Friday, September 2, 2016

The Pollcast: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May on electoral reform

On the latest episode of The Pollcast, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May notes that a lot of the focus of the electoral reform debate has been on what impact it will have on parties.

But her support for changing the way elections are run in Canada is not about how it might benefit the Greens — rather, she says it is a matter of rights. And that makes a referendum, according to May, inappropriate.

In this latest installment in the podcast series on electoral reform, I also chat with Bloc MP Gabriel Ste-Marie about the Bloc Québécois's position on the issue.

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

NDP's Halifax Needham byelection victory a warning to Stephen McNeil's Liberals

If Premier Stephen McNeil was still thinking about sending Nova Scotians to the polls this fall, Tuesday's results in the Halifax Needham byelection should give him pause.

On the face of it, the New Democrats' win in a riding they have held since 1998 might come as no surprise. After all, Halifax Needham is a riding that elected Maureen MacDonald six times. In four of those occasions, MacDonald won with a majority of ballots cast.

But it was a close contest in 2013. In that election, MacDonald took 44 per cent of the vote. The Liberals' Chris Poole came up 277 votes short with 40.4 per cent.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Liberals hold post-election gains in summer polling

A year after the Liberals began the 2015 federal election campaign in third place, support for the party is holding firm — maintaining the gains the Liberals made in the immediate aftermath of last fall's vote.

Over the last three months, the Liberals have averaged 47.3 per cent support in federal polls, representing a gain of 7.8 points since the October election. Compared to the previous quarter, however, the Liberals are up just 0.6 points. This suggests that the party's support has leveled off and that —10 months after being sworn into power — the initial Liberal "honeymoon" has settled into a new normal.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Upcoming Alberta byelections pose stiff challenge for Liberals

Just hours after Stephen Harper announced he was resigning his Calgary Heritage seat, the Liberal Party sent out an email blast to its supporters. Looking for donations, the party said it was hoping to kick-start its efforts to elect a Liberal MP in Harper's vacated riding.

It's an ambitious appeal. The Liberals were beaten in Calgary Heritage last fall by almost 38 percentage points and more than 22,000 votes.

Byelections will need to be held soon in four ridings. The fundraising request from the Liberals mentioned two of them: Harper's and Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. That seat was left vacant this spring when Conservative MP Jim Hillyer died of a heart attack. A byelection campaign needs to be called for that riding within a few weeks.

You can read the rest of this article here.