08.29.2015 12:00 AM

KCCCC Day 27: open thread


  • Deficits, Paul Martin, a sudden surplus, Duffy, polls and pols: it’s open thread time.  
  • I’m driving for ten hours today. And my focus will therefore be on getting Sons 1, 2 and 3 safely back to Canada. 
  • So, comment away. When we stop for gas or whatever, I will approve your bon mots
  • Have a great day and a great weekend. And I hope this KCCCC stuff is providing you with a bit of entertainment during the Mother of All Elections!

Full moon over the sea, as seen by me and Son 3 last night.


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    Taco says:

    The Harperman tune, looks like it was filmed at the same set of “Tears are Not Enough”, makes for a great campaign anthem to remember 2015.

    The visual of regular folks who wanna “Stand Up For Canada”, really connects with an anti-Harper dude like me. Wonder if it will be played throughout the campaign.

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      Nicole says:

      It is even more disturbing that he was suspended for this song simply because he works for Environment Canada. Since when is anyone forbidden from expressing an opinion about the prime minister simply because they work for the government?

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Tactically, this was mucho stupido. But they probably can’t help themselves if it feels like it’s all slowly slipping away…

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    A certain soothing feeling between the ocean and the moon. And then most of us have to go back to reality.

    Open Thread, let’s talk about the bullshit called STIMULUS SPENDING (code word: giving money to your friends/donors)

    Anyone taking Econ is taught about the multiplier effect, of how supposedly an additional $1 creates X amount of economic activity.

    Action Plan here in Mississauga had a Bolton company put up kilometers and kilometers of cement fences all over the city. What was paid for this over-the-top expenditure I am sure only a select few know. I guestimate $10M+ of taxpayer money. Since it was done over months and months, the same group of folks were employed. But did this stimulus spending just make a few folks rich thus allow them to purchase more expensive cars or did it really help everyone? And could that really unnecessary excessive stimulus spending been better used in social programming?

    And that is my point. If there is a multiplier, use that extra $1 where it will also have significant residual societal support. Let’s elevate the poor (including the millions of children living in poverty) and others disenfranchised before building cement fences. Not only do we get the economic multiplier, but we also gain significant savings in policing, jailing and mental health. Build more subsidized housing. Make sure every child has a breakfast. Make sure that people do not have to decide between heat and food for themselves and their children.

    Now when this STIMULUS SPENDING is done in a deficit situation (what Trudeau suggests), that $1 is really more than $1. Interest payments need to be paid on that $1 every year. Today, over $29B is being paid in interest payments. If interest rates increase, this number jumps quite a bit.

    During Trudeau Sr., Canada’s federal debt grew from $14B (April 20, 1968) to $129B (June 30, 1984). The federal debt grew 900% under Trudeau Sr. We paid over $5B (a Kelowna Accord) in interest payments for Trudeau Sr. debt in 2015. Justin wants Canadians 30 years from now to pay interest on his lack of fiscal responsibility and management?

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      terry quinn says:

      A healthy infrastructure means a healthy and more efficient economy. That is what’s at stake here. The effects of stimulus are more people working at better paying jobs and paying more taxes. It’s that simple, and harper nor Mulcair are making that connection which JT is going to do in spades. Jobs jobs and more jobs can eb a very successful election platform.

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        Drew Easterbrook says:

        Walk down a street and see a house under renovation.
        There is probably an existing mortgage. Money has probably been borrowed for the renovation adding to the mortgage which is still within the owner’s means.
        The net result is a better house worth more and jobs created to get the work done.
        We all see this regularly.
        How can this be bad?
        Please don’t reply that we can’t afford it.
        What we can’t afford is the infrastructure deficit.

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        MississaugaPeter says:

        Yah, a healthy infrastructure doesn’t shut down 1 of 3 lanes on the Gardiner for 1 year and a few months later, it is down to 2 lanes again. WTF. You want to see wasted productivity.

        The Mavis bridge over the 403 started to get fixed up (was perfectly fine) in August 2013 and still under construction 13 months later. Traffic jam 13 months now.

        $Ms wasted. Yup. Maybe more tendering would make more infrastructure projects feasible, instead of just throwing money at it. And maybe projects old use flood lights at night and be worked on on Saturdays. Maybe.

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        RogerX says:

        Yes, infrastructure is good, but Justin is losing his credibility because his authenticity is in doubt after the Cons “just not ready” attack ads.

        Why do you think they brought out Paul Martin to campaign openly on his behalf? Liberal backroom strategists have concluded that Justin’s message was not strong enough on the economic file so they were forced to resurrect Pauly Martan to give Junior some credibility. Pretty soon we may be seeing another “Libranos” poster with the Trudeau Team plus Pauly standing behind him to shore us his flagging image.

        Justin is just not cutting it because the Liberal strategy was flawed, fake and flaccid…. and now they are in full panic mode! That’s what it looks like now.

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    Derek Pearce says:

    The polls are certainly all over the map. I find it very hard to believe the Cons have slid to 3rd. But it’s looking increasingly like a minority govt whether Con or Dip. And furthermore it therefore looks like it’ll be PM Mulcair because Harper will not get the confidence of the House, so there will be an accord I think — not a coalition— but an accord like Peterson/Rae in 1985. I think we may be headed to a constitutional brouhaha because Harper will likely therefore try to force another immediate election.

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      terry quinn says:

      Mulcair will not win this thing. Harper and the cons know full well JT is the real enemy and they are keeping up their attacks on him for that simple reason. That too is showing signs of backfiring as the Libs come up with more and more progressive proposals.

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      RogerX says:

      But Derek ….. Harper will only concede to a Mulcair NDP minority government after testing the HOCs confidence in a blockbuster Budget in Jan/Feb ’16 intended to satisfy the Liberals and BQ. Do you think that the Liberal party would follow Trudeau into supporting a Mulcair NDP minority government and then letting them table a Budget filled with socialist candy?

      I believe that Liberal Blue Grit MPs would split with Trudeau if he attempted to prop up a NDP minority government. Paul Martin would denounce Justin if he attempted to lead the Liberals into the NDP fold. Also any BQ MPs would rather support a Harper government over a Mulcair government because the Mulcair government would be the enemy of Quebec sovereignty. I comment below on the possible election result splits.

      One other thing you must consider is that if the Liberals did support a NDP minority government, they would become politically irrelevant, lose their political soul and disintegrate. The LPC cannot support a NDP government because that would truly be the end of the LPC federally.

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        Derek Pearce says:

        Oh captcha, another comment down the hole. What I had said, only shorter: people will forgive the Libs for propping up the NDP and punish them for propping up the Cons because the overriding wish of the majority of voters is to see Harper gone.

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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          That’s always been true with anti-Harper feeling running between 60 and 66%. Trouble is, they tended never to get off their sorry asses…leaving us with the government we deserved.

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          RogerX says:

          But if the Liberals prop up the NDP that means the Liberals are no longer a capitalistic party and have embraced a dose of socialism/unionism for Canada.

          How do you think that will sit with successful Canadian capitalists like Martin, Stronach, Desmarais, Thomson, Weston, Irving, Others, all who have prospered under Liberal-PC governments?

          If the Trudeau Liberals support a Mulcair NDP minority government then they are no better than the NDP and should just merge into the NDP because they will not survive as a stand-alone political party in the next election.

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            doconnor says:

            But if the Liberals prop up the Conservatives that means the Liberals are no longer a progressive party and have embraced a dose of corporatism/elitism for Canada.

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        Vancouverois says:

        Mulcair plans to repeal the Clarity Act, and to extend some provisions of Bill 101 into the federal sphere. The separatists would LOVE to see him in power, because he would actively advance their cause, and help them undermine Canada from the inside. Then, when they had squeezed him for everything they could get, they would walk away in disgust, loudly raging about how they humiliated themselves making a “good-faith” effort to get Canada to work for Quebec, but were rebuffed and maliciously humiliated at every turn.

        That’s what they did with Mulroney; that’s what they’ll do with Mulcair.

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    doconnor says:

    The moon looked real nice over Lake Ontario, too.

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    Joel Robinson says:

    I noticed the recent pics of Trudeau and Martin especially in the Star. What is the backroom strategy with this decision?

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    Maps Onburt says:

    Cohen got it right today. Trudeau isn’t planning on spending this on roads and bridges. It’s on “social infrastructure” and ” green infrastructure”. Look how well that’s worked out in Ontario. Martin, the big tax dodger, will say anything to keep the establishment in power.

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    Don Wilson says:

    Am amazed there is not more coverage/punditry about the 35-40% of registered voters who will chose not to vote on Oct 19. Which of our pols is chasing this vote?

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    eric weiss says:

    Lol… love how partisan Liberals were apoplectic about deficit spending during recession when Harper did it, voted for the budget in 2008 that brought it in anyway, and now are falling all over themselves to justify how its OK when JT proposes it.

    Good times…good times…

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    BlueGritr says:

    For sure, we’re headed for a CPC or NDP minority government. Vote can go either way. The pivotal question: who will the Liberals prop up? Dippers or the Cons? Doubt that JT will be making that call. More likely to come from the Liberal hierarchy. Any guesses out there?

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      RogerX says:

      See my above response to Derek Pearce on Liberal strategy supporting a NDP or CPC minority government. What do you think will happen?

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    Alex says:

    We have moved into the Twilight Zone part of the election. Paul Martin, who made a name for himself by eliminating the deficit, is now accusing the NDP of moving too far right for — get this — wanting a balanced budget.

    I am not a hardcore fiscal conservative who believes deficits are always bad. As noted by other commentators, a budget (or surplus) of $10 billion dollars or less in our economy is not a big of a deal. So Trudeau’s plan won’t break the bank.

    As politics, however, it is a really questionable move. By saying that he wants to balance the budget Mulcair is telling voters that he plans to be fiscally responsible. By bragging that he will have deficits, Trudeau is sending the signal that he is willing to be Mr. McSpendersen with taxpayers money. If your opponents are already labeling you a flake, does it really make sense to brag that you are going to play fast and loose with the treasury? I often don’t agree with the Sun chain, but I think they may have been right that Trudeau just lost the election.

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    RogerX says:

    Instead of analyzing the daily minutae, let’s look at October 20th after things settle down and the results are: NDP – 140… CPC – 137… LPC – 50… BQ – 10… Green – 1 …!

    Harper tells the GG that he believes he can govern as a minority government supported by Liberal Blue Grits and BQ, to Stop Mulcair and the Dipper socialist hordes.

    Harper waits until February ’16 to table a Budget that is filled with goodies intended to satisfy the Liberals and BQ, and/or to go into another snap election.

    The CPC election war chest is still healthy with about $20 Million, while the NDP and LPC are essentially broke and crippled. What happens next?

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      doconnor says:

      Before the budget the government need to get support for a Speech from the Throne and the GG won’t let him wait until next year to do that.

      The CBC seat projections have the BQ at 0 to 0 seats behind the Greens at 1-1 and other at 0-1.

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      Michael Bluth says:

      Harper won’t try and stay in power unless he wins the plurality of seats.

      No legitimate claim to govern there. Tweak the results so the Conservatives have a few more seats than the NDP and your scenario is plausible.

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      terry quinn says:

      Hey Roger, I hope you come back here on Oct.20 and eat your humble pie.

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      RogerX says:

      OUCH !!!!!…. I’m only asking questions of the forum denizens and not trying to draw conspicuous conclusions !!!!

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    JMJS says:

    While recent polls have been pretty wild, there are a few underlying trends I’ve noticed.

    First, whatever wave the NDP was on has largely subsided. In fact, they’ve seen a drop of somewhere between 3 to 7 points in the last month between the various polls. While they’re support is does seem to be consolidating for the time being, they’re edge has largely disappeared. They’re numbers in Ontario should have them concerned. This is probably not what the NDP want happening before we’ve hit Labour Day.

    Second, the Liberal seemed to have picked quite a bit of support since the start of the election campaigning and have closed that gap between the other parties putting them either ahead in some regions or well in competition.

    Third, the Conservatives totally underestimated the damaging effect the Duffy Trial and the economy would have on their campaign. They are losing ground very quick and this is despite the millions they’ve spent on attack ads. They should probably re-calibrate the tone and direction of their campaign because, frankly, its not effective anymore.

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      RogerX says:

      Okay, but where do the ‘underlying trends’ lead to and will they hold up through the election campaign?

      I wonder if the polls indicate the strong labour union vote the NDP should get based on the endorsements of the union bosses in Canada and particularly in Quebec. The public service unions in Ontario strongly backed the Wynne Liberals to stop Hudak, and most of that vote is concentrated in the GTA. Will the NDP gather that urban-based union vote too and make them even stronger than the polls indicate now?

      If the Liberals were improving, why did they resurrect Paul Martin to campaign alongside Justin now? Do they feel Martin’s appearance will solidify growing support, or is it a sign that Justin needs help on the economic file?

      Yes, the Cons are trying to navigate through a political storm that may erode their core support, but that will end when the trial ends and they hopefully expect smoother sailing. We still haven’t seen the next batch of Con attack ads they have in their vault, and how devastating they may be to Justin and Mulcair. They are trying to knock off Justin early in the campaign and then probably aim their cannons at Mulcair, the ex-Liberal they mention in their one mild attack ad against Mulcair. If the Cons become desperate, I expect their attack ads will become more virulent, because their current attack ads are quite mild. Perhaps the Duffy damage has permanently depressed their growth in the polls, but they still have economic chops.

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        Derek Pearce says:

        You’re waiting to see “how devestating” the next batch of attack ads are toward to the NDP and Libs, but not toward the Cons? That’s some mighty strong bias there Roger. Anyhoo it seems this election that most people are not swayed by ads. But the Bruce Carson trial is coming up shortly, that should be a treat.

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      Alex says:

      A look at the polls (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2015) rebuts what you said. If you exclude Forum (whose recent claim that 40% of voters support the NDP is a clear outlier) and the Nanos tracking poll (whose 4-week tracking model is problematic), the NDP has been polling mostly in the 32% to 36% range during this election.

      In June and July, in contrast, the NDP was polling mostly in the 30% to 34% range. (I am excluding a couple of outliers that had the NDP slightly higher or lower during this period). So if you look at the big picture there has been no decrease in Dipper support in the last month. If anything, there support has gone up according to most polls.

      Second, those claiming that the NDP are cratering in Ontario often rely on Nanos data. The Nanos poll, however, is pretty useless. They interview 250 people a week in a 4-week rolling average. That means that their weekly Ontario numbers are based on a tiny sample size. The NDP may very well come third in Ontario on election day, but using Nanos data to make this argument — as John Ivison did a few days ago in the National Post — is pretty questionable. This is made clear when you look at other polls that have the three parties in a close race in Ontario.

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      ottlib says:

      Ya, I saw something similar a few days ago and I finally got around to examining it a little closer. (God I’m a geek)

      It would seem that the Liberals are the only ones enjoying any positive movement. Looking at all of the polls since August 1 the Liberals have gained an average of about 5 percentage points in the last month and that is consistent across polls regardless of company. That has put them in a three way tie for first in one poll (Nanos) and made them competitive in the others.

      The other two parties by contrast have pretty much remained stable. In every poll I examined the NDP did not move outside of the Margin of Error, in either direction, from their estimates at the beginning of August. The same is true of the Conservatives, although a couple of recent polls might be indicating that could be changing and that they could be heading downward. It is still too early to tell at this point.

      So for the first month of the election campaign the NDP has been static. The Conservatives have been static although they could be on the cusp of a downward trend. The Liberals have seen an increase in their polling estimates.

      What does it all mean? Who knows.

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    davie says:

    Sometimes I see this campaign as the pro Harper/Conservatives versus the anti Harper/Conservatives, and the latter voters are just trying to figure out which alternative to back.

    For over a year now I have chatted with long time PC, Reform, and Conservative voters who expressed great disappointment with the Conservatives, but they do not know where to put their votes. Conservatives have to get after those people.

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    KBab says:

    Stuff like this tells you the closer Harper comes to defeat the more desperate the Cons become.

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    Patrick says:

    Funny how Stephen Harper seemed to think deficits were sometimes necessary back in 2008 http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2674495544/

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