Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Nanos Poll: 0.1-pt Conservative "Lead"

Nanos Research has a new poll out, and while it shows the close race that everyone else is showing, it also has some major differences.Nationally, the Conservatives have the slimmest of leads with 34.7% to the Liberals' 34.6%. More importantly, though, is that this marks a loss of 0.9 points for the Tories and a gain of 0.7 points for the Liberals when compared to Nanos's poll in February.

The NDP is up 1.4 points to 17.8%, while the Bloc Quebecois is down to 7.7% and the Greens are down 0.4 points to 5.2%.

The margin of error, however, is 3.5 points so no one has moved outside of the statistical noise.

Also note that Nanos does not prompt, which is why the Greens tend to do worse in their polling.

Nanos shows huge numbers for both the Tories and Liberals in Ontario. The Liberals lead with 41.7%, followed by the Conservatives at 39.2%. Both parties would be very, very happy with this level of support. What kind of result would come from such strong numbers from both parties, though, is more troublesome. The NDP is weak at 14.6%.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois is down to 31.5%, though that is down about two points and so within the MOE. Nanos has had the Bloc at a much lower level than they have been in other polls, and as this seems to be a Nanos consistency in 2010, we can probably assume that the Bloc is doing better than this. The Liberals are up to 31%, and the Conservatives are also doing well with 21.8%.

In British Columbia, the Tories lead with 36.8%, followed by the Liberals at 28.2% and the NDP at 23.1%. Nothing unusual there.

In Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives are down 10.7 points, just outside of the MOE of 10.6. The Liberals lead with 42%, followed by the NDP at 29.5% and the Conservatives at 25%.

Nanos groups Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba together so I can't use those numbers. But all of the variation since their last poll is within the MOE.


Using my current projections for Alberta and the Prairies, the Conservatives win 69 seats in the West, 45 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 129.

The Liberals are not far behind with 18 seats in the West, 52 in Ontario, 21 in Quebec, and 22 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 113.

The Bloc takes a big hit and drops to 42 seats.

The NDP wins 8 seats in the West, 9 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 24.

A somewhat unusual poll when we look at the regional results. One wonders if this is because Nanos doesn't prompt, while most of the other pollsters do. That doesn't make these more accurate, but it does mark a significant methodological difference.

51 comments:

  1. I don't think that the lack of prompting causes weird regional results. I think its that many of the other polls we are seeing these days have much bigger national samples (ie: 2000 to 3000 or more) and therefore have more robust regional numbers. Nanos has about 800 decided voters nationwide - that makes the regional sub-samples MINUTE.

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  2. Pretty good for my team.

    Shadow,

    Not as weak and pathetic as you thought, considering the Liberals are not a real party who no one takes seriously.

    Now I say let's call Harper's bluff
    and force him into dissolution.

    Shadow, would you like Mr openness, and accountability to dissolve parliament and call an election.

    Will he have an explanation for the Canadian people.

    As always your thoughts on these matters are very much appreciated.

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  3. 49
    "Now I say let's call Harper's bluff
    and force him into dissolution."

    While I agree with your sentiments I think we need to wait for Eko's and others with bigger sample bases before jumping the gun.

    Still this Nanos is encouraging.

    Now for the Jaffer/Guergis file

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  4. Peter,

    I agree it is encouraging. I think the other polls will also show us doing OK.

    Canadian Sense

    You have had some very great pontifications about the LPOC of late.

    Would you like Harper to refuse to hand over unredacted documents, and rather seek dissolution?

    I guess your prognostications about the death of the LPOC were just a tad bit exaggerated.

    I don't know maybe these numbers still have you feeling smug.

    Your thoughts on these weighty issues would be also very much appreciated.

    Thank you

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  5. Interestingly, Nanos shows a gradual but perceptible Green decline since about January 2009 while Ekos shows a clear Green climb over that period. The Ekos climb is even larger than it appears at first glance because of the late introduction of "Other".

    No single poll is meaningful and no single pollster has the "real" numbers. But reconciling these two trends is a challenge.

    The obvious difference is that Nanos doesn't prompt and Ekos does. I'm therefore guessing the diverging trends reflect a decline in front-of-mind Green mindshare. Green awareness has been drowned out by the cacaphony in Pariament. Greeen support is dormant; when people think Green, they approve. But they have to be reminded.

    If this hypothesis is correct, Green election results will be even more sensitive than usual to campaign effectiveness.

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  6. This poll is probably the closest thing to the actual results we would get if there were an election tomorrow.

    Prompting, IMHO, skews results. It it makes people who have little intention of voting to announce their support for political parties that have little chance of winning. That we are seeing 4-7% for "OTHER" in polls that prompt is proof of this. Most people don't protest vote, they just stay home.

    The Greens and the Bloc often do worse on voting day than polls suggest because a certain percentage of people who tell pollsters they support them don't really intend to vote. I trust this poll more than one that prompts.

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  7. I think Goaltender has it right.

    Prompting does skew the results.

    If Nanos doesn't prompt then I think we can accept their results as being a little more valuable.

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  8. It is interesting to compare this Nanos poll which does not prompts with the Ekos poll which does prompts.

    Cons - 34.7 (Nanos) 31.9(Ekos)
    Libs - 34.6 (Nanos) 29.6(Ekos)
    NDP - 17.8 (Nanos) 16.0(Ekos)
    BQ - 7.7 (Nanos) 9.1(Ekos)
    Green - 5.2 (Nanos) 11.0(Ekos)
    Other - 0.0 (Nanos) 2.4 (Ekos)

    What this tells me is that when you prompt "Green" as well as "Other parties" the combined Green/Other vote goes from 5.2% to 13.4%. All three major parties benefit from the unprompted question - the Liberals gain most (+5.0%), the Tories gain 2.6% and the NDP gains 1.8%.

    I won't try to explain what this does to the BQ because I suspect that is a bit of blip and the Leger numbers from yesterday show a very different story in Quebec.

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  9. Goaltender: Prompting, IMHO, skews results. It it makes people who have little intention of voting to announce their support for political parties that have little chance of winning.

    The truly disconnected just answer "Don't know". The Undecided vote is often quite high.

    The key word in the quote above is "little". The support is there. The Green Party has to identify and mobilize that support on a level with the Conservatives. It's doable. This is why Green results will be so sensitive to campaign execution.

    I would suggest that the Bloc are in a different category. Their political machine is as good as the Liberals' in Quebec, and probably better than the Conservatives' there (although the Conservatives are tops country-wide).

    The Tories have a rocked-ribbed base that will vote for anything wearing blue. However, the core vote is not enough. They have reached their present position through their ability on the hustings. They aggressively mine the weak Conservative vote and woo the undecided. Prime Tory targets are light blues who have "little intention of voting". They get the repeated calls and the ride to the booth.

    Green EDAs, take note.

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  10. 49 steps i'm not worried.

    Its become clear that the Liberals will not be supporting the NDP in their quest to obtain the documents.

    Like the budget and prorogation they'll just complain about the issue, do nothing, and then hypocritically not show up to vote.

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  11. 49

    Again Shadow shows his truly irrelevant side. And his need to post "talking points" to continue his pay checks.

    Not a word had been said on this thread to do with current Parliamentary politics until he opened his big mouth !

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  12. Peter, Shadow was clearly responding to 49 Steps' post (the second on this thread).

    This is the last time I'll ask you to stop the personal attacks.

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  13. Hi Shadow,

    My friend

    Well I guess if you are saying it, it must be true.

    Thank You as always for your wisodom.

    Peter

    Go back and read my comments on a previous thread, I think I give you some pretty good advice.

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  14. Shadow,

    I hear the NDP is doing some big time waffling.

    I hear that they are getting very nervous about the Liberals deciding to push this.

    I can't declare it as fact, but it is what I am hearing.

    Cheers

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  15. Hi 49 steps time will tell won't it ?

    I'm not quite sure on the timing of the 19th deadline.

    Does it mean that if the documents aren't there by the morning of the 19th the NDP will shut down the house ?

    Or would that happen the following monday morning ?

    Either way we're in for an epic showdown. I've made my prediction of where the Liberals will stand.

    You don't make predictions but its safe to say you want them to stand with the NDP/BQ and get those documents.

    You should know that on the first vote, the one Ujjal Dosangh introduced before Christmas asking for the documents a great many Liberals didn't show up to vote, to the point that the motion barely passed.

    So add this to the list of facts:

    We know the Liberal caucus is divided on the issue and that a certain number of MPs won't show up to vote.

    How many follow Ignatieff's lead (he's taking a week off work to recalibrate and consult with voters) is the big question.

    Time will tell.

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  16. 49
    "I hear the NDP is doing some big time waffling."

    I suspect the only Oppo party not waffling is the BQ. They can handle an election. The others are fearful Harper will dissolve and go to the people on this.

    Hard campaign to wage in a way and yet it could be won if the Lib & NDP get their act together.

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  17. I would suggest that the Bloc are in a different category. Their political machine is as good as the Liberals' in Quebec...

    I'm not 100% sure that is true. Two factors are eroding the Bloc's machine: first, they get almost all their funding from the subsidy-per-vote. Volunteer groups always corrode when funding comes from a source other than their members.

    Second, the Bloc's reputation has deteriorated from an equal partner to the PQ (in the Bouchard years) to more like the PQ's farm team. They have few well-known MPs other than their leader. Duceppe's deference to Marois' PQ leadership bid is further evidence of this. In addition, Quebecers (especially sovereigntists) care less about federal politics than provincial politics generally. So grassroots participation in the Bloc simply isn't as enthusiastic as it is for the PQ.

    It's also important not to overemphasize the role of machines in vote-getting. With a subsidy-per-vote, machines have lost their dominant fundraising role. Machines have also become much less effective at voter identification and bringing out the vote; the switch to (unlisted) cellphone numbers in themselves have made the voter i.d. techniques that party machines used twenty years ago almost obsolete.

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  18. A totally offtopic post for John,

    Interesting article on the tree-rings. I am still purusing it, but am guilty of reading the conclusions first.

    It made me more skeptical then ever about their use, as temperature proxys.

    Not trying to quote mine, but this is something interesting that was slipped in, from the conclusions:

    "Nevertheless,
    there are still significant implications for the development
    of dendroclimatic reconstructions, as we have
    noted in this paper. For example, reconstructions based
    on northern tree-ring data impacted by divergence
    cannot be used to directly compare past natural warm
    periods (notably, the MWP) with recent 20th century
    warming, making it more difficult to state unequivocally
    that the recent warming is unprecedented."

    I'm not knocking the science of dendochronology, but they seem pretty unsure of the cause(s) of the "divergence problem" also.

    My laymans understanding of tree-ring growth, is that it can be impacted by too many different factors, other then temperature, to be rock-solid evidence of past temperatures.

    Exactly what I was looking for nonetheless, and I will look at (and some of the links) more closely at my leisure.

    Thanks.

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  19. Excuse my manners.

    It's only right that I provide the link, so that that can be read in context, by anyone who wants to.

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  20. Two factors are eroding the Bloc's machine: first, they get almost all their funding from the subsidy-per-vote. Volunteer groups always corrode when funding comes from a source other than their members.

    I'd really like to see a much better explanation for part two of that?? Now despite all you say the Bloc consistently tops the polls by a decent margin. So their election results are pretty well guaranteed !!

    And of course the thrust would be "The Tories torture our troops" and that's a winner in Quebec given the stature of the Vinght Deux's !!

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  21. Peter/Shadow

    CBC radio reporting that the NDP will not follow through on their Friday, detainee deadline.

    Will pursue issue in committee.

    Apparently Harper is going to capitualate.

    Don't take the Harper stuff as fact yet, just rumour.

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  22. "Apparently Harper is going to capitulate.

    Don't take the Harper stuff as fact yet, just rumour. "

    Yes but the real question is How and Why?? Isn't it, assuming the rumour is true?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Peter,

    Some sort of calulus is at work here.

    I don't know what it is.

    It is all speculation and rumour at this point.

    Let us not get too hasty.

    We will all know soon enough.

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  24. Eric, since nanos groups all three Prairie province together - do you just ignore them in your seat projection? I ask because by my calculation, the Tories took about 57% of the vote in Man/Sask/Alta last election and this poll gives them 48% with the Liberals steady and the NDP slightly above what they got in '08. A drop of that magnitude would almost certainly mean a couple of Liberal gains in Winnipeg, maybe one in Edmonton and a couple of NDP gains in Sask along with a hold in Edmonton-Strathcona.

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  25. Eric do you think you'll post Leger's provincial numbers for Quebec and a seat projection ?

    AJR79 that article mentions 3 billion a year in foregone tax revenue going towards charities.

    Eliminating those deductions might be something to consider.

    ReplyDelete
  26. 49 steps can you link to this info ?

    Sounds like a pretty huge development.

    I can't find anything on CTV, CBC, NP, Globe and Mail, or Macleans though!

    How on earth is the NDP going to pursue this at committee ??

    Either they have the documents or they don't.

    Unless this is some kind of end run around parliament. Maybe they think they have the votes for some kind of motion in committee but not in the whole of parliament.

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  27. Shadow,

    Churches, and political donations first,

    Then we'll talk about charities.

    At first blush it sounds like political suicide.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's always useful to see these Nanos and Angus Reid polls, because they're the only ones that actually show us credible Green numbers.

    Leading up the 2008 election, Ekos and Harris-Decima and Strategic Counsel consistently showed Green support in the 9-11% range, while Nanos and Angus Reid reported 6-7% Green support.

    Come election day, the Greens polled 6.8%

    Nanos and AR has shown a Green decline since the 2008 election, and I'm inclined to believe it.

    As Éric pointed out iun his February Averages post, seeing such a tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives isn't suprising, but seeing it at such low levels of support is. I worry that because the pollsters who inflate the Green numbers release polls so much more often, we're seeing Éric's analysis skewed by there being so many misleading data points.

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  29. AJR79: It made me more skeptical then ever about [tree ring] use, as temperature proxys.

    Science often has confusing and seemingly conflicting data. It's not all Newtonian mechanics. But when the massive preponderance of evidence is pointing in one direction, it's dangerous to assume that the few anomalies are correct. Remember, the dendrochronology researchers are concentrating on the outliers at the tree line, not the bulk of the non-marginal data.

    Incidentally, the next sentence after the quoted one in D'Arrigo et al. is, "Inclusion of divergence-affected tree-ring variations in the calibration period of such reconstructions could result in overestimation of past reconstructed temperatures, and underestimation of recent warming."

    In other words, if we're misinterpreting, things are only worse than we think. That's a frequent theme in past IPCC predictions. They have been wrong on Arctic melting and sea level rise. In both cases, it's happening faster than predicted.

    That's what AGW uncertainty really means.

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  30. AJR79 it would definetly be a big debate.

    But given the option of a new lower rate w/o deductions or the same high rate with a million holes in it I think the public would choose the former.

    Political parties, churches, and charities would get the axe.

    Only thing i'd protect are families. Our birth rate is too low in this country.

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  31. If anything, those tax deductions for charitable donations need to get bigger. You offset that by eliminating direct government funding of those charities.

    They're charities. I don't think they should be allowed to ask the government for money or receive it. I do, however, support very generous tax benefits for making private donations. I'd support a 100% deduction for charitable donations (so you don't pay income tax on any money you give to a registered charity), coupled with a 100% reduction in direct government funding of those charities.

    Then we'll see charities Canadians actually care about do well, and charities Canadians don't care about will fail.

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  32. Ira: ...we're seeing Éric's analysis skewed by there being so many misleading data points.

    Well, we'll find out who's right this fall. The line that popped into my head was, "Everybody but our Johnny is out of step."

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  33. John this is a laughable statement:

    "In other words, if we're misinterpreting, things are only worse than we think. That's a frequent theme in past IPCC predictions."

    Haven't there been huge scandals lately about IPCC making greatly exagerated claims about glaciers melting in the Himalayas ?

    False. They actually added ice.

    And 40% of the Amazon drying up from lack of water.

    Again, false.


    And a recent study from a fmr IPCC member looked at temperature data over the last 100 years.

    Apparently increases are due completely from urban heat zones. Increasing development and energy use has increased the ambient air temperature around these stations and given the illusion of warming.

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  34. Ira that's a very unLibertarian proposal, i'm somewhat surprised.

    Why is it the gov't's bussiness to reward people with less taxes if they give their money away to a charity.

    Shouldn't it be the individuals right to do what they want with their money ??

    Maybe I want to give it to my brother instead.

    Or burn it.

    Or build a giant house.

    Rewarding one action with less taxes and not others seems like social engineering at its worst.

    ReplyDelete
  35. --- do you just ignore them in your seat projection?

    DL, yes. We've been seeing the Tory vote drop in this region in other polls though.

    --- Eric do you think you'll post Leger's provincial numbers for Quebec and a seat projection ?

    Yes, I'm just waiting for a day without a national poll to report on. There's also Alberta and New Brunswick provincial polls I have saved up for slow days.

    --- we're seeing Éric's analysis skewed by there being so many misleading data points.

    Past historical results are factored in, so there is a level of control.

    However, we can't categorically say these results are wrong because some pollsters have over-estimated Green support. Maybe the Greens are at 10%+ support right now.

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  36. "However, we can't categorically say these results are wrong because some pollsters have over-estimated Green support."

    ...in the past, I should've added.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Shadow,

    Sorry no I can't

    So far just a lot of rumour and speculation.

    However the NDP asked 0 questions today in QP on the subject.

    It does seem they are backing away.

    IMHO there is a very good chance, that motion will not be introduced by the NDP.

    We will know friday.

    My apologies

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Our birth rate is too low in this country. "

    Yes it is but there are actually far worse countries. We're around 1.5-1.7 nationally. Quebec has big problem with around 1.3.

    But the big loser is Russia with around 1.1. Worlds biggest country in land mas and losing population at a staggering rate.

    OK so use immigration. Who wants to immigrate to Russia?? Not many it seems.

    Stable population is 2.1 per female so we have a long way to go.

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. AJR79 i'm not a libertarian, I only pointed it out because Ira's views on this subject seem so out of line with her usual thinking.

    I notice a lot of small government types get suckered into supporting all kinds of boutique tax breaks because of adherence to "starve the beast" theories.

    In this calculus anything that increase gov't revenue is bad, anything that decreases it is good.

    The reality is that gov'ts will get their pound of flesh no matter what. These distortionary, special breaks for a certain group of people inevitably mean everyone else pays more in taxes.


    Is helping my brother out less important than helping out a charity that operates overseas ?

    Which benefits this country more ?

    Who gives the gov't the right to make such a personal decision ?

    These matters require more thought, more debate.

    Michael Ignatieff's work "The Needs of Strangers" offers an interesting perspective on such matters.

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  41. Shadow - that's only social engineering if it's the government picking thewinners and losers.

    My proposal is that the donations market picks the winners.

    Also, anything that reduces tax revenue is good.

    By not having the government decide where the money gets spent, we remove bureaucratic bias from the process, while still allowing those social services to be funded as necessary. And whether they're necessary will be determined by the people themselves, rather than some elected official with a poliical or ideological agenda.

    You're far too trusting of government. I'm amazed you support the Conservatives.

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  42. AJR79 - Many charities receive massive funding from the government, particularly advocacy groups. That needs to stop.

    Let advocacy groups and think-tanks live or die based on private funding alone.

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  43. And on Global Warming, the uncertainty in the models matters because it's those models on which we're relying when we make plans to mitigate or reverse the process.

    Those plans cost trillions, and I'm not willing to commit trillions to do something that I'm not confident is going to work, especially when there are other, cheaper solutions available.

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  44. Ira this statement needs to be explained more fully:

    "Also, anything that reduces tax revenue is good."

    Really ??

    Maybe if the result was reduced expenditure but from real world experience we know that simply doesn't happen.

    Governments aren't shy about running deficits and only introduce austerity measures when bond markets threaten to withold financing because debt to GDP ratio is going north of 100%.


    You really thinking leaving our kids and grandchildren with compounding interest on a massive debt load is a good idea ? A debt that will require higher taxes to be paid off ?

    Because that's the real world result of reducing gov't revenue.

    Taxes should be kept as low as possible.

    But never so low it means we're creating debt. And talking about lowering taxes at a time when we're running a 50 billion deficit is just crazy.

    Spending cuts MUST come first. Gov't revenue most remain where it is until debt is paid off.

    Then we can talk tax cuts.

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  45. Ira if a charity is truly worthy why would it need the gov't to kick in an incentive to convince people to donate to it ?

    Plenty of products are bought and sold on all kinds of markets without the government offering incentives.

    You're being far to relient on government here, i'm surpised you vote Conservative. (That line is a bit silly, no?)

    In fact consumption continues with the gov't offering a great deal of disincentives in the way of sales taxes.

    The money we transfer to charities is already exempted from any sort of gift taxes or sales taxes.

    And the problem with your reasoning is that by giving prefered tax treatment to charitable giving the government IS picking winners and losers.

    Winners = registered charities with high paid employees and inefficient delivery system.

    Losers = family members i'd like to help out or homeless bottle collector down the road I want to give money to but can't because any money I give isn't tax deductible.


    Gov't run charity tends to destroy charity in our personal lives or local community does it not ?

    Why create red tape and beaurocratic hoops if someone wants to give ?

    Why not simply advocate lowering everyone taxes and let them decide what they want to do with the money ?

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  46. Just when you thought the cons might be making in-roads with women..... BAM! They go ahead and announce they don't think contraception has anything to do with women's health.

    This might make bare-foot women in Alberta swoon and faint out of happiness over this, but they have/will vote conservative regardless of what the cons say or do for infinity...

    Just when you thought the cons learned a lesson about giving canadians the middle finger and having a dump on democracy, they go ahead and ignore what a majority of MPs (the democratic representatives of the Canadian people) have voted on and basically tells Canada that they know what's best for us and are entitled to making us pay for their propaganda...

    Is it just me or has Harper thrown his arms in the air and simply given up???

    4 years later - and it's evident that canadians have no interest in the cons ever forming a majority.

    Expect the cons to launch some sort of military operation to rally Canadian support and declare an election in the middle of it...

    Why am I the only one brave enough to state that???

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  47. Josh:

    :majority of MPs (the democratic representatives of the Canadian people) have voted on and basically tells Canada that they know what's best for us and are entitled to making us pay for their propaganda...

    Is it just me or has Harper thrown his arms in the air and simply given up???

    4 years later - and it's evident that canadians have no interest in the cons ever forming a majority.

    Expect the cons to launch some sort of military operation to rally Canadian support and declare an election in the middle of it...

    Why am I the only one brave enough to state that?"

    Josh you definitely have a way with words. Couldn't have said better myself. Congratulations

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  48. Hi Peter,

    Thank you. I'm honored that my bravery has been noted - lol ;)

    In all seriousness though, isn't it sad that I have to keep pointing these things out in the first place?

    I have, and will always, contend to the fact that if Harper invested even .07 percent of the energy he places into playing political games into actually governing properly, he might have been the greatest con PM ever. Unfortunately he comes from the far-right loonie moonbat fringe, and just can't help himself.

    This is why he is going no-where, and his ardent supporters are reduced to the usual talking-points.

    Josh

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  49. "Unfortunately he comes from the far-right loonie moonbat fringe, and just can't help himself."

    Yep, totally agree

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