Friday, November 6, 2009

Projection: 139 CPC, 93 LPC, 49 BQ, 27 NDP

There's only been one poll released since last week's update, but with the passing of a month the weight of older polls has been reduced, which results in some changes:The Conservatives pick up one seat and are now at 139. The Liberals lose one and are at 93. The NDP and Bloc remain steady at 27 and 49 seats, respectively. The Liberals have lost 0.3 points nationally, 0.2 of them going to the Conservatives and 0.1 going to the NDP.

The seat gain for the Tories comes in British Columbia, from the Liberals. The Conservatives have gained 0.5 points in that province, and 0.3 points each in Alberta, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. They've dropped 0.3 points in the Prairies, however.

The Liberals did not gain any ground anywhere. They lost 0.4 points each in British Columbia and Quebec, 0.2 points in Alberta, and 0.1 points each in the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.

The New Democrats made some progress this week. They gained 0.3 points each in the Prairies and Quebec and 0.2 points each in British Columbia and Ontario. They lost 0.1 points in Atlantic Canada, and remained steady in Alberta.

The Bloc is up 0.2 points in Quebec. The Greens lost ground everywhere except in Quebec, where they were steady. They lost 0.1 points each in Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. They lost 0.3 points in British Columbia.

So, a good week for the Conservatives, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois. A bad week, again, for the Liberals but also the Greens.


  1. Saskatchewan provincial poll (sigma analytics)

    Saskparty - 59.5 (up 8 from election 2 yrs ago)
    NDP -26.4 (down 10 from election)

    From a place where they don't bother reporting numbers for parties with no prospects. (liberals, greens, others make up the last 14%)

  2. Based on those numbers, it's arguable whether the NDP has any prospects.

  3. Barcs,

    that's an amazing shift. This is why i'm not surprised when I see polls showing higher Saskitoba numbers than Alberta numbers for the federal Tories.

  4. Excellent comments on Monday's by elections.

  5. I read that this morning and thought it was okay until this:

    "At this point, no one would be surprised if the Conservatives stole this seat. If they did, it would be a game changer."

    Um, why? Prior to the 2008 election, the Conservatives won a by-election in Roberval, and everyone thought it was huge. Then the Conservatives lose one of their seats and three percentage points in the election.

    It was lazy by MacDonald to just end on that without any context or reasoning why. It wouldn't be a game changer at all if the Conservatives won a by-election where they did okay during the general election but this time have a popular local candidate.

    And the article pretty much ignored the Bloc. I'm sure they have a ground game there too.

    The Tories will win in NS, the Bloc will win the two in Quebec, and only BC is a toss-up. I'll make a prediction (not a projection) on Monday.

  6. Eric,

    you know how the game is played by now! Media types set expectations and then performance relative to those predictions is the basis for who has momentum and what is or is not a gamechanger.

    My official prediction is:

    2 NDP, 2 BQ

    Only so that when its 3 CPC, 1 BQ I can yell about what a gamechanger it all is...

  7. The Sigma poll is about how people would vote in a Saskatchewan provincial election. They didn't ask people about their federal political preferences.

  8. I predict 2 and possibly three CPC wins on Monday. I'll even predict that the CPC will finish in the top three in Hochelaga.

  9. DL,

    aren't you the one who always tells us how vertically integrated the NDP is across provincial/federal lines?

    The Sask party is obviously a right wing party and its support probably trends in the same manner as federal Conservative support.

    Its also another data point in the substantial body of empirical evidence that shows low tax, small government, right wing policies create jobs and benefit society.

  10. Saskatchewan is doing well because its had an NDP government for most of its history which implemented excellent policies. Brad Wall is just coasting along on the vibrant economy that the NDP built over the years. If you want to see rightwing government in action look no further than to how Bush and the GOP destroyed the US economy or look at how Alberta and BC are both going down the drain under their extreme rightwing governments or how at the federal level we went from huge surpluses to a 55 billion dollar deficit all because Tories are so consistently fiscally irresponsible.

  11. I am not sure I would call the saskparty rightwing.

    They are certainly not leftwing, but were formed from remnants of the tories and liberal partys a few years after the Devine wipeout.

    prolly a little right of center, but very pragmatic, and with a very charismatic leader (finally).

    The Saskatchewan NDP is a complete contrast. Mr. Lingenfelter was Alan Blakeny's golden boy. He has since winning the leadership talked about (re-)nationalizing certain industries. Preaching to the far left of the party to be sure, and trying to rely on the fact that he was the farthest right of the leadership candidates to bring him some of the center votes. It is so far not working well for him.

    And DL, I am aware that it is not a national poll. but it does indicate the current relative strength of the NDP campaign machine in saskatchewan. And it is not good. In the past that machine has been the most resilient and powerful political ground machine I have ever seen. (obama's slick campaign doesn't even compare).

    The NDP is in serious trouble in Saskatchewan. That is showing even at the federal level with an (atleast) 4 point drop from the 08 election.

    On top of that, Jeff has started posting a few of the provincial polls on the site here. (and he has also repeatedly asked people to point out if he has ever missed an important poll). I found one. I posted it.

    FYI another big Saskatchewan poll (newstalk650 partnered with insightrix) rolls out on monday and tuesday.

  12. "Saskatchewan is doing well because its had an NDP government for most of its history which implemented excellent policies."

    - No.. Saskatchewan is doing well despite the policies of the NDP.

    Potash corp of saskatchewan for example stagnated with 300 milliion in annual sales under the ndp. Devine privatized it and it now contributes billions each year in taxes.... billions more in sales to the economy.

    Generations ago Alberta was the smaller province. saskatchewan hit 1 million people first... the resources are distributed across the border, they don't stop. Somehow Calgary... and Edmonton now contain more people (each) than Saskatchewan. People have only started moving back finally in the last 2 years we have cracked the positive side of a million. (again)

    Less than 25 years ago it was still illegal to own your own phone in saskatchewan... you had to rent it from the NDP controlled crown corporation. It was only through deregulation that our prices finally dropped to cents per minute for long distance (instead of dollars).

    Calvert had a 2 billion increase in royalties collected... and still somehow managed to run a deficit.

    The NDP finally lowered taxes a decade ago (after retaining enough seats to form a majority, but losing the popular vote... I guess it scared them into doing something good for the province)

    The NDP was the worst thing ever to happen to Saskatchewan.... I would take another dirty thirtys before I would see Lingenfelter elected again. It would hurt less.

  13. DL,

    you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Your understanding of economic outcomes is devastatingly wrong.

    1) Saskatchewan had a declining population and stagnant economy pre-Wall. His new energy and bussiness friendly policies encouraged new investments. His development of the resource sector is impressive, especially his plans to do something with uranium. The fact that things turned around when the NDP left is hardly a coincidence.

    2) Bush isn't right wing. He's the American version of Ed Stelmach.

    3) Harper paid down the debt by 40 billion at a time when the opposition was calling for national daycare and the NDP wanted the oil sands shut down (the loss of tax revenue would have been astounding). There was NO deficit until a global recession hit.

  14. "Brad Wall is just coasting along on the vibrant economy that the NDP built over the years."

    There is no saskatchewan economy under the NDP, it is all run by the government. Beyond the power/gas/auto insurance/telephone there is another almost 100 crown corporations from machine shops to internet companies to forestry mills.

    "how at the federal level we went from huge surpluses to a 55 billion dollar deficit all because Tories are so consistently fiscally irresponsible."

    You and I seem to have a different take on irresponsible.... see I regard the 10-15 billion over-taxation per year (used for unbudgeted firesale projects at the end of the year) as fiscally irresponsible.

    And as for the deficit, you might remember that the tories ran a 30 billion (which did balloon to 55 based on the rough ride in the economy). But as I recall the Coalition.... Demanded 35 billion AS A START with more to follow. how far would finance minister Jack Layton's budget have ballooned??

    "Fiscally irresponsible tories" Which is why the "rightwing" saskparty government is one of the only governments in north america to run a balanced budget?? How is ontario, BC, quebec doing under those pillars of the community? Obama only tripled the deficit (and wants to do it one more time to 4 times)...

    (sorry for the multiple posts Jeff, but I really had to respond to the... to the crap. I'll leave the US/Bush bashing (from the oh so tolerant leftie) for someone else to respond to as I feel much better now.)

  15. DL,

    For the last time, the premier of BC is NOT a right wing conservative.

    His energy tax policies and refusal to develop off shore oil are a dissapointment. There is enough potential energy wealth that BC could have a much more vibrant economy and no deficit.

    Also, as its been said a million times before Ed Stelmach is not a true fiscal conservative - notice the appearance of the wildrose alliance ??

    DL, for the last time, just because someone is to the right of you does not mean they are right wing.

  16. "The NDP was the worst thing ever to happen to Saskatchewan"

    Actually, I thought the worst thing ever to happen to Saskatchewan was the previous incarnation of the Sasaktachewan Party when Grant Devine and the his merry band of supposedly rightwing ideologues ran up the deficit to the point where the province almost defaulted on its debt and where half the cabinet went to jail. It took the NDP years to clean up the mess left by Devine.

  17. The worst thing to happen to Saskatchewan was Corner Gas. I now assume all Saskatchewanians look like Brett Butt.

  18. Sigma Analytics doesn't seem to have a website.

  19. lol.. sorry eric... mixed up the blog when I was postin :)

  20. Some of Devines cabinet went to jail. yes. That is what happens when you commit fraud against those you are meant to serve. (which coincidentally is why we had the gomery inquiry,.. and a few others like that)

    "And ran up the deficit to the point where the province almost defaulted on its debt".... Do you think you can point to a province/counrty/state that didn't do the same during that time period??

    Corner gas :( I miss that show.. I hope they get that movie they might make done soon :)

  21. Hey DL:

    I agree with some of what you said. Saskatchewan is doing well right now because the NDP governments did leave a good foundation for Brad Wall to build upon. Manitoba had had good government under the NDP as well.

    Yes, Campbell is a RW premier, just not as right wing as Jesse and Martin would like.

    As to the Bush years and the GOP in the States we have nothing comparable either in terms of ideology or incompetence. To say otherwise is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Comparing the CPC to the GOP and Bush is propaganda.

    We have a huge deficit federally because the the Federal Government has spent a lot of money on stimulus just as the Liberals and NDP urged them to do. A much greater percentage of our stimulus package is being spent on infrastructure than in the US under Obama. A road reconstruction project in my area of Niagara Falls is being built with infrastructure money. However construction can't start until two environmental studies are done, on federal one provincial. This for the reconstruction of a road in the middle of the city that has been there for 50 years. Why we need any environmental study is beyond me.

    I wish Harper's tax cuts had been more broad based rather than targeted to sports equipment and transit to name a couple. A cut to lowest income tax bracket or an increase in the personal exemption would have accomplished more. The cuts to the GST are cuts to to most regressive of taxes, sales taxes. My goal would see all sales taxes eliminated.

    Cuts to corporate taxes are needed so that we can be competitive internationally. I see nothing wrong with tax cuts. If you want to talk about bad government let's talk about Bob Rae or David Peterson or Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, in Ontario.

  22. Earl,

    Talk about crazy policy ideas! When you shrink the tax base to the point that its a few rich guys paying for everything (eliminating sales taxes, raising the earnings threshold before one has to pay taxes) you end up asking for unstable revenue streams.

    When we have a synchronized global downturn hardly anybody is making a profit. There's nothing to tax. Gov't revenues from corporate taxes, capital gains, high earners in the upper tax brackets tends to dry up.

    Sales taxes revenues, however, are relatively stable because consumption habits change very little.

    Having a broad revenue base that's stable in good times and bad is important for governments to stop wildly alternating between binge spending and plunging deficits.

    Regressive taxation is NOT a bad thing...

  23. I live in BC, and Campbell is signficantly to my left.

    The first thing he did after becoming premier was raise the minimum wage. His implementation of the HST will increase taxes by $4 billion over the first three years.

  24. Jesse the simplest way to expand the tax base without making it regressive it to expand the income taxable, something I've already proposed . Every dollar of income should be taxed at the same rate or at two rates at most but all income should be included.

  25. When you guys re-write the tax laws, please be sure to let us know.

  26. BTW the HST is a move to right, not the left. You might notice the NDP opposition to it. Business is pleased as are the well. It is the little guy who takes it in the neck.

  27. What's a heaven for Eric, but to dream. I'm a person who likes to dream of a better world, a fairer world. that means a better tax system.

  28. What's fairer and better to you is unfair and worse to others.

  29. That's why beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  30. If we have a traditional low turnout, I have predicted 3/4 for the CPC.

  31. Earl,

    Didn't you just suggest an increase in personal exemptions? Already a lot of part time workers or students don't pay any taxes to begin with.

    And what we call "boutique tax credits" Harper has brought in for buying your kids hockey skates and music lessons aren't really all that expensive. Eliminating them doesn't really broaden the tax base.

    Look, I get that sales taxes annoy people. Its like seeing the effects of inflation right before your eyes.

    However, without a stable revenue stream in the midst of a recession (and in the absence of a rainy day fund) there are going to be huge deficits which are either going to paid back in higher future taxes or through inflation.

  32. Earl,

    That being said, I think we should gradually raise up the federal GST to 10% and have the provinces eliminate the PST. (A net -1 to -3 impact for everybody but Alberta).

    Have it effect everything, no exemptions.

    That would level the playing field, even out the effect on consumption, and do away with this annoying arguement over the HST.

  33. Hi Jesse:

    I don't believe sales taxes are a good form of taxation. I would entirely eliminate them or or build them into the cost of products as they are with gasoline.

    Good luck getting the provinces to give up their sales tax revenues.

    I don't believe that sales tax revenue is any more recession resistant than personal income taxes. Corporate tax revenues are very elastic though and obviously vary greatly based on economic activity.

    We would take the country down very paths. It would be great if we could experiment to see which path would equal a better country. I doubt though we could even agree on what constitutes a better country, though. Funny thing that, and we both are to the right federally.

  34. moving the gst to 10% here in sask and removing the pst would be a net tax increase. The pst (at 5%) does not contain many of the items that the gst has.

    And on top of that it would be the federal government collecting the taxes and deciding how much is doled out to each province. Sure to create more arguments about where money is taken from and where it is going.

    And.... a large part of the argument over the HST is that it is a tax increase based on the fact that more items fall under the gst than most pst's.....

    So how would just moving to the GST instead of amalgamating it into the HST solve that problem at all??

    Finally how many consumer groups and left wingers would be arguing that this is a tax against the person. The GST is after all a more business friendly tax (businesses can claim alot of it where average joe can't) than the PST.

    If you are going to rewrite tax law to suit you,... I wish you would actually think it through. Best case for me and my business is the GST gets eliminated all together. It would eliminate alot of my bookkeeping costs (which given how much gst is returned to me are higher than the actual tax)

  35. Barcs,

    clarify something for me. Do you do seperate bookkeeping for the PST and the GST in Sask?

    My understanding is that that's one of the reasons why bussiness people are supporting the HST here in BC because it will simplify things for them and increase efficiency.

    Moving towards a single tax, either GST or PST does the same thing does it not ?

    And the problem with exemptions is that practically EVERYTHING sounds like it deserves an exemption.

    You end up with a swiss cheese revenue stream. Gov'ts have to operate, they have to pay for things. What you essentially have is people subsidizing various exemptions through their income taxes to make up the shortfall.

    So instead of having the gov't get involved in the marketplace, picking winners and losers, big lobby groups being established to try to get an exemptions for their industry, you have a very fair system.

    A 10%, fixed, everything included, across the board GST seems to be a very well thought out policy.

  36. a single tax would be less bookkeeping yes.

    How is it better tho to have ottawa deciding which province gets what portion of that 10% tho? Sounds like income redistributing across provincial lines.

    How is it better to have the more business friendly GST than the PST for those "poor unfortunate people" you want income tax lowered for?? As far as the GST goes, I get most of what I pay back. Sounds like an increased tax burden on consumers.

    How is it better to switch to a 10% GST when several of those items were not covered out in the PST.... Sounds like that tax increase the NDP has been accusing the HST conspirators about.

    And it isn't just in bookkeeping. For example I pay GST to the land owner I rent from. They collect and remit GST to the government.. today. 6 months down the road I claim my GST and get that same exact amount back. In effect I have made an interest free loan to the government for 6 months. Why?

  37. Barcs,

    I'm not suggesting the gov't hand back the GST in transfers. It could hand over other tax points to the provinces, for instance lowering income taxes for everyone so the move was revenue neutral and NOT a tax grab.

    The provinces with a PST would then have the option of increasing income taxes by the rate the federal gov't decreased them to make up the revenue. Somewhere like Alberta would simply leave income taxes unchanged and pass on the federal cut to make up for the increased GST.

    Something similiar could be done for the corporate tax rate, a single low national rate.

    The idea is to simplify and harmonize tax policy that effect bussiness across provincial lines.

    This patchwork of different rules, rates, and regulations isn't efficient or helpful.

    Something like TILMA (the BC-Alberta trade agreement) should go nationwide.

    Increasing competitiveness in this manner will create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

    You said it yourself, a single tax would be less bookeeping.

    There's just too much duplication and overlap between provincial and federal jurisdictions in both spending and taxing.

    Its time to sort out what the provinces should do and what the feds should do.

  38. Barcs,

    Government withholding of taxes IS basically an interest free loan.

    I see in California the gov't is jacking up the amount employers withold for income tax to buy time while they try to make up a budget shortfall. Its certainly abusive.

    I don't know what the solution is though, make the government pay interest ?

    They do that for the federal corporate rate here in Canada. I saw a story on CTV awhile back about corporations transfering more money then nessecary to gov't holding accounts because they were offering a better rate then the banks!

    I could see how if you were running a small bussiness and had a razor thin profit margin and cash flow problems how the gov't witholding money for GST would be a problem. Especially something like restaurant owners who need to spend a lot of money upfront for inventory (often getting temporary loans themselves to do so.)

    But nobody likes taxes or anything to do with them. However, gov'ts need money to function so they're a fact of life.

    As for the problem about previously exempt items coming under the GST - low income people get the money back in cheques every quarter. Just make the changes revenue neutral by lowering the overall rate or income taxes and the middle class will be fine too.

    Sure its a tax on consumers but one way or another we're going to be paying coming (sales tax) or going (income tax).

    I kinda like the idea of paying up front because it rewards thrift and punishes over consumption.

  39. sure... but then you are forcing those poor (and middle class) people into the same problem as the small business. Loaning money to the government interest free. Money that while I can do without... the interest too probably. Make no mistake tho it is a cost. And the cost goes into the price you pay when you buy.

    But can those others afford to make that interest free loan??

    You seem to be missing the point I am trying to make (or I am not making it very well).

    Taxes... are not good. They are a necessary evil for the government to maintain the things they do on our behalf. Some taxes (and programs) like the GST have a very negative impact in how they are administered and placed on things. Another example is the GST on gasoline is calculated not just on gasoline, but on the FET, the PST, and the provincial excise tax.

    "However, gov'ts need money to function so they're a fact of life." - Another point of contention between us, I believe. The government takes too much tax already. More than 1/3 what you earn. They should be exploring opportunities to reduce tax, not just ways to harmonize what is there. Removing the GST altogether is one of those ways. (and it was promised to me more than 16 years ago.)

  40. Barcs,

    taxing taxes does seem stupid. Stopping that is another benefit of harmonization or moving towards a single sales tax.

    As for the poor and their interest free loans, why doesn't the gov't move up the refund to every month then ? Do it electronically with direct deposit. Basic bank accounts are free by law.

    Look, first thing is that I agree with you 110% that the tax burden is far too high right now. There is also way too much spending. By all means, reduce both substantially.

    And I recognize that some taxes are more harmful than others. But some are also more usefull than others.

    As Earl and I discussed, conventional revenues are falling across the board during the recession. Gov'ts either need to take out massive debt or start laying people off. Then when the economy is good revenue spikes and there's over spending.

    But sales tax revenues are much more stable and aren't really effected by these short lived downturns or even temporary upswings.


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