prosper at the expense of everyone else, so naturally telling people that they no longer have access to other people's wallets would upset many.

    That is perhaps the saddest commentary of all.

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  43. Earl,

    Minimum wage laws are an assault on the poor.

    In the private sector, what an employee can earn is fundamentally driven by how much economic value he can generate for his employer.

    Suppose a given person can only produce $5 per hour of economic value. The employer cannot be _forced_ to hire. So what happens then?

    You have effectively banned that person from working. And why? Because you know better than he does what is in his best interest.

    By what right do you have to tell someone that you'd rather have him unemployed than earning a modest wage?

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  44. Earl wrote:

    "Corporations have demonstrated time and time again that there only interest is the bottom line."

    That's what they are supposed to do. If I am a part owner of a for-profit company, I want it to focus on making money, not assuaging the guilt complex of CEO or some leftist activists.

    "For reference look to how the major sports league's treated their players before unions were formed."

    OMG! Is that the best example you can come up with?

    If you don't like what someone is offering you to play a childhood game then get another job. That is what freedom is about.

    And, btw, your idea of union-derived justice is that even mediocre professional players can now earn $1 million dollars a year or more? Yes, thank goodness for unions that finally got them justice.

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  45. Earl,

    no i'm not terribly interested in a point by point debate, especially after the ridiculous statement that Ronald Reagan proved supply side economics did not work. I guess ending the recession Carter left him, ending stagflation, and ushering in growth and prosperity "didn't work".

    Our initial discussion is more or less settled. The BC Libs are NOT a conservative option and it would be nice to have one in the province.

    Your personal beliefs are big government populist. Just because a party is to your personal right or the right of the other party doesn't mean its objective identity outside your relative interpretation is a conservative party.

    And "electability" is a ridiculous arguement. Yes, a proper right wing alternative party would be able to win seats in certain areas of BC. They would influence and set the parameters of the debate.

    Public opinion is a moving target. A party that makes proper arguements can move the public to the right or left.

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  46. Jesse the fact that only group you assault is workers tells me all I need to know. You refuse to enter into any discussion about taxation or salaries for CEO's etc. Both of my solution's in those areas were very right wing.

    I chose professional sports because it is the ultimate example of a discretionary choice. People don't need to buy a ticket to watch an NHL game or a MLB or NFL game. Nor do they need to do watch on TV. It's purely discretionary. The Owners, make more money than they ever did. Again except for minimum wages no-one ever makes an owner pay a ridiculous salary. You simply are envious of those who do better than you. Good luck. No ill will.

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