Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Harris-Decima Poll: 9-pt Conservative Lead

My apologies for not getting to this sooner - I was in Kingston attending a convocation ceremony at Queen's University, my alma mater. I mention this as former Prime Minister Paul Martin received an honourary degree at the ceremony. He gave a short speech, highlighting the importance of ethics in business, in being able to recognize "paradigm shifts", and the importance of public service. A few jokes were cracked, at each other's expense, between Martin and Chancellor David Dodge.

On Thursday, Harris-Decima released a new federal poll, showing the Conservatives up and the other parties down.Compared to their last poll (whose survey period staddled this one's a little), this is a four point gain for the Tories, who are now at 36%. The Liberals are down one to 27% and the New Democrats are down one to 16%.

The Greens are stable at 11% and the Bloc Québécois is down two to 8%. For the "other" parties in my chart, I merely gave them the leftovers as Harris-Decima doesn't report on voting intentions for "other".

This is a big poll for the Conservatives, but it is still not good enough to get them to a majority. A quick comparison with the 2008 election results shows that the Tories still aren't at that level, while the Liberals are doing slightly better. That equates to a smaller mandate than the one the Tories won in 2008.

In Ontario, the Conservatives steal four points from the Liberals and now lead with 39% to 34%. The NDP is stable at 14%.

In Quebec, the Bloc is down five to 35% while the Liberals are up six to 26%. That is a huge result for them, as they have been struggling at around 20% for several weeks. The Conservatives are up one to 15% and the NDP is up two to 12%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are up three to 39%. The NDP is down three to 27% and the Liberals are down three to 17%. So, the Tories seem to be pulling away again here. The Greens are up three to 15%.

The Conservatives have gained five points in Atlantic Canada and lead with 39%. They also lead in the Prairies with 47%, where the Liberals have dropped six to 17%. The Tories are also in front in Alberta, up eight to 59%.

The Conservatives win 70 seats in the West, 54 in Ontario, 5 in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 141. Note that if the Conservatives were doing as well in Quebec as they did in 2008, they would have surpassed that election's overall result.

The Liberals, taking advantage of the NDP being several points down (notably in Ontario), win 11 seats in the West and North, 41 in Ontario, 19 in Quebec, and 16 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 87.

The Bloc wins 49 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 14 seats in the West and North, 11 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 4 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 31.

Harris-Decima's last poll resulted in seat totals of 120 CPC, 101 LPC, 54 BQ, and 33 NDP. So, obviously the Conservatives have made gains at the expense of everyone else.

Despite the good tidings in this poll for Stephen Harper, this is still a worse result than in 2008 - so it does no good for him. It also doesn't change the situation enough for the other parties, as the Bloc looks to tread water and the NDP looks to suffer some modest losses. A gain of a few MPs is not reason enough for the Liberals to want an election, so it looks like the status quo for now.

40 comments:

  1. Before there's too much Tory exultation or Grit gnashing of teeth we should all remember the adage, "Never Trust Any Single Poll".

    The Tories unquestionably lead. However, the stated 9% gap is somewhat suspect. As always, look at the trend graph. The Tory 36% is quite a pop from recent support. 33% or 34% would make sense as a Harris-Decima number; the last 2-3% is statistical jitter.

    The rest of the national numbers look credible apart from the Bloc at 8%, which is a couple of points low. (Inevitable corollary: the Quebec provincial numbers also have a certain snigger factor.) Grit, Dipper and Green levels are all plausible within a point or so. As always, that is purely in the context of this pollster, Harris-Decima. Apply Éric's house effect adjustments or your own secret sauce as desired.

    Ignatieff needn't freak out over these numbers, nor should Harper dance a victory dance. We're still sitting at business as usual: a Conservative minority.

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  2. We're still sitting at business as usual: a Conservative minority.

    So what might move these numbers in the coming weeks and months? Here are four possibilities:

    * Harper and the Tories can expect a small pop from looking Prime Ministerial at Deerhurst and Toronto. However, that will be ephemeral. Temporary Conservative upside expected.

    * The economy could play either way. If the Euro crisis spreads, Harper will wear it. (No, life ain't fair.) If the global recovery proceeds apace, Harper will benefit. (No, life still ain't fair.) Sustained Conservative upside or downside possible.

    * The release of Afghan detainee documents may hurt the Tories to a greater or lesser extent, particularly a few members (Harper, MacKay and O'Connor). Given the strong possibility of a fall election, the selection of the expert panel of eminent jurists to determine the form of document release may take a long time. Until November, in fact. Sustained Conservative downside possible.

    * Finally, the Vision of Grit we've all been waiting for: the new Liberal platform. Will it be greeted with the sound of heavenly trumpets or a laugh track? Even if it's a turkey, it's unlikely to hurt much; Grits are near their base anyway and it will simply be ignored. Sustained Liberal upside possible.

    Overall, the Liberals have more to gain and the Conservatives have more to lose on the horizon. However, it's still a crapshoot. The most likely outcome in the near future is "no change". If there is a change, it's likely to amplify the current deadlock, not resolve it.

    Better learn to play nicely together, kiddies.

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  3. I personally do not mind this poll as much as I was concerned over the Ekos poll, or apparently the Leger poll out as well which shows 37-35.

    The reason why is because not only is Quebec is a stronger position, but it confirms a few realities; one, the Conservatives will never, ever get a majority in the current climate; two, the Liberals are weak but they're still the main opposition, and they seem to be flexible enough in between 25-30% to be competitive; three, the NDP just fails.

    That isn't to say its a fantastic poll, for anyone, but I wouldn't be worried over it.

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  4. Must be hard for you to type it down Volkov but the Ledger Poll May 25-27 has the CPC lead at 37-25. 12 point gap

    Almost the same as the CPC and Liberal for the last election with the spread just .6 greater.

    John - The impact of the Rae giving up all chance of a strong Liberal showing next election and throwing in with with the NDP next election is the biggest issue that will move the polls.

    A CPC majority with 5 seats in Quebec is starting to look a lot more possible. The economic downturn in Ontario is a game changer. The billion dollar handout for the G8/G20 is all going to Ontario and will almost all be spent in Ontario.

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  5. oh the HD polls just before the last election had the CPC under stated by 2.9 % and the Liberals understated by .9 %.

    The error adjusted results for this poll would be 39 - 28 an 11 pt gap.

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  6. These latest polls only really show stagnation.

    Re Europe you can figure that is just going to get worse not better. Last weeks flap with Spain losing its AAA rating is the real start I think.

    Harper may indeed wear it !

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  7. At what point do the Tories start to pick up more seats in Atlantic Canada? You are projecting them with 12 seats and 39% of the vote compared to the Liberals with 16 seats on 32%. It seems like there's got to be a tipping point somewhere that results in a lot more seats swinging to the tories.

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  8. Never trust any single poll.

    You are correct John, but your analysis that the gap is closer based on that adage is flawed.

    Leger gave the tories a 12% lead this morning (I think they use a likely voters model, but feel free to correct me on that).

    http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/05/28/14177896.html

    That says to me that the 9% HD, and the 8+% in Ekos are atleast accurate (and given the house polling effects written up here that you mentioned.... maybe even low).

    Based on the 3 polls, I am thinking that 9% would be just a nice conservative estimate of the actual voting day.

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  9. BC Voice of Reason,

    Uh... did you even read what I typed?

    I personally do not mind this poll as much as I was concerned over the Ekos poll, or apparently the Leger poll out as well which shows 37-35.

    That was the very first paragraph, for Christ's sake.

    As well, your, hm, "methodology" seems severely flawed. Polls aren't static things, whereby how much they were off during an election is always how much they'll be off. These things don't work that way. You should know that, but I suppose it might not be convenient for you...

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  10. Volkov said,

    I personally do not mind this poll as much as I was concerned over the Ekos poll, or apparently the Leger poll out as well which shows 37-*25.

    Fixed. It was a typo, BC - I thought maybe you were clever enough to realize that. Guess not. I mean, it's totally not like the entire sentence, which included the words "concern" and "Ekos" in it and general grouping together of the two polls, didn't imply anything.

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  11. John,

    "Overall, the Liberals have more to gain and the Conservatives have more to lose on the horizon. However, it's still a crapshoot. The most likely outcome in the near future is "no change". If there is a change, it's likely to amplify the current deadlock, not resolve it."

    You may in fact not be my twin brother but you certainly are -- politically speaking!

    To my mind, your analysis is spot on. Congratulations.

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  12. I said "Must be hard for you to type it down Volkov but the Ledger Poll May 25-27 has the CPC lead at 37-25. 12 point gap"

    I was correcting your mistyping and making light of the difficulty that you must have actually dealing with the situation.

    Then you lashed back quoting your mistake as fact. Even when you were finally able to see what was wrong you did not respond in a civil manner but continued to attack and attempt to defend your glaring mistake.



    Are you so accustomed to someone translating Chretienesse into a positive light that you have developed a neurosis to being corrected? It is not what I said it is what I meant, and you should be able to figure it out from context.


    On the fluidity of polls....

    Are they changed by the time they are published? Why even read, analyze or comment on the HD poll which was taken 6 days ago? That point in time is gone and the impact of Rae espousing the coalition as the main Liberal platform has likely made the gap significantly larger.


    As for my using the polls immediately prior to the last election as an indication of bias: How can a poll taken and published less than 24 hours prior to sampling the entire universe does not show the poll to be invalid?

    If you feel that the EKOS polls just prior to the election day were in fact accurate for that day please provide your opinion as to what changed in the 24 hours that bumped the CPC up by 2-3%.

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  13. Brad said: At what point do the Tories start to pick up more seats in Atlantic Canada? You are projecting them with 12 seats and 39% of the vote compared to the Liberals with 16 seats on 32%. It seems like there's got to be a tipping point somewhere that results in a lot more seats swinging to the tories.

    The Liberals have so many safe seats in Atlantic Canada, I'd say probably 13, that it would be nearly impossible for them to lose those seats to the Conservatives, even if they are polling well. The Conservatives did well in NB last election and will probably do well again but there are only so many seats to win there. The Conservatives also had a fairly high percentage in PEI last time but that is more so because the NDP vote is almost absent there so the ridings are really only a 2 party race. In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador the Conservatives don't have much room for growth either, 12 seats in Atlantic Canada would be a very strong showing for the Conservatives and I doubt they would actually win so many in an election.

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  14. BC Voice of Reason: On the fluidity of polls....
    Are they changed by the time they are published? Why even read, analyze or comment on the HD poll which was taken 6 days ago?


    Don't. That is, don't analyze any poll in isolation. Or as some Johnny One-Note keeps monomaniacally repeating, Never Trust Any Single Poll.

    The trend graphs that several polling houses helpfully supply with each poll give a lot of insight. Opinions change, but not overnight; slopes change, but not instantly. A series of polls gives a good idea of movement, if not exact election day magnitudes. The key is to analyze the best-fit curve, not a single data point.

    This, by the way, is why other commenters don't place Angus-Harris top and centre of the pollster pantheon; we all suspect they just got lucky on the day.

    Multi-pollster graphs are also helpful. For instance, I like the trendline on this one, even if it's currently a bit long in the tooth. Especially when I compare it to these four graphs.

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  15. Barcs: You are correct John, but your analysis that the gap is closer based on that adage is flawed...

    Leger gave the tories a 12% lead this morning...


    Leger and EKOS provide other data, but there's a key sentence in the original comment: As always, [all proposed adjustments are] purely in the context of this pollster, Harris-Decima.

    The original comment only adjusts the Harris-Decima gap from the Harris-Decima trendline context. I will respectfully refrain from bistromathic bunfights.

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  16. BC "Voice of Reason",

    I apologize for "lashing out," but its not as if I can tell when you are and are not "making light" of the situation. You have a funny habit of being habitually critical, to an unreasonable point, of anything attached to the colour red.

    As well, I don't know why you mentioned Rae, or anything else, because I certainly didn't. But you're absolutely in the wrong by saying the polls are essentially static, and the poll before the day of the election can apply to each and every other poll in terms of so-called "bias."

    It's indicative of accuracy, or lack of it, sure, but you can't go around saying "all polls by this company should now read +2.9 for the Conservatives," and whatever other figures you had there.

    Take Nanos, for instance. Almost all of their figures in 2006 were 0.1% off, including their Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Bloc numbers. Next election, they were a little more off all.

    How do you reconcile something like that with your logic? Polls are fluid and pretty much crazy in how they run sometimes. It doesn't mean they're wrong or right, it just means you can't pin every number down as truly reflective of the actual population's allegiances. You can only look for general trends and influences.

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  17. As John says, "never trust any single poll." Ekos gives the Tories an 8.2-point lead; Harris-Decima gives them a 9-point lead; Leger gives them a 12-point lead. All three polls have been shown to underestimate Tory strength by a couple of points. Draw your own conclusions.

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  18. Eric

    How do these polling firms factor in the "Incumbent" factor.

    What do I mean ? People tend to go with who is in power, largely because they aren't particularly politically aware.

    That's probably one reason results change so much during a campaign, the media attention and coverage of the campaign does cause voters to think about who they are voting for. No campaign and they tend to go with the dominant.

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  19. poll has it in Atlantic Canada as cpc/lib/ndp 38-32-24

    Last election it was 30.6/36.1/26.9

    Election results Liberals 5.5 lead.
    Poll results CPC 6 point lead.... a change of 11.5 %.

    As far as solid Liberal candidates this poll would almost certainly mean that Wayne Easter 5% in PEI get replaced by a CPC as well as Brian Murphy in NB who won by 3% would be likely replaced.

    Out of the 6 in NL they all had large margins of victory. Will Danny Williams back an obvious loser in protest again? If Danny goes neutral that would likely mean 1-2 CPC seats in NL. If he becomes a Liberal basher 4-5 might go CPC.

    Currently it is 17-11-4 lib-cpc-ndp
    Eric has it at 16-12-4 with the CPC picking up 1 Liberal seat.

    I would have it at 14-14-4 with the CPC picking up 1 in NB, 1 in PEI and 1 in NL.

    with room for the CPC to grow in NL. The 11.5% switch has to be happening somewhere.

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  20. Another view of a Liberal/NDP coalition:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Liberal+coalition+problem/3088975/story.html

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  21. Another question. Do these pollsters call the same people all the time or do they use some kind of random system to find the respondents they need?

    For instance I've never received a call from any pollster which if they are going random seems odd?

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  22. What I would object to, strenuously, would be proportional representation foisted on the nation by such a coalition.

    There I'm 100% with Gunter. Prop Rep would be a disaster for this country. I'd go as far as AV+ but that's all.

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  23. ---Another question. Do these pollsters call the same people all the time or do they use some kind of random system to find the respondents they need?

    Telephone pollsters would randomly choose people. Online pollsters have a large pool of people that they draw from, but it isn't always the same people (i.e., Angus-Reid has several hundred thousand people in their pool).

    --- For instance I've never received a call from any pollster which if they are going random seems odd?

    There are 34,000,000 people in Canada. You have a 0.006% chance of being one of those called in your average poll.

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  24. There are 34,000,000 people in Canada. You have a 0.006% chance of being one of those called in your average poll.


    Yet telemarketers have no problem. Sorry Eric your answer is not very good.

    After 73 years I figure I should have got hit at least once !!

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  25. Earl: Another view of a Liberal/NDP coalition:

    Lorne Gunter was impressively off-base in his last paragraph:

    [Proportional representation] would cement coalition in our future almost forever. The current state of our spending, taxes and social programs would be frozen forever in political amber because majority governments would be rare and coalition governments are compromise governments.

    He apparently doesn't understand that Canadian majority governments will be rare for the foreseeable future, PR or no. Adding ignorance to incomprehension, he can't have read the UK coalition programme. The roadmap it lays out is more aggressive than anything we've seen in recent Canadian history, minority or majority.

    Two sentences, two errors. That's "dense prose" in multiple ways.

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  26. --- Yet telemarketers have no problem. Sorry Eric your answer is not very good.

    Telemarketers call thousands of people every day. Pollsters call 1000 or 2000 people every month or so.

    --- After 73 years I figure I should have got hit at least once !!

    I'm sure it is a conspiracy.

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  27. I'm sure it is a conspiracy.

    So for once we are in agreement !!

    Now re AR. I'm on some kind of call list for them to polls. All kinds of polls. Occasionally there is a "Who would you vote for" question in with a lot of questions about various products or services.

    If that's what they are using for their polling base then it is total crap !!

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  28. John, I think there is 2 differences.

    The first being that both parties within the coalition are to the right of labour. It would be like the Tories and the liberals forming a coalition to replace an NDP government. Both would believe in atleast some cuts to the out of control programs of the far left.

    the other one is.... Have you seen the European economy? Atleast the people of Great Britain are willing to stand up and see something done (few/no riots like Greece?) Basically it is swallow the cuts or end up having others control your future.

    Canada has never faced such a situation, particularly with other neighbors in the same boat rocking it. Even in the 90's Martin's deficit cutting (downloading) was in response to a problem that was at most minor in comparison.


    The program does appear to be fairly aggressive in nature. But it would also appear to be a rather stable coalition minority like in Saskatchewan when the liberals formed a coalition government with the NDP for the full term. Even Martin's coalition with the NDP was not real stable with a 1 vote majority,... he was eventually voted out.

    I don't know tho if the cuts would have been deeper if it had been a majority.... Cameron is after all an evil rightwing knuckledragging nutjob whose only reason for living is to make life impossible for people on programs after all.... isn't he? I mean labour would do a much better job of cuts... right?

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  29. http://research-environics-net.sitepreview.ca/media_room/pdf/ENPPRMay28-2010.pdf

    Environics May28 (18th to 26th)


    36-30-15-7
    House effects correction:
    37-27-17-6

    Another poll that ends up as a 10pt lead to throw on the pile.

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  30. BC Voice of Reason said...
    with room for the CPC to grow in NL. The 11.5% switch has to be happening somewhere.

    They will most likely grow but a seat will be tough. People are laughing at the fact that Senator Fabain Manning is considering a possible run at his old seat and the Conservatives don't have any candidates lined up for any ridings, unlike they do in all other provinces. Unless a star candidate is found for St. John's South-Mount Pearl or Avalon then the Conservatives will be screwed and will probably end up having to import candidates from Ottawa like they did last election.

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  31. And in support of my proposition that an NDP/Liberal coalition would probably result in a Tory Majority, there's a new Angus-Reid poll which looks at exactly that proposition.

    It concludes that, if an election were held today with that on offer, the Tories would wil 40-34 over the coalition. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/spector-vision/prime-minister-layton/article1586238/?cid=art-rail-bureaublog.

    Curiously, the same poll also suggests that the coalition would do better if led by either Bob Rae or Jack Layton. That seems like a peculiar result (and one that probably only occurs because neither is actually in a position of power), but it speaks to Iggy's unpopularity.

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  32. Found the angus reid poll out this morning carl was talking about.
    35-27-19...(bloc at 37)

    34-29-17 with house correction. Smallest spread for the tories recently,... and from a pollster that usually polls the gap the widest.

    Angus, leger, environics.... massive post coming today I hope :)

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  33. Barcs: The first [reason that the UK coalition is more aggressive than any Canadian government in memory] being that both parties within the coalition are to the right of labour... Both would believe in atleast some cuts to the out of control programs of the far left.

    One right-wing article of faith is that lefties run deficits while righties are fiscally responsible. The Chrétien-Martin slaying of the deficit in this country doesn't fit this framing, but in a pinch the Grits can be explained away as centrists. They were at least boringly predictable; each accounting would end up with a small surplus. By contrast, Flaherty's recession-fighting deficit predictions were always wrong and always over-optimistic as he fell into the abyss. He still doesn't have a balanced budget in sight. There's no hand on the helm.

    Leftwards along the spectrum, Saskatchewan Dippers have always prided themselves on their fiscal responsibility, and have contrasted it to their competitors: Tommy Douglas ... inherited an atrocious mess from the provincial Liberals back in 1944. As premier of the CCF and later the NDP government of the province he proceeded to balance the books for a full 20 years.

    In the 1970s the NDP government under Allan Blakeney... guided the province of Saskatchewan for 11 years. In every one of those years the Blakeney government delivered at least a balanced budget and in many of those years modest surpluses.

    The Conservatives came to power in 1982. They virtually bankrupted the province of Saskatchewan. They managed to run up huge deficits, basically $1 billion each and every year for the nine years.


    Left/right attitudes to deficits appear to generalize south of the border, where the American experience of the last half-century (with update)provides an even starker contrast. Study those graphs closely. Republicans ramp up deficits; Democrats work at mucking out the byre but can't get things back on track before the next Republican comes into power.

    The UK could have faced their problems head-on with a committed coalition that included Labour. (Gordon Brown's personal capacity is immaterial.) And from this country's track record, a Grit-Dipper coalition, accord or understanding would be more fiscally responsible than any government with a Tory component.

    As a Green, I don't have a horse in this race; Greens draw from across the spectrum and the Greens I know have a distinct bluish tinge. But we recognize fiscal responsibility as a key requirement for sustainability and salute it where we see it, in Saskatchewan Dippers or UK Tory/Lib-Dem coalitions. We also recognize when the facts and the spin are diametrically opposed.

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  34. John: By contrast, Flaherty's recession-fighting deficit predictions were always wrong and always over-optimistic as he fell into the abyss.

    John, not to burst your articles of faith, but on a preliminary basis at least, last' year's deficit is looking to be about $7 billion less than expected on the strength of higher than expected corporate income tax revenue. But why let facts get in the way of a good argument?

    http://www.bnn.ca/news/17947.html

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  35. Carl: John, not to burst your articles of faith, but on a preliminary basis at least, last' year's deficit is looking to be about $7 billion less than expected on the strength of higher than expected corporate income tax revenue.

    "Less than expected"; would that be the 2009-2010 no deficit expected in October 2008? Or the $5 billion deficit expected in December 2008? Or the $50 billion deficit expected in May 2009? Or the $56 billion deficit expected in September 2009? Or the other predictions in between those ones? (My fingers are getting tired.)

    But why let facts get in the way of a good argument?

    The final deficit figure will undoubtedly be bracketed by some pair of Flaherty's claims. He may even have the chutzpah to trot out that "fact". But while a stopped clock may be right twice a day, that doesn't mean it's qualified to be Minister of Finance either.

    Regardlessof the final number, the earlier criticism of Flaherty didn't concern the size of the deficit; it was about his utter inability to forecast. "Others had problems too" is no excuse because he was always two steps behind those others.

    Or as Paul Wells said a year ago, This guy is easily the most ineffectual federal finance minister in decades. Why believe a word from his mouth? Does anyone seriously believe he believes most of it?

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  36. John

    John, not to burst your articles of faith, but on a preliminary basis at least, last year's deficit is looking to be about $7 billion less than expected on the strength of higher than expected corporate income tax revenue

    Note the higher than expected corporate?? Looks suspiciously like the PMO "talking point" or spin doesn't it ?

    Also it's still a DEFICIT just proving your statements.

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  37. Peter,

    Yes, because merely mentioning the fact that corporate income tax collection was higher than expected last year (which is the only reason the deficit was less than expected) must make me a stoolie for the government.

    Gotcha!

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  38. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatchewan

    You might note debt going up (not to mention 2 recorded deficits of which your partisan in the legislature doesn't seem to remember) in 01, 02, 03, 04,... (that amounted to an increase of 1.2 billion,... in 4 years including that "10th concecutive balanced budget"), 07 too; before the saskparty took power in 07 and reduced our debt to its current 1/2 from Calverts. Romannow did bring it down some before that.... but he missed his target of 0 debt by 2000 by only about 60-70% of the debt.


    I also thought it odd that Crown debt doesn't get included into provincial debt figures.... Do you think there was any debt in all the crowns that Blakeney set up? Some that might not have been reported in the provincial figures did they all make money in their first year? Some of them like STC still draw money out, more like a social transport program than a crown business.

    Did you know that Blakeney was premier for 11 years.... and saw the provincial "balanced budgets" increase 80% in those 11 years? 7% a year? that within a population explosion of .1% a year.

    http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=0bea0b64-d76e-4157-9bfc-efa776acf4cb

    Look here is a NDP government press release.... the first time the provincial debt had be reduced since 1949... never in 45 years did our debt go down.... 11 of those were blakeney. 15 of them were in the "unbroken streak of 20 balanced budgets from 1944 onward"....

    The NDP's predecessor CCF came to power in 1944. The provincial population was short of 900,000. By the middle of Blakeney's reign almost 35 years later saskatchewan had grown at a blistering pace to 965,000 people. In 2006 Just before the election loss of the latest incarnation of the NDP (calvert) the population had swollen to 985,000. The liberals goverened 8 years, Devine,.. almost 9. The NDP 47 years. And in that 63 years... Saskatchewan grew!!!!: 1%... almost.... 0.01% a year. Faster than the human population on the moon,.... but barely.

    That's who you are cheering John.

    If you want I can go on in detail about the land bank, saskoil being privatized and later hiring the deputy premier that was part of the job, SPUDCO, land ownership limiting to residents rules, the only government to practice large scale closing of hospitals, ISC boondoggle, The pulp mill, highways, income/property/corporate tax, royalties; The government... that for most of the last 60 years has held Saskatchewan back in the dark ages with no prosperity... a have not province.

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  39. John... that reads just like it came off the NDP website.... But I guess that a partisan MLA standing up in the legislature does qualify as balanced research.


    It must have been easy keeping a balanced budget in one of the provinces with the highest tax rate sets.... credit to romannow tho. He did start lowering them after winning 50% of the seats in 99 while losing the popular vote to the sask party running on lowering taxes.

    (On a side note.... that is also the election the liberals formed a coalition with the NDP in exchange for cabinet seats.... They haven't win a seat in the last 2 elections)

    They got by without spending much on infrastructure either. Devine's "billions" built many of the roads we have today. 20 years later the NDP was bragging how we have the most miles of roads of any province.... They would never bother fixing them (we were the last to finish twinning the trans Canada under calvert). Ironically the highway between my house and town isn't being fixed by the Saskparty either.... none of the locals will risk damage to their vehicle so they all drive backroads around it. The counters only pick up non-locals (who will never come back after driving that road).

    There was never any real dollars put into development of the province either.... at one time Alberta was the laggard. Today, Calgary is 3 times the size of Saskatchewan. Potash corp, a blakeney Crown topped out at below 300 million in revenue back when the NDP ran it. Devine privatized it; 2 years ago it was the single largest contributor to the government budget at over 2 billion in taxes and royalties. Revenue... was much higher.

    Raiding the crowns of profits was a favorite at budget time. 500 million to a billion in revenue from the lot? = power tax, phone tax, license tax, fertilizer tax, oil and gas tax, etc. To the tune of about an extra $1000 in taxation per person for the people using the services.

    Calvert invented a budget line loan program to show us a balanced budget. He called it a rainy day fund to put a positive spin on it. At the end of the day tho... debt went up.

    http://www.taxpayer.com/commentary/province-plays-games-financial-statements

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