Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New HD Poll: 2-pt Conservative Lead

A new Harris-Decima poll for your consumption.Of note, the Conservatives have maintained their national position of 32% since HD's end-of-January poll, while the Liberals have dropped two points to 30%. The NDP is up one, the Bloc is steady, and the Greens are up one.

The regionals don't have much of interest. Like all other polls that show a close race nationally, the Liberals are ahead in Ontario, 39% (down one) to 34% (down one). In Quebec, the Bloc is well ahead with 41% (up three), while the Liberals are at 23% (down five) and the Conservatives are at 15% (up two). In British Columbia, the Conservatives are at 34% (up two), the NDP is at 26% (up two), and the Liberals are at 23% (down seven).

The smaller regions don't hold any surprises.

This poll would give the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 118
Liberals - 107
Bloc Quebecois - 54
New Democrats - 29

That might not be enough for the Tories to form government for any long period of time. They take 68 seats in the West and North, 38 in Ontario, five in Quebec, and seven in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals win 15 in the West and North, 56 in Ontario, 16 in Quebec, and 20 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP win 12 in the West, 12 in Ontario, and five in Atlantic Canada.

The Bloc dominates in Quebec with 54 seats.

A few words about the Olympics. The Conservatives have wagered that Canadians will come out of the Olympics glowing, and that some of that glow will rub off on the government. I've been watching a lot of the Olympics, and I don't feel more Tory.

But I don't think this theory will turn out to be true. In the anglophone media, there is a lot of talk about the failings of these games. The weather, the death of an athlete, and an Opening Ceremonies full of mistakes and odd-choices (let's have the torch-bearer in a pick-up truck!) has been getting a lot of coverage, especially since Canadians haven't been winning a lot of medals out of the gate.

In the francophone media, the focus has been the lack of French and the dismal representation of Quebecers during the Opening Ceremonies. You may not have noticed if you don't read or watch francophone media, but the coverage of this has been huge (and rightly so).

Canadian athletes are supposed to win most of their medals nearer to the end of the Games, so it is possible that a lot of these negatives vibes will have worn off by then. It is quite likely that in English Canada, Canadian gold will out-shine the failings of the Olympics thus far.

But in French Canada, opinion may have soured too much, and the Olympics will only push more voters towards the Bloc Quebecois and away from the government.

NON-POLITICAL! As some of you may know by now, I'm a big hockey fan. I've really been looking forward to the hockey tournament in Vancouver. I work from home, so I don't have to miss the afternoon games, and I can stay up to catch a little of the midnight (EST) game before going to bed.

The United States beat Switzerland 3-1 yesterday, a closer score than most people expected. The Americans came out of the gate a little confused, and the Swiss team (who have played together longer) started out well. I think the Swiss could be dangerous - I don't expect them to beat Canada but they will give them a challenge. Only Mark Streit and Jonas Hiller are regular NHLers, but Yannick Weber is a good Montreal prospect, and the Swiss league is no beer league. Andres Ambuhl plays in the AHL, and guys like Martin Pluss, Ivo Ruthemann, and Sandy Jeannin have been good players in the Swiss league. The US team is a little young. They have a few great players (Zach Parise and Patrick Kane, for example) but most of the line-up is made up of great second-line NHLers, and great second-or-third defensemen. Canada shouldn't have too much trouble with them.

They certainly didn't have much trouble with the Norwegians. Here again, the patched-together Canadian team was a little out-of-step in the first period, and the Norwegians played them to a 0-0 draw after the first 20 minutes. But, it took a lot out of the Norwegians to play at that tempo, and they lost a step or three for the rest of the game. Obviously, the NHLers had no trouble keeping up the high rate of play for the full 60 minutes. The Norwegian team is not as bad as the score would have you think. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is a marginal NHL player, but Patrick Thoresen was a decent one and has been lighting up the KHL. Per-Age Skroder and Mats Zuccarello Aasen are very good players in the Swedish Elitserien, probably the third-best league in the world. Pal Grotnes played great, but it made sense to pull him after four goals and save him for the Swiss and American games, where they have a better chance of an upset. The Canadian team looked great, and shouldn't have any trouble topping the group. They won 8-0.

Finally, I caught the first period of the Russia-Latvia game. In the end, the Russians won 8-2. They look really good. They were buzzing around the net, and setting up some really good plays. The KHLers showed they are just as good as the NHLers, with Alexander Radulov and Danis Zaripov scoring early. But when you have Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin on your team, goals coming from other lines is just gravy. The Latvians were surprisingly spunky, though they only have a handful of NHLers and AHLers in the line-up. Most of the team, however, plays for Dinamo Riga in the KHL, so it gives them the intangible benefit of familiarity. They might have been good enough to surprise someone and advance, if they weren't in such a tough group with Russia, the Czechs, and the Slovaks.


  1. The lack of French arguement is a bit misguided.

    The Olympics are awarded to a host city. Vancouver has 5 times as many mandarin speakers then French speakers. British Columbia is not a bilingual province.

    One imagines that if Quebec City were ever to host a games it would mostly be in French and rightly so.

    The Federal government may be bilingual but they are not taking the lead on this, VANOC is.

    Announcements were made in French first and then English. The Canadian anthem included French verses. The show even had a performance in French.

    There was enough French.

    As for criticisms of the games a patriotic backlash is already starting, especially against the British press.

    The games seem to be good enough for Ignatieff. He seems to be enjoying parliament's prorogation by soaking in the Olympics with the VIP pass he has.

  2. Éric, a suggestion for your data presentation: reorder the seat projection pie chart to put the NDP between the Conservatives and the Liberals, opposite the Bloc.

    Why? Because then, who could prop up whom is visually obvious. If the Tories and Bloc together are more than half the pie, the government can survive with the support of the separatists alone; if the Tory+Dipper line bends towards the Grits+Bloc, the socialists are sufficient bedmates. No seat-counting is needed to determine whether or not a party is relevant.

    To contrast this with the current presentation, your projection from the Harris-Decima poll has the NDP in an irrelevant position. Their support is neither necessary nor sufficient to support either a Tory or Grit government. However, that's not visual; you have to add the seat numbers to determine this.

    And with or without that change, kudos once again!

  3. I visit this site to discuss polling trends. Can we all pretend we didn't see the first comment? Please?

  4. Both of your comments make very good suggestions.

  5. John i'm responding to what Eric has writen here:

    "the coverage of this has been huge (and rightly so)."

    What is being offered at this site is more than polling trends. If you want to tell Eric to stick to the numbers and quit offering his personal opinions you're free to do so.

  6. There John, made the change. For stylistic reasons, though, I prefer the chart as-is in the projection at the top of the page. It just looks better.

  7. Shadow,

    Before you write up a response, read this:

    If VANOC wanted to make the Games about Vancouver or British Columbia, they could have done so.

    We had natives from all over the country, sections about the Prairies, Celtic music and dancers, and a spiel (in English) about what it is to be Canadian.

    If VANOC had wanted their OC to be about Vancouver and British Columbia, they could've. Instead, they chose it be a celebration of Canada.

    That French is not a major language in Vancouver is irrelevant.

    They made the choice to represent all Canadians and showcase this country to the world. They failed. There was not enough French. Point finale.

    (Sorry John)

  8. Eric, the NDP is at 16% in the HD poll, not 15% as your chart at the top suggests.

    Its notable that this poll has a nationwide sample of 4,000 so the regional numbers are pretty robust.

    This poll is yet another that shows that despite the "Olympic fever" - Tory numbers in BC are crashing and burning. They got 45% in BC last election and now every poll has them at 34 to 36 percent - that is a big drop and would cause them to lose half a dozen seats in BC alone.

  9. You're right, DL. I will fix that.

  10. Actually Chantal Heberts piece in the Star today is quite balanced. She agrees that French was a bit downplayed but that's all.

    Some of the comments on the piece do make some good points as well. Right now we have knee jerk politics going on. Ignore it IMO

    Oh and how many CRAP politicians are in Vanc on passes as well?? Singling out Ignatieff is just typical CRAP snark !

  11. Peter, oh I agree, I just think Chantal Hebert's column should be required reading for all internet commenters.

  12. (This board never really manages to stay only on polling topics)

    I really don't see the Olympics benefitting the Conservatives unless they really think they benefit from two/three weeks of distraction.

    As for the ceremonies, as far as I'm concerned the presentation showcased a variety of Canadian cultures, (not mine at all mind you) and that's what was important. The Francophones were hardly an afterthought, and they had as much time as anybody else.

    Translating that poem was a mistake, but I think the country's francophones should be glad they didn't have to listen the VANOC chief's awful speech.

  13. Eric Quebec is a single province amongst 3 territories and 10 provinces.

    1/13th of a national perspective. French is the mother tongue of about 1/5th of the population.

    It was given more than its due.

    Case closed.

  14. --- "I think the country's francophones should be glad they didn't have to listen the VANOC chief's awful speech."

    Good point. I was glad Jacques Rogge read his entire speech in French.

    The OC was deficient in other ways. Someone I know said that she didn't see herself, as a Canadian, in the Opening Ceremonies.

    They were relatively impressive as theatre, but they didn't say Canada to me. They did say "Canada as Americans imagine us", though.

  15. Éric: There John, made the change. For stylistic reasons, though, I prefer the chart as-is in the projection at the top of the page. It just looks better.

    Thanks. I agree that (for reasons I can't articulate) the original version is more elegant, but the information comes across better with the new ordering. Good saw-off.

  16. --- "It was given more than its due. Case closed."

    Nope, it wasn't. Both the English and French media agree, as do most francophones, James Moore, Graham Fraser, and this Quebecer.

  17. According to CBC's poll of the day 75% of their audience disagrees with Moore's view that there wasn't enough French.

    Not to mention the minister responsible for the Olympics Gary Lunn.

    Moore himself seems to have backtracked on his statement.

    And the general reaction from the media i've seen has been a collective eye roll:

    Quebec slighted by something Western Canada has done. Stop the presses!!

  18. James Moore the CONSERVATIVE cabinet minister - is the one who started all of this by complaining about the lack of French. Jeez when even a CONSERVATIVE cabinet minister is pissed off about a lack of French - what is a poor anti-French bigot to do?? Now the CONSERVATIVE party has abandoned you as well. Maybe its time to start a new party dedicated to Anglo rights and you can form ties with APEC (Association for the Preservation of English in Canada). Oh yeah, we already tried that - it was called the Refooooorm Party.

  19. --- "According to CBC's poll of the day 75% of their audience disagrees with Moore's view that there wasn't enough French."

    We'll need a link for that. If it is just one of those online polls, I think you know the value of that.

    And whether the anglophone readers of think there was enough French or not sort of misses the point.

    --- "Not to mention the minister responsible for the Olympics Gary Lunn."


    --- "Moore himself seems to have backtracked on his statement."

    I wonder if Gary Lunn had something to do with it.

  20. Shadow,

    You're the only person saying anything about Western Canada. Stop making it about Western Canada. You're not all-important to the collective, ebil socialist minds of those damn Easterners. I mean, for Christ's sake, James Moore is FROM Western Canada.

    I don't know if there wasn't enough French in the Olympics - I rarely watch it. My guess is that they're not crying foul for nothing, and the fact that a Minister, one who I consider one of the competent lot among that incompetent cabinet, comes out saying that something might need to be addressed, is pretty damning evidence that maybe something was overlooked.

    That is his job, after all - he needs to catch these things. Its his job. Why are people so upset about it? I get the whole language division thing, but for Christ's sake, I'm more concerned about the lack of preparation rather than the fact they're going to address it. Get over yourselves.

  21. Anyways...

    The main losses in this poll for the Liberals come in BC and Quebec, which I see as about right, because if I remember correctly, the last results were too high anyways. But the Ontario results are just peachy keen for me - it seems to be the average score anyways, which is just fine. Makes it structural.

    But, other than that, this is a pretty dull, again. I bet Ekos tomorrow will have barely any movement as well.

  22. Sorry for the triple post, but, did anyone see this article on Lucien Bouchard's recent comments at a summit?

    I wonder what sort of impact such a figurehead of the sovereignty movement saying it "isn't feasible" will have on the Bloc's fortunes. I don't suspect there will be a lot, because I view the Bloc more as a regionalist party, than a simple separatist party.

    And just think - what was the final nail in the coffin? The Clarity Act. And who was that Act's author? Stephane Dion. And what did people say about him? Not a leader. Tsk.

  23. Eric it was an online poll to which 800 individuals responded, about the sample size of many of the polls around here.

    Now the sample is definetly skewed left because of CBC's viewing audience but one would expect them MORE sympathetic, not less.

    Final word:

    It was a very Western Olympics, which i've noticed has made a lot of people from Ontario/Quebec nervous or uncomfortable.

    If you want a more French Olympics why not try and put together a winning bid and pay for it yourself ?

  24. Lol Volkov NOW who's causing trouble!

    Lets leave the clarity act dead and buried.

    A lot of people have issues with it from all sides of the debate, including non-seperatists.

  25. That's not the 'final word,' Shadow. Given your anti-french bigotry posted on other boards here in the past, I don't think you're in a position to lecture anyone on this issue. You're also in no position to lecture on the issue of how media works, or the legitimacy of online polling that is so easily manipulated.

    "It was a very Western Olympics, which i've noticed has made a lot of people from Ontario/Quebec nervous or uncomfortable. If you want a more French Olympics why not try and put together a winning bid and pay for it yourself ?"

    Your above statement speaks for itself. May I ask you if we are a bilingual country? If the feds funded any of the olympics?
    Also, wonder if you'd back up your statement about "Ontario/Quebec being nervous or uncomfortable" with a "Western Games." You say you've 'noticed' this, just wondering where.
    No bigotry please.

  26. Shadow, shut up about how things are Western this, Western that, and all the Easterners are jealous.

    No one cares here. Not a single person. I don't care if its Western. My mother doesn't care if its Western. My nearly social democratic riding president doesn't care if its Western. No one gives two shits if its Western or not. No one. Its irrelevant.

    You're like the Bloc, making an issue when there isn't one. You know who I see complaining the most about the West? Westerners. You seem to be the bunch of whiners, not us. Get over yourselves.

  27. Maybe Shadow should run as an independent Conservative in the next election against CONSERVATIVE WESTERNER James Moore who first raised the issue of a lack of French. He has betrayed his party, his ideology and his region. Off with his head!!

  28. I wonder how the conservative core is dealing with the fact that conservative minister moore is the one who whined about the french.

    Will the conservative numbers change in Alberta over this?

    Did the conservatives do this purely expecting Quebecers to suddenly love the conservatives?

    Would conservatives have gone ape-shit had anyone else other than a conservative brought up the french issue?

    That said, the HD poll put another smile on face - a conservative majority, which would be the end of Canada as we know it, is still extremely unlikely to ever happen.

  29. DL James Moore has been given orders to please Quebec so the CPC seats around Quebec city are safe.

    He's still smarting from a tv interview he gave where he couldn't name several key historical figures in Quebec culture.

    In politics this is what's called a wink and a nod.

    Heritage minister pleases Quebec, everybody else rolls their eyes.

  30. I'm glad it was James Moore that stood up and said it. It was about time. The guy isn't the standard Harper frontman. As I said, he's a competent Minister in an incompetent cabinet.

  31. Actually, Moore's head is safe enough in that, among other things, he's drastically cutting funding to smaller cultural magazines (including all Canadian literary magazines) and many will have to stop their presses; the exception to the slashing is agricultural magazines--they don't have to sell a single copy and they will still be funded.
    I think Mr Moore has already done enough damage to the arts to show his commitment to the cause.

  32. Volkov if you don't like the fact that the West has a seperate identity and is a distinct society from Ontario in the same that Quebec is then that's your problem.

    We put together the games and funded them.

    The Feds paid for security like they do at all events across Canada.

    As I said before, if people in Quebec are complaining about a lack of French then they can put together their own games.

    BC and Vancouver are NOT french speaking.

  33. Hi Volkov,

    Read the article about Lucien Bouchard.

    Very interesting

    Won't wade into the olympics, you know my affiliation Volkov, so I think you can pretty much guess my feelings on this matter.

    Have a nice day everyone

  34. Putting all of this aside i'd just like to say that I reject the notion that Tory fortunes will have ANYTHING to do with the Olympics.

    If they do CPC numbers will probably go up in the West and down in Quebec.

    But I very, very much doubt that it will have any effect whatsoever.

  35. Shadow,

    There is no "distinct society" in the Western Canada. If you knew what that term actually meant, you'd never even entertain the thought of such an idea. There might be different political identities, but there is no major social difference between Western Canada and Eastern Canada. None. Learn proper definitions and come back.

    And there certainly isn't a "separate identity" among Vancouverites, and as far as I remember, British Columbia, VANOC and the municipalities involved were the ones who did everything - not the Western provinces. I mean, are you seriously going to sit there and say that these were simply the Western games, despite everyone saying they're Canada's games, including the organizers, including the Western premiers, including the majority of Westerners, themselves?

    Is Alexandre Bilodeau now a Western Canadian hero? Are all Canadian athletes now just Western Canadian athletes? Or do we Easteners just get the losers, as dictated on high by separatists like yourself?

    This is ridiculous. I don't care if you're from Western Canada. I really don't. But I am quite sick of this sense of entitlement from some Westerners, who then turn around and attack Quebecers or Ontarians for the same thing! Bunch of effin' hypocrites.

  36. Instead of 'putting it aside' at your convenience please back up some statements:

    "the West has a seperate identity and is a distinct society from Ontario"
    --nobody said they were the same. But 'distinct society' applies to something else. Next you'll tell us that 'the West' doesn't speak English.

    "We put together the games and funded them. The Feds paid for security like they do at all events across Canada."
    --So the Feds didn't put any money in beyond security? OK, I guess we'll just all take your word.

    "It was a very Western Olympics, which i've noticed has made a lot of people from Ontario/Quebec nervous or uncomfortable."
    --still waiting for you to back this up. Obliged!

  37. 49 Steps,

    I thought it was an excellent article! Such a thing coming from such a man with his stature... it has to be at the very least a blow to the ego.

  38. Shadow let me explain why you are wrong. The Olympic games are awarded to both a location and a country. These as much Canada''s Games as they are Vancouver's Games. We don't send athletes and teams to these Olympics representing British Columbia we send Canadians who hale from across Canada.

    Fortunately Shadow doesn't represent the feeling of most us who call ourselves Conservatives. I've lived in BC for several years, and my mother's family are BC residents. They don't think and act like Shadow. Many of us across Canada bought Olympic clothing and glasses to support our athletes at Canada's Olympics, not BC's.

    James Moore spoke for all Canadians, except Shadow, when he said he was disappointed in the lack of French in the Opening Ceremonies. Fighting over language is silly. We are a bilingual nation. We ought to act like one!

    Again if we all ignore Shadow he'll leave and take his bigoted views with him.

  39. Bouchard's comments aren't very surprising. He's been saying things like that ever since he left the premiership.

    He's catching a lot of flak about it from sovereigntist circles, especially those who knew René Lévesque better than he.

    While he's still considered a bit of hero because of how close he came to winning in 1995, he's frittered away a lot of that respect over the last 10 years.

  40. You know Shadow has no leg to stand on when he wants to take a debate and 'put it all aside.' I mean this is the poster who never gives up!
    Listening to Shadow talk about the West reminds me of someone from the 1930s and 40s talking about 'a greater living space.'

  41. Eric,

    That's a good point. I've never held a huge opinion of Bouchard myself, as I've always somewhat seen him as a bit of an opportunist. But, I felt the comments were worth noting, especially given that it does appear to be something of a common thread among as lot of sovereigntists, or at least ones I've known.

  42. Earl,

    Cheers, mate, but I've always figured that Shadow was a minority. My grandparents are from BC and Manitoba respectively, and they've never uttered a word of disrespect for Canada, for Ontario, or even for Quebec. Quebec's politicians, well... another story completely. XD

  43. Apparently, James Moore and the Ministry of Canadian Heritage pay for security.

  44. While Bouchard may have lost some cachet among separatists, he's gained stature among Canadians. He and a few others have and are standing up and telling Quebec it has to change the way it operates economically. I wish we had the same thing happening here in Ontario and in the Maritimes.

  45. Earl,

    Have you not heard of the Ontario Landowners Association? They're Ontario's version of the Tea Party, except they're mostly based in rural ridings. They advocating for a change economically... well, if you can call a run back to status quo and heavy subsidization a "change."

  46. Hi Volkov, I have heard of them. They are mostly found in Eastern ON. The change they are calling for is not one that better ON.

  47. I wasn't going to comment any more
    today, but I am going to do just one more then thats it.

    Earl what a beautiful, generous statement. Almost brought tears to my eyes.

    You sir are what Canada is all about.

  48. Answer this honestly then, how much English would one expect at a Quebec city games ?

    More or less then French was spoken at the Vancouver games ?

    I think the answer speaks for itself.

  49. BTW there was A LOT of French included in the ceremony.

    Nobody said there should no French. Just that it shouldn't be 50/50.

  50. Shadow,

    Quebec City's Olympic celebration thingy is to be fully available in both English and French. Nice try, though.

  51. Volkov you're smarter then that.

    Being a celebration city isn't the same thing as being a host city chosen by the IOC to put on the games.

    I'm guessing this is a federal gov't celebration funded out of the tourism stimulus dollars.

    No comparison whatsoever can be drawn between the two.

  52. One thing we can all be clear on is that there wasn't enough Mandarin in the ceremony.

    There was no respect given to the asian population in Vancouver, which is substantial. Especially with the New Year, I would have liked to have seen that included somehow.

    The building of the railroad, the internment during WW2 - no doubt about it, our asian population is a core part of our unique Western Identity.

  53. Shadow, you're moving the goalposts all over the place. If you're not going to accept any answer, then I don't see why I bother.

    And yes, there wasn't enough Asian culture included in the Games' ceremonies so far. Maybe they'll change that.

    But, lol are you serious? Asians are apart of your "unique Western identity"? Shadow, Vancouver is the only Western place that can warrant any such title. Calgary can't. Edmonton can't. Regina can't. Winnipeg can't. Not very "Western," is it?

    And considering that Chinese railworkers were used throughout the entire country, I fail to see how it makes it "uniquely Western." Are the RCMP to be renamed RWCMP, because they were in the West? Is Wildfrid Laurier now a Westerner, because he set up most of those province's statuses?

    Like Jesus Christ mate, think before you type!

  54. I would have loved to have seen some Asiatic representation in the ceremonies. That's something that's very Vancouver, and something that Toronto has a lot of too. It would've been nice if we could have used the games as a showcase of our nations multitudes. It would have been even more in the spirit of the olympics.

  55. I didn't see the ceremonies, but I agree, Kevin. If my preference was noted, I'd say that Canada is best represented by showing off the unity of our land, especially considering how different is on so many levels in so many regions and for so many people. Canada is more than just First Nations dancers, and yes, its even more than just the four Western provinces - its about everyone who lives within the borders. The Olympics should celebrate that.

  56. Volkov the Olympics celebrated all the regions, including Quebec and the French language.

    The issue here is whether there was enough French to which I say, of course there was.

    But you seem to be saying there was too much native stuff.

    In BC we have a VERY different relationship with natives then in the East.

    There's more integration, more survival of culture and language, and a better treaty framework.

    Its no accident that Paul Martin went to Kelowna to sign his accord.

    This was one of the first times I think the native population has ever felt really, really included and reflected in a national event.

    The welcoming statues on the totems was wonderful.

    Totem polls, salmon, and the Pacific being a unique part of our western identity our here.

  57. Shadow, lol, as I said, I never saw the Olympic ceremonies. I've only heard things about it. I heard a lot about First Nations stuff, and not a lot about other stuff. Does that mean I think there was too much First Nations stuff? No, because I don't know, because as I've stated several times, I never watched it.

    My point was, however, that there is too many people out there that thing having First Nations arts around represents Canada. It doesn't. It represents just one part of Canada. Its an important part, but just one part.

    Just like Western Canada is an important part, but its just one part, not the whole.

  58. Lol Volkov i'm not sure why you've been objecting to something you didn't watch.

    As I said, it included bits of everything from all over Canada, including a lot of French stuff.

    People seem to have misunderstood me, nowhere did I ever say there should be no French.

    The games should reflect the culture of the host city and then of the rest of the country in equal measure.

    That's my take on things.

    (BTW I don't really think of Manitoba was part of the west. Really the nascent political identity we've forged is based around TILMA which will soon include Sask. Yukon is basically BC but further north, it could be called Western too.)

  59. "Totem polls, salmon, and the Pacific being a unique part of our western identity our here."

    Appropriating 'totem polls' (sic) into this so-called western identity is insulting to First Nations peoples.

  60. Great article on taxation by Miicheal Bliss:

  61. Davor until you come out here and eat bannock and smoked salmon, go see the salmon run (spawning), go to Pow Wows in the summer you won't understand how deeply native culture is woven into BC/Yukon.

    It most certainly is a part of our unique western identity of which we are all proud.

  62. Volkov, I watched it. There was not a lot of French. Some stuff (and a big emphasis on some) was translated into French and English. Most stuff had one or two words of French, or none at all. There was one big spiel about what it is to be Canadian, and it wasn't in French. There was a poem written by a Quebecois poet during the ceremonies, and it was TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH!

    Then there was a Quebec singer at the end.

    And the Belgian head of the Olympics spoke French.

    That's about it.

    The art show featured lots of BC stuff (as it should), lots of native dancing, Celtic music and dancing, and some Joni Mitchell thing about the Prairies.

    That most of us live in cities was given no position. Apparently, we're all mountain-climbing, plain-running, lumberjacks.

    There were Mounties, too.

    The four people who lit the torch were English Canadians.

    As a Quebecer, I can tell you that there wasn't enough French.

  63. --- "It most certainly is a part of our unique western identity of which we are all proud."


    OTTAWA — English Canadians view immigrants and Jews more favourably than they do French Quebecers, according to a new poll.

    In fact, the only group further down the list than French Quebecers when it comes to who English Canadians view favourably are aboriginal Canadians.

    French Quebecers have a significantly higher opinion of English Canadians than English Canadians have of them. The poll found 75% of French Quebecers have a favourable opinion of English Canadians, but only 60.1% of English Canadians have a favourable opinion of French Quebecers.

    Albertans have the least favourable attitude in the country when it comes to immigrants, French Canadians and aboriginal Canadians, and was narrowly above Quebec when it came to their view of Jews. While 80% of Albertans viewed English Canadians favourably, that dropped to 60% for immigrants, 58% for Jews, 47% for French Canadians and 45% for aboriginal Canadians.

    Ontarians had the most favourable views when it came to Jews (78%) and aboriginal Canadians (59%), second most favourable on immigrants (72%) and third most favourable on French Quebecers (60%)

  64. "Davor until you come out here and eat bannock and smoked salmon, go see the salmon run (spawning), go to Pow Wows in the summer you won't understand how deeply native culture is woven into BC/Yukon.
    It most certainly is a part of our unique western identity of which we are all proud."

    Actually I am originally from BC and have done that.
    I am half Katzie, from the Katzie First Nation, and I am telling you that your cultural appropriation is insulting to First Nations.

  65. Eric,

    That sounds pretty bad, especially the last part with the torch lighters. You'd think that would be the most obvious.

    I can see why Moore said something. Good on him for taking the initiative, even though he probably should've done something before to begin with...

  66. Way off base Davor.

    The reception we've been getting from bands in BC about these Olympics is GREAT.

    They are the most inclusive yet.

    As for Eric's criticism well I guess everyone has a subjective opinion and wants to see more of themselves in the games.

    CTV just mentioned that a women from the Quebec delegation called the whole thing a "tempest in a tea pot".

    Remember, stay tuned for the closing ceremony !

    There'll be more to see and hopefully an inclusion of some asian culture.

  67. I'm not sure how much power Canadian Heritage had over the Olympics. AFAIK, it was the responsibility of VANOC and Canadian Heritage was just a source of funding. I know "Own the Podium" was CH's, but I'm not sure what else they were involved in.

  68. Meanwhile on planet earth - while the Olympics are in full swing in Vancouver - one thing all polls agree on is that Tory support in BC has crashed in comparison with the last election.

  69. DL the Tories have been on a slow downhill just about EVERYWHERE since peaking sometime in the fall.

    They've now stabalized and there's indication they may be poised to bounce back somewhat.

  70. Shadow I was talking about YOU appropriating First Nations culture into your Western BS. I wasn't talking about the olympics and you know it. I won't bother with your patronizing/insulting posts anymore, ok?

    DL, it's true, certain trouble for Conservatives in the BC numbers as in the Quebec numbers.
    The Ontario numbers of late maybe are the worst for them, though, considering how many seats they stand to lose there?

  71. Davor you can speak for only yourself.

    There is no single opinion in the native community.

    It ranges from some who don't consider themselves Canadians to those who are proud of the integration of our peoples.

    If you want to take offence to something that's your right. We've all driven past native protests about developments.

    It is certainly an opinion that is out there.

    But it is not a majority opinion.

  72. I find it a bit rich for Quebecers to be so up in arms about language equality, when their own provincial govt. restricts immigrants from going to school in english.

    If you want to gripe about language rights, you should make sure you're not violating the constitution, and the charter, to squash other peoples language freedoms.

    If french-canadians can be perpetually offended by the lack of french outside of Que., then english Canada is perfectly within it's rights to point out the rank hypocracy of the war on english within Que.

  73. No one is restricted from going to English school. Expecting the government to pay for schooling in a foreign language is another matter entirely.

  74. I have question for all.

    It is kinda in response to Volkov's comment with the linke Lucien Bouchard's article.

    The Commons is set to add a bunch more seats either in 2012 or 2014 to Alberta, BC and Ontario. Do you think that this will dimish the Bloc revealance in the Commons?

    I tend to think that it will because it will now be possible (Or more likely) for the Libs or Cons to get a majority without having to rely on the seats that the Bloc have there. So, from what I have read Quebec usually likes to have a seat at the governments table. I think that this may cause support for the Bloc to dimish to more of a Green Party status. I think they would still elect some people, but I don't know if they would actually elect near as many as they have in the past. Causing for more seats to be one by the two federalist parties in Quebec.

    I have also heard that some Bloc voters even though they are not separatists will park there vote with the Bloc because they feel that they will serve them best. If a government could be formed without the Bloc (Or support from the Bloc) could there seat total be dimished (I just like saying the word dimished) because some of the Bloc swing voters would choose Libs or Cons in order to voice the opinion at the table.



  75. "Expecting the government to pay for schooling in a foreign language is another matter entirely."

    I thought this country was bilingual ?

    So if an Olympics were held in Quebec City you would want next to no English Eric ??

    English is considered a foriegn language to people who think Quebec is its own country right ?

    BTW I believe the BC gov't pays for French immersion schooling at no extra cost to parents.

    About 10% of the population is enrolled.

    They don't charge more because it doesn't cost more to run.

  76. Rocky: The Commons is set to add a bunch more seats either in 2012 or 2014 to Alberta, BC and Ontario. Do you think that this will dimish the Bloc revealance in the Commons?


    The seats won't come until 2014 and there will be only ten or so. They will decrease the probability of the Bloc holding the balance of power, but not by much. On the flip side we should see Green MPs by then. That will decrease the number of seats held by the largest parties, reducing the chance of a majority government.

    The Bloc is still quite likely to be in a position to support or defeat a government, either by itself or with another party.

  77. BTW I believe the BC gov't pays for French immersion schooling at no extra cost to parents.
    French immersion is not the same thing.
    In Ontario, we have French immersion, and in some areas we have Français schools. In a Français school, students are assumed to be from francophone families, unlike French immersion where the teacher must be bilingual so things can be explained in English when necessary, though the intent is to teach entirely in French.

    One has to demonstrate competency in French to attend a Français school (outside of private schools). Otherwise, you attend English school. I believe this competency requirement is the case in Quebec as well for attending English school (outside of private schools). Link.

  78. Hey John I think you might be wrong about the seats.

    Under the normal process there's always redistricting after the census and new seats might be added. The normal formula would add about 4 seats.

    But what's been suggested is a new law that would give Ontario, BC, and Alberta roughly the same number of seats, per person, as Quebec gets.

    Figures i've seen range from 22 to 34 new seats.

    The very latest the seats will come is 2014 but it could easily be sped up to midway through 2012.

  79. Liberal supporter I believe the ability of a parent to choose the language of the school his/her children attend is more limited in Quebec than in ON. Eric what are the restrictions?

    As to Rocky's question about the additional seats I'd disagree with John. I think the addition of 33 seats will lessen Quebec's influence in the HOC. This should make it easier for one of the major parties to get a majority. I can't imagine that Quebec would want to left out of government.

    A western based majority could be a Sovereignists best friend though. A majority government with most of it support coming from the West and ON might be inclined to take a hard look at equalization. With Quebec not getting equalization more people might be inclined to support separation.

  80. Shadow: Hey John I think you might be wrong about the seats.

    Doh. Good catch.

    I was working from memory and I was indeed wrong on the number. The date will still be 2014 due to the process.

    I still don't believe the Bloc will lose much leverage, but we won't know until we see the post-redistribution election returns.

  81. To attend a public English school in Quebec, one of your parents had to attend an English school, or you had to have had most of your schooling in an English school before joining the public system.

  82. Hey John here's some interesting reading from the last go around:

    The usual schedule should have the ridings ready in the summer of 2013, usual practice being that any election one year afterwards shall include them.

    Paul Martin actually passed legislation moving that date up from August to May in time for his election.

    In theory the date could be moved up the full year with no waiting period.

  83. From Wikipedia:

    Under the Charter of the French Language, passed in 1977, all students must attend French-language public schools except:

    * children who have done most of their elementary or secondary studies in English elsewhere in Canada;
    * children whose father or mother did most of his or her elementary studies in English anywhere in Canada;


    * children of Canadian citizens (Canada Clause) whose brother or sister did or is doing his or her elementary or secondary studies in English anywhere in Canada;
    * temporary residents of Quebec;
    * First Nation children

  84. Eric I believe that law has been changed quite a bit by the Supreme Court over the years.

    Most recently in October of last year, a decision which allows any parents to send their kids to english private schools for a couple years and then switch to english public schools paid for by the gov't.

  85. That was not a change to the original law. That was a loophole closed by the Quebec government, which the Supreme Court then overturned. That loophole existed for several decades before Loi 104 (I believe it was) was passed several years ago. The SC overturned Loi 104.

  86. Here's a news article. It seems all of this is still being hashed out in the courts.

  87. Wow - congrats to Shadow for completely manipulating the blog, saying asinine things without being challenged by anyone, and getting away without having to answer anything when he is actually challenged on his typical nonsense statements.

    Good work people! Using Shadow's logic this must mean he is correct and you are all wrong.

    Seriously, this blog has been useless since Shadow arrived on scene. Congrats to everyone for letting him use you like rag-dolls and ignoring the big picture in that he has degraded the level of conversation in both honesty and intelligence.

    Eric, why are you letting yourself get played like this and your blog turned into a shadow free-for-all?

  88. Josh, while Shadow is annoying, and due to recent history I no longer accept his assertions as factual since I have seen the sources he is willing to believe whole hog, he has today followed Éric's demand to stop talking about who commenters may be.

    Éric has also asked that commenters not talk about other commenters, and Shadow does appear to be making the effort. Though he has attacked others today, he is doing a good job of sticking to the content and attacking that, which is part and parcel of commenting. I hope we can do the same. You are correct that he is again prolifically commenting today, so the response is to rebut his arguments, despite any baiting you may perceive. I prefer the "give em enough rope" strategy, because it never fails eventually.

  89. Hi Josh

    I wasn't going to do any more commentary today, but here goes Liberal supporter pretty much summed it up.

    I'll be here tomorrow for EKOS, and I hope you will be to.

    I declared my affiliation to Volkov, so it's no secret.

    Maybe we will have a good day tommorrow.

    Have a good evening, and I hope to talk to you tommorrow.

  90. For the benefit of Josh and Earl i'll just repost what seems to be a perfectly sensible commenting policy Eric announced yesterday:

    "Not one more comment about who is who. No more comments about comments and commenters."

    The only thing I would add is if you're getting worked up about something i'm saying or something somebody else is saying just ignore it, don't lash out.

    I'm committing myself to do the same.

  91. Earl said, "I think the addition of 33 seats will lessen Quebec's influence in the HOC. This should make it easier for one of the major parties to get a majority. I can't imagine that Quebec would want to left out of government."

    That is my thinking exactly. Look at what happened at the end of the 2006 election. The Tories took 8 or 10 seats that they weren't even supposed to win at all from Quebec. I tend to think that the Bloc would continue to lose more influence and cause there purpose to be driven further into the ground. Maybe eventually being driven right off of the electoral map.

    Earl said, "A western based majority could be a Sovereignists best friend though. A majority government with most of it support coming from the West and ON might be inclined to take a hard look at equalization. With Quebec not getting equalization more people might be inclined to support separation."

    I don't think it would be a western based majority though. If the tories were to win they could do it but they would need support from all regions. And I wouldn't be surprised to see the results that were acheived in Ontario in 2008 as a big part of that. I also think that once the Quebecois saw that was happening they would want to be at the governments table, so possibly leading to an even bigger majority for either party.

    Also, I don't think that separation would be any bigger of a threat then it was in 1980. Especially with the separatists now being forced to ask a clear quesion. In my opinion the way that it should be.

    And as much as I would like to see equalization scaled back. I think that would be really quite difficult do to the constitutional questions that have to be answered as well.


  92. Hey Rocky I read something interesting somewhere, maybe it was a paper by the frasier institute.

    It basically said that the supreme court had ruled in some dispute that the size of equilization is not a legal question but a politicial one.

    So its up to our MPs and so long as the gov't transfers $1 to each province equilization has been accomplished.

  93. Glad to see you looking into your provinces language laws Eric.

    They're no doubt more draconion then you probably realized.

    When they get in line from the Charter (the real one),perhaps I will feel more sympathy about the Olympic opening not being 50-50.

    That 1977 Charter you cited is an affront to freedom in this country, and to me is much more important then hurt feelings.

  94. Shadow,

    If that is true. Then let us drop down all of the equalization payments.


  95. I'm well aware of Quebec's Charter of the French Language. Not too many minorities are treated as well as the anglophone minority in Quebec. Can you imagine - public funding for schooling from kindergarten to Ph.D. for a minority representing less than 10% of the population!

  96. And in their own language, I might add!

  97. But all newcomers to Canada who live in Quebec have to have their children schooled in french, even if they're originaly from England.

    It violates Section 23 of the Charter, and section 133 of the Constitution.

    I don't mean to get snippy about this, but hearing that the Olympic "slight" was such big news, I got a little upset.

    There are reasons why some anglos roll their eyes a bit when Que. starts talking about their language rights, especially about something as petty as this.
    (not where your children can go to school!)

    Anyway, I want to make clear that I am not anti-Quebec, and I think that more reasonable measures can be taken to preserve french in Quebec.

  98. Here's Andrew Coyne to pour his gallon on the fire.

  99. I find this Quebec education article puzzling:

    Why would people be against Jewish schools opening on weekends?


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