Monday, January 31, 2011

Liberals trump Tories on Twitter and Facebook, but Harper rules Google roost

Canadian politics are changing, 140 characters at a time.

Naheed Nenshi used the power of social media and the Internet to take him from fringe candidate to Mayor of Calgary last year, and Barack Obama used it to bring a new generation of voters to the U.S. ballot box in 2008. Handshaking, baby-kissing and television advertisements continue to be a part of politics, but the party that best uses social media in the next federal election could come out on top.

The rest of the article can be read on The Globe and Mail website.

Election ready, but election willing?

The New Democrats say they are ready for an election, but are they ready to topple the government?

You can also read my column in The Hill Times, though it does require a subscription.

I'll try to post about last week's Abacus Data poll this afternoon.


  1. Well, no duh Harper will be searched more times on Google news aggs than Iggy, Jack or Gilles - he's the bloody Prime Minister. He's going to be in the news more often than the other guys, and his decisions will affect more people than them too. Heck, I'm a Liberal and I'm pretty sure I google Harper more than I do Iggy.

  2. I do mention in the article that it should come as no surprise.

  3. Oh, I know, I wasn't accusing you of anything Eric. Though I will soon if you don't somehow convince the Hill Times to not have a subscription-only service. :(

    Though I can guarantee we'd be blown away by them, wouldn't it be interesting to compare the number of Canadian politicians who utilize social networking, versus the Americans? Well, interesting, and I suppose slightly depressing at the same time.

  4. bad news for Iggy.

    I think he needs to start articulating his ideas. More than platitudes are needed. Spending isn't what Canadians want at this moment in time. Prudent and careful government is what they do want. Iggy we need you.

  5. Volkov maybe you can help me make sense of the evolution of the Liberal position on the corporate tax cut ?

    *2007 Liberals vote for the cuts
    *2008 Liberals demand FURTHER cuts
    *2010 Liberals now against cuts

    I've been told that the Liberals changed positions because we are now in a deficit position.

    But that makes no sense considering they supported the cuts for all of '08 and '09 when we had a deficit.

    And they're not using the funds for paying down the debt but for additional spending.

    So what gives ?

  6. It's pretty easy: what changed from 2007/2008 to 2010/2011 that would affect their opinion on such matters? Possibly a 56-billion dollar deficit?

    Iggy said several times he's got no issue with the tax cuts if they were in surplus, but they aren't, and they aren't in a big way. It just seems superfluous at the current moment. I tend to agree, and so does most of my Tory family. Tax cuts for corps are nice and everything, but why add to your deficit when the tax rate is already so low you can nearly see the bottom?

    Other than that, it's the same reason why Flaherty's now crooning about the possibility of raising taxes - your political reality is changing.

  7. And to note, I don't remember them supporting the cuts during '08 or '09. They might've paid lip service to the idea of tax cuts, but I remember McCallum personally calling them "frivilous" when he was still Finance Critic.

  8. Volkov we don't have a 56 billion deficit.

    Finance updated its fiscal monitor a few days ago and put the deficit at 26 billion for the first 8 months of the 10-11 budget year.

    One analyst quoted in the G%M had us coming in at 38.5 billion.

    Back to the tax cuts. Why is the deficit relevent when you're planning to spend this money on social programs anyway??

    I mean it would be one thing if you were cancelling the cuts to pay down the deficit.

    As for John McCallum, he's been the biggest cheerleader for these cuts since day 1.

    And the policy didn't change until the thinkers conference in 2010.

    We still had a deficit in '08 and '09.

    Let's call a spade a spade. This is a politically driven flip flip to get NDP votes. IT has nothing to do with sound economic policy.

  9. Shadow,

    1. You know what everyone refers to when they mention the 56-billion number, Cons included. And total argument to authority.

    2. I'm pretty sure it was obvious to everyone but you what I was talking about when I mentioned "political realities changing," but I won't spoil the surprise.


  10. And to note, I don't remember them supporting the cuts during '08 or '09.

    You don't recall that the Liberal platform in the 2008 election called for a push for a 14% corporate tax rate by 2013? That isn't "paying lip service" to corporate tax cuts, that's trying to out-cut the Tories.

    As for the claim that "now's not the time". That would be more compelling if, as shadow points out, their proposal wasn't to use the proceeds of his proposed corporate tax increase to fund permanent spending programs. "Now is not the time" was a spineless and dishonest position when the Ontario Tories took it in order to criticize the HST (which they had previously supported) and it's equally spineless and dishonest when the Federal Liberals do it. What they really mean is "now is not the time for lower corporate taxes/HST, but it will be the time once you've elected me".

  11. Volkov lol I missed the part where you admitted this was a political and not economic move.

    Its just a weird situation to have all the bay street boys offside, McCallum muzzled, John Manley siding with the gov't, as well as Ontario Liberals too.

    Good luck trying to win NDP voters in the next election. IT really is a leftist party these days.

    I actually have no idea where they got that 56 billion figure from. I've heard Ralph Goodale use it but it sounds like a number they pulled out of thin air.

    The 2009-2010 deficit was 47 billion. The 2010-2011 is on track for 38.5 billion.

    By the time the budget rolls around this march for the 2011-12 fiscal year it'll be lower still.

  12. Shadow,

    McCallum hasn't been muzzled, and I'm telling you, he's never come out in roaring defense of these cuts, none of the Lib caucus have. Supporting the general idea of tax cuts =/= supporting these tax cuts.

    Besides, he was replaced with Scott Brison - what exactly would be the difference there?

    And yea, obviously it's a political ploy - everything the parties do right now is a political ploy, including everything the Cons are doing. Doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe what they're talking about, however.

    And dude, it's Jim Flaherty's own goddamn prediction: - and that's from TODAY!

  13. Correction - not from today, from February. But it's still Flaherty's own prediction, his own numbers.

  14. Volkov thanks for the link. Why is Goodale using year old numbers that have since been revised ?

    (Misinforming Canadians for the sake of politics I guess?)

    But back to the cuts I don't think you're aware of just how big a part of the Liberal platform these were.

    *2007 John McCallum gave them a big thumbs up as part of the competitiveness agenda he was pushing.

    *2008 Liberal election platform called for EVEN MORE corporate tax cuts than the CPC supported.

    *2008 Dion attacked the idea of a coalition with the NDP because their platform didn't include corporate tax cuts, said their ideas would be "damaging" to the economy.

    *2008 Dion forms a coalition with the NDP, corporate tax cuts included.

    (That last point is key. Scott Brison went out and said the corporate tax cuts were safe even though we would be IN A DEFICIT.)

    C'mon Volkov, you're better than to try and spin this as anything but selling out your economic philosophy to appeal to left wing voters.


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