Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What part of “No” to Proportional Representation don’t they understand?

From Brian Henry at Quick Brown Fox:

In recent years, three provinces in Canada rejected proposals to change their voting systems. In referendums in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia, the people all said, No thanks. We like our current first-past-the-post system just fine.

These repeated defeats should surprise no one. Has there been any groundswell of support for such changes? Is this what people are talking about at Tim Hortons? Not at all. The campaign to throw out our voting system is embraced largely by amateur policy wonks who have never graduated from the debates of their political science classes.

The NDP has also long-endorsed proportional representation. But the NDP has never won an election, which perhaps explains why they imagine the current system must be unfair.

After falling to third party status, the Liberals also came out in support of adopting a voting system that favours losers, though surely, that must be a coincidence.

Previous attempts to change voting systems in Canada were all – quite properly – put to a referendum. When other democracies have considered retiring the first-past-the-post system, they’ve done the same. In 2011, the United Kingdom rejected a change in voting...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tom Mulcair says he saw niqab issue coming. He still bungled it

Hang on a second. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair claims he knew the niqab issue was coming. Despite this supposed foreknowledge, he still managed to misplay it and lose massive support in his party's stronghold of Quebec.

Justin Trudeau's position on the niqab is essentially the same as Mulcair's but he must have better advisers, who told him to downplay it.  Trudeau has been mostly unscathed over his support for the niqab, which approximately 80 percent of Canadians oppose according to recent polls.

If Mulcair knew that he had a major issue coming, that he would have to confront, and still managed to bungle it when it came up, that doesn't suggest much positive for his capability as a national leader, does it?

With one week to go before the election, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said "nothing" about his first national campaign has surprised him — even the contentious issue of the niqab.
"I knew that Stephen Harper had been planning to play identity politics … so I decoded right away that this was going to be an ugly campaign. I saw that coming," Mulcair told CBC News Network's Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton in an interview airing Sunday.

"[Harper] has been putting the race card on the table in this campaign," he added.

The niqab has dominated political debate in the last few weeks of the campaign. The Federal Court of Appeal last month struck down a 2011 Conservative ban on wearing the Muslim veil while taking the citizenship oath...

Color My World

Saturday, October 10, 2015

George Will: Ted Cruz’s audacious plan to win the GOP nomination

In essence, George Will is arguing something I've been saying for a while: that Cruz will be going after Trump voters after the inevitable collapse of The Donald's campaign.

If America’s 58th presidential election validates Ted Cruz’s audacious “base plus” strategy, he will have refuted assumptions about the importance of independent “swing” voters and the inertia of many missing voters. Critics say his plan for pursuing the Republican nomination precludes winning the presidency. Jason Johnson, Cruz’s chief strategist, responds: “I’m working backward from Election Day,” because Cruz’s plan for winning the necessary 1,236 convention delegates is an extrapolation from his strategy for winning 270 electoral votes.

All presidential campaigns aspire to favorably change the composition of the electorate. Cruz aims to substantially reconfigure the electorate as it has recently been...

This part is particularly noteworthy:

...Cruz has county chairs organizing in all 172 counties in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. National Review’s Eliana Johnson reports that through the second quarter, Cruz had raised more “hard” dollars than any of his rivals, and super PACs supporting him have raised more than all but those supporting Jeb Bush...

Many Canadians are at risk of bankruptcy with a raise in interest rates that would come with a Liberal or NDP government

People vote with their pocketbooks.

With nine days to go until Canada's election, feelings about Bill C-51, whether women can wear niqabs while swearing the citizenship oath, and the war against ISIS will not steer the compass to which candidate gets an "X" from the average voter.

Which leader is most likely to keep my job sector be secure, can I make my mortgage payments, and will I be able to put food on the table will be the questions that decide the election.

To that end, interest rates will be a big factor, and it strongly favors the Conservatives.

The current Prime Interest Rate is 2.7%. Lots of people have below-prime mortgages and are able to live in their own homes because those rates are so low. Canadian banks have kept those rates low, thanks in large measure, to the economic policies put in place by Stephen Harper's government.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is promising federal deficits and more government spending at a massive scale.  To get an idea of what a Trudeau government's economy would look like, you only have to look at his mentor, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Under Wynne's government, Ontario has become the largest non-sovereign debtor in the western world. There have been large tax increases, which she sometimes euphemistically calls "revenue tools," and her province is losing jobs to nearby US jurisdictions because of the high energy costs needed to run large-scale businesses in Ontario. Ontario's provincial debt rating has gone down under Wynne, and Trudeau's spending promises would do that to Canada as a whole.

The NDP's Tom Mulcair is promising balanced budgets, more government spending, and no significant tax increases. The NDP's recent plunge in the polls are for a variety of reasons, but almost certainly, one of them is that Canadians have concluded that Mulcair's promises on the economy are worthless. It doesn't help him that his candidate list is filled with people like Niki Ashton and Linda McQuaig who express admiration for policies that ruined the Greek and Venezuelan economies.

Consider what would happen to the average mortgage upon refinancing if the interest rate went up by only one percent. A $250,000 mortgage would meant extra payments of more than $200 a month for those households. Combine that with the inevitable tax increases that the Liberals and NDP would bring in, and a vote for those parties translates into a vote to take more than $300 per month away from your ability to make necessary purchases.

Harper will do what he can to keep interest rates low and Canadian household debt manageable. The increase in interest rates that would follow Liberal and NDP governments would result in many Canadians losing their ability to pay mortgages and the loss of their homes.

We pay for our governments, in one way or another. In essence, by voting, we're making a purchase of services. With that in mind, we always want the best service at the best price from a vendor upon whom we know we can rely. Given the available options, the Conservatives are, by a substantial amount, offering Canadians the best deal.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Justin Trudeau wants to force uninformed people to vote among his not-so-bright ideas to alter democracy

Proportional Representation is a system where political parties decide who sits in the legislature. With it, candidates who can't even win a plurality in their own areas, and were rejected by the voters most familiar with them, can still sit in the legislature when their parties place them there.

And get ready for a Parliament filled with fringe groups who squeak past the minimum threshold for representation.

Every time Canadians have had a chance to vote in a referendum about whether they wanted Proportional Representation, they rejected it. But that's what Justin Trudeau wants to impose on Canada if he gets to head a government.

And he wants to force you to go to the polls, just like Stalin and Saddam Hussein did for their "elections."  How forcing someone to vote who has no interest to do so and hasn't paid any attention to national issues makes democracy better isn't something Trudeau can explain.

This guy is not up to leading a school council, let alone a country.