Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Pollcast: The impact of Peter MacKay's decision not to run


The Conservative leadership race was shaken up this week when Peter MacKay, a former cabinet minister and the last leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives, decided he would stay out.

He would have been seen as the front runner had he decided instead to throw his hat into the ring. But now that both MacKay and Jason Kenney — who is running for the leadership of the Alberta PCs — have ruled out a bid, the leadership race has been blown wide open.

Back on the Pollcast with me this week to wade through the growing list of leadership candidates are Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy.

You can listen to this podcast here. 

25 comments:

  1. Given the current situation I think Mackay made the right choice

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    1. Turning the party into the PCs again would inevitably create a western splinter group eventually.

      McKay did make the right choice.

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    2. I'm sure it is the right decision for Peter MacKay and his wife but, it is an unfortunate one none the less for the Conservative Party of Canada.

      Nowithstanding Ira's point, which I think is absolutely correct although I think the splinter would be much smaller than Reform. MacKay's entry would have brought a splash of excitement and celebrity to the race that to this point has been rather lacklustre. Now a very real possibility exists that Kellie Leitch, Tony Clement or Maxine Bernier will be the next leader. I hope Lisa Raitt joins the race as she has performed well in the Finance Critic role.

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    3. Ira,

      They are in one hell of a pickle. They can't go Red Tory and risk implosion. And if they go Reform, they likely lose much of their previous support en Ontario. They need a candidate that both parts of the party can live with and that person is??? Not O'Leary.

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    4. Bernier. The obvious choice is Bernier. His ties to the Harper government are weaker. He's from Québec.

      Unless they go full neophyte and elect Michael Chong, Bernier's the only real option that isn't going to get tarred with being too much like Stephen Harper.

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    5. Ira,

      I agree with you to the extent that runaway polarisation in the party, if it happens, would certainly create a movement to unite behind Bernier as the healer of divisions. For him to get traction, one would think he would already be addressing that theoretical possibility.

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    6. Bernier is the obvious choice. He's known as a bit of a Libertarian appealing to the Reform side and his Beauce roots speak of good old fashioned Toryism. He could give Trudeau a run for his money.

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    7. Looks as though former Commons' Speaker Andrew Scheer will run for the Tory leadership.-Finally a white knight! alleluia! alleluia!

      He is sure to pick up a good portion of those Tories who were waiting for MacKay to enter the race-If he enters and he looks certain to do so having stepped down as Conservative house leader, we may have a front runner.

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    8. But the BIG question is can any of these defeat Justin. As of right now I would say a resounding NO !!

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    9. I have literally never heard of the man before today.

      That's a lousy start.

      Also, as long as Bernier is the only candidate who has ever publicly advocated a fixed money supply, I'm with Bernier.

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    10. Ira, can you explain what you mean about fixed money supply. Either I'm missing context or it's getting lost in translation, but I don't understand what you're talking about.

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    11. Peter,

      Whoever becomes the new Tory leader will have to wait for Justin to defeat himself. All Governments do it eventually because you can't please all the people all the time. With a decision on Transmountain due this Fall he is sure to anger either the environmentalists or those who depend on resource extraction. The Chinese apparently are also eager to see a pipeline. With the release of Kevin Garratt China is surely expecting some sort of quid pro quo and the balancing act becomes even more difficult for Justin.

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    12. I quite agree Simon. Govt's do defeat themselves.
      Re Transmountain yeah the tree huggers will be insane but it is the best option Justin has, Let's do it !!

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    13. Thierry -

      Mainstream economics replies on one fundamental premise: inflationary money. The total amount of money in the system goes up over time. This causes the value of each dollar to fall over time (and thus prices to rise), unless the economy grows faster than the money supply does.

      This is something that confuses a lot of people. They think inflation is an increase in prices. Really it's an increase in the amount of money in the system. Changing prices are a consequence.

      The idea is that a steady downward pressure on the value of a dollar encourages spending, which keeps the economy moving. I (and some other libertarians) would argue that the system produces some perverse incentives for banks and grants too much control to a central bank that sets the interest rates on this new money (not to mention extreme events like quantitative easing).

      A fixed money supply would eliminate this. There would be a fixed number of Canadian dollars in the world (and that number would remain constant), and as the economy grew each dollar's value would grow with it. This would produce what mainstream economists would call constant deflation (as prices for goods would tend to fall over time, as each dollar became worth more).

      This would encourage saving rather than spending (something Keynesians abhor, with their supposed paradox of thrift). This should help eliminate booms, and instead give us a more steady economic growth. Booms and busts serve only to concentrate wealth in a few hands as people happen to be in the right place at the right time.

      Just look at the housing bubble. New money often gets mistaken for economic growth, and where there's growth people chase opportunity. And the way mainstream economists measure growth, those booms are indistinguishable from actual growth until they collapse. But without inflationary money, there wouldn't be this source of cheap capital to fuel bubbles like this. Without inflationary money, we never would have seen the housing bubble.

      That's fixed money. No mainstream economist would propose it (or approve of it), because the mainstream of economics is literally defined by its adherence to inflationary money. Fixed money is a rejection of that core premise.

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    14. The main problem with a fixed money supply is that it wouldn’t exist in a vacuum. If you look at the recent surge in the Toronto housing bubble in response to the collapse of the Vancouver bubble, at least a significant portion of the growth is externally stimulated. With Canadians encouraged to save by deflation, the external effect of desire to hold Canadian assets would grow.
      Beyond that, it’s an extremely regressive policy. Those with Inherited wealth gain by not circulating their wealth. Those with excessive personal debt (poor and middle classed general) lose wealth by not having it in the first place.
      There are other options to limit control by a central bank/banker, such as Friedman’s constant growth rate or even a fixed declining growth rate, such as used by Bitcoins.

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    15. Thanks for the answer! It's a bit above my current economic knowledge level, but it is quite interesting. I'll have to read more into it (and the alternatives) to understand the full debate and make up my own opinion, but it is always nice to being taught something new.

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    16. Those are conversations worth having.

      Why is no other politican having them?

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    17. As for people with debt, we need to de-stigmatize personal bankruptcy. I was seriously considering personal bankruptcy a couple of years ago, because it seemed like the most prudent option available.

      More people should be willing to declare bankruptcy. If we did, lenders would become more careful.

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    18. The truth is Peter, Justin has little choice but to approve TransMountain otherwise in the near future Vancouver will run out of oil and gas for cars, homes, and businesses. Nobody wants TransMountain on the West Coast but, I don't see any of us Vancouverites giving up our cars, traffic is only getting worse here. So we need it even if we don't want it.

      I think Energy East will go through as well for different reasons. At the end of the day pipelines are very safe compared with rail and Canada as a trading nation must have the ability to move its resources and products to market. So it is more a question of when and with what assurances rather than yes or no.

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  2. Éric,

    If I was still a CPC member, I would probably go with Deepak. People are underestimating him.

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    1. I worry Deepak would lose support in rural ridings because racism.

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  3. And now, reported on CBC, Rona Ambrose is saying no significant person yet !!

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  4. Ira,

    Scheer was Speaker for ages.

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    1. Not ages. He took over after Peter Milliken retired. He was only Speaker for a single parliament 2011-15.

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    2. Milliken I remember.

      I'll admit I followed parliament less during Harper's majority years because he governed appallingly during those years and I didn't really want to watch.

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