Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Léger Poll: 11-pt Conservative Lead

Léger Marketing released a new poll for the CBC, and it shows a huge lead between the Conservatives and the Liberals. It also confirms (third time's a charm) that the New Democrats are making gains.Compared to Léger's last poll in September 2009, the Conservatives are steady at 36%. Apparently, prorogation and all that hasn't changed a thing. The Liberals have dropped five points to 25%, which will be the lowest number in my model, and the NDP is up three points to 20%.

The Bloc Québécois is up one to 9%, the Greens are steady at 8%, and "Other" is up one to 2%.

Interestingly, 7% of respondents said they wouldn't vote. This shows why polls have a limit in their reliability. More than 40% of Canadians didn't vote in 2008. But, then again if I recall correctly, the survey of the official study of the 2008 election only found that around 25% said they didn't vote.

In Ontario, the Conservatives have a big lead with 39% to the Liberals' 30%. The NDP is up to 21%, a good result for them. This marks a one point loss for the Tories, a four point loss for the Liberals, and a four point gain for the NDP.

In Quebec, the Bloc leads with 36% (up three since September), followed by the Liberals at a woeful 21% (down nine!). The Conservatives and NDP are tied at 19%, up two for the Tories and up five for the NDP. That is an incredible number for the New Democrats.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives lead with 41%, up two points. The NDP is at 27%, up six, and the Liberals follow with 24%, down two. The Greens are not doing well with 8%.

Elsewhere, the Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 37%, where the Tories have made a six-point gain. The Conservatives are well in front with 62%, where the parties are virtually unchanged (though the Tories are down six). The Conservatives lead in the Prairies with 44%, but that is down seven points.

The Conservatives win 69 seats in the West, 56 in Ontario, 8 in Quebec, and 8 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 141.

The Liberals win 16 in the West, 32 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 19 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 81.

The Bloc wins 51 seats.

The NDP wins 10 seats in the West, 18 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and five in Atlantic Canada for a total of 35.

It's 2008 all over again!

Now, before you look at these numbers and wonder why the NDP does slightly worse and the Liberals do slightly better with national results that are, in fact, slightly better and slightly worse (respectively) than the 2008 election, note that the Liberals are up five in British Columbia, nine in the Prairies, and two in Atlantic Canada over Stéphane Dion's performance. The NDP are down eight in the Prairies and up seven in Quebec, where the vote is mostly wasted.

As to who is the favourite for Prime Minister, Stephen Harper leads with 31% (down one). The party, it seems, is more popular than him. The same can't be said for Jack Layton, who is the favourite of 23% (up five). Michael Ignatieff has seen a dip in his popularity since September, dropping from 21% to 16%.

As to who is most trusted, the results were Harper 27% (down two), Layton 21% (up four), Ignatieff 11% (down three), Gilles Duceppe 10%, and Elizabeth May 9%.

Horrid numbers for the Liberal leader, but let's not over-look that Harper is not doing spectacularly either. Layton has room for growth.

What explains the recent surge for the New Democrats? The HST? Distaste with the Liberals? It is hard to figure, as they haven't been in the spotlight much lately.


  1. where did you get the full numbers. I see nothing on the Leger site

  2. I have fingers in every pot, my friend.

  3. I think that if the NDP vote in Quebec actually did go from 12% to 19% - there would be more than 2 seats. Its hard to say where the next one would come from. If you look at the numbers from last time in Hull-Aylmer it would be a string possibility.

  4. Maybe, but I don't think so. Even with proportional increase, the NDP is still two or three points behind the Liberals. It also wasn't a very good election for the Bloc, so I don't think we can count on another poorer performance in the riding.

  5. I'm not saying Hull-Aylmer would be in the bag or anything - I'm just saying that at 19% we have to start looking at where is the next lowest hanging fruit for the NDP in Quebec. If there was a third or fourth seat - which would it be?

  6. "As to who is the favourite for Prime Minister, Stephen Harper leads with 31% (down one). The party, it seems, is more popular than him."

    That's not quite true - they don't remove DK/NA from the best PM question the way they do in the Vote question

  7. Peter you said you wanted to discuss the issues facing the country without partisan bickering. You start I'll respond.

  8. Excellent point, DL. I'll remember that next time.

    But, there is a bit of a difference. The "don't know, won't vote" people for party supporter are always relatively small, maybe around 15%. And it could be more of an honest answer - "I don't know who I will vote for."

    With the party leaders, saying "none of them" is a statement in and of itself, and the numbers of people who don't choose one of the leaders is usually closer to 1 in 3.

    As to what the next seat would be, I think it is is Hull-Aylmer but going from 12% to a win requires a lot of work.

    Depends a lot on the local candidates. Marcel Proulx isn't exactly loved, and we don't know who the Bloc will be going with.

  9. I can only think of one thing that is hurting the Liberals right now policy-wise: their stance on the long-gun registry. But then, why are they flailing in Quebec, where support is highest for the registry?

    If it isn't that, then I can only think its got to be displeasure with Ignatieff and a rather moribund electorate. What's causing this could be any number of things. No press for policy announcements, exasperation at the Jaffer scandal, better economic situations, etc. The list is long and varied. There could still be fallout from the maternal health fiasco for all we know.

    But, alas, we shall see what happens over the next couple of weeks with this Afghan detainee thing. If Harper hangs out for an election, I have a feeling the Liberals will run with it despite what the polls say. I hope for the sake of democracy itself that Harper compromises.

    Anyways, for everyone's concern: a Liberal MP, Maurizio Bevilacqua is mulling over stepping down federally to run for Mayor of Vaughan.

    If he does step down, it would create a race far more interesting than Winnipeg North. It'll probably stay Liberal, but the possibility that it will switch hands is greater than in Winnipeg.

    Winnipeg North and Vaughan - two by-elections which will truly test the Liberal Party, unlike the four in September 2009.

  10. Earl speaking of serious issues did you see this great news about the deficit:

    One thing I think is clear though is that Canadians aren't willing to wait 4 years to return to a balanced budget.

    With the numbers improving so fast I think the gov't should be more ambitious and aim for the year after next to return to balance.

    Tax increases will NOT be required but some modest spending cuts would be to reach that goal.

  11. Volkov thanks for the tip on Maurizio Bevilacqua.

    I remember in the last leadership campaign (or the one before last depending on how you view Iggy's coronation) there was some dissapointment that a pro-bussiness, right leaning candidate like Bevilacqua simply wasn't given the time of day.

    Next time around somebody like John Manley, who has a perfect resume, will probably be passed over for someone like Bob Rae.

    The leftward shift, the coalition, talk of unite the left. Maybe this change in the ideology of the party is responsible for your troubles ?

  12. Two polls in a row with a 10 % point CPC lead.

    The Ekos 5% lead becomes 10% when the 3.6-5.0% Anti-CPC bias adjustment is taken.

    Not a majority but a real possibility depending how the election is forced.

    If Harper can force the Collation to call an election on the Afghan national security issue it will be a CPC majority.

    Great news that Justin Trudeau is standing up for the Oil Sands in direct contravention of the Graves call for a culture war. Not that he will gain any Liberal votes in the West but at least he is showing that there are a few Liberals that want the party to be a national one.

  13. Shadow I saw that. Good news is that corporate tax revenues are improving.

  14. In the last election in Hull-Aylmer, the Liberals under that rather reptilean Marcel Proulx got 37%, the BQ got 22%, the NDP had 20% and the Tory 15%.

    It would be the obvious next NDP target in Quebec after Gatineau.

  15. The there is the Harris-Decima poll that has a 2% spread...I don't believe there is any anti-CPC bias in the Ekos numbers. They are very much in synch with everyone else except that they tend to overstate Green/Other support

  16. Surprising numbers for the NDP in the two large provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Perhaps some vote parking going on.

    The BC numbers make sense and are more in line with traditional voting patterns - also a more probable 8% for the Greens. That said, any sub-sample size under 300 is still basically useless.

  17. Odd results, but we can always pull a shadow and subtract points from one party and give them to other. I think I'll add 10% to the Liberals. :)

  18. 21% for the NDP in Ontario is good but not particularly "earth-shattering". The NDP took 19% in Ontario in 2006 and 18% in 2008 and they would typically get 21% all through the 70s and 80s in Ontario. So being a couple of points above what they got in October '08 is not a big surprise - Iggy has not caught fire, McGuinty is increasingly unpopular, the NDP is getting more and more credit as the only party willing to discuss serious issues while the Liberals are busy chasing ambulances...

  19. PoscStudent,

    That's also known as a "Voice of Reason," even though it's reasoning is a little off.

  20. I'm not inclined to believe that one, since it seems at odds with everyone else and an unusually high spread at that given the news. I suppose a high margin of error could cause such divergences.

  21. DL,

    What "serious issues" would that be that the NDP are focusing on? I've never seen much of a divergence yet. The one time they did decide to change course, they went back the next day!

    "Serious issues," ha! Flip-flopping Pat Martin and the incredulous Thomas Mulcair certainly don't exemplify any "serious issues" I've seen yet.

  22. PoscStudent I don't see any justification for adding 10% to the Liberals. Please provide the reasoning you're using for making such an adjustment.

    This is the third poll in a row that has them within the margin of error of Dion's 2008 result.

    There can be no arguement.

    Michael Ignatieff = Stephane Dion.

  23. Volkov,

    I must say that my ears really did perk up recently when typing away I heard Mulcair use the infamous French-language "C" word in the House. I burst out laughing.

    I happen to like Tom quite a lot even though I thought that this amounted to over-the-top showboating at its finest.

  24. Shadow,

    No, Michael Ignatieff =/= Stephane Dion - they're two different people with two different outlooks, duh. I'm pretty sure I've seen Iggy and Dion in the same place at the same time.

    And if Dion had any organizational strengths, Ignatieff has many more. That right there makes him not Stephane Dion.

    Roland O'Dowell,

    You heard that too, eh? I couldn't help perk an eyebrow or two.

    I think Mulcair is an excellent MP and is a good attack dog for the NDP (they don't have many, to be honest, so its hard to compare), but he's either a guy you love or a guy you hate. You can guess which side I'm on.

  25. Éric: What explains the recent surge for the New Democrats? The HST? Distaste with the Liberals? It is hard to figure, as they haven't been in the spotlight much lately.

    The paragraph appears to answer itself. The Grits have been pushing hard on Jaffeurisgate. The result has been revulsion directed against both the mud slingers and slingees. The Dippers have been much more restrained and look almost like Members of Parliament instead of politicians. This is also one factor in the general upward trajectory of the Greens.

    Whatever you may quite reasonably think about Jaffer and Guergis, the piling-on we're seeing isn't government; it's politics. Voters are getting snippy about the latter.

    If this line of reasoning seems plausible, consider another possible cause for the recent decline of the Grits in general and Ignatieff in particular. We don't have a Tory "just visiting" or "not a leader" attack campaign going on now. The Tories benefit and the Grits lose from the absence of nastiness.

    I don't know how you'd test the claims of this comment, but it would be a mistake to dismiss them out of hand.

  26. Shadow,

    Well you decide to add on Green Party support and all other support to the Conservatives when Ekos has there polls, which makes no sense, so I can do what I think make sense as well.

    As I see it the NDP will go down in support in an election, like they always do, so I'll take probably 3% off their numbers and give them to the Liberals. The Conservatives numbers seemed to high so I'm going to take some ponits off their number as well as the Green Party support the Bloc and the other. :)

  27. The deficit is still $10 billion over what was originally projected in the budget so I think the fact that it is now $40 odd billion isn't that great of news.

    How is it that an economist can screw up his figures so much that from one day to the next the deficit goes up and down $10 billion?

  28. Posc Student,

    Harper is a so called economist, but he has never worked a day in his life at that profession.

    Harper's record is one of career politician, and head wind bag for the NCC.

    Most economists in Canada, warned Harper that cutting the GST, to 5% was bad policy. This removed $12 billion in annual revenue from the government.

    Harper, of course knew more than all the "Real" economists, and ignored their advice.

    Another foolish move endorsed by the so called economist, was to remove the $3 billion contingency fund, Martin had built into his annual budgets to protect against economic shock.

    Harper/Flaherty are not good fiscal managers, even if that is what they present themselves as.

    Flaherty, does not have a stellar record as Ontario finance minister either.

    Harper has overstated his credentials, and the media lets him get away with it. He has never held a job as an economist. He has done very little work in the private sector.

    Harper says Ignatieff, is not a leader, but at least Ignatieff, has not spent most of his adult life in politics, and has held jobs in the private sector.

    Harper also calls Ignatieff, an elitist, but truth be told Harper has also had a very cushy life.

    The Liberals, have a much better fiscal record than Harper/Flaherty can ever hope to have.


  30. "As I see it the NDP will go down in support in an election, like they always do, so I'll take probably 3% off their numbers and give them to the Liberals."

    Oh really?? In the last election polls just before the '08 election was called had the NDP at 13 or 14% - and they ended up with 18% on election day.

  31. PoscStudent what budget are you talking about ? From the article:

    "With just one month left in the current year, the latest numbers suggest the deficit for the full year will be below the government's estimated $53.8-billion."

    Are you talking about going over the estimates included in the budget brought down nearly a year and a half ago ?

    The auto bailouts make up the difference.

    Regardless you're showing a bit of ignorance about the ability of economists to forecast.

    5-10 billion is essentially a rounding error when dealing with figures this large. Anyone who promises or expects accuracy to that degree is in the snake oil bussiness.

    Regarding EKOS - i've given the reasons for my adjustments. As multiple commentators have said their Green and Other numbers are too high. And relative to other pollsters they lean against the CPC.

    The reasons you've given for your adjustments seem random and historically incorrect. NDP numbers don't go down during elections, in fact they tend to go up.

  32. Volkov I just spit out my drink!

    The Liberals have LESS organization support than they did during Dion's time.

    Less incumbent MPs means less time to organize and mentor candidates, lower office budgets, lower access to 10 percenters.

    The Quebec situation is still a mess.

    And fundraising barely recovered, which is only enough to cover last election's debts.

    The genius you guys hired to turn things around merely front loaded the big donors to give the appearance of success and then quit to run for mayor Toronto!

    Ignatieff = Dion in terms of polling.

    In terms of organizational strength he's WORSE than Dion.

  33. Shadow,

    And how would you know any of this, Shadow! I call shenanigans on these speculations of yours.

    Look at the facts on the ground: dependence on the subsidy is down majorly; donations are up hugely; retention of members is increasing; riding associations are better equipped and trained in better electoral tools; more high-quality candidates are appearing; pairing systems have been introduced to wide applause; Ignatieff is lauded by riding presidents for his attentiveness; etc.

    Where the problem lies for the LPC is in its sub-organizations, meaning LPCO, LPCQ, etc. These are moribund organizations, some filled with Turner-era holdouts! Turner!

    As I said, your speculation is questionable. Like Canadian "Sense" and BC "Voice of Reason," you seem to live in your own little worlds.

  34. Shadow,

    How do you know so much of the inner workings of the Liberal Party?

    I thought the CPC, was your field of expertise.

    If you and BCVOR, can manipulate polls to suit yourself why is POSC, not allowed to do the same.

    It is rather rude of you to tell people they are ignorant about economics, please be a little more polite.

    In the Ekos, and HD polls harper is not doing fantastic.

    Harper = Day levels of support.

  35. DL,

    "Oh really?? In the last election polls just before the '08 election was called had the NDP at 13 or 14% - and they ended up with 18% on election day."

    No actually they were polling several percentage points higher as you can see from here,_2006

    and here,_2008

    On several occasions before the election they polled slightly lower numbers but for the most part they didn't and then they went up during the campaign and then down several points on election night.

  36. All indications are that the Liberals have improved their organization, which would be pretty hard NOT to do considering the sorry state it was in after Dion became leader.

    Volkov is right - the increase in donations is proof enough.

  37. Actually Eric the increase in donations aren't that substantial when you consider retiring old debt and the new campaign spending rules.

    2 decisions in particular, which are the cost of GST no longer applying to the spending cap and the "in and out" scheme becoming legal.

    These give the CPC a comparative advantage not seen during the last election and to a degree that some modest improvement in fundraising cannot cancel out. (An improvement in fundraising which was mostly blown to put up those silly Narnia ads and those anti-prorogation radio ads).

    Alice over at pundits just put up a paper on the power of incumbency.

    This election the Liberals have far less incumbents, thus starting at a weaker position than Dion.

    And as I said, parliamentary budgets are per MP. Its indisputable that a reduced caucus means reduced resources to study issues with and reach out to voters.

    And Iggy's personal appeal to Canadians is now equal to or worse than Dion's was.

    Ignatieff starts from a weaker position than Dion did.

  38. 49 steps you need to brush up on your economics.

    Nobody of note called reducing the GST "bad policy" and certainly not because it removed $12 billion in annual revenue.

    It was a tax cut and the consensus opinion amongst economists at the the time was that tax cuts were a good idea and the removing annual revenue was indeed a good thing because of the constant surpluses being run.

    Most economists simply prefered that tax reductions take the form of an income tax cut.

    Although infometrica's modeling showed the cuts were highly stimulative, adding to GDP growth and creating jobs for Canadians.

    And removing the 3 billion dollar contingency fund was indeed a move endorsed by economists.

    Here's Don Drummond (fmr finance offical under the Liberals) talking about the 2006 budget and endorsing the move:

    "Conditions have changed and policy needs to adapt."

    "The buffers in the budget process had become a liability to good budget planning."

    " [the buffers] became an apparatus to keep tax burdens high in order to fund last-minute spending splurges. As such, good riddance to it."

  39. Actually, Shadow despite my own position that cutting the GST was good economics it was roundly criticized as bad economics. Most economists preferred income tax cuts.

    What was interesting was that the same people who condemned the GST cuts had also condemned the GST as a regressive tax when it was implemented.

  40. Earl:
    Peter you said you wanted to discuss the issues facing the country without partisan bickering. You start I'll respond.

    Earl that was on another thread here. Didn't even know this one was up till this morning.

  41. Stephen Harper timeline:

    1959: Stephen Joseph Harper, born
    in Toronto, Ontario.

    1978: Graduates, High school, moves
    to Alberta, to work in the
    petroleum industry. Lands a
    job in the mail room of
    Imperial Oil.

    1985: BA, University of Calgary.
    Then becomes chief aide to
    Calgary, PC MP Jim Hawkes.

    1987: Speaks at Reform Party's
    founding convention, and
    becomes Reform Party chief
    policy officer.

    1988: Drafts Reform Party,
    election platform. (Has a
    falling out with Hawkes,runs
    as a reformer with name
    appearing on ballot as Steve

    Run is unsuccessful. Later
    becomes Chief Assistant, and
    speech writer, for Deb Grey
    first Reform MP.

    1991: Graduates with Masters
    degree, in economics, U of C

    1993: Elected, MP for Calgary West
    defeating Jim Hawkes.
    (Harper's campaign, benefits
    from a $50,000 donation from
    the NCC, to launch an attack
    on Hawke's campaign.

    1997: Resigns as Reform MP, and
    is appointed VP, of the NCC

    1998: Promoted to president NCC.

    2002: Elected CA MP Calgary West.

    2004: Elected as first interim
    leader of newly merged
    party. Later elected leader

    2006: Elected Canada's 22nd PM.

    S. Harper = Not a working

    S. Harper = career politico

    S. Harper = Day levels of

  42. I checked the polling in 2008 - and the pattern was as follows for the NDP. Throughout the spring and summer of 2008 before the election was called, the NDP was in the doldrums often polling 14 or 15%. The election was actually called Labour Day weekend and after week 1 of the campaign the NDP had rebounded to about 18% and stayed there - though the final polls in the final weekend showed that they might get as much as 20%. In the end they got 18.2% - which was a bit less than the average of the final election eve polls but was definitely higher than what polls were projecting for the NDP before the election had been called.

    What the pattern will be this time is hard to say.

  43. Earl I think your correction was not nessecary given that in my above statement I said this:

    "Most economists simply prefered that tax reductions take the form of an income tax cut."

    Economists were calling for tax cuts.

    There were multiple policy options available on how to do that - payroll tax cut, income tax cut, sales tax cut, etc.

    My preference was to look at the effect payroll taxes have in terms of being a barrier to hiring more employees, specifically on employer mandated contributions. Of course in those days the labour market was pretty hot anyways.

    I understand your support for a GST cut. That's money people can see every time they buy something.

    Canadians had felt ignored and over taxed for a long time. The cuts had a real impact on their lives and went a long way to restoring trust in government.

    Economists can't really model those kinds of intangibles. And from their positions working in the big banks in Toronto they don't nessecarily have a feel for what Canadians are experiencing.

    In the end Harper listened to the economists by cutting taxes, he just did it in a different way.

  44. 49 steps please show my one poll in which Harper is within the marging of error of Day's 2000 election result.

    None exist.

    Regardless this rant about Harper not being a working economist is bizzare in the extreme.

    Economists work in other places than big banks and the finance department.

    They can be university proffesors. They can be in politics. They can work for labour unions. They can work for NGOs.

    All political parties and many organizations like the NCC hire economists to develop policy and cost them out.

    By getting a masters that means Harper would have done original research into the field of economics as part of his degree.

    Which, of course, counts as being a "working economist".

    We all know Harper wrote a variety of papers laying out policy options for Alberta and Canadians.

    Developing policy options is indeed something "working economists" do.

    In the end the distinction your trying to make doesn't exist. Economists apply what they learnt in a variety of occupations.

    Quite frankly i've never heard anyone go around saying so and so is a working economist and so and so is not before.

    Up until someone in the Liberal party created this false distinction to try and undermine the public's trust in Harper's economic judgement.

  45. Former Harper, Chief of staff Ian Brodie, was quoted as saying that the GST, cuts were bad policy but good politics, because it helped the CPC, get elected.

    Ian Brodie, offered a candid case study in politics, and policy. Ian Brodie PMSH, COS, delivered an astonishingly frank explanation, for why the conservatives cut the GST.

    Brodie was glad they cut the GST, even though just about every economist, and tax expert said it was a terrible bit of public policy.

    Quote from Ian Brodie:

    "Despite economic evidence to the contrary, in my view the GST cut worked"

    "It worked in the sense, that by the end of the 05-06 campaign voters identified,the CPC as the party of lower taxes. It worked in the sense, that it helped us win"

    Brodie spoke those words, at an annual conference of the Mcgill institute, for the study of Canada.

    In other words, Brodie said cutting the GST, was in itself, dubious policy, since taxing consumption is better for the economy, than taxing income that turns into investment, that is what generates prosperity. But that bad tax cut was in fact good because it allowed the CPC, to win office.

    It is not really surprising of course that campaign calculations lay behind the GST cuts, that have cost the federal government $12billion at the worst possible time.

    That has been obvious all along.

    Ian Brodie, former chief of staff to Harper admitted that the CPC, knew the GST cuts were bad policy, but they didn't care, they wanted to win office.

  46. Economists can't really model people's behaviour at all. That's the problem with mainstream economics.

  47. S. Harper = Day levels of

    25.5 was Day's election result. A 6% gain over the previous election and an increase in seats.

    Harper (according to this poll) is 10% above that mark. (and more than double the seats)

    I don't know what sort of twisted math you are using to compare the numbers there 49,..... but I suggest you look back at the last 2 polls and see which one of the 2 main parties/leaders has fallen below Day's election day result.

    I'll give you a hint 49... He has 25% support, and 16% of people want him to be Prime Minister. I'm not sure Dion or Day were ever that low on the best PM question.

  48. "What was interesting was that the same people who condemned the GST cuts had also condemned the GST as a regressive tax when it was implemented."

    I keep forgetting Earl... was it a bad tax that would disproportionally hit the poor people of Canada when it was implemented.

    Or was Harper systematically attacking the poor people with bad economics removing part of the GST instead of other taxes??

  49. 49 steps you are aware that Ian Brodie is a political scientist and NOT an economist ?

    You are aware that the COS in the PMO doesn't formulate tax policy right ?

    Brodie was speaking about his success, as someone who worked on the campaign, in getting Harper elected.

    He wasn't speaking at a forum on the relative merit of tax policy. He would not have been qualified to do so.

    But he did hit on a key point. Canadians felt like their government cared about lower taxes.

    The effect on consumer confidence, attracting investment, and the national mood are hard to measure but extremely worthwhile.

    And infometrica's modelling did show it was highly stimulative, adding to the GDP and creating jobs for Canadians.

    Jobs for Canadians = bad policy according to the Liberals ?

    Explain that one to me!

  50. Barcs you forgot to mention that Flaherty kept the refunds at 6% even though the tax dropped to 5%.

    Some people now get more back than they actually pay in the first place.

    I guess he was really out to get the poor/students/fixed incomes that day !

    Lol. Still waiting for PM Chretien to get rid of that evil tax like they promised ...

  51. Harper has but a Masters degree in economics, and no body of professional work.

    No one would ever think to call every Tom, Dick, and Harry, an economist simply by virtue of the fact they have an MA, in the subject. In the case of Harper, the media has made an exception.

    When stacked up against Irwin Cottler, Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, and John Mccallum, Harper is an academic pip squeak.
    There is no cause to treat him as having anywhere near the academic credentials that they do.

    It is particularly asinine to talk about the PM, being an economist and not pay homage to John McCallum, who has a PHD, and has taught at various universities, and was the chief economist for the Royal bank.

  52. 49 Steps,

    You forgot to mention that Harper started out as a Liberal.

  53. Barcs you've basically got it right both both ways.

  54. 49 steps there is no proffesional licensing body for economists precisely because the distinction you're trying to create is so laughably non-existent.

    Right on cue you go to McCallum who worked for one of the big Toronto banks.

    As I said economists use their knowledge in a variety of fields, not just the big banks.

    And what they do in those jobs is their body of work.

    Harper, sometimes with fellow academic Tom Flangian, has published a variety of papers.

    The infamous "firewall" letter that Liberals like to talk about is actually a detailed policy document analyzing the pros and cons of a number of possible initiatives that the provincial gov't was advised to undertake to protect itself from federal intrusion, such as the creation of an Albertan police force.

    Regardless, Harper is generally considered to be quite intelligent and well accomplished.

    On the occasion of his 51st birthday Craig Oliver recently recounted meeting Harper back when he was 30 and remarking that if someone had told him he'd be Prime Minister one day he wouldn't have been too surprised.

    49 steps i'm honestly not sure why you keep going on about this drivel. Economics doesn't really seem to be your thing.

    I still haven't heard a response from the devastating critique Don Drummond leveled at your 3 billion contingency fund or why on earth you thought it was a bad thing for Harper to do ??

  55. Stephen J Harper, Economist:

    Sept 15 2008: "My own belief is if we we're going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now.

    Next month Dow Jones plunges 2340 points.

    Oct 7 2008: "I think there is probably a lot of great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market, as a consequence of all the panic.

    Six weeks later the TSX down over 2000 points.

    Sept 26 2008 "All the fundamentals of the Canadian economy are good. Its not the time to do anything new wild, or stupid.

    Oct 6 2008 " I know economists will say we could run a very small deficit, but the problem is that once you cross that line as we see in the US, nothing stops deficits from getting larger and larger and spiralling out of control"

    Oct 8 2008 " Running even a small deficit would be a bad thing"

    Jim Flaherty

    Oct 10 2008 "This country will not go into recession or deficit next year" (Stephen Harper)

    Nov 22 2008 "There are of course the classic circumstances under which budgetary deficits are absolutely essential" (PMSH)

    Nov 27 2008 "Flaherty predicts recession, and offers no stimulus package"

    Dec 15 2008 "The truth is I have never seen such uncertainty in terms of looking forward to the future. I am very worried about the Canadian economy obviously we are going to have to run a deficit"

    Dec 16 2008 "Obviously a depression is possible" (PMSH)

    Dec 17 2008 "It's quite clear on the basis of the forecasts and the continuing decline in the forecasts that there will be a deficit" (PMSH)

    Dec 18 2008 Harper says deficit could hit 30 billion.

    Shadow, I guess economics isn't Harper's "THING" either.

    Also, how far back in Canadian history do we have to go to find a Conservative government or PM, that actually managed to balance the books even for 1 year?

    We have to go back to the year the Titanic sunk in 1912,to Sir Robert Borden. Conservative PM,s have run nothing but deficits until Harper came along and inherited a large Liberal surplus.

    When Chretien took over from Mulroney, he inherited a $42 billion deficit. There were no excuses for Mulroney to do this, he had back to back majorities.

    Economics: not a conservative strong point.

  56. 49 steps you're showing a lack of understanding of the ability of economist to predict the future.

    Your apparent expectation that they can and that they should be right 100% of the time is rather ignorant of the field.

    Those quotes prove economics is indeed Harper's thing.

    Those were the consensus opinions of just about everybody in the field at the time.

    Dr. Doom and a handful of others predicted the global economic recession but that's about it.

    By its very nature massive losses mean that almost everybody was wrong.

    Anyone with any knowledge about economics knows that the ability to predict the future doesn't exist. Even Warren Buffet lost money!

    BTW Trudeau NEVER once ran a balanced budget. And he was around a long longer than Mulroney and had his own majorities.

    When Mulroney came along he inherited quite a mess but he turned that ship around by creating free trade and bringing in the GST.

    Those steps eventually brought us into a balanced budget.

  57. Shadow said,

    "Those quotes prove that economics is indeed Harper's thing"

    They do no such thing. They do nothing but illustrate Harper's complete ignorance on the economic file.

    Harper also has NO BODY of work as an economist, nor has he ever wrote a thesis, on the subject of economics.

    Harper is nothing but a career politician, who happens to have an MA, in economics.

    Harper, has not had any significant career outside of politics.

    Harper has the THINNEST resume of any Canadian PM ever.

    Harper masquerades, as an economist, and he is no such thing.

    Shadow, only you could defend that.

    For Shame.

  58. 49 steps its ridiculous to argue over a PM's resume when he is ALREADY the PM.

    On Harper's resume:

    Prime Minister of Canada.

    Kinda beats anything the Liberal party is offering in terms of achievement doesn't it ?

    Regardless you're continuing on this bizzare assertion that Harper is not an economist.

    I've tried to educate you on the fact that economists work in a variety of capacities. That there is no proffesional licensing body precisely because their body of work is so varied.

    Harper has a masters in economics.

    That is an accomplishment that shows he has a deep understanding of the economics file.

    The fact that he didn't subseqently become an academic researcher doesn't somehow invalidate that.

    C'mon 49, this is pretty desperate.

    Harper's government has been universally recognized by the international community and commentators as having the best economic policy in the world.

    These guys have won awards.

    Flaherty recently snapped his fingers and killed a bank tax that the big European powers were pushing for.

    You're grasping for straws. Harper's shown an unusually deft ability to ride the waves of economic turbulence. His masters degree in economics no doubt has had some part in that.

  59. Shadow,

    You can't educate me or anybody else on anything.

    Canada's banking system is the envy of the world.

    That reputation, is in large part due to the strength, and foresight of Liberals governments policy and supervision.

    Chretien/Martin, did not let the banks merge, and our banks remained strong because of all the bank regulations Martin established.

    Stephen Harper, has nothing to do with the strength of our banks, and was in fact against all the bank regulations Martin established.

    You can spin things any way you want. I don't care

    If Harper had never meandered along, we would be in a much stronger fiscal position.

    As we speak Paul Martin, is in Europe, speaking to European finance ministers, on how to get their financial houses in order.

    He is also being sought out in European capitals, for his advice on fixing up their banking and financial sectors.

    Harper may have the title of PM, but he is a sorry excuse of a leader.

    Harper has done nothing but live off the Liberal record.

    You can say what you like, Harper will never garner the respect that Paul Martin does, here or in Europe.

    Harper/Flaherty, have destroyed the fisacal framework of this nation.

    Liberals will have a mop up to do once again.

    I do not care to respond to anymore of your posts, so you can do all your spinning in vain.

  60. 49 steps bank mergers have nothing to do with the health of our financial sector.

    Its actually capital requirements and leverage ratios that set them apart, not size. Most of that work is done by the superintendent of financial institutions.

    Legislatively the big lifts happened in the 80's.

    But its also Canada's Economic Action Plan that is recognized around the world for its efficient design. Temporary, targetted, and timely as they say.

    That's directly attributable to Harper/Flaherty. I'm glad they took the time and effort required and consulted with a panel of advisors like Carole Taylor instead of going along with the poorly constructed stimuls offered by the opposition in the fall of 2008!

    Regardless it seems you're bent on blaming anything bad on Harper and anything good on previous gov'ts. Talk about having it both ways!

    Anyways, I suggest finding another topic that you're more knowledgeable about. Speak from your own background and experience.

    Trying to undermine Harper's stellar economic record might sound more plausible from McCallum, but talking points repeated second hand do not.

    Still waiting for some recognition that economists supported getting rid of the 3 billion contingency fund ...

  61. But its also Canada's Economic Action Plan that is recognized around the world for its efficient design. Temporary, targetted, and timely as they say.

    "They" being not the Fraser Inst., that conservative think tank, that royally trashed it.

    Funny how what I quoted looks like "Talking Points" isn't ?

  62. Peter the Frasier Institute is ideologically opposed to government spending.

    Its hard to trust their analysis of a stimulus package when they believe stimuls packages are evil.

    People like the OECD have a better sense of these things.

  63. Shadow,

    Telling me to stick to a subject relating to my background and experiences, was an incredibly rude thing for you to say.

    You know nothing about me. my background, or my experiences.

    That was condescending, and arrogant.

    I did not speak to you in that manner at all, I have certainly never told you to stick to subjects relating to your background, and your experiences.

    I of course would know nothing about your background.

    Thank You, for being so insulting, and dismissive of my views.

    I in future will no longer address you at all.

    I hope Eric lets this post go through, because I feel it only fair, that I can offer a defense against your unwarranted, and unprovoked personal attack.

    Thanks Shadow

  64. 49 steps you have my apologies.

    I quite honestly meant it as a helpful bit of advice.

    It was just quite obvious that economics isn't really your thing. Its easy to tell the difference between someone who is repeating talking points on a subject and someone who actually understands the subject.

    If you want to be the most effective in supporting the Liberals then i'll repeat my advice.

    Talk to people about subjects you're interested in and have some knowledge/experience with. Outline policy differences between the Liberals and the Conservatives in that area.

    Just because the economy is the #1 concern of Canadians and Harper is recognized as being a competent economic manger doesn't mean that you need to come on to blogs and post talking points about the subject.

    People care about other subjects too. And i'm sure they'd like to hear what you have to say on them.

  65. Shadow said,

    "It was just quite obvious economics isn't really your thing.
    Its easy to tell the difference between someone who is repeating talking points on a subject and someone who actually understands the subject"

    Well Shadow, look in the mirror. I can't count the number of times you have been taken to task over your economic theories.

    I understand economics quite well, and I will talk about them whenever I want. I certainly do not need your permission to discuss economics, or any other subject.

    As for posting talking points, I do not know whether to laugh or cry at the statement, because that is basically all you do.

    Your last statement again was rude and condescending.

    How dare you presume yourself to be the economic expert on this board.

    How dare you tell me what to talk about.

    How dare you tell me what subjects I excel at, and tell me people are interested in other subjects, and to talk about them.

    Again I will repeat, you are rude, arrogant, and condescending.

    Do you ever notice yourself, the amount of times other posters tell you, you are wrong and you are just talking points?

    Do you ever notice that moist other posters do not even take you seriously?

    Do you ever notice how many times you are mocked?

    So Shadow, I will say it again, I am done with you. It is obvious to all that you are only here to tow the CPC line.

    Eric, after that insulting post Shadow posted in response to me, I hope you will let this through.

    I have not said anything in this post any worse than what he just said.

  66. Please don't address me in posts asking me not to reject them. I'll decide.

  67. Take it easy, 49. You're allowing yourself to be pissed off, which makes you miss the truck sized holes in the argument that is otherwise winning by default.

    For example, we are lectured that Mulroney is the reason why Martin was able to balance the books and reduce the national debt, despite the national debt quadrupling under Mulroney. Yet we now hear that Harper and co are mainly responsible for the success of the stimulus package, and they are mainly responsible for our internationally admired banking system. For some reason (well actually an obvious reason), when it comes to praising Harper, there is no opposition demanding changes to measures such as stimulus, and there is no history before he was PM such as refusing bank deregulation.

    The attempts to rile are deliberate. The personal attacks veiled as "helpful advice" are deliberate. Keep cool and never ever forget this. You're generally refuting everything that is being tossed at you, so you're doing great.

    My personal view is that a country with such massive natural resources and relatively small population would be very hard pressed to have economic problems, despite having an incompetent government. We would have to deliberately set out to ruin ourselves, and even then, the inertia of our system and economy would carry on for a very long time. That is why we're still around, despite having been sold down the river by Mulroney, and despite the current attempts at the same by Harper.

  68. Liberal Supporter its the debt to GDP ratio that matters more than the actual value of the debt itself.

    Mulroney inherited a very high debt to GDP ratio and a structural deficit. He managed to bring it down year after year during his first term as he grew the economy.

    Unfortunately during his second term Trudeau's poisonous legacy of debt came back to haunt Canada. The BOC brought in high interest rates to fight inflation. This drove up debt servicing costs to an unsustainable level and was blamed for the 1990 recession, which only made matters worse by slowing revenues considerably.

    In dealing with the deficit Chretien benefited from low interest rates and good US growth (start of the tech revolution) that Canada benefited from because of free trade.

    Revenues from the GST were so strong that he scrapped his promise to get rid of it.

    In the end, of course, the budget wasn't truly balanced until the oil boom hit. Surpluses before that point were an illusion of downloaded deficits to the provinces and raiding the 40 billion EI fund.

    That's the only defence of Mulroney you'll hear from me.

    I freely admit that while being very good on the supply side (like Reagan) he was never good at holding down gov't spending.

    That's why Reform was needed and eventually a Harper majority. Pro-growth economics and real fiscal discipline could revolutionize this country and provide enough wealth to turn us into a true global power punching far above its weight.


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