Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ipsos-Reid Poll: 8-pt Conservative Lead

Ipsos-Reid released a new poll on the weekend, and it shows relative stability - though also a small drop for the Liberals.Compared to their last poll at the beginning of May, the Conservatives remain steady at 35%. The Liberals have dropped two to 27% while the New Democrats are stable at 16%.

The Greens are up two to 11% and the Bloc Québécois is holding at 10%.

Of note is that the Liberals lead among women, with 30% to the Tories' 27%. The Conservatives dominate among men, however, 42% to 24%.

In Ontario, the Liberals have taken the lead (38%) with a two point gain. The Conservatives drop three (33%) and the NDP is up two to 18%. Fake Lake?

In Quebec, the Bloc is up six points to 45%, followed by the Liberals at 21% (down two). The Conservatives fall away to 12%, down seven points. The NDP is down two to 11%. While this is a big number for the Bloc, they have been trending upwards across the board.

In British Columbia, the Tories are up four to 46%. The NDP is down four to 20%, the Liberals down five to 17%, and the Greens up five to 14%.

Then we get into very small sample sizes, demonstrated by the Tories' 11-point gain in Atlantic Canada, where they lead with an improbable 44%. The Liberals drop eight to 27% and the NDP drops ten to 15%.

In Alberta, the Tories are up six to 60%, followed by the Liberals (down 12) and the NDP (up seven), who are tied at 15%.

The Conservatives lead in the Prairies with 48%. The NDP is down six to 17% here.

The Conservatives win 75 seats in the West, 35 in Ontario, 3 in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada (they smack hard up against the ceiling here) for a total of 126.

The Liberals win 11 in the West and North, 55 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 97.

The Bloc wins 56 seats in Quebec, their best ever.

The NDP wins 8 seats in the West and North, 16 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 3 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 29.

Significantly, the Liberal-NDP total is 126 seats - tied with the Conservatives.

But then this brings up the topic of a merger, which Ipsos-Reid has kindly investigated.

According to their findings, it isn't such a hot idea. While only 30% of Canadians nationally think it is a good idea (and 56% think it is a bad idea), the problem is among Liberal and NDP supporters. Liberals don't seem to like the idea: only 37% of them think it is a good idea, while 55% think it is not. NDP supporters like it a little more (44%), but are still, overall, against it (49%).

But we seriously need to question whether any of this merger talk is anything more than that - talk. The Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives were different sides of the same coin, and it made sense for them to merge. The Liberals and NDP are very different. One is, well, a liberal party and the other a social democratic party. Those are not different sides of the same coin.

Of course, it is possible that a merged Liberal Democrat Party would have the same kind of success that the Conservatives did: a significant drop in combined support in their first election, and electoral wins afterwards. But the difference is that, unlike in 2004, a merged Liberal Democratic Party would not be able to depend on vote-splitting and a multitude of parties to keep the main opposition to a minority. There would be a serious risk that the merged party's first election would end in a Conservative majority - which would sort of defeat the point.

The solution is co-operation, like we're seeing in Great Britain. Talk of mergers is silly, the two parties are very different. A great number of Liberals will not vote for a party including the NDP, and a great number of Dippers will not vote for a party that includes the Liberals. We'd likely see a boost in support for the Tories on the one hand and the Greens on the other.

What Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton need to do is talk about possible future co-operation if the Conservatives can't form another viable minority. Perhaps even have an unofficial non-aggression pact, keeping the majority of their electoral attacks reserved for the Tories. Maybe the two parties could even agree not to run candidates in ridings where vote splitting is a real problem. That doesn't mean a riding like Gatineau, where the Liberals and NDP both had over 25%, but ridings like Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, where the Conservatives won with 45% to the NDP's 44%. The Liberals had only 4% support there. In situations like these, the Liberals or NDP could step aside and give the other party a better chance, without seriously hurting their own party's morale.

And a coalition is not the only outcome. If the Liberals and NDP both do well in an election, the Liberals could form a minority government that, with the support of the NDP on individual measures, can easily command a majority. In such a case, the Liberals and NDP would both benefit from the situation without the "spectre" of a coalition. The Liberals would form government and the NDP would be able to work with a party with which it has more in common. And then, when the NDP and Liberals don't see eye-to-eye, the government could look to the Bloc or Conservatives for support.

Co-operation needs to be the slogan of the NDP and Liberals in the next election. Canadians want co-operation. They don't want the kind of bickering, partisan parliament we currently have in Ottawa. And co-operation doesn't mean between the Liberals and NDP only. Just co-operation. Mature, sober decision-making between parties. Ignatieff and Layton just have to talk about co-operation and about improving the tone in Ottawa and the way politics are done. Canadians would be receptive to that, and it leaves the option of either collaboration or coalition on the table.

64 comments:

  1. ERic:

    Ignatieff and Layton just have to talk about co-operation and about improving the tone in Ottawa and the way politics are done.

    Which has always been the way it is done here. Only with the advent of the "attack" Tories has it suddenly become verboten.

    Didn't hear Dief screaming "coalition" when Douglas supported Pearson. Let's get back to some semblance of civility.

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  2. "In Ontario, the Liberals have taken the lead (38%) with a two point gain. The Conservatives drop three (33%) and the NDP is up two to 18%. Fake Lake?"

    No,... Fake journalists.

    First with reporting a million dollar figure which includes all kinds of stuff as solely the lake (which was just more than 50k.)

    Then comparing a billion dollar figure for construction, security catering, etc etc with a police overtime bill in london (18 mill) and New York (28 mill)

    I am not saying there isn't alot of waste, but I just wish the media would actually research and report on things that are wasteful. Lumping a bunch of stuff together under a snazzy heading and attaching a figure out of the air... is dishonest at best.

    The new news channel coming with a conservative bent cannot come soon enough. I would hope it might bring a little journalistic integrity back to the field.


    And if we want to save money on the event.... perhaps we could ask a few of the 20,000 sightseers to stay home, and only bring the people that are involved in the work. I don't know why they need 2 g20 summits a year either.

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  3. Peter: "Only with the advent of the "attack" Tories has it suddenly become verboten.

    Didn't hear Dief screaming "coalition" when Douglas supported Pearson. Let's get back to some semblance of civility."

    I don't think that's a fair analogy. What made the 2008 proposed coalition "verboten" was two factors. First, it was going to include (in some manner) the Bloc (whose formal support was neccesary for the other two parties, who between them only had 114 seats, to be able to make any claim on forming a government) . That's a problem, at least in English Canada (who, after all, account for ~90% of the Seats held by the three federalist parties). The Liberals should have known that any sort of formal agreement with the Bloc was going to be political equivalent plutonium. The outrage that proposal provoked wasn't the creation of the Tory machine (would that the Tory machine were that efficient, they wouldn't be polling at 35% now), it reflected genuine angst in English Canada about the idea of giving the Bloc control of the government(which was reflected in a massive shift to the Tories in opinion polls taken at the time).

    The second problem with the 2008 proposal was that Stephane Dion proposed to enter into a coalition with the NDP only a few months after specifically ruling out such an option in the 2008 election (which position he took in order to encourage people to vote strategically for the Liberals). So to turn around and propose to enter into such a coalition was problematic, and it came across as the act of a desperate man gambling it all on a chance to be PM rather than the considered actions of a party leader acting in the best interest of the country. (As an aside, the fact that Dion has specifically ruled out a coalition during the 2008 election campaign made it almost a certainty that, had the government fallen, the GG would have called an election, instead of giving Dion a chance to govern on the basis of a coalition that he rejected during the campaign. And she would have been right to do so).

    The moral of the 2008 election is that, if you want to form a coalition, you shouldn't invite separatist parties to join you and you shouldn't rule out a coalition during the election. You'll note that in the recent UK election, each party expressed a willingness to work with the others in a coalition during that election, and the coalition that was ultimately formed excluded the various separatist parties (with whose support Labour might have been able to put together a coalition with the Liberals).

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  4. Carl:

    Didn't hear Dief screaming "coalition" when Douglas supported Pearson. Let's get back to some semblance of civility."

    I don't think that's a fair analogy. What made the 2008 proposed coalition "verboten" was two factors. First, it was going to include (in some manner) the Bloc (whose formal support was necessary for the other two parties, who between them only had 114 seats, to be able to make any claim on forming a government) .


    Two errors here in your full post.

    First and foremost the Bloc was NOT part of the coalition. All the Bloc agreed to do was not vote non-confidence. For a limited period of time.

    Second no previous minority Govt had ever entered into a formal agreement, signed and sealed.

    Three if the Tory attack squad hadn't er4upted the whole thing would have disappeared as the Govt would have survived a confidence vote.

    The instant you bring up the "Separatist" bit you immediately brand yourself as a Tory troll. The Bloc are legally elected by Canadians. If you can't stomach that then move elsewhere.

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  5. The moral of the 2008 election is that, if you want to form a coalition, you shouldn't invite separatist parties to join you and you shouldn't rule out a coalition during the election.
    No, the moral of the coalition was "don't count your chickens before they hatch". After running a disastrous campaign, Dion gave further proof that might not be able to lead a government either by revealing the existence of a coalition agreement before having defeated the Harper regime in a no confidence vote. They had to keep their powder dry until the House was actually sitting and Harper could not simply phone the GG, before introducing the non-con motion. Had this come to pass, Harper would have been the leader of a defeated government and he would not be in much of a position to demand a prorogue. The coalition would have formed a government and been allowed its kick at the can.
    Of course it would be blamed for running deficits in the stimulus package, but the important time between the US election and inauguration would not have been lost, and the Buy America exclusion of Canada could have been headed off right then.

    And by now the coalition would have been vindicated for removing the Harper regime, since we would now know all the sordid details of the detainees affair, i.e. what Messrs Harper and Mackay knew, when they knew, and what did they do about it.

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  6. In Atlantic Canada the poll (I agree, improbably) gives the Tories 44% to the Libs 27%, but you still predict the Libs will win the seat battle, 17-12. That seems unlikely to me. Tory support can only concentrate in a few ridings to a certain extent. At some point it has to become more widespread.

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  7. "First and foremost the Bloc was NOT part of the coalition. All the Bloc agreed to do was not vote non-confidence. For a limited period of time."

    In other words the bloc would go along and vote with them until such time as they wanted something..... at which point the lib/ndp coalition would have to decide how much to give... since not giving would mean that we would have an immediate election and the Lib/NDP might lose power. How much would they give of taxpayers money to stay in power??

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  8. Now I understand this whole G8, spending fiasco.

    It is all the fault of the media.

    The media made Stephen Harper, spend $1.2 billion on this three day waste of time.

    The media made Harper, waste money on a "fake lake" and toilets to nowhere, and a steamboat refit that is not even being used for the G8.

    The media made Tony Clement, go on a wild orgy of spending in his own riding, and dole out the money hand over fist like there is no tomorrow.

    The media made Harper, have a total lack of judgement, and put his incompetence on display for all to see.

    I guess the media, is also responsible for Stephen Harper, pushing to host this summit in the first place, especially when the real summit is in Seoul, South Korea, in November.

    The media made Stephen Harper, do it all.

    Conservative supporters are amusing. They don't attack this colossal waste of taxpayers money, no they attack the media.

    They don't attack Harper, for aptly displaying he is not a fiscal Conservative, and showing he has no respect for taxpayers, or their money, no they attack the media.

    Conservative supporters just loved it, when the media was after the Liberals, for their spending scandals. They lapped it up, and just couldn't wait for their daily fix.

    My oh My but when the shoe is on the other foot they scream bloody blue murder.

    They scream that the media is out to get them.

    This is truly pathetic, and hypocritical.

    And to think that we do not have any right wing media in this country is to truly have your head in the sand.

    I guess CTV, the National Post, and the Sun media chain have not earned their Tory stripes.

    All those three do is constantly cheer lead for the Tories.

    Stephen Harper, and only Stephen Harper, is responsible for this fiasco. He is the Prime Minister of this nation and is responsible for everything that happens on his watch.

    Wear this fiasco with pride Mr Harper, because it looks so good on you.

    Bravo Sir, I mean really bravo for showing the nation what you are really all about.

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  9. Bravo Sir, I mean really bravo for showing the nation what you are really all about.

    Not to mention that if the Harpo's weren't so secretive the media wouldn't have had to speculate nearly as much !

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  10. How much would they give of taxpayers money to stay in power??

    Probably less than the Tories are now. And you are making the assumption that what the Bloc wants would receive Tory support to defeat the coalition. You really think that is going to happen ??

    Oh but of course, Harper tried to make a deal with the dreaded "Separatist" didn't he to defeat Martin in the house. Even wrote to the GG about it. You guys really have short memories!!

    So it's OK for the Tories to do a deal with the Bloc but not for the Liberals. Talk about hypocrisy !!!!!

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  11. 49, pay attention. I said there was lots of misspending (and am really quite annoyed).

    I just want the media to report on it and use facts instead of making up stuff to attack the tories with.


    "They don't attack Harper, for aptly displaying he is not a fiscal Conservative, and showing he has no respect for taxpayers, or their money, no they attack the media."

    ...We try,.... but that seems to go against the narrative that he is a evil rightwinger that only cuts things. Its too bad the media wants to continue that narrative instead ofreporting facts.


    "My oh My but when the shoe is on the other foot they scream bloody blue murder.
    They scream that the media is out to get them."

    Didn't you watch wafergate?? Guergis's smearing by the press? How long did they try to keep the prorogation in the media? was it months like they said? or only 2 weeks and then the olympics.

    I know I am paranoid, but I always wonder, am I paranoid enough?... Maybe moreso when the target feeds it. Is there a difference in the media coverage between Jaffer's DUI, and Rodriguez's? Svend Robinson (the jewel thief) was treated like a hero for combating cleptomania.. its an affliction, and he is really a good guy. When the tory documents turned up in Mark Holland's hands,... why did the media go after the tories for not remembering them instead of the man who had boxes marked for commons staff to move them to new offices??

    And through it all 49, ctv is right there parroting the same lines as the CBC. They might approach the center once in awhile, but being to the right of the CBC doesn't qualify them as right wing.



    "Not to mention that if the Harpo's weren't so secretive the media wouldn't have had to speculate nearly as much !"

    Huh?? Media speculate? The fact that they speculate at all should raise a red flag with you that they are not just conveying facts, but creating a narrative of their own. Election speculation every few months anyone?

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  12. "And you are making the assumption that what the Bloc wants would receive Tory support to defeat the coalition. You really think that is going to happen ??"

    A non-confidence doesn't result in the bloc getting anything. It results in an election. And some parties might have the courage to vote their principles instead of having their MP's stay home to avoid an election because they are scared to try.



    "How much would they give of taxpayers money to stay in power??
    Probably less than the Tories are now."

    I know I know..... I hear Iggy say it all the time.... He will give us way way more, while spending less, while creating massive programs and mega projects while reducing taxes. All I remember is the coalition demanding stimulus spending, stating that they would do an immediate amount the same as Harper did with more to come after. How that, or any of the other increased spending would result in less spending I have no idea.

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  13. The recent boarding of a Turkish vessel which tried to cross a blockade by Israel commandos is another good example of lazy reporting.

    For days after the only source of information that there was 6 ships, not 1 was in talk radio and Isreal government press releases.

    Why didn't the media show the tape of the commandos boarding shouting to each other not to shoot.... being beaten by the peaceful activists on that one ship? The commando thrown over a railing 30ft to the lower deck before they asked for permission from command to unholster their guns. When shooting to disable the peace activists pulled guns and shot back. There were several deaths.

    Why did it take so long for facts other than "Isrealie commandos boarded a ship and killed a bunch of peace activists" to be reported??

    Lazy reporting? Or willful narrative building?


    And when the next ship tries to jump the blockade... Will they risk this form of "unbiased reporting" again?? Or just destroy the ship and all the people and cargo aboard to avoid dealing with.... "journalists".

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  14. Well, Peter, to point out, Mulroney's coalition was based on courting the separatist vote for the PCs. The Conservatives have a long history of pandering to them.

    Yet when the Liberals, a party which has strengthened Canada's federation more times than the Conservatives could count, get an agreement whereby the Bloc says it will avoid every and any reference to separation and focus on the economic and domestic affairs of both Quebec and Canada in conjunction with the two other Opposition parties, it's treason.

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  15. Volkov:

    Given the blatant Tory attack methods the picture inevitably has been corrupted.

    It is just another example of the Rove style politics the Tories are utilising.

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  16. All I remember is the coalition demanding stimulus spending,

    Yes you would as that is a prime Tory "talking point".

    Try not drinking the Kool Aid, it may help.

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  17. Lazy reporting? Or willful narrative building?

    Or is it that Israel did a massive censorship job??

    Did you know that all those killed where killed by a minimum of two shots to the head delivered at a distance of less than 15 cm's??

    That's EXECUTION chum !!

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  18. All,

    Is it just me or are we simply watching Chrétien, Broadbent, Romanow, Kinsella et al. whistling in the wind?

    I could be wrong but this trial balloon seems to be going nowhere. I don't see a coalition in the works unless it's with two newly discovered parties! As for a merger -- not even in my dreams. It ain't on for Liberals and New Democrats.

    Sure, we can talk and co-operate but to my mind, that's as far as it will go until after the next election. Even if we lose, please introduce me to the person who can make a coalition happen. I haven't met him or her yet and I doubt I ever will.

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  19. I haven't met him or her yet and I doubt I ever will.

    Certainly not with the current set of leaders. Sorry but they are all CRAP !

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  20. Libby Davies goes way way way off any party line questioning the right of Israel to exist and advocating sanctions against them.

    Mr. Layton demands and gets a mild apology that she apologizes for being misunderstood.

    That is good enough for Mr. Layton. It will be interesting to see how the one-time front runner for the Lib-Dem leadership does in the leadership polls and how his party fares in the horse race polls.

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  21. http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/06/05/absolute-power/2/

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  22. aka

    Helen Thomas

    Layton should have fired her posthaste

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  23. Peter,

    There is nothing quite like the satisfaction from doing a job, uh, well...but this is ridiculous and will make no friends for Israel.

    No one doubts the activists weren't exactly angels but this amounts to a tremendous Middle East setback -- no matter how you slice it.

    Poor Bibi. He's really going a country mile to undermine whatever slim chance for peace existed prior to this incident. And he will undoubtedly achieve his goal.

    More same old, same old, for say, the next fifty years.

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  24. Ronald,

    I personally think its just Romanow and Kinsella. Chretien has never been on record saying anything about the current round of coalition/merger rumours.

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  25. I for one think that Ignatieff should set an example by expelling all of the Liberals MPs who contravene Liberal party policy by being against abortion rights and same sex marriage.

    I'm probably one of the few people who actually watched Libby Davies interview in its entirely and I actually agreed with virtually everything she said. Of course the "occupation" began to some extent in 1948 - just like to First Nations the occupation of the Americas began in 1492 - it doesn't mean that Israel or Canada or the US or Argentina have no "right to exist" its simply acknowledging the fact that these countries (like most other countries in the world) exist because land was taken from someone else. No one is suggesting putting toothpaste back into a toothpaste tube - but it is a historic fact.

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  26. Peter let's consider you criticisms one at a time, shall we?

    "First and foremost the Bloc was NOT part of the coalition. All the Bloc agreed to do was not vote non-confidence. For a limited period of time."

    They weren't part of the coalition, they just agreed that they would support the coalition for a period of time. To me that seems to fall under the "in some manner". In any event, that distinction between "being part of a coalition" and "agreeing not to vote non-confidence in a coalition" is really a distinction without a difference. Given that coalition agreement provided that "upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois", I'm not sure on what basis you can claim with a straight-face that this wasn't a de facto coalition of the Bloc, NDP and Grits (but you don't have to believe me, see for yourself, it's section 3 of the accord between the NDP and the Grits - http://www.caw.ca/assets/pdf/CooperativeAccord_en%281%29.pdf.

    "Second no previous minority Govt had ever entered into a formal agreement, signed and sealed."

    So what? If anything that just emphasizes my prior point that this was a de facto coalition between the three opposition parties. The fact that the Bloc wasn't a party to the coalition accord doesn't really tell us anything, since, as you point out, a formal agreement isn't a prerequisite for a coalition government (and never has been).


    continued below

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  27. Continued from above:

    "Three if the Tory attack squad hadn't er4upted the whole thing would have disappeared as the Govt would have survived a confidence vote."

    The belief that the controversy that erupted after the coalition was announced was driven by the Tory attack machine is premised on the assumption that Canadians are brain-dead sheep who can be easily manipulated by the Tories. That's both insulting to Canadians and undeservingly credits the Tories with being far more competent than they are. Since the Tories haven't been able to replicate the poll results that came out in December 2008 (despite their best efforts) it's not clear that there's any basis for that assumption. People were genuinely upset and the Tories just played on that. There's a reason why Iggy backed out of the coalition. His people were telling him that it was political suicide - maybe they were Tory trolls too.

    Moreover, before the coalition could survive a confidence vote, it would have to bring down the government and form one of their own. The GG would have no obligation to accept Dion's offer to form a government, and given both the public uproar surrounding the coalition and Dion's opposition to a coalition during the election, the most likely result would be that she'd take the easy road out and dissolve parliament forcing another election (in which, based on the polling at the time, the Liberals would have been pounded and the Tories probably would have won a massive majority).

    "The instant you bring up the "Separatist" bit you immediately brand yourself as a Tory troll. The Bloc are legally elected by Canadians. If you can't stomach that then move elsewhere."

    So calling the Bloc "separatist" makes me a Tory Troll? If I call the Tories "conservatives" or the NDP "social democrats" is that troll-like behaviour too? The Bloc ARE separatists. You know that right? Yes, they were elected by Canadians. But, by the same token, Canadians who don't vote for them are equally entitled to say that they won't vote for a party that forms a coalition with them (just as they're free to say that they won't vote for a party that forms a coalition any other party whose policies they don;t like) and to punish any party that does at the polls.

    Of course, the best part about your last point is that apparently you have no reasoned argument to rebut my earlier statements, or anything more compelling than a (silly) ad hominem attack. I guess that means I win.

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  28. Re: Barcs
    "The recent boarding of a Turkish vessel which tried to cross a blockade by Israel commandos is another good example of lazy reporting."

    Two points. First; no it wasn't.

    Israel was in full possession of all video and audio of the event so any delay in release owes to their own censoring efforts. Nor are your particular highlights of the event examples of things that were not reported and claimed by Israel immediately after the news broke.

    Not spinning events the way you want is not poor reporting.

    Second, what you have claimed about the event in question is not an accurate representation of events, and in some cases not even relevant. It is merely a recitation of the claims and excuses made by one side which you support.

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  29. "Yes you would as that is a prime Tory "talking point"."

    ^^^ Liberal talking point.....

    ....Try not drinking the Kool Aid, it may help....





    "Did you know that all those killed where killed by a minimum of two shots to the head delivered at a distance of less than 15 cm's??"

    As reported by the fair and balanced Helen Thomas?? Or the 9/11 truther websites??

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  30. Peter said: "Oh but of course, Harper tried to make a deal with the dreaded "Separatist" didn't he to defeat Martin in the house. Even wrote to the GG about it. You guys really have short memories!"

    The problem Peter, is not that "us" guys have short memories, but that we know what we're talking about while you don't. Have you read the letter that Stephen Harper wrote to the GG in 2004? I thought not. Here's the pertinent paragraph for you:

    "We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We
    believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the
    opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority. " (The full letter can be found here: http://bondpapers.blogspot.com/2008/11/taking-power-without-election.html)

    So how, from that, do you get that Stephen Harper tried to make a deal with Separatists? Please point out the part in there about forming a coalition with separatists (or anyone) or providing for a formal mechanism to consult with the Bloc (a la 2008 coalition)? I won't wait up since it doesn't say anything of the sort.

    Look a the date of that letter. It was sent out by the three opposition leaders a month before the first sitting of the new parliament after the 2004 election, reminding the GG that, if the PM of the day asked for a dissolution of parliament, she need not grant it automatically (quite correctly).

    If you can't see the difference between that and the 2008 coalition, that says a lot about you.

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  31. "Israel was in full possession of all video and audio of the event so any delay in release owes to their own censoring efforts."

    In other words... the press just made stuff up to be on the air.... In this case it wasn't so much about what spin they used, they just didn't have any facts. Facts from one side, facts from on the scene of the news. Don't care that one side didn't immediately run over with their story and evidence. Reporting what they feel like without having the facts..... Journalistic integrity at its finest. And that is the problem. And hopefully one that can be fixed with a little competition from people who aren't part of the preferred narrative.



    "Second, what you have claimed about the event in question is not an accurate representation of events, and in some cases not even relevant. It is merely a recitation of the claims and excuses made by one side which you support."

    And the video released.... I don't suppose you could tell me why it only happened on 1 of the 6 ships???? Could it be because the other 5 ships actually had some peaceful peace activists on board?

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  32. As reported by the fair and balanced Helen Thomas?? Or the 9/11 truther websites??


    Try the BBC, Spiegel, Independent

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  33. Carl:

    Look a the date of that letter.


    Yes a couple of days after the letter to the Bloc offering coalition, eh?

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  34. by the Tory attack machine is premised on the assumption that Canadians are brain-dead sheep who can be easily manipulated by the Tories.

    CONGRATULATIONS !!

    Until the Harpo's Folly lake you could believe that, but guess what? The public is awake !! You're toast !!

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  35. DL: "I for one think that Ignatieff should set an example by expelling all of the Liberals MPs who contravene Liberal party policy by being against abortion rights and same sex marriage."

    What are you, some kind of Tory plant? Think about the math on that for a second. There are at least 16 Liberal members of the parliamentary pro-life caucus (and probably others who are pro-life but not publicly part of the pro-life caucus). That's a fairly substantial portion of Iggy's caucus. Is it really that good a call to boot 20% of your caucus from your party? And it gets worse. How many MPs does Harper need to put together a majority government, 10? (assuming that the two independents will continue to vote with the G). You think if the Liberals booted those MPs from their caucus, the Tories wouldn't be out there offering them positions within their caucus? So how dumb would it be of Iggy to both boot 20% of his caucus and give Harper a majority government?

    In any event, there's a reason why both the Liberals and the Tories have maintained a position of letting sleeping dogs lie on abortion for the past 20 years. The reality is, that both parties have fissures on the issue, and neither are willing to kill themselves over the issue.

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  36. Peter,

    Call me stupid but I like simplistic -- so here it goes: some parties get into a stall and can't recover to former glory; others drop but have potential upswing not having to wear all the tarnish that inevitably comes with being the present government.

    Yes, some may call it New Math à la George H.W. Bush but, for me (sorry, Jean) that can only translate itself into one thing: they are on the way out which quite obviously means sooner or later we are on the way in!

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  37. The belief that the .... Tory attack machine is premised on the assumption that Canadians are brain-dead sheep who can be easily manipulated by the Tories. That's both insulting to Canadians and undeservingly credits the Tories with being far more competent than they are.

    If I am not mistaken Peter, partial facts like what you just posted (a few words in the middle of a sentence let alone an argument) is part of what I have been arguing is poor journalism.

    Congratulations, here is your journalism diploma.... maybe the CBC will hire you now.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ron

    If you go back to say 1945 and chart the rise and fall of the two main parties you realise that essentially it is a normal thing.

    The interesting variation here is that the party in power has not been able o achieve that elusive majority after three elections.

    That should by historical trends say they are on their way out. Time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Peter: "Yes a couple of days after the letter to the Bloc offering coalition, eh"

    What on earth are you talking about? Would you care to post a link to the purported letter that Harper send to the Bloc offering a coalition? Yeah, I thought not, it's hard to link to figments of your imagination.

    It says a lot that you have to make up "facts" like that.

    ReplyDelete

  40. It says a lot that you have to make up "facts" like that.


    Read the letter to the GG from Harper. Even you will understand !

    ReplyDelete
  41. Peter, given your apparent prediliction for making up "facts" would you care to provide a link to those BBC, Der Spiegel and Independent stories which you say establish that the "peace activists" killed when the Israeli's boarded the Mavi Marmara where killed "by a minimum of two shots to the head delivered at a distance of less than 15 cm's".

    Because, funny thing, that's not what the autopsies said. Consider the following extract from Reuters (http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6536M920100604)

    "The autopsy results showed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back, the Guardian said.

    A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has U.S. citizenship, was shot five times from less than 45 cm (18 inches) away, in the face, the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back, it said.

    Two other men were shot four times. Five of those killed were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, the Guardian quoted Buyuk as saying.

    In addition to those killed, 48 others suffered gunshot wounds and six activists were still missing, he added.

    Israel said the multiple gunshot wounds did not mean the shots were fired other than in self defence.

    "The only situation when a soldier shot was when it was a clearly a life-threatening situation," the Guardian quoted a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London as saying.

    "Pulling the trigger quickly can result in a few bullets being in the same body, but does not change the fact they were in a life-threatening situation," the spokesman said.

    The newspaper quoted Haluk Ince, chairman of the council of forensic medicine in Istanbul, as saying that in only one case was there a single bullet wound, to the forehead from a distant shot, while every other body showed multiple wounds"


    You know, you really undermine your credibility (such as it is) by making up "facts" that aren't consistent with reality. The real autopsy results don't really reflect that well on the IDF (although they're not consistent with the execution theory - which theory is inconsistent with activist accounts, if you accept them, of IDF commandos opening fire as soon as they hit the deck), but you have to torque it up by claiming that it says things that it doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've read the letter to the GG from Harper, Layton and Duceppe - you may recall, I posted it. It doesn't say anything about forming a coalition with one another. I've asked you to point out where it does, you couldn't do that, rather you referred to a fictional letter from Harper to the Bloc. Basically, you have nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Regarding the Harper coalition:

    First, Duceppe himself has been quite clear that Harper was in negotiations with the NDP and the Bloc explicitly to become PM with their support.

    http://www.canada.com/news/Liberals+Tories+point+fingers+following+controversial+comments/1980239/story.html

    Second, how could anyone read that letter and conclude that Harper isn't proposing at least ruling with consent of the Bloc? That is some really bad dissembling. Like a mob threat where an 'accident could happen' isn't a threat.

    He says that a dissolution does not have to happen if the PM asks for one. He specifically indicates that the opposition forms a majority. Meaning a government can be formed that can maintain the confidence of the house and that government can continue without an electino even if the PM wants one. A government that requires the consent of the Bloc mathematically. Hence the close consultation they've been having that he mentioned.

    Is it that Duceppe appeared visibly at a press conference? Is it that Harper was going somehow promising to get the Bloc's votes via blackmail instead with the Bloc's consent? Is there some secret document where Dion makes Duceppe deputy PM?

    Is it because Harper got ahead of himself by not waiting until the particular motion the government was to be defeated on? Or is someone daft enough to insist that his consultations and letters and the majority talk was a plan to force the Liberals to stay in office after a no-confidence vote? For what reason?

    Nonsense.

    The objections to the 2008 'coalition' working with the Bloc are same that are true of the 'non-dissoluting parliament where the opposition forms a majority' aka the 2004 coalition.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Carl

    The letter implies an agreement.

    Your denials are repetitive and boring. Move on!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey Kevin

    Give it up. Carl is in "denial".

    He won't believe you even though you are correct.

    ReplyDelete
  46. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has U.S. citizenship, was shot five times from less than 45 cm (18 inches) away, in the face, the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back, it said.
    OK so I was off on the distance. Nice try for a "Federal Case".

    Doesn't work.

    ReplyDelete
  47. No concenus of Climate Change Scientists:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/13/the-ipcc-consensus-on-climate-change-was-phoney-says-ipcc-insider/

    ReplyDelete
  48. Re: Barcs

    "In other words... the press just made stuff up to be on the air....
    In this case it wasn't so much about what spin they used, they just didn't have any facts."

    That's not at all accurate. They didn't broadcast the particular videos you wanted them to because
    they didn't have them. It didn't mean they didn't have facts provided by sources which did include Israeli officials, (Contrary to what you claimed)
    and others. That the Israelis didn't immediately have every one of their various PR anecdotes in a row doesn't mean that it's the media's job to coach their defense for them, nor would it even be possible.

    "And the video released.... I don't suppose you could tell me why it only happened on 1 of the 6 ships???? Could it be because the other 5 ships actually had some peaceful peace activists on board?"

    Why there was violence only on one ship? Maybe only one ship was shot
    at or only, (as you claim) one ship had violent people on it.

    There wasn't any ship filled with terrorist supplies or reinforcements. Just six ships filled with aid supplies and protestors. There was a physical confrontation either preceeded by being boarded or preceeded by the ship being shot at. Does someone believe that this was some clever kidnapping ploy? Lure in Israeli soldiers with aid ships and take them hostage? I'm not sure what you're trying to get at.

    The fact is that an attempted seizing of an aid ship went sideways in international waters. People got killed by the Israeli military. Israel claims its' soldier's fired in self defense which doesn't quite fly given the circumstances even if their particular stories are true and the activists' are not. Protecting a vessel being boarded in international waters is generally is self-defense. Invading one is not.

    ReplyDelete
  49. No one mentions the timing of Harper's coalition letter and the events that led to it.

    He was providing a viable option to govern the country as the Liberals were shown to have lost their moral authority to govern.

    The Liberals were given a chance to govern and were initially supported by Harper. Then came out the adscam revelations.

    Even though the BLOC was at 54 seats and no benefit for another election they were so disgusted with the Liberals they were consistently voting with the CPC against the corrupt Liberals.

    The NDP took advantage of this to write a budget. Then even the NDP was so revolted by the Liberal corruption and pathetic clinging to power that they were embarrassed to support the Liberals further.

    It was either an election or have the 3 parties not on trial run the country.

    In your heart you have to admit that there was some surprise that sitting Liberal MPs and cabinet ministers did not get prosecuted and some jail time.

    Compare that with the outrage on cutting the $1.95 vote subsidy.

    ReplyDelete
  50. It seemed clear to me that what really killed the Lib/NDP (with BQ support) situation was the BQ being so visible in the photos and Dion just not communicating with the Canadian public. That video talk where it took around an hour to get it on air then it looked like a high schooler did it killed the coalition.

    As to the next election, the easiest thing for the NDP/Liberals would be to run weak candidates in ridings where the other one has a strong chance, or try to run someone who would appeal to the CPC base only (extreme social right wing talk while campaigning). Cut the funds as much as possible to those ridings if they aren't competitive, increase to competitive ones. Don't make it a formal agreement but a nudge-nudge wink-wink one and you are off to the races.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Earl: No concenus of Climate Change Scientists

    Trust the Financial Post to invert a statement. Let's look at the line from which this headline came in the original paper: "Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields."

    Stop and look at that statement again. It says that only a few people are experts on attribution; the other 2,500 grunts have merely found evidence of global warming, evidence of human generation of greenhouse gases, models that show that greenhouse gases cause global warming and other seemingly irrelevant topics. They are therefore unable to contribute to the consensus, regardless of their views.

    The paper as a whole bemoans the lack of social science work in the field of global warming research; it notes that disciplines such as anthropology get short shrift. At no point does it suggest, explicitly or implicitly, that AGW is not a real fact. Strikingly, immediately after the quoted sentences the paper notes that the drive for "consensus" meant that the IPCC report was overly conservative in its predictions.

    Lawrence Solomon has outdone himself this time. The sad thing is that it works. Judging by comments on his article, readers are too lazy to form their own opinions from the original paper. They're also too eager to believe what they want to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Kevin

    Protecting a vessel being boarded in international waters is generally is self-defense. Invading one is not.

    Absolutely correct. The other point that seems to have escaped Barcs note is that the ships were swept by International Observers before they sailed and certified ARMS FREE !!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. There were items on the ship that violated Israel's blockade of Gaza (IIRC, construction materials, among other things).

    ReplyDelete
  54. John:
    Don't make it a formal agreement but a nudge-nudge wink-wink one and you are off to the races.

    That's exactly what should happen, agreed. No formal written agreement but an informal "gentlemans agreement".

    Incidentally check out Chantal Hébert's piece in today's Star. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Eric:
    There were items on the ship that violated Israel's blockade of Gaza (IIRC, construction materials, among other things).


    That's Israels problem. Those classify as humanitarian goods NOT weapons.

    After the destruction caused by many Israeli raids rebuilding is essential, hardly think bags of cement classify as WMD !!

    ReplyDelete
  56. In 2004, Stephen Harper, along with Duceppe, and Layton did write a letter to the GG, advising her to keep open all her options open if Paul Martin, should seek the dissolution of parliament and ask for an election.

    If the GG, had refused Paul martin's request then she would have invited Stephen Harper, to form a government, because he could command the confidence of the house, and Paul Martin could no longer do so.

    Stephen Harper, was more than willing to become Prime Minister, under this scenario, and it all would have been done without benefit of an election, and all perfectly legal under our inherited form of Westminster government.

    Stephen Harper, had formed his own triumvirate, or coalition or what have you, with what he himself now calls socialists, and separatists.

    Now in 2004, in Stephen Harper, knew exactly how Westminster worked, why did he so conveniently forget how it worked in 2008.

    Why did Stephen Harper, go on national television and say the Dion, coalition was illegal, and a circumventing of democracy??

    Why did Stephen Harper neglect to mention his own planned coalition with the evil separatists, and socialists??

    Why did Stephen Harper, misrepresent how our system works??

    Conservative supporters need to pull their head out of the sand, because Stephen Harper, himself wanted to form a coalition.

    If in 2004, his plan had worked I am sure most Conservative supporters would have lea pt with joy, at these turn of events.

    So in essence, Stephen Harper, had planned his own what he would call "Coup" and he himself planned to what he would call "Circumventing Democracy", and overthrowing a legitimately elected Liberal government, and overthrowing the will of the people.

    Stephen Harper, himself was quite prepared to climb into bed with "socialists" and "separatists" to become Prime Minister.

    Now Stephen Harper, either doesn't understand how our inherited system of Westminster government works, or he does understand it, and to be kind, "misrepresents" it.

    That is the real Stephen Harper, and no amount of huffing and puffing from CPC, supporters will ever change those facts.

    ReplyDelete
  57. 49 Steps:

    Your misrepresentations of fact are so numerous and appalling that I am nearly at a loss for words

    I'll simple address this one:

    "Why did Stephen Harper, go on national television and say the Dion, coalition was illegal"

    That is an outright lie. Mr. Harper never said any such thing.

    Calling into question the appropriateness of the proposed coalition is not the same as calling it illegal. And the PM never, at any time, called it illegal -- including during the cited broadcast.

    ReplyDelete
  58. 49 steps

    There is a HUGE difference in asking to be considered as an alternative should the largest party request an election as Harper did and asking to take over the the government from the recently elected largest party.

    Had Harper been asking for another election a month after the election the coalition would deserve serious consideration.

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  59. 49
    Why did Stephen Harper, go on national television and say the Dion, coalition was illegal, and a circumventing of democracy??

    Just a prima faciae case of Tory attack politics in action.

    Truth, history, facts are irrelevant. All that matters is beating the opposition to death and if yo have to lie to do it so what ??

    ReplyDelete
  60. Well, well ? Latest Ekos shows further Tory slippage.

    Actually if you take out Alberta the Tories trail the Libs in the RoC it seems, Eric?

    ReplyDelete
  61. New Ekos Poll and seat projections:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/tory-descent-continues-in-strange-new-political-world-poll/article1607251/

    ReplyDelete

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