Monday, March 29, 2010

New AR Poll: 6-pt Conservative Lead

Angus-Reid has released a new federal poll, and though it shows some variation from other polls we've seen, there actually has been very little movement.The Conservatives have opened up a six-point lead with 35%, up two points from Angus-Reid's poll taken at the end of February. The Liberals are unchanged at 29%, as are the New Democrats at 20% and the Bloc Québécois at 9%. The Greens are the ones who seemingly handed over points to the Tories, as they are down two to 7%.

(Don't miss my post on Manitoba polling which was put up earlier this morning.)

This is a great result for the NDP, but nothing new when it comes to Angus-Reid. It is also a good gap for the Tories, but a gain of two points over a month in a poll with a MOE of 3.1 is perhaps not enough to celebrate.

In Ontario, both the Liberals and Conservatives have gained two points, with the Tories maintaining a lead of 36% to 35%. The NDP is steady at an excellent 22%.

In Quebec, the Bloc has gained four points and stands at 38%, while the Liberals are down one to 24% and the Conservatives are down three to 16%. These are not the kind of numbers the two major federalist parties want to see in Quebec, but it is good news for the Bloc. The NDP is steady at 16%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives have made a large seven point gain, and stand at 40%. The NDP is at 28% while the Liberals have dropped nine points to 24%.

There hasn't been much movement in Atlantic Canada, as the race is a three-way one. The Liberals lead with 34%, followed by the Conservatives at 33% and the NDP at 28%.

The Conservatives have gained seven points in Alberta, and are at 62%. The Liberals are still strong with 21%, though that is down six points. In the Prairies, the Tories are down six to 46% while the Liberals and NDP are up five each at 22% and 20%, respectively.

The Conservatives would win 128 seats, 68 of them in the West, 45 in Ontario, 6 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals would win 15 seats in the West, 43 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 18 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 91.

The Bloc wins 52 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 12 seats in the West, 18 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 37.

Angus-Reid is usually a little bit out of step with some of the other pollsters, the main reason seeming to be the under-performance of the Greens in their polling. Whatever their methods are, it seems to benefit the NDP and the Conservatives over what other pollsters show. Interestingly, however, virtually all pollsters have shown similar results for the Liberals. Perhaps the centrist voter is the easiest one to poll.


  1. This is an astonishing good poll for the Liberals. It was taken after the Liberal blew up on the abortion issue and their self-loathing that followed.

    It really shows me that Liberal supporters will vote Liberal no matter how poorly they perform. It is in their genetic make up :)

    It will be interesting how far behind the news cycle Canadians are and if there is a worse bump for the Liberals coming.... or if will be negated by the Thinkers conference.

    The Thinkers conference accomplished nothing but gave the Liberals the positive spin that they were actually trying.

  2. This poll (or similar ones confirming that no one was paying attention to the Liberals internal incompetence) may have saved Donolo his job...... and the Liberals might force a cut our losses election sooner than later.

  3. BC I think you are right about the Liberals taking a chance on an election soon. Iggy outlined a left looking platform last night. He's obviously looking to peel away voters from the Greens and NDP, while not upsetting the centre. There are holes in his plan, which if there is no election, will likely be subject to negative attack ads by the CPC. I see the Liberals wanting to go ASAP. Same with the other two opposition parties. The results are not bad for them either.

  4. This is a definite trend I see with all AR polls - the "third" party, be it New Democrats, Liberal Democrats, whatever, always outperforms itself in other polls. I don't know if its just their methodology or what, but it's a little annoying.

    Anyways - as I've said before, the most likely spot for an election is this fall. This will be after the platform is formulated and brought out by this summer. And I like the somewhat leftward tilt Iggy put out - it makes sense, and it will beat down the NDP pretty well I think.

    But, here's food for thought; if the next election will be a real clash of ideologies, and the Greens, who are made up of left leaning and right leaning factions, break apart, who will it benefit for?

  5. Volkov

    If memory serves the Angus-Reid polls also consistently place the Conservatives higher than other polls.

    One wonders about their methodology ??

  6. And again we have 2/3rds of the public voting "anybody but"!!

    Also from Eric's figures we have the Cons tied with a Lib-NDP alliance

    128 seats each, Which leaves the Bloc with the Balance Of Power. Clever !

  7. Peter,

    They do it with British polling as well. While every other poll shows a fairly close race, AR has the Tories amazingly out front and Labour in danger of falling behind the Liberal Democrats. It must be their methodology.

  8. Peter, Volkov its not AR that puts the CPC out front, its REALITY.

    They are the highest ranked pollster in Eric's system. They were the most accurate in 2008.

    EKOS? Subtract 3 from the greens and give it to the CPC, their Liberal and NDP numbers were spot on.

    These green numbers are quite accurate. EKOS is just a cruel illusion.

  9. Peter,

    Yes Libs/NDP tied with the cons.

    This poll also has the CPC, polling higher in BC, than other polls.

    Start of a trend in BC?

    There also might be a small skew towards the CPC national number because of the strong support in Alberta.

    I will now wait to see if other polls, are in line with this one.

    I guess under the circumstances, it could have been a lot worse, for the libs.

    BC Voice of Reason said,

    "It really shows me that Liberal supporters will vote Liberal no matter how poorly they perform. It is in their genetic makeup"

    Not unlike those CPC voters in Alberta I guess.

  10. Shadow,

    Whoa there. I didn't contend the Conservative numbers, so back off, bozo.

    But there is a trend for AR to overestimate the power of the third parties. I've seen it several times, in several ways. The most recent is when AR polled the Costa Rican presidential nominees, and the third party candidate was running a strong second. In the end, he ended up third, behind the guy who AR polled as very far behind the other two.

  11. Volkov

    "Whoa there. I didn't contend the Conservative numbers, so back off, bozo."

    And the Best of British luck with that !!

  12. Jane Taber has a view on Justin Trudeau's panel with Shelly Glover.

    It's quite different then 49 Steps' assesment.

    So is Trudeau's self-assesment.

    From the article, "no matter how frustrated I get, I will not be interrupting on panels in the future. I’m learning..."

  13. BC, Earl

    Iggy said yesterday that the party won't be releasing a platform until the end of the summer, so barring some sort of major screw up by either to Tories or the Grits, I wouldn't count on an election much before the fall.

    And personally, even the Liberals release a platform in August/September, if I were them I'd aim for a spring 2011 election and try to take some time to sell the platform to parties members, the public, the media, etc. and to try to work out some of the kinks.

    I suspect they might not take the time they need because: (a) they're worried about Tory attack ads trashing their ideas;(b) they're worried about the Tories stealing any good ideas they might come up with; and (c) they're power-hungry nuts who are desperate to get back to the other side of the house. Concerns (b) and (c) are related, if the Liberals were an ideology-driven party, rather than a power-driven one, they wouldn't care who steals and implements their policies so long as they got stolen and implemented (which is the NDP's only basis for existence). AS for (a), if they're worried that the Tories will rip their policies to shreds with attack adds, all the better to field-test them and work out all the kinks ahead of time to address/respond to the Tory attack ads, rather than to try and respond to them on the fly in the midst of an election campaing.

  14. Cutting the per-vote subsidy to be an election issue, confirms the PMO.

  15. AJR79,

    Pft, what a cheap diversion tactic. It's a conversation that's needed, to be sure, but the Conservatives are only bringing it forward not to try and paint themselves differently. It'll fail because we've already seen the Liberals starting to ween themselves off the subsidies pretty darn well.

    I guarantee the biggest opposition will come from the NDP, Greens, and the Bloc.

  16. Volkov,

    I'm not saying it's an issue of any great substance, but it confirms one of my political prognostications, and as you may or may not be aware, I never tire of pointing those out.

    (the ones where I'm right, anyway)

  17. Boy if they want a bun fight dropping the subsidy will sure bring it on.

    Needs discussion Yes

    Arbitrary removal NO !

  18. Again this is an AR poll with a much smaller number polled than Ekos

    1000 for AR

    3000 for Ekos

    Eric what does that do to MOE and essentially poll accuracy in the long term?

  19. There are good reasons why AR polls have the most weight in Erics projection.

    It's that type of non-partisan, qualitative statistical analysis that make Erics site the most useful, in terms of realistic election projections IMO.

  20. Carl: And personally, even the Liberals release a platform in August/September, if I were them I'd aim for a spring 2011 election and try to take some time to sell the platform to parties members, the public, the media, etc. and to try to work out some of the kinks.

    If any sitting opposition party has polling numbers in the sub-basement come September, the election might move to 2011. Otherwise, the Grits seem to be marching to a well-defined timetable. They are collecting input, assembling a coherent package and taking it to the electorate. The clock is ticking down to fall.

    Last weekend's event was supposed to provide input to a platform, not a platform. (There were some half-hearted attempts to position it as "non-partisan". Um.) The next step is the set of where they craft a platform, then the plug is pulled. This presumes that Jack and Gilles willing, but as I've explained in earlier comments, they should be, even if it could cost them a few seats.

    The Grits will not release their platform well ahead of an election. This has nothing to do with stolen planks or with giving time for the Tories to assemble attack ads. (That can be done with a war room and a weekend.) It's all about having something shiny and new to offer the electorate and especially the media during the campaign. You don't get air time repeating something you announced six months ago. That reflects poorly on human nature, but it's political reality.

    Interestingly, the Green Party is in a different position. Vision Green was announced two months ago but it received so little coverage that it will qualify as new material when the writ drops, even though it's road-tested. There are some advantages to a lower profile. Not many, but some.

  21. Shelly Glover is amazing!

    I've been singing her praises for awhile and it seems like her profile is only growing and growing.

    She'll be in cabinet next shuffle, I just know it.

  22. Meanwhile back in happy tory land,
    Rob Anders joins the Wild Rose Alliance.

    I guess there are a lot Of Alberta PC's, overwrought with sorrow about that.

  23. Yes Shelley Glover is amazing.

    Just a little while back, she made the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press.

    She wanted to donate water bottles, the local school division.

    The only problem was they were plastered with the CPC logo.

    The school division refused her donation, and she threw a hissy fit.

    Gave more than a few people a laugh.

    She complains about the rudeness, of Justin Trudeau. She lectures him about his party, being rude in the house of commons.

    Just like Tom Flanagan, I guess the poor lady has never heard of John Baird, or Pierre Polieievre.

    Make her a cabinet minister please.

  24. 49 steps how is that a problem ?

    Sponsorship has been around for sports teams as far back as I can remember.

    Why is a CPC logo anymore outrageous than soccer players with McDonald's jerseys ?


    Sounds like people made a big fuss for partisan reasons at the expense of the students.

    I'd be angry too.

    Good for Shelly Glover !

  25. taxpayers money is not supposed to be used to promote a political party. If the Tories want to hand out water bottles with their logo on it - they can pay for it themselves.

    Shelly Glover comes across on TV like a brain-dead Canadian version of sarah Palin - only even dumber.

  26. 49
    Advertising to promote a product or service is one thing

    Advertising to promote an ideology or religion is something quite different.

    CPC: Liberals are always BAD

    RC Church: No Child Behind Left

    Local Mosque: We are surrounded by infidels, Death to them all

  27. 49 Steps,

    Is Anders truly jumping ship, for the WRA?

    Do you have a link to that story?

    This is the best news I've heard all week, if true.

  28. I guess us ass backwards rubes in Manitoba get a little offended, when politicians try to use tax payers money to promote themselves to children.

    She also had her name all over the bottles.

    My hats off to the Louis Riel School division for calling that crassness for what it was.

    She again made a fool of herself.

    It is becoming quite a habit of hers.

  29. AJR79

    Just go over to the Big City Liberal blog.

    All the info is there.

  30. DL,

    Could you provide a source, that says that it was taxpayer money, used for those water bottles?

    If is was, it's likely to get my blood boiling a little.

    If not, then you've got nothing, except for a little bit of classlessness.

    Hardly a bar on being a minister.

    Also I watched the link you provided which you said proves that she's "dumber then Palin", and it was actually Evan Solomon who came off that way, with his relentless putting words into Glovers mouth.

    She said she "didn't know Flanagan", "had never met him", or "seen him on the Hill".

    Soloman tried to twist that into, her saying that she didn't know who Flanagan was.

    I thought she came off just fine.

    Evan is the one, who should be slapped upside the head.

  31. Anders isn't jumping ship. He's stilla federal conservative. but he's also an Albertan, and he's chosen to support the WRA provincially.

    No surprise there. I'm suprised he wasn't already a member (he was probably put off by Danielle Smith's social libertarianism).

    Would we be shocked if Ralph Goodale joined the provincial NDP in Saskathewan? Or the Saskatchewan Party? Maybe, but it wouldn't have anything to do with his status as a federal Liberal.

  32. Ira,

    Thanks for the correction.

    I should have used different phrasing.

    He is not leaving the CPC.

    My bad.

  33. DL, 49 steps i'm waiting for that info that said Glover used tax payer money for the water bottles.

    PS. I'm glad you both support getting rid of the per vote subsidy!

    By definition all advertising done by political parties involves tax payer money since the gov't is the biggest contributer to the coffers of the political parties.

  34. Peter what is the basis for your remarks that advertising a product is any different then advertising a political party or a religion ?

    They are all things people may or may not be interested in.

    Advertising is used to drum up interest.

    I fail to see any substantive difference at all.

    In fact its not uncommon for a church, via member donations, to sponsor a local kids sports team and have the name of the church appear on the jersey.

  35. Anders will still be an MP, running in Calgary West, and part of the CPC caucus.

    Thanks for getting my hopes up.

    Harper could stand to take a lesson or two from Smith in "social libertarianism"

    The tough on crime agenda is expensive, ineffective, and not an efficient use of tax dollars.

  36. In fact its not uncommon for a church, via member donations, to sponsor a local kids sports team and have the name of the church appear on the jersey. "
    My, my !! Dumber than a post you are. You didn't even read the post just threw out another "talking point"!!

    Political parties are by definition NOT products and I question they are a "service" either. Further the use of taxpayers money by the Tories to promote their party is scandalous. How many millions have gone into TV advertising promoting the "Economic Action Plan" which that well known right wing think tank, the Fraser Institute, says has been useless. Then there are all those stimulus cheques with the Tory logo plastered all over them again paid for by the taxpayers !!

  37. Peter are you talking about the economic action plan passed by Conservatives and Liberals ?

    Passed by the will of the house of commons. The supreme house!

    Why is that advertising for the CPC ?

    Its actually advertising for the idea of gov't in general, the actions of the house, all of which includes the Liberal party.

  38. Nice try

    Spin but still bullshit. The Tories are playing this for every possible dollar, rouble, whatever.

    It's their baby, trying to blame the other parties really is a new low, even for you !!

  39. John,

    I suspect that you might be right that the Grits are sufficiency brain-dead to believe that all they need to get to Governmental Nirvana is a "shiny and new" platform. If so, though, they might want to consider what happened the last time they launched a "shiny and new" platform, namely the Green Plan.

    Setting aside for a second that its contents were politically suicidal, no sooner had the announced it, then they found out that someone hadn't done the requisite google-search to confirm that someone else didn't already own the name. Fortunately for Dion, because he announced the 'Green plan" in May, he had a couple of months over the summer to fix his booboos. That was a minor gaffe (although it's a gaffe that probably highlighted a lot of people's doubts about Dion's competence), but it's easy to see how those sorts of things could derail an election campaign before it even gets started.

    Dion's Green Plan is also an example of why coming out a platform well ahead of time is a good idea. It was certainly "shiny and new" and Canadians hated it. Unfortunately for him, he never got a chance to try and sell it to the public (or his own MPs) outside of the hothouse environment of a campaign, because the Tories basically took one look at it and figured "this is a platform we can gotta fight an election on at the first opportunity". Iggy had a great oppornity over the past year to develop an platform, and hammer out the inivitable kinks before the Tories could, with good conscience, force an election. He blew it by dawdling and now, like Dion before him, if his platform has anything the Tories can sink their teeth into, they'll stampede him into an election on it.

    Or, to be perfectly non-partisan, look at how the wheels came off the John Tory campaign a few years ago in Ontario over the religious schools issues. In substance, there shouldn't have been anything wrong with his proposal (Tory's proposal, after all, has been implemented in a number of other Canadian provinces and in Ontario, with respect to Catholic schools without civilization coming to an end). But it was terribly mismanaged, the Tories failed to consider and address obvious criticisms and concerns or prepare the obvious, and compelling, responses to those concerns. And, in the midst of the campaign, Tory couldnt't drop the issue once it was obvious that the public wasn't buying-it. The end result was that it all but finished John Tory's political career.

  40. Peter, please be civil and keep it to the words and the arguments, not the people.

    Rule of thumb. If your comment has exclamation marks, stop, calm down, and post again.

  41. Peter the economic action plan exists because of the Liberal party.

    The debt and deficit associated with it is the responsibility of both major parties.

  42. Well we have made some progress today.

    Shadow now admits the HOC, is the supreme house.

    The economic action plan advertising comes so close to the line as to be a propaganda tool for the government.

    Is the PC party in Alberta disintegrating. Why are federal CPC members joining it, and abandoning the PC party?

    Exactly what kind of party is the WRA, just a reform lite brand.

    Is this an admission that the old PC party is not right wing enough for some CPC members?

    They surely then cannot be happy with the direction Harper is going in.

  43. Shadow your line of bullshit just gets longer and longer. The Tories were the Govt. They didn't have to take anything the Liberals promoted. Get a life !!

    Eric I'm outta here, there is only so much bullshit I can put up with.

  44. And the counter-productive comment of the day award goes to...

    (I know, I'm in the running with this one too)

    Seriously Peter, grow up a little, before you come back.

  45. Things are getting a little tense.

    I want to give DL a laugh

    Helena Guergis, and Rahim Jaffer.

    That should make his day.

  46. The trouble with Iggy:

  47. More from the Jane Taber rumour mill.

    This time on Senate reform.

    Eight year terms?

    I'm more partial to 12 year terms myself.

  48. The closest thing I found to funny today was this rather sadistic hit piece on Gilles.

    Do not go there unless you can take offensive humour. It's a bit over the top, even by my loose standards.

  49. AJR79 meeting in the middle with 10 years seems most reasonable to me.

    If the Liberals refuse why not call their bluff and accept 12 year terms.

    Once the principle of limiting senators terms is enshrined into law it could always be lowered at a later date.

  50. Not too bad, some of it funny. But the author got a few things wrong. Unless I'm mistaken, Quebec doesn't have full control over immigration.

    He called La Presse a sovereigntist paper, which is like call the National Post a liberal rag.

    Geez louise, do Canadians actually think LP is a sovereigntist paper? If so, Canadians truly don't understand Quebec.

  51. Hi Earl,

    Haven't read that yet but I will.

    I would just like to point out as most pundits do, that being the leader of the Official Opposition, is a thankless, and difficult job.

    Harper had his problems, and was also written off for dead quite a few times.

    Chretien also had the same problems, and he was also written off as the man who would never become Prime Minister.

    There is an ebb and flow in politics. As they say a week is a lifetime in politcs.

    I am just going to observe, and give Iggy a chance.

    Harper still has some problems as well.

    Layton, well I wish the man well and a speedy recovery, but my thoughts on him are not very kind.

    Let's just wait a bit before we write off Iggy.

  52. Eric,

    I believe Harper has given Quebec more control over immigration. (If maybe not "full" control)

    Glad you enjoyed the read.
    I'm not too sure how well it reflects federalist opinion, outside of Quebec,(I'm guessing not very well), but it did give me a chuckle or two.

    As too La Presse's leanings on sovereignty, I have to claim ignorance.

  53. Shadow,

    I think you may misunderstand me.

    I support 12 year terms, because I think it is the best time-frame, for a senate appointment to last.

    I hope the 8 year term thing is a plot to get the Liberals to take some ownership of this file, with an amendment to 12 year terms.

    A bit of bi-partisan agreement, would be useful here IMHO.

    Get 'er done this time.
    (fingers crossed)

  54. 49

    Well the balloon just went up !!

    The US has apparently formally asked us to stay on in Afghanistan after 2011 !!

    This not acceptable to so many here. Wonder where it goes now?

  55. !

    Along with The Gazette, which is an English-language paper, La Presse is THE federalist newspaper in Quebec. It's owned by the Desmarais, one of the richest and most staunchly federalist families in Quebec.

    The article does seem to echo the Canadian misperception that sovereigntists (in this case, the Bloc and Gilles Duceppe) want to destroy Canada, or that they seethe with hatred for Canada.

    The movement is about Quebec. Think of it in hockey terms. Last year, were the Pittsburgh Penguins trying to beat every other team, or win the Stanley Cup?

    (And I happen to think Canada would do just fine without Quebec, and not be 'destroyed')

  56. Carl: Dion's Green Plan is also an example of why coming out a platform well ahead of time is a good idea.

    Having the platform ahead of time is a good idea. After that the normal strategy is to hold focus groups and test ideas in a limited (but representative) audience.

    Harper suprised my with the national anthem fiasco. It was popped on his caucus, meaning that he and his inner circle thought it was a meaningless bit of window-dressing that nobody could take offence at. Oopsies.

    I'm guessing that in future, Harper will focus-group the coffee-break menu.

    In any case, road-testing a message does not mean publishing it. Not by a long shot.

  57. Good news! Starting April 1, MPs will no longer be allowed to send the famous "10-percenters" to ridings other than their own.

    Will save $5.1 million dollars.

  58. Peter,

    I wanr us OUT of Afghanistan when our commitment is up.

    We have wasted enough blood and treasure there.

    Maybe if GW, had concentrated on Afghanistan like he should have been doing, and not started an illegal war in Iraq, it might be better there today.

    After all the terrorists were using Afghanistan, as their base of operations.

    Makes perfect sense to go start an illegal war in Iraq.

    Canada must be firm we are out of there in 2011, and that is that.

  59. 49
    "Canada must be firm we are out of there in 2011, and that is that."

    That is precisely my thinking to. Iggy did a very good, very clear interview on this with Tom Clark on Power Play today.

    Short of extremely tight conditions he wants out. And NO combat role

  60. Peter,

    I didn't see that interview, but that is a good position to take.

    Now what will Harper do?

    His hands will be tied, thank god for that, because he knows the public wants our comabt mission to end.

    And try and keep your blood pressure steady.

  61. AJR79 I understand your preference for 12 years. Just adding my two cents that 10 seems like a better number.

    Why I called the 12 from the Liberals a bluff is because their original position was 15 year terms. Most people who get appointed to the senate are around 60 anyways. So basically no change.

    Heck, even if they want 15 I say take it. And then you and I can argue over 10 or 12.

    Its getting the constitutional principle enshrined into law that is the most important thing.

  62. Re: Social libterarianism - I agree. Danielle has correctly identified non-religious people as the fastest growing religious group in Alberta, and Alberta as the second least religious province in the country after BC (measured by percentage of non-religious people).

    Secular government is coming, and it's coming fast. And that's a good thing. Uncoupling these idiotic Christian ideals from fiscal sense would make it much each to sell good fiscal policy to Canadians.

  63. I heard that Harper wants to completely wash his hands of Afghanistan at some point.

    It gobbles up our aid money and costs a fortune for the military.

    Don't know how Chris Alexander, star candidate for Ajax-Pickering, would feel about that.

  64. Re: The Senate - I'd rather everyone just leave the Seante alone. It doesn't need fixing. The only reason anyone's discussing it is because the parties in government think they can score political points by doing it, and a minority parliament compells them to seek out every political advantage they can every single day.

    That's why majorities are better. Seriously, does anyone really think this pointless wrangling over parliamentary structure is a useful place to spend time and money?

  65. BCVR, Shadow,

    Angus was most accurate with CPC -0.6, Lib +0.7, NDP +2, Bloc +1, Grn 0 in 2008.

    I have been looking at the key battleground Ontario.

    Pundits Guide G.E. Compare Ontario
    1997 49.5% Lib 101/103
    2000 51.5% Lib 100/103
    2004 44.7% Lib 75/106
    2006 39.9% Lib 54/106
    2008 33.8% Lib 38/106

    National M.O.E was 3.1, ONT may have been higher.

    Don't think OLO will be onside "publicly" with LPOC and risk the wrath of CPC.

  66. Peter,

    Just remember one thing.

    We now have Mr. Shadow on record.

    Whenever he comes on here and touts all of Harper's many accomplishments, you cann remind him that he only has achieved those accomplihments because of the liberals.

    The liberals are really the ones responsible for all that grandness, as per Mr. Shadow's own words.

    Harper can also no longer blame the senate for getting in the way of his many and numerous, laudable goals.

    I am so glad Shadow has finally acknowledged the greatness of the Liberal party.

    See maybe we have done some good here.

    If we can convert Shadow, lord knows we can convert anyone.

    Let's try working on CS now.

    Ain't life grand

  67. I solidly in the camp that says leave Afghanistan in 2001. Unless our people are in non combat positions in non combat areas. Afghanistan is not worth one more Canadian life or any other life for that matter. We are "supporting" the most corrupt government in the world. We are supporting a culture that is anathema to my values and to those of most Canadians. Once the NATO leaves Karazi will almost certainly fall and Afghanistan will revert to anarchy.

  68. Earl,



    Who gives a flying fig what Chris Alexander thinks (Yes I know who he is), because the day he ever gets up in the house of commons to speak about anything will be the day that pigs fly.

  69. Ira: Re: The Senate - I'd rather everyone just leave the Senate alone. It doesn't need fixing.

    I put that in bold because it's so true. The Senate is a very effective house of sober second thought. A government of any stripe that can't get legislation through it really doesn't care about the legislation. (Remember, the Commons always has the final say.)

    The only reason anyone's discussing it is because the parties in government think they can score political points by doing it...

    Not only that, but real reform requires the consent of the provinces. Ain't gonna happen. Senate reform is theatre. It's something to do when you don't know what to do but want to be seen doing something.

  70. 49 I posted a couple reasons why I was disappointed with Iggy last night. I wouldn't be afraid of telling Canadians the truth about the deficit and saying higher taxes are needed along with cuts.

    Canadians really do not want to go back to the days of huge deficits. Increases in taxes whether to the GST or income taxes could be made clearly temporary until the nation is back in surplus. Canadians also do want not new expensive programs like a national child care program. As I pointed out in another thread even I could support a carbon tax if it was truly revenue neutral.

    The Liberals need to move the centre where the votes are, not to crowded left. They are still seen as the party that dug us out of the deficit. So why not be upfront with Canadians and tell them that taxes will go up until they can be cut. Put a time frame on it. Bow to populism and agree to restore the GST cuts or better yet rework the GST entirely. They'd have a real chance if Iggy was blunt and told the truth. That plays to Iggy's strengths.

    Harper has left so many flanks vulnerable: he's not well liked; he's not seen as fiscally responsible, just better than the alternatives; suspicions still abound about what he'd do if got his majority. Iggy might well outflank Harper if he put forth fiscally sound proposals to cut spending and increase taxes and slay the deficit. Mike Harris was elected because people really wanted change and they knew that fiscal issues had to be solved. I don't want Mike Harris federally. I do want a secular, moderate choice federally. Right now the LPC and Iggy are not giving me that so I will reluctantly vote for the CPC.

    One last thing. Replace McCallum as finance critic. He has terrible visuals and couldn't sell his way out of a wet paper bag, despite his credentials. He comes across as sleazy and grasping to me. Iggy OTOH still comes across as sincere. I just waiting to see if he has the gumption to do the job.

  71. 49 Steps: Maybe if GW, had concentrated on Afghanistan like he should have been doing, and not started an illegal war in Iraq, it might be better there today.

    If history teaches us anything, no. The execution was flawed but the plan was doomed.

    The right plan would have been for the West to sit this one out. The mildly wrong plan would have been to assist in the overthrow of the Taliban, declare victory and go home before the rubble had stopped bouncing.

    By the time Canada walked in it was already a lost cause. Not least because "it" in the previous sentence has never been clearly articulated. Not before we came on board and not since.

    That is our greatest and most shameful failure to support our troops. They deserve better.

  72. 49
    Should political parties continue to get a set amount of taxpayer dollars for every vote they receive?

    Yes 71% (540 votes)

    No 29% (219 votes)

    Unsure <1% (3 votes)

    Total Votes: 762

    Power & Politics

  73. John,

    Well, that comes back to the question, when Iggy says that the platform will be ready by the end of summer, does that mean it will be road-tested and ready to go? Not likely, since they don't appear to have any concrete policies yet (other than increasing corporate taxes) and the end of august is 5 months away (assuming that, unlike last year, Iggy works over the summer).

    As for being able to road test a platform effectively without making it public, I question whether it's likely. Focus groups can be helpful, but they're an artificial environment (remember, focus groups showed the Jean Chretien slurred speech ad back in 1993 would be very effective - indeed it was, but probably not as intended). And it's hard for political parties to round-up truly representative collections of voters, while at the same time keeping their documents secret (since truly representative panels tend to include Tories and Dippers). They can (and unlike Stephane Dion, probably should) start selling their platform to their members, although even then it's hard to keep stuff secret (and when you try, and the document is inevitably leaked, their opponents will run wild ranting musing about their "hidden agenda" - what are they hiding?).

    THe notion that a party's platform should be kept secret before an election is premised on one (or more) of three basic assumptions. (1) Voters are morons and can't be trusted to deal with complex issues - so let's release our platform in the middle of an election hothouse when everything gets distilled down to sound bites. (2) Political leaders are morons and can't possibly sell any complex issues to the public (who may or may not be morons, see (1)). Or (3) Our policies are so brain-dead, that any scrutiny that takes longer than the length of an election campaign will blow them out of the water.

    The grits aren't alone in this regard, but if they are really keen on re-establishing themselves as a national party (which they really aren't any more), they'd seriously rethink those assumptions. The voting public may have the attention span of a gnat, but they're often more insightful that politicos give them credit for. Many politicians are drooling morons, but allegedly iggy isn't. As for whether the grits can come-up with non-brain-dead policies, that's in their hands, but surely they must think they can.

  74. Earl,

    I wish we had the political climate in the country where we could have adult conversations about the many challenges facing us as a nation.

    I will be totally blunt, the minute anything of any substance is put forward by the Liberals, what do we get?

    We get a Harper attack machine, that goes into hyper over drive.

    I am not saying all parties, have not thrown their fair share of mud. They have, but I feel Harper, has elevated it to a whole new level.

    Maybe it is time to tell Canadians the truth. Try and break through that filter. Maybe Canadians would appreciate the honesty, and having politicians treat them like adults, instead of children.

    I hear what you are saying. Canadians always say they want truth and honesty from our politicians, but like I said before I think we almost force our politicians to talk down to us because of the way we act.

    Maybe you should be in the OLO.

    As for Mccallum, it is his credentials, and he is popular in his own riding. I don't know who they would get to replace him. I personally don't mind him.

  75. 49
    "Maybe it is time to tell Canadians the truth. Try and break through that filter. Maybe Canadians would appreciate the honesty, and having politicians treat them like adults, instead of children."

    Meanwhile the Tories have used $820 Million of taxpayers dollars to promote themselves via advertising. More than any previous Govt !

    Came out on Power & Politics

  76. Peter I've Power and Politics a few times and I would guess that its audience is left leaning. Evan Solomon is IMO is clearly to the left of the spectrum as was Don Newman before him. When I see Newman's rantings they are without exception anti- Harper. I would also remind you that any poll like this can be manipulated. You won't see me quoting any online poll where people can clear cookies and vote multiple times or call up their friends and have them vote. That said I oppose taking away the subsidies. I think Harper is making a mistake putting it in his platform. It looks again like he is trying to gain a political advantage.

  77. I think Senators should have four year terms, that way in just a couple of years we can start getting rid of execrable people Harper appointed like Mike Duffy and Linda Frum!!

  78. When Jean Chretien introduced the subsidies, Stephen Ledrew said it was as stupid as a bag of hammers.

    That being said, there goes Harper again, playing dirty politics.

    He is always for wedge, and division, which is why I take such issue with him.

    If we take away the subsidies, is Harper willing to go back to the system we had before Chretien changed it.

    The Liberals did very well under the old system.

    Peter, Yes I know they are self promotion machines. You would think after all that they could at least break the 35 or 36% range.

    As Earl was pointing out, with his usual good advice, if the liberals could put the pieces all together, we could punt Harper.

  79. 49 remember that attack machines can be turned quite effectively against those who over use them. The Soldiers in our Streets" broke the back of the Liberal smear campaign against Harper.

    The reason the rather amateur green shift ads worked was because Dion was a poor communicator and wasn't being totally honest. I not being coy when I say I see a real opening here for LPC. The current minister of finance does not inspire confidence. His turn about from December 2008 to 2009's record deficit left him without a lot if credibility. I may be naive but put simply I think the LPC has a winning prescription here. As always just an exchange of opinions. The mere fact that I'm open to voting for Iggy is very telling. I'm disillusioned but won't vote for major new spending. So I'm looking for the straight goods. Thanks for getting back. As always I enjoy our exchanges.

    Good fortune,


  80. Earl,

    You know I respect your opinions, and I respect your honesty.

    I truly hope if Harper decides to go to the well again, and use attack ads, that Canadians will have decided that they have had enough of that, and they will backfire.

    As for that Soldiers in the street ad, that was truly embarassing, and deserved to backfire.

    I hope the Liberals can present policies, that Canadians such as yourself can embrace.

    I hope we can have that adult conversation.

    I guess we will see now won't we?

  81. 49
    "I hope we can have that adult conversation.

    I guess we will see now won't we?"
    Only if CS and Sh stay out. They both are so steeped in the "mantra" that discussion is impossible.

    I found that 3:1 for vote really impressive. Harper may have found a loser ?

  82. The battle for Canadian opinion regarding our Afghanistan mission is no doubt lost. I think Shadow is correct to say, that Harper is ready to wash his hands of it.

    That being the case, I still feel the neeed to lay out the case, from my somewhat hawkish perspective, for contiuing on after 2011, if only with 500-600 soldiers involved in combat/training roles.

    In my mind there has been no more "just" war, then Afghanistan, in the last 50 years.

    You don't have to be a geopolitical expert to see that, if we are serious about fighting Islamic Jihad around the globe, the AF/Pak region is the most sensible place to do it.

    Conflating this war, with the Iraq war is a mistake, and obscures the issue IMO.

    After all the blood, and treasure spent, and all of the gains we have made, it is unthinkable to me that we just pull out, with no political stability, and leave Afghanis to the "anachy" Earl descibes.

    With the new U.S administrations approach of actually trying to win the war, and the impressive list of Jihadi leaders that have been killed or captured in the last 2 months, I find myself optimistic that the war can be won.

    Obamas team is quite impressive on this.
    (many like Gates, left over from the "good Bush" era of 2006-2008)

    The strategy has much improved, and I wish we would stick it out.
    If it takes another decade of our involvement, so be it.

    If we won't stand with our NATO allies now, in a U.N sanctioned mission, then when?

    Let the firing squad against these arguements commence!

  83. "If we won't stand with our NATO allies now, in a U.N sanctioned mission, then when?

    The Dutch are out, the Germans are probably as well. Obama has set a target date for US forces to start, at least, winding down of 2011. Funny but that's the same as us.

    In other words everybody wants out. The Dutch have had their Govt defeated and an election forced on this issue. Want to got there ??

    For once Shadow may be right that Harper wants no part of it. Nor I might add does our military. They are burnt out and need a rest.

    Your position is a loser.

  84. Two Fraser Institute economists explain why Friedman rules, and Keynes drools. ( at least when it comes to stimulus spending)

    Sound banking, and monetary policy are more effective then spending a big hole in your future, to inspire short-lived consumer confidence.

    If the stimulus were half as big, the effects would be about the same.
    Not good value for the money.

    There is enough blame to go around on both sides of the aisle, for this one.

  85. Earl:

    If I have any fault to that show it is that it is way to far right. Given Newman was more left than centre he still came across and is far more honest than Solomon !
    "Evan Solomon is IMO is clearly to the left of the spectrum as was Don Newman before him. "

    If he's left then so is Tom Clark and Craig Oliver. He's way too far right IMO

    As well as being a lousy moderator I might add.

  86. Peter,

    And all the while that great paragon of journalistic integrity, Mike Duffy, claiming to be unbiased and fair.

  87. Peter,

    You have no rebuttal to the fact that the gains we have made will be lost, and Afghanis left to Taliban wolves?

    I rather argue a loser of a proposition from principle,
    then a naive one, from callous disregard for human lfe, and geo-political stability.

    If you favour leaving Afghan women to their own devices and misery, you should at least confront the fact, that that is what you are advocating for.

  88. AJ
    "You have no rebuttal to the fact that the gains we have made will be lost, and Afghans left to Taliban wolves?"

    No argument from me but until the Afghan's can fix their own corrupt, rotten govt problems all the blood we shed will be for naught. Even Obama is bashing Karzai for instance. Afghanistan is not in any way a country but rather a loose association of tribes unworthy of our support.

    Like it or lump it our military is burnt out ! How many more Canadians do you want killed in this fruitless endeavour??

    Lose the sheckels on your eyes !

  89. Afghanistan ?

    If there is a CPC majority I support the 500-600 troops.

    If there is no CPC majority I support washing our hands of the country completely.

    That is all.

  90. Funding for political parties is anti-democratic.

    What about independent candidates ? Do they get these payments ?

    No, of course not. It biases the system against them and entrenches the major parties.

    It makes it hard for upstart parties to join the democratic process.

    Political subsidies create a sleezy monopoly on power by the major parties.

    It should end now since it adds nothing to the democratic process beyond financing a bunch of television attack ads.

  91. 49

    From Shadow:
    "It should end now since it adds nothing to the democratic process beyond financing a bunch of television attack ads."

    if anybody is the expert on attack ads it's the CPC. Once again Shadow betrays his cupidity !!

  92. Then we just give it to independents and the smaller parties too.

  93. Peter,

    I am glad Shadow has seen the light, and is now condemning attack ads.

    Maybe he can voice his displeasure to the CPC.

    As for vote subsidies, are the CPC willing to return to the system we had before Chretien changed it.

  94. Here are the percentages of party support for the AR poll in the ROC:
    Con 40.6/ Lib 29.8/ NDP 21.52

  95. AJR79: You don't have to be a geopolitical expert to see that, if we are serious about fighting Islamic Jihad around the globe, the AF/Pak region is the most sensible place to do it.

    When you say "Islamic Jihad", do you mean Egyptian Islamic Jihad? If so, why are you using that term since it merged with Al Qaeda in 2001?

    So are we fighting Al Qaeda? The Taliban? Hostile Pashtun (and other) tribes? Some or all of the above? Are we engaged in counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism? Or both, in different places? (Doing both in the same place is challenging; they are in many ways diametrically opposed.) What are our goals? What are our success criteria? Do we intend to replace the Afghan culture with our own, or something else? What balance will we accept between western concepts of human rights and traditional Afghan culture?

    Even accepting "Islamic Jihad" as a misnomer for "Islamic fundamentalist terrorism", why is Afghanistan a "sensible" place to do this? The Taliban are not Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not the Taliban. And Al Qaeda's Afghan training camps are things of the past. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the Underbomber, is a Nigerian educated and trained in Kenya, Togo, Yemen, the United Kingdom and Dubai.

    You don't have to be a geopolitical expert to understand that our Afghan mission is futile, undirected and misdirected, but if you are a geopolitical expert, you'll have trouble coming to any other conclusion.

    Jingoism without understanding betrays our troops.

  96. Peter,

    Our chief of land forces, Lt.Gen Andrew Leslie does not share your gloomy assesment of our burnt out military, at least as of July 2009.

    That was before the American "surge", and increased drone attacks.

    In 2000 some 700,000 Afgan children were going to school. That number is now over 7 million.

    Hardly a "fruitless endeavour".

    That doesn't count the most important part, of lifting a nation like Afghanistan out of poverty and misery....
    The empowerment and education, of women.

    Karzai is a problem, but he is also partly our responsibility.

    Leaving in 2011 has the potential, to lose us everything we've accomplished.

    Staying has the potential to create a somewhat stable, somewhat educated society, in a very volatile region.

    I'm also thinking that leaving it as a place where extremists dominate, has the potential to come back and haunt us big time in the future.

    I'm no fan of the term "War on Terror", but neither do I subscribe to the "leave them alone, and they'll leave us alone" meme.

    To believe that meme, is to ignore everything Islamic extremists say, about why they are doing what they are doing.

    I know this is a political loser in Canada, but think it's a shame that this has to be a political football, at all.

    Maybe Iggy will suprise me, if the debate arises...
    He's a bit of a hawk himself.

  97. John,

    You ignore all the good that has been done in Afghanistan.

    Oh well, guess that counts for nothing.

    Have they caught Osama yet?

    No, well might as well leave anyways.

    Jingoist, or pacifist? Is there no moderate ground there?

    I guess that puts you in the pacifist camp.

    If you don't think a U.N sanctioned mission like this is justified, then it's hard to imagine a war that you think would be.

    Unless it's a war on CO2, then we should pull out all the stops.

    Do you favour leaving the Afghanis to fend for themselves?

    I'm wondering how that makes you less of a violent person then me, or on a higher moral plane?

    Guess I'm just an old-fashioned warmonger.

  98. One more, and then I'm out.

    There is some truth that a picture is somtimes worth a thousand words.

    The content of this video contains GRAPHIC imagery , of an Afghan woman, who was the victim of the Taliban idea of "womens empowerment".

    Some may consider this a low tactic, but I think everyone should understand what's at stake here.

  99. A little change of pace.

    Wells ponders a possible Liberal/NDP coalition.

  100. Shadow,

    Kudos for not taking the bait. They keep trying to detract from the AR Poll.

    People vote for a leader/party. AR confirms his slide continues.

    Ontario remains the key.

    Re: Nato, UN Missions

    This PM had a Manley Report and extension voted by parliament. Dion lost his leaderhip on that day. Dion never recovered from that vote.

    The NDP, Bloc never supported the mission including the extension. They have done everything to drive support against it.

    The suffering and human rights abuses in the third world are only used to attack the gov't.

    When we have a run on our borders from illegal immigrants abusing our refugee system the opposition call the government racist.

    A majority is needed to fix the many problems being blocked by the special interests compliments of an opposition more interested in scoring points than closing loopholes.

    John Chretien/Paul Martin did not bother with consulting with parliament.

  101. Trudeau was positively unhinged in that sunday interview.

    He was jumping around, waiving his arms in the air, and refused to take a breath and let other people talk.

    It was like watching someone with bipolar disorder or something.

    If he's going to be the rising star of the Liberal party they need to get him some media training.

    Wanting to appear enthusiastic and energized is great, just don't take it too far!

  102. Shadow,

    That was a good call.

    Justin Trudeau is unhinged, as are most liberals.

    Helena Guergis, Blackburn, Baird, Polieievre, Bernier, Raitt, and Keddy.

    All perfect models of sanity.

    Thanks for that.

  103. Shadow,

    I almost forgot conservative super senator Mike Duffy.

    Did you see him rip into Peter Stoffer, from Nova Scotia on CBC.

    That was another embarassment for the CPC.

    That made headlines all across the country.

    At least Trudeau never called anyone a tar baby like Polieievre did.

    How disgusting, how reprehensible, how outrageous.

    You do seem to have a very selective outrage going on there Shadow.

    Why is that?

  104. yes Justin in comparison to Baird or any other CPC buffoon is just so out of control and lacks decorum.

    please, Shadow and the other CPC apologists here are just so amusing in their twisting & writhing.

    it makes me chuckle to see the CPC employ Rove's attack your opponent on your weakness and/or their strength...with the media in the sorry state it is, it's quite possible to spin the BS, not get called out on it and reverse the narrative.

    The CPC do it every day now...and really they shouldnt be castigated for it....we and the system we create should be....the only thing that I hold against the CPC and their media manipulation is that they went for the easy route, they've got no balls, they'd rather take the low road then beat the Libs on the higher ground....but this is the CPC's only kick at the can, they'll fight dirty no matter what, and so be it....but times running out on their charade....we all know it regardless.

    Interesting times coming up, the CPC have to throw the gauntlet down, because their time is up.

  105. And one other little tid bit to entertain.

    Ryan Sparrow, also of the CPC, had the gall to attack the father of a fallen Canadian hero, in Afghanistan.

    Jim Davis who lost his son in Afghanistan was attacked by Sparrow, for being a liberal.

    He lost his child and Sparrow was attacking him, for questioning the mission in Afghanistan.

    When Sparrow called Davis to apologize and tell this very decent man he was going to resign, you know what happened.

    Davis accepted the apology, and told Sparrow, his resignation was not warranted.

    And conservatives are expressing outrage over Trudeau.

    Maybe Justin Trudeau, would not have had to keep interupting Glover, if she could for once shove her talking points, and try to start making some sense.

  106. 49 steps nobody was ever called a tar baby.

    That is a complete and utter fabrication.

    I believe the issue of the carbon tax has been described as such.

    The phrase means a sticky trap.

    I'm not sure what you find so disgusting and reprehensible.

    I am aware the phrase has a negative meaning in another useage but since it was never used in that fashion such an accusation is the weakest of things.

    So weak in fact to be an insulting use of race baiting dirty dog whistle politics.

    For shame!

  107. Shadow,

    Thank you, for once again putting on a display of righteous indignation, and faux outrage.

    It is really so predictable what you are going to do.

    Everything is always lies, and fabrications.

    You complain about gutter politics, without even realizing that it is all the CPC practices on a daily basis.

    You even admit yourself, that the CPC wants to poison the well so much as to drive down voter turnout, and turn people off politics.

    You cited on another thread, the use of the 10 percenters, sent into ridings with a Jewish population aimed at not converting a potential voter to the CPC, but to keep them home on election day, and not go out and vote Liberal.

    You applaud these tactics, and feel they are beneficial to the CPC.

    You applaud the politics of division.

    I believe Canadians will tire of this, and want a change.

    The gutter politics, my good Sir are now lying at the doorstep of the CPC.

    It would be nice if you could have a little objectivity, and perspective on some issues.

  108. "I believe Canadians will tire of this, and want a change."

    Given the poll numbers over the past 5 years or so, with Harper's Conservatives routinely shooting themselves in the foot, on what is your belief based? Blind faith?

    You have fun with your religious fervour. I'll be over here with my cool, dispassionate reasoning.

  109. 49 steps please clarify.

    Were you outright lying when you said Polieievre called someone a tar baby ?

    Or were you just ignorant of the fact that it had never happened ?

    It would be helpful for you to stop and recognize your error before jumping into a lengthy rant much like Justin Trudeau on QP.

  110. 49
    "Thank you, for once again putting on a display of righteous indignation, and faux outrage.

    It is really so predictable what you are going to do.

    Everything is always lies, and fabrications.

    You complain about gutter politics, without even realizing that it is all the CPC practices on a daily basis.

    You even admit yourself, that the CPC wants to poison the well so much as to drive down voter turnout, and turn people off politics."
    Congratulations, you've finally seen the light. His only purpose here is to alibi, attempt to refute, generate false outrage and of course the Tory standards of Deny,Obfuscate and Lie. Well done.

  111. Blog rule:

    No one is allowed to defend Pierre Poilievre.

  112. I admit it,

    I live in an alternate reality.

    I am unhinged, and unglued, off my medication, and just out of the sanitorium.

    I imagine all kinds of things happening that never happened.

    When these things are brought to attention, I of course deny everything.

    Everything I post is untrue. I am only in one of my delusional stages, when I post.

    Of course being a Liberal, would explain most of this behaviour.

    Bad behaviour, is an exclusive trait, of the LPOC, and any bad behaviour by the CPC, is all a dream.

  113. from a Neil Macdonald piece:

    "One Tea Partier, having had those incongruities pointed out to him by a reporter recently, replied "If you don't trust the mindset or the value system of the people running the system, you can't even look at the facts anymore."

    That is probably the best distillation of Tea Party philosophy I have ever heard.

    Read more:

  114. Eric:
    "Blog rule:

    No one is allowed to defend Pierre Poilievre."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you

  115. Shadow,

    If we tie or hold a lead in Ontario the key battleground a majority may happen.

    It won't be the same as BM.

    People across the Western world have shifted to the centre-right. Their governments were maxed out even before the Great Recession. The challenge is to reduce entitlements, not expand them. The alternative is to wind up like Greece.-M. Wente G&M Incredible Shrinking Ignatieff.

    It is not his fault he has not been able to get those in safe Toronto seats to accept the new normal.

    Nails why the LPOC as a political party is doomed for tacking left with going after the NDP platform.

    Jobs, Economy took a large hit in 2009 in Canada, and is slowly coming out as the Global economies have been importing our goods and services.

    We are an export economy.

  116. Let Quebec separate. Let the east separate. Let the west separate. Let Stephen Harper and a long line of self-serving, small-minded politicians before him ruin what should have and could have been the most beautiful, most prosperous and most just country in the world.

    Really, a thousand years from now, what will it matter? We no longer mourn the fall of Rome or the collapse of the Mayan civilization; why should anyone care about a two-bit country like Canada that has it all and accomplishes nothing with it?

    I love this blog and reading the comments, but the hyper-partisans (from all over the political spectrum, and not only on this board of course) have done nothing to abate my disaffectedness. In fact, they've exacerbated it.

    ... that said, they make for an entertaining read. So, to all you hyper-partisans out there foaming at the mouth, thank you and have a nice day :)

  117. SK you perfectly encapsulated the difference between Liberals, especially at the malaise conference, and Conservatives.

    You wish this was the most beautiful, most prosperous and most just country in the world.

    We think it already is.

  118. Silly Shadow, this isn't Norway!

  119. "No one is allowed to defend Pierre Poilievre."

    Am I allowed to defend the use of the term "tar baby"? It's a sticky trap.

    Peter - That some tea partiers are collecting unemployment benefits says nothing about the movement. If the benefits are there to be had, it would be foolish not to take them. But that doesn't mean you have to agree that they should be available. Neil McDonald's analysis here was terribly shallow (and that's unlike him - I quite like Neil McDonald).

  120. The "tar baby" accusation, devalues real charges of racism.

    There is a more substantive example to be found if you want to accuse PP of being a racist, and that one may be questionable as well.

    If you want substantive examples of his going off the reserve, and behaving in clownish ways...

    I'm sure you could dig up bucket-fulls without trying too hard.

    The term "tar baby" is frequently used in public discourse, without racial connottations.

  121. Ira:

    "That some tea partiers are collecting unemployment benefits says nothing about the movement. If the benefits are there to be had, it would be foolish not to take them."

    Sure, I agree on that. The trouble that Macdonald had is the same that others are having to. Loud, raucous, almost out of control but also ferociously focused and not a cohesive unit. Damned hard to extract clear info in that situation.

  122. 49 Steps,

    If I were in your shoes, and wanted to defend Trudeau, I would take a much different tack then attacking Shadow as a "talking point machine".

    We all get, how you feel about that, no need to repeat it.

    All you had to say is that Trudeau is young, got a little too passionate, and admited his mistake with some humility.

    You could even argue that encounters like this add to his political seasoning, for a possible leadership run in about 10 years.

    I don't see how mentioning clownish behaviour in the past, by CPC members, has any bearing on Justins performance.

    It would be like trying to defend Gurgis, by mentioning past Liberal transgressions of similar behaviour.

    If I ever do something like that, slap me down.

    You wouldn't even have to mention things like "Tory standards of Deny,Obfuscate and Lie", to do it.

  123. SK,

    That pretty melodramatic, and unfair.

    It's true that a blog that focus' on horserace numbers, is bound to rack up some empty, partisan calories.

    There's some policy meat in there too, and if you cared about any of that, you could discuss it.

    Some of us will even argue policy decisions, after the political battle is already lost.

  124. AJR79: You ignore all the good that has been done in Afghanistan.

    Could you be more specific, and list the changes that will still be in place ten or five or two years after we go?

    Do you favour leaving the Afghanis to fend for themselves?

    We're going to do that; the question is when. Until then, the metrics (or at least the ones that are released) are going downhill. In simple terms, we're losing. No surprise there.

    As followers of these comments will know, I'm not exactly a Conservative Party shill. However, I applaud the government's actions at this time. Stephen Harper has said that we'll live up to our commitments, which is the right thing to do. He has said that we will not extend them, which is also the right thing to do.

    Stephen Harper is currently doing better on this issue that Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton. The government has badly bungled many aspects of the whole engagement, but on this point they have the right balance.

    (And yes, it feels very odd defending Stephen Harper's actions to AJR79.)

  125. John i'm assuming that all those school children won't suddenly forget what they learnt if we go.

    So how about a generation of literate and educated Afghans as a lasting achievement ?

  126. @Eric "Blog rule:

    No one is allowed to defend Pierre Poliviere.

    30 March, 2010 08:09

    Please add in Guergis, Jaffer and Baird along with McCallum, Jennings, Dhalla, Kinsella and I am sorry to say Justin Trudeau.

    Any Liberal supporter that actually watched his melt down on Taber's show has to be embarrassed for him.

    On the other hand why is Dan Brock a failure in the backrooms (as Ignatieff principal secretary replaced by Donolo) when he is so rational and such a good Liberal spokesman on Power Play.

    If anyone were to compare leadership potential Dan Brock >>>>>>>>>> Justin Trudeau


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