Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Harper Still Ahead of Ignatieff on Economic Issues

Well, that was a little exciting yesterday, wasn't it? All of the drama will apparently play out over the next two weeks while the government and the opposition try to find common ground on how to deal with these Afghan detainee documents. It's possible that after months of stonewalling the government will not give an inch, but it is more likely that some accommodation will be found in order to avoid an election. We will have to wait and see. For now, it appears the government seems open to compromise, while only Jack Layton of the New Democrats has talked openly of going to an election on this.

If we do go into an election, the economy will, as always, be an important issue. So how do Canadians feel about the abilities of the two men leading the two parties that will form the next government?

Angus-Reid looked into this, along with a slew of other questions concerning Canadians' confidence in the economy. First, let's look at who Canadians trust to "do the right thing for the economy."At 41%, Stephen Harper seems to have retained most of Canadians' trust. However, more than half (51%) do not trust the Prime Minister. This compares to the 56% who don't trust Michael Ignatieff, but the 26% who do is alarmingly low. These are not good numbers for the Liberal leader, but it appears that, for once, he isn't significantly lower than the support level of his own party.

How about some more specific issues? Here, the gap is much smaller and the Liberals perform better. However, the Conservatives still have the lead on all of these issues.The closest comes under the rubric of creating jobs. While 35% believe the Conservatives would be best able to do this, 30% believe the Liberals are. That is a positive sign for Ignatieff, but in the other categories it isn't as nice.

Thirty-seven percent of Canadians believe the Conservatives are best able to rein in the national debt, 36% believe they are best able to end the recession, and 37% believe they are best able to control inflation. Coming out of a recession, inflation is a risk. It seems that the same 35% to 37% of people chose the Conservatives for all of these questions.

At 21% to 30%, the range of people choosing the Liberals was more varied. The party did worst on the "end recession" and "control inflation" questions, with 21%, and slightly better on the "rein in national debt" question.

The Conservatives still have an important edge on this important voting factor. It is remarkable that despite all of the problems the Tories have been having the Liberals haven't been able to move at all. It really is an indication that the drop the Conservatives have seen (ranging from two to eight points since the 2008 election, depending on the poll) has nothing to do with the performance of the Liberals or the willingness of Canadians to vote for them.

After more than four years in power and seven with the same leader, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Conservative support has stagnated or even sagged. But the Liberals should be flying higher as the governing alternative with a new leader. They need to do something to get Canadians interested again.


  1. Bah, it's an online poll. I've learned from watching american pollsters that the online polls are usually off considerably due to selection biases. Not to say that it's not generally accurate (I'm not a Harper supporter but i'd probably generally trust him more with the economy than the uncredentialized Ignatieff) these numbers have to be off.

  2. If the Liberals released some more good policies, like their food one Monday, then I think the Liberals and Ignatieff will start improving in polls.

    Support for their food policy seemed very positive from the comments on the G&M and CBC. If it could have gotten more publicity we may have noticed some imediate improvements in the polls. The policy is also a good one to win over Green Party support.

  3. Jason,

    Angus-Reid has been generally reliable when it comes to polling. They are my highest-rated national polling firm. They had the closest result in the 2009 BC election, the 2008 federal election, and the 2008 Quebec election, and were not far off in the 2009 NS election. So, I wouldn't discount their numbers entirely.

  4. See this makes me think Ignatieff would get Dion level support in an election.

    If the economy is issue #1 I have trouble seeing someone vote for a guy they don't trust on the economy.

    When an election comes it'll focus the mind.

    Protest votes will dissapear, vote parking will stop, and gotcha scandals will be ignored as larger narratives and debate over policy take hold.

    I'd say Iggy's only hope is to distract people. Change the subject. Start a culture war.

    But as people have said on tv lately, its a "save the furniture strategy". It'll just be stealing NDP seats in urban areas. At most they'll max around 90-100 seats if they try it.

  5. The Liberals have a great track record with fixing the economy. I think during an election campaign Ignatieff support will rise while Harper's will go down.

    All the parties will be focused on making Harper look bad, which won;t be hard. Good policies, unlike the green shift, will bring support back to the Liberals.

    Harper also won't have Elizabeth taking attention away like she did last election because I dount she will be involved in the debate.

  6. And the oscar for best performance by a conservative in a starring role goes to........

    Cue the music 3,2,1,


    Congratualtions Shadow, you have received the most votes ever.

  7. See, this makes me think that Harper will get Stockwell Day, levels of support.

    I figure it will play out like this:

    Harper, refuses to recognize Parliamentary Supremacy, thus he will be found in contempt.

    Parliament then orders Harper to be confined, until he respects the will of parliament.

    Harper, being the master tactician that he is says "I will show those opposition losers a thing or two"

    Harper before he is corraled to be confined manages to escape, and crawl across the street to Rideau Hall, to see our magnificant GG, Jean.

    He says "please Madame Jean I must prorogue parliament, I will not accept their authority over me"

    Jean says "Steve this is getting old, do you really think this is a wise move on your part"

    Steve says, the Canadian public loves me they will accept anything from me"

    Madame Jean says ok, steve it is your funeral.

    An election is called and Steve starts tanking in the polls.

    The conservatives then employ a save the furniture strategy.

    They end up afetr the election with at most 60 seats.

    Massive Liberal majority.

    Elizabeth May wins her seat, and Ignatieff graciously makes May the enviroment minister.

    Steve, is humiliated and disgraced, and disappears, never to be heard from again.

  8. It's polls like this which are pushing Ignatieff to make these specific statements about the long gun registry, about abortion, about food policy, etc. So I'm glad this came out, in all honesty. Continue the push.

  9. PoscStudent when Canadians see Ignatieff its Liberal numbers that tend to drop.

    His favourability numbers are much below that of the generic Liberal brand.

    The best strategy might be to hide him away and let surrogates do all the talking/campaigning.

    BTW - I'm not sure what track record on fixing the economy you're talking about.

    You mean the massive structural deficit created by Trudeau ? That ship took a long time to turn around, good thing Mulroney put in place a long term growth strategy (free trade).

    Lucky for the Liberals it happened ot pay off under their watch.

  10. 49 steps if you add up Stockwell Day and Joe Clark's support you get 38%.

    Harper would welcome that level of support. Indeed depending on the efficiency of the vote it could be VERY close to a majority.

  11. 49,

    You'd make a great bedtime story teller. XD

    But no, you bring up a good point. Every time someone tells me about "Stephane Dion" levels, I'm going to start talking about Stockwell Day levels. We'll see whats what then.

  12. Shadow,

    If you add up Ignatieff, Layton, Duceppe, and May's support you get

    Over 70% do not want Steve.

    Massive anti Steve majority.

    Now how many votes will peel away from the NDP/Greens, to the Liberals to ensure Harper gets the boot?

    I figure quite a few.

    And why does not Harper have the same level of support as Day and Clark?

    Do you have an expalanation for this?

    My statements make just as much sense as what yours do.

  13. Stockwell Day levels.
    Are you kidding? We're going for Mulroney/Campbell levels!

    We want Harper in Elvis territory, you know, where more people believe Elvis is still alive (about 10% believe it or not).

  14. You see it goes like this:

    Liberals have destroyed this country.

    Imagine introducing things like the Charter of rights and freedoms.
    Bringing our constitution home.

    These were hideous and horrid.

    It is also not true that the Liberals, got the nation's finances under control under Chretien/Martin.

    That is a lie. pure fiction, how dare you say such things.

    Shame, Shame, Shame.

    Everyone knows that the Liberals did not balance the books, Mulroney did.

    Everyone knows that we currently have a deficit because of the Liberals.

    Shame, Shame, Shame, on the liberals, the destroyer of Canada.

    Don't you know that Conservatives walk on water, and can do no wrong.

    Stop repeating those lies about the Liberals being good fiscal managers.

    IT IS NOT TRUE, it was the conservatives and not Paul Martin.

    Shame, shame, shame, on you demented and deluded Liberals.

    I am glad someone is on this board to straighten you out, and make you tell the truth.

    The conservatives are the only party worthy of suport.

    Shame, Shame, Shame,

    I am outraged at you liberal supporters. You just don't get it.

  15. Shadow,

    You can't add up Joe Clark's and Stockwell Day's numbers. It's impossible to do so. That final 12% of voters in the PCs never wanted to come over to the CA, and most of them didn't. 3/4 old PCers went to the Liberals or other parties, just going off of the numbers.

    Plus, the current party in government takes more after its daddy the Canadian Alliance. It's a fair comparison.

    And note, no one says "Joe Clark/Stockwell Day numbers." Just Stockwell Day. Hell, he's even worse than Dion. Dion never had rebel caucuses. xD

  16. This potential detainee document "compromise" terrifies me. If those documents contain intelligence that we received from foriegn governments, and the MPs leak it, we're not going to have a friend in the world. Keeping our allies' secrets is the most important job of any country's international relations.

    If I weren't worried about that, I wouldn't be at all concerned about the risk of an election. With the Liberals still under 30%, there's no way they want an election.

    Except, the consistency of the low Liberal numbers might make some of them desperate, which puts the secret documents at risk, and if the documents are inflammatory, then we could see big short-term swings in the polls, which is exactly what a desperate party would want.

    Thus really sucks. Congratulations, opposition, on breaking our system of government.

  17. 49 Steps - That specious reasoning. That people vote Green or NDP or even Liberal in their ridings in not evidence that they want those parties ruling or that they dislike Stephen Harper. It's evidence that they want to vote for tghose parties locally - that's all it tells us.

    Your conclusions are without foundation.

  18. 49 steps I think Volkov hit the nail on the head when he described your statement as a "bedtime story".

    In other words pure fantasy.

    Even if we take HD's numbers to be true and the Conservatives are indeed at 29% that still isn't Stockwell Day levels of support.

    Stock got 25.5%. So you're off by 3.5%. Still a ways to go before anyone can fairly say Harper is in Stockwell Day territory.

    Dion got 26.2%. That poll has Ignatieff at 27%. That's a difference of .8%.

    Less than 1% difference ? Essentially within the 2.2% HD margin of error ?

    Its is a 100% factual statement to say Ignatieff is at Dion levels of support according to the most recent polling data.

  19. If the Conservatives are indeed knocked down 8 points below their 2008 total, I think the Liberals would take "Dion levels" of support. It gives them a fighting chance to form government, depending on how the vote breaks down.

  20. And don't worry, Ira, I'm sure the Conservatives will find something bad about the Liberals in the documents and retaliate in kind. They might, even, be the ones to start it.

  21. Ira,

    What MP's are a threat to national security.

    Who do you not trust?

    Care to name names?

    Are you accusing any of them of treason?

    "Congratulations opposition on breaking our system of government"

    That statement makes it sound like you do not understand our inherited system of Westminster government.

    You obviously do not understand sarcasm when you see it either.

  22. 49 steps I can name 2 Liberal MPs I don't trust because of past association with terrorist groups.

    Borys Wrzesnewskyj for his associations with Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Gurbax Malhi for his associations with the Tamil Tigers.

    I also don't trust any BQ MP. If there is something in those documents that would damage the Canadian gov't I see no reason why they wouldn't release the info.

    The war is already unpopular in Quebec. A damaging secret would help them seperate from Canada.

    And finally I trust ZERO NDP MPs to keep America's secrets safe.

    They may be loyal to Canada but a chance to damage the Americans ? Are you kidding, they'd be jumping for joy.

  23. Congratulations, opposition, on breaking our system of government.

  24. Eric given that its a mathematical fact, according to the most recent poll, that the Liberals are at Dion levels of support do you really think they'd take such a gamble ?

    Its possible that the NDP could catch fire and be seen as the force which will hold Harper to a minority.

    Seeing what happened with Nick Clegg should make them nervous. Campaigns take on a life of their own and amazing things could happen.

    Also its been a long time since a poll showed the Liberals could form gov't, either minority or majority, on their own.

    Since a coalition is in the works anyways there is zero incentive for voting Liberal to block Harper, a strategy that worked in past campaigns.

    Some Tory losses, Liberal stagnation, and third, fourth, and fifth party growth would be a bad result for them even if it did mean Bob Rae would become PM.

  25. 49/Volkov

    Iggy has a proven Finance Minister in Ralph Goodale, he has Paul Martin as a consultant.

    That team could easily outdo the Flaherty flatulence !!

  26. I suggest that the vast majority of MPs are a risk to be short-sighted in their actions. And we've seen enough general incompetence from MPs over the years (bad business deals, ties to organised crime, general idiocy) to want to keep secrets away from them.

    We need a limited committee made up of a small number of MPs - MPs we can trust (how we determine that I don't know) and let them make the decisions behind closed doors.

  27. Quebec has soldiers in Afghanistan, so the Bloc would not do anything to put them in danger, anymore than the Conservatives would.

    As to "helping them separate from Canada", with a PQ government virtually impossible until 2013, that is a ridiculous argument to make.

    Thankfully, Quebecers elected their Bloc MPs and so can be considered trustworthy, like all MPs. They are as responsible as any other MP in the House.

  28. Shadow,

    Yes all Bloc, MP's are treasonous traitors.

    You know what is so funny about that statement?

    The BLOC, MP's conduct themselves better in parliament than what the conservative MP's do.

    Out troops in Afghanistan also include troops from Quebec, so obviously the BLOC, wants to sabotage them as well.

    The NDP, communists, Marxist's, and rabid haters of all things. Obviously all subversives, and lunatics.

    Liberals, another bunch of traitors.

    There is a plot going on now as we speak. The Liberals, NDP, Greens, and the BLOC, are all getting together to concoct a plan on how to destroy Canada.

    Obviously that is the plan, Shadow figured it out.

    Harper is planning to name the Liberal, NDP, Green, and BLOC, parties all terrorist organizations.

    The Conservatives are obviously the only trustworthy members of parliament, and not out to destroy Canada.

    Shadow, congratulations for unhatching the plot.

    Volkov/Peter/LS/Eric, what is the matter with the rest of you?

    Why is Shadow the only one to know this?

    Our parliament with the exception, of the conservatives, are all dangerous revolutionaries, and subversives.

  29. Ira I agree, that goes for Conservative members too.

    I don't want Bernier viewing these documents.

    Helena Geurgis has just as much right to view these documents as the BQ if we take the tack that all members are equal.

    Marlene Jennings, Wayne Easter, and other partisan attack dogs are not appropriate either.

    I say get the Manley panel back together. Include 3 Liberal MPs (Not Dosanjh) from the house and 2 CPC backbenchers.

    Have Laccobuci continue his work. All documents that are not secret he will release.

    All those that are secret will be reviewed by 10 person panel. Have them answer the following questions on a simple majority basis:

    Is there reason to believe Canadian law was broken ? International law ?

    If the answer is yes hold a judicial inquiry.

  30. Shadow,

    "Since a coalition is in the works anyways"

    I suppose you have some evidence or proof of that.

    Did you attend any meetings where this was discussed?

    Are you a part of the coalition committee?

    Can you provide any independent corroboration of that statement?

    Can you back up anything you have to say, with anything other than your own conjecture?

    Do you think we should have a McCarthy, like committee in Canada, set up to investigate and out all the traitors, and subversives, and Marxists, and communists we have in parliament?


  31. "Since a coalition is in the works anyways"

    I suppose you have some evidence or proof of that
    It's just the shotgun approach. Continually slip little canards like that in whenever possible. The lack of refutation on each occasion constitutes a body of evidence that it is therefore true.

    Meanwhile, today is day 1 after the thwarting of the coup.

  32. 49 steps because Ignatieff is at Dion levels in the latest poll it is impossible for him to get a minority government.

    Therefore, if the opposition ever wants to get back into power a coalition will be required.

    Since there's going to be a coalition anyways why bother to vote Liberal ? No matter how scary you paint Harper to be.

    Feel free to vote BQ, NDP, or Green.

  33. Ira: We need a limited committee made up of a small number of MPs - MPs we can trust (how we determine that I don't know) and let them make the decisions behind closed doors.

    This is indeed what all opposition parties have been open to from the very beginning. Please send a note to that effect to the PM and your local MP, especially if you're in a Tory riding. It will be ignored, but at least you can feel you've done your bit.

    Ned Franks has warned the opposition that they may not really want what they've asked for. "[O]nce members have received confidential information, it constrains their ability to discuss the matter in public, or even, for that matter, in the privacy of caucus." This will indeed be the crux of the matter. There is a general belief that some of the documents have no implications for national security or international relations, but are greatly embarrassing to the government. Will the terms of the agreement allow them to be released (perhaps in less-redacted form), and if so, under what circumstances? The Tories will try to hold out for an absolute, perpetual cone of silence on all released documents under any circumstances. The opposition will want the right to make public any documents or parts of documents that don't have national security or international relations implications.

    This is where Frank Iacobucci could play a valuable role as an impartial arbiter, making the final call on a presumably small list of disputed documents and passages. However, that will only happen if the Conservatives are willing to play ball. I'm beginning to think that they may be crazy enough to roll the dice on an election. While this would probably help the Green Party at this point, it would not be helpful for the country.

    What is in those documents? How toxic can they possibly be?

  34. Shadow,


    I asked you if you have any proof or evidence for anything you say.

    You come back and repeat your original assertion, without providing any proof or evidence.

    You practice an ability to never answer anything.

    I encourage you to go back and read your statements, and try and realize what they look like to anybody reading them.

    You practice the following:

    If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS.

    A+ 100% on that strategy.

    Now will you answer my question, do you have any proof or evidence of this coalition?

    Do you believe we should set up a McCarthy like committee in Canada, to out the members of parliament that are traitors, communists, Marxists, subversives, and revolutionaries?

  35. 49 steps you seem utterly unable to understand the practice of using past events to extrapolate likely future events.

    Nobody has "proof" of future events. That's scientifically impossible.

    If you disagree with someone's analysis then please say so.

    Don't make the ridiculously laughable and scientifically impossible request that someone provide "proof" of what's going to happen in the future.

    This isn't the movie "Minority Report".

    Now, let's take the fact that Ignatieff is at Dion levels of support, will get less seats than Harper, and therefore cannot become PM without opposition support (ie. a coalition).

    Iggy is in his 60's. He's not going to be willing to wait around forever.

    Even if he refuses to form a coalition we know that Bob Rae very much wants to.

    Iggy either plays ball or there is a coup and Bob Rae becomes PM in a Liberal-NDP coalition.

    The most likely possible outcomes of the next election will be a Tory majority or a coalition.

    Canadians will need to make a choice between the two options.

  36. Shadow,

    You are the one who is always making assertions, and presenting them as fact.

    Your last statement, was more ridiculous conjecture, and speculation.

    Anybody can do what you do.

    All you do is throw mud at the wall and hope something sticks.

    Anytime you are asked to back up your nonsensical assertions, you then come back and repeat the same assertions, and again present them as fact.

    If I or anybody else was to make assertions about the CPC, you would be all over it like s t on a blanket.

    You would be demanding proof. You would be demanding evidence.

    In fact on past occasions you have told other posters, to provide evidence for their statements.

    You have also told other posters if they cannot prove what they are saying, then they should stop saying them, and not repeat them.

    Well Shadow, follow your own advice.

    You are looking silly.

  37. 49 steps that was a lot of words in which nothing was said.

    Look lets go back to how this conversation began. I said Iggy was at Dion levels of support.

    You (and Volkov) said Harper was at Stockwell Day levels of support.

    So I posted Stock's 2000 result, Dion's 2008 result, and the latest HD poll and showed that Ignatieff IS indeed within the margin of error of Dion's support where as Harper is not within Stock's range.

    I still have yet to hear you acknowledge that Ignatieff is at Dion levels of support.

    I'd take your complaints a bit more seriously if you would do so.

  38. Shadow,

    Chretien and Martin turned the country around in the 90's and made our country one of the strongest economically and look what Harper did in under 4 years.

  39. John - You're right. Most of caucus (regardless of party) won't be part of the secret committee, so they won't be allowed to know the contents of the documents.

    How do we police that if caucus meetings are closed-door meetings?

  40. Shadow,

    Explain exactly why any of the Conservative MPs have any more right to see the files then a Liberal, NDP, Bloc or Independent MP?

    Every single member sitting in the House of Commons should have all the same rights, none of them were elected any differently then another and the Governor General has the right to ask any of them to form a government.

    You can't trust any Bloc or NDP MP but yet you can trust Bernier when he is involved with the Hells Angels?

  41. To your original post, Éric, have Canadians really been interested in the Liberals since Trudeau?

    Mulroney owned the post-Trudeau political landscape. Chrétien won his majorities in equal parts because Kim Campbell was an idiot and Preston Manning and Lucien Bouchard broke the old PC base, and as soon as the vote-splitting ended Canada stopped supporting the Liberals in any great numbers.

    The Liberal Party that last inspired Canadians is 30 years gone.

  42. Shadow,

    You stated your assertion once again that a coalition was in the works.

    You did not state it as an assertion, you presented it as a fact.

    I asked you how you knew this, and if you could provide any evidence of this.

    You did not answer, you came back again and presented the same old canard as fact.

    Since you do not trust most members of parliament I also asked you if Canada should start up a McCarthy like committee to out the MP's who are traitors, Marxists, communists, subversives, and revolutionaries.

    I received no answer.

  43. PoscStudent said, "Chretien and Martin turned the country around in the 90's and made our country one of the strongest economically and look what Harper did in under 4 years."

    I think that blaming the global recession on Harper is a little more then disingenuous. Grit, Tory, Dipper or Green would have had huge trouble not running a deficit.


  44. PoscStudent said, "Chretien and Martin turned the country around in the 90's and made our country one of the strongest economically and look what Harper did in under 4 years."

    To blame the global recession on Harper is more then a little disingenuous. Grit, Tory, Dipper or Green would have had a heck of a time not running the country into deficit.


  45. Harper, chose to ignore the advice of economists who said that cutting the GST to 5% was bad policy. It removed $12 billion in revenue to the government.

    Harper, and Flaherty also chose to remove the $3 billion contingency fund Paul Martin had built into his budgets, to cushion against economic shocks.

    I defy anyone to tell me that if Chretien was PM, and Martin was finance minister, we would have anywhere near the deficit we are running now.

    Conservatives can never take responsibility for their own ineptitude, it is always the fault of the Liberals.

    It is hilarious that we have a supposed economist as a PM, who has never worked a day in his life at it, but knows more than all the other economists in Canada.

    Harper record is that of career politician, and head gas bag for the NCC.

    Ignatieff not a leader?

    Ignatieff a elitist?

    Give me a break.

  46. That should read $12 billion annually that was removed as revenue by cutting the GST.

    The $ 3 billion contingency was also built into every budget annually.

  47. Posc - well, the cabinet ministers do need to be allowed to see documents within their own ministry, but beyond that you're right, the other CPC MPs have no more right to see the documents than any other MPs do.

    The cabinet ministers are sworn in specifically when they join cabinet.

  48. 49 Step - You do forget that we only had stimulus spending because the opposition demanded it. That's the major source of the deficit.

    Tax cuts are always good. Yes, the conservatives are overspending, but that's largely the result of the minority parliament requiring short-term vote-pandering.

  49. Ira: Most of caucus (regardless of party) won't be part of the secret committee, so they won't be allowed to know the contents of the documents.

    How do we police that if caucus meetings are closed-door meetings?

    Well, we could generalize that question. How do we police vows of secrecy by non-politicians in non-political contexts?

    Contrary to frequent supposition amongst commenters here, members of the [insert other guy's name here] Party are not the greatest scoundrels and scumbags in the country. Some are even reasonable on a good day when the cameras aren't rolling. One or two might be downright honourable.

    I have confidence in our MPs as a whole and I have tremendous confidence in a group of MPs selected by their peers. This should not be surprising. The reverse would be very scary.

  50. And let us also not forget that Harper also inherited a $14 billion, surplus when he came to office.

    Yes, Ira you are a good conservative, nothing is Harper's fault, it is the fault of the Liberals.

    Harper is supposed to be a strong leader, the opposition didn't make him do anything.

    Harper, and Flaherty wear this deficit.

    Harper/Flaherty promised no deficit and no recession, does anybody remember that.

    I know, that $14 billion surplus Harper inherited was really a Mulroney surplus.

    All those years of balanced budgets was really due to Mulroney.

    Now we are in the ditch, and up to our eyeballs in deficit, well that is really all the fault of the Liberals.

    Conservatives have no consistency, or credibility on anything.

  51. Those Cabinet Minister are still just MPs and are elected the same as any other. Helena Geurgis was a Minister would you want her reading these files and telling Jaffer or coke head prostatutes, Bernier was a Minister would you want him photocopying the files to give to the Hells Angels?

    I don't agree with every MP being able to see the files but if all Conservative Ministers and MPs are allowed to see them then all MPs should see them. An all party committee is the only way to handle this.

  52. "The $ 3 billion contingency was also built into every budget annually."

    Along with that 10-15B surplus every year so that the liberals could go on a spending spree and shower us with gifts at the end of every year....

    10-15B of over-taxation... removed with a 2% decrease in the GST.

    "I know, that $14 billion surplus Harper inherited was really a Mulroney surplus.

    All those years of balanced budgets was really due to Mulroney."

    no... the GST did help, but it was mostly a replacement for different taxes... the real balancing of the budget came from Martin making a few token cuts to spending and then putting the EI pot into general revenue and cutting transfer payment to provinces.... when they pay it isn't a budget line in his budget.

    ""Since a coalition is in the works anyways"

    I suppose you have some evidence or proof of that."

    .....some....people seem to talk about it every time a poll comes out where the NDP+Lib seat number exceeds the conservatives. I mostly agree with Shadow, when the election dust settles we will either have a strong tory minority/weak majority.... or a Lib-NDP coalition. Neither the tories or the liberals are likely to survive in a weak minority for long, and unless there is large movement in the polls then a strong liberal minority is unlikely. Simple logic, isn't it?

    "I asked you if you have any proof or evidence for anything you say.
    You come back and repeat your original assertion, without providing any proof or evidence.
    You practice an ability to never answer anything."
    "All you do is throw mud at the wall and hope something sticks.
    Anytime you are asked to back up your nonsensical assertions, you then come back and repeat the same assertions, and again present them as fact."

    I keep reading stuff like that 49... and wonder if you are reading Shadows posts... or your own.

  53. I don't think an election would hurt our chances of an economic recovery. I agree with Nicholson. I can't recall a situation where parliament demanded access to "secret documents". I do realize that there is an inherent problem with the use of the Canada Evidence Act to shield the government. Obviously this act could be used to shield any government documents. However these documents deal exclusively with the Afghan war. As such I think any release is imprudent. Why not let the people decide?

  54. Congratulations Eric! Our team won! I'm a Le Canadiens fan for the rest of the playoffs. On to Pittsburg!

  55. 49 Steps,

    You're in the zone, my friend. Keep it up.

  56. PoscStudent if you had bothered to read my above comment I make it very clear that I do NOT trust Helena Geurgis or Maxime Bernier to see the documents.

    I would trust the Manley panel, a few respected Liberal MPs, and a couple backbench Tories.

    That's about it.

    You're acting like its unreasonable to assume that politicians wouldn't act in the best interest of Canadians!

    Is the reverse true ? That politicians acting in our best interest is a rare thing indeed.

    I know we had an entire government, the Liberals, that was essentially a criminal organization.

    Given past experience you seem to be putting too much faith in Ottawa.

  57. 49 steps your lack of understanding of economics is rather shocking. The deficit situation would be much, much worse if Harper had never came to power.

    #1 Economists did NOT say cutting the GST was a bad idea. Infometrica's models showed it created a considerable amount of jobs.

    Many of them said that cutting income taxes would be more effective tax cuts.

    The Liberals at the time endorsed that decision.

    So that 12 billion a year would be gone under either party.

    #2 The Liberals suggested that instead of paying down the debt by $40 billion that Harper follow through with the Kelowna accord and national daycare. That would have been another $15 billion a year on a go forward basis.

    #3 The Liberals have always demanded MORE stimulus and MORE spending in general.

    Therefore it is an indisputable fact that the budget deficit would be HIGHER if Harper had never came to power.

  58. --- #1 Economists did NOT say cutting the GST was a bad idea. Infometrica's models showed it created a considerable amount of jobs.

    That some economists didn't think it was a bad idea doesn't mean that most didn't think it was a bad idea. It was (almost) universally panned.

    --- The Liberals at the time endorsed that decision. So that 12 billion a year would be gone under either party.

    Wrong, it was a Conservative campaign promise. The Liberals made no such promise, and so would not have done it had they been in power. That they voted for the budget does not mean they would have done the same thing.

    --- #2 The Liberals suggested that instead of paying down the debt by $40 billion that Harper follow through with the Kelowna accord and national daycare. That would have been another $15 billion a year on a go forward basis.

    At the very least, then, it would cancelled out the savings from not reducing the GST.

    --- #3 The Liberals have always demanded MORE stimulus and MORE spending in general.

    If the Liberals had been in power, there is no way to know whether they would have done differently. As many pundits pointed out, the Conservative spending was actually very Liberal.

    --- Therefore it is an indisputable fact that the budget deficit would be HIGHER if Harper had never came to power.

    Except it isn't an indisputable fact. The Liberals, rightly or wrongly, were running huge surpluses when they were in power. The Conservatives came in wanting to cut government spending but especially taxes. It is far more likely that the Liberals would have continued to run surpluses, so that by the time of the recession the deficit would not have been so large.

  59. So what is wrong with the NDP and Bloc MPs see the files Shadow?

    And give a real anwser and not one of your stupid social conservative anwsers.

  60. Shadow,

    The village is missing one member.

    I see Eric, has already straightened you out.

    You refuse to acknowledge reality.

    By the way if Harper was PM, in 2001, we would also have troops in Iraq.

    I also see that the unelected conservative dominated senate is planning to block a bill the democratically elected HOC, has passed.

    Imagine that, the unelected conservative dominated senate will block bill C232, the bill that would require all future supreme court justices be bilingual.

    Shadow, were you not always complaining about the unelected Liberal dominated senate, blocking the elected HOC, legislation?

    Now the unelected conservative dominated senate is blocking a bill the elected HOC, has passed.

    How do you feel about this?

    I still have not received an answer.

    You do not trust members of parliament, so do you think we should have a McCarthy like committee set up to out the traitors, communists, Marxists, subversives, and revolutionaries?

  61. Eric there wasn't a single economists at the time who thought cutting taxes was a bad idea.

    As I said, they thought cutting the income tax was a BETTER idea than cutting the GST.

    It was a choice between good or really good.

    And the decision the Liberals endorsed was to cut INCOME TAXES, not the GST cuts, sorry for being unclear.

    They went around saying they were pro-tax cuts too but they wanted to listen to the economists and cut income taxes further.

    They already had a .5% income tax reduction planned that Harper cancelled to pay for the first GST cut.

    They were promising further reductions that would have equalled Harper's tax reductions.

    "At the very least, then, it would cancelled out the savings from not reducing the GST."

    See above. It would have been spending in addition to the tax cuts the Liberals promised.

    "If the Liberals had been in power, there is no way to know whether they would have done differently."

    How come ? If there very first instinct was a massive stimulus project in the style of Barack Obama I see no reason why they would have acted any differently if they were in power.

    For instance their proposed changes to EI would be very costly on a go foward basis.

    Are you saying they were lying when they called for more stimulus ? That they didn't think it was a good idea and if they had been in power they would never have followed through with it ??

    "It is far more likely that the Liberals would have continued to run surpluses"

    The Liberals were promising large spending increases AND tax cuts.

    The Tories were promising tax cuts and modest spending increases. They also made serious payments on the debt that the Liberals opposed.

    If you go back and look at the promises and fiscal plans laid out by the Liberals its basic math.

    The deficit and debt would have been larger under their gov't.

    Now, if you assume they were lying when they made those policy pronouncments that's another matter altogether.

    But if you add up the price tag of the tax cuts and expensive spending programs they suggested you get a bigger deficit than the one Harper is running.

    It really is an indisputable fact. All these promises they've been making in opposition are costed.

  62. 49 steps the Iraq war started in the spring of 2003 but I agree if Harper had been PM at the time we would have sent Canadian troops.

    We also would have had Ignatieff been PM at the time.

    As for the economy please see my above reply to Eric.

    I've kept track of all the spending promises, proposed tax cuts, and policy announcements of various Liberal leaders and critics over the years.

    Policy is my thing.

    I can tell you right now that if you add it all up the deficit would be larger under the Liberals.

    Do we need a policy to find traitors ?

    Nope. Harper just needs to ignore Miliken's ruling.

    BTW - The Liberals never once ran a surplus. Every year they would spend it all in Christmas goodies.

    By definition a surplus should be returned to the population or used to the pay down the debt.

    Otherwise its just spending you never told anyone about until the end of the year.

  63. We can't assume that the Liberals would have acted the same way in power as they have in opposition over the last four years. So, no, it is not an indisputable fact. If the Liberals win in 2006, then Martin is Prime Minister and the promises made by Dion and Ignatieff never happen.

    Take the stimulus spending. They demanded more because they were in opposition. If they had been in government, they likely would have come forward with something like the Conservatives did, and maybe the Tories would have demanded more. Simply because the opposition opposes.

    And if the stimulus would have been larger, that would still have probably meant an equal or smaller deficit anyway because the government would have had larger surpluses in previous years.

    Income tax cuts, for example, are more recession-proof than sales tax cuts. So the government would have been in a better position going into the recession, and coming out.

  64. Shadow,

    If need be I can pull out 100+ quotes of yours about the unelected Liberal dominated senate, blocking legislation the democratically elected HOC, had passed.

    Now the unelected Conservative dominated senate is doing the same thing on bill C-232.

    That bill was passed by the democratically elected HOC, and the unelected Conservative dominated senate has no business blocking it.

    Will you now be an honest Conservative, and stand by your principles and condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.

    And don't come back and tell me that it is not the same thing as what the unelected Liberal dominated senate was doing.

    Try and be intellectually honest.

  65. Eric if we don't take the Liberals seriously in their claims then such comparisons are meaningless altogether.

    And you're right that sales tax revenues are more stable than income tax revenues during a recession, although quite honestly the spread isn't that significant unless there's a big drop in income and with our generous EI program that simply wasn't the case.

    As I said, if you take everything the Liberals have proposed in terms of policy

    (more military spending, war in Afghanistan, income tax cuts, corporate tax cuts, EI reforms, Kelowna accord, Atlantic accord, no debt repayment, national child care and greater stimulus spending.)

    since the 2006 campaign onward you'd arrive at a higher deficit.

    So you're basically saying "well they didn't mean what they promised!"

    Ok so what's the point of such a comparison ?

    If we're not going to take the policy papers coming out of the OLO at face value then we could claim a hypothetical massive surplus or a massive deficit under an imaginary Liberal gov't.

    All comparisons and analysis become meaningless and the original exercise loses all value.

    What I am telling you is that if you add up the fiscal impact of all the costed Liberal policy positions from 2006 onward you arrive at a larger deficit.

    That's an indisputable mathematical fact.

    Now if you want to argue that a Liberal gov't would not have followed through on its promises and was lying when it made them you are free to do so.

    Perhaps you're right, they've been promising daycare since '93 and even though they had a string of majorities they never delivered.

    Perhaps a Conservative majority would have run a much smaller deficit.

    Who knows. That's all pointless and idle speculation.

  66. Try and be intellectually honest.

    That's not possible for him.

    I see that well known Liberal pollster Graves is out again this morning with another shocker for Harper !!

  67. 49 steps my response to the unelected senate blocking house legislation is the same as it always is:

    THIS is why we need senate reform.

    I'm hoping that if the Liberals get a taste of their own medicine and Harper gets a big majority in the senate that the Liberals will flip flop.

    I hope Harper appoints Geurgis to be a senator to further demonstrate just how corrosive the appointment power is.


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