Monday, October 25, 2010

Struggling B.C. Liberals face overwhelming rise in NDP tide

With almost three-quarters of British Columbians prepared to abolish the HST in next year’s referendum and Premier Gordon Campbell enjoying an approval rating of only 9 per cent, the B.C. Liberals would be soundly beaten and swept from office were an election held today, according to seat projections based on a recent poll from Angus-Reid.

You can read the rest of my article on The Globe & Mail website.

When British Columbians unelect a government, they tend to do it pretty dramatically. It will be very interesting to see how the BC Greens and BC Conservatives do in the next election, as a lot of disgruntled BC Liberal voters will have to go somewhere, unless they stay home.

31 comments:

  1. With enough recalls we could see an election long before 2013.

    Interesting to see who steps up to be the new right wing standard bearer and take the BC Conservatives out of the wilderness. John Cummins is widely believed to be interested, opening up a potentially competitive by-election in Delta—Richmond East.

    There's also ideological room between the NDP-Liberals for a splinter party who's upset with Carole James but basically wants to chart a centre left non-union dominated course.

    Public calls for Campbell to resign and Christy Clark to take his place as leader are also something to watch for.

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  2. Gordon Campbell was ranked as the best fiscal manager out of the ten Canadian Premiers and yet BC is willing to get rid of him over the HST, stupid!

    It's pretty sad actually because Campbell I think has done an excellent job as Premier and I think is one of the best in the country, along with Williams and Wall. If the Liberals want to get ahead though they are going to have to look at getting rid of him before the next election.

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  3. Lets not forget how unpopular Campbell was during his first term.He was a very right wing premier heading up a renamed socred govt.As in Quebec, the govt is Liberal in name only, Both have gravitated towards the center but are still right-wing except for the environment I think when the Libs are in federally, that will be the nail in the coffin for Campbell and Charest and the libs would rather deal with the NDP and the PQ govts that replace them.

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  4. Campbell did some unpopular things in his first term but he was never anywhere near as unpopular as he is now. Plus at that time the memory of the unpopular Glen Clark government was still very fresh in peoples minds. Campbell is now about as unpopular as Mulroney was in 1992 a year before he quit and left Kim Campbell to reduce his party to TWO seats.

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  5. Campbell has always been a negative lightning rod in BC and is now suffering from the HST debacle.

    He'll definitely be gone before the next election in 2013.

    And today Campbell (or rather his gov't) has been ranked the best fiscal manager in Canada with McGuinty's gov't in Ontario at the bottom of the heep. Go figure.

    But on the NDP side of the ledger, the knives are also out for NDP leader Carole James with her low personal popularity level.

    She recently dumped highly respected MLA Bob Simpson from caucus, which has caused a public backlash within NDP ranks with many constituency associations now calling for a leadership convention.

    The NDP caucus chair has also resigned and NDP party membership is dropping from 13,000 to under 10,000. According to recently leaked internal NDP documents, the NDP is only financially surviving because of people dying off and leaving part of their will to the NDP.

    All is not well in politically unstable Lotusland.

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  6. OK Early returns seem to indicate a real desire for change at least on the municipal scene.

    New mayors for Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa.

    Major rejection of sitting councilors in Ottawa.

    This is "Tea Party" North. Get used to it folks, the public is unhappy with incumbent politician's of all stripes.

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  7. "And today Campbell (or rather his gov't) has been ranked the best fiscal manager in Canada with McGuinty's gov't in Ontario at the bottom of the heep. Go figure."

    Jonny Quest, where did you see this ranking? I happen to agree with it, but would like to know it's source. I want to be able to rub my NDP friends' noses in it lol. Thanks!

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  8. Peter the incumbent mayors of Calgary and Toronto were not on the ballot.

    The Queen of incumbents won her race in Mississauga.

    Calgary elected a left of centre mayor, Toronto a right wing mayor.

    And the mayor of Ottawa broke a no new taxes pledge and was embroiled in a legal scandal for much of his term.

    I wish the media would stop trying to create patterns out of what are distinct, local races.

    The data points completely contradict any meta-narrative people are trying to impose.


    BTW - Next federal budget will involve Flaherty taking the axe to spending while the Liberals/NDP call for more stimulus.

    Any "tea party" or concerns about debt/deficit benefit the CPC government and NOT the coalition.

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  9. Oh and by the way the vote in Vaughan saw Bevilaqua defeat the incumbent mayor !!

    I disagree on one point Shadow.

    It's about performance and perceived results.

    For instance in Ottawa 10 out of 20 councilors where replaced.

    And the mayor of Windsor gets returned. Ottawa shifts from real incompetence to a proven track record. Yeah Larry O'Brien was a disaster from day 1 !!

    The point I was trying to make is that performance is what counts, not political leanings.

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  10. Shadow,

    "Any "tea party" or concerns about debt/deficit benefit the CPC government and NOT the coalition."

    It amuses me to see Conservatives crowing about what great fiscal managers they are...uh, huh given recent summits. In any event, it seems to have escaped this Prime Minister that we happen to be dipping down following The Great Recession. To prematurely end stimulus on March 31, 2011, or thereabouts, is an act of pure political folly. The Conservative bet is that voters will applaud belt-tightening in the next budget. My bet (and that of the opposition parties) is that they will see it as Harper wielding the axe on suffering people as unemployment remains stubbornly high...

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  11. Peter,

    "The point I was trying to make is that performance is what counts, not political leanings."

    Bang on, IMHO. So the magnificient Conservatives had better hang on tight in Ottawa -- cause it's going to be a bumpier ride than they expect!

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  12. Ron
    "cause it's going to be a bumpier ride than they expect! "

    Indeed I think so. Bluntly they aren't anywhere near as good as they think.

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  13. Matthew - Here's the link:

    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=16737

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  14. The Toronto Mayor's election shows two things:

    1) The pollsters are consistently under polling the right of centre sentiment well outside the MOE. (last federal election, NB election, Toronto mayors race). In the most recent case more than twice the MOE.

    They are unable to catch the opinion of the huge silent right of centre majority.

    2) The settled science of poor turn out helping the right wing cause has been reopened.

    The voter turn out was very much higher and almost exclusively voted for Ford.


    =============================

    The federal Liberals must be worried. Although it may not translate exactly to Federal elections at least half of the voters in Federal Liberal stronghold Toronto have shown that they are willing to vote for an even more ideological right wing position/personality than the Harper's CPC.

    After the first time it will get easier.

    Perhaps that is why Harper seems to be moving to a more right wing agenda. He is not catering to his base. He is playing to the new centre.

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  15. Oh and by the way the vote in Vaughan saw Bevilaqua defeat the incumbent mayor !!

    You mean the same Bevilaqua that negotiated an Immigration bill with Jason Kenny and then was cut down from behind by his own party?

    He was supported by Federal CPC in his Mayor's campaign.

    Three months after his work was rejected by Ignatieff and Donolo to score political points he ends up with a better more influential job.

    I assume that he will be too busy with his new position to help with the Liberal campaign to retain his federal seat.

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  16. And Calgary always elects left-wing mayors. David Bronconnier was a lefty. Al Duerr was a lefty. The last mayor they had who wasn't obviously left-wing was Ralph Klein.

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  17. By the way, I'm right-wing, and there's no way I would vote for Gordon Campbell. I never have (I've lived in BC since 2000), and I'm not starting now.

    The first bill his government passed when it took office was an increase in BC's minimum wage. His implementation of the HST is a blatant tax increase (unlike Ontario's, which is revenue-neutral). He continues to hide government losses in crown corporations. The province was eaten alive on Olympic financing.

    I'm sorry, but there's no way he's a good fiscal manager.

    BC's choice is basically between a left-wing leader who cares about the environment and a left-wing leader who doesn't. That's hardly a choice at all.

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  18. Ronald - Really? You honestly think stimulus was a good idea?

    How were you ever a conservative?

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  19. Ron i'm not crowing about anything. I'm simply offering my usual non-partisan, objective analysis.

    It is a proven fact that in poll after poll Canadians trust Harper on the economy more than the opposition parties.

    Here's a poll:

    http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/43423/canadians-split-on-the-economy-as-trust-in-harper-falls-sharply/

    Canadians are indeed nervous and the economy has gone south. So have Harper's economic numbers to some extent.

    And yet, even at this new low he's STILL way ahead of anyone else in terms of dealing with debt/deficits.


    BTW - Liberals can't have it both ways. Either focusing on creating jobs via extra stimulus or focus on paying down the debt.

    The have your cake and eat it too thing is just silly.

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  20. Ron i'm not crowing about anything. I'm simply offering my usual non-partisan, objective analysis.

    Shadow wins the thread for funniest comment!

    I'm enjoying watching the spinners out in full force claiming Rob Ford's victory means Hudak Harper will win majorities. Of course, Rob Ford, being the owner of a $100 million a year business, is more like Paul Martin than anyone else. He's a businessman, he'll get the costs down, but the far right extremists won't get their dream SoCon nanny state.

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  21. The Toronto Mayor's election shows two things:

    1) The pollsters are consistently under polling the right of centre sentiment well outside the MOE. (last federal election, NB election, Toronto mayors race). In the most recent case more than twice the MOE.

    ------------------------

    Ekos predicted it correctly, well expect that the Liberal vote increased at the expense of the NDP and the Conservatives.

    http://www.ekospolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/full_report_october_24.pdf

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  22. Hi Ira,

    "Ronald - Really? You honestly think stimulus was a good idea?

    How were you ever a conservative?"

    I was and remain a good Progressive Conservative. As you know Ira, in my case that meant Red Tory or as Shadow might say "Liberal-lite".

    After the merger (which I voted against) I was a nominal Conservative...until I left the party over the attempt to cancel the taxpayer subsidy to political parties. As Thatcher would say, I was a "wet" and now I'm "washed up" as a Conservative!!!

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  23. ...Ekos predicted it correctly....

    Having 5 day week long polls for the entire campaign, and altering to a 3 day roll for the last 3 days... reducing their sample size, and increasing the margin of error...

    (atleast, according to their report)

    A conspiracy theorist might say they got greedy, trying to both steer the race and get it right at the last.


    Neat how all the pollsters were predicting a tight race... too close to call even... less than a week before.

    Most of them didn't poll in the final days (like ekos did).... odd.

    (sure things might have changed.... like y'know too close to call to a 15 point difference. I must have missed all the bombshell news in the media in the last week that moved the race that far.

    Did the several pollsters actually choose not to see the race out? leave their "adjusted by 15% findings" a week out so they could claim that the race moved? Probably could have done the same as ekos and put up the unadjusted results on the last day and had the same effect tho. But all of them doing that? with no news to move the polls? Easier path??

    mmmm... if only I were a conspiracy theorist.

    But maybe the conspiracy might have some truth to it... maybe it doesn't.

    Remember. Just because you are paranoid... it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.... muhahahha

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  24. Ronald - Ah, you were a progressive. That explains a lot.

    There was never room in the PCs for both progressives and conservatives - the name was pure marketing, but could never represent a real union of the two positions.

    I never in my life supported the Progressive Conservatives. My first major party was the Reform Party. Now I have no party - I find I mostly vote for fringe parties like the Libertarians.

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  25. Oh jeez Ron what ??

    You left the party over the move to cancel tax payer subsidies to political parties ?

    Canadians supported that move.

    Of all the things, that's rather surprising indeed.

    Care to explain what it means so much to you ?

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  26. Ira,

    "Ronald - Ah, you were a progressive. That explains a lot."

    I suppose it does!!! But then look at it this way, Ira. As long as this Prime Minister could pass as having at least one shred of moderate-progressive fibre in his entire being, he was guaranteed to stay at least consistently above 36%. That's all gone now -- and yet he managed to screw it up the other way around also by royally pissing off the base who would rather vote for a hole in the ground than what passes these days for "Harper" Conservatives...

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  27. Shadow,

    "You left the party over the move to cancel tax payer subsidies to political parties ?

    Canadians supported that move."

    In all honesty Shadow, it was the reason but it was also the straw that finally broke this camel's back.

    I think we can agree that the CPC are brilliant fundraisers -- with at least part of a base that is more willing to make both multiple and successive donations come Hell or High Water.

    The subsidy keeps the other parties competitive (more or less) and still in the game. Otherwise, it would be permanent advantage CPC. That is one step away from a political dictactorship -- regardless of which party has that type of an advantage.

    The day that most parties can raise money at reasonable par with the Conservatives is the day I'm willing to drop the subsidy. But not until that day arrives.

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  28. Ira,

    "There was never room in the PCs for both progressives and conservatives - the name was pure marketing, but could never represent a real union of the two positions."

    On an intellectual level, I suspect with hindsight that your analysis is correct. But as we both know, Joe and Jane Voter aren't that sophisticated. They are looking for a party that is typically Canadian -- whatever the hell that really means. In short, to some degree that works against the CPC and I believe we are finally starting to see some evidence of that in the polling. In short, soft Conservatives and even softer Liberals. To my mind, the big tent is important in Canada. Perhaps this next election will prove me wrong but somehow I doubt it.

    One more thing. I respect your political choices and do not want in any way to leave the impression that a vote for a minor party is a wasted vote. All parties are deserving of support and that's entirely legitimate, IMHO.

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  29. You left the party over the move to cancel tax payer subsidies to political parties ?

    Canadians supported that move
    .
    Is this the same Shadow who always says "a poll is just a poll" when his favourite party is down in a poll? You're hanging your view on one poll from 2 years ago? Link.
    Usually you find some question about how the poll was conducted, what order the questions were asked, was it prompted etc, and especially you regularly point out the top number is not as important as the trend. Yet you uncritically accept this poll from 2 years ago?

    Despite the fact that it is essentially a distribution of money collected from everyone who voted (we all pay at least $1.95 in taxes somewhere) and distributed based on how they voted, the question obviously called it a "subsidy". Had it been called a "transfer" in the question it would be seen as what it is. When we pay our provincial taxes to the federal government, which then transfers them to the provinces, do you call that a "taxpayer subsidy" too? Because it is not. Are people collecting old age security receiving a taxpayer subsidy? The cheques are drawn on the same bank account the taxes go into. What about MP salaries? Are they a subsidy too? They cost a lot more than the political party transfer payment.

    A taxpayer subsidy would be the political contribution tax credit, in which I am forced to subsidize your donation (presumably) to the CPC, since that credit comes from general revenue and cannot be reasonably segregated. Despite the fact that our provincial taxes also pass through the Consolidated Revenue Fund, we see X dollars go in that is earmarked to the provinces and the same number X of dollars goes out. Same as the political party transfer payment, in which $1.95 of the taxes you paid goes to the party you voted for. You are not subsidizing any other party in this.

    You should understand this. Is it not the view of CPC strategists that the problem is explaining their message, not the message itself? Badly explaining the political party per-vote transfer system is the most probable reason for much of the results in the single poll you cite.

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  30. Liberal Supporter its pretty hard to talk your way out of 61% opposition and only 36% support.

    A subsidy is something the government gives a private group or industry.

    Transfers occur to individuals or other levels of government.

    The terminology is correct.


    As for your actual arguments they make little sense. We might all pay $1.35 in taxes but the vast majority of us use far more services than we pay in taxes, to varying degrees.

    Corporations and the rich shoulder most of the tax burden.

    Their money is indeed subsidizing the political party of your choice.

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  31. "Despite the fact that it is essentially a distribution of money collected from everyone who voted"


    .... Everyone who voted did not get money collected from them...


    It is a subsidy transfer the same as the tax credit for political donations is.


    It is not even a different group of people doing the donating..... It's simply a different group of people who decide who the subsidy donations go to.

    Atleast the tax credit subsidy is based somewhat on personal commitment of funds for something you believe in. The 1.95 subsidy is based solely on a persons belief in who they vote for.... They don't have to commit anything to their cause more than a few mins to vote.

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