Election Talk (5)

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MegB
Election Talk (5)

Continued from here.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I also knew George Ignatieff, as he was Provost of Trinity College, Toronto, while I was a student doing my Master's degree. I met him several times in his Provost's Lodge, as well as during chapel and mealtimes.

The Ignatieff's have a long association with Trinity. Amusing photo of Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae  here.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

My point was a different one. They used overkill in savaging him, and in the process accidentally pulled one of his best performances out of him ... better than any Donolo has managed so far, in fact. The overkill hurt them more than Iggy, I believe. I'm no Iggy-lover, but I have to feel a wee bit of sympathy for the onslaught he's put up with, and I think it hurts our democracy overall.

I certainly agree that the many ads attacking Michael Ignatieff's character are harmful to democracy because they are ad hominem arguments, and mostly unfair ones at that. However, they are much less offensive than the similar attacks against Stephane Dion. Dion was not an insincere, careerist carpetbagger, but a sincere and bright Canadian academic who lacked charisma. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence, from his own writings and recorded statements, that Iggy had nothing but contempt for Canada until he was offered the position of heir apparent by Paul Martin. Emotionally, I feel he deserves everything he gets.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I once, in reference to Malcolm Gladwell, abserved "he is a pompous ass - but then, we had to take that as a compulsory tutorial in first year at Trinity."

A certain recently retired cleric responded that, for his generation, they'd say much the same - except Michael Ignatieff instead of Malcolm Gladwell.

NorthReport

Tories lament mad dash to place candidates in B.C.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-politic...

Lens Solution

NorthReport wrote:

Tories lament mad dash to place candidates in B.C.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-politic...

I love the thought of the Conservative candidates scrambling around.   Smile

Hopefully it will give the NDP an edge over the Cons in B.C.

JKR

From previous thread: Election Talk (4) post #96.

Sean In Ottawa wrote:

The key is to have a political system that works in a multiparty modern environment rather than try to bend reality in to just two parties because the political system cannot manage more. Essentially I think we are on the same page here.

I couldn't agree more. Political choice and political pluralism is the ideal to strive for even if it doesn't benefit your party of choice in the short term. People who truly believe that their party has the best ideas should not fear honest political competition, debate, pluralism and choice. If we had a pluralistic political system, I truly believe the NDP's ideas would win most of Canada's political debates. To succeed the NDP should be arguing for political pluralism and open and honest debate at every turn even if it does not seem to be in the party's short term partisan interest.

So far the argument in favour of PR/fair voting has been based on "fairness." I think "fairness" doesn't get to the heart of the matter. Electoral reform is primarily about political pluralism and political choice. FPTP is grossly deficient because it's a two-candidate system that generally limits people to just two viable choices. FPTP should be fought with the simple argument that two viable choices is not enough, people deserve more choices to better match their opinions and outlooks.

Sean In Ottawa wrote:

I do not think we are in an era of minority situations-- we are in a time of flux for sure but the FPTP system could produce a majority here -- it could produce a lopsided result like that.

I think the march of time is leading us toward greater political pluralism and more coalition governments, even under FPTP. I'm not sure why, but it seems that over time people are becoming less willing to be pigeonholed into two camps and people seem more and more adamant about having more political choice. Society as a whole has seen a huge explosion in the amount of choices available to people. We used to have two tv channels, two newspapers, two colas, three car makers, etc.... Now we have many more choices available. There's no reason to think that this growing multiplicity of choice will be not infiltrate politics. Even in the US two-party primary system they have the Tea Party. 

Here's a list of the election results over the last century showing the % of the vote of Canada's first and second place parties:

% of the vote of top two parties

1900 - 96
1904 - 97
1908 - 95
1913 - 94
1917 - 96
1921 - 71
1925 - 86
1926 - 88
1930 - 93
1935 - 74
1940 - 80
1945 - 68
1949 - 79
1953 - 79
1957 - 79
1958 - 87
1962 - 74
1963 - 74
1965 - 72
1968 - 77
1972 - 74
1974 - 78
1979 - 76
1980 - 77
1984 - 78
1988 - 75
1993 - 60 - push for PR gains steam
1997 - 60
2000 - 67
2004 - 67
2006 - 66
2008 - 64

Most polls during the last two years have put the Conservatives and Liberals combined below 64%. Some have put them below 60%.

NDPP

Layton Hints NDP Could Support Budget

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Layton+hints+could+support+budget/44...

"Leader won't commit to confidence motion..."

perhaps he doesn't have any confidence to commit to..

KenS

Jack Layton is playing cat and mouse.

Whatever the outcome, and even if Jack knows what it is.... the longer he says 'we are considering, ' the more he and the NDP are centre stage. And the more his credibility is bolstered in precisely those places where the NDP has had historical weaknesses.

Slumberjack

From the article posted by NDPP at #7:

Quote:
Political circumstances are always changing but the fact is that we've got a budget to deal with right now," said Layton. "That's our entire focus.

This isn't quite the sort of messaging that one would've anticipated from a serious contender on the eve of a potential election. Not only they can scarcely manage to chew one stick of gum at a time even through sharing it amongst themselves, but apparently they've taken to offering it up to anyone who bothers to inquire about what they're up to.

KenS

That said- that playing cat and mouse is useful in its own right- I think that it has become somewhat plausible that there might be a Budget deal.

The Conservatives set up this election opportunity to be in total control of the agenda. Total dominance with their ballot question is already out the window, and who knows how much worse it could get.

And they went into this a couple months ago with an ace in the hole- saving the HST deal with Quebec [supposedly couldnt get it done in time, right] as the card to play if they need it after the election to get support for the Throne Speech and Budget II package. They know the odds dont favour a majority, even with a pretty good campaign, but in the likely event the Liberals are traumatized by the election, the ace in the hole wouldn't be needed. But having the backup makes going into an election considerably less risky.

But if the Conservatives do get even 'just' somewhat bloodied on the integrity front, a post-election Throne Speech/Budget deal becomes a lot less justifiable for the Bloc no matter how much it might be their strategic preference.

So Conservative ballot question at least thrown off balance, and the ace in the hole much less likely to be there for them, could easily lead the Cons to want an escape hatch if it doesn't immolate their credibility. Their internal polling will be crucial to that question of course.

And if they decide they have changed their mind, then the wheeling and dealing commences. Maybe it is acknowledged the Quebec is magically finished, maybe there are more concessions to the NDP. Could even be the annoncement of a very small boost to the CPP- if Harper really doesnt want an election. That is a concession they would be loathe to make. The dollar amount would not be a big deal and doesnt effect the deficit since it is a payroll tax. But the Cons have put a lot of work into killing off CPP enhancements, so that would be a big one for them to eat. For sure, if we hear anything about CPP enhancements being a possibility after all, then something is afoot.

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
Jack Layton is playing cat and mouse. Whatever the outcome, and even if Jack knows what it is.... the longer he says 'we are considering, ' the more he and the NDP are centre stage. And the more his credibility is bolstered in precisely those places where the NDP has had historical weaknesses.

Games only matter for those engaged in them, for those watching from the sidelines, and for those placing bets.  To everyone else's chagrin, there only exists the absurd notion of finding any credibility in it at all.

KenS

Quote:
Political circumstances are always changing but the fact is that we've got a budget to deal with right now," said Layton. "That's our entire focus.

Slumberjack wrote:

This isn't quite the sort of messaging that one would've anticipated from a serious contender on the eve of a potential election.

To put it bluntly, you don't know what you are talking about.

Or more precisely, what you want to see blinds you.

Doesnt sound like a serious contender to you- and an opinion that would be shared by many around here.

That is exactly what people want to hear from Jack Layton- including the bulk of NDP supporters. Which of course is not at all mutually exclusive with a lot of the slice of supporters that populate Babble not liking it.

KenS

Dont know about that.

Slumberjack wrote:

This isn't quite the sort of messaging that one would've anticipated from a serious contender on the eve of a potential election.

If it was a question of what people liked, then I could understand the response about the discussion not just being for choir members.

But unless someone wants to correct me, the kind of statement you made only makes sense as an argument of how voters are going to perceive what is said. It was an empirical observation. To which I responded.

At any rate, there isnt a lot of point to parsing that.

We have your opinion that it isnt the statement of a contender. Versus my statement of the opposite, with the supporting argument.

KenS

The bygones find pop psychology.

It does not beggar belief that distraction is needed from seeing ones own cul de sac.

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
The bygones find pop psychology. It does not beggar belief that distraction is needed from seeing ones own cul de sac.

Distraction or no, I think it's unavoidable once people have been bent over far enough.

Slumberjack

NDPP wrote:
..perhaps he doesn't have any confidence to commit to..

It's almost as if he senses a level of dissatisfaction out there with the overall performance, and is looking to stave off the inevitable day of reckoning for himself as leader. Perhaps it has to do with a whispered realization floating around, that for an organization purporting to represent the working class or any segment of the left at all for that matter; it beggars belief that they can remain mired in the polls for so long in the midst of the most severe capitalist debacle since the Depression.

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
If it was a question of what people liked, then I could understand the response about the discussion not just being for choir members. But unless someone wants to correct me, the kind of statement you made only makes sense as an argument of how voters are going to perceive what is said. It was an empirical observation. To which I responded.

Yes, well, an empirical observation, which admittedly happens to be slightly out of sequence with the prevailing observations, but based on precedence alone not entirely so, because speculation happens to be what these political threads are about after all. Visited any polling threads lately?

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
Or more precisely, what you want to see blinds you......That is exactly what people want to hear from Jack Layton- including the bulk of NDP supporters.

You're not exactly making a good counter argument here Ken.  And since there's no particular thread title called 'choir members only,' I'm afraid there's little choice but to expect that the occasional out of tune note will intrude upon the warm up sessions.  By the way, does this quote of yours from another thread apply only to the ONDP, or does it have wider application for you:

KenS wrote:
Forget the NDP, its hopeless.

 

KenS

Intrigue is lost on the circus floor. Centre stage is centre stage.

Some see clown. Some see juggler.

[And some seem in practice to prefer invisibility. I will grant it does have greater subtelty.]

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
..Versus my statement of the opposite, with the supporting argument.

In all seriousness as part of your argument, you said he was going to enjoy being at center stage with the current intrigue and the added publicity that goes along with that.  Center stage in a three ring circus still makes one a clown within the overall performance.

If you want your points to be taken seriously though, you'll need to steer away from attempting to obscure legitimate political critique with inconsequential semantics.  Which is not to suggest that political critique itself in this era isn't inconsequential.

Pogo Pogo's picture

In the press and on the radio Layton is getting the headlines.  Moreover they are positive headlines of someone with a list of things he wants and endeavoring to get it done.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Ken, for some in these parts, politics is not about getting things done, or even about trying to get into a position to get things done.  The purpose is to proclaim the right set of shibboleths, in season and out of season.  And if it means handing the right wing parties a monopoly on power, so be it.

Slumberjack

They already have a monopoly.

takeitslowly

i hope there will be an election, i applied for a job for election canada, it might only last for one month, but at least its full time...

NDPP

it is the NDP's lack of political prospects and their spectacular inability to capitalize upon such a disaster for working people, as the Harper government has been - that presents us now with the very real possibility of 'handing the right wing a monopoly on power'. Or extending this same disease because they haven't been able to mount any kind of a credible challenge to it. The Canadian people find themselves stuck with no political champions only dismal failures and continued exploitation.

Stockholm

Where is the Communist Party of Canada when you need them? If they could only run a full slate of candidates they would guaranteed a landslide majorityEmbarassed

Life, the unive...

NDPP wrote:

it is the NDP's lack of political prospects and their spectacular inability to capitalize upon such a disaster for working people, as the Harper government has been - that presents us now with the very real possibility of 'handing the right wing a monopoly on power'. Or extending this same disease because they haven't been able to mount any kind of a credible challenge to it. The Canadian people find themselves stuck with no political champions only dismal failures and continued exploitation.

 

I always love folks like this and how they gloss over the uncomfortable fact that it is often the very working people they pretend to hold holy that are out there voting for folks like Harper.   Just once I would love to see one of these Monday morning quarterbacks put their name on a ballot - any ballot- and actually see how working class folk would react to their petulent moaning.

Slumberjack

The term 'communist' has never recovered from the days of Stalin and Mao.  The systems they controlled were nothing more than one of forms that capitalism takes.

Slumberjack

Life, the universe, everything wrote:
Just once I would love to see one of these Monday morning quarterbacks put their name on a ballot - any ballot- and actually see how working class folk would react to their petulent moaning.

This is how the NDP actually views the social want in this country, isn't it?

wage zombie

Slumberjack wrote:

This isn't quite the sort of messaging that one would've anticipated from a serious contender on the eve of a potential election.

I wouldn't have pegged you as someone who pays much attention to serious contenders.

NDPP

Conservatives Call 11th Hour Budget Meeting With NDP

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110322/federal-budget-conservativ...

"So far the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois have all but pledged to vote down the final blueprint, leaving it largely up to the NDP to make or break the government...No government in history has come this close to being found in contempt of Parliament.."

we'll know soon if the no difference party is going to gift us with more horrible Harper

KenS

Actually there are a great many players in gifting us Harper. Aside from all those indiviudals, there are a lot of institutions who are part of the gifting.

What the NDP has the power to do is make the noble gesture desired around here.  

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

They already have a monopoly.

 

Indeed.  But some of us would prefer to challenge that monopoly.  Others prefer to attack those who challenge the monopoly for not doing it perfectly - or worse, for preferring such direct action over the self-indulgence of sniping from the sidelines.

Life, the unive...

Slumberjack wrote:

Life, the universe, everything wrote:
Just once I would love to see one of these Monday morning quarterbacks put their name on a ballot - any ballot- and actually see how working class folk would react to their petulent moaning.

This is how the NDP actually views the social want in this country, isn't it?

No, this is how you behave.  What next are you going to post "I know you are but what I am"

By the way I am not a member of the NDP. I do support my local NDP candidate a lot though.

NorthReport

 

 Laughing

kady: Okay, so here's the latest #bdgt11 gossip: @jacklayton *MAY* announce his intentions today -- and it *MAY* not be good news for #Team2012 [via Twitter]

updated

kady: BTW, that's based on the usual third-hand speculation. No clue if it is (or was) accurate. Just passing it on! #bdgt11 #hw [via Twitter]

KenS

So Jack Layton just said flat out no. Short and sweet.

I mean, I am just SO surprised.

NorthReport

Sweet is right.

Jack spoke very well.

Life, the unive...

Laughing

NorthReport

Laughing

 

 kady: So hey, who turned out to be kind of right about all that "oh, Jack's sick, the NDP will cave" stuff being malarkey? #bdgt11 [via Twitter]

Life, the unive...

where's NDPP when you need him?  Woudn't now be the perfect time to post a Liberal inspired article about how Layton and the NDP are going to cave?

wage zombie

No, now would be the time to post a Liberal-inspired article about how Layton could've gotten real concessions, and if the Cons win a majority it will be the NDP's fault for being opportunists out for partisan gain rather than putting people's needs first.

Oh yeah and if the Liberals lose seats it will be the NDP's fault for taking us into an election that nobody wanted.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
The term 'communist' has never recovered from the days of Stalin and Mao.  The systems they controlled were nothing more than one of forms that capitalism takes.

Actually, false. The membership of the South African Communist Party SURGED AHEAD - by tens or hundreds of thousands - while the Berlin Wall was coming down and the former SU was being taken apart, mainly due to the heroic and decades long struggle of Communists (and others!) against the racist regime, and totally bucked the trend at the time. You might be interested to know that after a (yet another) period of illegality, the Russian Communists have been placing clear second to Putin (or Medvedev) for years now. The list could go on.

What happens in North America isn't much of a blueprint for political trends elsewhere ... That is useful to remember when faced with the typical kneejerk and pathological anti-communism ... the purpose of which seems to be to silence communist-like ideas during election time.

NorthReport

Liberal Warren Kinsella has already made a fool of himself with his prediction.

 

http://warrenkinsella.com/2011/03/out-on-a-limb/

 

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

where's NDPP when you need him?  Woudn't now be the perfect time to post a Liberal inspired article about how Layton and the NDP are going to cave?

NorthReport

Laughing

 

kady: You know, a DOA #bdgt11 makes for a slightly shorter day, what with not having to worry about what's in it. [via Twitter]

no1important

Harper majority here we come and the final nail in the Canada we all know will happen sadly.....If Iggy did not turn the job down with the coalition Harper would of been a short bitter memory but Iggy and the libs allowed him to stay and he came back worse than ever...

NorthReport

I think Jack had a great day today the way he handled things. It's a very good omen for the NDP on the upcoming campaign trail.

NDP support would have humiliated Layton

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/958870--hebert-ndp-support-wo...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Tasha Keherridan on P&P: Conservatives want this election to be about the Budget and will run on their strong government and economic management versus the Liberal-socialist-separatist coalition, and will be asking for a majority.

Someone else said the Libs will dismiss the NDP as nobodies who can not form a government, the NDP will run to take seats from the Liberals, and the Cons will get their majority.

Ghislaine

My prediction is that a few ridings here and there will change, but the overall numbers will be pretty much the same as we have now. Conservative minority. the only question will be whether Iggy and/or Harper step down.

Life, the unive...

BS to that Boom Boom.  In a lot of the country the Libs are nobodies.   In places outside the GTA and a few other urban areas it will be the NDP running at the Conservatives.   Liberals, where they have seats will be losing them because they are doing so bad and have a lack-lustre leader.

Hey wage zombie it is already starting.

I predict

a modest growth election for the NDP

a modest growth election for the Bloc

a mostly stand pat election for the Conservatives after they lose some to the BQ and NDP, but pick up some from the Liberals

a desperate attempt to save the furniture campaign from the Liberals.  They are already hitting the panic button obviously.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Well, it was Keheridden who said that (the Libs will call the NDP nobodies who can not form a government), I was just reporting it.

Has a grain of truth, though: people love Jack Layton, they just don't vote for the NDP in large enough numbers.

That can always change, though - especially if there is a Liberal meltdown. But I suspect that meltdown will benefit the Conservatives most.

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