Dexter - disappointment and expectations - part 2

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KenS
Caissa

The Nova Scotia New Democratic Party has paid a $10,000 fine for accepting an illegal campaign donation from a trade union.

The party took a vote over the weekend, and the majority of members opted to pay the fine, party president Peggy Mahon said Tuesday.

She said she put a cheque in the mail Monday.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/16/ns-ndp-fine-election-contributions.html#ixzz0iRMl0jl9

Caissa

The NDP has suspended backbench MLA Trevor Zinck over "persistent" problems with his constituency expenses.

Caucus chair Vicki Conrad said the government caucus can no longer trust the representative for Dartmouth North.

"We decided to suspend him because members feel we do not have the necessary trust in his conduct as a member of this caucus," Conrad told reporters Thursday.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/25/ns-zinck-suspended-ndp.html#ixzz0jCMn5acv

KenS

About time.

I was REALLY shaking my head that they seemed to be sticking their heads in the sand over this ticking time bomb that would look even worse than everything else when it blew. Trevors chain could have been jerked on a lot earlier, and if done then maybe it could have ended quietly.

But everything 'lower' than the construction, maintenance and protection of the long term 'air war' the image of Leader and party, was a sideline for the inner sanctum of the NSNDP. Important enough to keep anyone else out of dealing with it, but not to manage with any continuity or even minimal discipline.

Now it all bites.

As party officials have said earlier, "Who knew, eh?"

KenS

A bit different and more information in this Herald story

An issue of trust as NDP expels MLA Zinck

KenS

Article pretty much same as yeaterdays [link immeidately above]

and

Zinck says he was axed because he might bail on budget

Quote:

"They will deny this, but it's a po­litical reality," Zinck told report­ers Thursday outside his Albro Lake Road constituency office.

"If I go into the House and I don't like what I see in the budget and it doesn't help me do my job in my community, I could . . . stand up and go against the budget, which would bring embarrassment to the premier. Or I could actually jump sides, which again would bring em­barrassment to the premier.

"I think the timing of this really speaks for itself."

Riiiiight.

Trevor in one of the articles brought up his alcohol and gambling addictions. But his narrative that he "just got behind in his bookeeping" no one beleives.

CBC Radio panel discussed him, but didn't even mention his lame accounts and reasoning that were also front page of the paper.

Oh, there was a Throne Speech too.

Stockholm

Ken, what is the story about this Zinck character. I seem to recall that the unexpectedly won a hotly contested nomination in one of the NDP's safest seats in 2006 and that there have always been a lot of people who were not that impressed with him.

KenS

I think Zinck pretty much walked over HRM Councilor Jim Smith for the nomination, and his win was by no means unexpected. That was divisive, and I wont go into it, because it really has little to do with Trevor's 'straying'. I don't think Trvor had any more wreckage behind after the nomination, and it would have run the course those things usually do. It pretty much had- Smith, a popular counselor, got trounced running for the Liberals last year.

Caissa

This article is interesting:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/25/ns-zinck-suspended-ndp.html

 

Could be some sympathy for him if it gets spun as the party dumping someone who is recovering from drinking and gambling problems.

Stockholm

I doubt if the public will have any sympathy.

KenS

Nope. He can only TRY to play for sympathy while know one is overtly saying he had his hand in the till... for an extended period of time.

Even without it being spelled out, people get the idea, and there doesn't appear to be any public sympathy for him. Maybe if the long running MLA expenses scandal had not come first. But thats moot now.

The only way to have saved Trevor is to have clamped down on him earlier. And while there is a sorry history of this outfit not dealing with this kind of stuff- which is why we also wear the MLA expenses scandal- who can really say that taking direct control of Zincks constituency office earlier would have worked. For sure, late in made a tolerable ending impossible.

Notice that no one is saying "who knew?" this time. That was the "answer" to the 'surprise' of Secretary Ed Wark telling the unions not to cash all those $5,000 checks to repay their illegal donations.

Stockholm

In some ways having him sit as an independent is the perfect solution. Now that he is outside the NDP caucus, the party can try to wash its hands of him, no other party will take him and unlike the Tory and Grit MLAs who resigned creating byelections where anything can happen - you have to think that he will stay as an independent until the next election in 2013 since he won't want to give up his job. I'd rather be aiming to win Dartmouth North in the context of a provincial election three and a haf years from now than having to deal with a byelection in a supersafe seat that could easily careen out of control in the context of all these spending scandals etc... (incidentally, imagine if there were byelections on the same day in Yarmouth, Glace bay and Dartmouth North - and eat seat was lost by the party that used to hold it and everyone ended up even!)

KenS

V

Unionist

I C U & W.

 

KenS

I asked first.

Caissa

Independent MLA Trevor Zinck accuses the Speaker of the house of unparliamentary conduct for instigating an investigation into his constituency expenses.

The Dartmouth North MLA took his seat on the opposition side of the legislature on Monday, after being suspended from the government caucus for the way he handled his office bills.

Zinck said Speaker Charlie Parker - his former caucus colleague - called in the auditor general before he even had a chance to respond to the accusations against him.

"It's very unparliamentary," said Zinck.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/30/ns-zinck-speaker.html#ixzz0jfQzFy6g

KenS

Trevor has zero credibility with anyone. I doubt that anyone, except the Speaker himself of course, will feel a need to respond. Nor that it will rate any pundit comments.

Chester Drawers

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1175548.html

Every politician is the same. Say one thing to get elected and do the opposite when in power.

Stockholm

Every voter is the same. If anyone ran for public office and actually told the truth (ie: taxes must go up and/or spending on things we all make heavy use of must go wayyyyy down) rather than telling us what we want to hear (ie: the solution to all our problems is "economic growth" and getting rid of cabinet ministers' limos) - none of us would vote for them! Harper promised NEVER, EVER, EVER to run a deficit and he broke that promise within weeks of the last election.

StarSuburb

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9015942.html

 

"The Dexter government's budget includes a two-point increase in the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax, bringing the province's share to 10 per cent, and a 15-per cent HST in total.

It will be the highest harmonized sales tax in the country."

So an increased HST, and cuts to the public sector. Not the greatest day for NDP party unity. Sigh.

Caissa

This is an NDP budget?

Nova Scotia's NDP government has kicked off a four-year deficit-busting plan by increasing the harmonized sales tax, cutting the civil service and controlling spending.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/04/06/ns-budget.html#ixzz0kLdp9CIb

1springgarden

I think one needs to look beyond the headlines of the 2% HST increase, as its affect on the poor has been mitigated by a number of rebates.  Additionally, NS income tax has been made more progressive with a new "high income" tax rate and at the low end of incomes seniors who receive the GIS will no longer pay any income tax to the province. 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/9015943.html

In Nova Scotia there are not a lot of available options for coming up with new revenue to close the deficit.  Harper's 2% cut to the GST was one of the big dollar options and the NDP took it.  While sales taxes are regarded as regressive, they don't need to be when accompanied by mitigating policies for the poor and changes in income tax regimes. 

The other significant aspect of the budget is a second year of $700 million stimulus spending which will allow the NDP to continue its active economic policy of making strategic investments in the economy where long term good jobs can be created -- an equity investment with Daewoo to re-open the Trenton Works plant and a loan to get Irving's Shelburne Shipyards operating again were two examples of this policy from last year.

I think if you look at the budget closely, you will find that it is a reasoned NDP budget that recognizes a structural deficit, takes the available options and is guided by left economics considerations in implementation.  My union, the NSGEU, might not like the 10% cut by attrition to the civil service, but the ranks of the civil service have expanded in recent years and our complaints are for naught until the structural deficit is eliminated.  A contrast is the kind of budget advice dispensed by Tory finance-critic Alan MacMaster -- balance the budget now entirely on the backs of civil servants and public services.

I would like to hear what people would have done differently in this NS budget.

 

CCPA reference on mitigating regressive aspects of HST: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/%EF%BB%BFnot-tax-grab-after-all

This post edited to correct facts relating to the CCPA publication noted above

Caissa

Sales taxes are always regressive. Another NDP government shows its stripes.

Differently, calculate the revenue they expected to get from the increased sales tax and make a graduated increase in the income tax designed to collect the same amount of tax dollars.

1springgarden

Caissa wrote:

Sales taxes are always regressive. Another NDP government shows its stripes.

Differently, calculate the revenue they expected to get from the increased sales tax and make a graduated increase in the income tax designed to collect the same amount of tax dollars.

The regressive aspects of sales tax can be mitigated and even reversed through rebate policies and income tax changes, and this is exactly what the NDP has done in this budget.  In fact, a right wing pundit who write on behalf of local elites laments that the sales tax increase combined with rebates is a net wealth transfer of $50 million to families under $34,000 income:

Quote:
"Meanwhile, a new "affordable living" tax rebate will provide a wealth transfer of about $50 million a year to households with net incomes of $30,000 or less.

The new rebate will also be available on a declining scale to households with net income of up to $34,800. It is being sold in the budget as a measure to counter the hike in the HST.

But what the government is less eager to show is a chart illustrating that while the HST increase on households at or below the $30,000 threshold will cost those families an estimated $19 million a year, the rebate will cost taxpayers $70 million a year.

It will also arrive automatically by mail in quarterly payments, based on the previous year's income tax rolls.

Money for the new subsidy will come primarily from middle- to upper-middle-income Nova Scotians. Households making $30,000 to $100,000 a year will shoulder the bulk of the HST increase, an estimated $142 million a year, while households earning over $100,000 will pay about $78 million.

The total impact of the HST hike will top $300 million next year, with just over two-thirds coming from consumers. The rest will be shouldered by the business sector.

So the whole rebate program is much more than a simple GST offset. It is an income supplement well beyond the impact of the HST, being paid mostly by middle-income earners at a time when the government is professing a need to cut spending."

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1175823.html

I think it's important to look at the overall environment of policy options for the NS NDP government. The Harper 2% cut to GST hung an available option out there and the NS government took it, accompanied by mitigating rebates and progressive income tax changes so that the budget ends up as a $50 million transfer to low income households.  Nice!  I certainly did not cheer when Harper cut 2% off the GST because sales tax is always regressive, I looked at the overall policy context.  I evaluate this NS budget, sales tax increase and all in the same manner.

This NDP budget accomplishes two goals 1. moves to close the structural deficit 2. makes tax policy changes that address the income distribution problem in Nova Scotia, a problem that previous governments have allowed grow unchecked for the previous 40 years.

Caissa

1 sg writes: The regressive aspects of sales tax can be mitigated

 

The fact that they can be mitigated demonstrates they are regressive.

 

It would be nice to see an NDP government govern from the Left.

Doug

Public debt isn't progressive either. It represents a transfer from everyone to the people that had money to lend.

Unionist

1springgarden wrote:
In fact, a right wing pundit who write on behalf of local elites laments that the sales tax increase combined with rebates is a net wealth transfer of $50 million to families under $34,000 income:

So the sales tax increase will transfer money to low-income people from slightly better-off workers. And you say this constitutes "policy changes that address the income distribution problem in Nova Scotia." I think the NDP is on the wrong track.

 

 

Caissa

The NDP government's approval ratings have been dramatically sliding after a year in office, according to a new public opinion poll released Thursday.

The NDP's popularity has dropped by nearly half since last August, according to a Corporate Research Associates poll of 1,208 adult Nova Scotians conducted between May 11 and May 31.

Asked which party they would support if an election was called today, 37 per cent of decided voters backed the NDP, down from 46 per cent in February. In August 2009, 60 per cent chose the NDP.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/06/03/ns-political-poll.html#ixzz0ptLpc3qk

Fidel

They should re-elect either of the two official parties back into power. They'll get more of the same.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

They should re-elect either of the two official parties back into power. They'll get more of the same.

A decent political party must constantly, through its deeds, convince the people that it deserves to govern. It's not up to the people to demonstrate they're worthy to have such a wonderful party in government.

Some parties learn that lesson the hard way.

 

 

KenS

Don't let up, Dexter tells NDP
Party members urged to stay engaged as government tackles deficit, byelections

Quote:

"We need you to continue to be involved. This party's great strengths are your ideas, your active participation, your dialogue with neighbours, your support for MLAs and your good common sense."

"The NDP carries much greater responsibilities now, and that makes your participation even more important."

A year ago, we were at the amazing installation of the new government, and Darrell featured the same words as the part of the quote I highlighted.

When it was over we remarked to each other- if only Darell believed those words.

But it was said in good humour, not bitterness. It was funny because we know that Darrell has never subscribed to those principles- even before he was in charge he was the operator of the backroom. But it was said in charitable good humour because we didnt preclude they would do good things despite that.

Being a pack of manipulators isn't necessarily fatal to good work.

Who could have known that all those manipulative practices from before we were government would come back to bite so hard?

Practices we never liked and never just waved off, but never would have thought they would come back with such a vengeance.... torching the goodwill of such a mandate that came from the citizens of Nova Scotia.

I still hope they can pull off more than just surviving until the next election. There's a lot of good people, and it isn't absolutely hopeless that the little knot around Darrell will get sense even late in life.

But as to the plea to say involved- truth be told I'm not qualified to speak to that... because all the people I know got off the train well before the last election.

Policywonk

Caissa wrote:

The NDP government's approval ratings have been dramatically sliding after a year in office, according to a new public opinion poll released Thursday.

The NDP's popularity has dropped by nearly half since last August, according to a Corporate Research Associates poll of 1,208 adult Nova Scotians conducted between May 11 and May 31.

Asked which party they would support if an election was called today, 37 per cent of decided voters backed the NDP, down from 46 per cent in February. In August 2009, 60 per cent chose the NDP.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/06/03/ns-political-poll.html#ixzz0ptLpc3qk

Surprising that they are still ahead in the polls. However I don't see them winning either of the current by-elections.

Fidel

I guess they're not wild about the alternatives.

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