Category Archives: Federal Election 2008
You know that in principle I’m profoundly against strategic voting, which I see as the symptom not the cure for a deeply flawed electoral system. But I guess if there’s one thing worse than “strategic voting” it’s “non strategic strategic voting”. “Strategic voting” advocates say to vote for Peggy Nash in the riding of Parkdale High Park.
I know it’s not a shocker, but do link over there for some very compelling reasons to vote for Jack Layton and the NDP.
“Despite what Finance Minister Flaherty says, corporate tax cuts are an especially uneven policy tool,” Stanford says. “These corporate tax cuts constitute a significant net fiscal shift in favour of Alberta, and away from Ontario and every other non-oil-producing province.”
According to the study, Canada’s three oil-producing provinces, which account for 15% of the population, generate 36% of corporate profits—and can be expected to reap a similarly large share of the benefits of corporate tax reductions. On a per capita basis, companies operating in the oil-producing provinces can be expected to receive three times as much benefit from the tax cuts as companies in the rest of the country.
The study also questions the economic impact of corporate tax cuts. Despite the dramatic decline in corporate tax rates this decade, business spending on capital equipment and R&D has been remarkably sluggish—even as Canadian companies are enjoying all-time record profits.
“Corporate tax cuts, as expensive as they have been and will continue to be, have had no visible impact on the broad pattern of business investment at all,” Stanford says.
“In addition to asking whether the regional and sectoral impacts of the Harper government’s $15 billion annual corporate tax cuts are fair and acceptable to the majority of Canadians, we should also ask whether they will have any beneficial impact on Canada’s economy at all,” concludes Stanford.
Vickky Angstrom in the comments section of the G&M article linked to above, puts it well:
Dion doesn’t understand what the NDP knows: the strongest economic platform IS healthcare, education and childcare. These stabilize the society so that the creativity of business can flourish. Investing in people is smart business.
The whole Andrew McKeever debacle has become a bit fascinating to me. It has so many angles.
Should Andrew McKeever be fired? Personally I don’t really feel strongly either way. His comments were completely outrageous and venomous. His view on war resisters was completely baseless, unethical and not in keeping with NDP policy, but they were made prior to representing the NDP in any official capacity. Perhaps he’s changed his mind, perhaps he respectfully disagrees with that aspect of NDP policy. Perhaps policy and debate on dealing with war resisters could be the focus of a report, but that would require work.
“If they [the Liberals] were so concerned about how I was treated, they would have contacted me first.”
I was wondering when The Star would ramp up it shilling for the Liberal Party of Canada, and I guess today’s Saturday edition must have been decided as the best time to do so. I suspect that next Saturday is when we’ll see the editorial board come out and officially endorse the LPC. I still maintain The Star should have been claimed as a campaign expense by the McGuinty Liberals last year and that they failed the public miserably in their coverage of the provincial election.
Kingmaker Kennedy’s crisis
TARNISHED GOLDEN BOY TRIES TO RESURRECT HOPE AGAINST PEOPLE’S CHOICE NASH
BY ANDREW CASH
It’s a glorious, sunny Saturday morning, the second-last day of summer, but Gerard Kennedy is standing in the middle of a shitstorm.
Mainstreeting on posh Bloor West Village, where even the No Frills seems high-end, Kennedy, shirt sleeves rolled up, suit jacket perpetually thrown over his shoulder, spends much of the morning sticking up for the guy he made Liberal boss, Stéphane Dion.
“You picked the wrong guy,” says more than one passerby.
“You should have been the leader,” remark others.
A number of the locals stop to give him an earful about how bad Dion’s sales job of the Green Shift has been.
While it isn’t all bad news, it’s clear that there’s more on the line for Kennedy than simply knocking off popular NDP incumbent Peggy Nash. Like maybe his political career.
“That’s a no-brainer,” he says of the stakes in this campaign.
He’s still in debt from his failed leadership bid, his party’s campaign has yet to catch a big wave, and many blame him as leadership kingmaker. The former provincial education minister needs a win.
Though he won here provincially twice with massive percentages, the contest in this lefty riding, which runs the gamut from million-dollar digs in High Park to the homeless hanging on in an increasingly yuppified area, is far from in the bag.
One passerby sums up the mood. “He’s great, but I wish he wasn’t running in this riding. I’m voting for Peggy.”
Indeed, many feel that if Kennedy was really serious about stopping Stephen Harper, he’d use his star power in a riding with a Tory rather than NDP incumbent.
“I did consider running in western Canada since I have roots there,” he tells me, “but in the end it would have been too much on the family to pull up and move out west.”
“You have to have a reason to be in a community,” he says. “Look, I have a lot of regard for Peggy, but I have to run in a place where I have an affinity. It isn’t that easy to just drop yourself into a riding.”
Probably not, but this concentration of competing lefty cred has gotta be the kind of thing that soothes Harper to sleep at night.
If Kennedy is waging a shadow campaign, fighting the demons of leadership races past and carrying water for a weak leader, Nash seems by comparison to be travelling very light indeed. Credit the strong loyalty she inspires and the near flawless national NDP campaign.
Nash has a formidable organization. With provincial counterpart Cheri DiNovo, who first took the seat in the by-election created by Kennedy’s resignation, riding shotgun, she’s door-knocking on West Queen West, home to beautiful Victorian renos and a high concentration of new immigrants.
Nash, as the NDP’s industry critic, took a string of initiatives that include introducing a bill for a federal $10 minimum wage, campaigning against the foreign takeover of space company MacDonald Dettwiler and pushing for a resolution making the Dalai Lama an honorary Canadian citizen.
She’s worked hard with the growing Tibetan community in her riding, and many recognize her. She and DiNovo seem to be having a ball as they cruise through the ’hood. I’ve never seen canvassing politicians having such a good time.
But her lightheartedness shouldn’t be misread. A former CAW labour negotiator before bagging the riding in the 2006 rematch with Lib Sarmite Bulte, she’s tough.
“People here don’t want you to just show up at election time,” she says pointedly about the fact that Lib leadership contender Kennedy was a no-show pretty much everywhere for two years after the convention.
“There are ongoing community struggles, and people want to see representation,” says Nash.
They also want to stop Stephen Harper. Kennedy, who uses the word “progressive” countless times today to describe his politics, says he’s really concerned that, even if a majority of Canadians vote against the Harper agenda, the Tories will still form the next government.
“It’s in the country’s interest to have a progressive coalition. We’re trying to create one within the Liberal party. Is that gonna work? We’ll find out. If it doesn’t work, there may be other ways to get things done.”
But Nash isn’t having any of it. “How is voting to stay in Afghanistan until 2012 ‘progressive’? How is supporting a budget that cut funding to women’s programs, cut the court challenges program, cut literacy funding and attacked social spending a progressive alternative?” she asks.
Sure, the Tories don’t have a ghost of a chance here, but it’s all still music to Stephen Harper’s ears.
I usually agree with Christina Blizzard, who always calls them as she sees them.
Political recycling bin
No reducing, lots of reusing as many past politicians use name recognition en route to ballot box
By CHRISTINA BLIZZARD
Checking out some federal lawn signs these days, you could be forgiven for thinking you were caught in a time warp.
The political space and time continuum seems to have become bizarrely bent out of shape. A former premier, a former NDP cabinet minister, one of McGuinty’s former cabinet ministers, a clutch of Mike Harris-era former provincial Tory cabinet ministers and the odd backbencher all have their names on the hustings.
They’re ’90s names in an ’08 world.
It’s like reduce, reuse and recycle for politicians….
A lot of Liberal insiders are wishing it were Rae taking on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, New Democratic honcho Jack Layton and Green Leader Elizabeth May in the TV debate.
Rae is a formidable debater, with experience in televised debating. And his French is better than Dion’s English.
Rae is set for an easy win — especially since the Tory candidate running against him, Chris Reid, was forced to quit over some oddball blog entries.
Which brings us to former McGuinty education minister Gerard Kennedy. He’s in tough in Parkdale-High Park against NDP power chick Peggy Nash. Provincially the riding is held by another popular New Democrat woman, Cheri DiNovo. Between DiNovo and Nash, they have the riding all sewn up.
If Kennedy loses, it will be poetic justice. He was the guy who foisted Dion on an unsuspecting party by throwing his support behind him in the leadership convention.
Most pundits predict it will be adieu, Gerard. And the end of his political career. Any openings at the food bank, I wonder?
Another take on Chantal Hebert’s comment that“Kennedy put us on this path”:
I should have known better. I’ve always conceded that Cherniak’s a good Liberal (petty, opportunistic, moderately intelligent but not enough to be self-critical, has an abiding sense of entitlement, overindulged, and win at all costs approach that will forego any dignity or integrity if need be).
This morning, Jack Layton changed his entire campaign and admitted that Stéphane Dion would be the next prime minister in a coalition government. His only argument is now that it should be a coalition with the NDP.
Cherniak was asked in his comments section to provide proof for this unbelievable assertion. And, of course none was forthcoming because he wished it into existence. In fact, if anyone has conceded this race it has been the Liberal Party of Canada. Note how the fear mongering has changed from we must stop the Harper Conservatives to we must stop a Harper Conservative majority. Any why are Canadians now facing an inexorable return to government by Harper’s Conservatives? Because the Liberals have been too busy pursuing selfish opportunistic politics, backstabbing one another, bungling decision after decision, unable to unite and take on the Conservatives.
I stand by my earlier argument that they [the Liberals] can’t balance the Budget, deeply cut corporate taxes, oppose new taxes (outside the internally consistent green shift package) AND make major new spending promises outside the green shift – all in the context of a slumping economy.
The costing here is dubious at best.
We get four year spending and tax reduction totals with little or no detail on timing. No adjustment is really made for slowing growth and rising unemployment.
Clearly a lot of the good new stuff outside the green shift is shunted off to the future. As a key case in point, last week the Liberals promised to bring in a $1.25 Billion per year national child care program. Today, that program is costed at $1.5 Billion over 4 years. That’s a slow phase in, to say the least. Another case in point is municipal infrastructure spending, which barely increases over the status quo for the next four years.
We get a modest dose of Reaganomics and supply-side tax cut magic. Cutting the tax rate on income trusts will supposedly raise $1 Billion in new revenues.
The Liberals actually raise the ante on balanced budgets, promising Martin era determination to run surpluses to pay down debt. They promise to restore the $3 Billion Contingency Reserve – to my mind implying spending cuts “come hell or high water” even if we go into recession.
That’s bad enough, What is worse is that their fiscal plan depends on unspecificed cuts of $12 Billion over 4 years – a not inconsiderable sum after continuing rounds of “program review.”
“Mr. Dion wants to keep in place every penny of Stephen Harper’s corporate tax giveaway and even cut deeper. It’s not credible to cut corporate taxes deeper than Stephen Harper and still keep commitments to new spending.
Despite releasing his platform, Mr. Dion still doesn’t have targets to reduce greenhouse gases, still has no plan to train more doctors and still doesn’t have a plan to stop the gouging of average consumers.
If this platform was supposed to be the channel changer for Stéphane Dion, it looks like the batteries just fell out of his remote.”