2018 New Brunswick Election

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jerrym
2018 New Brunswick Election

The New Brunswick election began today. Here's a look at some of the key issues. 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4402594/new-brunswick-election-key-issues/

 

jerrym

Here's a list of party candidates and a history of recent polling. The NDP, Greens and People's Alliance (a right-wing party) are statistically tied near 7% each in the most recent poll behind the Liberals (50%) and Conservatives (30%). However the Greens have the advantage of having elected their provincial leader in the last election compared to the other third parties. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick_general_election,_2018

 

jerrym

The NB NDP election platform includes: "a $15-minimum wage increase, public home care, free and lower-cost public education for youth, school-based childcare without wait lists and what the party refers to as 'real environmental leadership.' 

“New Brunswickers deserve better. That is why the NDP is presenting a plan that will make a difference for people now,” said acclaimed party leader Jennifer McKenzie.

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4405376/decision-nb-ndp-and-greens/

 

ghoris

I see Jennifer McKenzie is running in Elizabeth Weir's old seat in Saint John.

Obviously even just electing the leader would be a huge improvement for the NB NDP, but are there any other seats where the party has a realistic shot at winning?

jerrym

Here's some information on the Saint John Harbour riding where Jennifer McKenzie is running.

Elizabeth Weir held it from 1995-2005.

In the last two elections, the NDP have done relatively well for New Brunswick. In 2014, the Liberals won 32.19 %, the Conservatives 30.84% and the NDP 21.39%. In the 2010 election, the NDP only lost by 2.99% (the Liberals won 30.68 %, the Conservatives 30.52% and the NDP 27.69%). 

So McKenzie, especially as leader of the party, has a decent chance of winning. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John_Harbour_(electoral_district)

 

jerrym

Here's a video interview with NDP leader Jennifer McKenzie:

https://globalnews.ca/video/4414956/one-on-one-with-n-b-ndp-leader-jenni...

 

Aristotleded24

Lets be serious, is there any reason to expect the provincial NDP to make any sort of breakthrough?  There are no NDP MPs in the entire region (let alone the province) to help out with building the party. There is no NDP surge nationally that may have some spillover effect. The Greens, OTOH, have one seat going in, so on that basis seem to be the clear choice for voters tired of The Establishment. The Greens being the clear choice of anti-establishment voters across the channel doesn't hurt either.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

New Brunswick seems to be more content with the old Liberal-PC alternance than anyplace else in Canada(other than PEI, the place that has to fight to keep being a place).  Is that mainly due to the fact that NB is the last province where there's still this kind of semi-tribalism thing going on between anglophones and francophones?  In Manitoba that used to play out as the Tories being the "Anglo" party and the Liberals/Liberal-Progressives being more or less the francophone party.  Am I right that the continuation of the ethnic polarity in NB works to keep the PC's and the Liberals in the dominant position they retain?  If not, could anybody talk about what else is at play there?

 

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
New Brunswick seems to be more content with the old Liberal-PC alternance than anyplace else in Canada(other than PEI, the place that has to fight to keep being a place).

In PEI, the Green Party is tied with the Liberals for first place in public opinion polling, and that has been the case for some time.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
New Brunswick seems to be more content with the old Liberal-PC alternance than anyplace else in Canada(other than PEI, the place that has to fight to keep being a place).

In PEI, the Green Party is tied with the Liberals for first place in public opinion polling, and that has been the case for some time.

OK.  I'm aware that that's just happened.
It's a new thing that the duopoly there may finally be under threat, though.  Why have the Greens seemingly made this sudden breakthrough when the NDP seemed to never get anywhere close to that?  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Also, why is there such a massive discrepancy between the polling results you posted up thread, and THIS set of polling results?

ON edit:  Never mind, I figured out why: they were polling results for entirely different provinces.  My bad.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
New Brunswick seems to be more content with the old Liberal-PC alternance than anyplace else in Canada(other than PEI, the place that has to fight to keep being a place).

In PEI, the Green Party is tied with the Liberals for first place in public opinion polling, and that has been the case for some time.

OK...but we're discussing New Brunswick in this thread, not PEI.   PEI could just be putting the "Green" in "Anne of Green Gables".

 

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Why have the Greens seemingly made this sudden breakthrough when the NDP seemed to never get anywhere close to that?

Oddly enough, in 2014, the NDP actually had more support in the New Brunswick election than the Greens. Unfortunatley for the NDP their support was spread out to thin, whereas the Greens were able to concentrate their support enough to win a seat. In PEI in 2015, they were both equal in terms of public support, but again, the Greens concentrated their vote. A few years of having a seat, access to resources, media attention, along with the utter collapse of the NDP and thus the inability for the NDP to build anything and voila, here we are.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The NB NDP as a "supposed" progressive party came out on the wrong side of the anti-fracking fight in Elsipogtog. That fight crossed the divide created by Burnt Church and brought First Nations and activists together. That coalition caused the rulinf Liberals to ban fracking. After its initial gafes the NB NDP despite playing Johhny Come Lately never could get in front of that issue. It is no wonder that the Greens are eating their lunch.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/n-b-fracking-protests-and-the-fight-for-a...

Aristotleded24

Yeah krop, I believe that the NDP was for fracking under Cardy's watch. They also focused on what laws they would pass if they formed a government (which everybody knew wasn't a remote possibility) rather than on things they could actually fight for as elected members. Cardy was always unpopular with sections of the NDP base, and the fact that he is now a PC confirms those suspicions. I believe Jennifer McKenzie specifically attempted to reach out with a message of bringing back disaffected NDP supporters, unfortunately Cardy had blown up the party's foundations so badly that she has next to nothing she can work with.

jerrym

While the NDP won twice the percentage of the vote (13.0%) as the Greens (6.6%) in the 2014 NB election, the Greens focused on winning their leader's riding, while the NDP effort was more dispersed, resulting in the Greens winning one riding and the NDP none. Of course, the quality of the leaders and the issues they campaigned on also played a role in which one won. Having their leader in the legislature has given the Greens a higher profile in this election. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick_general_election,_2014

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick_general_election,_2018

In the 2015 PEI election, the NDP (11.0%) and Greens (10.8%) were almost tied and the NDP actually increased their vote by a greater margin (7.81%) than the Greens (6.45%). But once again focusing on getting their leader paid off for the Greens while the NDP leader failed to get elected. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/66th_Prince_Edward_Island_general_election

 

The latest NB poll has the NDP, Greens and right-wing People's Alliance are all in a statistical tie near 7% each, this is in part a reflection that the Gallant Liberal governing party is popular with 50% support in the most recent poll and 43% over the last four polls, which basically is a tie with their 42.72% in 2014. The PCs at 33.1% over the last four polls are statistically tied with their 34.6% in 2014, thus retaining their voter share and making it difficult for the smaller parties to get much traction. 

In PEI, the relatively low support for the Liberals (34%) and PCs (29%), who are both down in support from the 2015 election (40.8%) and (37.4%), has given the Greens and their elected leader the opportunity to surge in the polls to 33% as most voters don't shift away from a government and official opposition until their unhappiness with them makes them look for an alternative. The lack of a strong NDP voice in and out of the legislature and issues attractive to voters has seen their support fall to 4%. 

IMO getting a leader elected is an important but not sufficient condition in building the chances of further success, which is unlikely to happen until the government's has sufficient problems for voters to look elsewhere to see how attractive the alternatives are. 

jerrym

An August CRA poll found that the voting intentions vary in the three major urban areas of NB, with the NDP most popular in St. John at 10% where the NDP leader Jennifer McKenzie is running, while the Greens are most popular in Fredericton at 22% where their leader has a seat. So at this point, although the the two parties are in a statistical tie provincewide, it appears having an elected leader is giving the Greens a boost, at least in Fredericton, that is more likely to result in winning at least one riding. 

https://cra.ca/nb-provincial-voting-intentions-vary-by-urban-communities/

 

jerrym

Here's the full NDP platform. By clicking on the + signs for each title, full details are shown. 

https://nbndp.ca/en-our-platform/

 

jerrym

The New Brunswick Conservatives are adopting their Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan cousins' opposition to a carbon tax.

The New Brunswick election saw the Tories touch on the issue of a federal carbon tax while the Liberals announced a new economic initiative.

PC Leader Blaine Higgs says New Brunswickers can’t afford to pay 12 cents more a litre at the pumps, or more for necessities like heat and groceries. Higgs says he’s committed to joining other provinces, including Saskatchewan and Ontario, to stop the federal carbon tax through a court challenge.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4437834/carbon-tax-court-challenge-and-econom...

 

 

jerrym

September 9 CRA poll

Liberals 45%

Conservatives 33%

Greens 10%

NDP 6%

Peoples Alliance 5%

https://cra.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-3-NB-Press-Release-Sept.-11...

 

jerrym

During the TV debate, Conservative leader Blaine Higgs claimed that Liberal Premier Brian Gallant had offered him the Finance Minister job after the Liberals won the 2014 election. If true, it is suggestive of how little difference there is between the two parties.

NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie argued for the maintenance of French-English language duality in health and education over the objections of People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin. She called Austin's position on language "irresponsible". She also emphasized that Indigenous people are not receiving the same level of services as others and pointed out that Gallant didn't live up to a previous pay equity commitment. In addition, McKenzie said that needs to provide better social services before children die, rather than reports on why they died. 

 

New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative Leader dropped a bombshell during the first televised leaders debate of the provincial election campaign, claiming Liberal Premier Brian Gallant offered to hire him as finance minister after the Liberals won the 2014 election. For much of the debate, Gallant and Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs clashed over each other’s records, largely ignoring the other three leaders on the stage. Higgs then pulled a piece of paper from his pocket.

“Brian Gallant rails on about my time as finance minister,” Higgs said. “I find it very ironic that Brian Gallant offered me a position as minister of finance or as deputy minister, and I have a sworn affidavit that says this.”

Gallant laughed, but Higgs persisted, saying he chose not to take the job because he felt the Liberal the government was “irresponsible.” The young Liberal premier quickly denied any job offer was made. “Blaine Higgs was not invited to be the finance minister of our government,” Gallant said. “We have no interest in you being the finance minister of this government.”

“You’ll swear an oath on that?” Higgs replied. “I will swear an oath on that, absolutely,” Gallant said.

And affidavit, later produced by Higgs, states that Gallant made the offer in a series of text messages exchanged after the election in October 2014. 

On language, People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin said he’d get rid of language duality in the health and education systems and use the savings to improve service. ...

But NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie said duality needs to be embraced. “To open the language debate at this time is counterproductive,” she said. ...

McKenzie also seized on the Indigenous rights issue, saying New Brunswick had to do a better job of making sure First Nations get the help they need. “Right now, they are not getting the same level of service, the same level of health care, the same living conditions. They are struggling. And while we point fingers … they are hurting,” she said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4444817/tory-leader-drops-bombshell-during-fi...

jerrym

Another controversy involving PC leader Blaine Higgs has arisen over his proposed cuts to education before the election in 2013 that the PC cabinet decided to block. In 2016, he said he would reintroduce those cuts. Now during the election, he says he won't do that and claimed that Gallant is lying about what happened. 

On Tuesday, the Liberals upended the release of the PC campaign platform by releasing a document detailing cuts that had been proposed to Higgs by external consultants in 2013. They included axing 545 teacher positions and 79 schools.

When the broad brushstrokes of those proposed cuts were leaked to CBC News last year, Higgs explained that his efforts to shrink government had been blocked by his PC colleagues in cabinet for political reasons. ...

He said if Tories had been re-elected in 2014, he'd have revived the proposals.  "Absolutely, they'd have come back," he said.

Tuesday, however, a visibly angry Higgs adopted a different version — accusing Gallant of "outright lies" and taking credit for the fact the cuts never happened, then vowing they won't see the light of day if he wins the election.

"I didn't make those cuts then, when I was in government as a minister, and I'm not making them now," he said.  "They want you to believe I'll cut schools, I'll cut hospitals, I'll cut schools. And none of this is true. Absolutely none of it."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/provincial-election-debate-...

 

jerrym

Gallant's response to Higgs accusations that Gallant had offered Higgs the Finance Minister's job in 2014 after the election were evasive in that Gallant's answers were all in the positive tense as if the offer had been made today. After the debate he admitted that he had met several times with Higgs to discuss the finance minister jobs in 2014, but decided against it because Higgs wanted to make deeper cuts.

Higgs said he ended up turning down Gallant's purported 2014 offer "because the government was so irresponsible in promising more, in making more irresponsible promises they couldn't get out of."

And if Gallant didn't exactly sound defensive, his grammatical choices were certainly curious. By using the present tense, he wasn't even talking about 2014 but about today. 

"Blaine Higgs is not invited to be the finance minister of our government," Gallant said calmly.  Later, when Higgs challenged him to respond to the affidavit, Gallant again used the present tense. "We have no interest in you being the finance minister of this government," he said.

The PC campaign team soon sent the affidavit to journalists. 

In the document, Higgs says he exchanged texts messages with a member of Gallant's transition team after the Liberal election win, and that person, whom he didn't name, arranged "several meetings" where the job offers were discussed.

Gallant later issued a statement acknowledging he met with Higgs in the fall of 2014. But he said after it became clear Higgs had been the architect of PC spending cuts and wanted to "cut deeper," he decided not to offer him the finance minister job.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/provincial-election-debate-...

 

jerrym

September 14 Leger poll

Liberals 41%

Conservatives 32 %

Greens 8%

NDP 8%

Peoples Alliance 10%

http://leger360.com/admin/upload/publi_pdf/Provincial%20politics%20NB-%2...

 

jerrym

Both Liberal and Conservative governments have led the province on a downward trend in the economy, employment and population since 2000. 

Only Prince Edward Island receives more federal cash than New Brunswick, where the Auditor-General recently tabled a damning report on provincial finances that declared getting “a handle on this problem will be like turning the Titanic.” The damage is not one government’s doing; the ship has been listing dangerously for years.

Over the past decade, in which both Progressive Conservatives and Liberals have governed, New Brunswick’s net debt has doubled to more than $14-billion, far outpacing the increases posted in other Atlantic provinces. Job opportunities and the working-age population are shrinking. Required job skills are not always a match for open positions in the bilingual province. Deaths now outpace births; in 2017, the province had its lowest number of births since Statistics Canada began tracking figures in 1946. Population forecasts for the next decade predict a decline of between 40,000 and 100,000 residents.

However, the election campaign has mostly steered clear of focusing on such alarming statistics.

“No one is talking about demographic decline and the fact that we’re facing labour shortages ... across a wide spectrum of industries,” Mr. Saillant said. “It is not popular to be too realistic. In public, a lot of people will keep a very upbeat tone.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-new-brunswick-is-in-a-dea...

 

jerrym

A review of the Saint John Harbour riding race where NDP leader Jennifer McKenzie is running is found below: 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/saint-john-harbour-nb-elect...

 

jerrym

The latest poll from Nanos done on September 17 to 20 shows the Liberals with a 7% lead over the Conservatives while the People's Alliance, Greens and NDP are in a statistical tie with healthcare, education and deficit/debt being the three biggest issues in that order. 

Liberals 37%

Conservatives 30 %

Greens 11%

NDP 10%

Peoples Alliance 12%

http://www.nanos.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-1252-Telegraph-Journ...

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If New Brunswick had pr, the likely result of this election would be a center-left coalition.