03.12.2011 07:02 AM

Heading home (updated)

Been up for hours (I’m a worrier – I’ve packed the kids’ bags three times) but I wanted to draw your attention to this Gerald Caplan column. It’s from a Dipper perspective, natch, but worth a read.

Bon voyage!

UPDATE: Typical Warren. I thought Daylight Savings Time kicked in today, not tomorrow. Oops! Go back to sleep, kids. Dad’s a total idiot.

Here’s Caplan, who is a partisan NDPer, but is right about the Grits’ (apparent) push for an election:

As for the Liberals, for my money they must be certifiable to have talked themselves into wanting an election at this time.

In five published polls in the last month, their best total is 27 per cent, their average is 26 per cent, and one poll offered 23 per cent (as does a new one just published). This is Stephane Dion country, folks, even lower, and goes to show the extraordinary self-contained bubble in which Ottawa exists. When it’s over, there’s a good chance Michael Ignatieff will be pleading with a community college to take him on as a part-time teaching assistant.


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    Lance says:

    WK, you’re remarkably well informed, so I’m betting you saw the same CTV ticker last night saying the coming budget will probably see large reductions in the deficit posted. No wonder the Liberals will not be wanting go out on the hustings having defeated the government on such a budget that is only a couple of short weeks away anyway.

    I can’t saw I blame them though; they see their best opportunity to save the furniture. An election now would be good long term for the Liberal party, but bad for Michael Ignatieff. An election on this budget would be bad for the Liberal party but even worse for Michael Ignatieff. But either way, Ignatieff is gone. It is easy to see what option is more digestable for the Liberal party. What I am wondering now is will Layton save Ignatieff for now by voting for the budget, or let him twist aimlessly in the wind to dry out some more?

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    bigcitylib says:

    I think the Libs are playing hard-ball with the NDP under the presumption that they will cave. Which I think is a good move if it works. Me, I suspect it will work and in the end we will all be waiting until 2012. If it doesn’t work, I’m still betting on a Tory minority. I just don’t feel the same fear in the gut as with Dion, where you had to worry about translating his speeches in English into English.

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      The Doctor says:

      But to me that begs the obvious question: if you’re betting on a Tory minority — why go through another election that is simply going to lead to the same substantive result?

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    james Smith says:

    Dippers are painting the room for their support of the present PM


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    fritz says:

    As much as an election now is a crapshoot for the Libs I don’t see anything coming up in the next 12-18 months that is going to make the situation more likely to have a better outcome for the opposition. The economy is slowly improving and Iggy is unlikely to become the next Obama over
    the next year.

    In fact you can make a pretty good case that the situation will only be worse for the opposition in 2012 after yet another 12 months of the Tories airing negative ads against Ignatieff, undermining the electoral system and using tax dollars to promote it’s agenda.

    We can assume there will be new Tory ethical scandals but we don’t need any more scandals to paint the CPC as unethical. In fact there are so many out there now the opposition is having a problem deciding how to exploit them. They spend a day or so pushing one abuse before moving on to yet another ethical mess. The Tories shrug their shoulder, say they’re sorry and they won’t do it again. In fact here are so many Tory ethical scandals most Canadian’s eyes just glaze over at each new violation.

    As for the polls, they have been around the same levels for years now. Yes the Tories are up a few points at the moment but when you take the MOE into consideration they remain close. When the election is called and the race starts polls will change; we just don’t know how and why yet.

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    hugger says:

    About that budget;

    ? Environment Canada will take a huge hit, affecting everything from park maintenance to climate change initiatives. The department?s overall budget will drop by 20 per cent. But its clean air program will be chopped by 59 per cent

    ? The axe will fall on dozens of cultural programs. Almost every agency funded by Heritage Canada will lose money,

    ? The five regional economic development agencies will suffer substantial losses, ranging from a 16.8 per cent cut in funding to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to a 56.5 per cent cut to the Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

    ? Funding for scientific research and technological support will be slashed by 33 per cent.

    The Treasury Board Secretariat is slated for a 21 per cent increase in funding. Day evidently sees no need to lead by example.


    Science? We don’t need no steenkin’ Science..

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      hugger says:

      You neglected to offer thoughts on the 21% increase at the Treasury Board. What is that about?

      “respOnsible fiscal management.” Like Peter and the Jets?

      To read your pontificating Gord is to laugh.

      This is nothing more than another collection of Crap policies intended to favor the resource sector. Like what they have been up to with Vale, the loan, Thompson and breach of contract.

      Oh but shhhh, the contract is another secret. We are just supposed to trust them.

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        Namesake says:

        Um, no: the winding up of the EAP is why they’re SAVING $7-B this year.

        Straight out of Dickens, Ebeneezer Day blamed it on the pesky public service for getting old & sick:

        “Mr. Day?s own department, the Treasury Board, forecasts a 19-per-cent spending increase, bringing its annual budget to $4.9-billion. Mr. Day said the increase is partly because of new government-wide spending programs and higher costs associated with employee benefits as public servants age and increase their use of prescription drugs.” http://urlm.in/hgxg

        (Environment, culture face cuts as Ottawa turns off stimulus taps, BILL CURRY, G&M, Mar. 01, 2011)

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      Namesake says:

      so about one of those “All good places to cut,” Gord: hugger’s spot on, and you’re out to lunch:

      “Federal clean-energy programs on the chopping block have slashed megatonnes of pollution and created thousands of jobs, according to an …internal review by the Natural Resources Department [which] concluded that the programs were expected to deliver about 20 million tonnes in ongoing reductions of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere by 2012 while sparking $25 billion in new investments from other stakeholders outside of the federal government

      …the government programs had directly created more than 5,000 jobs since 2007 along with more than twice as many indirect jobs in such areas as construction, and more spinoffs in the future.” http://urlm.in/hgxs

      h/t http://accidentaldeliberations.blogspot.com

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        Namesake says:

        So, refusing to cancel forgoing a further $6 billion a year in corporate tax revenues for the sake of purely hypothetical increases of $30-B in new investment & a hoped for 100,000 jobs “over the medium term” (over 7 or so years from now, acc. to Mintz) = good; and,

        opting to cancel a program which has already demonstrably leveraged $25-billion in new investment and 5,000 new jobs over the last 3 years AND is (one of the only things) making progress on the govt’s international commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 100 million tonnes (even if you think they’re wrong to do so) = bad.

        Well, at least you’re consistently batty.

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        hugger says:

        “And no government program creates jobs in the long run”

        The Tar sands development would be where if not for Petro Canada’s involvement? Petro Canada was the product of a government program. The National Energy Program. Or the burning cross known as NEP among CPC supporters.

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        hugger says:

        You don’t get it. I know you don’t get it, even as you trumpet the benefits of Tar sands you still can’t get past your mental block.

        Have you checked Suncor’s recent profit figures or considered ROE on East Coast offshore developments? Nfld is a good example, and under the leadership of Mr. Williams, royalties rose to an unprecedented level. Quickly noted and followed by the long time participants in the world of negotiations with oil companies, the Cons from Alberta.

        Too bad they caved at first opportunity and are now reduced to running deficits and burning up the Heritage fund. Such money managers these new age Cons.

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    Michael says:

    Ya know, for all the hand wringing going on, I have to wonder why if everybody is so concerned about the party’s future did none of the most potent leaders step up? Where were the experienced politicians (Rae, well, too much baggage), good candidates, great candidates for that matter, former cabinet ministers, former premiers, who could have done the job and done it as a politician should – to win! Where the hell were they, and for that matter where are they now? Would a true Liberal truly concerned about the party’s future not step up? Where was Manley, where was McKenna, where were all of them when the party was being targeted for destruction by an egomaniac who is hell bent on annihilating the party because of a pathological personal vendetta of Pierre Trudeau’s legacy? Where the hell were all these ‘leaders’ when we needed them most!?

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      Lance says:

      They all saw what going on within the Liberal party and wanted no part of it; what happened between Chretien and Martin was probably the last straw of it. What is more, they were smart enough to see what will be coming yet and got the hell out before being tainted by it. They needed to do that because they are going to be the ones picking up the ashes when the fire finally goes out. Because you know what? The Liberal party needs to be razed to the ground before they can truly find renewal.

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    Malcolm Barry says:

    We can all speculate and I say the election will be decided during the campaign. There are many strikes against the Tories and all these polls seem to be manipulated by the questions asked and the real poll is election day. What is it that the Tories have to do for voters to believe they cannot be trusted? I feel comfortable with Ignatieff at the Helm and he will have a good team of candidates.

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    Kephalos says:

    Election in May? No chancey Mr. Whelan wherever you are. The Bloc will all have food poisoning when the bells start to ring…

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      The Doctor says:

      Kudos for the Ed Whalen reference. Ed Rocked! WK as a Calgary boy should be able to relate . . .

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        Warren says:

        Stampede Wrestling Wrules!

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    Cameron Prymak says:

    14 yr old son asks, ‘How’d they win the last election anyway?’

    12 yr old daughter chimes in, ‘Wasn’t looks, wasn’t brains.’


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