Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Angus-Reid Poll: 4-pt Conservative Lead

Boy, sometimes I can really sense the urgency of the news cycle. Those journalists have it rough! This Angus-Reid poll landed in my inbox only 130 minutes ago, but already people are talking about it on this blog, the Twitterverse is already past it, and now we're just waiting for Harris-Decima to post the results of their poll. Sheesh! I just wanted to have lunch and had some work stuff to deal with!Compared to their February 11-13 poll, the Conservatives are up one point (33%), the Liberals are down one (29%), and the NDP is up two. They are at 20%, which is generally their ceiling but always good news for them.

The Bloc is stable nationally and the Greens are down one.

This is more in line with what we've been seeing, especially considering the HD poll today. But, these results are within Ipsos-Reid's MOE, so maybe we just need to chalk up the big gap in that poll to that.

In Ontario, the NDP is up five points and is at an amazing 22%. It actually causes them to hit their seat ceiling in my projection. The Conservatives are down three and the Liberals are down two.

In Quebec, the Bloc is down one to 34%. They seem to poll lower in Angus-Reid polls. The Liberals give five points to the Conservatives (23% and 19%, respectively), while the NDP is up two.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives drop three points to 33%, the Liberals gain seven points to tie them, and the NDP gains five points to stand at 25%.

In the smaller regions, of note is the Liberals at 27% in Alberta. That's up nine points, so a huge variation, but part of what we've been seeing in the province. In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals drop eleven points (eight of them going to the NDP).

The Conservatives would win 128 seats with this poll: 67 in the West, 43 in Ontario, 9 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals win 18 seats out West, 43 in Ontario, 16 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for 94 seats.

The NDP do very well and win 38 seats: 10 out West, 20 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 6 in Atlantic Canada.

The Bloc manages to hold 48 seats.

The poll also asked people whether the various party leaders should remain as head of their respective parties. You can check out the link to see the numbers, but in general, about 4 out of 5 party supporters like the guy heading their party (88% of Bloc supporters are happy with Duceppe), but for the Liberals that drops to about 3 in 5.

It's odd to think the Stéphane Dion had similarly woeful numbers, but yet Michael Ignatieff seems infinitely safer as party leader. I'm not sure why people have such a problem with Ignatieff, he isn't noticeably better or worse than any of the other leaders. They all sound like sleazy car salesmen some days, and they all sound like likable human beings on other days. Did the Tories succeed in defining him?

138 comments:

  1. Eric

    Do you have anything on the Harris Decima poll?

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  2. No, I have what everyone else has. Just waiting for them to post it on their site. They've been good lately with doing that, but have been slow in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, I have what everyone else has. Just waiting for them to post it on their site. They've been good lately with doing that, but have been slow in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Eric

    Sorry scratch that.

    You are still wairing

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't recall Dion's numbers for "Best Prime Minister", but Iggy's are looking awful.

    I foresee a lot of CPC ads with Michael Ignatieff in them. They should start running them now.

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  6. Ira,

    I believe Harper's personal favourability has fallen.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey 49 steps that's right.

    All the polls seems to be showing that Harper's fallen a fair bit, Ignatieff has fallen too during the same time period (less then Harper though) and Layton has risen.

    But Harper started out in a much better position to begin with.

    So things are pretty dismal for Ignatieff at the moment.

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  8. Yes, I don't see how what the numbers used to be matter at all, aside from establishing historical floors or ceilings.

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  9. I don't think anyone, the Conservatives or even Ignatieff himself, has defined Ignatieff. He has been a very low-profile leader, which is why his poll numbers are so low. He had a leadership non-convention, has not been subject to an election and has not even really taken a strong stand on any controversial issue. All that most people know about him is that he was a journalist/professor in the States.
    It seems that it will take an election for him to be in the media enough for people to judge him.

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  10. Angus-Reid has given us a nice illustration of why we shouldn't read too much into an individual poll.

    From the Green perspective, 9% nationally, corrected by Éric's Angus-Reid fudge factor is a believable 11+%. Maybe it's a bit low, but it's not silly.

    Until proportional voting arrives, though, the Green Party must focus on the two early-breakthrough regions: BC and Ontario. Ontario's 10% looks real, especially given the pollster. The BC number of 8% is not credible. My finger in the wind says it's 5-7 points low.

    The Prairie's 16% also has a tenuous connection to reality, but that doesn't matter. The first Green seats won't come from Saskitoba. Transpose the BC and Prairie results for a closer approximation to the truth in this particular universe.

    This poll is valuable data, but it doesn't become information until it's aggregated with a number of other polls.

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  11. To point out, both Harper and Ignatieff have *improved* on their ratings, just not as much as Layton managed to. According the AR study, Iggy jumped up three approval points, Harper went up four, and Layton went up 7.

    Just below those stats are ones where people were asked if their opinions of the leaders had improved, stayed the same, or worsened. Just by glancing at it, you can see how Layton is making his mark in popularity; 12% said their opinion improved for Layton, while only 8% said the same for Harper, and 9% said it for Iggy. Overall, Iggy actually stayed pretty static. Layton is the one who has the most momentum. Harper has the worst.

    What that tells me is that while Iggy isn't popular, he isn't necessarily hated by all mankind. He just doesn't define himself enough, either positively like Layton has managed, or negatively as Harper has. He's sort of in a limbo. Which makes sense to me; the only people who tend to get a more positive reception of Ignatieff are university students and those actually involved within the Party. Outside of these circles, he has issues. But, hey, so did Chretien.

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  12. Volkov,

    That was good.

    I don't think there were too many Canadians who saw Chretien as Prime Minister material, when he was leader of the opposition.

    Harper naturally has and advantage in leadership indexes, because he is the one who has the chair.

    When parliament resumes and the Harper government is held up to scrutiny day in and day out, lets see where things go.

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  13. Volkov, Goaltender I don't buy into that at all.

    There's a "not sure" catagory for people who don't have an opinion of Ignatieff, for whom he's undefined as a leader.

    Both Harper and Ignatieff are dissaproved of by 48% of Canadians, they are equally disliked.

    However, Harper has a 29% positive vs Iggy's 19% positive.

    The 10 point difference is people who are unsure. 23% of people being unsure about Harper and 33% of people being unsure about Ignatieff.

    Room to grow? Perhaps but it would have to be uniformly positive growth to catch Harper's positive numbers.

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  14. It sounds like the Liberal party is deeply divided and perhaps is ready to have Bob Rae as leader.

    Unlike the more united CPC.

    I guess all the talk about splits on the rights and PC vs Alliance was bogus looking at Harper's approval in his own party vs Ignatieff's approval from Liberals.

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  15. The CPC spent all of last year slamming Ignatieff, perhaps betting that the Liberals would dump him as leader.

    They haven't, but they have lowered expectations of Ignatieff, to the point that polling consistently neck-and-neck with the CPC is seen as a big boost of morale to the Liberals. Perhaps this is yet another example of the oh-so-clever Harper strategists outsmarting themselves.

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  16. Shadow,

    I think we Liberals will be fine.

    You are an expert on the Liberal party.

    Who knew?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Shadow,

    No, lol, I don't think so. The Party itself is fully behind Iggy. The majority of supporters are also behind Iggy. Unless the entire Conservative Party joins up for Liberal memberships and takes over the executive and all riding associations, Michael Ignatieff isn't going anywhere.

    But next time you want to invoke party unity, just remember - Greg Thompson didn't resign for any old reason. And remember Mulroney's membership and the squabbles over that. Oh, and remember Garth Turner. Also remember Calgary West.

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  18. Volkov,

    Those rascally conservatives, they sure do like to make mischief don't they.

    I think the Liberals are smart enough to know that they have to be united, to defeat Harper in the next election.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Volkov I realize the Liberals don't have a mechanism to dump their leader even when they wanted to (Dion).

    But just going off the polls a full 80% of CPC members want to keep Harper but only 57% of Liberals want to keep Ignatieff.

    Rumours aside I think the objective evidence shows which party is united and which is divided, relatively speaking.

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  20. Oh hey 49 steps don't shoot the messenger!

    Its not me saying this its the Angus Reid polling.

    The objective evidence shows that Iggy's leadership is controversial and there's a substantial group of people who want him gone.

    Divided Liberals eh? Who would have thunk it!

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  21. Shadow,

    It is not like Stephen Harper is such a fantastic asset to the Conservative party.

    Of course Conservatives love him.

    But which conservatives, the reform conservatives, or the Progressive conservatives.

    Canadians have never truly warmed up to Stephen Harper, they just tolerate him most days.

    I am sure there are quite a few conservatives, who wish Stephen Harper would go away.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shadow,

    There is a big difference between polled, vague, supporters, and those involved within the Party itself. There is rarely someone I come across that does not support Michael Ignatieff. I think I've said it before - my own riding association president, a guy who wasn't fond of Ignatieff to begin with, thinks the world of him now, after seeing Iggy actually listen to those on the ground, something that Dion never did.

    I'm not saying Ignatieff is charismatic or doing well - but to say, Oh, the Liberals, they only support their leader by 57% (despite the 30-some odd percent who call themselves undecided, hm), they're going to break up!, is just, lol, well, I don't want to insult you.

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  23. I don't really want a PM people love. That's too dangerous. They'd give him far too much leeway if he starts to do stupid things.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ira,

    If you wan't a Prime Minister people don't love Stephen Harper is your man.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ira,

    Really? I mean, really? That's a sign of pure distrust of the public right there. That's a dangerous slope, too; if you don't think the public can be trusted to elect leaders, why let them have any power at all?

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Oh, the Liberals, they only support their leader by 57% (despite the 30-some odd percent who call themselves undecided, hm), "

    13% undecided..... 30% against.

    ....ummmm.... sorry??

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sorry Barcs, I was thinking of a separate data point, I caught that just before too, you just beat me to the punch. :P

    ReplyDelete
  28. "if you don't think the public can be trusted to elect leaders, why let them have any power at all?"


    ... "The greatest argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter"


    Volkov, you and I disagree on opinions of how things should be run. But you and I atleast take it upon ourselves to go get informed about the issues. Look at your neighbors.... how many of them can say the same?? Do the ones who do talk about it go get facts?? or get their facts from the local coffee shop??

    I am willing to bet we would lose 5%-10% of ballots cast if people had to name the 5 leaders in the debate before they are handed a ballot to go vote.

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  29. Hey Barcs I think turnout takes care of the problem.

    Most people who aren't educated about politics don't bother to vote.

    Which is why I get so bloody annoyed when Elections and the media drone on about boosting turnout and how its out patriotic duty to vote, etc etc.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Barcs,

    I never said that such an idea was necessarily wrong; voters are often uninformed. But what does that mean, really, the the idea of democracy?

    I'm no populist, but everyone, regardless of whether they're informed or not, deserves their fair shake. Voting is the best way individuals can do that directly. So even if, yes, a good portion of those that cast their ballots may not be that well informed about the issues, or even about the leaders, it is their right to vote. You can't take that away from them.

    That is my position. It isn't related exactly to what Ira or even yourself said, because neither of you actually said "take away their right to vote." But, I think its important for people to know where I'm coming from.

    So when Ira, or anyone, says that they're scared about a popular leader being elected because of voter, well let's not kid ourselves, stupidity, I have to ask them what exactly it is they intend to do about it. Are they going to take away their right to vote? Are they going to set out on a campaign to inform voters? What? I give a fair chance for anyone to answer. What is your solution to such a conundrum?

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  31. 49

    Harris-Decima is showing basically the Cons-Libs tied at 31%.

    Which means that Ipsos Reid are as usual Con supporters ?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Does anyone have any detail about that Harris Decima poll?

    Is there any provincial breakdown?

    ReplyDelete
  33. 49 Steps,

    Not yet. I think everyone is still waiting.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hey Peter I should just point out that polling firms probably don't support particular parties.

    Different methods of conducting polls tend to yield different results which forms a lean or house effect.

    EKOS prompts Green and Other which yields very low CPC numbers. But that doesn't nessecarily mean that Frank Graves is anti-CPC.

    (Although from his tone and recent advice for the Liberals to spark an election he may very well be.)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have a question for anyone who would like to answer.

    Does anybody think we should move to a system of mandatory voting.

    Does anyone think that this a good/bad idea.

    If we were to move to that, is anybody afraid of what the consequences would be?

    ReplyDelete
  36. 49 Steps,

    Compulsory voting is a quick solution to a lot of problems, but I don't know if its the right one. I'd consider it a last resort, if anything, only because I think there are better ways to try and engage the population without forcing them to vote. It just takes a little bit of work - though unfortunately, that's a scary word to a lot of people.

    However, the day that our voting levels go below, hm, 55%, at a federal level, nevermind the 40% of actual voters in some provinces, we need to have a serious discussion about it, because it might be the only way to maintain legitimacy of Parliament, and of the state in general. I'd hate to suggest it, but, voting is a right that people actually do need to exercise.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Peter,

    Derek Lee is still going ahead.

    He is not backing down.

    Lets see where it all goes

    ReplyDelete
  38. 49 steps,

    Bad idea.

    Political freedom includes the freedom to not vote, or care about politics at all.

    If the wrong person gets elected due to voter apathy?

    There a saying for that...

    The people get the government they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  39. AJR79

    Are you worried that someone unpalatable to you you would get elected.

    You or I may not agree with the voters choice, but isn't the voter always right?

    ReplyDelete
  40. 49 Steps,

    Yes, I worry somtimes.
    That's part of democracy.

    No, The voters are not always "right",
    but I always respect when "the voters have spoken".

    Taking away people right to stay home on election day is infringing on thier freedoms IMO.

    People have a right to their opinions, and their votes are worth as much as mine, even if their opinions aren't.(IMO of course)

    Anyone who stays home on election day, doesn't deserve the vote they have been given anyway, and are probably too uninformed to cast one that is in their own intrest.

    Good riddance to them.

    Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  41. AJR79,

    Good on you, mate. That's the best position to take. I hope you aren't a Conservative supporter - its just too contradictory! xD

    ReplyDelete
  42. Volkov,

    It would only be a contradiction if Dion were PM.

    Canadians certainly don't deserve THAT.

    ;0

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hehe, speaking of candidates that are dead on arrival...

    Any predictions for the Ontario by-elections on Thursday? I know the Leeds-Grenville will go to the PCs, but Ottawa West-Nepean's PC candidate seems to be floundering against the Liberal candidate, and that isn't exactly a super-safe seat for the Liberals, like St. Paul's or Toronto Centre. If the PCs go down in defeat in Ottawa West, it isn't a good sign for Hudak's party, or attempted premiership.

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  44. I dislike Hudak, and the Ontario PCs a great deal at the moment.

    I'm glad I don't have to make up my mind for another year or two.

    Peter (I think)said this Frank De Jong character was a righty, Green leader.

    He's not leader anymore. (Mike Schreiner is)

    Ontario PCs have been acting like unprincipled, snotty children IMHO.

    Hudak better shape up, and control his boys, if he wants this "true blue" voter to come out for him.

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  45. AJR79,

    I agree. I'm not a total supporter of the Ontario Liberals, though I do find myself moving that way more and becoming more tolerant of Dalton - however, I keep my mind open to the possibility of voting for another provincial party, and I take one look at Hudak's PCs and I just don't know how they expect to present a respectable front for voters.

    But, just so you know, De Jong really is quite a right-leaning fellow, and though he isn't provincial leader any more, he might be making the jump to federal politics, and take on May for the leadership. That would be quite interesting; might split the right quite a bit.

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  46. Volkov,

    Keep on dreaming.

    (about the split right I mean)

    I don't think right-of-centre voters will be prepared to hand the Liberals the keys to the bus, by making that mistake again.
    (anytime soon)

    Nice try thou :)

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  47. Volkov: Any predictions for the Ontario by-elections on Thursday? I know the Leeds-Grenville will go to the PCs, but Ottawa West-Nepean's PC candidate seems to be floundering against the Liberal candidate, and that isn't exactly a super-safe seat for the Liberals, like St. Paul's or Toronto Centre.

    I beg to differ: Bob Chiarelli will win Ottawa-West Nepean, guaranteed. Beth Graham will come in second on the strength of the genetically-programmed Tory vote.

    The interesting race here is for third place. The Dippers had one and a half times the Green vote in the last election, but Mark Mackenzie is a powerhouse candidate and he has put together a serious machine. I think he'll overtake the NDP on Thursday. That's just the first step; he's in it for the long haul, not just this byelection.

    Oh, and John Turmel (Independent) will maintain his Guiness record by losing his 72nd election. You heard it here first.

    ReplyDelete
  48. AJR79,

    Even Liberals can dream. xD

    John,

    I didn't know that. Do you think the Greens will take third? I wouldn't doubt it, but how well really are the Greens perceived in Ontario, without De Jong? I know you base it on the Green candidate's strength, but I have to think that the view of the party and its new leader must factor in a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Volkov: But, just so you know, De Jong really is quite a right-leaning fellow, and though he isn't provincial leader any more, he might be making the jump to federal politics, and take on May for the leadership. That would be quite interesting; might split the right quite a bit.

    Our Green Party riding association executive has a high proportion of ex-Tories, even while the party leader is more to the left end of the spectrum. There are some close (if informal) ties between the Greens and the Landowners' Association.

    Don't rule out a very bluish shade of green at some point down the road, whether or not Frank de Jong throws his hat in the ring. And that will appeal to current Conservative voters, regardless of what the CPC organizers might wish. You'll know it's happening when the first Green-targetted attack ads appear.

    ReplyDelete
  50. John,

    Ha, they might not be too far off. I always found that to be true too - that there are some pretty bluish Greens out there. I noticed it even during canvassing, where the few people that talked to the Liberal canvasser about their switch to the Greens from the Conservatives without even batting an eye at Dion. It's an interesting phenomenon. I'd like to see it continue. :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Volkov: Do you think the Greens will take third?

    Yes. It's a major step and if Mark Mackenzie pulls it off he's accomplished something very big, but yes. I'm completely confident that he'll do so in the October, 2011 general election. It's a stretch goal this time around.

    I wouldn't doubt it, but how well really are the Greens perceived in Ontario, without De Jong? I know you base it on the Green candidate's strength, but I have to think that the view of the party and its new leader must factor in a bit.

    This is another case where the Greens are a bit different. Green principles are important to a Green voter. The cult of the leader is a lot less relevant. Mike Schreiner will not be sitting in the provincial legislature after the byelections, much less running the province, so he's a smaller factor for now.

    Mark Mackenzie is a successful small businessman who runs a lawn care company and a snowplowing operation. In both cases he walks the talk: the lawn care company is organic and the plowing company uses biodiesel. So he knows how to dream and how to act in a responsible and level-headed way.

    That matters to local voters.

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  52. John,

    I suppose, though don't you think the Greens should be focusing on getting a high profile for their leader, a higher profile for their party and what they intend to do, etc., rather than just focusing mostly on the, to borrow a phrase from the Club for Growth down south, "ideologically pure" Green voters, who unfortunately aren't large in number?

    I mean, it may just be my perspective, but as the leader of a fourth party just so close to electing a member, I'd focus a lot on building my party like how these bigger parties manage to do, focusing on local issues, yes, but also on issues like leadership, like finances, like Ontario-wide issues that affect the entire province, etc. Like, I remember trying to find the Green position on HST, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I noticed that similarly with the federal Greens on several issues as well.

    But, regardless, I hope Mackenzie gives everyone a good run for their money. Interesting races are so hard to come by.

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  53. Haha - hey Eric, Nick Boragina is saying that he'll give you a run for your money! Check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Um, well good luck to him. If people think I'm the one to beat, I suppose that is flattering.

    Today's traffic was phenomenal, a record since the site started.

    When an election starts, I expect (hope) hits to soar.

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  55. I hope he thinks having a good site name isn't all it takes to get traffic!

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  56. Hey Eric!

    What are you going to do when those new seats get added to the HOC after the census ?

    Will you update your site name to make it an accurate reference or keep it as is ?

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  57. Volkov what is with these divisions in your party ?

    http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/03/02/13086316.html

    A Quebec grit candidate questioning the leader ??

    And I thought the Denis Coderre thing had blown over long ago but he still sounds bitter.

    Are you guys really in any shape to run an election right now with the Quebec organization still in shambles ?

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  58. Shadow,

    You are correct

    That is Nancy Charest running in
    Matone/Matapedia, in Eastern Quebec.

    She seems to be a Denis Coderre admirer.

    I thought that issue had all but died down to.

    Maybe it hasn't

    All I know is if the Liberals are not united, there will be no chance to win the next election.

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  59. Hi 49 steps, I looked her up and she actually came very close to winning last election, 1.9% behind the BQ.

    She'd probably win this cycle because the incumbent BQ MP is retiring and its her second attempt.

    So Iggy would be crazy to give her the boot even though in normal circumstances that's what is done to candidates who speak out.

    My guess is she claims to have been misquoted or says something got lost in translation and hopes this things blows over with the throne speech/budget happening.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Shadow,

    Even I question the leader. Does this mean the seeds of discord are sown? No. It's healthy to have a disagreement every once in awhile and, you know, not be silenced for it. Hell, Derek Lee, that Liberal MP in the news recently, is a social conservative that voted against gay marriage, is pro-life, and is pro-death penalty. Does this mean the Liberal Party is breaking at its seems? No.

    Or, using your logic, that Conservative candidate in Markham who said the government was being partisan in its stimulus spending is just a sign that the CPC is about the burst. Oh lawdy Lord, she's a breaking at the seems, folks!

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  61. I meant *seams, by the way, not "seems."

    Anyways, Nancy Charest won't get kicked out, not like Gordon Landon in Markham. Not only is she an Ignatieff supporter, she's a major player in her riding and her region in general. Someone said she could end up having a Sheila Copps-like pull, where if she's successful, all the ridings in here area will have access to funds, to support, to logistics, etc. She's a very popular woman out there, apparently.

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  62. Volkov the candidate in Markham including the Liberal MP did NOT know what programs were actually being distributed in the riding.

    The CPC candidate suggested the Mall did not qualify because a Liberal held the riding.

    He suggested picking him would mean more funding for his riding.

    His timing was POOR, and the media blew this up as PROOF EAP was being favoured in CPC ridings.

    Carolynn Parrish, George Smitherman along other LIBERALS corrected the RECORD and burst the Kennedy distortion attempt.



    Nancy Charest is a seasoned politician who lost by 609 seat against the Bloc last time around.

    So, the Markham candidate was NOT credible and made the judgement 'errors' of shooting off his mouth creating controversy without having his FACTS straight.

    Results he got the BOOT.

    The Quebec former politician has directly attacked the leader and suggested he is NOT capable of delievering the goods for Quebec.

    Results: Stay tuned will media interrupt Throne Speech rebuttal for Liberal divisions during KEY vote.

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  63. Shadow, obviously I'll update the site when that happens, but it may be awhile before it does.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Volkov,

    Glad to know that about Nancy Charest.

    Canadian Sense, I couldn't follow what point you were trying to make.

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  65. Volkov: I suppose, though don't you think the Greens should be focusing on getting a high profile for their leader, a higher profile for their party and what they intend to do, etc., rather than just focusing mostly on the, to borrow a phrase from the Club for Growth down south, "ideologically pure" Green voters, who unfortunately aren't large in number?

    Absolutely. The Green Party is reaching out to all voters and members of the community: workers who want a prosperous economy with long-term jobs; citizens who want healthy, sustainable communities; small and medium business owners who want smart, simple regulations; people who believe that health is important and should be addressed end-to-end, not just at the hospital door; farmers who deserve compensation for being responsible stewards of the land; and every citizen who wants clean water, clean food and a healthy way of life.

    The Green Party is by and for mainstream citizens. It's focussed on building the real future we all want and that we can achieve. It's no more a collection of granola-eating sandal-wearers than the Tories are gun-totin' rednecks or the Dippers are hard-hatted union instigators or the Grits are... whatever they are.

    Mike Schreiner is indeed a key part of the Green Party of Ontario future. He's the first full-time GPO leader and he's been hard at work profile-building. Currently, he's actively campaigning in both byelections. He's being heard in the places the votes will be counted tomorrow.

    The Party has released a clear and coherent Green Party of Ontario 2010 Eastern Ontario Platform. The message is definitely being delivered to voters.

    To learn more about GPO and its positions, go to the Green Party of Ontario web site.

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  66. Shadow, obviously I'll update the site when that happens, but it may be awhile before it does.
    Why? Ten years in, we still watch movies made by 20th Century Fox. And that future looking real estate company is still called Century 21.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "It's no more a collection of granola-eating sandal-wearers than the Tories are gun-totin' rednecks or the Dippers are hard-hatted union instigators or the Grits are... whatever they are."

    John, I enjoyed that description of all the parties. Especially the Grits.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Glad to know that about Nancy Charest.
    I see they are back to the concern trolling about "divisions" in the Liberals. Boo hoo hoo. That messy process where people all talk and have different opinions, sometimes change their minds and come to consensus, is called democracy. Some parties prefer their supporters and MPs to act more like social insects, and never question the Party line.

    Remember the "Irwin Cotler will join the CPC" canard? Because his wife quit the Liberal party! Of course she rejoined soon after but we don't hear that part too often. Same old stuff.

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  69. LS

    Compare the Bernier comments on less spending growth, cautious Carbon Tax policy vs Nancy Charest did NOT talk policy, she made a direct criticism against the leader and his ability to deliver for Quebec.

    The subject matter was very different. Same with Denis Coderre, Janine Krieber.

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  70. Hi Liberal supporter,

    I am a proud Liberal.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Canadian Sense,

    I don't mean to sound personal,
    but what point are you trying to make.

    I am sorry I just don't follow.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Eric,

    Just it case you didn't know, Harris Decima has their numbers out now. Definitely no Ipsos Reid.

    ReplyDelete
  73. 49steps

    No need to apologize for not understanding my post.

    Volkov, LS suggest "Cons" have pushed the divisions within the Liberals and Cons are muzzled.

    The 3 names were specific example have made targetted attacks on the leader vs Markham example of a candidate who was making claimis/promises without authority/knowledge and was let go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Eric

    Looks to me that if you are an XXXX-Reid poll you are always skewed to the CRAP !!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Volkov,

    No, that poll is their February 16 poll.

    ReplyDelete
  76. John - I hope proportional voting never arrives. That would lead to a badly fractured parliament, a never-ending string of minorities, and bigger government (as whoever was in power would constantly be pandering for short-term political gain).

    I like our voting system. I want to stick with it. We've seen upstart parties succeed before; I see no reason to change the rules just to help the Greens do it.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Volkov: "if you don't think the public can be trusted to elect leaders, why let them have any power at all?"

    To keep them quiet. There's a widespread belief that democracy has value in and of itself. I think that's nonsense (democracy has value only insofar as it produces good government), but since that position is widely held, we need to let people feel like they're in charge so they don't complain.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Addendum - Ralph Klein did that all the time. Whenever he wanted to implement a policy that he thought would annoy people, he'd first have public hearings. The public hearings had no impact whatsoever on what he ultimately did, but people tended to accept his decision more if they thought they'd been consulted first (even though they hadn't - the decision was made before he asked them).

    Translink (the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority) does this, too. They have this online polling scheme they call "Translink Listens", except it never actually gives anyone a chance to have input. It asks questions where all the available answers are basically the same, but it improves their public image because the people think they're being heard.

    If people can be controlled like that, do you really trust them to make good decisions on complicated issues outside their areas of expertise?

    ReplyDelete
  79. If you want to see the problems inherent when democracy is too widely applied...

    Look no farther then Cali-forn-ia.
    (add Arnold accent)

    A republic is a much better form of government, then a democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Electing representatives who can devote the time to the policy alternatives (as laypeople cannot) is far better than just asking those laypeople.

    And a longer, stable term in government allows those representatives to enact policies that aren't immediately popular. Since the general public doesn't always understand the policies, asking them to pass judgment without first seeing them work is absurd.

    So, with a majority government in Canada, we could see policies implemented now that might be unpopular, but if they produce good outcomes in 4 years then they will have been a good idea and that government will likely be rewarded with re-election. But in a minority parliament, we probably never would have seen those policies, and any government that did introduce them likely would have been immediately defeated.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Ira: I hope proportional voting never arrives. That would lead to a badly fractured parliament, a never-ending string of minorities, and bigger government (as whoever was in power would constantly be pandering for short-term political gain).

    Exercise for the Student of Politics: contrast the stability of the current Canadian government elected under a first-past-the-post system with the current German coalition government elected under a proportional system.

    Be sure to cover questionable application of tools such as prorogation and snap elections that violate the spirit if not the letter of the law. Also consider government spending per riding versus party representing that riding and the number of BIG CHEQUES in photo ops. Which system is more "fractured"? In which is there more "pandering"?

    First-past-the-post is an endangered species on this planet. If you like it in this country, enjoy it while you have it. It won't be here forever. And if you want majority governments to be the rule instead of the exception, sorry; that ship sailed a while back.

    ReplyDelete
  82. The German coalition isn't much of a coalition. The governing parties don't run against each other in the same regions. I'd say Germany has an effective majority.

    And the current Canadian government is a minority, so it clearly fails my first standard.

    Majority governments can happen. Look at Alberta. Alberta has never had a minority government - not even for a day - at any point in its history.

    Proportional representation makes majorities far less likely, and thus leads to bigger government. Bigger government is bad - demonstrably so.

    Why do you see proportional representation as inevitable? BC has had two referenda on abandoning first-past-the-post, and both were defeated (the second by a far larger margin than the first). And Britain shows no sign of abandoning first-past-the-post. The US shows no sign of abandoning first-past-the-post. Really - what basis do you have for your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi Ira:

    You are right about majority governments! Would we ever have gotten FT, or NAFTA, GST, the balanced budget and subsequent surpluses with a minority? I don't think so. Minority governments are all about the next election.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I'm not so certain that Iggy and Dion have exactly the same problem. There were quite a large number of people who truly disliked Dion, whereas I think people only "don't like" Iggy. Hate VS Indifference. While the approval rating of the two men may be similar, my guess is the disapproval rating of Dion was far higher then Iggy.

    ReplyDelete
  85. The historical inevitability of proportional representation is highly questionable.

    Not only that but its an intellectually weak and lazy arguement:

    "Other people are doing so why don't we ?? Its going to happen anyways so don't bother to speak out against it !!"


    I believe there is a pop culture equivalent to this line of reasoning:

    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hey Earl I guess that National Post tip from a few weeks ago was correct.

    Loads of talk about direct foriegn investment including in the nuclear sector (!) and telecom and broadcasting deregulation.

    I guess we can write off NDP and BQ support for the Harper agenda going forward.


    Anyone have any thoughts on the idea of a gender neutral change to the anthem ?

    True, patriot love
    in all our sons command

    TO

    True, patriot love
    thou dost in us command

    ReplyDelete
  87. Shadow,

    Anyone shocked the Bloc want more money? The $ 8 Billion on an annual basis in equalization is simply not enough.

    NDP slaming Alberta, profits from large companies including banks are BAD(unless union shop)

    Michael did not have bother to attack the Throne Speech but tried to insert Parliamentary Supremacy in a Point of Order.
    He failed.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi Earl,

    Believe me I ask this with all due respect.

    After prorogation, and recalibration we now have a "Seniors Day"

    Thoughts

    ReplyDelete
  89. The telecom dereg will provide plenty of jobs. Someone will have to re-aim all those Bell ExpressVu dishes from Nimiq 1 at 91°W to Dish's EchoStar 10 at 110°W.
    Because there won't be anything left of BEV and Star Direct.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Shadow,

    I'm more interested in changing "God keep our land" to "Let's keep our land".

    What has God done for us lately anyway?

    He wasn't nearly as involved in keeping us "glorious and free" as the boys(and girls) from the WW1, and WW2 era.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Shadow,

    "in all our hearts command", sounds a lot better anyway

    ReplyDelete
  92. What about "Our home on native land"?

    ReplyDelete
  93. As long as they don't touch the original French version. Gotta love it's French Canadian nationalism.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Ira: Why do you see proportional representation as inevitable? ... Britain shows no sign of abandoning first-past-the-post. The US shows no sign of abandoning first-past-the-post. Really - what basis do you have for your opinion.

    This is an interesting and novel interpretation of "no sign". In the conventional application of that expression, the US remains as a bastion and shining beacon of first-past-the-post. Arguably, FPTP is far from the largest electoral problem south of the border, but the fish in that barrel have no need of my howitzer.

    Yes, proportional representation has been voted down in BC (elided from your quote above) and Ontario. That was then. Time marches on across the world.

    ReplyDelete
  95. LS,

    Is that your white guilt I hear talking?

    Feel free to give any land you own, to the nearest aboriginal.

    It'll make you feel better.

    I promise.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Eric does the French version have any gender controversies ?

    I do remember in elementary school when we'd sing the anthem every morning some of the girls in my class thought it was "suns" and not "sons". Probably because of "see thee rise" in the next line.

    They expressed denial and then anger when the actual lyrics were explained to them.

    ReplyDelete
  97. In Britain, Gordon Brown is supposedly planning to introduce a non-FPTP system if elected, and the Lib-Dems would also be in favor of that. The Tories are at the moment, having trouble staying in majority territory... so it's a possibility, though remote that the UK could introduce a new system.

    As for Germany, while the right there may not be explicitly campaigning against each other right now, they are not endorsing and avoiding each other's regions either.

    Regardless, as far as it pertains to the effectiveness of MMP, Germany has had stable coalitions in the past with different groups.

    ReplyDelete
  98. To John, Kevin, and Ira.

    In the same way that the biologically true statement that men are physically stronger then women is not disproven by the existence of an individual woman stronger than an individual man, the general principle that proportional representation breeds less stability then FPTP is not disproven by the existence of an individual PR country that is more stable then an individual FPTP country.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Is that your white guilt I hear talking?
    No, it was my wit.

    Feel free to give any land you own, to the nearest aboriginal.
    Why would I do that? You saw the Olympics, no? The aboriginal nations welcomed the world and their leaders were treated as heads of state. But they didn't get title.

    It'll make you feel better.

    I promise
    .
    Love the projection!

    ReplyDelete
  100. As long as they don't touch the original French version. Gotta love it's French Canadian nationalism.
    In French class, we had to sing the French version, and the teacher was always reminding us to pronounce "droits" correctly, otherwise it says "Protect our homes and our fingers". So when practicing for some assembly we had to sing at, we'd sing Protegera nos foyer et nos doits just to make her laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  101. They expressed denial and then anger when the actual lyrics were explained to them.
    You mean they'd sing "with glowing hearts, we seething rise"?

    ReplyDelete
  102. No LS of course you're right.

    Our home (Canada) is on "native land"

    All of it.

    Sheeesh

    ReplyDelete
  103. --- "Eric does the French version have any gender controversies ?"

    It certainly doesn't have any "controversies", but it also doesn't seem to have any gender issues.

    This thing is really stupid. Removing "God" makes more sense than "Sons".

    ReplyDelete
  104. Why would they want to remove a reference to God?

    Are the majority of Canadians non religious?

    Are we trying to be political correct?

    ReplyDelete
  105. Shadow:
    In the same way that the biologically true statement that men are physically stronger then women is not disproven by the existence of an individual woman stronger than an individual man, the general principle that proportional representation breeds less stability then FPTP is not disproven by the existence of an individual PR country that is more stable then an individual FPTP country.


    I didn't see any claim to that effect. Ira stated that a PR system would be less stable than the current FPTP. Germany is a counter-example that falsifies the general claim.

    Quantifying, Italy has a mixed-member proportional representation system and Israel has parallel (semi-proportional) representation and those two are gong shows. But all European countries (apart from Britain, for a few months yet) have effective governments elected through proportional representation variants in different flavours. In rough terms, PR wins by an order of magnitude.

    For a broader picture of who uses what system, see the Atlas of Electoral Systems of the World. It incidentally demonstrates that there are many versions of proportional representation.

    Minority and coalition governments are unstable when the parties can't or won't play together nicely. The solution isn't a one-party state; it's electing parties that can act in a mature way.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Shadow: The historical inevitability of proportional representation is highly questionable.

    Not only that but its an intellectually weak and lazy arguement:

    "Other people are doing so why don't we ?? Its going to happen anyways so don't bother to speak out against it !!"


    I'd certainly never make that argument myself; I have far too much respect for the reader to spell or punctuate incorrectly.

    But historical inevitability isn't the reason we're going to see some variant of proportional representation. The reasons are fairness, democracy, justice and respect for minority views. It's somewhat odd that a country with the values and traditions of Canada is so far behind the curve.

    ReplyDelete
  107. CanadianSense,

    We live in a secular country, and our anthem should reflect that IMHO.

    Thinking about this, I feel it is a two-pronged attack by the CPC.

    On one hand they may appease some women who may think of them as anti-woman.

    On the other, they may goad the opposition into mentioning the God reference, thus strenthening their hold on the overtly religious.

    Just one question for you CanadianSense...
    Do you think it is God, or is it the people of Canada, who is most responsible for keeping us "glorious and free"?

    It's not about Politically Correct.

    It's about common sense, and truth.

    ReplyDelete
  108. John,

    Ouch, If you want MMP, I'd suggest you refrain from using Italy as an example in the future.

    What do thay have, like an election every year, and massive corruption?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Eric doesn't the french version have a reference to the Christian cross ?

    As for removing the reference to God in the english version I think the majority wins on this one.

    Only 16% of Canadians have no religion according to the 2001 census.

    ReplyDelete
  110. CanadianSense: Why would they want to remove a reference to God?

    Because some of us conservative types don't like the way they mucked around with the 1927 lyrics in 1980 and put it in.

    We also still refer to "Dominion Day".

    ReplyDelete
  111. AJR79: Ouch, If you want MMP, I'd suggest you refrain from using Italy as an example in the future.

    What do thay have, like an election every year, and massive corruption?


    That's why I called Italy a gong show. But if you want names instead of numbers, put Italy in one column. And then, in the European Union alone, put Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden in the other. The United Kingdom is heading to PR, but we'll leave it out of the balance sheet.

    My earlier comment said the same thing, but it left the enumeration to the reader. Twenty-five is bigger than one. But listing the twenty-five without listing the one is questionable.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Just read that it will be changed to "in all our hearts command"

    No big deal. It'll still sound OK.

    Shadow, weak-sauce arguement.

    I'm sure there are all kinds of things that you wouldn't like, that the majority would.

    The majority might like Jesus taught in public school, should we allow that too?

    ReplyDelete
  113. We live in a secular country, what does that really mean?

    I some in the left scream everytime Harper thanks or mentions God.

    Can you link the studies that show the majority of Canadians do not believe in a "sky fairy" aka some version of God?

    I am under some impression the majority of Canadians, including new immigrants have an actual "faith" or believe in a "sky fairy".

    Our sons & daughters that died on those beaches for our freedom?

    Are you suggesting we had less Canadians of "faith" back than?

    I don't see the need to erase our cultural history/traditions because some are uncomfortable with religion.

    ReplyDelete
  114. I can safely say many conservative voters may not agree with AGWism and dumping billions to appease the Big Business Lobby to get credits and tax points to reduce Co2.

    I still don't have another party to vote for, all the others want to raise my taxes more.

    Do you agree with bailing out GM and Chrysler Unions and Shareholders?

    We don't always agree with every decision with our current gov't, who has given us a different option?

    ReplyDelete
  115. CanadianSense

    If the vestiges of religion mean that much to people, I'm not going to push too hard.
    (there are more important things to worry about)

    I do get to voice my opinion about it thou (as you can tell)

    As I was saying to Shadow, just because 75-80% (or whatever) people are Christian, doesn't mean we teach Christianity in our public schools (mostly).

    Why can't we have an Anthem that everyone believes in?
    (Answer that one)

    I sing it my way already anyway :)

    ReplyDelete
  116. I'll rephrase that last question, since I got carried away, and a bit garbled:

    Should our national anthem reflect all people of this land, or just those who believe in God?

    ReplyDelete
  117. You should NOT attempt to please everyone, it won't work.

    Again my point is I have ZERO problem with people believing Al Gore AGWism.

    I only ask you don't make me pay for it.

    So if you want to recite a prayer in school, sing I love "Red Meat" or think Carbon is taxable just pay for it yourself.

    I only ask you leave my wallet alone.

    ReplyDelete
  118. CanadianSense,

    It's not about pleasing everybody.

    It's about including everybody.

    I think you're probably starting to catch my drift.

    Changing the anthem to be more inclusive, won't cost you a cent!

    ReplyDelete
  119. My post earlier explains why we can't please everyone.

    It is simply NOT possible. We should try to be tolerant and respectful of each others view including their faith or absence.

    Our history reflects faith(s) being an important part of our cultural history good and bad.

    ReplyDelete
  120. If you're OK with forcing 16+% of Canadians having to give lip service to a deity they don't believe in, just because they want sing their anthem... then there's not a lot I can say.

    I say again it is not about pleasing ANYONE.

    It's about including EVERYONE.

    What's the big deal about that, since we're changing it anyway?

    Again, just because many people believe in a deity, does not mean that it should be included in our national identity.

    We do not take a popular vote, to see if Canada is a country that believes in God.

    That is non-sensical.
    Canada is a land of freedom, not a land of God.

    Anyway, I wasn't kidding that there are more important things to worry about.

    The Canucks game is on.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Did you not read your cited article, John?

    "The amendment is unlikely to reach the statute book given the shortage of parliamentary time available."

    On the anthem, I'd rather one that spoke to our history. The original lyrics of the Maple Leaf Forever do that for me.

    In days of your from Britain's shore,
    Wolf, the dauntless hero came
    and planted firm Britannia's flag
    o'er Canada's fair domain.
    Long may it wave, our boast and pride
    and joined in love together,
    the thistle, shamrock, rose entwine
    The Maple Leaf forever!


    Not that I have much complaint with the current O Canada lyrics. I'm an athiest, but I recognise that historically Canadians were generally Christians.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Keslers a good Yank. (goal)

    I think certain Quebecers might object to the Wolfe reference Ira.
    (not might)

    I'm suprised that they wern't all over VANOC for the closing ceremonies.

    ReplyDelete
  123. It's too bad Ontario has only one NHL team.

    Have fun with Louuuuuuuuuuu, he did us proud.

    We will have to agree to disagree on the merit of having a minority view pushed on the majority regarding having a faith in sky fairies or God.

    ReplyDelete
  124. No Ira, I agree it's not a big deal.

    The sons thing isn't that offensive either, but I think it might as well be changed.

    Same thing with the God reference.

    I feel I just laid out a pretty good case for changing it, but the religious would freak out if any Government tried it.

    Canadian Atheists need a lobby group, to counter the Charles McVetys of the world.

    I've heard that's like, "trying to herd cats".

    Fun stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Ira: Did you not read your cited article, John?

    "The amendment is unlikely to reach the statute book given the shortage of parliamentary time available."


    That's why the article says, "Should Labour win the general election, a referendum will now be held on whether Britain should adopt the 'alternative vote' system on October 31st 2011." (Emphasis added.) And there's no guarantee that such a referendum will pass even if Labour retains its hold on power, with or without the Lib Dems.

    However, my comment was a response to the declaration, Britain shows no sign of abandoning first-past-the-post. This is still a use of "no sign" with which I was previously unacquainted.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Proportional representation is a fictional system based on fictional metrics about non-existent polities that lack democratic legitimacy.

    Ex. 8% of people vote Green but they got 0 seats !!

    Ok who's people ? You mean a diverse group of individual voters from seperate ridings across Canada suddenly lumped together even though they have no common identity ??

    Ok what's "Green" ? You mean a collection of different individual candidates with possibly different ideas representing themselves in different ridings ??

    Seats ? So now instead of electing our representative in Ottawa, we elect "seats" where parties divide the spoils of an election ?

    We can argue the effects of different systems based on levels of spending, stability of gov't, or other measures.

    But in terms of basic democratic legitimacy and the interests of people's communities being represented there is clearly something lacking from PR.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Also if "Britain is showing no signs of abandoning first past the post" then what do you call it when the newly created Welsh and Scottish Assemblies are elected by the MMP form of proportional representation and the Northern Ireland Assembly is elected by STV - last time I checked Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were all part of Britain!

    ReplyDelete
  128. AJR79 I don't think you can make an inclusive vs exclusive arguement about God in the anthem.

    An anthem that lacks an invocation for divine providence is probably just as offensive to people as an anthem that includes it, probably more people too just from looking at the stats.

    When I say majority rules on this one i'm simply pointing out the obvious, not expressing my own opinion (I couldn't care either way).

    This being a democracy and there being a lack of objective measures to hang my hat on i'm simply going to respect the will of the majority.

    School prayer, on the other hand, is a different matter both in degree and kind that I can object to.

    Its a time consuming exercise that could be better spent on learning. Its far more intrusive for atheists then one line in the anthem. And it crosses the line between respecting our Christian heritage to active indoctrination.

    ReplyDelete
  129. There are lots of national anthems that have no reference to god in them. In fact the Star Spangled Banner has no "god" in it - and is the religious freaks that dominate American society can tolerate that - so can we Canadians - living in one of the world's most secular countries.

    There is also no god in the anthems of France, Germany or Spain to name a few (actually the Spanish national anthem has no words in it at all - its just a tune!)

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  130. DL that's not an arguement. This is OUR anthem, what other countries do is utterly irrelevent.

    I'm sure the majority of Canadains don't really care either way. So why change it ?

    Because it makes a minority of atheists annoyed.

    Well changing it would also make a minority of Christians annoyed, probably more.

    So which group is the most vocal? Which group has the most votes and support?

    I think you know the answer. Its a democracy and the majority wins.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Shadow,

    Taking prayer out of school no doubt annoyed a "majority of Canadians".

    The majority don't get to decide everything.

    It's a constitutional monarchy, not a democracy.

    "I'm sure the majority of Canadains don't really care either way. So why change it ?"

    I'm sure the majority of Canadians don't care about "sons" either.

    Why is this change acceptable?

    "School prayer, on the other hand, is a different matter both in degree and kind that I can object to."

    To me it's about principle, not effect.

    All in all the "God" in the song is pretty strong when sung, and does beat "Let's", but as a principle I sing the latter.

    That's right I choose to sing the national anthem differently then it is written, because I don't believe in it.

    That's a shame IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Let' pretend everyone is correct.

    At the end of the day, pandering (being sensitive) to the voters is a trademark in all types of democracies.

    The Catholics were firmly behind the Liberals until 2000. They started to migrate to other parties.

    The loss of Catholic voter has been slow and gradual. In 2008 they are highlighted as a reason why the Liberals lost power.

    Some suggest

    a) Same sex marriage
    b) Pro- abortion agenda
    c) Day religious beliefs were mocked
    d) At a state funeral some Liberals tried to make it a capital offense and suggested catholics should be offended for a wafer scandal.
    d) When Harper or a CPC mention God (show sensitivity to people of faith) the "progressives" go on attack mode and suggest hidden agenda, religion is for stupid people etc

    Many progressive have ZERO tolerance for religious activity that does not help their agenda.

    Recently the Liberals tried to recast the CPC as a backward party with a hidden agenda that were going to reset the clock back to 50's. (G8 maternal health of women and children by Harper)

    It failed and the Liberals have not recovered. Many high profile religious groups are "sensitive" and have attacked the Liberal classification of maternal health of mother and children.

    The Anatomy of the Liberal Defeat and the reaction by the Religious community against those attacks demostrates the results of insensitivity toward those who believe in "sky fairies" (God).

    Labelling it a right wing conspiracy is again unfair and the history of the mainstream political parties were more astute before pandering to small vocal fringe groups.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I would suggest we look very carefully at the dates these polls are taken.

    Just released Ekos, taken during the height of the Olympics, gives the Tories a two point lead.

    How much of that two points is really due to Olympic bounce ??

    We should wait for the next poll by Ekos before rejoicing.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Shadow: Proportional representation is a fictional system based on fictional metrics about non-existent polities that lack democratic legitimacy.

    All electoral systems are deficient (or "fictional", if you prefer) in some way.

    The simple answer is to do away with elections and move to a single leadership passed to descendants. However, some people in present-day society may not believe that this is the best answer. Even the most partisan contributors to ThreeHundredEight.com might hesitate at the thought of King Harper. (The rest of us ran away screaming a while back.)

    Electoral system design is a complex problem. Wikipedia has an overview of it, but that just scratches the surface. However, it's a mistake to assume that because first-past-the-post is relatively simple, it's therefore "right" or in the best interest of voters. FPTP disenfranchises a substantial proportion or even a majority of citizens except in a single-level, two-candidate situation. That is not the Canadian reality.

    There are better systems out there. Many better systems, and we will eventually move to one. Which one isn't clear, but it will be better than the status quo.

    [By the way, the quote sounds grand, but how is a government constituted through some non-FPTP system a "non-existent polity" except through your self-referential definition? Was that really the noun you were reaching for?]

    ReplyDelete
  135. Hi John sorry I was unclear, polities has multiple definitions so I guess I should have used a more specific word.

    I wasn't refering to the legitimacy of the gov't derived from such an arrangement but the very notion that NDP voters living in seperate cities could somehow be considered a community worthy of representation.

    That is the fictional polity, a non contiguous group of voters scattered across a region getting their own representative.

    NDP voters living in the downtown east side are not the same as NDP voters living in the Kootenays.

    NDP candidates running for office in the two regions are not the same.

    Actual geographical cities/districts are worthy of representation and can confer democratic legitimacy.

    PR is a fictional system because it obliterates the local character of democracy. Democracy is no longer legitimate because there is no connection between the representative and the people.

    You can't simply squish all NDP voters into a box and then give the party a seat for it.

    Ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Hey AJR79 you might not to want to use "constitutional monarchy" as an arguement.

    The Queen is officially the defender of the faith in Canada!

    Here's PM St-Laurent explaining to parliament in 1957 (from wiki):

    The rather more delicate question arose about the retention of the words, "Defender of the Faith". In England there is an established church. In our countries [the other monarchies of the Commonwealth] there are no established churches, but in our countries there are people who have faith in the direction of human affairs by an all-wise providence, and we felt that it was a good thing that the civil authorities would proclaim that their organisation is such that it is a defence of the continued beliefs in a supreme power that orders the affairs of mere men, and that there could be no reasonable objection from anyone who believed in the Supreme Being in having the sovereign, the head of the civil authority, described as a believer in and a defender of the faith in a supreme ruler.


    "I'm sure the majority of Canadians don't care about "sons" either.

    Why is this change acceptable?"

    I'd like them to do some public polling on the matter and discuss it before we do.

    "To me it's about principle, not effect."

    We'll have to agree to disagree then. An anti-religious principle is militant atheism, the kind that gets annoyed at a Christmas tree being put up in a school.

    I don't believe in divine providence, prayer, or that God has any role whatsoever in Canada's well being as a nation.

    But i'm content to leave it in our anthem out of respect for the Christian majority and as a piece of our cultural heritage.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Shadow,

    Christmas trees are a pagan ritual, so I kinda like them.

    Militant Atheist?

    In a broad sense, I suppose I am.
    Militant secularist is more like it thou.

    Just to finish off my thoughts on this topic...

    Have you ever heard that "gay is the new black"?

    I believe "Atheists are the new gay"
    (insert bad joke here)

    We are coming out of the closet more, and more.

    It will only be a matter of time, before the change to our anthem is made, our society just isn't mature enough yet.
    (Big vote-loser)

    "Nones" are the second fastest growing group, right behind moslems. (based on % of growth)

    Perhaps we will all be around these boards after the 2011 census.

    Get ready for a suprise, if you think we are only 16%.

    The internet is the death of God, he just doesn't know it yet.

    CanadianSense,

    I hope that you did notice, that I never used the term "sky fairy".

    I prefer the term "Invisible Sky Daddy", anyway.

    I reserve those terms, for when I feel that a believer is being rude, and want to get under their skin a bit.

    I did not get that impression here.
    (I only used God, or deity)

    ReplyDelete
  138. I believe in free speech and was mocking the labels I am regularly confronted with on progressive blogs.

    I have been labelled a right wing bible waver, republican, denier because I don't support the progressive views on AGW, Cap & Trade Regulations, removal of our cultural traditions as desired by a minority of voters.

    Yes I am aware the current gov't included it in the Throne Speech. Like the Auto Bailout, I did not agree or funding Regional Events from Calgary Stampede, Pride in Toronto, Concert - Tim McGraw, CNE Bill Clinton, CFL Game out east.

    I would PREFER our tax dollars are used much less often and left with the original income earner.

    ReplyDelete

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