05.05.2020 09:46 AM

When in a hole, Tories, stop digging


  1. Paige says:

    Truly shows the power of a daily speaking engagement in from of a fawning media.

  2. Mark says:

    Of course, the Liberal government, should it want to trigger an election, would need to make it look like it tried to strike a deal with the NDP or Bloc on the budget bill and clandestinely engineer a defeat in the HOC. The question is whether one of the opposition parties will take the bait or inadvertently vote for any Liberal budget bill regardless, given the uncertainty of an election outcome for them.

  3. Yes, this is more than just rallying around the government flag. This is a glaringly clear indication that the electorate approves of the Prime Minister’s performance on COVID-19.

    Scheer is all overly generalized bromides and pablum for the base.

    Notice how Team MacKay has failed to connect or resonate with Canadians? Like I said previously, they can ignore or listen to us. It’s their choice but so far Option 1 hasn’t worked out too well for them, now has it.

    • Douglas W says:

      What the hell is going on with MacKay?
      Never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

      Watch out for Leslyn Lewis.
      Positive momentum on her side.
      Super smart.
      Knows how to do politics.

      • Paige says:

        Do you think so? Leslyn says all the right things to stir the Reform embers in my jaded soul. Certainly throws a mouldy “Progressive ” blanket over the Otoole/Mackay personas.

        • Paige,

          Yeah, she sure sings well from the social conservative hymn book but in a general election, SC ideology is not even in the running. Everyone knows that, most especially the governing Liberals.

          • Paige says:

            As someone with their name on the CPC membership list, I am blessed with daily emails from all three. Both Otoole and Mackay’s messages tend to be boilerplate ‘anti-Trudeau” messages that just seem stale.
            Interestingly, messages from Lewis address a wide variety of issues and I cannot recall overly “religious” messages. Either she is more well rounded than the characterization as a SC, or she has a much better team supporting her than the others. Either way it’s reassuring.
            Incidentally I fall into the despised demographics of ‘old white male’ as well as enthusiastic ‘atheist’ so am entirely oversensitive to any pro religion dogma. I just don’t feel it with her communications.

          • Paige,

            Thanks for this perspective. I realize now that I erroneously believed that Lewis was solely a SC candidate. I should have done my homework, especially since a friend frequently gets e-mails from her. (I only receive MacKay’s.)

  4. joe long says:

    A little while ago on this site I predicted Trudeau would call an election for late August or early September. Why?

    Rather than announcing a broad series of measures to handle COVID, Trudeau has been delaying things so he can make a new announcement each day. This enhances his image and makes it look like he’s doing things. An early election takes advantage of his enhanced profile.

    An early election would avoid the problems arising from a second wave of the pandemic when Trudeau will have much less room to financially deal with it.

    An early election, if it resulted in a solid Liberal majority, would give Trudeau five years to deal with the aftermath of a $250 billion deficit. In my opinion, if Trudeau waits, economic hardships in 2021 or 2022 could result in an election when Trudeau’s popularity is low.

    The wild cards?

    1. The COVID situation in Quebec could hurt Trudeau. On a per capita basis Quebec is one of the least effective jurisdictions at dealing with COVID.

    2. Many Canadians get really annoyed when governments call early elections. They may decide to punish Trudeau if he goes to the polls early.

  5. Douglas W says:

    Damn the torpedoes: Justin should call an election now.
    He’ll never again have it this good.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      I agree with Joe Long above. Canadians almost always punish governments who call elections too early.

      • Douglas W says:

        MacKay/O’Toole/Singh do not have the capacity to catch lightening in a bottle the way Jack Layton did in 2011, or the way Bob Rae did (Ontario election, 1990).

        For the Opposition parties, it’s going to be grim.

    • Douglas,

      Normally, I would be dead set against an early vote. But as you’ve said, the PM has hit a high-water mark, with little potential downside going into the CPC leadership vote. However, after that it’s potentially a brand new ball game if the new leader can generate serious and steady traction. TeamMacKay and TeamO’Toole as presently constituted can’t do that. They both desperately need a serious re-tooling, pronto.

  6. the real Sean says:

    Justin Trudeau’s shampoo is giving everyone hope.

  7. Derek Pearce says:

    Apart from Trudeu’s daily exposure/the govt response in general, I wish we could know how much both Derek Sloane and then Scheer’s ensuing shrug have to do with these numbers. I’m convinced that they are a not-miniscule part of the reason for these results.

    • Derek,

      Sloan did one hell of a lot of damage to CPC fortunes with his comments on Dr. Tam. At least Rempel Garner and a few others were capable of appreciating the gravity of his remarks. He so undermined the CPC with Canadians, with his unacceptable views.

      • Douglas W says:

        Sloan, totally marginalized by the next CPC leader.

        • Fred from BC says:

          I’m still trying to figure out where the supposed ‘racism’ was in what Derek Sloane said (unless I somehow read an edited version?).

          The test I always use in these cases is simple: if you changed the wording to say “Dr. Teresa Jones”, do you still see this ‘racism’? Yes or no?

          • Fred,

            If this “Does she work for Canada or for China?” is a rhetorical question, then where’s the need for this:
            “Dr. Tam must go! Canada must remain sovereign over decisions.”[?] We aren’t in drama class here. What would you think of the above if you knew that Dr. Tam was born in Hong Kong?

      • Fred from BC says:

        “He so undermined the CPC with Canadians, with his unacceptable views.”

        Speaking of unacceptable, Canada is now offside with the rest of the democratic world. The US, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK and the EU itself are all calling for an independent, international review of the World Health Organization and their actions related to China and the Coronavirus. The WHO (and China, of course) want to conduct their own internal ‘investigation’ .

        Guess which side Canada is on?

        • Fred,

          How can I put this kindly? Trudeau is at best misguided what with his intentional blinders. If anyone thinks we should believe the Chinese numbers, I imagine they fell off the turnip truck no more than an hour ago…

          I note that Trump is starting to change his tune on the Wuhan Lab but with him, you never know what’s fact and what’s fiction. My gut (which means nothing) has been mighty suspicious of an accidental release from the get-go.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “How can I put this kindly? Trudeau is at best misguided what with his intentional blinders. ”

            (as always, you’re more diplomatic then I am, Ronald)

            There are only two possible reasons for Junior subjecting Canada to this kind of embarrassment, I think…either he is still seeking that useless non-voting temporary UN seat or he is simply afraid of China.

        • Derek Pearce says:

          I think though that this stance (or lack of one actually) is taken with Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in mind, poor guys. Now then, is it appropriate to tip-toe around China because of the hostage situation? For their families, I’m sure yes. I’m not convinced one way or another what the right action is to take.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “I’m not convinced one way or another what the right action is to take.”

            Expel Chinese diplomats, impose 100% tariffs on Chinese imports, start seizing Chinese container ships in Canadian ports, nationalize their Alberta oilfield holdings….do SOMETHING. Anything.

            They see our government as being run by weaklings, and rightly so.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            Unfortunately for the families and friends of the detained, this is all about Meng and her extradition proceeding. China will do whatever it takes to insure she is not extradited to the United States. They are at beyond playing hardball.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            It’s my understanding that foreign-flagged vessels are sovereign territory so that suggestion is probably impossible. Sure, we can escalate and watch them do tit for tat but that’s a losing game from our end because China has more aces than we do. Were China to weaponize its economic might against Canada, we likely would be destroyed economically as a result.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            However, a legal outcome is likely to come next June and all parties will have to live with the consequences. The Crown continues to proceed against Meng and there won’t be any political interference with regard to this file.

  8. Doug says:

    Who knew free money would be popular?

  9. Chris Scott says:

    I believe as soon as the pandemic is done we should go straight into an election. Not because the polls are the way they are but because I believe the government needs a new mandate. The issues the last election were based on have dramatically changed and the economic recovery will require an entirely new approach from what any of the parties based their platforms on. We need to hear from each party how we rebuild and make a new decision on our way forward. I know some will say we can’t afford the cost of an election but compared to the $250 billion just spent its a drop in the bucket. Of course I’m no genius or political scientist and I’m only expressing an opinion but it’s how I feel.

  10. Gilbert says:

    The numbers are meaningless at this point. When the Conservatives get their new leader, they’ll be in great shape.

  11. Rob says:

    It doesn’t hurt that everybody and his dog is getting a govt cheque in the mail. Can this level of spending go on for much longer? And the news media ‘ball team’ constantly lobbing soft ones to him doesn’t hurt either.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “It doesn’t hurt that everybody and his dog is getting a govt cheque in the mail.”

      Absolutely. That’s your number one reason, right there. It’s not like we’re getting any useful information from the daily recitation of Liberal talking points.

      “Can this level of spending go on for much longer? ”

      I shudder to think of the size of the bill when it comes due…

      • Fred,

        Maybe it’s a rounding error compared to the American debt and deficits.

        Right now, their national debt is: $25,039,355,000,000.

        • Doug says:

          The Americans have the luxury of the USD being a reserve currency and the majority of the world’s transactions by value being conducted in USD. The Fed can export the inflationary consequences of monetizing US government deficits to the rest of the world. Canada cannot.

          As alarming as the US deficits may be, Canada isn’t all that much better if provincial and Crown corporation debt is included. US states can only borrow to fund capital requirmments so the debt held at that level is considerably less than that carries by Canadian provinces. The US economy also generates more growth per capita than does Canada, meaning it is better able to grow out of some of that debt.

          • Doug,

            One wonders whether Putin and MBS not only want to kill U.S. shale (which to this day has never been profitable) but also to destroy the USD as the petrodollar. Looks like it, from where I’m sitting.

            In addition, the time bomb of the Bond Market is ticking. If The Fed is foolish enough to go to negative rates, as Trump hopes, the United States will have all the economic might of the EU and Japan — and that isn’t exactly saying something.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            Another concern is the role that QE To Infinity is playing: limited amounts were clearly not inflationery last time though The Fed could do little to tame high unemployment. The logic this time is to throw even more money, in practically unlimited quantity while expecting the exact same mitigating result that turned a likely Depression in 2008 into a Recession. My view is that money printing is now out of control and will inevitably have a considerable inflationery effect going forward. In short, this time, lightning won’t strike twice in the exact same place.

          • Doug says:

            I’m not sure I agree that QE has not been inflationary. It is impossible to create something from nothing. A larger money supply can only dilute wealth.

            Prior to the late 90’s Asian Financial crisis, central banks tightened during economic downturns to reflect higher credit risk. From the Asian Financial Crisis onward, central bankers have tried to pump up growth by under pricing risk through low interest rates and non-traditional measures like quantitative easing and negative interest rates. While this has not lead to high inflation by traditional measures such as CPI, it has inflated assets like bonds, equities and real estate. Much of the monetary stimulus seems to have pushed up asset values, which adds nothing to the productive capacity of the economy. Canada in particular has suffered as so much capital is tied up in unproductive assets like residential real estate.

            The other rational for growing the money supply is to reduce borrowing costs for government. Proponents of government borrowing make claims that the growth it creates diminishes the debt over time. While that may have been true in the distant past, it has been a long time since nominal GDP has consistently grown much faster than 4%, meaning that growing out of the debt is increasingly more difficult. With falling labor market participation, the potential growth rate is likely to fall further. Any government borrowing to fund operations (i.e. anything relating to people and not on things like infrastructure) is a recipe for disaster.

          • Doug says:

            Despite reckless borrowing by the US government, I don’t see any threat to USD as the resoundingly dominant reserve currency or as pricing for globalized transactions. Part of that is because alternatives such the yuan, yen or euro are even worse, part is that the US private sector continues to out innovate the rest of the world in spit of the government.

  12. A. Voter says:

    All the provincial premiers have high approval ratings as well. When it comes to “trust” Trudeau scores much lower than the premiers though. Calling an early election during a pandemic wouldn’t be the wisest move.

  13. PJH says:

    I suspect once the CoVid19 crisis is over, M. Trudeau will pull the pin(taking advantage of the dire financial state of affairs of their current bedmates, the NDP,) and call a snap election, while a hapless new Conservative leader Erin O’toole struggles to meld a coalition of socon antiabortionists/anti homosexuals and moderate Cons. It will not work, resulting in a huge win for M. Trudeau and the Liberals. Mr. MacKay, whose leadership campaign suffered the death by a thousand wounds, and the virulent ABM socon anti-abortionist/anti homosexual cult, will continue to remain popular. A a little wiser, he will try for the leadership once again when it becomes abundantly clear to the membership of the party that electing Andrew Scheer 2.0 is a recipe for remaining in the political wilderness forever. Jagmeet Singh will return to his law practice. Western Separatists will continue to piss and moan, and threaten to secede…only to remain a rump of disgruntled old balding white farts. It will be 1974 all over again…only the players are different.

    • Warren says:

      That’s pretty accurate.

      But what if the pandemic goes for three years?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Let’s get down to brass tacks: this leadership is about winning. In fact, it should only be about winning. Canadians are, by and large, moderate centrists. Those with crossover appeal win elections. If MacKay and O’Toole run truly as themselves, as Blue Tory Moderates, they can win. Conversely, if they try to run as someone they aren’t, they won’t see the forest for the trees and will lose badly.

      I’m with MacKay because he’s been a leader before and along with Harper, is solely responsible for the foresight and magic recipe that took this party out of the political wilderness. Unlike me, MacKay correctly said Yes, opening the door to a win. Without MacKay, we’d still be spinning our wheels in circles in two competing opposition parties.

      • Douglas W says:

        MacKay and O’Toole: I’d like to see these two lads debate.

        Is there going to be one?

        • Douglas,

          This was the original plan:

          The Conservative Party will host two official leadership debates – one English debate in Toronto, and one French debate in Montreal.

          One can safely assume that both will be rescheduled but so far, there’s no confirmation on that.

      • PJH says:

        Mr. O’Dowd….I’m with Mr. MacKay too….have been right from the start(including the PC days)….but O’toole has been courting the socon vote, and you can be sure Sloan and Lewis voters second and third choices will be going to O’toole…not MacKay….but as well, Mr. MacKay and/or his handlers are constantly shooting themselves in the foot..thats why I call his possible loss “the death by a thousand wounds” I am hoping for a MacKay win….but the Refoorm socon element will do everything in its power to deny MacKay the leadership, and will surely be calling in its markers after an O’toole win. Result: Another six years in Opposition, and the Conservative Party tarred yet again as a party of old white tired dinosaurs locked in the Fifties….and in many ways, the description will fit.

        • PJH,

          You’re a very clear thinking and shrewd observer of what’s happening. Obviously, we both hope that things will improve quickly.

          What makes me mad is that an impression has been left that Peter is the servant of his handlers. It’s impossible that mistake after mistake could have come solely from MacKay’s wishes. Peter seriously needs to do greater critical thinking and analysis and not automatically defer to the supposed éminences grises in his campaign.

          A lot of us are only in this to give MacKay our best possible advice on an ongoing basis. We don’t want to go and work in Ottawa and we don’t want government business or patronage after a win. Strangely enough, they do not regard us as assets that will more than likely help them win. What else can I say but so be it.

        • The Doctor says:

          Fair enough comment PJH, but there’s an important difference between courting the socon vote and actually being a socon. To my knowledge he is not particularly socially conservative. I personally wanted Rona A to run, but here we are. The one thing about an O’Toole victory is that it would be interesting — most people don’t know much about him, so really he remains to be defined in the eyes of Canadians. I think he’s much better on his feet, and has significantly more substance, than Scheer. I also think he’s sharper than MacKay. Canadians are generally well-disposed towards our military, and he’s ex-military. So we’ll see.

          • PJH says:

            At the risk of posting too many times on one thread, but with Mr. Kinsella’s blessing, I shall proceed. I heard Mr. O’toole described by one campaign manager of my socon Conservative MP as a “Red Tory” in 2019….and perhaps in the last leadership race, he was…but in this one he’s shifted to “true blue” and is definately courting the socon vote, as my MP is a poster boy for his campaign. If you dont think the socons won’t be comin’ a callin’ with a list of demands for helping Mr. O’toole win , I have some swampland to sell you, cheap…..

      • Paige says:

        Winning is good, but it’s not everything. Look at Preston Manning’s influence on Canadian politics. Never won but far more influential than Paul Martin for example. And he makes Laurentians’ head explode even after all these years.

        • PJH says:

          Mr. Manning was rejected by his own party because they wanted someone who they thought(wrongly) could achieve a breakthrough in Ontario. In politics, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. I will say that Refoorm did have a great effect on making parties more accountable to their memberships….one person, one vote, the end of delegated conventions(and all the evils they entailed) are but two examples…but if you are holding out Mr. Manning and his followers as beacons of truth, freedom, and the Canadian way….there are countless examples of members of his party being anything but….kaff. gold plated pensions, kaff….

          • Fred from BC says:

            “there are countless examples of members of his party being anything but….kaff. gold plated pensions, kaff….”

            Well, if you’ll remember, Mr. Manning himself did not take the pension (along with a couple of others) after the Liberals in 2000 callously forced all MPs to either take the pension as offered or receive NO PENSION at all ( most were forced to take it, as the Liberals had so cleverly calculated that they would be). Not one of the proudest moments for government in Canada…

          • PJH says:

            Fred from BC….you are quite right in that. That was perhaps not the best example to give…..and I do have to give Mr. Manning’s party its props….because it forced my party to be more open and democratic…..in fact the PC Party under M. Charest and then Mr. Clark 2.o out reformed the Reform party in an effort to keep alive and fight another day. It didnt quite wind up exactly as planned but here we are. I also have to give Mr. Manning his props in that he made Canadians aware of the crippling debt and deficit…something that had been ignored for years…by both Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney(however the GST was at least an attempt to address it). M. Chretien with the assistance of Mr. Martin understood the public purse was not infinite, unlike our current PM, who is following in the profligate ways of his father(current CoVid19 spending notwithstanding).

    • Douglas W says:

      Socon anti-abortionists/anti-homosexuals and moderate Conservatives have no choice but to vote Conservative in the next federal election.

      A vote for anyone else is a vote for Trudeau.
      They know it.
      And they’re going to have to suck it up and shut up.

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