Friday, April 15, 2016

Liberals onside with public opinion on doctor-assisted dying legislation

The Liberal government sided with public opinion in the doctor-assisted dying legislation that was tabled on Thursday. Canadians were already widely on board with legalizing it, but the Liberals have also aligned themselves with the views of most Canadians on the details, too.

The government had to come up with the legislation due to the unanimous landmark ruling last year by the Supreme Court of Canada that struck down the ban on doctor-assisted dying. Politically, it was not dangerous territory, as at least two-thirds of Canadians have supported legalizing doctor-assisted death since the late 1970s.

But the devil was in the details on how it would be implemented, who would be eligible and what protections would be put into place to spare the vulnerable.

Polling conducted by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) in March suggests that the Liberals did not take many controversial positions in putting together this legislation.

You can read the rest of this article here.

The Pollcast: The impact of the Manitoba leaders' debate

Four party leaders faced off in last night's leaders' debate, with just a week to go before Manitoba goes to the polls on April 19. But this late in the campaign, did their performances do anything to move the dial?

A new poll taken just after the debate by Mainstreet Research found that 44 per cent of viewers thought PC Leader Brian Pallister did the better job, followed by NDP Leader Greg Selinger (24 per cent), James Beddome of the Greens (19 per cent) and Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari, with just 4 per cent rating Bokhari as the best performer.

Joining me to discuss what went down in last night's debate is the CBC's Cameron MacIntosh. You can listen to it here.

Keeping Tom Mulcair may have been safer bet for NDP, history suggests

Losing seats from one election to the next can sting for the devotees of a political party. The natural reaction may be to call for a change of leadership, as New Democrats did on Sunday at the NDP's convention.

But history suggests that a change in leadership is not necessarily a ticket for future success — in fact, holding on to the leader may be the safer choice.

You can read the rest of this article here.

NDP lost the left to Justin Trudeau before rejecting Tom Mulcair

New Democrats rejected the leadership of Tom Mulcair at their party convention on the weekend, kicking off a battle for the soul of the NDP. With their support for a closer look at the Leap Manifesto, NDP members seem to believe the party's future lies in a return to the left.

But that edge of the spectrum, if the New Democrats want to occupy it again, will need to be wrested away from the Liberals first.

You can read the rest of this article on how the NDP is polling among its core constituencies here.


  1. I do not totally agree with how innovative research divided the left side of the electorate. I am not convinced the whole left-right paradigm is wholly applicable to Canada. Let's face it the paradigm was derived in France in the late 18th century by how representatives seated themselves in the revolutionary National Assembly. What that practice has in common with 21st century Canada is not clear to me.

    Having said that one has to start somewhere: The old adage that Liberals campaign on the left but, govern from the right may well come true again. With the low-balling of revenue and growth projections in Trudeau's first budget it certainly appears he has kept some old tricks in his bag. This age old Liberal practice may well allow many of the now "core-left", left-liberals or "populist-left" crowd to re-think their position when once again Liberals fail to deliver on a host of priorities and promises made in the Autumn of 2015.

    So, these numbers are to be expected and showcase what side of the spectrum Trudeau's honeymoon glow is emanating from; the left. This is not surprising or unexpected. There is no indication that the leftist crowd who defected from the centrist platform of Thomas Mulcair have for all time renounced the NDP, they may simply be swing voters. So frankly news of the NDP's demise have been greatly exaggerated by this poll. What this polling may show is simply that left-leaning voters are more susceptible to changing their vote than right-leaning or centrist voters.

  2. I really don't know what people want from the NDP. Last year they're too centrist and now the're too left wing?

  3. That Leap Manifesto is going to cause them some problems. The reasoning it presents does not hold up to scrutiny. The expansion of NIMBY (not in my backyard) to BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) is simply indefensible.

    1. It is entirely possible that after 2 years of discussions they arrive at the same conclusion....but I'd say the party is in a tough spot, a good chunk of their base likely wants to embrace Leap and I agree it will likely cause problems with their broad attractiveness. is important for parties and leaders to take principled stands on what they believe in, and try to convince the public potentially bringing them to their viewpoints. Successful or not, I think I'd rather have that than horrible pandering.

    2. I don't think that the Leap Manifesto authors care to much about NIMBY, given their sympathies (whether due to ideology or ignorance) towards the disastrous McGuinty green energy policies in Ontario.

    3. The sort of hardcore socialism that gives rise to a platform like Leap is, apparently, wholly unfamiliar with economics.

      Human behaviour is economic behaviour. The two terms may as well be synonymous; if a platform ignores how people actually behave, it has a problem.

    4. I quite agree Ira. On top of that LEAP does not present a plan to achieve their lofty goals. To get off fossil fuels must we build nuclear power plants? Should the Government(s) provide large subsidies for electric vehicles? it speaks of the need not to invest in infrastructure that keeps the same paradigm but gives no direction on how we change. Where is the best place to start? Leap is a l;eap in the dark written by people with good intentions but little judgement or it appears knowledge on how to implement the changes they seek. It is a waste of time.

  4. Manitobans go to the polls tomorrow! How exciting! I think Eric's popular vote numbers a little high due to the recent snafu with Pallister Costa Rican vacation home. I doubt the NDP will break 30% though and while the Liberals will do well they will stay below 25%. My prediction: PC;41, NDP; 10, MLP; 6 on 49%, 28%, 19%.

  5. Éric, there seems to be a confusion of correlation and causation in your article on the NDP's choice to replace Mulcair. The fact that parties do better when they keep their leaders despite a loss, could be because parties that do that are parties that, on average, are in better shape. That doesn't mean that the NDP would have improved its state (and thus its future chances) by opting to keep Mulcair, as your analysis seems to suggest.


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