Wednesday, 8 July 2015

NDP Clearest Alternative, Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

The G&M must be loathe to report stories like this. But the NDP are so much in the lead and seen as the party of clear change, that they have no choice. But, that doesn't stop them from trying to tilt the story in the Conservatives favour. Let's take a look at where the G&M has problems writing a news story:

Canadians will be asked to choose between political stability and renewal - G&M states here that we currently have political stability. Funny, since when do these mean political stability?:
- subverting democracy (Bill C-51, Bill C-377, Bill C-23 among many others, cheating in elections)
- racking up the most debt of a Canadian government ever,
- running a deficit for most of their time
- balancing a budget only by looting from the EI fund
- ignoring the urgent issue of Climate Change
- focusing our economy on the oil extraction industry to the great detriment to the manufacturing industry.
-  corruption and cronyism
- warmongering instead of peacekeeping
- and the list goes on.
A more accurate line would be:
Canadians will be asked to choose between gross fiscal mismanagement & the brink of fascism, and stability & democracy.

Pollster Nik Nanos said the NDP has staked out the clearest policy positions in opposition to the Conservative Party, while the Liberals have a more nuanced approach.
- Okay, these were probably Nik Nanos' words but using "nuanced" here is a nice way of saying that the Liberal policy positions are mainly just like the Conservatives, except for when they try to copy some of the NDP policies to try to steal their support. History shows that time and again, the Liberals, whose policies mirror (especially more recently) those of the Conservatives, always campaign on the left only to toss these left leaning policies to the wind if they win the election.

The NDP has been working hard to reassure Canadians its economic policies would be largely in line with those of the current government. The biggest change proposed by the NDP is to increase corporate taxes, although party officials said the planned rate, to be revealed in coming months, would be “reasonable.”
-  Actually, the NDP has been working hard to show Canadians that its economic policies would NOT be in line with those of the current government. The NDP plans to NOT waste money on more and bigger prisons (not needed as the crime rate has been steadily dropping), unnecessary/problematic/costly jets, corporate welfare, unaccountable missing $3.1 billion, and many other porky Conservative pies. NDP governments, on average, have a much better fiscal record than Conservatives.

Party officials said the NDP is looking for candidates with an economic background who could serve as ministers of finance or industry. The recent upswing in the polls could make that easier.
- It may well be that the NDP is looking for more candidates with economic backgrounds, but they already have a number of MPs with economic backgrounds. And unmentioned here is Erin Weir, who has been suggested as a potential Finance Minister.

While both parties want to replace the Conservatives, their partisans have been at one another’s throats. Last week, the Liberals suggested Mr. Mulcair’s flirtation with the Conservatives in 2007 undermined the NDP’s promises to clean up the environment.
- The G&M fails to mention that this has been debunked a number of times, including recently by some high-up Conservatives.
- And "undermined the NDP's promises to clean up the environment"? The facts on this story actually result in boosting the NDP's seriousness about cleaning up the environment. 

I'll leave you with a few choice comments made after the G&M news item (these are all in the top ten most liked comments, and from the G&M readers no less!):

Mr Leblanc's first paragraph is flawed, or the poll was flawed. The choice is not between "change" and "stability." It is between "change" and "no change." I certainly would neither call what our economy had gone through in the last year as anything approaching stability, nor would I call the government actions in domestic and foreign policy as stabilizing.

My wife and I are in the over 65 age group and for the first time ever will be voting NDP as we have seen never ending corruption with the Libs and Cons for way too many years. Many of our friends have also decided to vote NDP as it is clearly time to send a big message to all elected officials, the voters are fed up and will not take it anymore and you will be forced to understand this come the election.

choose between political stability and renewal,..........
Nope......It's choosing between getting a country back to sanity...or carrying on with the most corrupt, crooked, manipulative crew of PROVEN liars and cheats This country has ever been controlled by .....A government rife with contempt, disrespect.....There have never been so many from a political party involved in fraud, lies, election proceedings, and criminal investigations...ever.....
Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, Porter, Grestein, Stewart/Olsen, Wright, LeBreton, PMO staff
A LONG list of crooks......
It's about voting OUT crooks and taking the nation back from the brink of fascism!!

the first sentence claims there is a choice between change and political stability. Huh? If the government loses an election in Canada, that does not mean there is less stability.
By the Globe's definition of that term..I guess North Korea has the most political stability of all.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

NDP Now Has A Stable Lead And Is In Minority Government Territory

3 new polls were released today (Environics, Forum, Ipsos Reid), all confirming that the NDP has a stable and comfortable lead over the other parties.

The Environics poll was in the field earlier and over a longer period (June 3-18), so it shows the older trend when the 3 parties were virtually tied. The other polls were more recently in the field, both ending June 23rd, and show a trend of the NDP being more in the lead.

The table below shows the NDP rise from April to now (comparing the April average to the average of the most recent 3 polls mentioned above).

Region April June (latest 3) change
Atl 19% 26% 7%
QC 26% 38% 12%
ON 19% 30% 11%
MB&SK 16% 34% 18%
AB 23% 31% 8%
BC 21% 41% 20%

The NDP has benefited from the Alberta election of the NDP, the backlash to the Liberal party support of Bill C-51, as well as the growing realization Canadians have that Thomas Mulcair and the NDP are better prepared to take on the job of governing than Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party and now seem to be the best bet to knock out the Harper government. And, I would say that the policies and records of the parties are definitely having an effect here too.

3 key provinces where the NDP must do well are Quebec, Ontario and BC (the provinces with the most seats).

In Quebec, looking at the polls right after Gilles Duceppe took over the leadership of the Bloc, there was a bump for the Bloc, mainly at the expense of the NDP. But the most recent polls show the numbers resetting slightly, going back in favour of the NDP. I would say the NDP has a stable lead in Quebec and will most likely at least get about the same number of seats there as last election, if not more.

In BC, the NDP has continued to rise in the polls and now commands a very strong lead.

In Ontario, we still have pretty much a 3-way tie. The NDP support has come up 11% and stayed there. If the NDP can break into a significant lead in Ontario, like in Quebec and BC, they will definitely be in the running for a majority government in October.

The latest seat projections show a definite NDP minority.

An aggregate of the latest Ipsos Reid, Angus Reid and EKOS polls projects:
NDP 130 seats
Conservatives 119 seats
Liberals 86 seats
Bloc 2 seats
Green 1 seat

And Forum, from their latest poll ending June 23rd, projects:
NDP 149 seats
Conservatives 116 seats
Liberals 65 seats
Bloc 3 seats
Green 1 seat

If things stay about how they are now, we will see an NDP minority government. But, I think if the NDP make more gains in Ontario, we will see an NDP majority government.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Question The Nature Of Your Orders - new Facebook page.

New Facebook Page.
Instead of continuing to fill up my personal Facebook page with political posts, I've created a new paged called Question The Nature Of Your Orders. Anyone wishing to continue to follow my posts (like I was posting to my Facebook page) can Like (and then choose to Get Notifications) at this new page. I will continue to post things here on Driving The Porcelain Bus too as I have been.

Descriptions for the Question The Nature Of Your Orders:

Short: How about instead of calling it "politics", we call it "your life"? Then will you be interested?

Long: Political views and news from a Canadian social-democratic perspective, focused mainly on Canadian issues, but also including issues around the world. Also, bringing attention to regressive political policies, repression, and injustice.

This is my political soapbox, but I welcome discussion, and people are welcome to share anything on this page.

Policy on trolls: They will be banned.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A Sleeping Ontario Awakens

EKOS has released a 2nd poll that puts the NDP in the lead in the past couple of weeks. This solidifies things more, showing that it is not a fluke. (Actually, 8 recent polls have the NDP virtually tied with the Conservatives for the lead.)

Probably the most significant number in the latest poll is the position of the NDP in Ontario. It has been pretty obvious that the NDP are going to hold onto their seats in Quebec. And, they have remained steadily competitive in BC. The key now to the election lies in vote-rich Ontario. For the NDP to get enough seats to form the next government, they need to get a lot of seats in Ontario. But, the NDP has not done well yet in Ontario. Until now...

If you look at the latest and previous recent Ekos polls, you see the NDP has come from a distant 3rd to now being tied in first with the Conservatives in Ontario. The trend is up for the NDP in most of the provinces. But pulling into first place in Ontario means a lot more seats. And, a lot more seats for the NDP could spell an NDP majority government.

In the last election, the NDP reached about 27% support in Ontario. Currently, they are 4 points above this and the trend seems like their support will continue to rise in Ontario. I'm sure that besides the Harper government history, the federal Liberals supporting Bill C-51 (among many other Conservative policies/bills), and the Wynne government souring (looking even more conservative than the Harris PCs now) are giving a boost to the NDP. 

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next while in Ontario. I believe this is where the votes will decide between a Harper minority government and an NDP minority or majority government.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Excuse me Ipsos, do you know how to count? NDP doing quite well in the West, thank you.

Today, Ipsos came out with this headline:

Orange Crush is East, Not West: Federal Parties All Tied Up as Quebec Buoys NDP (30%) to Statistical Tie with Tories (31%), Grits (31%) Nationally 

Considering the actual poll numbers, especially when compared with the previous Ipsos polls, this is pretty misleading. It would imply that the NDP are not doing well or have not made any significant gains in the West.

When we look at the Ipsos numbers, we can see that the NDP have made significant gains, especially in Alberta in the West.

NDP support as shown in Ipsos polls Feb-May 2015

Feb 2015. Apr 2015. May 2015. Overall change Apr to May change
BC 21% 32% 34% +13 +2
AB 16% 23% 31% +15 +8
SK & MB 27% 21% 23% -4 +2
ON 23% 19% 24% +1 +5
QC 27% 34% 41% +14 +7
Atlantic 26% 19% 21% -5 +2

It looks to me like the Orange wave has hit not only Quebec, where the NDP has gained 14 points since February, but also BC and Alberta, where they gained 13 and 15 points since February.
Even comparing April to May, we see that NDP support still rose significantly in Alberta. The rise in NDP support, as you can see by these numbers, has been greatest in Alberta (15 points since Feb, 8 points since April), even greater than in Quebec.

A more accurate headline might be: 3 Main Parties All Tied As The NDP Makes Significant Gains At The Expense Of Both The Liberals And Conservatives. 

Overall, from Feb. to May, the NDP rose 7%, while the Conservatives dropped 2% and the Liberals dropped 3%

By themselves, these overall changes may not seem too significant. But, the fact that the NDP is picking up support from both Conservatives and Liberals spells trouble for these 2 parties.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Who Cares About The Youth Vote? Certainly Not The Corporate Media.

Regarding this article in the Globe & Mail: Dear Young People: Not Voting? No One Cares.
Politicians need to take a chance and talk to youth and aim policies toward them too. And, at the same time, youth need to start talking to the politicians.

However, one of the problems, unmentioned here, is the corporate media itself, a willing participant in discouraging youth to get involved. This article and other media articles about the youth vote and youth apathy are missing the policies here and there aimed at youth, and at the youth speaking up for themselves. Protests and rallies are usually mainly populated by young adults. They ARE stepping up to be heard. But corporate-media and the corporate parties (Conservatives and Liberals) want to play down disgruntled youth raising their voices as this threatens their cozy security. Just check out the headline! - Dear young people: Not voting? No one cares (not said here is: Especially us, the corporate media). Change is not a friend of the establishment, so the establishment, including the propaganda machine (the mainstream media) of the corporate establishment, is not a friend of those who would bring about change - the youth. The vicious circle here would more likely disappear if it were not for the complicity of the media in maintaining that circle.

Friday, 15 May 2015

NDP Support Pre-election 2011 Compared to 2015

Here is an interesting comparison between the NDP support 8-5 months before the election in 2011 compared to the same period now in 2015.

Back in 2011, support was in the mid teens at this time and didn't start to rise until closer to the election. But in 2015, support was in the upper teens and has gradually risen (with a jump at the end of the period) to close to 30 in the same period.

So, the NDP support this time around is much stronger, double what it was at the same time before the previous election. They are well situated to continue to grow to a position to form the government.

With the rise of the provincial NDP in Alberta, and with the federal Liberals not looking very progressive, especially with their vote to support bill C-51, progressive voters are looking more and more to the NDP as the party to support to beat the Harper Conservatives.

The following table shows a comparison of the regional support over these time periods (numbers taken from EKOS polls)



Sep. 2010 Dec. 2010 change Feb. 2015 May 2015 change
BC 31 22 -9 22 31 +9
AB 13 6 -7 10 25 +15
SK (SK&MB 2011) 16 19 +3 23 28 +5

16 20 +4
ON 15 16 +1 15 27 +12
QC 9 11 +2 23 36 +13
Atlantic 15 13 -2 18 24 +6

In the latest EKOS poll, May 6-12, 2015, The NDP are leading in Quebec and BC, are in second place in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Atlantic, and are now only 6 points off the lead in Ontario. Support in Ontario is vital for the NDP to really increase their seat total. And the gains in Alberta, which until now were totally unexpected, will be a bonus.


A Forum poll has just come out with similar numbers as the EKOS poll - Con and Lib 31% each and NDP at 30%.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

No One To Blame For Rob Ford But The Media And Ignorance

This article in the Toronto Star points to the voters as those solely to blame for Rob Ford being elected.

I disagree. The voters are partially to blame, but there were other major factors.

1) The Media
The Media is very much to blame for the election of Rob Ford. During the election campaign they, pretty much as a whole, focused much more on the celebrity of Rob Ford than on the policies of the candidates. This influenced the many voters who are more easily swayed by name recognition and celebrity than policies.

Also, the Media is largely to blame for discouraging people from voting, by convincing many that it is pointless to vote as it will change nothing. Remember, the vast majority of media is or is owned by large corporations. So, it is in their best interests for the most part to support Conservative ideology. It is known that the most avid voters are conservative supporters. So, by convincing those who disagree with and are disappointed by government policies and trends that it is a waste of time to vote, they are removing votes against the parties/people that support the conservative/corporate agenda/ideologies.

2) Ignorance
A large part of Conservative ideology is the celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason. Just look at the popularity of the Tea Party in the USA, especially a couple of years ago, during the time of the last Toronto municipal election. Those people in Toronto who embraced this celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason at the time of the election were/are at the core of Ford Nation. The popularity and sensationalizing of this ideology convinced many more to jump on the bandwagon of celebrating ignorance.

And now, with all that, there is the issue of trying to reason with those who have chosen to abandon reason.

It is easier to fool someone that to convince them that they have been fooled.

We have our work cut out for us. And it is made especially hard for individuals to fight against the Media for the attention of people, especially for those people who currently won't be reasoned with.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Disecting Ford Nation - Part Three - Nov. 20, 2013

Crack smoking admission, "rage/murder threats" video, oral sex comment, international embarrassment, bullying and immature behaviour in council, ... After a series of things that confirm, for most people, that Rob Ford should resign as Mayor of Toronto, Ford still enjoys significant support.  Unbelievable you say? How can this be? Who are these people who still support him?

Today I will look at 5 polls done by Forum Research, Oct. 28-29, Oct. 31, Nov. 4, 2013, Nov. 6, 2013 and Nov. 20, 2013. Again, I will look at the groups with the highest initial approval ratings on Oct. 28-29 to see if there are any significant changes.

Significant observations
• Overall approval has stayed about the same
• Support remains highest among men
• Support from seniors continues to drop (by 10% since the first of these polls), and Other Christians (by 15%)
• We see a sudden drop in support in the recent poll among these groups: Scarborough, Low Income, Other Christian
• We see a significant rise in support amongst these groups that formerly had lower support ratings: 45-54 years of age, Etobicoke or York, Renters, $60-$80k, Catholics,  Households with children

What does this mean?
We can see that the demographics of Ford Nation are changing somewhat as a result of the new revelations and incidents. Some people are starting to change their mind against Rob Ford, while others are becoming more supportive, thus, keeping the approval rating fairly steady.

The biggest swing between groups is the drop in support in Scarborough and the rise in support in Etobicoke. Maybe this means that the people of Scarborough are having second thoughts about the expensive subway plan (vs. the already-paid-for LRT plan), and the people of Etobicoke are feeling the need to rally around their hometown boy.

Below are levels from the 1st date to the latest date

39% - 44% - 43% - 44% - 42%

61% - 56% - 57% - 56% - 58%

Let's look at the groups with the highest initial approval rating, in other words, Ford Nation.

NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (within 5% from 1st to last poll) - THE BASIC CORE

Transportation - drivers
50% - 49% - 48% - 48% - 47%

Property Owners
43% - 45% - 46% - 44% - 40%

Ethnicity - Other European (non-UK background)
54% - 45% - 53% - 53% - 53%

Education - some college or university
50% - 54% - 57% - 52% - 55%

Gender - male
43% - 46% - 45% - 50% - 49%

Voted for Rob Ford
84% - 78% - 74% - 77% - 77%

Region - Scarborough
51% - 54% - 55% - 59% - 43%

Household Income - less than $20k
56% - 47% - 56% - 54% - 49%

Age - 65+
49% -  41% - 42% - 40% - 39%

Religion - "Other Christian" (not Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical)
66% - 56% - 55% - 57% - 51%

And here are new groups that have, over the time of these polls, risen to be the top supporters that were not initially top supporters.

Age - 45-54

Region - Etobicoke or York


Household income - $60-$80k

Religion - Catholic

Have Children

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rob Ford - Another Day, Another Apology

After a long and eventful day at City Council, wherein Ford had his power even further reduced, Rob and Doug Ford sat down for an interview with CBC's Peter Mansbridge.

It is long and painful to watch if you have an aversion to lies and buffoons.

Here are some highlights:

Rob Ford claims he has never been drunk while driving. (Yet, his staff have witnessed him drunk driving).

Rob Ford admitted, during the interview that he has, since becoming mayor,
- smoked marijuana at least once,
- smoked crack only once,
- been high on cocaine more than once (but then denied it - claiming it was when he was a teen, not recently (He has been seen snorting cocaine while he has been mayor),
- purchased drugs, and that this is an illegal act, and he agrees that people should think that he should be charged for buying drugs. (Then he tried to deflect from this admission by claiming that other councillors have purchased marijuana).

Rob Ford claims he has never been on drugs while in his office. He claims the last time he did drugs was "a year ago sometime."

He thinks that everyone has been as high or drunk as he has, to the point where there are memory blackouts.

And, on why he is not talking to the police:
His lawyer has advised him to not talk to the police [regarding any of the on-going investigations - there are current investigations regarding drugs, extortion and murder].
> Mansbridge: What kind of signal does that send?
Ford: Talk to my lawyer.

What kind of signal indeed.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Toronto Centre By-election: Could Be A Tight Race With Support For Linda McQuaig, NDP, Rising

In the latest poll, Liberal candidate Crystia Freeland leads with 46% support, and the NDP candidate Linda McQuaig is second with 35% support.

Looking at only those numbers, it seems like the election is a sure thing for the Liberals. However, when we look at the way the numbers are trending, things look much closer.

In the last 3 Forum polls we see that

Liberal support went from 49% to 45% to 46% - dropped and then levelled off.

while the NDP support went from 25% to 30% to 35% - rising continually.

If the trend continues, we could see a solid swath of NDP MPs right across downtown Toronto.

Disecting Ford Nation - Part Two - Nov. 6, 2013

Even though we now have the revelation that there was a video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, and now that Ford had admitted that he smoked crack, he still has a fairly high approval rating. How can this be? Who are these people who still support him?

Today I will look at 4 polls done by Forum Research, Oct. 28-29, Oct. 31, Nov. 4, 2013, Nov. 6, 2013 (after the 1st video revelation and Ford's confession, but before the release of the "rage/murder threats" video).

Approval stays about the same since the Nov. 4th poll.
The most significant changes in Ford Nation are:
• Support has risen amongst men and people in Scarborough
• Support from seniors continues to drop

Below are levels from the 1st date to the latest date

39% - 44% - 43% - 44%

61% - 56% - 57% - 56%

Let's look at the groups with the highest initial approval rating, in other words, Ford Nation.

NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (within 5% from 1st to last poll) - THE BASIC CORE

Transportation - drivers
50% - 49% - 48% - 48%

Property Owners
43% - 45% - 46% - 44%

Household Income - less than $20k
56% - 47% - 56% - 54%

Ethnicity - Other European (non-UK background)
54% - 45% - 53% - 53%

Education - some college or university
50% - 54% - 57% - 52%

Gender - male
43% - 46% - 45% - 50%

Region - Scarborough
51% - 54% - 55% - 59%

Age - 65+
49% -  41% - 42% - 40%

Religion - "Other Christian" (not Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical)
66% - 56% - 55% - 57%

Voted for Rob Ford
84% - 78% - 74% - 77%

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Disecting Ford Nation - Part One - Recent Numbers

Even though we now have the revelation that there was a video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, and now that Ford had admitted that he smoked crack, he still has a fairly high approval rating. How can this be? Who are these people who still support him?

Today I will look at 3 polls done by Forum Research, Oct. 28-29, Oct. 31, and Nov. 4, 2013 (just before the video revelation to just before the confession by Ford).

Below are levels from the 1st date to the latest date

39% - 44% - 43%

61% - 56% - 57%

Let's look at the groups with the highest initial approval rating, in other words, Ford Nation.

NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (within 5% from 1st to last poll) - THE BASIC CORE
Gender - male
43% - 46% - 45%

Region - Scarborough
51% - 54% - 55%

Transportation - drivers
50% - 49% - 48%

Property Owners
43% - 45% - 46%

Household Income - less than $20k
56% - 47% - 56%

Ethnicity - Other European (non-UK background)
54% - 45% - 53%

Education - some college or university
50% - 54% - 57%

Age - 65+
49% -  41% - 42%

Religion - "Other Christian" (not Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical)
66% - 56% - 55%

Voted for Rob Ford
84% - 78% - 74%

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Latest Ipsos-Reid Poll Shows NDP Rising At The Expense of The Liberals

Ipsos Reid just released new federal poll numbers.
Their latest poll was conducted between Oct. 25 and 28, 2013. Their previous poll covered Oct. 16 to 20, 2013.

Here is a comparison between their 2 polls

            Oct. 20       Oct. 28
NDP      27%            31%   up 4%
Lib         33%            31%  down 2%
Con       31%            30%   down 1%
Grn          2%              2%
Blc           6%              6%

With the Senate scandal being front and centre in the news for the past couple of weeks, and with the performance of Thomas Mulcair hammering away at Harper in Question Period, I think we can see Canadians once again taking notice of Mulcair and the NDP.

Mulcair is reminding Canadians that he is the one standing up for Canadians and asking the tough questions in Parliament. The honeymoon is over for Trudeau and Liberals (In May 2013, Ipsos Reid pegged the Liberals at 36%), and the NDP is rising back towards where they were in support before the Liberal leadership race.

The Conservatives have remained, in Ipsos Reid polls, between 30% and 32% for the past year. It seems that they will have to look a lot worse before their base starts to really crumble.

In the Spring and Summer, while the Liberals were riding high, the Bloc and the Green party also rose slightly, while the NDP dropped. They have dropped back down since, and now we see the Liberal numbers dropping as the NDP numbers rise.

It will be interesting to see if the NDP continue to rise and the Liberals drop, or if things level off like this for a while. I can't see the Conservatives gaining any ground in the next while with the current political climate. 

One significant point for the NDP is that they are leading in Quebec and BC and tied for the lead in Ontario. They have been in the lead in Quebec and BC in the recent past, but they haven't had so much support in Ontario until now. If they hope to form the next government, Ontario is the one area where they need to shore up support. Ontario seems to be warming up to the NDP.

See also:
   "The major beneficiary of the scandal seems to be the NDP so far. Tom Mulcair’s party, the Official Opposition in the Commons, has gained four percentage points since last week to sit at 31 per cent in the polls."
- and -
   "He said the NDP’s persistent strength in the polls makes the party a factor to watch. “The only thing we’ve seen that I think is of particular interest in all of this is the NDP strength hanging in there. The fact the NDP has got a new floor that is at least 25 [per cent] makes them definitely a spoiler in whatever goes on in the future.”

News release from Ipsos Reid including tracking graph:
Of particular note is the movement of the NDP over these two weeks, which gained 4 points from the first week of polling to the second. Most of that movement can be explained by gains made in Alberta (26%, up 9 points), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (39%, up 6 points), Ontario (33%, up 6 points) and British Columbia (36%, up 5 points). 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Canadian Support For Abolishing The Senate Is Gaining Ground - UPDATED


I just got the EKOS poll results from Oct. 29, 2013
These poll results show an even stronger support for Senate abolition
53.8% of Canadians support abolishing the Senate.

Regional support
Provinces that support abolition with  over 50% support: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec (Sask and Que are the highest with 68% and 67% support)

Provinces that support abolition with less than 50% Atlantic, Manitoba, and Ontario

Highest support (52% to 59%) are those older than 35 years
Lowest support is amongst those younger than 35 years (49%)

Party Support
Highest support is amongst Conservative, NDP and Bloc supporters (62% to 74%)
Lowest support is amongst the Liberal (40.6%) and Green (49.4%) supporters


As Canadians have become more aware of the Senate through exposure to the Senate Scandal, they are, more and more, realizing that there is no place in a modern democracy for a Senate.

More people favour making the Senate an elected body, but the support for abolition is gaining ground and has almost caught up.

6 years ago, the difference was 31%, today it is only 6%

Favour an elected Senate: 57%(2007), 42%(Feb. 2013), 49%(June 2013), 49%(Oct. 2013)

Favour abolishing the Senate: 26%(2007), 36%(Feb. 2013), 41%(June 2013), 43%(Oct. 2013)


In the latest results from the Ipsos-Reid poll (Oct. 2013) the regions who favour abolition over reform the most are Quebec (54% to 39%) and Atlantic (54% to 45%). All other regions favour reform over abolition with Ontario and BC favouring it the most (53%).

It will be interesting to see where these numbers are in 2015. It will take the support of the majority of provinces to make any major change regarding the Senate (including abolishing it).

For more information on abolishing the Senate:
Abolish The Senate: A Sober Second Look At Canadian Democracy - Facts

The NDP's Roll Up The Red Carpet campaign

Democracy Watch's Shut Down The Senate campaign

NDP Democratic and Parliamentary Reform Critic Craig Scott - Abolish The Senate

News and opinion:
Abolish the Senate say local MPs

Idea of Senate Abolition Gaining Momentum Inside Conservative Caucus

OpEd: Senate Abolition The Best Course

Manitoba Joins Move To Abolish The Senate

If Canadian's Vote To Abolish The Senate, Politicians Must Listen

Canadian Senate Abolition Idea Gaining Momentum Among Tories

Abolish the Senate Instead Of Trying To Reform It

Majority of Province's Residents Prefer To See Senate Abolished, Says Poll

Monday, 21 October 2013

Thomas Mulcair speaks to the CUPE 50th Anniversary National Convention

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Linda McQuaig Is The NDP Candidate for Toronto-Centre

Congratulations to Linda McQuaig who won the NDP nomination today to be their candidate for the upcoming Toronto-Centre federal riding.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Harper Government's War On Science - an excellent chronology

From Science Blogs - The Canadian War On Science: A Long Unexaggerated, Devastating Chronological Indictment by John Dupuis.

This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.

Click the link for the details.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

BC - NDP Lose The Election, But The Liberals Lose Their Leader

Christy Clark may have led her party to a stunning upset against all predictions, but she lost her own seat to the NDP's David Eby.

Elections BC: Vancouver-Point Grey results.

My two cents on why the NDP lost: Conservative party support swung to the Liberals to stop the NDP, and the youth vote, which strongly supports the NDP, didn't show up to vote.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ontario NDP Want To Hear From You On The Budget

The Ontario NDP would like to hear your feedback on the budget before deciding on supporting it or not. The Liberals sort of supported the NDP demands, but not exactly.

Here is a link to a table that shows what the NDP demanded and what the Liberals offered.

As you can see, some of the items the Liberals decided to offer to bring in partially or sometime within a number of years. Other items, the Liberals offered even more funding.

Give feedback to the NDP on the budget here at

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ontario Liberals On The Verge of Forcing An Election

To make a minority government work, the party in power needs the support of enough members of parliament to pass confidence-vote legislation like the budget. This can be done on an issue by issue basis, or, by coming to an on-going agreement with one or more opposition parties to form a coalition government.

Currently, in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative party under Tim Hudak has been chomping at the bit for an election. They have been uncooperative for some time, looking to gain power for themselves instead of looking to get things done for the people of Ontario.

So, the governing minority Liberals, now under Kathleen Wynne, have been appearing to be willing to work with the NDP to pass legislation. With this in mind, Andrea Horwath's NDP have asked for some things to be added/changed in the upcoming Ontario Budget. 

Here is what the NDP demands include:
  • Close corporate tax loopholes (while running a deficit, it makes no sense to allow so much potential income to escape)
  • Reduce car insurance rates by 15 per cent (Ontario has the highest rates in Canada)
  • Introduce new measures to help reduce youth unemployment
  • Strengthen health care
  • Improve Welfare rules
  • Improve support for home care for seniors
  • Generally make life more affordable for Ontarians

At first, it seemed, for a while, that the Liberals were going to meet the NDP demands and get a budget passed. However, Horwath has said that recent meetings over the budget have been "unproductive" and that the Liberals have not offered a clear agenda.

The most recent item proposed to meet the NDP demand was a relatively insignificant amount to improve support for home care for seniors. 

From the Toronto Star:

It seems apparent that the Ontario Liberals are purposely dragging their feet when it comes to trying to make the government work for Ontarians. This would point to them actually wanting an election, but not wanting to be the ones to seem to bring about an election.

If there is an election in Ontario soon, people should realize it will be the fault of the parties unwilling to make the government work for Ontarians (The PCs for being totally unwilling to negotiate for things for Ontarians, and the Liberals, for being unwilling to work with the only opposition party remaining who IS willing to negotiate for the good of Ontarians).

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Rob Ford Attempts To Keep Toronto From Having Input On Transit Funding

Rob Ford and his council lackeys want to differ discussing transit funding until AFTER Metrolinx' deadline to agree on what they will present to the province - in other words, until after it is too late to have their input considered by Metrolinx in their recommendations to the province.

Typical Rob Ford/Ford Nation idiocy.

The mayor should be doing all he can to encourage ideas and debate on this issue in order to come up with some input for Metrolinx BEFORE this deadline. Instead, he is burying his head in the sand and trying to stifle progress, as usual.

Transit Fees: Ford, Councillors Headed For A Showdown

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say

People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish, Scientists Say

This article touches on a core problem for democracy. But add to this the fact that the corporate media and the corporate parties (Conservatives and Liberals in Canada) prey on this weakness of the populace in order to sway the people to vote against the people's own interests. This makes anything that improves the democratic process, like proportional representation (or even procedures that take baby steps toward P.R.), critical to helping make democracy work better for the people. Better education and less corporate control of the media are also critical for democracy to flourish. 

Some may try to argue, as if this is a different factor, that there are many people who just don't care enough about politics. This is not a different factor, but a result of the success of the propaganda of the corporate media/parties. Those people not smart enough to understand the importance of politics are convinced by the propaganda of the corporate media/parties to not care about politics. They will vehemently deny that they have been influenced, but they have (if they hadn't been influenced, they would care).  These people end up not voting, and convincing others to either not vote or to spoil their votes in one way or another.  This totally plays into what the corporate parties want - less involvement in politics by the populace = the more they can control politics. Politics in a vibrant democracy, is controlled by the people. In a failing democracy, politics is controlled by a few in government or in political parties whose true agenda is mainly to hold onto power by reducing the input from and control by the people.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

ON NDP Stance on Funding for Public Transit

The other day, Martin Regg Cohn wrote a horribly twisted piece of anti-NDP propaganda in the Toronto Star. 
Andrea Horwath and the ON NDP are not changing their stance on any of this. They are still looking at the root cause of the money problems for public transit - the provincial and federal government increasingly cutting corporate taxes and making up the loss of revenue on the backs of everyone else. Public transit used to be funded by the province and the feds. That made sense. Then this funding was removed to pay for corporate tax cuts. The NDP is saying lets get back to sensible taxation of the corporations and sensible funding of large projects (like public transit).

Continuing with the aim of constantly giving to the rich and corporations, and, at the same time, taking more and more from the rest of us, is a plan that cannot continue (unsustainable) and a plan that is very unfair. It is also a plan of the corporate parties (Liberals and Cons). It is precisely because of this plan that our public transit is suffering and begging for money. This plan is why money has been pulled out from under public transit over the years by the provincial and federal governments. When the Chretien-Martin government massively cut transfers to the provinces, the provinces then began to massively cut programs and funding in the provinces (remember what Harris did in Ontario, including removal of provincial funding from public transit?). And besides these cuts, the Ontario governments have continued to reduce their funds by steadily decreasing corporate taxes to a ridiculously low amount - and STILL plan to continue cutting this revenue source for the province. The end result is that many important things go underfunded and the funds now have to come from those who can least afford to pay. 
Horwath and the ON NDP want to reverse this trend and stop trying to force those least able to pay, to pay for everything. I support this stand by the ON NDP.
They are not so much against new funding sources for transit, but FOR old sensible funding sources for transit.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Three Tory Nutters Escape

What can I say? How did these 3 get loose from their leash? How can this be a good thing for the Conservatives?

They know that abortion is not homicide by law in this country. Hopefully the RCMP will tell them so and this will end there.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Mayor Rob Ford Countdown Clock

Instead of checking the news to see when the exact time and date of Rob Ford's removal from office is, just bookmark the Mayor Rob Ford Countdown Clock page!

Stock up and champagne and party horns as the time is fast approaching.

Start the betting pool on whether he will have to be forcibly removed from office or not when the time comes.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Israel-Gaza conflict - Summary of Cease Fire Demands

Summary of demands:
Which seem more reasonable?

By Israel:
- No fighting (well, you can't attack us, but we can attack you)
- We continue to cut off all your trade and travel by water and land with Israel and the rest of the world (except for through Egypt) (but we can continue to trade with and travel to and from the rest of the world)
- You are allowed to get no more weapons (but we can continue to increase our military might)
- We will continue to assassinate your members of parliament (which may include deaths of other civilians in the area)

By Gaza/Hamas:
- Allow us to trade
- Stop assassination bombings
- stop continual raids
- stop attacking our fishermen

Friday, 28 September 2012

Ontario NDP virtually tied with PCs

A new Forum Research  Ontario tracking poll is out. The results show the NDP and PCs in a virtual tie, with the Liberal support continuing to plummet.
Horwath's and Hudak's popularity remains about the same with Horwath way in the lead, but McGuinty's popularity has dropped significantly.

Results of the Sept. 25th poll compared to level of support at the election in Oct. 2011:
PC: 37% (+2%)
NDP: 35% (+12%)
LIb: 20% (-18%)

The NDP has been steadily rising overall since the election, while the PCs have remained about the same. The Liberal support has steadily dropped since the election with an increased drop since last month.

Leader Popularity compared to level of support Jan. 2012:
Andrea Horwath (NDP): 48% (+8%)
Tim Hudak (PC): 26% (no change)
Dalton McGuinty (Lib): 20% (-13%)

If the trends continue, we could be looking at a minority NDP government by the time an election rolls around.

Also of note:
Supporter Enthusiasm:
Very Enthusiastic:
NDP 53%
PC: 48%
Lib: 38%

Regional support:
The NDP and PCs are running about neck and neck in all regions of the province with the PCs having the upper hand in the 905 region and in Eastern Ontario. Liberal support in all regions is a distant 3rd, except in Eastern Ontario, where they are doing a bit better.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Conservatives and Their Media

Earlier today a friend and I were discussing how the Conservatives get away with telling lies all the time. My answer was this:

The Conservatives have confidence in the mainstream media and their ability to help pull the wool over the eyes of so many Canadians. The fact that we have a majority Conservative government right now is proof of that. So yes, the Cons have confidence that with the help of the majority of the news media in Canada, they can con enough Canadians on a regular basis. Most unfortunate. The difficult task we face is convincing those who have been fooled that they have been fooled.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Poll Predicts A Comfortable Win For The NDP's Catherine Fife In Kitchener-Waterloo

In a Forum Research poll, conducted Tues. Sept. 4, 2012, support for the NDP was at 42%, while the Liberal and Conservative support had dropped to 26% each. In their previous poll early in August, the NDP and Liberals were at 30% and the Conservatives were at 34%.

Story from The Record.

This is good news as it keeps the Liberals from getting a majority (Which would allow them free-reign to bring in even worse Harper-Government-esque policies), sends a message to the PCs that their recent track record and ideals have failed with the people of Ontario, and that Andrea Horwath's NDP are on the right track.

Results of the election:
NDP 40%
Con 32%
Lib 24% 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A BBQ That Rob Ford Won't Enjoy

Mayor Rob Ford to face public Clayton Ruby cross-examination in conflict case

"Mayor Rob Ford has been forced to testify in open court, and face cross-examination from prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby, in a high-stakes conflict of interest lawsuit that could push him out of office.

The lawsuit accuses Ford of breaking provincial law by voting in February on the issue of whether he should have to pay back a total of $3,150 to lobbyists, clients of lobbyists, and a corporation whose donations to his football foundation he improperly accepted.

Ottawa judge Charles Hackland’s Friday decision to make him take the stand means he will face an unusual public grilling from one of the country’s top legal minds.


The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act says members of council are to recuse themselves from the debate and the vote on any issue in which they have a financial interest.

The penalties are severe. If a member of council takes part in a debate or vote despite a conflict, the law says the judge “shall” force him out of office and “may” bar him from rejoining council for up to seven years" 

Grill away Clayton!

More details in this Globe & Mail article 

Key segment of testimony so far, from the linked G&M article:
Ruby: You deliberately chose to make the speech you did and vote the way you did?
Ford: Absolutely.
Ruby: And you don’t regret for a moment having done that?
Ford: Absolutely not.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mayor Rob Ford caught reading while driving

Mayor Rob Ford caught reading while driving

Listen (click the link) to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admit to reading while driving.
This morning, a photo was taken of him reading while he was driving (at a speed of about 70km/hr) on the Gardener Expressway (see photo at bottom of this post).
This appeared on Facebook later in the day
Okay, yes, some people will be upset about how the person who snapped the shot was also doing something they should not have been doing while driving. But the elephant in the room cannot be ignored. Rob Ford admitted to reading while driving - not just in this instance, but - in general. It is something he does regularly. And, he sees no problem in doing this. Doing this, especially in crowded fast-moving traffic, is a danger not only to himself, but to many people in the other cars around him. Lives are at stake here.

The other issue here is the fact that here we have the mayor of Toronto setting a horrible example (again) and just shrugging it off (again) as if it is no big deal. 

I won't go into details about all the other similarly foolish things he has said and done as they are so numerous that you have probably read all about them (unless you live in a cave).

More details here and here.
Photo by Twitter user @ryanghaughton.