Who is going to win the Ontario election?

CBC News’  guy, Eric Grenier, has poked through the entrails.  His column is here.  His chart averaging the main provincial pollsters is below.

I like people in politics who say “I don’t know,” so I like Grenier. He’s saying he doesn’t know who is going to win in June.

I don’t know either.

I’ve worked with the guys behind Campaign Research and IRG.  They’re really smart and effective.  But I still can’t tell you who is right.

Here are the variables that I think will affect the outcome.

  • Organization > money. Patrick Brown’s PCs have more money and are (presently) better-organized than Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats.  Money and organization matter, but the former matters less than the latter.
  • Ideas > campaigns.  The Ontario Liberals won in 2003, 2007 and 2011 because they ran better campaigns, and (in 2007 and 2011) also because the PCs had bad ideas.  The Ontario PCs ran a better campaign in 2014, but they lost again because they had a really bad idea.  Ipso facto: a bad idea can torpedo a good campaign effort.
  • Left > Right. The Ontario Liberals won in 2014 (like Justin Trudeau won in 2015) because they banked left and stole lots of NDP votes.  Wynne’s doing that again.  To win, Brown needs Horwath to get out of the witness protection program and start getting seen and heard again.
  • Leader = brand. The Ontario Liberals have an unpopular leader, but a very strong brand.  The Ontario PCs have an unknown leader, and a brand that is less strong.  The Ontario NDP have an always-popular leader, but a brand that is very weak.
  • Alternation > incumbency. The second that Stephen Harper won, the writing was on the wall for his provincial cousins: Ontarians don’t like one party running both levels of government.  They just don’t.  So, the minute Justin Trudeau won, big, in 2015, the writing was on the wall for his provincial cousins.  For Ontario Grits, The Alternation Theorem is not helpful.

Anyway.  I could go on (and God knows that I often do), but all of this is to say: I think Brown has the pole position, but the polls say the other two are still pretty competitive.

What do you think, O Smart Readers? Prognosticate away!

Andrew Scheer: the smirking face of intolerance?

This is just out in Vice, by the always-impressive Mr. Balgord.  And it is astonishing:

A senior member of Andrew Scheer’s leadership team helped create an anti-Islam organization during his campaign to lead the Conservative Party. Now, that organization is holding events to protest anti-Islamophobia Motion 103 and is bringing together Canada’s anti-Islam pundits and anti-Muslim groups.

Georganne Burke, the Scheer campaign’s Outreach Chair, was involved in the founding of Canadian Citizens for Charter Rights and Freedoms (C3RF). The group warns that the Liberal government is criminalizing criticism of Islam and opening the door for a Sharia (Islamic) takeover of Canadian law. C3RF plans to hold events across the country to advocate against M103 and the Trudeau government.

Georganne Burke is one of at least three senior members of Scheer’s campaign team that have now been linked to the so-called alt-right or anti-Islam groups. Scheer’s Campaign Manager, Hamish Marshall, was a director of Rebel Media, an alt-right media outlet that pushes narratives of white genocide and hosts prominent alt-right figures, and worked out of the Rebel offices during the campaign. He has been named as a campaign chair for the 2019 general election.

I’ve had the misfortune to deal with Burke before. She is loathsome, as seen here and here. She’s also the only person in Canada who will admit to supporting President PissTape, Donald Trump.

She’s also irrelevant.

The person who is relevant, on the other hand, is Andrew Scheer.

Why – why, why, why – is he aligning himself with/associating with people who have links to the extremes?  Why is he taking that risk, in a country as diverse and as multicultural as this one?

Comments are open, Conservatives folks.  This is one politico who is genuinely mystified by Andrew Scheer’s determination to alienate the very communities Messrs. Harper and Kenney worked so hard, for so long, to cultivate.

Fourteen reasons

…why we still need effective gun safety laws.

28 years ago.

1 Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student

2 Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

3 Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

4 Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

5 Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student

6 Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student

7 Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department

8 Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student

9 Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

10 Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student

11 Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student

12 Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

13 Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student

14 Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

In today’s Star: whatshername and whatsisname


Prominent Liberal commentator and consultant Lisa Kinsella is “seriously considering” running for the soon-to-be-vacant Ward 32 seat on Toronto council.

“I’ve been encouraged to run in Ward 32 and I’m taking my time to decide,” said Kinsella in an interview Nov. 28. “It’s a big decision — not anything I take lightly.”

Ward 32 (Beaches—East York) will be an open ward in 2018, as incumbent Mary-Margaret McMahon has announced that she will not seek re-election.

Kinsella and her husband, author and political consultant Warren Kinsella, have made headlines recently in their legal battles with the publishers of the Your Ward News free newspaper, who are facing charges of hate speech in connection with articles they’ve published there.

Kinsella said that fighting against hate speech in the ward remains a passion, and “I think everyone is aware that I am a Liberal.” But she said if she were to be a member of council she would put the needs of the constituents in Ward 32 first.

She said that she’s concerned about an “increase in crime in the ward, and the safety of young people. You see young men being injured or killed on the news all the time, and every time I hear about it I think of my sons.”

Kinsella said that she’s also concerned about affordability in the city.

“It’s really sad when I hear about young people talking about leaving the city because they can’t afford to live here,” she said.

Possible Ward 32 candidate Lisa Kinsella with her campaign advisor,                The Faceless One

Have the Conservatives scored on Morneau?

I don’t think so.  It’s been bumpy, to be sure.  But – at the end of the day – the Finance Minister is still standing.  And the government would still win as many seats today as they did in 2015.

Warren Kinsella, president of Daisy Consulting and a former Liberal strategist including to former prime minister Jean Chrétien during his time in opposition, said he thinks the Conservatives have misplayed their hand in calling for Mr. Morneau’s resignation last week.

“You don’t haul out your leader to demand a resignation unless you’ve got all the proof you need to justify that, because you can’t make that request twice,” he said. “Their evidence was kind of a lot of the same evidence that they’ve been rolling out for some weeks…where’s the smoking gun?”

 Mr. Kinsella said he thinks while Mr. Morneau has been “knocked around” by the opposition’s line of attack, he thinks calling for the minister’s resignation at this point “actually hurt Scheer.”

“They called for an investigation [by the ethics commissioner] and before it’s even complete they’re demanding the resignation,” he said.

The Conservatives for weeks have levelled criticism and questions over Mr. Morneau’s ethics disclosures, and now the sale of Morneau Shepell shares. Mr. Kinsella said he thinks the sustained, intense focus in part comes down to a lack of positive movement in polls.

“A new leader is supposed to have a honeymoon [in the polls]—Scheer didn’t get one,” he said. “They needed to take a swing.”

Happy 70th, Horseshoe

54. Warren Kinsella, author: “DOA, 2005. Joey ‘Sh–head’ Keithley sat at the Horseshoe bar with me, up by the doors, and he gave me one of his band’s T-shirts: ‘THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS, it said. On back: ‘TALK MINUS ACTION EQUALS ZERO.’ All these young punks, just kids, would walk up and tell him he’d changed their lives. He’d smile.”

Sixty-nine more anecdotes right here.