Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ontario PCs narrowly lead unpopular Wynne; plus a little Christmas cheer

A new poll from Forum Research and the Toronto Star shows that the Progressive Conservatives under Patrick Brown enjoy a narrow lead over the Ontario Liberals, despite Kathleen Wynne's disapproval ratings being sky-high.

The poll (only the Star report is online at the moment) gave the Tories 34% and the Liberals 31%, virtually unchanged from the 36% to 30% spread that Forum recorded in early November. The New Democrats had 26%, also unchanged from that previous poll.

Brown seems to have a profile problem. He has a net positive approval rating at 25% approval to 24% disapproval, but 51% of Ontarians still don't have an opinion of him. That is a lot of people to impress — or repel.

Wynne has an approval rating of just 23%, with 61% disapproving of her performance as premier.

Andrea Horwath of the NDP had a 40% approval rating and 26% disapproval rating.

It is a problem for the PCs when they are not doing better against such an unpopular premier. A similar situation in Manitoba is taking place, but the numbers are completely different. In Manitoba, the New Democrats have been in power since 1999 though the premier, Greg Selinger, is relatively new. He is deeply unpopular and trailing in the polls by about 20 points.

In Ontario, the Liberals have been in power since 2003, though Wynne is a relatively fresh face. She is also unpopular. But she is trailing in the polls by just three points.

Twas the night before Christmas on Parliament Hill

I deal with numbers on a daily basis, but for this holiday season I thought I'd try my hand with words. Here's my rendition (along with a dramatic reading!) of "A Visit from St. Nicholas", adapted for the Ottawa bubble.

Happy holidays!


  1. A profile problem?

    Before reading this article I'm confident I didn't know Patrick Brown's name. I certainly couldn't pick him out of a police lineup (though I'm not sure I ever knew what Hudak looked like, either).

    1. Patrick Brown has a lot of political baggage that he's trying hard to distance himself from and he's been light on actual policy on the provincial scene. It has to be that he's trying to keep a low profile to limit the possible downside.

    2. Much more likely is the fact Opposition Leader's speeches are rarely front page news. As opposed to your made-for-TV-movie conspiracy theories.

    3. Brown is a careerist and he is pretty much the same. Cutting your way to prosperity is a fallacy. Ontario needs much more than that to get its house in order. What Ontario needs is a full employment plan, higher disposable incomes, jobs for youth and a wider social safety net. None of the three parties are promising an anti-globalist platform. Ontario is simply closer to Europe than any other jurisdiction in Canada. Ontario needs to do what Argentina did in 2001 and have a provincial bond currency. Ontario could also do what Russia did in 1998 and have state currencies. The system itself is broken. I think voting for the None of the Above party is the real way to say that you are against the political class, rather than voting for a boring political class type like Brown, who has no plan. Ontario is bankrupt, but all three parties contributed to the debt Ontario has.

    4. Worker of the World Unite:You have nothing to lose but, your chains!

      Seriously, we've tried it and it failed miserably. Capitalism is perhaps the worst economic system except all the others we have tried from time to time-to paraphrase Churchill. An anti-global platform-Oh you mean nationalism-I hear Germany, Italy and Spain tried that-how did it work for them? Hopefully nobody lost their life. The Argentine experiment in 2001 nearly brought down the entire economic system of South America, it lead to a widespread crisis resulting in thousands losing their jobs not too mention the hyper-inflation, corruption, lack of growth, wealth, democracy and human rights that still plauge Argentina! Cutting spending is a way to prosperity if; you are over-spending.We do it in our personal lives and government is similar albeit to different degrees and with different contexts. Enough with the pseudo-hate speech please.

    5. John - Provinces aren't allowed to issue their own currency. The last province to try that (Alberta, 1935) got into a lot of trouble.

      And Paul McEwan's right. When I read your proposal, all I could think was hyperinflation. More disposable income, full employment, and a wider social safety net? How do you pay for all that without just printing money?

    6. Either way the West is headed for hyperinflation started by first by deflation by controlling the money supply. I am talking about using the Bank of Canada which was used for infrastructure until 1974. Nationalism by the way is not Nazism or Italian fascism. There is such thing as civic nationalism, centrist nationalism. Stop trying to fearmonger and stop showing your ignorance. The fact is with Lib, CON, NDP there is room for change. The money changers do control the system. The Western nations are debtor and that is the honest truth. Cutting just leads to slow growth, and Russia did show through restructuring that cuts alone are not the way to bringing down debt. Russia never lived truly through the IMF system. The IMF is the problem, along with the World Bank.

      Anti-globalism also means anti-free trade, which does not just apply to nationalism, but socialism and communism and National Socialism. See what happens MacEwan when you don't know about hoe each ideology varies.

      The fact is a civic nationalist party called Canadian Action party federally does exist and you are misinforming others because they want to use the Bank of Canada. The fact is they are not purely protectionist. They want a mixed economy. Any party not for neoliberalism would be defined to you as massively protectionist or socialist or communist.

      The fact is people like Ross Perot were against free trade as well.

      People realize the jig is up for modern-day capitalism or mainstream capitalism or the merger of state and corporate power aka fascism!

    7. No complaint about the low interest rates MacEwan because the West is going to have to contend with that fact. What happened in '08 was not just the mortgage crisis but a credit crisis. Many businesses went under. We have been in slow growth times since '08 and we need new ideas. The bankers do control the system. Why was no one punished for what happened on Wall St. It seems to me that whenever I bring up these ideas the mainstream and their followers are either too timid or thy wish to switch to another subject. The fact is capitalism in its current form gave all of this to us and willingly of course and the Millenials and millions have had to suffer. Why weren't the middle class and the lower class given a bailout?

    8. Also where is the democracy in Canada? We just have oligarchy. Choice is supposed to exist. All I see are career politicians and no choices!!!

    9. "Why weren't the middle class and the lower class given a bailout? "

      Because they aren't rich enough to buy the politicians John !!

    10. John,

      Please enough with the pseudo-hate speech rants. Clearly, you have little understanding of economics and finance. "The bankers do control the system"? Really? Would this be the Council of Zion? or do they control it all from the St. James Club? Do you have any proof except anecdotes? Conspiracy theories are great until they hinder one's clarity of thought-I believe you have hit that point.

      Civic nationalism is wonderful if you were referring to it but, we both know you are writing of a much more sinister nationalism, you must be since, you don't refer to communities joining hands and building schools but, violent economic and political upheaval that would produce hundreds of thousands if not millions of unemployed and victims of political, social and economic instability.

      We know your ideas don't work. We saw the results in the 1970's, 80's and 90's and have dealt with the aftermath for the last two and a half decades. Why you wish to subject your fellow human beings to what is an abrrogation of their rights and spirit is beyond me. It is cruel to say the least and fool hearty at best.

      Perhaps you can find noone party to vote for because you are not a democrat? That would be my theory on your supposed lack of choice during elections.

    11. If the mainstream would have a level playing field perhaps then democracy would work. It is you that refuses to acknowledge that, Paul MacEwan!!

    12. This is a month late but, the ridiculousness deserves an answer.

      "The mainstream"? You mean people? Society? The civilised world? The playing field pretty fair and level in Canada. Some parties and politicians do cheat but, anyone can start their own political party and get to work. It's hard. The Green Party has been at it for thirty years and have only started to make breakthroughs in municipal, provincial and federal politics.

      I don't have time to debate this nonsense in full so, I'll be brief:
      Life isn't fair. Therefore, no political system is perfect. "It is you that (sic) refuses to acknowledge that", John!!

      Secondly, I'm a ghost. So stop blaming the "World's problems" on somebody who has left it! Oh look there's Dante! I wonder if he has a special place for you, John?

  2. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark-Marcellus

    That much is obvious, Wynne probably isn't the problem as much as the state of the Ontario government. If Ontario decides to toss the bums out we may see a "have not" Ontario for a generation or more.

  3. Hey Ira you aren't alone !! Plus come election I don't think Brown can beat the Liberal machine !!

    1. If the old saying is true: Oppositions don't defeat Governments governments defeat governments then, Brown won't have to worry about the "Big Red Machine".

    2. One thing is for sure and that is nothing will change economically because it is true that once manufacturing is gone that the jurisdiction will continue to get worse. The problem isn't so much Ontario as much as it is capitalism right now. Which is why anti-mainstream parties are winning in Europe. Ontarians as well as North Americans have not developed a backbone to elect new parties and that means socialists, nationalists and communists. If people think the NDP are socialists, they need to get their head examined. The NDP are third way centrists at best because they believe in neoliberalism and they believe in the law of value, markets and the profit motive above all else.

    3. The PC's should at least be in the mid-40's or 50's by now, liberals don't even like this Ontario Liberal Party. But what choice do they have? Nothing from the Republican thinking and acting "PC's", that's for sure.

      What country do they think we live in? This is becoming a joke. It has very little to with the "Liberal machine", but with the fact that the PC's and The Conservatives can't understand we live in Canada. Their Tea Party style talking points, policies, social far right wing agendas and tactics, turn millions of Ontarians, and 10's of millions of Canadians off. The ABC-Can's are now one of the biggest voting block in the country and they're getting bigger by the day. They want a preferred ballot so badly in Ontario and across the country, they might get their way. The right wing of Canada better get their act together, or Conservatives as we know them, might be only read about in history books. And then they choose a leader like Ambrose? What Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin weren't available? Donald Trump has become their personal advisors? My gosh.

      And choosing a far right winger like Patrick Brown? LOLOL. Talk about totally out of touch with Ontario. Bye Bye Conservatives. Don't forget, you did this to yourselves.

    4. A far right winger he's not. He stood firmly against the sale of Hydro One and spoken out against the bungled energy plan as revealed by the Auditor General.

    5. @Ghost,

      I would suggest a collolory to the "old saying": Oppositions can defeat themselves. The last Ontario election was lost by Hudak as much as it was won by Wynne.


      So re-opening the abortion debate isn't a far right position anymore? Trying to repeal same-sex marriage? Voting against anti-discrimination based on gender expression?

      Brown has been very light on actual policy stances since he started his PC Leadership campaign, but there is good documentation of his positions as a MP.

  4. Since 1977, the Ontario Liberal Party has come to power after every Ontario election held when the Manitoba NDP was in office, and been defeated in every Ontario election held when the Manitoba NDP was out of office.

  5. I'm rather interested in who will contest and who in the end will win the Leadership of the Conservative Party. Current polls say Mackay but somehow ???

  6. Patrick Brown is doing an outstanding job in the Legislature. Watch Question Period on YouTube. Premier Wynne and her energy minister Bob Chiarelli are pathetic.


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