09.08.2015 09:06 AM

KCCCC Day 37: and now it begins

  • The pre-season is over. The phony season is over. Now the game begins.
  • What’s the lay of the land? Well, all the parties have problems. All of them have opportunities. There’s good and bad.
  • For the New Democrats, they’re still really strong in Quebec. They’re strong in BC. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they are slipping, pretty much everywhere.
  • For the Liberals, they’ve moved up in important places like Ontario. They’re doing well. But the bad news is that they are still far, far behind in Trudeau’s home province. And he can’t win without Quebec. He can’t.
  • For the Conservatives, they’ve had a bad, bad run – Duffy, refugees, crazy candidates. People seem to want change. But they stil are holding onto their 30 per cent core. It’s rock solid. But it ain’t enough.
  • What do you think, O Reader? Are big changes afoot? Who is winning? Who is losing? Why?


  1. ralphonso says:

    Liberals will win a wafer-thin minority based on strength in Ontario.
    Conservatives will be the official opposition. Their core is too strong to end up third.
    NDP will be third, a very close third, but will lose many of their Ontario seats.

    Closest election in terms of seat-count ever.

    • Matt says:

      You been hanging out with Rob Ford??

    • JonT says:

      Nah…. I see a wafer thin NDP minority win…. but the Lib-Con capitalist cabal will instantly form a ‘coalition of losers’ to Stop Mulcair.
      Canadian socialists-unionists will go batshit crazy and the masses will demonstrate on the streets of Toronto … where Mayor Tory will unleash his TO Police Bulls on the rabble and force them back with tear gas, water cannon and billyclubs … and blood will flow copiously on Wellesley Street ….!
      Quebec unions will rally demonstrations everywhere in Montreal city centre and the BQ-PQ rabble will join their ranks. The ROC will be rather placid in comparison…. and life will just go on.

  2. Al in Cranbrook says:

    A week is an eternity in politics, and there’s still five of ’em left.

    Harper was on his game in his interview with Mansbridge…


    The Gameshi/Solomon quip, spot on! He could barely contain his passion over the situation in the middle east. Not in the least rattled by anything Mansbridge threw at him…and never once allowed himself to be cut off in mid sentence throughout the interview.

    Of all the leaders, absolutely the only adult in the room, full stop.

  3. Lawrie Jeffrey says:

    Watched Mr. Harper being interviewed by Peter Mansbridge last night on CBC and he came across as tired, smug and as though Mansbridge was inconveniencing him by asking his questions. He stuck to the same talking points and I think the public is getting tired of the same old Con. message. With all that has happened, I think the Canadian public have finally had enough and its game over for this government. When this P.M. starts hinting about what would happen if they lost its a signal. I am a die hard Liberal, but at this point in time I would even let the NDP have a turn. Its time for someone else to give it a try and give this country some hope.

    • BillBC says:

      Golly, the previous commenter said Harper was great, and, watching the same interview apparently, you said he sucked. What could possibly account for this wide difference in perception? 🙂

      • Nicole says:

        Harper could murder someone in front of Al and he would say it was justified. Harper has never come off as warm and his lack of compassion regarding the refugee situation is turning off Canadians who aren’t blindly adherent to the CPC. Instead of repeating a talking point about ISIS, he should be coming up with a real solution. When Barbara McDougall, former PC cabinet minister of immigration is telling him that he is off base, there is a problem. She cannot be accused of being a Liberal or NDP partisan.

  4. MississaugaPeter says:

    I don’t think much will actually happen for the next 8 days either (other than more CON damage control).

    The real battle will be the 4-5 debates between September 17 – October 2 (October 8 if the CONS/NDP need the final debate). As frequent as polls. It will be spectacular.

    The first debate Trudeau overwhelmed. Don’t expect the same since higher expectations.

    Mulcair failed miserably first time around, but expect that the NDP will have a larger suit on hand that doesn’t cause him to suffocate and sweat beads. Expect him to be prepared like he is in Parliament. Will beat Trudeau easily.

    Harper is a complete unknown. He could end up beaten or he could come out on top.

    I challenge Trudeau to push his 9 again in Montreal. 5 of 9 politically appointed judges can determine the will of millions of Quebecers?

    Trudeau will slip up. Mulcair and the NDP war room will have to explain explain what Mulcair afterwards since it will be contradictory to past comments or what he said in other language debate.

    • Scott says:

      Peter, you have Trudeau derangement syndrome. It’s quite comical. Sort of the flip side to Al’s Harper love affair.

      • ralphonso says:

        While it is possible that he has a hate-on for Trudeau, I don’t think Trudeau lovers and Liberal partisans understand just how polarizing Trudeau is.

        It is a love/hate thing. There’s no in between really. I’ve never heard more public discussions about any leader – even Harper – than I have about Trudeau, and most of them have not been positive. I think he will prevail but not everyone who dislikes Trudeau is some weirdo with their hate-on.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        We are different peas in different pods.

        Your love for Trudeau is just as comical as Al’s for Harper.

    • ralphonso says:

      I think Mulcair is going to have a really hard time in the economic debate.

      He has no coherent message.

      Harper gets to use the stay the course mantra.

      For all its faults (and phoniness), Trudeau’s spending plan is easily communicatable.

      Mulcair’s is what…stay the course with tweaks? Harper has been wasteful?

      Who will believe this? Mulcair will get backed into a corner and will be forced to disavow stimulus spending, which will alienate BC and urban Toronto voters.

      He’s toast.

      • Kevin T. says:

        Trudeau has just been rope-a-doping them. Sure, they are landing some hits, but he’s got the stamina and, thanks to such a long-ass campaign, he’s got the time.

        • davie says:

          I agree…this guy looks the best with crowds…and in this long campaign he has been gradually pulling the Liberals up…I usually support ND’s, and Mulcair is doing well, but JT is doing better. I wondering if there is a tipping point JT and the Libs can get to where the anti SH vote goes from ND’s to the Libs.
          I can see momentum the last week or so leaving our NDP big shots in Ottawa slapping their foreheads and saying, ‘Geez, We should have listened those times when we pissed off that old guy out on the island.’

  5. KBab says:

    Looks to me like the Liberals have the most growth potential. NDPers may vote Liberal to keep Harper out and Conservatives may vote Liberal to keep Mulcair out. A very fluid situation.

  6. ABlanas says:

    Harper has had a massive string of bad crap thrown at him. So I figure the bad carma is depleted, and he is due for a major break coming his way. It could be a game changer for that crucial 5 percent of swing voters he needs to sway. OR, he could be confronted with some new disaster. It’s Harper’s to win, or to lose.

    One thing that hugely puzzles me, is that CPC are still playing those Justin ads (several variations) on television, I saw them 4 times on Monday. Like, are they doing this with data to support a further saturation of that 4-month old message? Why!??

    So perhaps the biggest question of all, is when will they unload the big ad attack on Mulcair? That attack has to be imminent!

    • ralphonso says:

      I think the Justin ads are backfiring. They are eye-roll cheesey. I’ve heard lots of anecdotal feedback that people think referring to him as “Justin” is disrespectful.

      I imagine the Conservatives will go after the NDP brand rather than Mulcair the person. But only if they need to. If the NDP falls into third, they won’t have to.

      • davie says:

        On internet yesterday, a photo from the Conservative ‘not-ready’ ads:
        The resume reading group is sitting at a table reading resumes. Gray haired guy is perusing a resume and saying, ‘This Bance guy looks pretty good.’ The woman is holding her coffee mug in front of her and saying, ‘Does anyone else think the coffee tastes funny?’

        Might contribute to decision to replace those ads!

      • JH says:

        People throw that disrespectful word around a lot unless their candidate is the one doing it. As for the lack of Mulcair ads by the CPC, I think their internal polling confirms Mulcair and the NDP are fading. If so why waste money on a dead horse.

      • Vancouverois says:

        As has been pointed out before, it’s preposterous to claim that calling him “Justin” is disrespectful when that is exactly how he’s been branding himself.

    • ottawacon says:

      I don’t think you will see that switch in targeting, it is simply too high risk. More thoughtful Conservatives recognize that after nearly 10 years, the government has had a good run and there is a non-trivial chance of getting changed for change’s sake. The absolute worst outcome for the Conservatives is a Liberal resurgence qua restoration, even as a minority government the Liberals would have restored credibility to Lib-NDP swing voters, which in turn gives them restored credibility to Con-Lib swing voters. By contrast, a NDP win drives one more nail into the coffin of the old Liberal hegemony. Almost 15 years ago, Harper stated that he believed the Canadian electorate was fundamentally centrist, but skewed right, while two generations of Liberal rule had been centre-left – when it was reduced to a two party choice, the centre-right party would win more often than not.

      I have seen nothing since to suggest that strategic vision has changed. I expect the Conservatives to remain trained on the Liberals throughout, hoping to force the Liberals to do the work of attacking and differentiating themselves from the NDP, ideally weakening their appeal to the Con-Lib swing voters in so doing.

  7. doconnor says:

    “What do you think, O Reader? Are big changes afoot?”

    This is a 50% chance of a big change before election day.

    The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken!

    • Not in the closet says:

      Holy shit are you stupid. Just because there are two possibilities does not mean that there’s a 50-50 chance.

  8. bobbie says:

    NDP – Mulcair is STILL unknown, his uncosted policies a lightening rod of a target for both the CPC and Liberals. I think HE has the most to lose seeing as though the media and pollsters have elevated him to the top….for no apparent reason. Change? Notley watch in Alta and the misread of that revenge vote tells me Mulcair’s hurting more than we think.

    Liberals – the uptick for them in Ontario is all Wynne and very little Trudeau. If the public sees through that the voter hate-on for Wynne will transfer to Trudeau. Look for more NDP wins in Toronto in protest to Wynne and her gov’t. Actually, look for that right across the province in contested ridings. Also, each and every time Justin utters the words “middle class” it turns people off IMO. He’s had more misses than hits so far.

    Conservatives – not their best week for sure but they’ve been known to turn things around. If the impetus for change is strong, perhaps that change is for a CPC minority and not a majority. I found the Mainsbridge interview just a bit odd. Why choose to sit in an intimate conversation in a field? Mansbridge threw everything at him and he handled it masterfully. Didn’t stop the CBC from twisting his words though did it? What WAS that chapter in your book WK about the media?

  9. bobfrombob says:

    From this far out, it doesn’t look to me like the CPC can win a majority. They have a minority government in their grasp as long as the Liberals and NDP continue to both do well. If one of them (LPC and NDP) implodes, the other of them has a minority government well in sight at sell and could achieve majority if they can bring on enough ABC votes.

    Really though, way too early to predict anything right now.

  10. Geoff says:

    Its still early. Most Canadians have not been paying attention. Now summer vacation is over, kids are back in school, now the real campaign begins.
    Justin has to work the hardest. The conservative ads are working, but they might be driving support to the NDP.
    Mulcair has to worry, as people are starting to look a little closer at his policies and candidates.
    Harper has needs the left to split the vote in Ontario to hold on to his seats there.
    Its still early, Harper has had a bad week, but he has time to recover.

  11. Mike Adamson says:

    Completely anecdotal but I am running into more folks this election who don’t usually vote but plan to this time to get rid of the CPC. Here in Nipissing-Timiskiming that means Liberal. I can see any of the Big 3 winning a minority government.

  12. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I expect a similar result to 1984. Mulroney took off in Quebec — and Ontario noticed, and got onboard. In my view, the reverse will happen this time for Justin. Quebec will follow with more seats than present polling estimates.

    As Mes chers amis/My Dear Friends wisely said: […] “And there are always surprises in political life. And he’s [Trudeau] capable of delivering a major one if they underestimate him.”

  13. BlueGritr says:

    Harper and Mulcair will both go at JT hard. If JT can withstand the body blows, he will be full measure for the win, and he will win. Otherwise, he’ll play into the hands of the New Democrats and Cons: progressives will abandon the Libs for the Dippers. Blue Libs will reluctantly park their votes with the Conservatives, or stay home. It’s going to be fierce.

  14. Jim Curran says:

    I just love when Mr. J. Trudeau is underestimated. You know…..he won’t win the nomination in Papineau, he won’t win a seat in the HoC, he won’t get re-elected, he won’t win that boxing match, he can’t win a Liberal Leadership….. and then…… POW! Knockout!

    • Kevin T. says:

      The cons have karma barreling towards them, and nothing could be more brutal than losing to a Trudeau. Worse, losing to Trudeau fils!

  15. Luke says:

    I enjoy reading the comments here. It’s fun. And funny.

    Everybody is speculating, as we all do, about what everybody else is thinking. Yes, individuals making grand guesses about what literally millions of other people might do. None of us has a fucking clue though. It’s close. There are weeks left. Stuff can happen to make up people’s minds. But none of us really has the any handle on what people are thinking, if anything, about how to vote, beyond what our invariably biased personal experience/gut tells us in the context of (potentially dubious) polling data.

    But I’m no better! I speculate the Liberals get a minority. Who knows?

  16. War Room o' the Moles says:

    Squeeze Play

    With 40 days and tight numbers like these, no way to predict. One metric indicates voter turnout will not be higher than last election. With only 3-in-5 with enough motivation to get off their bumms, doesn’t suggest any party/leader has sparked massive enthusiasm. Indeed, once unique features have become blurry. Mulcair and Trudeau, amidst “unity” coalition murmurs, are almost word for word saying the same things. Yet, NDP/Labour/Union base will never trust or like Trudeau e.g. CBC news this morning ran piece on Canadian shipping company paying temporary foreign workers $2.13/hour. NDP base simply don’t believe Trudeau is a democratic socialist. Nor will Trudeau be able to poach much of any of the Harper base. Ergo, Trudeau is being squeezed by the socialist-separatist Left and the dyed-in-the-wool blue right. To survive, he will have to suppress Mulcair and Harper. So far, he’s only focused on Harper. He must torpedo the NDP. I suggest Liberals Google “PHS Jenny Kwan” for a taste of NDP-style mismanagement – this story should have been far bigger than Senate scandal. And, http://www.meetthendp.ca

    There are open lines of attack but Trudeau/Liberals won’t go negative against Mulcair/NDP. So they will probably lose to them. Weird.

    • davie says:

      Husband: It’s okay. I didn’t take it out of the charity you are a part of. I paid for it myself.
      Wife: Okay, good!

      Wife: Hey, that money did come from the charity I belong to.
      Husband: Um!

      Wife: Oh, geece, husband!

      Wife is a politician, and female to boot. Gets all the blame.

  17. cassandra says:

    New conservative ad with the tag line, Stephen Harper he is dependable, even if he isn you know, perfect. This is it folks, he has just won the election. Why because he has absolved himself of all sins past, present and whatever the future may hold. He is dependable, like an old favourite shoe, and will get you where you need to go in comfort, not style, but comfort:P

  18. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    My completely unscientific take on the mood of the political right in Alberta and Saskatchewan (but based on quite a bit travel through both provinces) might be strangely heartening for the political left in this forum.

    I’ve noticed two trends among politically right minded individuals that I encountered.

    First, the true conservatives are becoming disappointed that despite the protestations of the left, Canada has not moved that far to the right under Harper and he has left too many of their dreams unfulfilled. Why are we still funding the CBC, why aren’t taxes lower, why haven’t we reigned in the public sector unions, etc. Why am I bothering to vote for a supposed conservative party that doesn’t meet my base threshold for what conservatism means.

    The second thought process is maybe its time to let the left have the keys, enact their dream policies and then we can for once and all see their true impact. Shut down the oilsands and see what happens to the economy, get the dollar down to sixty cents and then act puzzled that the auto industry doesn’t come roaring back, bring in a carbon tax and watch the climate keep changing, mandate a $15/hour minimum wage and get your cheeseburger from a robot, take in an extra 50,000 Muslim refugees a year but maintain our society’s view of the equality of women. If Canada has become such a rotten place to live, maybe its time to bring in all these ideas, try to survive the consequences and then maybe a real conservative party will rise that the true conservative could support.

    If either of these two thought processes becomes too persuasive and spreads across the right, then maybe just enough of the base stays home and the Alberta election gets duplicated nationally.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Well, maybe not…


      I’m starting to run into people here who are suffering the consequence of fall in oil prices, now compounded by Notley’s NDP aspirations. Last fellow has over 100 trucks parked, and one of Alberta’s largest cement suppliers to the oil patch is closing down shops.

      Alberta has been for years the largest contributor to the equalization dole fund. You know, the dole that every province east of Saskatchewan, save for NFLD, is dependent upon? Ten billion worth to Quebec and Ontario alone? Money generated almost entirely by western energy wealth? From provinces run pretty much by nasty, heartless, greedy conservative types? You know?

      Get ready, kids, because that tap is about to dry up. And, God forbid, maybe, just maybe, all those (left wing) governments east of Sask will have to finally start paying their own way. For a change.

      Now, let’s top all that off with an NDP government in Ottawa, who similarly to Alberta’s NDP crew, and contrary to Mulcair’s pretentions otherwise, also have essentially no use whatsoever for Canada’s energy sector.

      And then add icing to the whole damn works with a carbon tax on everything. (Mulcair has $35,000,000,000 worth of promises to live up to, and how do you think he’s gonna get that dog to hunt, eh?)

      Not that the LPC has anything better to offer. Carbon taxes are front and center on their agenda, too.

      We’ll see, when focus turns to this topic, where the economy stacks up with voters as an issue, eh?

      • Don Wilson says:

        Al, what has caused the hard economic times that have taken over Alberta? That’s right, the hard times have been caused by the precipitous drop in oil prices. The price of oil is now too low for the big oil projects to be profitable. And what has caused this drop in oil prices? Hydraulic frakking, new horizontal drilling techniques, OPEC inability to limit production, plus lower consumer demand. The Conservative, the Wildrose Party, or Captain Kangaroo could have won the Alberta election a few month ago and guess what? The Alberta economy would be stalled precisely where it is stuck right now. So your buddy selling cement to the oil patch would still have all his trucks lined up with nowhere to go. Facts are tedious, but there they are. Notely may, or may not, do damage to the Alberta economy. Too soon to tell.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Nobody is denying that oil prices have hurt Alberta…a lot.

          But, the policies of this NDP government are going to dump a ton of salt into an already festering wound.

          Forget the fact that many of those Chiefs of Staff, etc, the Notley government imported are unabashedly anti-oil and anti-oil sands.

          They’re gonna trash the place, proper. That’s what the NDP and their socialist ideological BS do best.

      • JonT says:

        Yes, a carbon tax plus Mulcair will go after all those Billion$$$ stashed away in tax havens, which would not only screw the filthy rich, it would also gore the Big Banks because they wash all those Billion$$$ in offshore bank branches.
        Maybe a good dose of socialism would flush out the Canadian taxation system and make the rich pay their fair share.

      • Matt says:


        The Alberta by-election would have bad news for Notley had an NDP held riding had gone to Wild Rose.

        But it was a PC riding that went WR, and the right leaning vote was still pretty heavily split.

      • Lyndon Dunkley says:

        I live in the heart of Calgary and spent my entire career either directly in the oil patch or in the financing thereof, so I don’t really need your lecture on what is happening here. I agree Notley is terrible but you’re fooling yourself if you ascribe the current bloodshed all to her leadership and ignore the recent drop in oil prices and the continued softness in natural gas pricing. Give me $100 oil and $5 natural gas and I don’t care if Marc Lalonde is the premier, we wouldn’t have 35,000 layoffs.

        I am extremely worried about a Liberal or NDP government in Ottawa for a multitude of reasons and will be voting conservative this fall. However if you’re not starting to see a little frustration among conservatives with the Conservatives, then I think you are being willfully blind. I truly hope that frustration doesn’t result in a significant drop in voter turnout for our side but for the first time since Harper became PM, I fear it just might. If that results in a more conservative Conservative party, maybe that is what we need for the long term health of our country.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Sure, I sense that.

          Harper was barely into his first tenure when the crash hit, and then had the coalition crap shoved on him right in the middle of it. He’s had a lot to deal with, and has, IMHO, done a fairly decent job of it. And now we’ve got the Saudis playing their games with oil pricing, which no doubt is directly aimed at N. American shale development AND the oil sands.

          But he’s also incremental in his approach, small steps that don’t cause tidal waves of anxiety and/or anger…particularly within the context of a nation full of people that have grown somewhat comfy with the concept of the nanny state.

          Nevertheless, hard core Conservatives still want more, faster. Even some gun owners are jumping ship because the CPC didn’t deliver every last damned demand of theirs. Forget that the absolute worst enemies of the firearms community are the NDP and Liberals, either of whom will sell them down the river in a heartbeat for whatever votes they perceive they can garner the first time someone with a gun goes off the deep end.

          Harper is a pragmatist, first and foremost. Most successful political leaders are. Ironically, he has always been labeled as an “ideologue” by the left, when the reality is that it is the left that is crammed to hilt with ideologues hell bent on inflicting their quasi-socialist doctrines wherever they can get away with it.

          In any event, I’m of the opinion that, had Daniele Smith kept her cool and not panicked, and thus not got too cute by half with Prentice, she’d be premier today. She blew it! More ironically, it is said that it was Manning no less who talked her into it…true or not, the NDP lucked out when the smoke cleared, right time and right place. I spent 13 years in Lloydminster, albeit I left in ’93. Back then in that part of the world, one didn’t even dare mention “Liberal” when in polite company.

    • DougM says:

      Conservatives don’t stay home during elections and they certainly don’t let the left win to teach anyone a lesson, even if they think the CPC aren’t right-wing enough.

      • Lyndon Dunkley says:

        I would argue that is exactly what happened in Alberta a few months ago. Maybe it was a once in a lifetime occurrence but how else can you explain the NDP landslide coupled with fact that no one thinks they have a chance to repeat in four years?

  19. Bill Templeman says:

    As GOTV will be key for all parties this time, am surprised there has not been more interest in the largest block of registered voters in the country: the NOTA Party (None of The Above). Their numbers are huge – 9,533,612 in 2011 – 39.3% of registered voters. The Conservatives has 24% of registered voters. Any party looking for a few more votes should be mining this vein big time

  20. fan590 says:

    The Right (both provincially and federally) mismanaged oil wealth from Alberta over the past few years.

    For those of us who would rather have Steve over Tom running things (if Justin crashes) this mismanagement is very annoying. It destroyed the myth that the Right are the ones to run the economy (except into the ground) and has given the Dippers a chance to make things even worse, FAR WORSE.

    Can you say “Housing Crash”? Tom wants it.

  21. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Quick question for you: who financed the oil sands when they were getting off the ground in the 1970s?

    I’m more than sure that you can give us the correct answer. Thanks!

    • Lyndon Dunkley says:

      It was the private sector. That’s why it was initially given a 1% royalty because the government thought it was a fool’s errand and were glad anyone wanted to try mess with the shit.

  22. Bluegreenblogger says:

    I dunno. The new Harper line: “I am not perfect” basically sounds like it should be followed by “… but I’m good enough for you idiots”. You asked, rhetorically ‘who wins?’, and I say that Trudeau and Mulcair are going to slug it out for the grand prize, and one of them will win a decent minority. Therefore, we all win.

    • Ridiculosity says:


      Canadians have come to realize that the time for complacency is over.

      Slugging it out?

      As they say, it’s not how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

      My money’s on Trudeau.

      • Bluegreenblogger says:

        Metaphorically slugging it out. My moneys on Trudeau too. A better retail Politician you will seldom find. He will be converting voters every campaign stop, and in a big way. There are a finite number of ‘swing’ ridings, and he will be visiting them all over such a long campaign. That plus all the rest of the campaign will surprise us on eday methinks. But really, who knows? Maybe he will slip on a giant banana peel.

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