Saturday, August 13, 2016

Is the Green Party ready for life after Elizabeth May?

If Elizabeth May is the Green Party, what would become of the Green Party without Elizabeth May?

This is a question that might need to be answered soon. In an interview on CBC Radio's The House, May told host David Cochrane that she could resign as leader of the Green Party within the month. She's taking the time offered by a family vacation to think it over.

This reflection has been sparked by the party's adoption of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at a policy convention last weekend. Opposed by the Green Party leader, this movement urges economic pressure against Israel as a response to what it considers the Jewish state's oppression of Palestinians.

With May as its leader since 2006 and its sole member of Parliament, the Green Party has become largely synonymous with May. Her departure, considering her largely positive national profile, could be a tremendous blow to the party.

You can read the rest of this article here.

New polls show Donald Trump trailing badly in key swing states

The electoral map has gone from bad to worse for Donald Trump, as a series of new state-level polls show him falling further behind Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic nominee's position has improved so significantly that the Presidential Poll Tracker now awards her 273 electoral college votes from "safe" states alone, putting her over the 270-vote mark needed to win the White House.

Despite claims from Trump that the polls are "getting close," a string of polls conducted by Marist College for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal suggest the opposite, with states thought to be battlegrounds showing Clinton opening up a wide lead over the Republican presidential nominee.

You can read the rest of this analysis here.

The Pollcast: The summer of electoral reform

The summer of electoral reform is upon us, and your Member of Parliament wants to know what you think about it.

As the special committee on electoral reform grills experts and meets with Canadians over the summer, MPs are quizzing their own constituents on what system they think best fits the needs of the country — and whether or not a referendum is required to put a new electoral system into place.

On this week's episode of the Pollcast, I'm joined by two Liberal MPs to hear their views on electoral reform, as well as what their own constituents are telling them.

You can listen to the podcast here and subscribe to the podcast here.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith is the MP for the riding of Beaches–East York in Toronto and Joël Lightbound is the MP for the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hébert.

Upcoming episodes will feature MPs from the opposition parties.

According to the Liberal government, all options are on the table. These include a form of proportional representation or a preferential ballot. The latter system is one that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he personal supports, raising concerns that the Liberals will adopt the system that could benefit them most, no matter what the committee concludes.

But not all Liberal MPs agree that the preferential ballot is the way to go.

"I don't think alternative voting or a ranked ballot system will get at the real crux of the problem," said Erskine-Smith, "which is the distortion in outcomes that first-past-the-post engenders. So, I'm not in favour of it."

But Erskine-Smith noted that single-transferable voting (STV) has an element of ranked balloting and could be a viable solution.

You can listen to the podcast here and subscribe to the podcast here.

Donald Trump's electoral map looking more and more difficult

As Hillary Clinton continues to make gains in the polls, Donald Trump's path to the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House is getting narrower and narrower.

The surge Clinton experienced in the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention has not dissipated. She is currently projected to have the support of 46.8 per cent of decided voters. Trump follows at 40.4 per cent. That gap of 6.4 points is the widest it has been in the Presidential Poll Tracker since the end of the U.S. primaries in early June.

Clinton's increasing lead in the national vote has contributed to her improving position in the electoral college. She is projected to win 347 electoral college votes against 191 for Trump.

The electoral college, not the national popular vote, is what decides elections. Trump will need to close the gap in a few key battleground states if he is to win the White House. Based on where he stands in the polls today, here is his easiest path to 270 electoral college votes, along with the current estimates of where the two candidates stand.

It is far from an easy path.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Donald Trump in the White House? Canadians are increasingly worried about it

A new poll suggests that Canadians are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, with almost four out of every five Canadians saying a Trump White House would be bad for Canada.

In the survey, conducted by Insights West last week, 79 per cent of respondents said they are "very concerned" or "moderately concerned" about the possibility of the Republican nominee becoming the president of the United States.

You can read the rest of this article here.