Thursday, April 24, 2014 - (47109 comments)

Nanos National Poll - Canadians' views on minority governments and Harper's re-election a mixed bag

286 comments Latest by FalconQuest

After five years of minority governments, a slim majority of Canadians seem content with more of the same. Asked about their impression of a minority government situation, Canadians were more likely to have a positive impression than a negative one. Those with a positive impression liked how it forced political parties to co-operate, while those with a negative impression believed that minority governments were inefficient. This reveals the possibility of strategic voting in order to temper government power.

A majority of Canadians believe that it is time for a change in the country’s leadership with only one in three Canadians believing Stephen Harper has done a good enough job to deserve re-election.

This adds to the uncertainty about the outcome of any upcoming election. With a fractured electorate, one third of Canadians may or may not be enough support to secure another victory for the Conservatives.

Methodology

Nanos conducted a random telephone survey of 1,002 Canadians, 18 years of age and older, between July 30th and August 2nd. A survey of 1,002 Canadians is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

Impression of a Minority Government Question: Is your overall impression of a minority government situation positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative or negative?

  • Positive 18.5%
  • Somewhat positive 35.4%
  • Somewhat negative 21.4%
  • Negative 15.9%
  • Unsure 8.8%

Minority Government Impression Drivers Question: Why?

Positive or somewhat positive impressions (n=538)

  • It’s good because it forces parties to co-operate 54.8%
  • They are inefficient 5.0%
  • No particular reason 2.2%
  • It depends on the party in power 2.0%
  • Other (less than 2% each) 4.2%
  • Unsure 31.8%

Negative or somewhat negative impressions (n=373)

  • They are inefficient 59.8%
  • The system is corrupt/they are just power-hungry 7.2%
  • It’s good because it forces parties to co-operate 3.5%
  • Other (less than 2% each) 8.1%
  • Unsure 21.4%

Harper Re-election Question: [Rotate] Some people think that Stephen Harper has done a good enough job to deserve re-election. Others think that he has had his chance and it is time for a change. Which of these two opinions best reflects your personal view?

  • Time for a change 58.5%
  • Deserves re-election 31.9%
  • Unsure 9.5%

What do you think?

Cheers, NJN

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Obviously I have to accept Nik's polling results. However, if accurate the Canad... more

hollinm (Saskatchewan) 22 Aug 12:23

What the H3//, New Ekos and Angus Reid polls show the CPC plummets 10% in the po... more

ScaredTory (Alberta) 27 Aug 20:55

Niks polls are well known for being fair and accurate. It doesn't appear that t... more

Willypete (Québec) 23 Aug 19:05

If it is so hard to reform the Senate, then Harper shouldn't have bragged so muc... more

Annex1 (Ontario) 31 Aug 18:47

Lovebug you may be right and the GG may have been wrong. Maybe we would have bee... more

Crown & Anchor (Nova Scotia) 31 Aug 19:30

He is already is scamming your tax money. He spent $32 million in taxpayers dol... more

Annex1 (Ontario) 31 Aug 19:40

Comments

Bernie

I don't care whether it's minority or majority as long as it's good government.
Efficiency is good only when the government is enacting good laws and governing as most citizens want. In a bad government, like we have now, it would only make matters worse. I like minority government only because it keeps politicians more honest. Otherwise I would choose majority.
For the first question,I would answer somewhat positive.
No. 2 Other, ( I don't see much cooperation)
No. 3 Other
No. 4. Time for a change. Without a doubt. Long overdue.

[updated Sat Aug 22 07:46:24 -0400 2009]

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22 Aug 07:46

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JamesH

It's interesting that a majority of people support minority governments and feel it's important that the parties work together, but they don't support electoral reform (e.g. a move to a proportional representation system) that would ensure both cooperation between the parties and stability. I think the conclusion is that many people are very misinformed about how our electoral system works. It certainly doesn't help that some parties (especially Harper) are more than willing to spread disinformation when it suits their political purposes.

[updated Sat Aug 22 08:19:05 -0400 2009]

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22 Aug 08:19

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Mawsmile_thumb markalanwhittle

If that many people think it's time for a change and 31% of them think Harper earned his stripes, things are looking up, once all that infrastructure cash causes cranes to appear in the air and the economy begins to fire on all cylinders. Fear causes doubt and wishful thinking like "It's time for a change", an emotional question, whereas shovels in the ground, put the rubber to the road. Here in Hamilton, Ontario we have a crane watch, since there's so many popping up. This is happening from coast to coast and in every community.

[updated Sat Aug 22 10:14:21 -0400 2009]

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22 Aug 10:14

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hollinm

Obviously I have to accept Nik's polling results. However, if accurate the Canadian electorate amazes me.

They say they want change. To what? We have an official opposition who has not espoused any policies, who has a leader who lived 34 years outside the country and came back for the sole purpose of becoming PM and has shown he really is inexperienced and doesn't understand the country.

The United States wanted change and they are getting it big time. The old adage you better be careful what you wish for is appropriate for them today. Their country is in chaos and their deficits are exploding. In fact there is a real danger that the United States could go bankrupt. A $9 trillion deficit this year alone added to the national debt.

Do Canadians not believe there wouldn't be a deficit today? Even the coalition suggested they would have a deficit of $30 billion which would have skyrocketed given they were all left leaning and believe in big government.

Do Canadians believe that there would be no infrastructure money or that the auto companies wouldn't have been bailed out in an attempt to save all those auto worker jobs that would have disappeared.

The polls suggest that the next government will be a minority government. If the Libs win they will have their ideological sole mates to support expensive social policies i.e. national daycare and we will for all intents and purposes have a coalition government.

The question that needs to be asked is it necessary after one year to spend another $300 million simple to confirm what we have already or to install another minority government?

The fact is minority governments no longer work in Canada. This idea of cooperation while ultruistic is unrealistic. We have three left leaning opposition parties who believe in big government and so will demand big spending which will result in higher taxes for all Canadians. If the government who has all the information knows that it is not good for the country as a whole but simply accedes to all their demands our current deficit and taxation levels will look like peanuts today.

[updated Sat Aug 22 12:23:10 -0400 2009]

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22 Aug 12:23

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Willypete

Niks polls are well known for being fair and accurate. It doesn't appear that they are all that way.

Source : Globe & Mail
It's not often you'll find Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a media bash. But there he was the other night pumping hands at an Ottawa fete celebrating the expansion of the CanWest Global news organization.

No surprise, therefore, that the Prime Minister showed up. The conservative presence in Canada was being further entrenched -- and in no small way.

The CanWest expansion will secure, among other things, a larger media presence for Western Canada, which has understandably chafed at Eastern bias. "It's almost ironic," said CanWest's CEO Leonard Asper, "that we have a Western-based company in CanWest that has the only national newscast coming out of Ottawa."

The Aspers have made a big leap. After purchasing the Southam News chain and the National Post from Conrad Black, they looked out of their depth and were roundly criticized for their management practices. Now they are growing in strength and impact.

Their continued ascendancy is a major blow -- tilt the message and you gradually tilt the mind -- to the left and to moderates. The Aspers make no bones about their conservative bias. It is evident every day in their national flagship paper, The National Post, which regularly runs the likes of Charles Krauthammer.

Currently, polling is a source of some contention. CanWest has been running polls by Ipsos-Reid, which have consistently been giving the Conservatives a showing five or six points higher than other pollsters. Ipsos pollster John Wright, who says he's been getting heat on this from bloggers, says there is no bias and anyone who makes such a suggestion will be sued. Other pollsters I talked to aren't suggesting any bias. They just find the discrepancy "strange."

You alter the character of a country by changing how it sees itself. You can change how it sees itself by changing the character of its media. Led by the Aspers, the character of Canadian media is changing.

[updated Sun Aug 23 19:05:08 -0400 2009]

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23 Aug 19:05

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Non-aligned in Toronto

Interestingly enough, the numbers on appetite for change almost exactly mirror the Conservative support numbers (32%) Vs the support for other parties combined. Harper is kind of like Kieth's beer... Those who like him like him a lot. The rest of us...not so much.

[updated Mon Aug 24 11:07:05 -0400 2009]

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24 Aug 11:07

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Bernie

Why is that McKay or Harper never apprise Canadians of how things are going in Afghanistan. Only when asked do they say anything and then it's not dealing with the real situation. The US papers are full of what what Chief of Staff Mike Mullen, and Robert Gates and the new big hero Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces are all saying how badly it's going. Of course, we know from lower level speakers for a long time things are not what the governments want us to believe. Even Obama doesn't try to cover up the facts. Harper doesn't like the democracy of letting Canadians know the truth.

I heard a joke from a sports reporter yesterday describing the big important problems facing the two Steves, Harper and Yzerman. Only difference with Yzerman is that he has talent to choose from. :-)

[updated Tue Aug 25 08:50:56 -0400 2009]

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25 Aug 08:50

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Blood sport (suspended for multiple aliases)

It would appear that the Libs are reading a winning election in their tea leaves. Harper is trying to woo/bribe the NDP so he now knows he either coughs up and negotiates something on EI with Iggy or he's dead meat.Negotiating with Libs is not his style and will further weaken him if he does. Iggy has the checkmate move in his hands.

I say he will resign in the coming weeks

[updated Wed Aug 26 04:09:08 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 04:09

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hollinm

Blood sport.....you must live in a fantasy world. Resign? That would certainly hand the Libs a winning strategy. It ain't going to happen no matter how badly you wish it were thus.

We all know there is no synergy between the CPC and the NDP. Harper, unlike Martin, is principled and he is not going to hand the keys to the treasury in either a coalition or to buy him off. That's the Lib style of government.

Pretty cocky saying Harper is dead meat when your guy is eperiencing all kinds of bad press these days. Tied with the "devil incarnate" is not a good thing to to be going into an election with. We shall see how it all shakes out.

Remember we partisans live, eat and breath every word said by the parties. Seriously ordinary Canadians are busy living their lives, don't follow politics and so the campaign will mean a lot to them. The stuff we talk about is inside baseball much of the time and Canadians do not pay attention to it.

[updated Wed Aug 26 09:11:00 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 09:11

Scotian

Harper is principled? That is the funniest thing ever said on this forum. Not going to be able to sell that stupidity to the public. The only one's that would believe that are already voting for him.

Tied to the devil incarnate? What kind of ridiculous childish statement is that?

Next you'll be saying Harper is a virgin and his kids were immaculate conceptions.

[updated Wed Aug 26 22:43:01 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 22:43

hollinm

Scotian...well to listen to the Libs you would think Harper is the devil incarnate.

However, those of us who know the man know he is principled, holds strong beliefs and takes position which drives the left in this country nuts. However, Canadians may not love him but they give him credit for his leadership abilities unlike the professor from Harvard.

[updated Wed Aug 26 23:54:55 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 23:54

Scotian

Harper sure is not principled when it comes to lying and personal attacks. His beliefs are not so strong when he contradicts his own religion on these counts. you confuse principled with mean-spirited pig-headedness.

His bogus leadership abilities are nearly even with Ignatieff at this pont in all the polls. The big lead he used to have over Dion has all but evaporated, even on the economy. A Harvard professor is better than a dumb provincial hick anyday.

[updated Thu Aug 27 10:47:30 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 10:47

hollinm

Scotian......29% versus 30% today in the Ekos polls.
Sure the Libs are on a roll. Not!

[updated Thu Aug 27 18:49:54 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 18:49

Scotian

CPC is on a roll, NOT!

Statistical tie after all the millions in taxpayers money Harper wasted this summer on unopposed campaign propaganda. Why has Harper not been able to make anything out of that massive photo-op campaign over two months? What is wrong with him that now matter waht the advantage, no one likes him. That is the question.

[updated Thu Aug 27 20:28:43 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 20:28

hollinm

Scotian...I must admit that the media and the Libs have been very good at their talking points over the years in convincing Canadians Harper is something he is not. Libs are masters at communication and the CPC could take a real lesson from them. Explaining a position, defending it and the rationale behind each decision could be improved upon. Maybe with the appointment of John Williamson as Director of Communications we will see a change.

It is not a question of what Harper is doing wrong. He has the job and it is up to the Count and the Libs to convince Canadians they are better than the CPC. To date they have failed miserably. Holding to a tie no matter how you spin it is not good for you guys. This is the worse recession since the great depression. The Libs and their friends in the media have tried to convince Canadians that Harper is this evil person who only wants power etc. etc. I won't repeat some of the other words. However, it is interesting that the Libs never discuss Conservative policies. Its always about Harper personally. That works for only so long and then it becomes too much.

Case in point today with McTeague saying the appointments to the Senate today were "sleazy". Can you believe it? After years of patronage by the Libs appointing their friends and sycophants to the Senate and he has the nerve to make this kind of statement. Thats why Canadians will not believe you guys when you use such hyperbole.

Stimulus money is great as long as you are the one benefitting from it. I didn't get my cheque and I suspect you didn't get one either. So unless you are a direct recepient it doesn't sway how you will vote.

The poll today 32/30 for CPC shows that you guys are the ones with no traction and the likelihood in an election is people would stay with the government.

By the way the backtracking on not forcing an election over EI was absolutely delicious. David Smith was sent out to dispel the notion that there will be a non confidence vote over EI but "other issues".

Well you guys better pick them good.

Economy.....on the road to recovery
Stimulus....lots of spending as you point out
Deficit.....Libs wanted it and more
Isotopes...unless Libs are going to produce them in their basements they better have a solution. Talk is cheap
Leadership...polls consistently say Harper outpolls Iggy on the economy and the way forward
Senate appointments...better not go down that road.
Kadhar....most people support leaving him in the U.S. Only the lefties who think they have an advantage will push this. Libs had 5 years when he really was a child soldier to bring him back and didn't.

[updated Thu Aug 27 23:24:30 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 23:24

Scotian

Neither party has traction right now. If you disagree with that you are not honest. The problem for the CPC is there is no growth potential. Every pollster has stated this fact. They have also stated that the Libs do have growth potential. If things are so good for the CPC, why are they stuck in the polls with an equivalent of 20-30 seats below what they got in the last election.

Actually Harper is only out polling Iggy on the economy by single digits now. Harper used to have a huge lead. No more.

I agree with Williamson on this:

"It is no contest between the Harper government's spending and that of [former prime minister Jean] Chretien's government; the Grits exercised greater fiscal discipline," Mr. Williamson wrote in an editorial published in National Post in July, 2008." -NP August 27, 2009

At least he is honest. We shall see if Harper knocks that honesty streak out of him. I bet he turns that honest guy into a liar by Monday..

[updated Thu Aug 27 23:33:26 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 23:33

hollinm

Scotian...refer to my other post. Harper has the job. You guys don't and need to do something dramatic if you even expect to achieve a minority government. There is no dissatisfaction in the land only in the minds of Liberals.

The Libs are in full retreat as we speak. David Smith is carrying the can for Iggy saying EI will not be a reason to bring down the government. See my previous post to you. Everything still applies.

Campaigns matter and with Iggy prone to gaffes and all the party leaders attacking him he will have to defend his support of Bush policies, the Iraq war, torture, attacking the French language, comparing our flag to a beer can, suggesting the country with the Quebec question is dysfunctional, saying Israel committed war crimes, was the author of the carbon tax, believes in higher taxes etc. etc. Of course the real boner is talking about himself as an American and his country is Britain. The list goes on but you get my drift.

[updated Fri Aug 28 07:45:44 -0400 2009]

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28 Aug 07:45

Scotian

Dramatic! With these polls and seat projections we either already have one or are only a few seats away. Its not the 2008 election this time you know.

Harper is frightened to death of an election otherwise he would be threatening the Liberals with one. Harper is in hiding mode and is afraid to face the electorate because he will suffer big losses.

Harper is also prone to gaffes. He has not run a campaign yet without them. Your Harper talking points are stale and boring. All you have is the wording from the attack ads as campaign rhetoric. It is truly very sad you do not see the failure and drag that Harper is on your party. Just about anyone else would be further ahead than Harper, because 68% of the population hates him and would rather have anyone but him as PM.

Harper should be careful pegging Ignatief as an American, he is in fact more of an American right-wing Republican lover than Ignatieff and has said so on many occasions. He is the pot calling the kettle black, so what. Harper has nothing and is frightened to face Canadians, because he kows he is very unpopular and is in for a big loss in seats. When Harper thinks he can win, he threatens elections. We know he is afraid of one now, and that is because he is going to lose a huge amount of seats.

[updated Fri Aug 28 09:35:45 -0400 2009]

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28 Aug 09:35

hollinm

Scotian....now you are really getting desperate and running out of rational arguments. Lets agree to disagree. We will never convince each other that our respective leaders are the "One".

However, you seem to have a lot of wishful thinking buried in your comments.

It is not 2008. You are right. However, Iggy has shown himself to lack leadership capablities, is vacuous in his statements and certainly lacks vision and policies. However, feel free to continue to support him.

Harper is running and hiding? You have been telling me that he has been out on his propaganda tour all summer. Hiding I think not. Which is it?

I agree that Harper has said some things during a campaign that he probably regrets but I will put my money on his experience anyday versus Iggy who is a neophyte and has not run a campaign.

Being a little dramatic when you say 68% of the electorate hates Harper. Pretty strong words. Prove it. I would remind you that 77% of the electorate must have hated the Libs last time out.

Harper never left the country for 34 years and called himself an American while living outside the country and of course never said Britain was his country. That is a foolish argument.

Keep dreaming Scotian...if you think the electorate hates Harper it is only the Libs who give themselves comfort by thinking that but the polls on leadership tell a different story.

[updated Fri Aug 28 09:56:11 -0400 2009]

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28 Aug 09:56

Scotian

Ok, if you think rational is a tie in the polls between the Libs and the CPC is equal to the Libs being dramatically behind the CPC, I am not that kind of rational.

Polls on leadership:

Harper 29%
Ignatieff 25%

Only 4% separation. I hopre you were not thinking that is your big advantage. Harper is only leading now in some catagories and only by a few points.

Harper is too narrow-minded since he never left the country. no one cares but Harper hacks that Ignatieff was employed outside the country. At least he had a job, something Harper has never had. Oh, yah, he worked in the mailroom once as a kid. Nice resume.

29% say Harper makes the best PM. 71% say he doesn't. Not much popularity there.

Harper is afraid of an election because he knows he will suffer big loses. That is a fact and he knows it. otherwise he'd be shooting his mouth of about calling an election like he did when he was higher in the polls.

[updated Fri Aug 28 10:45:16 -0400 2009]

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28 Aug 10:45

Wizard300_thumb Seeker

Bloodsport, Harper won't resign unless he loses the next election. Harper has gone to extraordinary lengths to stay in power, dirty, cowardly lengths. And, given his record to play dirty, he probably has more tricks up his sleeve. Power at any cost.

[updated Wed Aug 26 11:26:10 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 11:26

hollinm

Seeker..and of course Martin begging on TV to give a him few more months until the second report of Gomery was not trying to hang/cling on to power. What ordinary lengths has Harper done to stay in power? The only one I can think of is prorogation. That was the decision of the GG not his. He gave parliament a two week earlier recession for the Xmas break. My God how dirty and cowardly. You belong with Dizzy Lizzy.

[updated Wed Aug 26 23:58:21 -0400 2009]

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26 Aug 23:58

Wizard300_thumb Seeker

"That was the decision of the GG not his."

See what I mean? Always the blame goes to someone else. Do the Conservatives not take responsibility for anything? Ever?

And as for getting personal, it's unwarranted and shows a definite lack of class.

[updated Thu Aug 27 01:25:29 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 01:25

hollinm

Seeker...I did not get personal. I simply made my point on how I feel about Lizzy.

Once again Harper requested the GG to prorogue parliament. He had no authority to do it. He followed the constitution of the country. That's the facts. She agreed and the MPs went home two weeks early for the Xmas break. What's so awful about that? He took his responsibilities seriously and recommended to the GG that the coalition as constructed was not good for the country.

[updated Thu Aug 27 18:45:20 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 18:45

hollinm

Seeker....I apologize for calling you a drama queen. However, when you attribute labels that are so far over the top you need to be reminded how over the top they are.

[updated Thu Aug 27 18:46:36 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 18:46

Scotian

Harper the failure, coward and hypocrite. Very principled fellow.

Daniel Leblanc

Ottawa — The Globe and Mail
Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 10:02AM EDT

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to fill Senate vacancies with some of his closest Conservative backers in the second round of Red Chamber patronage appointments in less than a year.

Mr. Harper’s campaign chair, Doug Finley, and his long-time communications assistant, Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, are set to become senators in the coming days. Conservative Party president Don Plett is also on the list of Senate nominees.

This is the second time in a row that Mr. Harper has appointed senators when Parliament is not sitting, allowing him to escape opposition attacks. He named 18 new Conservative senators to the Liberal-dominated chamber last December, just before Christmas, including party fundraisers and officials.

While Mr. Harper has long been critical of the Senate and its appointment system, and had vowed not to fill any vacancies until reforms had been put in place, he argued last year that he had to start making his own nominations.

Some Tories have said that the Conservatives should make the Senate appointments in case the government was defeated. The Tories survived the threat of a Liberal-NDP coalition, but are again facing the possibility of a confidence vote when Parliament returns next month.

Mr. Harper has failed in his efforts to enact large-scale Senate reform since coming to power in 2006, facing stiff resistance from the Liberal-dominated chamber.

[updated Thu Aug 27 11:13:18 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 11:13

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Scotian

Harper's Arctic adventure and sabre rattling a photo-op scam. Nothing more.

Robert Smol: We're not serious about Arctic defence
Posted: August 27, 2009, 8:40 AM by NP Editor
Canadian politics, Robert Smol
There is much discussion these days about the need for Canada to assert its sovereignty in the Arctic. Our politicians are talking tough, announcing new Arctic defence initiatives mainly in the form of capital projects. But just how strong are they from a combat capability standpoint?

By all indications this country's present and future combat military presence in the Arctic remains largely a dog and pony show of soldiers and sailors flying the Canadian flag atop snowmobiles and submarines with the primary objective of placating the public. What these new government initiatives lack are permanent professional operational formations stationed in the Arctic, trained on a full-time basis to fight in the Arctic and able to deploy on a moment's notice, with their base of operation in the Arctic region. Our neighbours to the south have that capability, as do the Norwegians, Finns, Swedes and Russians.

One indication that our military is not taking Arctic defence seriously is the fact that the nominal effort at providing new combat troops for the region is being tasked to our part-time soldiers. Last week, the Harper government announced the formation of a company (approximately 30 personnel) of part-time soldiers to train in the Yellowknife area... to be increased to 120 people by 2019! In addition the government last year announced that army reserve units here in the south are to earmark certain personnel to attend military exercises in the north. That's the army's overall operational contribution to Canadian sovereignty.

In the meantime, no measure of public affairs ink at National Defence seems to be spared in portraying our Canadian Rangers, another component of Canada's reserve force, as a major symbol of Canada's determination to assert its dominion in the Arctic. But in their current state of readiness, the Rangers are a minimally trained group of auxiliaries that no military commander would ever employ directly in any conventional military engagement. Outfitted with Lee Enfield rifles used by the Canadian army in World War II, Canadian Rangers receive a mandatory 10 days basic military training and are required to provide their own personal equipment and snowmobiles for military duties. They are useful for search and rescue, reporting unusual activities and providing winter camping and survival skills to members of the Canadian Forces, but not for conflict.

I do not mean here to denigrate either the commitment or the potential of my former colleagues in the reserves. However in my 20-plus years in the Forces I have never seen a task assigned exclusively to reservists -- either on an individual or group level -- that was considered more important than anything that the regular military might have been doing at the time.

To better illustrate how well we actually measure up, let's refrain from comparing ourselves to military powers such as the United States and Russia. Instead let's compare our efforts at defending ourselves militarily to smaller Nordic countries like Sweden.

The target of much ideological derision among the right wing in this country, Sweden nonetheless maintains a permanent, well-armed and equipped army and airforce presence in the Arctic which, weapon to weapon, and man to man, could easily outgun and outman-oeuvre Canada's current and projected Arctic force (not that this is ever likely to happen).

[updated Thu Aug 27 11:35:04 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 11:35

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Scotian

After a summer of unopposed campaigning on the taxpayers dime, the new Ekos poll shows Harper with a 1.7% lead and if an election were called today he would lose 21 seats. The Liberals would gain 32. Why can't Harper break out past his core support? After a two month long unopposed blitz of photo-ops and announcements he cannot make gains on Ignatieff. If Ignatieff were given two months of unopposed campaigning, Harper would be toast. CPC needs a new leader and they are too narrow-minded to see it.

[updated Thu Aug 27 20:39:17 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 20:39

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ScaredTory

What the H3//, New Ekos and Angus Reid polls show the CPC plummets 10% in the polls since last Sunday. CPC and Liberals in statistical tie. Why can't we get any traction? We are pulling out all the stops and...NOTHING! I'm getting pretty ticked off with Harper and I'm considering putting him out of his misery.

[updated Thu Aug 27 20:55:47 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 20:55

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Scotian

Harper's new chief of staff on Harper's economic performance:

"It is no contest between the Harper government's spending and that of [former prime minister Jean] Chretien's government; the Grits exercised greater fiscal discipline," Mr. Williamson wrote in an editorial published in National Post in July, 2008." -NP August 27, 2009

[updated Thu Aug 27 21:21:13 -0400 2009]

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27 Aug 21:21

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PatrickDesRosiers

Harper will say anything to get votes. Everyone knows this is ridiculous, you can't balance the budget on an upsurge in the economy. But I guess it doesn't matter if it is not true as long as he thinks he might get a few votes from stupid people.

And BTW, Steve, you blew that Liberal made surplus before the recession started. More lies.

Canada says tax hikes not needed to balance budget
REUTERS
August 27, 2009
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will return to a balanced budget once the recession is over, without resorting to tax hikes or program cuts, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.
"We had a balanced budget, a budget in surplus, before this recession. At the end of this recession we will return to a balanced position," he said in a televised press conference in Quebec City.
"It's not necessary to have program cuts or tax increases to accomplish that. Obviously, we will manage our finances with prudence during better times than now," Harper said.
Canada posted a budget deficit of $12.52 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year.
Ottawa expects to run a $50 billion deficit this year, which it blames largely on its stimulus spending plans, and has pledged to balance its books by 2013-14.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer and some private economists have expressed skepticism the shortfall can be eliminated that quickly without hiking taxes, particularly if economic growth recovers only gradually.
(Reporting by Randall Palmer

[updated Fri Aug 28 01:01:37 -0400 2009]

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28 Aug 01:01

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Poetry

Harper misleading Canadians again. No guts to reform the senate, so he turns to sleaze to cover it up.

If Harper really wanted to reform the Senate, he would
Posted: August 30, 2009, 11:22 AM by NP Editor

Reading Stephen Harper’s defence to criticism of his appointment of a slew of his close associates and cronies to the Senate, and a number of editorials from that dastardly Liberal media defending his orgy of pork, the main justification seems to be this: If he wants to reform the Senate, he has no choice but to stuff it with Conservative hacks.

That’s complete nonsense. With apologies to Brian Mulroney, I say this to Stephen: You did have a choice, sir! You could actually make a serious effort to reform the Senate.

But if he isn’t willing to do what’s necessary then he should stop pretending he’s serious about Senate reform, and stop pretending his appointments this week were anything but what they were: an orgy of political cronyism in the best traditions of Canadian politics.

Because it was nothing to do with Senate reform.

[updated Sun Aug 30 23:50:52 -0400 2009]

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30 Aug 23:50

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Blood sport (suspended for multiple aliases)

Harper the partronage king:
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090830/harper_patronage_090830/20090830?hub=TopStories

OTTAWA -- Weeks before Stephen Harper named some of his closest Tory friends to the Senate, his cabinet quietly approved a flood of appointments to federal boards that also rewarded party faithful.

At least 20 of the 111 appointments made Aug. 4 went to identifiable federal and provincial Conservative donors and supporters.

That includes a failed candidate in Vancouver, a top organizer with the Nova Scotia party, and a would-be Senate nominee from Alberta.

The postings come with per diems of up to $450 for part-time positions and salaries of up to $118,000 a year for full-time posts.

Some of the bodies involved were: the Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada Pension Plan review tribunals, employment insurance referee boards, the parole board, coastal pilotage authorities, port authorities and museum boards.

Nearly a third of the posts were first-time assignments and the remainder were renewals of three-year terms set to expire in late October or November.

The rush of appointments followed a little-noticed series of judicial appointments to superior courts across the country in July.

That round brought the total number of superior court judges appointed by the Harper government to 201 since 2006.

It also further fuelled opposition claims that the prime minister has abandoned election promises of transparency and merit-based public-service and judicial appointments.

Conservative appointments to courts, boards, quasi-judicial tribunals and Crown corporations now total an estimated 3,000 since Harper became prime minister.

[updated Mon Aug 31 03:21:19 -0400 2009]

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31 Aug 03:21

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DeepRiver

TOTAL CONSERVATIVE MISMANAGEMENT BY HARPER!

Conservative spendapalooza approaches $69 billion
Posted: August 31, 2009, 10:00 AM by NP Editor

Since they won re-election last October, Conservatives have issued 1,582 funding announcements, totalling almost $69 billion.

Whether it's Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announcing the rollout of the $8.3 billion Canada Skills and Transition Strategy or Treasury Board President Vic Toews trying to score a couple of political points with a $1,000 grant for a veterans project in Winnipeg, the federal Conservative government has been more active than ever spending money in its first year in office.

[updated Mon Aug 31 17:41:02 -0400 2009]

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31 Aug 17:41

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Blood sport (suspended for multiple aliases)

Warren Kinsella sues the Tories:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jISR34fxA0KXZVGhJSMWwZzPUnsA

The Conservatives sued the Liberals last year to silence allegations relating to an alleged $1-million life insurance offer for the vote of Independent MP Chuck Cadman.

But the party now says the cut and thrust of political discourse shouldn't be silenced by lawsuits.

"Democracy depends upon the free and open debate of public policy issues and the freedom to criticize those who exercise power and authority in our society," says the statement."

[updated Mon Aug 31 21:46:56 -0400 2009]

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31 Aug 21:46

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Blood sport (suspended for multiple aliases)

Here's the lastest in Tory hypocrisy:

ISSUE

· Just days after being appointed to the Senate, Doug Finley’s first order of business as a taxpayer-funded public servant was to seek donations for the Conservative party through a viciously partisan e-solicitation that is riddled with personal attacks against Michael Ignatieff.

KEY MESSAGES

· Canadians will be appalled to learn that someone given a $137,000-per-annum taxpayer-funded patronage post by his good friend, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has made partisan Conservative fundraising his first priority.

· Senator Finley is as big a hypocrite as his political master, Stephen Harper. He claims to be worried about higher taxes, but has no qualms about Canadian taxpayers paying his salary to be a professional political hack.

· In this day and age, Senators should be contributing to the work of Parliament, and not to keep doing the same partisan work as before - only now on the taxpayer's dime.

· Canadians aren't paying Senator Finley's salary to so that he can engage in mean-spirited, partisan and personal name-calling.

To use taxpayer funds to raise party donations is a slap in the face to those Canadians struggling from job losses who need government to be working for them - instead of advancing their own narrow partisan interests.

[updated Mon Aug 31 22:09:10 -0400 2009]

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31 Aug 22:09

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Blood sport (suspended for multiple aliases)

The best words I've heard in a long long time;

“Mr. Harper, your time is up,”

[updated Tue Sep 01 18:04:34 -0400 2009]

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01 Sep 18:04

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Crown___anchor_thumb Crown & Anchor

Micheal Ignatieff became leader of the Liberal party without an election, hmmmmmmm...

Iggy has signed deals with the other parties before, hmmmmmmmmm...

An election would not be in the best interests of the Liberals, hmmmmmmmm...

Take down the Government, go to the GG, seize power without a costly election, hmmmm...

Harper, your goose may be cooked.

[updated Wed Sep 02 07:49:55 -0400 2009]

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02 Sep 07:49

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Reformer

What I'm not happy about is , Flaherty allowing China, Chinese Nationals to invest in our Resource companies, it not only Irks the USA (Globe and Mail) it also Irks majority of Canadians, I want Flaherty, Notice ruling to day (Sept 2,2009) Section 13 has been ruled unconstitutional because it prevented freedom of speech, so do not use the racist card if anyone is critical of the China,Chinese Nationals & Communist or Chinese in Canada, or you will be the one in jail.

What do you have to say

Signed Conservative -Reformer

A conservative - reformer is one does not like the Progressive side of the Party, eg Mulroney therefore totally against Flaherty and Clement.

If Conservatives continue to appease China, I will not for them either in a Fall Election

Take Note: The money the Chinese are investing are your tax dollars, that Chretien gave China under the disguise of CIDA and being a 3 world country, what nonsense the Liberals gave us.

[updated Wed Sep 02 16:16:51 -0400 2009]

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02 Sep 16:16

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Reformer

One thing is for sure I'm not Voting for no Party that allows China, Chinese Nationals and Chinese Communist to invest in Canadian Resource companies! And a message to the Chinese and others on this site. The Human Rights Commission back by the Supreme Court, Section 13 is unconstitutional, it iinterefers with freedom of speech, so if you try to play the race card when others are critical of Chinese and China, it will be you going to jail. Just remember that and same for those in Quebec.

[updated Wed Sep 02 20:45:03 -0400 2009]

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02 Sep 20:45

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AlbertaBoy

Harper is lying (AGAIN) about losing the reno tax credit, coalition back room deals and that an election will hurt the economy to scare voters, because he is in trouble (he saw his support drop in Alberta to the Liberals in todays Ekos poll). He has nothing and it shows big time.

How Stephen Harper came to love that new deck you built
Posted: September 03, 2009, 10:30 AM by NP Editor

Now, while this was a high profile piece of the Conservative budget, designed to bring the stimulus home to Joe and Jane Canadian, the Conservatives haven't actually gotten around to passing it yet. Not in the seven or so months since they introduced the budget. Not in the numerous budget votes and ways and means motions that have passed the House since then.

That doesn't mean the tax credit isn't real. It is. Save those receipts. When the government announces a change to the tax code, it comes into effect right away. That's so people can't unfairly play the system to capitalize on an upcoming change.

A recent example: in the last Liberal budget under Paul Martin, the government announced an income tax cut. It went into effect right away: if you're a payroll employee your employer adjusted the tax withheld on your paycheques, and your take-home pay increased. The Conservative-led opposition defeated the Martin government before the income tax cut could be passed into law and the Harper government decided to cancel the cut (to pay for his GST cut) but when you paid your taxes that year, you still paid at the lower income tax rate up until the point Harper reversed the cut.

Thing is, it's all just political posturing. No matter what you hear in the coming weeks, let's make one thing perfectly clear: you aren't going to have to pay full price for that beautiful new deck. The home tax credit will live one way or another.

Even if that ways and means motion fails -- and by the way the Liberals have already said they'll vote no -- the tax credit will be back in time for you to file your taxes and collect a nice refund. If the Conservatives win the election, obviously, they'll reintroduce the credit. The Liberals are already on the record as well as saying a Liberal government will reintroduce the credit. Heck, if the Liberals hadn't forced the Conservatives into that January budget, there would be no tax credit.

So, one way or another, the home renovation tax credit will survive. But that won't stop the Conservatives from using your new deck as a political football for the next few weeks, and, should it come to that, the next election campaign.

[updated Thu Sep 03 14:53:52 -0400 2009]

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03 Sep 14:53

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RonaldODowd

Will We Ever Break Out Of Neck and Neck?

The upcoming polls should be fascinating. Someone is about to break from the pack once political reality sets in...most of you know my views.

If you want to debate ideas with me, please pay me a visit:

http://politicalcivildiscourse.blogspot.com/

Again, a warm thank you to Nik for putting up with some of us. You are every inch a gentleman and I look forward to the Nanos polls in particular.

[updated Thu Sep 03 22:31:36 -0400 2009]

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03 Sep 22:31

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Scotian

Latest AR poll says while Canadians don't seem to like the idea of having to go to an election, they agree that it is time for a change. This is, I think, extremely significant, and tells me that playing up the "Canadians don't want an election, this is political gamesmanship" line won't work much. 42% of Canadians believe it is time for a change in government, compared to 34% who believe the Conservatives deserve re-election.

Time for change.

[updated Sat Sep 05 18:51:15 -0400 2009]

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05 Sep 18:51

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Non-aligned in Toronto

Harper has very little upside, but IMO neither does Ignatieff. If we actually do go into an election this fall, we can call it the Seinfeld election, the election about nothing. Mr. Harper an Mr. Ignatieff are virtually indistinguishable on policy and outlook. Don't go by current announcements, go by past History. Both supported Bush's Imperialist adventures. Both condone the illegal methods of holding and interrogating prisoners. Both are weak on the environment (or strong on defending the Corporations that endanger it)

The NDP are unlikely to make a breakthrough and the Greens are even less likely to elect even a single member.

An election this fall might result only in shuffling a few deck chairs on the Titanic that Parliamnet has become.

[updated Sun Sep 06 00:07:16 -0400 2009]

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06 Sep 00:07

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Avatar3457_1_thumb attila (suspended)

Hello Nik :
Well an election has not been called yet but that did not stop the Strategic Council to declare the Cons were in the lead .
These are the numbers they polled.

Sample size and margin of error:

* Canada: 1,000 -- 3.1 per cent
* Quebec: 243 -- 6.3 per cent
* Ontario: 383 -- 5.0 per cent
* West: 300 - 5.7 per cent

Doesn't seem reasonable or responsible to declare the Cons in the lead with such a small polling sample .

[updated Tue Sep 08 11:25:34 -0400 2009]

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08 Sep 11:25

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Terminator

Harper dishonest to the core, either way you slice it.

"If Democracy Watch wins, the Federal Court will rule that Prime Minister Harper is a dishonest lawbreaker because he gave false reasons for calling the snap federal election last September in violation of his own fixed-election- date law,'' Democracy Watch co-ordinator Duff Conacher said.

``If Democracy Watch loses, the court will rule that Prime Minister Harper is a dishonest promise-breaker because he failed to keep his 2006 election promise to pass a law fixing election dates."

[updated Tue Sep 08 13:46:40 -0400 2009]

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08 Sep 13:46

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