Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How the leaders stack up, literally (almost)

In my column today for the CBC, I compared each of the party's approval ratings by looking at polls conducted since mid-June. The crux of it is that Thomas Mulcair's numbers are good and getting better, Justin Trudeau's are middling and getting worse, and Stephen Harper's are bad and not improving. Click on the link for the full analysis.

It is interesting to do a regional comparison of the leaders, though, to see how they stack up. In the chart below, I've ordered the three leaders according to their net approval ratings (approval minus disapproval).

The first thing you see is that there is a clear order for the three leaders. Mulcair is on top, Trudeau in the middle, and Harper at the bottom. This is because Mulcair's approval ratings are all a net positive, Trudeau's are mostly breaking even, and Harper's are mostly negative.

But there are a few interesting divergences from this.

Start with Mulcair. His approval rating in Quebec is stellar, and it is also very good in British Columbia. This is important as these are the NDP's two keys to a minority government. But he also has good scores in Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

His popularity drops off in the West, however. He is less popular in the Prairies and Alberta than Trudeau is in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia, while he ties Harper in Alberta. That latter score is actually quite good, relatively speaking. Harper is from Alberta after all.

For Trudeau, he only has good numbers in Atlantic Canada, where he is more popular than Harper is in any part of the country. The same can be said for his modest result in British Columbia. He breaks even in Quebec, the Prairies, and Ontario, but that puts him low on the table.

His very low score in Alberta, though, suggests the party may not have bright chances for a breakthrough. Albertans dislike Trudeau as much as Ontarians dislike Harper. Only in Quebec, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada, where Harper is deeply unpopular, does anyone score worse than Trudeau in Alberta.

For Harper, none of these numbers are very good. Even his net +2 in Alberta is worrisome for the Conservatives, as that is supposed to be their fortress. His low scores in battleground provinces like Ontario and British Columbia do not bode well for a Conservative re-election, and he is plumbing the depths of unpopularity in Atlantic Canada.

If there is a silver lining for Harper, it is that he leaves few people unmoved. That means that his low scores still give him an approval rating of 30% or more in Alberta, the Prairies, and Ontario. Enough to keep him competitive, if those people who approve of him go out and vote for him. But he's a long way from a majority government at these numbers.

Just for fun, let's calculate how each of the parties would do if they could replicate their leaders' approval ratings in every region of the country. To do this, I've reduced (or increased, as need be) the support of other parties equally to accommodate for the adjustments.

For the Conservatives, they would still be in it - but only just. The Conservatives would win 127 seats, putting them nearly in a tie with the NDP and far from majority status.

That might seem pretty good, considering how bad Harper's numbers look and where the Conservatives stand in the polls right now. But when we compare it to what Mulcair's and Trudeau's approval ratings would produce, we see how far Harper trails.

If the Liberals replicated Trudeau's approval ratings at the ballot box, the Liberals would fall just short of a majority - but close enough that it would still be possible. They'd win 165 seats, taking 65 in Ontario, 35 in Quebec, 25 in Atlantic Canada, and 21 in British Columbia. The NDP and Conservatives would be in a tight race for runner-up spot.

It would not be nearly as competitive in the NDP's scenario, though. If the NDP replicated Mulcair's approval ratings, the party would win a landslide. The model would give the NDP 257 seats, with the Conservatives and Liberals splitting 80 seats between them. The NDP would win all but three seats in both B.C. and Quebec, and almost 100 in Ontario. If Mulcair's approval rating represents a ceiling for the NDP, then the sky is (nearly) the limit.

This simple exercise shows how Mulcair and Trudeau are draws for their party, whereas Harper does about as well as his party is doing. After more than 11 years as leader, Canadians may see Harper and the Conservative Party as inseparable. 

110 comments:

  1. I don't think it's a problem for Harper that people don't like him. People have never really liked him.

    It's a problem when people dislike him, which is why no one is mapping his path to victory through Atlantic Canada or Quebec. His BC number might be worrying, but BC is such a fragmented province that I'm honestly not sure what to do with those numbers without regional breakdowns. It may well be that literally every person in Vancouver and Victoria hates him with every fibre of their beings (this wouldn't surprise me at all - I lived in Vancouver; those people are crazy), but the interior might think he's only mildly unlikeable.

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    1. BC will definitely be an interesting province to watch.

      It's equally plausible that the Conservatives could win a majority of the seats in the province or be reduced to a single digit seat count.

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    3. The Liberal hold nearly all their support in Vancouver proper with some spill-over into the suburbs. The Conservatives are strong in the Fraser valley, Interior and North where the NDP also has broad appeal. The NDP's support is concentrated on the Island and along the Coast, the Eastern suburbs and of course East Van.

      Come election day I think we'll have a fairly evenly divided province with each party winning in the low to middle teens in terms of seats.

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  2. All I can say is that Mulcair needs to put effort into raising his ON numbers. Otherwise he's pretty good.

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    1. I think that's exactly what he's doing right now with his Ontario tour.

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  3. Small comment on the CBC poll tracker: It's really nice that the ranges were brought back, but could they be in the colour of their party? It would make them stand out from the lines and the term seats. Or maybe you tried it and it looks crazy, but I'm just suggesting.

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    1. Also, in the list of articles, the ones that aren't connected to a point in the projection chart don't appear to be selectable. We can't get from the Poll Tracker to the approval ratings article, even though it's listed there.

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    2. Hmm, thanks for point it out. I'll pass that along.

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  4. Would it be possible to have all the approval ratings neatly presented somewhere so I could input them in my own model? I've found some, but I'm still missing a few. Thanks!

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  5. "Canadians may see Harper and the Conservative Party as inseparable." It is the Harper Government, after all. :-)

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    1. The third-party advertising keeps calling them "the Harper Conservatives", so clearly there's a belief on the left that using Harper's name is bad for the government.

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    2. Trudeau and Harper are somewhat similar in that they are both very attractive and repellent, depending on the audience. I don't think Mulcair has the same personal effect.

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    3. Harper is polarising, with a net negative, Trudeau is polarising approximately equally, but on a downward trend - to paraphrase you, Éric. As for the Harper Conservatives/Government, the irony is that he's the one who initiated the usage and now he looks set to wear it to defeat.

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    4. As the Parliamentary Budget Officer formally announces we are in a recession and that there is no way we can have a balanced, let alone surplus, budget !!

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    5. His support seems to be firming up. I'm honestly not sure how the election is going to go.

      The obvious pick is Mulcair. If he wins, I hope for a majority (to keep Justin Trudeau as far from power as possible).

      But if Mulcair doesn't win, that'll mean Harper did. And that would be hilarious.

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    6. How can the PBO know we are in a recession when the numbers from the Bank of Canada are not out?

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    7. PBO and BOC both contradict Oliver and his fairy tales. Harper worst for the economy. Makes sense.

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  6. Let's see how Mulcair's numbers stack up by the end of September.

    The frontrunner is being attacked by the Conservatives, Liberals, Bloc and even the Greens (May claims Mulcair did not want her in debates, didn't support some of her policy amendments).

    The media is ramping up their analysis on Mulcair.

    It does not help that he made some ridiculous gaffes like the corporate tax one and the one today confusing his female candidate in Hamilton with a man.

    Still he is a shrewd politician, who will likely be the 23rd PM of the nation.

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    1. The gender "gaff" isn't anything worth noting, and it can easily be played positive, spinning the need for more female candidates. The corporate tax gaff has been forgotten and was little more then a blip the day it happened.

      What I'm surprised about is the lack of attacks from the CPC against the NDP, if I had to guess I would say they either don't know how to attack Mulcair or they painted themselves into a corner. They've bombarded JT so effectively, to suddenly turn the mud on Mulcair might only give the NDP more credibility as the real alternative, It could end up encouraging soft-libs, anti-harper/JT and ABC voters to coalesce around the NDP.

      As for the Green and LPC attacks? I don't really think anyone if going to pay attention to the Greens they're yelling into the storm that is this election, and it is in the Greens interest to vote NDP. If Mulcair follows through with PR they could see a 2000% increase in seats.

      On the other hand the Liberal attacks have been childish at best, either missing the mark or bouncing off the NDP. Eventually they could have those attack backfire; especially now that they using unity as ammunition against the NDP.

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    2. And this from the National Post sort of amplifies what you say.

      http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/why-is-pierre-poilievre-still-fronting-the-tory-brand
      '

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    3. DCMOJY,

      The Tories aren't worried about the perennial losers NDP.

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    4. Capilano. Is that meant to pas for analysis? Just a reminder, it's 2015, and the Conservatives have already lost one election to the "perennial losers".

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    5. chirumenga,

      Obviously it is only a statement but, were we to analyse things the Tories are doing pretty well aren't they? The majority of races in English Canada are Conservative v. Liberals with the exception of some Northern B.C. and Northern Ontario ridings where they are NDP v. Tory. There really are only a handful of Liberal v. NDP ridings. Both the Conservative and the NDP path to power leads through the Liberal party. At the end of the day Tories aren't worried about the NDP because Canadians are not socialists at heart-The NDP wins power provincially once in a generation, the way the BCNDP is going it looks to be about once every two generations and in Ontario it is never again! The weak economy is a benefit to Harper because Mulcair is seen as the bigger risk! His plan for economic growth is higher taxation for families, Conservatives are putting money into every parents' pocket.

      The NDP's Bulwark is Quebec but, Quebec has been in decline politically, socially, economically and financially for 40 years! Artistically they have managed to hold their own I'll give them that! Quebec is no longer a leader globally or in Canada-just like the NDP. The NDP hold peripheral support because they appeal to those on the periphery, these people undoubtedly need a voice in Parliament but, they're unlikely to form government.

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    6. The results of the 2011 election simply do not support the narrative you just described. There are far far more Conservative vs. NDP races than you allude to.

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    7. Hi Nick,

      Why don't you list all the NDP V. Conservative races, Liberal V. Conservative races and Liberal v. NDP races?

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    8. It's easy enough to find out the ridings where the Tories finished first and the NDP second, and the ones where the NDP finished first and the Tories second.

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    9. Great, I can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

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  7. Eric

    Thank you very much for that fab presentation on today's Power & Politics. Really, really clarified this Approval numbers thing. Big Thanks

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  8. Harper may represent an Alberta riding, but he is from Ontario.

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  9. Éric,

    I left the CPC in 2009 and I don't believe those numbers for Harper on the Prairies and especially in BC. Logic suggests he surely can't be that low in his party's heartland.

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    1. It's all different since the Ab election.

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    2. The AB election doesn't tell us anything about this election, though. That election was all about the perceived corruption of the Alberta PCs. There haven't been meaningful ties between those parties for many years. Even in the 2011 Alberta election everyone talked about how closely linked the federal conservatives were with Wildrose, not Redford's Tories.

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    3. Ira, I must disagree.

      The Alberta elections was about change, not corruption (not to say it wasn't an issue), Jim Prentice was out of touch and arrogant, not corrupt. He had done a good job cleaning up after Redford and aside for chronic levels of nepotism and the normal kowtowing to big oil by Cons, Albertians didn't really express a concern.

      I agree to a point that the Alberta election should not be used as an absolute predictor or the General election... However it does tell use a lot about voters and psychology. I think (and this is partially due to my NDP stripes) the NDP take this election with either a strong minority or healthy majority; as much as I hate to admit it, the Alberta election is a major factor. The majority of voters have woken up to the fact that there is another option and the taboo of voting NDP is disappearing and by the looks of things quickly.

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    4. It hurts the Liberals by making the NDP look legitimate, sure, but I don't think it has any effect on CPC support.

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    6. Latest Forum poll has NDP 10 points behind CPC in Alberta and a huge 16 point lead on the CPC in BC.

      Harper is sinking faster than Trudeau in the personal numbers. Harper is definitely in big trouble.

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    7. DCMOJY,

      Graft is probably a better word than corruption. The PCs had been in power so long a parallel civil service within the Alberta PC Association had developed many people joined the PCs simply to gain access to politicians and the eminence grises behind the scenes.

      I don't think the Alberta election tells us anything except; campaigns matter, a lesson we all should have learned after 2011.

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    8. Ira, The alberta election tells us several key things. It tells us that large numbers of people who had only ever voted Conservative and who had never considered voting NDP suddenly changed their minds. That fact has registered with people all across the country, with results that are apparent in the polls. In keeping with that, federal NDP support has risen sharply in Alberta as well as every other region.

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    9. Jimmy,
      As the poll from Mainstreet demonstrated Harper is closing in on a second straight strong stable Conservative majority Government! Trudeau is the one in trouble and that's right where the Tories want him!

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  10. And Ed Broadbent always topped the who would make the best Prime Minister polls but he never did form government, or even become loyal opposition. Not sure these numbers mean much. Especially since approval ratings are about how these leaders are doing their current job. Aka is Mulcair a good leader of the opposition? Very different than are you going to vote for him to be Prime Minister, or even for his party to form government.

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    1. If I remember correctly, Ed Broadbent topped the polls as the most-liked party leader, not the party leader who would make the best PM. I do agree that the poll question regarding how well each leader is doing their job is ambiguous, though some firms also ask outright who would make the best PM (an unambiguous question).

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  11. This really sucks.... now that I am paying Eric's salary at the CBC we don't have a place to talk about the Mainstreet Research poll that likely show a CPC majority.


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    1. You're late on your last payment, BTW. I hope you were done with your thumbs...

      My plan during the campaign is to have a daily post here summarizing with links to my CBC work, including poll analysis. You'll be able to discuss day-to-day polls in the comments sections of those posts. In the meantime, please feel free to comment on new polls in whatever is the most recent article here on 308.

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    2. With my model, that poll (which will have to be supported by another to not be an outlier because... well, wow!) gives me:

      163 CPC
      112 NDP
      59 LPC
      3 BQ
      1 GPC

      By region, it gives:

      Atlantic
      16 LPC
      10 CPC
      6 NDP

      Québec
      53 NDP
      12 CPC
      10 LPC
      3 BQ

      Ontario
      79 CPC
      23 NDP
      16 LPC

      Prairies
      21 CPC
      4 LPC
      3 NDP

      Alberta
      28 CPC
      4 LPC
      2 NDP

      British Columbia
      24 NDP
      12 CPC
      5 LPC
      1 GPC

      Territories
      1 CPC
      1 NDP
      1 LPC

      Very close to a CPC majority, but not quite. They would need 5% from the NDP in BC or 3% from the NDP in Québec to achieve it.

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    3. The real kicker is that Forum had a poll from approximately the same time that showed completely different numbers much more consistent with everything else out there. Mainstreet had one additional day, and a larger sample.

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    4. It's likely an outlier but will take a few more polls to really know for sure.

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    5. The Conservatives haven't had numbers like this since 2012, no? It seems rather suspicious that there would be such a drastic shift in such a short period of time when all of the other polls show otherwise. Not impossible, but definitely unlikely. I'm thinking this is an outlier as well, albeit I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around all this considering the sample size.

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    6. Totally agree, most likely an outlier. However I think it's also possible an error in reporting might have occurred as well.

      It was pointed out on Babble that Mainstreet states in their release that those who are following the release of the UCCB cheques closely AND are eligible to receive them, are much more likely to vote Conservative. This subgroup is reported at 38% for the CPC.

      Which is that same level of support they give the CPC nationally, one would expect that if the CPC's fortunes had risen so dramatically (8-11%) that the sub-group would have risen in support as well. However we have both a sub-group and national support levels listed as the same, that could mean there was some kind of calculation error or even simple data entry error.

      What ever the case is, this poll is highly suspect and counter to all the current trend lines and as with many suspect polls there is little support to give reason for such a major rise in CPC fortunes. The UCCB is a minor event in a pre-election summer and while a bump in support (2 or 3%) could be expected, what mainstreet is showing is massive rise. As an additional question that should be raised, it could well be true that the UCCB is boosting the CPC number but that the same time economic downturn and recession should logically counter that boost. I would think anyone praising the CPC for the UCCB would be faulting them the state of the economy.

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    7. The part you need to focus on is the 1 in 20 chance for any poll to completely miss the mark.

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  12. Any thoughts on the new Mainstreet Research poll for Postmedia? Haven't seen these guys before, the sample looks large but the numbers are way way way out of wack compared to anything else.

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    1. ... I should say, haven't seen these guys before federally. They were involved in the Alberta election, no?

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    2. It is important to keep in mind the headline numbers are decided voters. If one included undecideds the Tories' 38% would turn into 32%.

      I think the numbers pretty accurate. While I only have anecdotal evidence almost everyone here in Vancouver that I know doesn't trust Angry Beard with the economy, many of them don't particularly like Harper but see Trudeau and Mulcair as worse options. People understand we can't spend our way to economic glory.

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    3. You really don't do yourself any favours when you use phrases like "Angry Beard." It kind of shines a spotlight on bias and causes one to not give any objective consideration to the statements made by the "everyone" you talk to. This is 308, not a newspaper comment board. I would like to think the discourse here is of a higher level of maturity and consideration.

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    4. I like "Angry Beard", I think it both funny and apt and far from being an insult-at least I write about him! The real insult is against Trudeau who has become inconsequential enough he doesn't get mentioned.

      I'm not trying to change peoples' opinions I'm giving my two cents. Thank you for your opinion Nick I guess Dippers like you wish to outlaw fun and free speech. Please relax maybe travel out here to Vancouver and visit a dispensary-they may have what you need. You needn't take things, especially comments, so seriously-it's only politics! In any case I'm sure Mulcair has been called much worse.

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    5. Your assumption that only a "Dipper" would call you out for your lack of maturity and decorum when describing Tom Mulcair only further discredits your comments and opinions, because that most certainly is not the case when describing me. I voted for the Conservatives in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. This election I have yet to decide.

      The point is that I merely expect a higher level of discussion and discourse among people who take an interest in polling data and the trend it shows than the same kind of blind and oblivious partisanship that I see elsewhere. People have commented how they were not looking forward to having to deal with the CBC's comment section when the poll tracker moved there. I echo those sentiments.

      Furthermore, please do remember that the Freedom of Expression that allows you to post these comments also grants me the Freedom of Expression to criticize you for them. You alone do not determine what expression one is free to express.

      You are not painting Conservative supporters in a very favourable light if this is what you resort to when someone disagrees with you or calls you out on a statement. Perhaps the National Post or one of the Postmedia-owned Sun paper comment section may be a better fit? Seeing how there would be plenty of like-minded individuals and you can live without the fear of anyone criticizing or commenting on your expressions?

      Just saying...

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    6. Nick,

      What do you have against free speech? It's only politics buddy-don't take it so seriously.

      You expect?-Well Nick my lad I don't take orders from you, do I? I have this thing called free will. You complain about my comments but your last three paragraphs are little more than outlandish personal attack on me! Such attacks are at base intellectually inconsistent with your stated motive.

      I think you miss the usefulness of nicknames and the important place they hold within our culture.
      Where would we be without political nick names? "PET" would simple be Pierre or Trudeau, "The Little Guy from Shawinigan", The Right Honourable Jean Chretien, "the boy from Baie Comeau" nothing more than Martin Brian Mulroney and "Wacky Bennett" would be William Andrew Cecil-what a mouthful! Or who can forget Shiela"I anin't nobody's baby" Copps!

      I don't know who appointed you Sherriff but, maybe you could keep the highbrow stuff for Trinity College. Or perhaps enroll in the grammar police, at least that would be useful.


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    7. Capilano Dunbar,

      I have nothing against freedom of expression. You are entirely within your right to express your opinions, and likewise am entirely within my right to review and criticize those opinions you express. To cry "free speech!" when someone reviews or criticizes the opinion you express is the very definition of hypocrisy, as it is an attempt to claim that your opinion is more valid than others by claiming the those contrary are infringing on your rights. That is most certainly not the case, but evidently something you don't understand.

      Face it, calling Tom Mulcair "Angry Beard" is childish and unbecoming the type of discussion that occurs here. It is the kind of thing one should expect to see in the comments section of the Toronto Sun, not 308. And assuming that someone must be an NDP supporter because they called you out on that sort of childishness is incredibly naive. No one appointed me Sheriff, but just like you did earlier, I am merely expressing my own opinion. "Free Speech" - or more appropriately Freedom of Expression as we live in Canada not the United States - is not a right exclusive to just Capilano Dunbar or those that agree with him, and I suggest you don't get so angry when people take time out of their day to make the effort of pointing this out to you :-)

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    8. Nick,

      Stop being a bully. You are wrong, and rude. I'm sorry.

      Relax for Pete's sake-it's only politics! People are allowed to have a little fun. Do you get angry at political cartoonists as well?-Last time I checked Obama's ears were much smaller than they are portrayed in the New York Times cartoons or maybe take up your fight with the venerable economist magazine who dubbed The Right Honourable Paul Martin "Mr. Dithers". Political satire is an important cultural trait, it helps society keep politics, politicians and current events in perspective and provides an equality between the governors and the governed.

      The reason why I brought freedom of expression into this conversation is because you wish to curtail mine through your comments: " I would like to think the discourse here (threeehundredeight.com) is of a higher level of maturity and consideration"; "I merely expect a higher level of discussion"; " Perhaps the National Post or one of the Postmedia-owned Sun paper comment section may be a better fit"?; "Face it, calling Tom Mulcair "Angry Beard" is childish and unbecoming the type of discussion that occurs here. It is the kind of thing one should expect to see in the comments section of the Toronto Sun, not 308". I ask why you wish to limit my right?-I never infer, intone or state your right be limited, restricted or otherwise denigrated.

      Why do you care? Are you on a personal mission from God to clean up language on political sites throughout the Western World? Does your preferred political party command this of you? Are you simply doing this for kicks? If you believed in freedom of expression you would allow others to freely express themselves without hindrance-you have chosen not to do so, that makes your philosophy in conflict with your actions and makes you a person whose philosophy is diametrically opposed to his actions. I hope you grow out of this intellectual inconsistency, it is very unbecoming. As is your snobby attitude that my comments belong in the Sun. Working class people Nick, are good people who deserve respect not, snide comments from the likes of you! People who have class don't act they way you do Nick, they respect others!

      More problematic you do not appear to understand the meaning of hypocrisy: "The practice of claiming to have higher standards or beliefs then is the case"(OED) . You claim I have a right to express myself and you have a right to criticise but, that I shouldn't do it here (threehundredeight.com), thereby, limiting or even ending my right to freely express myself-that Sir-is hypocritical!

      If you admit and recognise; "You (Capilano Dunbar) are entirely within your right to express your opinions". Then, why pray tell do you care if I refer to "Angry Beard" or "young Trudeau" or "Steveo"? It seems to me that your insistence such terms are wrong is in itself a contradiction, a contradiction that is intellectually inconsistent with your previous statements.

      Finally, far from angry I have found this conversation quite amusing, even enjoyable, but, you certainly haven't changed my opinion on the matter.

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    9. I have to say Nick, I think you are way way way offside on this one. If one followed your logic to its conclusion the Daily Show would be outlawed, the Nightly Show heavily censored and political cartoons and satire censored "for the public good".

      You may take offense at "Angry Beard", although it is not clear why since you claim to be a (lapsed?) Tory but, many others could easily see it as a term of endearment or even a compliment since, he is angry at something (presumably the Harper Ministry) and is going to do something about it!

      Why Nick you have decided to take it upon yourself to rules-lawyer this site is beyond me but, clearly the moderators think "Angry Beard" acceptable terminology. At the end of the day it is their decision, not yours, please give it a rest.

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    10. So now we're comparing 308 to comedy and political satire? While I'm sure there is a time or a place for it, the context for that certainly didn't fit its usage now, as it was leveled in criticism, not as a "term of endearment or a compliment.

      And yes, I do take offensive to "Angry Beard" the same way I do do references to Trudeau's "Nice Hair" or the abhorrent ad from 1993 that went after Jean Chretien. Instead of discussing issues, it is resorting to objectifying individuals for their appearance. I don't think anyone here would consider calling someone a "dumb blonde" appropriate, and likewise I do not believe that these kinds of comments in this context are, either. I have no problem expressing my disapproval, nor do I have any issue discussing this with people who disapprove.

      Also FYI Johnny Bluenose - the moderators approved each and every one of my posts as well. What does that tell you? Evidently I'm not the only one here who is free to express themselves, nor am I the only one who feels this way about the use of such phrases.

      Knowing this, I think it neither appropriate nor warranted for you to tell me to "give it a rest" or any such sort.

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    11. Let's move on from this. As noted in the comment moderation policy below, "Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians." I would consider Angry Beard to be one of those. These are human beings, not caricatures.

      I try my best to moderate all comments closely, but I am bound to make some errors.

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  13. Given who commissioned the poll and their well known bias I'd say it should head for the garbage disposal very quickly !!

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    1. Just remember that if you poll badly it hurts your reputation, so no polling firm is intentionally trying to produce bad results....the client want accurate results and confidence in the numbers. Continuously doing bad polling gets recognized by the media, public and people bankrolling the poll.

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    2. No if you're the Postmedia and the Sun.

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    3. Peter: The Forum poll was sponsored by the Star. It is the only News Outlet that has support for progressive politics in its reason for being. You wouldn't be saying that the Forum results should be taken out of the polling agregation because of the bias of the the sponsor?

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    4. You all should know by now that both Forum and Mainstreet do their polls for free, and give them to one media outlet. I would wager quite a bit that the only input the Star (or Postmedia for Mainstreet) has with Forum's polling is whether or not they will publish the results that land in their mailbox on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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    5. Eric, wasn't it was stated that the Mainstreet poll as commissioned by Postmedia?

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    6. I believe it only says it was exclusive to Postmedia.

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  14. Unless that ridiculously high CPC number is shown in two more polls, its an outlier. I think it is way off. The CPC has been sinking and now we are to believe that have jumped 8-11 points over night? Forum research has them for the same time period 10 points lower.

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    1. Jimmy,

      Mainstreet's numbers are among decided voters! If you incorporated the undecideds into the poll the Conservative number would be around 32% among eligible voters.

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    2. They have the CPC at 45% in Ontario with an 18 point lead. Totally ridiculous. Sounds really fishy to me.

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    3. Jimmy,

      I'll believe in conspiracy theories when they catch the man who shot Kennedy!

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  15. To those of us who really wondered about all that Senate stuff with Brad Wall that happened yesterday that was pure distraction.

    Harper was hiding another economic disaster !! Oil finished up yesterday at $48.31. That's over a two dollar drop from the morning opening and just another blow to Alberta's and the Canadian economy. Got deflect attention, eh?

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    1. To a point I think a faltering economy helps the Conservatives. Canadians aren't likely to give the ship of state to the NDP amidst economic swells.

      The Senate announcement certainly was a distraction but it covers a soft underbelly of unfinished business and a place where Tory rhetoric did not match with practice. Before yesterday the Conservative policy on the Senate was: it should be elected yet, the Tories appointed Senators as had been done for the past 148 years. So while in theory they supported reform in practice they continued the status quo, totally untenable policy contradiction in the long run, they realised both the NDP and the Liberals had out-flanked them on this issue and that long time supporters especially in the Prairies could be swayed. In a tight election 3 or 4 Prairie seats could make the difference between Governemnt or Opposition; minority or majority.

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    2. I think you're both right. On a day when oil slipped below $50 a barrel it was good timing to say the least that Harper had a big announcement to Snatch the headlines away from economics. On the other hand I think Harper is committed to Senate reform and his lack of progress an irritant on an otherwise successful premiership. Populism in the west has often traveled between the NDP/CCF and the Conservative parties so, it was good strategy by Harper to cut the NDP "off at the pass" as it were.

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  16. EKOS has consistently published their weekly polls on Friday. This week the dog ate EKOS's homework?

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    1. EKOS has been on a bi-weekly schedule since the beginning of the summer. They should report next week.

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  17. And Mulcair just got voted as best to run the economy !!

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    Replies
    1. Actually Peter the poll determined a plurality of Canadians thought a Tory majority would be best, followed by a NDP majority government followed by a Liberal majority government.

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    2. Before this gets out of hand, the poll actually said that:

      - 47% of Canadians think Mulcair would have a positive or somewhat positive effect on the economy, followed by Trudeau at 41% and Harper at 32%

      - 24% said that a Conservative majority would have the most positive impact on the Canadian economy, followed by an NDP majority at 21% and a Liberal majority at 14%.

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    3. I'll take 47 over 32 any day Eric.

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    4. Based on those numbers, I wonder if CPC supporters are vastly more in favour of majority governments. Because it seems there that people who like Mulcair or Trudeau don't want any party to have a majority.

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    5. I'm beginning to wonder if in fact majority govt is a BAD thing. The public loses any ability to influence Govt except at elections with majorities !!

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    6. I think that's a good thing about majorities. The governments are free to act without worrying about appeasing the masses who don't understand complex issues. Majorities are free to implement sound but unpopular policies such that they have time to work before they're undone by a kneejerk electorate.

      People make bad decisions. I think the point of the electorate is to place a limit on the power of government by removing them if they consistently act badly, but I don't want the people anywhere near day-to-day governance.

      How many ordinary voters understand how the money supply works? Or the effects, both good and bad, of unionization? Or the value of direct subsidies versus tax breaks? Or the cost of violating trade agreements?

      You see this in the US in the public debate about funding for NASA. People legitimately complain about how much money is wasted on the space program, when the entire budget for NASA over its ENTIRE history is smaller than some of America's smaller military engagements.

      Large numbers confuse people. They don't listen to the truth; they listen to the most attractive lie they're told. I don't want those people making decisions.

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    7. Personally, I would choose a Mulcair majority over ANY minority. Prime Minister Mulcair isn't my first choice, but he'd be better than a minority government.

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    8. Ira you need to sit back and read your stuff before you put it up. What you have posted on this majority Govt issue is pure CPC line !!

      Instead of that look at countries in Europe, like Germany for instance. Strong economy and really good public services. Some ot the other European countries are good to and almost all are non-majority govts. Plus the Scandawegian countries are doing great and also not-majority !! It works better than majority because it isn't owned by Big Money and Big Business !!

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    9. Or look at Greece, or Italy or Spain minority government ruined them. In Greece most people don't pay tax but use services!

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    10. New Ipsos shows Mainstreet is way off base as predicted. Harper worst for the economy. Harper is in big trouble.

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    11. Oh Cap you mean like Alberta, Ontario and PEI with majority Govt's eh?

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  18. The one exception I'll make is for grand coalitions. Grand coalitions (a coalition of the largest parties - both Germany and Austria are currently governed by grand coalitions - Finland does something similar) seem to work well.

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  19. Those European countries you point to often have grossly inefficient government spending.

    So does the US, which effectively has a minority government all the time because of the way power is split between the House, Senate, and the Presidency.

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  20. Le Monde Diplomatique

    The defeat of Europe - Yanis Varoufakis

    The Eurogroup - which has no legal standing - is anti-democratic, disdainful of the European Commission, which it now commands, and internally fractured. This is what it did to Greece.
    Original text in English

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    1. As much as I disagree with Yanis Varoufakis on economic questions, he's entirely right about the anti-democratic nature of many EU institutions. The EU is all about centralizing power, and thus taking it away from the voters in the member countries. Recall how the EU effectively overturned the results of the 1999 parliamentary elections in Austria because they didn't like the result.

      Or how they forbade Ireland from having an election in 2008 (until Ireland had approved a bailout package).

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    2. And Ira if majority Govts are about one thing it is centralizing power and blocking any opposition.

      Just look at the taxpayer theft now going on with all these Govt of Canada ads and how they are being used to promote the CPC !!

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    3. Ideally you want a strong constitution that lays out exactly what the limits on legislative power is.

      But between elections, I don't want the opposition to exert any real control over the legislative agenda. That just makes for a populist mess.

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    4. Varoufakis is actually pretty nearly exactly correct on all economic questions. The only guy in Greece who seems to understand the economics; even Tsipras didn't understand it, which is why Varoufakis quit.

      Spend some time studying optimal currency area theory, read some Krugman or Black or Keynes or Lerner on Macroeconomics, or read some historical econometric correlations for a while, learn some game theory, and you too will realize that Varoufakis is much smarter than the people around him.... but I can't explain all of economic theory in a blog comment. :-(

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  21. Let's all try to remember something on here. It is extremely rare for a political party to represent even 50% of the population. Seats do not represent the actual support for any given party, Any given seat represents those who voted and how they voted. That does not in any way represent the actual views of the people despite all the bilge we hear !!

    So let's back off and just watch how the trends shift back and forth. But in the end a party that gets a majority does NOT represent the whole people!! They only represent a proportion less than 50%. So why should that pseudo majority think it can run roughshod over the people and their wishes !!

    That's why minority govts represent the "Will Of The Public" far better !!

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    1. The will of the public isn't a thing. People don't all agree on what they want.

      All there is is the will of the individual, and there are millions of those. They can't all get their way. Given this, our goal should be to ahve the government do as little as possible (Canada has never had a government interested in this) so as to let those millions of individuals do as they like.

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  22. The will of the people is indeed a "thing" !! Whether you like it or not. Best expressed by direct questioning, binding referendum, but like it or not can also, in a less perfect way but still valid by minority Govt's with cooperation from other parties.

    NEVER by direct force of a majority govt !!

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    Replies
    1. I don't care if governments reflect it, because it doesn't exist. There is no hive mind.

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  23. OK Folks the shit is about to hit the fan !!! According to CBC Harper will drop the election writ this coming Sunday, .I think Eric can confirm ?

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    1. I can confirm that is what the CBC is indeed reporting.

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    2. After which, we'll have one month of phoney war (canvassing excepted) in most ridings, with the real campaign starting after Labour Day. The difference is that the spending rate will be almost twice what it would have been for a minimal length campaign.

      That pretty much disembowels the whole principle of spending limits. If we do see another Harper majority, will the next campaign be 365 days?

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    3. Finally.
      Our waiting game is over.
      The Writ is hitting the Federal Election fan, this Monday.

      And the timing shows key signs of desperation from a government leader who dares not run on his record or strength of economic/political leadership.

      All that remains are the tools one would expect from a group of strategic Cons : Cash and Fear. Loads of this ammunition will be unleashed in a prolonged war of fiscal attrition and scare-mongering. So sad. So true.

      The HarperCons, as many rightfully describe the PM's core troops, will fail to wrest Canada from those who are just plain fed-up and tired of this manipulative, cold-calculating, regressive-conservative autocrat.

      And they thought Alberta was theirs forever.

      Freedom from political tyranny is 11 weeks away.



      The War of 2015 is upon us.




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    4. It's unsurprising. The Tories used to enjoy a massive fundraising advantage, so they could outspend opponents before the writ period and build their electoral advantage like that.

      Now, the gap in fundraising is smaller (by necessity, the Liberals and NDP have improved), but it's not yet gone. Having a longer campaign with higher spending limits (more and more, I don't like the Fair Elections Act) exacerbates that difference, restoring the Conservative advantage.

      As I get older, I find myself disliking my own first choice of government more and more. I didn't like Christy Clark at all the last time I voted in BC. I knew full well Wild Rose wasn't ready to govern Alberta. And now Harper has turned into an authoritarian monster (albeit one who lowers my taxes).

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    5. Eric,

      Why is it that I can't refer to a particular federal leader as "Angry" but, terminology like "Harper Cons" (implying criminality) is allowed? To me this is a double standard and I take offence.

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    6. As happened with your comments, I don't always catch everything.

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    7. Thanks for the response.

      Much appreciated.

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