Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - (47109 comments)

November Pocketbook Index at its lowest since 2008 - Job security down seven points in November (Nanos Economic Indices - November 2012)

14 comments Latest by RonaldODowd

Nanos tracking on the economy

While the Economic Mood Index has remained relatively unchanged in the last month, the Pocketbook Index decreased by 5.6 points to reach its lowest level since 2008. Of note, the perception of job security was down by seven points in November.

These are the key findings of the consumer confidence tracking study completed by Nanos on November 28th and 29th, 2012.

The detailed tables and methodology are posted on our website where you can also register to receive automatic polling updates.

Get the free Nanos iPhone app - the latest Nanos tracking numbers and research streamed to your iPhone: http://bit.ly/nanosapp

Methodology

The current wave is based on a representative random sample of 1,000 Canadians, conducted online by Nanos Research between November 28th and 29th, 2012. The results were weighted using the latest census information and statistical testing suggests that the research is an accurate depiction of the views of Canadians at the time of the research.

Nanos Economic Monitor

The numbers in parentheses denote the change from the Nanos Economic Mood Index, the Nanos Pocketbook and the Nanos Expectations Sub-Indices in October 2012.

2012-11 - Nanos Economic Mood Index: 101.0 (-1.6)
2012-11 - Nanos Pocketbook Sub-Index: 87.4 (-5.6)
2012-11 - Nanos Expectations Sub-Index: 117.4 (+3.2)

2012-11 Strength of the Economy Net Score: +2.8 (+3.3)
2012-11 Real Estate Net Score: +17.1 (+2.5)
2012-11 Personal Finances Net Score: -16.1 (-5.0)
2012-11 Job Security Net Score: +29.7 (-7.0)

Reply to Topic

Comments

RonaldODowd

Pauline Who?

Apparently, Quebecers elected a social-democratic government in the last election. However, in an effort to remain in office for as long as possible, the Parti Québécois seem to have gone Conservative -- having adopted the Harper government minority playbook.

From Day One, yours truly was skeptical of that approach, only to be proven spectacularly wrong when the Conservatives managed to hang on to power through two successive minority parliaments. That may not have impressed many on the left -- but it sure had an effect on Pauline Marois and her sovereignist colleagues. (I hope she subsequently sent flowers to the Langevin Block.)

Another interesting wrinkle was the budget vote which occurred last Friday with the government surviving by a one vote margin (49-48) with Liberals AWOL aplenty. That brings me to provincial Liberal strategic imperatives -- not to be seen as overly manipulative given the fact that most Quebecers do not want an election so soon after the last one. Couple that with the absence of a leader and conventional wisdom has it that it's better to live to fight another day than to go down on a hill of principle.

For my part, I prefered a MacEachen strategy but that was not to be. I took a look at the humbled and electorally-sanctioned Jean Charest and I came to the conclusion that none of his contemporaries could match his skills, experience, cunning and sheer political ability. Translation: the four horsemen of Liberal transition are somewhat lacking in what it takes to bring Pauline down. Hence my preference for a Charest revival but alas that possibility is lost to us now.

So what is to be the way forward? I don't know about you but I'll bet that the PQ is counting on the Liberals not having enough stomach to sink the Marois government come spring. And they could be right -- even with a Philippe Couillard at the helm. That manoeuver would be classic Harper. It could pay political dividends particularly if the incumbent party starts to progressively rise in the opinion polls thanks to francophone voters.

Put another way -- who can beat Pauline at her own game? Jean Charest -- under the right political circumstances and even past his best-before date, he sure could. Philippe Couillard? Well, I'm hedging my bets for now and will believe that one when and if he manages to pull it off.

[updated Tue Dec 04 20:35:33 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

04 Dec 20:35

1 reply so far. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

North Korea and South Korea.

The Prime Minister, as quoted in The Ottawa Citizen:

"I know all of us look forward to the day, it may seem far off, but it will come, when the lights of freedom turn on in North Korea, and the two Koreas can live as one, and in peace,"

I don't know, Prime Minister. Might not have been such a hot idea to express that publicly given the somewhat paranoiac bent of the leadership of The Hermit Kingdom...not necessarily a good idea to go out of your way to antagonize those guys -- who happen to be armed with nuclear weapons.

[updated Wed Dec 05 19:04:33 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

05 Dec 19:04

3 replies so far. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

Our Democracy At Work...

Don't plan on playing got you politics. After all, these people are human beings. But they really need on both sides of the House to try harder to keep their individual composure. Van Loan has apologized, to his credit. Hopefully, Mulcair will do likewise.

Kudos to MacKay for being the adult in the chamber -- and to Rae for reminding all of us what it truly means to act as a parliamentarian.

Much more of this type of conduct and no one will bother showing up to vote when the next election comes around.

[updated Thu Dec 06 21:23:03 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

06 Dec 21:23

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

The Phony War Is On: The Next Federal Election Campaign Is Already Underway.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 -- marks an important day in federal politics. That's the day unmistakable signs were given that the Conservatives are already preparing for the next campaign -one that will see the party move even more to the center, in hopes of obtaining an increased share of the vote.

One need only examine the Harper government's position on expansion of settlements across the West Bank. The government has not specifically condemned settlements planned for East Jerusalem but both the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have made it clear that Canada does not approve of further settlement expansion which is seen as working against the peace process. Call that a departure from what was expected -- more like a highly significant one.

Next, take a look at the PM's remarks in the House on modifying the categories of Prohibited Weapons as recently suggested by his government's firearms advisory committee. Harper left no doubt the government has no intention of removing any of the weapons currently listed under that category. There is even speculation that law enforcement officers may soon join the ranks of the advisory committee.

And then there's the CF-35 with its rapidly escalating price tag. The program is now formally under review with unnamed sources suggesting that other planes may be under consideration for a variety of combat and other military roles. If true, it would mark a significant change from the Canadian government's previous steadfast support of the CF-35. Are we looking at a fleet going forward that will be more than single sourced? I think so. My guess is we will see a limited purchase of CF-35s, at bare minimum numbers, along with a second aircraft selected for tasks such as Artic fighter sovereignty patrols.

Some may argue all of this boils down to good common sense. I would go one step further and suggest it's real smart politics. The PMO has its eyes on the prize -- something New Democrats, Liberals and Greens forget at their peril.

[updated Sat Dec 08 02:36:44 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

08 Dec 02:36

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

At What Price Jerusalem???

This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Middle East. There comes a time in every leader's life where he or she has to make the incredibly hard decisions -- to go against their personal inclination and do what is right for the country.

Now is such a time as it relates to the hunger strike of Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence. Some are tempted to call it blackmail. Others undue and unfair influence on the government. Perhaps it is that but it is also so much more: it's about fundamental human dignity -- about setting right a dysfunctional and flawed relationship between the Crown and her First Nations.

In the middle of it sits the Prime Minister, the man charged with working in the interest of the welfare of all Canadians. Stephen Harper has been privileged to receive not one but three mandates from the voters. That's a solemn responsibility.

To the Prime Minister I would say this: will Canada continue on the road to ruin in its relationship with First Nations despite genuine and sincere efforts? Some might be sorely tempted to call it our best efforts but regardless of government stripe, I don't think so -- and in their heart of hearts, most Canadians and their political representatives probably agree.

It's not a matter of inconvenience or imperative. It's a question of necessity. Margaret Thatcher had an opportunity to exhibit the compassionate nature of every human being. And yet she utterly failed for otherwise legitimate political reasons to bring herself to the point where personal will would meet historic destiny. As a result, Bobby Sands and the others died. From a purely human perspective, there can be no greater tragedy.

The siren call of resetting and enriching the relationship between the Canadian government and our First Nations is at hand. Do we dare to meet the challenge. Surely more miserable failure is not an option.

[updated Wed Dec 19 03:39:40 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

19 Dec 03:39

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

Running The Gamut From Excessively Frank To Absolutely Disingenuous.

What I wouldn't give to see a happy medium take hold in Ottawa. Whether it's one thoughts on the long gun registry or the exact nature of a specific political specimen roaming the halls of Parliament Hill, I can't for the life of me get my head around many of these comments.

Couple that with some of the more incendiary remarks posted by the chattering classes and you start to wonder where it will all end. Don't get me wrong -- I like the thrust and parry as much as the next guy (or gal) but when future leadership is being prospected, you like to think the candidates (or leaders) across party lines for the big job will actually be ready to do it on Day One. Call me an idealist.

In my neck of the woods, I hoping to see much more of that as our party's leadership race gets into full swing. Some are already in, others apparently on the cusp. I'm hoping for a thinker, not just a doer. Candidates, like party leaders, grow, improve and age gracefully over time. (Or so the story goes.) That's what I yearn for -- a man or woman who has the capacity to hit the ground running and not look back until Mission Accomplished.

Rose-coloured glasses and a tad too sentimental? Hopefully not.

[updated Fri Dec 21 03:26:27 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

21 Dec 03:26

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

Why Harper Has It Dead Wrong. In Two Words: Eric Cantor.

Like many other people, I particularly enjoy the festive season. Puts me in a good natured and optimistic frame of mind, usually. But I have to part company with the Prime Minister when he declared in a Global TV interview that he expects at least a partial resolution to the fiscal cliff crisis.

My response: not on any of our lives. And the reason for that -- Eric Cantor, otherwise known as the House of Representatives Majority Leader. This guy wants to be speaker so much he can practically taste it. House Speaker John Boehner thought perhaps he might be herding cats in caucus but instead has found himself herding a bunch of self-destructive lemmings.

This is the Grand Old Party after all, the same bunch that went through the government shutdown when Gingrich was speaker and then got crucified in the midterms. And yet the Republicans have once again learned precisely nothing.

I expect no deal prior to the deadline and perhaps little more as we stretch into January and February. As our PM knows, the name of the game is entitlement reform -- and that baby isn't coming anytime soon. There is absolutely no will on Capitol Hill to deal with Medicare, Medicaid -- not to mention Obama Care. Watch for deficits to balloon out for as far as the eye can see.

Short of punching them all in the face, I don't quite see what means could possibly lead to progress. Never thought I'd say it but it sure makes our politics up here look a lot more civilized and rational.

[updated Sat Dec 22 03:22:27 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

22 Dec 03:22

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

So Many Questions In Search of Answers.

For the Governor General, His Excellency, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston:

There seems to be a disconnect as to the crown's relationship with our First Nations. You have expressed the view that it is for the politicians to deal with problems relating to our First Nations and their relationship with the federal government. Is the Governor-General not the representative of the Canadian crown and as such, does he or she not have a special responsibility in this matter to make sure that the hereditary relationship between First Nations and the British Crown is a just and true partnership between those First Nations and the Government of Canada? While I agree that it is not for the Governor General to actively negotiate a political settlement with First Nations, can he not serve in the role of host and honest broker between the parties -- doing all that can be done to smooth the way between the negotiating parties? As the Canadian Crown's representative, he can play a vital role in breaking a deadlock or impasse in meetings between First Nations and the Government of Canada.

For the Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon Stephen Harper:

Prime Minister, how does the government see the relationship between our First Nations and Ottawa? Is the starting point a relationship d'égal à égal or is it less than that -- is it still a paternalistic relationship thanks to the Indian Act or has it in fact evolved over time? If the Government of Canada and the First Nations can't even agree on the exact nature of the relationship...

Both parties favour fostering human dignity and self-respect in First Nations' communities but what's the road ahead? How can we move ahead in a manner other than incrementally? Is it not in First Nations interest to transfer more control over their lives to them provided that adequate mechanisms have been developed and put in place to ensure competent and accountable management to their own people?

What can the Government of Canada do beyond what is already being done to help develop a First Nations public service representative of the highest competence and standards of professionalism? Is now not the time to look at a First Nations Minister -- as we transition from the current relationship to a more positive and optimistic one going forward? Is it unreasonable for First Nations to want to see themselves represented at the highest levels of the Government of Canada if, or more realistically when, substantive talks commence?

That brings me to the matter of First Nations' traditional lands -- they are seemingly only asking to be consulted on resource development and environmental issues. Is that really right? Shouldn't they have a say over development on their own land? Shouldn't they like the provinces, have access to royalties for economic development taking place on First Nations' land? As for the environment, their input should be taken seriously as the Government of Canada shapes environment policy.

Finally, the question of Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike: I think we can all agree that Chief Spence cares passionately about her people. We can also agree that she is not doing this lightly. She risks serious personal consequences to her own health and perhaps permanent ones. Are setting an unwanted precedent or trivializing the protocol process really what is important here? One human being is reaching out to another. It is an act of deliberate and urgent effort based on a premise of undeniable necessity. What become of it rests with the Prime Minister.

[updated Sat Dec 22 22:37:19 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

22 Dec 22:37

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

Reflection Led To The Obvious Next Step.

As days turned into weeks, I've become increasingly concerned about the health of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a hunger strike for over two weeks. Quite clearly, neither the Government of Canada nor the Attawapiskat First Nation is prepared to give ground.

Perhaps this means Canadians have very few options leading to the possible end of Chief Spence's hunger strike -- for yours truly, the next move is obvious: bring in a class-act in Canadian politics, a man who has dedicated his life to public service and honorably served this country in several capacities.

To not put too fine a point on it, contact outgoing Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae. Bob has already made an impressive contribution to Canada and could quite conceivably leave us with a political legacy for which we will all be extremely grateful.

This is a time for a cool head, passionate logic and emotional sensitivity coupled with the prerequisite of some detachment. Bob has all of that in spades. Rae is a person who feels strongly about First Nations' issues and redressing our national relationship with our First Peoples.

Last October, this gentleman tabled a motion in the Commons to establish a process that would have eventually led to repeal of the Indian Act. Unfortunately, another course was chosen by the Harper government.

In short, I say bring on Bob -- and may the force and providence be with him.

[updated Sat Dec 29 01:59:01 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

29 Dec 01:59

No replies yet. Join this conversation.

RonaldODowd

Are We Really Progressives...?

I just finished reading Warren Kinsella's column about the possible outcome of the next federal election which is expected in 2015 -- and I have to say his view represents the cold, hard reality we see on the ground these days. Let's face it, Conservatives vote, others not so much. That's one problem.

Another is our failure as progressives generally to forge a coherent strategy that will lead to victory in the next election. We are too busy suffering from our psychiatric disorder believing that one party alone can take us to the promise land. Couple that with our identity crisis where we put our political affiliation before our actual philosophical outlook on the world...and there you have it, the essential political conditions required in order to insure another Conservative victory.

Last time I checked, the progressive tent was a big one chock full of New Democrats, Liberals, Greens, Bloc Québécois and yes, even Red Tory Conservatives. Kinsella makes a strong case why this Prime Minister basically has the job by default. Voting Canadians have put and kept him in office.

Before proceeding any further, perhaps a few givens need to be put out there: Stephen Harper will undoubtedly lead his Conservatives into the next election and don't expect it in 2015. Watch for it when the PM sees another majority window. In politics, you go with your strongest hand and that means Harper.

Now having set the table, how should progressives react to such a prospect? Clearly, merger is off until after at least the next election cycle. What Canadians tell pollsters is not important or even relevant. What VOTING Canadians have to say is crucial as it relates to parties going into the next campaign.

Liberals are filled with glee as voting intention rises while NDP fortunes dip. What does that say? It perhaps suggests Canadians generally are not yet tuned into the NDP frequency nor are they prepared to give Liberals, under an as yet undetermined leader a blank cheque. Winnow that down to VOTING Canadians and it tells me second place will be horse race regardless of who actually wins the Liberal leadership.

Put another way, the respective party brass had better have a backup plan for the post-election period. Call it whatever you like, but without it, a Conservative minority government is all but assured. It will necessarily have to be informally agreed upon prior to the election. Otherwise, expect more of the same.

[updated Sun Dec 30 20:35:49 -0500 2012]

Reply to Comment

30 Dec 20:35

No replies yet. Join this conversation.