03.11.2015 09:13 AM

Kinsella’s Picks: Bonus election predictions in the Kingston Whig-Standard!

[Here. My Mom and her art group will be happy to see me in the Whig. I think.]

SECURITY: Since fall 2014, when two Canadian Forces members were killed by jihadists, our politics have been dominated by a vigorous debate about terror – and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is winning that debate. Polls say the Conservative leader’s approach is supported by four in five Canadians. Meanwhile, conservatives always tend to sound more credible on issues like security/terror. If this is the ballot question, Harper will win.

ECONOMY: Interest rates may be low, and unemployment rates, too – but Joe and Jane Frontporch are nervous. Our retail sector and oil patch are in trouble, and a lot of our new jobs are of the temporary, part-time variety. Polls show Canadians feel Canada is heading in the “wrong direction” — mainly because of economic jitters. If the economy is the election issue, Harper’s re-election doesn’t look so clear cut.

HEALTH CARE: Historically, health care always tends to be the number one issue in public opinion polls. But not this year. Security and the economy still dominate. If either fade, look for this issue to favour Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau – because Liberals are seen as more credible when it comes to protecting our health care system.

7 Comments

  1. davie says:

    You are probably right. Makes me gloomy, though. I think climate and oceans, along with democratic reform are important.

    I always vote, but the only time I ever voted with a winner in this country was on some constitution referendum circa 1990.

    ‘gloom’ is such a deliciously accurate word…gloo-oo-oo-oom.’

  2. !o! says:

    I liked JT’s speech at McGill, and the ground he carved out with it is ground that needs to be carved out for the LPC, but I find it hard to imagine a situation where they gain a lot of ground on the CPC on security, since their policy has been indistinguishable from the Conservatives for the most part on this file, and there is no clear policy wedge. Values determine policy– this is a good line, but if they can’t come up with salient policy wedges, at the end of the day, they’re just going to be eviscerated in debates when they’re pinned to come up with one.

  3. Mark says:

    Liberals clearly recognize that the Security issue, at least as framed by the Conservatives, is a winning ballot question for Harper (as you predict). They also know that you can’t make the security issue go away, so they’ll be trying to approach it in a different way, to frame it in a different light, to shift it off balance. Justin’s speech yesterday was the first major step in trying to make the security discussion less about Safety & Defense and more about Liberty & Freedom. (Or maybe: Peace, Order, and Good Government vs. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ??).

    But as you mention, Warren, fear is key. Love of liberty will have trouble succeeding over fear of terror (at least in an election). So Trudeau has to inject some fear into the “Liberty” pitch as well: fear that Harper will take away Canadians’ liberties. Trudeau’s speech was good as an opening volley, but it’s more nuanced than the Conservative pitch, and he’ll have quite a challenge defending it and clarifying it for the Average Joe Voter. I fully expect the Conservatives to toss back the Liberty issue with a question like: “Who is a greater threat to your life and liberty? Steven Harper, or radicalized terrorist insurgent islamist bogeymen monsters?” I don’t think the result will be favorable to Trudeau. I think the Liberals need to find more and better angles on the economy issue instead.

  4. Kelly says:

    The Conservatives are actually vulnerable. They’re incompetent and when Canada suffers another attack — this time serious — or a disaster in battle, as will happen, then we’ll know that Harper can’t keep us safe and will be exposed as a phony. We’ll ask why we’re fighting alongside Iran as they carve off a slice of southern Iraq for themselves. (Are we hoping to get a piece of the oil action in Kurdistan? What Canadian oil companies are operating there now?

    More like, though, Canada’s housing market will tank and all those uninsured high interest loans that subprime customers used to pull together $250000 down payments on million dollar houses will go pear shaped. All of this mess is the fault of Stephen Harper’s mismanagement.

    When (not if) the economy implodes, IS will be long forgotten.

  5. Frank says:

    I live in Ontario (905 area code). I was recently laid off by a large corporation and was told my job was to be offshored. I’m currently in the garage looking for my green and white 80’s folding chair to sit next to Joe and Jane Frontporch. I voted CPC in the last election, not so sure who to vote for in 2015. I’m feeling nervous about the economy and it will be my number 1 issue in this election.

  6. Marion I. says:

    I agree with you on the security and healthcare issues, but I question your thoughts on the economy.

    If the Canadian economy suddenly nosedives in the summer due to say a global disaster, will Canadian voter suddenly flock to the Mulcair NDP or Trudeau Liberals to rescue us? I think both Mulcair and Trudeau do not represent economic solutions for Canada, only solutions on social issues. I still think Harper represents better economic leadership than the ‘tax-and-spend’ Liberals and NDP.

    I think the Conservatives have established themselves as the ‘tax cutting’ party while the others would raise taxes even in an economic decline and nobody wants that! Would you vote for a socialist lawyer (Mulcair) or a drama teacher (Justin) to lead Canada out of an economic miasma?

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