Are We Leaving Liberals Behind?

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Aristotleded24
Are We Leaving Liberals Behind?

With public opinion polling for the federal election placing the Liberals and Conservatives roughly equal, I would like to draw attention to larger trends in Canadian politics that are not positive for Liberals. Right now, we only have 2 Liberal Premiers. Is there any precedent for that in Canadian political history? For the last couple of years (Nova Scotia excluded) election after election has seen Liberal governments defeated. This is even affecting Liberal strongholds, like Ontario where the Liberals were reduced to less than party status, and Prince Edward Island, where the Liberals are falling fast after being eclipsed by the Greens as the progressive alternative to the PCs. Even in New Brunswick, the Greens are present, and represent a direct threat to the Liberals there. They have no representation in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and failed to retain party status in Manitoba. Quebec seems to be going through a realignment right now that I'm not sure how long it will take the Liberals to recover, if they ever do. The only thing they ever had going for them is "we won't call a referendum," but with the CAQ around, how much sway does that have? Also note that according to Angus Reid, the most unpopular Premiers, for a while, have generally been Liberal Premiers. Do they have any hope of recovery any time soon? They are currently polling well in Ontario, however that election is a long ways away. The Ontario Liberals could still fail if the NDP plays its hand well.

What I want to suggest is that rather than going through a political cycle, we are going through a realignment that will see the Liberals play a more marginal role in provincial politics. Can this have a federal spill-over effect? How can the left capitalize on this realignment to advocate and implement its agenda?

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

It's dangerous to count the Liberals out.  

They're like a monster in a horror movie that keeps coming back.

I already see them attempting to attach themselves to the anti-Doug Ford movement in Ontario.

voice of the damned

Right now, we only have 2 Liberal Premiers. Is there any precedent for that in Canadian political history?

I'm pretty sure I remember a time when there were none, or maybe just one. Some time in the early 80s, as I recall, when BC was run by the Socreds, Alberta was PC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were either NDP or Conservative, Ontario was still the Big Blue Machine, Peckford was running Newfoundland, Hatfield New Brunswick, Buchanan Nova Scotia, and I'm not sure who was in charge in PEI.

That's mostly off the top of my head, and I can't guarantee there were no Liberals in the Maritimes, but I do recall a specific media report saying that there would soon likely be no provinical Liberal governments, or maybe that that was already the case.

In any event, given that the Quebec and BC Liberals aren't really Liberals in the same sense as the federal party, we can actually say that, outside of Ontario and the maritimes, Liberal parties aren't really a factor at the provincial level. And this has been the case even at times when the federal party was kicking ass(eg. during the aforementioned early 80s), so extrapolations from provincial to federal results probably aren't than meaningful.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

Right now, we only have 2 Liberal Premiers. Is there any precedent for that in Canadian political history?

I'm pretty sure I remember a time when there were none, or maybe just one. Some time in the early 80s, as I recall, when BC was run by the Socreds, Alberta was PC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were either NDP or Conservative, Ontario was still the Big Blue Machine, Peckford was running Newfoundland, Hatfield New Brunswick, Buchanan Nova Scotia, and I'm not sure who was in charge in PEI.

That's mostly off the top of my head, and I can't guarantee there were no Liberals in the Maritimes, but I do recall a specific media report saying that there would soon likely be no provinical Liberal governments, or maybe that that was already the case.

In any event, given that the Quebec and BC Liberals aren't really Liberals in the same sense as the federal party, we can actually say that, outside of Ontario and the maritimes, Liberal parties aren't really a factor at the provincial level. And this has been the case even at times when the federal party was kicking ass(eg. during the aforementioned early 80s), so extrapolations from provincial to federal results probably aren't than meaningful.  

At one point in either very late 1979 or very early 1980, the Liberals were out of power federally and in every province.  At that particular moment, the Liberals held no provincial seats west of Manitoba and only one federal seat.

JKR

I think the federal Liberals ate actually far better off having no provincial Liberals governments around to drag down their popularity. I think if Wynne was still premier of Ontario the Liberals chances of winning this election would be much lower. As it is Ford's unpopular Ontario PC government might be the biggest reason the federal Liberals are in very strong contention to win this election.

I think Audrey McLaughlin would have done far better if there had been no provincial NDP governments in the 90's to drag down the NDP'S brand nationally. I think the NDP would be better off if they split off their federal branch from their provincial branches and came up with 12 separate brand names.

bekayne

Ken Burch wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Right now, we only have 2 Liberal Premiers. Is there any precedent for that in Canadian political history?

I'm pretty sure I remember a time when there were none, or maybe just one. Some time in the early 80s, as I recall, when BC was run by the Socreds, Alberta was PC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were either NDP or Conservative, Ontario was still the Big Blue Machine, Peckford was running Newfoundland, Hatfield New Brunswick, Buchanan Nova Scotia, and I'm not sure who was in charge in PEI.

That's mostly off the top of my head, and I can't guarantee there were no Liberals in the Maritimes, but I do recall a specific media report saying that there would soon likely be no provinical Liberal governments, or maybe that that was already the case.

In any event, given that the Quebec and BC Liberals aren't really Liberals in the same sense as the federal party, we can actually say that, outside of Ontario and the maritimes, Liberal parties aren't really a factor at the provincial level. And this has been the case even at times when the federal party was kicking ass(eg. during the aforementioned early 80s), so extrapolations from provincial to federal results probably aren't than meaningful.  

At one point in either very late 1979 or very early 1980, the Liberals were out of power federally and in every province.  At that particular moment, the Liberals held no provincial seats west of Manitoba and only one federal seat.

From 1979 to 1985.

Aristotleded24

So judging by the comments here, it looks like there were no Liberal governments in power in the 1980s. This also coincides with Turner's implosion of public support which paved the way for Mulroney's massive majority, and the federal NDP nearly overtook the Liberals during this time frame.

I still think what we're seeing now is of far greater magnitude. The Liberals never struggled to retain official party status in Ontario or ended up having third party status in PEI during this time. I think it is a time that the left can take advantage of, if the left plays this thing right.

Pondering

I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries. 

They had hoped the social conservatism of many immigrant groups would swell their ranks. It was working but the Conservatives couldn't afford to lose those who feel intimidated by immigration. Conservatives can't go full on anti-immigrant because the business community wants them and they are a large voting block. Young people wouldn't like it either. Social conservatism in the form of intolerance is dropping. Many immigrants may be socially conservative but they often understand repression much better than we do and don't want to see it here. They recognize the Conservative dog-whistles. 

Free market economics is losing popularity fast. "Protectionism" is on its way back. Even the World Bank and IMF are concerned about the growth in inequality. It isn't good for the economy. 

The Liberals are basically taking over the Conservative position without the social conservatism or free market dedication. Liberals are not particularly ideological in terms of the party. They are pro-business, moderately socially liberal staying just even or slightly ahead of popular opinion on social issues. The farther right the Conservatives have gone the less the Liberals have to do in terms of benefits. They buy off segments of the population. For example, the senior's raise at 70 in the OAS. So far their "balance the economy and environment" line has worked pretty well for them but that is fading fast and will continue to do so. 

Greta Thunberg said "we won't forgive you". Young people are not going to forgive the Conservatives and Liberals for the climate change pain we are and will continue to suffer. 

The assumption that only the Conservatives or Liberals can win is gone. Layton didn't win but the consensus is he could have. The NDP have won in Alberta. That is huge even if it never happens again. The NDP is doing well in BC. Polls consistenly show that even when the NDP is doing poorly they still rank consistently well in parties people consider voting for. 

The Conservatives are having their last hurrah. The Liberals will replace them as the pro-business party despite the desires of the MSM and the true elites who want as pure a free market as they can get. 

The Liberals are always getting classified as on the left just because they aren't as extreme right as the Conservatives. Although there is certainly a difference between the two the business community will go Liberal and probably drag the Liberals even more to the economic right. 

I see both the Liberals and Conservatives shrinking over the next couple of decades. The Conservatives will lose voters because they will die off and because the immigrant vote is growing and they can't get both it and the anti-immigrant vote. The Liberals will lose voters because they will wear the climate change denial inherent in buying a pipeline.  They will gain voters because as the Conservatives shrink the business community will rally around the Liberals. 

The greatest danger to the NDP is becoming the new Liberals. Forces with money will try hard to make it that way. Had Mulcair won the election the NDP's fate as a centrist party would have been sealed. Progressives within the NDP dodged a bullet. 

Singh may not be as far left as some would like but he has definitely turned the party in that direction. 

bekayne

Pondering wrote:

I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries. 

There'll always be a market for fear and scapegoating.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

So judging by the comments here, it looks like there were no Liberal governments in power in the 1980s. This also coincides with Turner's implosion of public support which paved the way for Mulroney's massive majority, and the federal NDP nearly overtook the Liberals during this time frame.

I still think what we're seeing now is of far greater magnitude. The Liberals never struggled to retain official party status in Ontario or ended up having third party status in PEI during this time. I think it is a time that the left can take advantage of, if the left plays this thing right.

To be accurate, there were no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada for a few months in late 1979 and early 1980.  From the 1980 to 1984 federal elections, there was a federal Liberal government but the party was in opposition in Quebec and all provinces and territories.  From the 1984 federal election until the 1985 Ontario election, there were once again no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada.  After 1985, Liberals started making a comeback on the provincial level, coming to power in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland before the decade was out.  Not that that was a good thing by any standard, as those "Liberal" governments, with the slight exception of Ontario's, were all clearly right of center on economic and spending policies.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries.

As evidenced by the fact that right now, the Premiers who have approval ratings above 50% (excluding Horgan) are all Conservatives?

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

Sean in Ottawa

I do not think any political grouping is on its way out. Parties and party names come and go.

Two party systems are usually based on them being not very far apart and for the wings not to have significant power. With polarization there is sufficient room and demand for a middle party. Both of the two parties need it in order to be stable.

As the NDP is pushed away from the centre and the Conservatives away from the centre the Liberals are assured of existing. Both right and left parties need Liberals to exist in order for them to be where they want to be otherwise they would be populated by people who want to compromise to the other side more than they do. What would the NDP do with the Liberals that would knock on their door and change them if they did not have a Liberal party to go to.

None of this means that the weakest party has to be the left party or that the strongest party has to be the centre or a right party. The NDP should not push for the demise of the Liberal party but rather for the expansion of their party and containment of the Liberal party. When the Liberals disappear, as we have seen provincially, the NDP becomes a Liberal party in all but name.

The US is a different example. Right now they have a two party system crying out for a third party. The left of the population wants Democrats to be more left left but that party is carrying the baggage of the centre and needs a place for that to go (Joe Bidden, Hillary Clinton et al). The Republicans have moved far from where traditional Conservatives want to be. They want to cast off the "moderate" Republicans) but there is nowhere for them to go as the Democrats move left. There is presently room for a party in the centre in the US of the moderate Republicans and the right wing Democrats due to polarization. For both Democrats and Republicans they need this party to emerge in order to have stability or they need to become that party and have their more left or right people go somewhere else. It looks to me as if the left is finally taking more of the Democrats and needing to shed the right and the right of the Republican party is liable to split into the Tea Party and the re-emergence of the more centre-right GOP. What could happen over time is that the Tea Party take over the Republican name completely and the Republicans who are not that far to the right create a new centre-right party. Then the Democrats will lose some support to that centre right thing and the Democrats will be able to establish a more left option as the more right Democrats moderate the Centre right party to perhaps identify itself as a centre while seeking to differentiate itself from the Tea Party.

Polarization opens the centre. The movement on the right to a Reform version of Conservatives and the NDP to a more true left vision after Mulcair leaving has another dynamic. But names could change or be lost. The emergence of Bernier's party could attract the right of the CPC and gradually move the Conservatives back to where the Liberals are and any growth in the NDP would move the Liberals towards them. The Conservative and Liberal organizations could merge or one disappear. Alternately the Conservatives could move to the right and eat Bernier's party to remain the right party leaving the Liberals intact. The present configuration is temporary and one of these four parties will vanish.

The Greens are a different phenomenon and do not sit on the left-centre-right axis and could merge, continue to exist or fade away. In that sense they are most similar to the BQ or PQ as parties that are defined in terms of left and right more by present leadership than any deep ideology.  Such parties rise with the issue they represent and can collapse either by that issue fading or through leadership changes in that party or changes in the other parties as we have seen.

So no -- short answer is that the Liberals are not going to go away, or at least we should hope they do not, although they could become the third party.

 

bekayne

Ken Burch wrote:

To be accurate, there were no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada for a few months in late 1979 and early 1980.  From the 1980 to 1984 federal elections, there was a federal Liberal government but the party was in opposition in Quebec and all provinces and territories. 

From 1981 to 1985 the Liberals didn't hold a single legislative seat west of Ontario.

voice of the damned

DELETED: Post was redundant to Bekayne's.

 

voice of the damned

bekayne wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

To be accurate, there were no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada for a few months in late 1979 and early 1980.  From the 1980 to 1984 federal elections, there was a federal Liberal government but the party was in opposition in Quebec and all provinces and territories. 

From 1981 to 1985 the Liberals didn't hold a single legislative seat west of Ontario.

Actually, if I'm reading wikipedia correctly, the drought lasted into 1986, when they picked up one seat each in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and four in Alberta. (Unless they won a byelection in '85?)

bekayne

voice of the damned wrote:

bekayne wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

To be accurate, there were no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada for a few months in late 1979 and early 1980.  From the 1980 to 1984 federal elections, there was a federal Liberal government but the party was in opposition in Quebec and all provinces and territories. 

From 1981 to 1985 the Liberals didn't hold a single legislative seat west of Ontario.

Actually, if I'm reading wikipedia correctly, the drought lasted into 1986, when they picked up one seat each in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and four in Alberta. (Unless they won a byelection in '85?)

You are correct. I mixed up the year of the Alberta election.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries.

As evidenced by the fact that right now, the Premiers who have approval ratings above 50% (excluding Horgan) are all Conservatives?

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

You are stuck in the left right axis. Climate change and wealth inequality are the big drivers of what is to come. Sure there are some young conservatives but I very much doubt they reach 30%. The Conservatives don't have to lose all of their followers to become the third party. I expect they will become the new NDP in terms of perpetual 3rd place. If the media sees the Conservatives as losers they will rally behind the Liberals.

The leaders all trip over themselves to insist that they are pro-choice and pro-LBGTQ and pro-women and pro-everyone else they can think of. Social conservatism in Canada is no longer a significant political force. It isn't the left that is split. It is the economic right that is split. The MSM tries to make left and right all about social not economic issues. By that measure the Liberals are on the left. By any other they are on the right. 

Singh did well to emphasis the difference between what the Liberals say and what they have done. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bekayne wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

To be accurate, there were no Liberal governments anywhere in Canada for a few months in late 1979 and early 1980.  From the 1980 to 1984 federal elections, there was a federal Liberal government but the party was in opposition in Quebec and all provinces and territories. 

From 1981 to 1985 the Liberals didn't hold a single legislative seat west of Ontario.

True.  I thought I'd conveyed that above(I guess I'd forgotten the '81 Manitoba election, when the last provincial Liberal seat was lost there).  Thanks.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

Bigger centres have more ridings and if we ever get PR rural areas will have even less clout. Of course 100% of any population group isn't going to vote the same way. As a whole, young people are more progressive than old people. That's why it is an issue that younger voters have not been voting in the numbers older generations vote. Turn out of the youth vote can change the outcome of an election.  Alberta is an outlier. It's the centre of the Reform base and more distinct than Quebec in their politics. Albertans elect Trumps. Conservatives only make it on the national stage by pretending they are not extreme right-wingers. 

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

Singh’s visit to Ryerson University was planned by campaign staff, but the students who came out didn’t know in advance about the “mainstreeting” event. In fact, the leader was supposed to walk around campus and meet people as he went but the student mob was so big he didn’t move more than a block in his nearly two hours on campus....

Young people represent a major voting block and Singh, like the other leaders, is trying to tap into that power. In 2015, 58.3 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out, an increase of roughly 17 per cent from the 2011 general election. According to Elections Canada, the greatest change was among voters aged 18-24. Turnout in that age category increased 18.3 per cent.

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

 

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote: 

Albertans elect Trumps.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a right-wing Alberta politician who didn't have a counterpart somewhere else in Canada. Klein = Mike Harris, Kenney = Ford, and even if Alberta had been totally removed from Confederation, Harper would still have been only one seat short of a majority during his last parliament.

And yeah, you have Liberals and Red Tories in other provinces, but people like Lougheed and Getty were pretty much the same as Bill Davis and Richard Hatfield. And it's pretty hard to find ANY politicians in Canada from that era who were to the right of the Bennetts and Vanderzalm in BC.

And I would hardly compare mayors like Reimer. Nenshi, and Iveson to Donald Trump.  

bekayne

voice of the damned wrote:

 

And yeah, you have Liberals and Red Tories in other provinces, but people like Lougheed and Getty were pretty much the same as Bill Davis and Richard Hatfield. And it's pretty hard to find ANY politicians in Canada from that era who were to the right of the Bennetts and Vanderzalm in BC.

Sterling Lyon?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Then there is the great War Measures Act Premier, Bourassa and his buddy the architect of Canadian austerity, PM Brian Mulroney.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

Bigger centres have more ridings and if we ever get PR rural areas will have even less clout. Of course 100% of any population group isn't going to vote the same way. As a whole, young people are more progressive than old people. That's why it is an issue that younger voters have not been voting in the numbers older generations vote. Turn out of the youth vote can change the outcome of an election.  Alberta is an outlier. It's the centre of the Reform base and more distinct than Quebec in their politics. Albertans elect Trumps. Conservatives only make it on the national stage by pretending they are not extreme right-wingers. 

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

Singh’s visit to Ryerson University was planned by campaign staff, but the students who came out didn’t know in advance about the “mainstreeting” event. In fact, the leader was supposed to walk around campus and meet people as he went but the student mob was so big he didn’t move more than a block in his nearly two hours on campus....

Young people represent a major voting block and Singh, like the other leaders, is trying to tap into that power. In 2015, 58.3 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out, an increase of roughly 17 per cent from the 2011 general election. According to Elections Canada, the greatest change was among voters aged 18-24. Turnout in that age category increased 18.3 per cent.

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

 

I agree with some of this but not the part about rural centres getting less clout. Rural ridings do not tend to have much less population with a few exceptions. Generally they are just larger geographically. The loss of clout you suggest by leveling this is less significant than the gain from having less lopsided results where the rural regions are overwhelamed by the numbers of urban areas. when you have large majorities you can ignore whole regions of the country. When the seats are closer and in many cases cross party cooperation is required, smaller areas of the country have more clout than less.

As it is now, a Province like Ontario can be part of a false majority where a party with 45% of the vote can get 80% of the seats. This can be enbough to have more than 50% of the seats of a false majority government. This means that a flase majority in Ontario can dominate the majority party and essentially ignore the will of the rest of the country.

What PR does it not only does it create a more representative balance between parties but it also creates a more representative balance of where that vote came from. A country like Canada with some provinces much larger than others cannot afford to have a system that distorts so badly that a single province can have a majority of a majority party and rule the country when it did not have a majority of the votes in that province. A proportional vote result means that the government would have to listen to all regions of the country more equally. And it is about time that the federal government of Canada did.

voice of the damned

bekayne wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

 

And yeah, you have Liberals and Red Tories in other provinces, but people like Lougheed and Getty were pretty much the same as Bill Davis and Richard Hatfield. And it's pretty hard to find ANY politicians in Canada from that era who were to the right of the Bennetts and Vanderzalm in BC.

Sterling Lyon?

 

I don't know much about Lyon's internal policies. I do know that he was VERY hostile to bilingualism, though it could also be that he just got more publicity for that because Manitoba was a province where  people were pushing for bilingualism(whereas eg. in Alberta, people were hostile to bilingualism, but in that era, it wasn't really being pushed on a provincial level, so our premiers didn't get much involved with it, until the Piquette affair later on.)

He was also notorious for opposing the Charter Of Rights of course, but he had that in common with other premiers as well. I still remember him being sworn in as a judge, and chuckling along with the audience when he read the part about promising to uphold the constitution. 

voice of the damned

And Lyon, along with Dave Barrett, also did a brief stint as a columnist for the Byfields' Report magazines(which are ancestral to Rebel Media, though much better quality, not that that's a high bar). His columns were pretty right-wing, for what that's worth.  

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

Bigger centres have more ridings and if we ever get PR rural areas will have even less clout. Of course 100% of any population group isn't going to vote the same way. As a whole, young people are more progressive than old people. That's why it is an issue that younger voters have not been voting in the numbers older generations vote. Turn out of the youth vote can change the outcome of an election.  Alberta is an outlier. It's the centre of the Reform base and more distinct than Quebec in their politics. Albertans elect Trumps. Conservatives only make it on the national stage by pretending they are not extreme right-wingers. 

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

Singh’s visit to Ryerson University was planned by campaign staff, but the students who came out didn’t know in advance about the “mainstreeting” event. In fact, the leader was supposed to walk around campus and meet people as he went but the student mob was so big he didn’t move more than a block in his nearly two hours on campus....

Young people represent a major voting block and Singh, like the other leaders, is trying to tap into that power. In 2015, 58.3 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out, an increase of roughly 17 per cent from the 2011 general election. According to Elections Canada, the greatest change was among voters aged 18-24. Turnout in that age category increased 18.3 per cent.

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

 

I agree with some of this but not the part about rural centres getting less clout. Rural ridings do not tend to have much less population with a few exceptions. Generally they are just larger geographically. The loss of clout you suggest by leveling this is less significant than the gain from having less lopsided results where the rural regions are overwhelamed by the numbers of urban areas. when you have large majorities you can ignore whole regions of the country. When the seats are closer and in many cases cross party cooperation is required, smaller areas of the country have more clout than less.

As it is now, a Province like Ontario can be part of a false majority where a party with 45% of the vote can get 80% of the seats. This can be enbough to have more than 50% of the seats of a false majority government. This means that a flase majority in Ontario can dominate the majority party and essentially ignore the will of the rest of the country.

What PR does it not only does it create a more representative balance between parties but it also creates a more representative balance of where that vote came from. A country like Canada with some provinces much larger than others cannot afford to have a system that distorts so badly that a single province can have a majority of a majority party and rule the country when it did not have a majority of the votes in that province. A proportional vote result means that the government would have to listen to all regions of the country more equally. And it is about time that the federal government of Canada did.

I have come around to PR, definitely provincially, less so federally but still accepting. Bernier is still a cautionary note. 

Winning a majority of seats is not a false majority. It's how our system works. You win a majority by winning the majority of seats not the majority of votes. In Canada both provincially and federally it has not led to a two-party system. New parties rise and fall. We occasionally have minority governments.

Right now a vote in PEI means more than a vote in Ontario. Under PR that would no longer be. Under PR Quebec and Ontario would have even more power as they are by far the most heavily populated areas. The influence of cities would rise which is one reason I am for it. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

Bigger centres have more ridings and if we ever get PR rural areas will have even less clout. Of course 100% of any population group isn't going to vote the same way. As a whole, young people are more progressive than old people. That's why it is an issue that younger voters have not been voting in the numbers older generations vote. Turn out of the youth vote can change the outcome of an election.  Alberta is an outlier. It's the centre of the Reform base and more distinct than Quebec in their politics. Albertans elect Trumps. Conservatives only make it on the national stage by pretending they are not extreme right-wingers. 

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

Singh’s visit to Ryerson University was planned by campaign staff, but the students who came out didn’t know in advance about the “mainstreeting” event. In fact, the leader was supposed to walk around campus and meet people as he went but the student mob was so big he didn’t move more than a block in his nearly two hours on campus....

Young people represent a major voting block and Singh, like the other leaders, is trying to tap into that power. In 2015, 58.3 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out, an increase of roughly 17 per cent from the 2011 general election. According to Elections Canada, the greatest change was among voters aged 18-24. Turnout in that age category increased 18.3 per cent.

https://election.ctvnews.ca/singh-swarmed-by-cheering-students-at-ryerson-university-day-after-debate-1.4629957

 

I agree with some of this but not the part about rural centres getting less clout. Rural ridings do not tend to have much less population with a few exceptions. Generally they are just larger geographically. The loss of clout you suggest by leveling this is less significant than the gain from having less lopsided results where the rural regions are overwhelamed by the numbers of urban areas. when you have large majorities you can ignore whole regions of the country. When the seats are closer and in many cases cross party cooperation is required, smaller areas of the country have more clout than less.

As it is now, a Province like Ontario can be part of a false majority where a party with 45% of the vote can get 80% of the seats. This can be enbough to have more than 50% of the seats of a false majority government. This means that a flase majority in Ontario can dominate the majority party and essentially ignore the will of the rest of the country.

What PR does it not only does it create a more representative balance between parties but it also creates a more representative balance of where that vote came from. A country like Canada with some provinces much larger than others cannot afford to have a system that distorts so badly that a single province can have a majority of a majority party and rule the country when it did not have a majority of the votes in that province. A proportional vote result means that the government would have to listen to all regions of the country more equally. And it is about time that the federal government of Canada did.

I have come around to PR, definitely provincially, less so federally but still accepting. Bernier is still a cautionary note. 

Winning a majority of seats is not a false majority. It's how our system works. You win a majority by winning the majority of seats not the majority of votes. In Canada both provincially and federally it has not led to a two-party system. New parties rise and fall. We occasionally have minority governments.

Right now a vote in PEI means more than a vote in Ontario. Under PR that would no longer be. Under PR Quebec and Ontario would have even more power as they are by far the most heavily populated areas. The influence of cities would rise which is one reason I am for it. 

It is a false majority when it is a majority of seats but not a majority of the voter's intention - even if that is the way the system works. the system we have is not two party technically but functionally it keeps any thrid party out of government. It depends on what you mean by two parties. The lopsided nature of it create majorities where there would not be any and short-changes small parties. It also exaggerates even smaller parties at times like the BQ which in 1993 gote 25 tmes the seats of the PC party despite having substantially fewer voters.

Proportional representation does not mean all votes are equal. It could mean that but this depends on which model you pick. You could keep the imbalance between PEI and Ontario for constitutional reasons and still elect each province internally proportionately. There are many models and you have been present for discussion of them. All models are better than what we have. Arguably equality is not always equitable. Ontario has a large weight and a subset of the seats of Ontario can give force to the weight of the province. Becuase the sizes of the two provinces are different strict proportionality may not be equitable since a voter in Ontario also has a stronger provincial government when negotiating with Ottawa.

I am against strict proportionality in part becuase this would deliver even more weight to Ontario than it now has and make other provinces so insignificant that they have no weight at all. This is not in the interest of Ontario either as it would lead to even greater unity problems. If anything Ontario's weight needs to be moderated more than it is now. In an ideal world we would split the province in two at least. I think Ontario has more than its share of power in Canada and not less when you look beyond the narrow issue of voters/seat.

As it is Western Canada totals 30.7% of the seats and has 31.8% of the population. BC and Alberta are shortchanged more to weight the two smaller provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Quebec has 22.63% of the population and 23% of the seats.  Atlantic Canada has 0.065% of the population and 0.0946% of the seats. The top-up is coming from Ontario but the difference is not massive for Ontario. Ontario has 38% of the population and 35.8% of the seats. the greatest discrepency is in the North but this only represents a rounding to one seat for each territory. The impact on the provinces is minimal. The problem regionally is grossly exaggerated especially when you consider that larger provinces carry other advantages and their caucuses tend to support each other more than they do between smaller provinces.

The issue of proportional representation is one of governments not matching the voters' intentions not of them being that far from the provincial weights of the provinces. PR is designed to fix the first and not the second.

Pondering

Voters consistently reject PR so I don't see how you can claim their intentions are not reflected in the outcome. The majority of the population seems to want to elect the PM and party that take power rather than have parties bargaining after the election. Proponents of PR never seem to consider why it is repeatedly rejected by the very people you claim are not represented under our current system. 

I've come around to PR in large part because I hope the left can move on Whether we are under FPTP or PR we still have to convince people to demand the changes we need no matter who is in power. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Voters consistently reject PR so I don't see how you can claim their intentions are not reflected in the outcome. The majority of the population seems to want to elect the PM and party that take power rather than have parties bargaining after the election. Proponents of PR never seem to consider why it is repeatedly rejected by the very people you claim are not represented under our current system. 

I've come around to PR in large part because I hope the left can move on Whether we are under FPTP or PR we still have to convince people to demand the changes we need no matter who is in power. 

Voters' intentions in any vote are not reflected proportionally in the result of that vote. This has nothing to do with support or lack of it for PR. That has a lot to do with how much information they have and fears about changing the system when people lack information and the issue of too many proposals to choose from.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote: 

Albertans elect Trumps.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a right-wing Alberta politician who didn't have a counterpart somewhere else in Canada. Klein = Mike Harris, Kenney = Ford, and even if Alberta had been totally removed from Confederation, Harper would still have been only one seat short of a majority during his last parliament.

And yeah, you have Liberals and Red Tories in other provinces, but people like Lougheed and Getty were pretty much the same as Bill Davis and Richard Hatfield. And it's pretty hard to find ANY politicians in Canada from that era who were to the right of the Bennetts and Vanderzalm in BC.

And I would hardly compare mayors like Reimer. Nenshi, and Iveson to Donald Trump.  

Joe Clark is from Alberta and was a red Tory. Bill Davis was pretty tame by today’s standards as well.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Sorry, you did mention Bill Davis.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering, 

You can wish for more clout for Quebec in the HoC as you have clearly stated but your bias hurts other regions of Canada.

In the late 1970s, the world price of wheat was high - about $8.50 per bushel. MPs from Quebec and Ontario squealed that this was too high a price that they should have to pay to feed their hungry little children so they enacted a law which set the national price for wheat at a ceiling well below $8.50 per bushel.  Western grain farmers were forced to sell their wheat to eastern Canada at this reduced rate when they could have sold that wheat internationally for a huge  profit. The national government shafted the western Canadian grain farmers. BUT...they said that they were also doing this for the benefit of the farmers too because they drafted a price floor that if the world price of wheat dropped below this set floor price then this would help to protect the farmers from a crash in the world market.

Well, the price of wheat did crash. And when it dropped below the floor price that eastern Canada set for the farmers, then the MP’s from Quebec and Ontario screamed blue murder that the west was cheating the east which wasn’t fair. Why should they pay the floor price when they can buy their wheat from the United States for much less? They scrapped the law which would’ve helped the farmers a little because it wasn’t in the interest of southern Ontario and Quebec to do so.

More clout for Quebec will not help Quebec out more. It will simply infuriate western Canada more and intensify an already toxic issue. 

I used to be a strong nationalist. I am an old woman now and consider the benefits of western Canada withdrawing from the rest of Canada.

I see how Bombardier has made a complete mess of itself. It used to be a small family owned snowmobile business. Within 50 short years it grew from a back yard garage company into a multi billion dollar global scale aerospace and rail industry. The company did not expand to that scale and in so few short years without massive federal subsidies going to that company on a  regular basis. Because of their heavy duty subsidization, they lost 50.01% of their aerospace industry to Airbus, and they cannot meet their rail commitments on time. BTW, Bombardier used Federal subsidies to buy up Canadair and relocate thousands of western Canadian jobs to Quebec to create Bombardier aerospace.

Oh, and during WWII, western Canadian grain farmers kept Great Britain fed with wheat. They may have had food shortages in other food categories but they always had ample supplies of wheat in England thanks to western Canada. Great Britain was unable to pay for the grain during and after the war because of their war debts. The Canadian government forgave their debt. Western Canadian farmers were never compensated one penny because Quebec MPs didn’t think it was fair to them to have to pay for England's debt to western Canadian grain farmers.

Tax dollars seem to float into southern Quebec with such ease. Yet you feel that you need to have more influence in Ottawa to further  intensify your own interests there. 

I don’t foresee Canada surviving as a single country. There are too many regional disparities.There is also too much political narcissism in Canada. This is due to representation by population with the majority of that population residing in southern Ontario and southern Quebec and MPs who are only able to think about themselves and the interests of their own constituents. 

Some day this is going to end, and Quebec cannot independently sustain itself on forestry and hydro alone. Western Canada can independently sustain itself but Quebec cannot.

voice of the damned

Misfit wrote:

Sorry, you did mention Bill Davis.

No problem. And thanks for mentioning Clark, who was my generation's Red Tory par excellente(I'm a little too late for Stanfield to have been a serious thing). Or at least got talked up that way, pro-Israel and anti-metric pandering notwithstanding. 

And, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the Alberta Liberals had been able to maintain their momentum from the 1955 election, and remain as the primary opposition to Social Credit. Had Lougheed or a Lougheed-type taken over the party, the later "energy wars" could have seen a Liberal federal government, allied with a Red Tory Ontario, against a Liberal Alberta. As opposed to two provincial Tory governments split over supporting the federal Liberals' policies.

(Not sure why the Alberta Liberals got wiped out in the election after 1955, beyond one first-hand anecdote about J. Harper Prowse going to a meet-and-greet at someone's house while bombed out of his skull.)

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Quote:
As it is Western Canada totals 30.7% of the seats and has 31.8% of the population. BC and Alberta are shortchanged more to weight the two smaller provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Quebec has 22.63% of the population and 23% of the seats.  Atlantic Canada has 0.065% of the population and 0.0946% of the seats. The top-up is coming from Ontario but the difference is not massive for Ontario. Ontario has 38% of the population and 35.8% of the seats. the greatest discrepency is in the North but this only represents a rounding to one seat for each territory. The impact on the provinces is minimal. The problem regionally is grossly exaggerated especially when you consider that larger provinces carry other advantages and their caucuses tend to support each other more than they do between smaller provinces.

The reason that smaller provinces are overrepresented in parliament is that the Elections Act stipulates that no province can have fewer seats than it had in 1985. This was done to appease Quebec, which is slightly overrepresented in parliament (moreso at the time the current Elections Act was passed in the 80s). Governments since then have not dared touch the issue because it is too toxic and could fuel seperatist sentiment in Quebec.

Pondering

I don't know why you think I want more clout in the HoC. Also, Alberta is not supporting Quebec just because we get equalization payments. We do not recieve the most per capita. As I said I don't think anyone should be separating but if we did Quebec would fare better than Alberta because of access to the Atlantic Ocean. Alberta is land-locked. An independent Alberta could not force Canada to accept pipelines as a separate country. 

It isn't Southern Ontario and Quebec that are living in a bubble. We are the majority. In truth it may be provinces that are superfluous. Municipalities should deal directly with the Federal government. 

Pondering

This is why it will be the Conservatives that will be left behind. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/andrew-scheer-free-speech-conservative-platform_ca_5da10705e4b087efdbae5cb8?utm_hp_ref=ca-news

Leading up to the 2019 provincial election in Alberta, Kenney’s United Conservaitve Party platform contained an explicit reference to the Chicago Principles, noting that post-secondary institutions must “develop, post and comply with free speech policies that conform to the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression.”

However, critics of the principles argue they are tailored to American hate speech laws and worry they could embolden intolerant views on Canadian campuses. 

The Progressive Conservatives split because of the Reformers who then took over the party when they merged back. It remains a problematic union.  Blue Liberals are not at all comfortable with Reformers and Red Tories don't much like them either. The Conservatives have the strongest largest base and the most money but they are losing centrist voters. They still gather enough up to win elections but it is dwindling not growing. 

Neoliberals have cut government to the bone with tax cuts and privatization but Canadians expect services. More cuts mean real pain and people don't see the need for them. There is no general panic over the deficit and that could be the doings of the neoliberals. They gave credit instead of raises. Debt has been normalized. As Ford has discovered it isn't so easy to make cuts when governments have been cutting for decades. 

Scheer is unpopular enough that people aren't that afraid that he will win. The consensus seems to be that Trudeau will win but that it might be a minority. That would dramatically increase the visibility of Singh and the NDP. Singh is saying the right things about taxing the rich and about Canada being a wealthy country.

I recently received a facebook pass it along message. It was requesting food and warm clothing for children, women and men, socks, underwear, baby formula. I was appalled. It soundled like a list of things to send to a disaster area or third world country not somewhere in Canada. 

Sure there are plenty of racists and ideologues that don't care but there are a lot of Canadians like me that are shocked. 

This is the last hurrah for neoliberals. The pendulum will swing back. I think it is a matter of two steps forward one step back. The last half century of neoliberalism has almost destroyed the world as we know it. Every year is a new year of more voters terrified of climate change and what will happen within their lifetimes. Sure there are some youth skeptics but they are a small minority. 

Whether or not Singh continues to rise in time for this election he is putting the NDP on track to reflect the concerns of Canadians over the next four to eight years. The warnings are getting ever more dire year after year. Fires and disasters are multiplying. Land is falling into the sea. 

I don't believe our economic system is going to collapse. I do believe that people in Canada and elsewhere are on the verge of rejecting the traditional parties. They will wear responsibility for climate change. They will be blamed for not taking action sooner. That will include the Liberals as their efforts have been minimal. But I only made little holes in the boat is not a defence. People are sick of corporate welfare. 

Maybe it will take 12 years not 8 but very soon I believe there will be a political revolt against the Conservatives and the Liberals as climate change continues to take its toll and inequality grows. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:
It isn't Southern Ontario and Quebec that are living in a bubble. We are the majority. In truth it may be provinces that are superfluous. Municipalities should deal directly with the Federal government. 

Says a woman who lives in the bubble. Btw, which provinces are you referring to as being superfluous? Please do elaborate!

Misfit Misfit's picture

One day I was on the subway in Toronto. A nice young lady asked me where I was from. I told her Saskatchewan. She asked me where Saskatchewan is? I told her that Saskatchewan is a province in western Canada. She asked Mississauga? I told her no. Much further west. About 3000 km west. She said “oh...Guelph?” I said no.  Much further west. I emphasized western Canada. I told her that it is a three day drive west. She said, “oh...Windsor?”

This is what happens when you live in a bubble. You watch the local news and it is all about Toronto. That is what local news is in Toronto...news about Toronto.

Then you watch the provincial news, and the provincial news is all a rehash of what you watched earlier on the local news.

Then at night, you watch the National! Sixty percent of the news is all a rehash of the local news in Toronto, twenty percent covers Ottawa, and then Quebec and Ontario’s reaction to what happened in Ottawa, and then they will spice up the national news with international news and squirrel sightings in BC or other points Canada to humour people living in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

The news is the window to your bubble. It shows you all that they want you to see and know.

We watch the national news. We all know all about you. That is what they want us to see and know.

All you know about us are entertaining little stories about squirrels and that western Canada is Mississauga.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Education cutbacks of the last few decades must be taking its toll on people's understanding of Canadian geography. How can you NOT know the provinces to the west or east of Ontario's borders. That is appalling.

Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

Quote:
As it is Western Canada totals 30.7% of the seats and has 31.8% of the population. BC and Alberta are shortchanged more to weight the two smaller provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Quebec has 22.63% of the population and 23% of the seats.  Atlantic Canada has 0.065% of the population and 0.0946% of the seats. The top-up is coming from Ontario but the difference is not massive for Ontario. Ontario has 38% of the population and 35.8% of the seats. the greatest discrepency is in the North but this only represents a rounding to one seat for each territory. The impact on the provinces is minimal. The problem regionally is grossly exaggerated especially when you consider that larger provinces carry other advantages and their caucuses tend to support each other more than they do between smaller provinces.

The reason that smaller provinces are overrepresented in parliament is that the Elections Act stipulates that no province can have fewer seats than it had in 1985. This was done to appease Quebec, which is slightly overrepresented in parliament (moreso at the time the current Elections Act was passed in the 80s). Governments since then have not dared touch the issue because it is too toxic and could fuel seperatist sentiment in Quebec.

Also a Province cannot have fewer MPs than senators.

but still a smaller province has less than proportional clout that a larger province.

In any case,as I say,  proportional vote to population of a province would lead to greater Ontario dominance and that is bad for the country. We need proportional party representation to votes before we need to worry about population to provincial representation concerns.

Sean in Ottawa

laine lowe wrote:

Education cutbacks of the last few decades must be taking its toll on people's understanding of Canadian geography. How can you NOT know the provinces to the west or east of Ontario's borders. That is appalling.

Yes - appalling.

Part of the reason is over specialization as education systems are designed to produce worker bees who only know their chosen subject. Canadian students seem to know less about topics outside their career path than most people I meet from other coutnries. Education should not be just to benefit a future employer. Education is not job training.

That said, why should you need formal education to know the parts of Canada - and indeed the world? The fact that we do means that this must be in place. It is not just parts of Canada people do not know about but the entire world. Even those paying attention in class learn nothing about Africa or Asia; nothing about Europe other than the second world war about Europe after the voyageur of discovery and nothing about South america other than that some European dude sailed around it.

A side point: I learned about world history and geography as a child by being a geek who collected postage stamps. This includes a lot of stuff people should learn in school.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering wrote:
It isn't Southern Ontario and Quebec that are living in a bubble. We are the majority. In truth it may be provinces that are superfluous. Municipalities should deal directly with the Federal government. 

Says a woman who lives in the bubble. Btw, which provinces are you referring to as being superfluous? Please do elaborate!

All of them. Living in a bubble suggests being separated from reality or protected in some fashion. There is no "bubble" surrounding the majority of Canadians. They are just a majority because they live in the most populous region. They can't help it. They can't choose not to be a majority. It's just the way it is. 

We pass laws to protect minorities from majorities because majorities have so much power. Central Canada is the most populated area of Canada but we are strewn all along the border with the US. Cities all along it have the highest populations. 

Consider housing and social assistance. No province or city wants to win metals for being the best at providing for the poor. They want to improve things just enough to say they are doing stuff. If any city or province rises too far above the others they will become magnets for the needy. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

When I was in grade 4, we had two tv stations. There was one movie on television a week on Monday evenings.

This one particular Monday, the movie was James Bond. I was excited because my older brother was excited. The opening credits started and my dad came downstairs and shut off the tv. He told my brother and I to list as many states in the United States that we could. He wanted to make the point that tv turned our brains into lazy sponges. Anyway I was nine and did not do well. I guess if there is a country called the United States of America then it made sense that they would have states and that they would all be united somehow.

One week later I knew all fifty states and their capitals and could list them both geographically and in alphabetical order.

One month later, I knew all the countries in the world and the experience opened up my mind. I was interested in where people came from and their language and history. When you are young like that and you hear about something on the news from another part of the world well I knew where that country was and I paid attention because I knew.

My parents didn’t tell me to pull out the atlas and the globe. My dad wanted to make the point that we watch too much tv which is unhealthy. That day, he opened up my eyes to the world.

Pondering

Not all children would react that way. It is wonderful to be aware of the world and other cultures but politically the person with the most votes still wins. Corporations couldn't care less about culture. And the people who want pipelines want them for money. If the people who don't want pipelines were offered enough money it is possible many would change their minds about it even if they say they wouldn't now.

There is no doubt our motives are driven by personal and territorial based interests. That is human nature. We need to identify first as Canadians. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lament for a Nation, eh.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Not all children would react that way. It is wonderful to be aware of the world and other cultures but politically the person with the most votes still wins. Corporations couldn't care less about culture. And the people who want pipelines want them for money. If the people who don't want pipelines were offered enough money it is possible many would change their minds about it even if they say they wouldn't now.

There is no doubt our motives are driven by personal and territorial based interests. That is human nature. We need to identify first as Canadians. 

Canada is not a single level thing that was created from nothing. It was an agreement between places that did not need to come together. It is a Confederation - a word we still use without always understanding what it means.

While it is true it was constructed by colonials in a colonial system and is a product of imperialism, the agreements and people behind it were not all purely imperialist: some even were here to avoid imperialism elsewhere (Darcy McGee for example). 

While Canada's record on Indigenous people is horrific, it is also a reason why we cannot pretend we are a single entity. There are many nations here who have been coerced but have never surrendered to the whole of Canada. The provinces are not the only parts of what we call Canada and see on the map as Canada that retains rights to an identity that is not just a merger of everything here. I think that Canadians need to understand what Canada actually is in order to have the nation to nation dialogue it needs with Indigenous nations.

There is no shame in acknowledging that we came into a single country on the condition that we could retain the distinctiveness and differences we have and that includes nations that stopped fighting Canada, despite racism, but did not give up their natiotionhood or rights to identity. Provinces entered Canada also conditionally.

One problem with Confederation is that it is outdated but any new configuration would have to be based on agreement: we might want to renegotiate provincial boundaries upon agreement and we ought to review old understandings about resources  and needs that evolved since 1867-1949. Indigenous people's need to be able to exert control over the resources in their lands that were not understood historically. Provinces agreed to jurisdictions provincial and federal for different things and that is the constitutional template of Canada. Indigenous poeple did not give up these jurisdictions and this is a significant difference when it comes to resources on Indigenous land (that includes treaty lands, non-treaty Indigenous lands as well as land under control of Indigenous Nations as well as land occupied by Canada without any aggreement to do so.)

I do not think we have to reject regional (or other identities) to be good Canadians or even to find common cause.

I think with respect, the various nations and provinces and identities in Canada can live in proximity without requiring being identical or forgoing the divisions that exist culturally and legally.

Canada has always been asymetrical.

Pondering

Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that together we stand divided we fall. Neither Quebec nor Alberta can get a better deal through separation. Witness Brexit. We have no reason to separate. Separation would immediately call into question boundries. Treaties are with the federal government and indigenous peoples would immediately demand their own independence. For all of our differences we all want basically the same thing. The good life. Good job good car good house good education...We have much the same concerns. 

Back to, is this the end of the Liberals, or is it the Conservatives.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/daphne-bramham-why-dont-canadians-like-andrew-scheer/wcm/61d471f2-a805-4183-9883-e2479edccc99?video_autoplay=true

Last week, The Globe and Mail reported a few high-profile members are already mulling the possibility of replacing Scheer with the more moderate Peter MacKay, a former cabinet minister. Of course, that discussion will be abandoned if Scheer can win.

But it’s a struggle. The social conservatives who helped secure his leadership have proved problematic during the campaign. The Burnaby North-Seymour riding’s executive warned the party after Heather Leung won the nomination that she ought to be disqualified because of her fringe views. When the party did nothing, they quit.

Asked about that, Scheer said he didn’t know anything about that until after The Vancouver Sun reported on a video Leung posted in which she called homosexuality “a perverted lifestyle” and talked favourably about conversion therapy. Scheer fired her two days after the story was published.

Conservatives in Port Moody-Coquitlam also complained to headquarters about the views of Nelly Shin, who the party parachuted in from Ontario. They too were ignored.

Leung, Shin and Scheer are endorsed by advocacy group RightNow, which has targeted 50 ridings where it hopes to elect candidates opposed to abortion and medically assisted dying.

The Conservatives can't win without their social conservative base which has been emboldened by events in the US. They are not silent members that can be counted on to vote and go away. The Conservatives try hard to convince us all they won't change laws but that isn't the only concern. It's the dog whistling. We can hear it too. Free speech on campus means stopping students from protesting speakers like Jordan Peterson. The Conservatives can't appeal to them and to centrists. Their reluctance to act on climate change is turning them into the dinosaur party. I don't think even Peter McKay can save them. The only reason they are as high as they are is disgust with Trudeau. It's a wonder he has the gall to show his face in public and he tops it off by referring to the Liberals as progressive. 

It is still possible for the Conservatives to win a majority but it seems highly unlikely. If they can't win against Trudeau in his current state then I can't imagine how bad it would have to be for them to win. They are crowing about all the provinces with Conservative governments but we will see how long that lasts. 

Immigrants have heard the dog whistling too. Many of them are socially conservative but have come from countries where they have seen the results of intolerance. 

The Conservatives and the NDP are switching places. The Conservatives are becoming the extreme. The National Post is having a fit at the possibility of a Liberal/NDP coalition but voters don't seem to buy the panic. I have heard no accounts of mass hand-wringing and confusion over who to vote for.  The leaders are shamefully appealing to voters to vote strategically. I think it is back-firing. People are too disgusted to vote for either of them. Unfortunately in Quebec the vote is going Bloc and I am afraid that is due to Singh's turban which makes me very ashamed of my province. Some is going to the NDP. Others to the Greens. I can recall elections I voted Green as a message because I didn't want to vote for anyone else.

Singh's messaging is on point. Both the Liberals and Conservatives behave as though they are the only two choices. 

Canadians don't fear a Liberal minority. Liberal minorities that have needed the NDP to stay in power have been very successful. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering I agree with the thrust of your points -- however, together we stand does not require us to be the same. We can stand together recognizing asymitry rather than have a fight over trying to find a single vision where the fight would tear us apart.

I have to say I traveled the road on this and came to this conclusion after a long time.

Aboutt he rest - I disagree that the NDP was ever the extreme but I know what you mean and I think it is semantics. The people have moved towards the NDP and the COnservatives have moved away from them. I think much of this is due to social media and bias confirmation as far as the Conservatives getting more extreme. When I do tlk politics with Conservatives they all say the same thing -- that they are at the centre. Conservatives moved to the right in part becuase they lost track on what the centre was. I remember moderate Conservatives in the 1990s still knew they were right of centre. Now extreme conservatives imagine they are the centre.

As far as which party will vanish I think this is too soon to tell. One party is definitely going to go. There will be one right, one left and one centre among the large ones. The reason for this is actually simple in conversation there is not room for more (except non left-right parties like the BQ or Greens, religious or regional parties).  Usually there is a left solution, a compromise or fence sitting solution (depending on how polite you want to be) and a right solution. Other options will come particularly with leadership questions but they will compete with the other one in the broad area and one will lose.

Therefore one of these scenarios will happen but unlikely that more than one will as the space will open:

1) People's Party vs Conservative will fold back into one party byt Bernier blowing out or the CPC moving to the right.

2) The Conservatives moving to the centre and taking on the Liberals and one of those parties disappearing

3) The Conservatives moving to the Centre taking enough of the Liberals's right side that the remainder move to the left and merge with the NDP.

One of those four parties is going to go. The most likely is very obviously Bernier. If Bernier goes then the Conservatives will tack slightly to the right to make sure another does not come up and the Liberals will have breathing room.

This period is complicatec while the Greens and the BQ are present since they leave less room for error by any of the parties. There will always be a conservative party that is supported by wealth and capital - even if it is called Liberal such as in BC. My sense is that a Liberal-Conservative switch is unlikely in the short term due to polarized politics. There is more of a gap between all the parties so there is less chance of the money of Canada not keeping alive a Conservative party. However they could switch to Liberal if the Conservavatives put up an especially bad leader (from a right wing perspective).

An NDP-Liberal merger is really unthinkable unless the Liberals have had the right side carved out so completely that what is left would be small enough that New Democrats would not think they could be swamped and the remainder would be left enough to contemplate such a thing. It also requires - as we have seen - having no mythical saviour in the wings. I think the NDP has to be extremely cautious about this as Liberals to far to the right of the NDP have to have a place to go for the NDP to consider a merger. Otherwise these people would join the NDP and bring it to the right. An NDP Liberal merger - for the NDP ideas to survive needs a right party (say Bernier's) to eat into the Conservatives's right side enough that the Conservatives can move to the centre and accept the right Liberals. Without this, those right Liberals would swamp the NDP. Ultimately we are going to have a right and a centre party in order for a left party to survive - even if any of these three is small. There is no need for the centre party to be dominant but it must exist with a party to its right to avoid exiles coming and blowing up the left party.

I think this is an important concept people who favour mergers usually miss so I hope I explained it better this time.

 

Pondering

I think a rupture is happening that is or will disrupt traditional moderate left/right/centre modeling. The Progressive Conservatives split up for a reason. They do not form a logical whole anymore. To be Conservative in the past meant being conservative as in traditionalist don't rock the boat types. Old-fashioned. They were not radical. They were social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Reformers are radicals. The parties reluctantly reunited because neither can win alone but they remain uncomfortable bedfellows. Bernier just took a bite. A significant portion of the votes the Conservatives depend on are not satisfied. They need social conservatives and the anti-immigrant vote but to get them they lose the centre votes. 

Climate change and pollution are longer issues of "the left". While progressives as a whole are more likely to support more radical measures no educated person denies climate change or the need to act. They know it isn't a vast conspiracy. Insurance companies are taking it into account. Millions of dollars are being spent to protect coastlines and others are falling into the sea. How to deal with it is often guided by ideological bend but both the centre and left recognize it as a major threat. Businesses see it as an issue. Farmers see it as an issue. 

I predict that the Conservatives will soon have a ceiling under 30%. Their base won't change much. They will lose swing voters many of whom are fiscal conservatives. They will drag the Liberals farther right than they are already. 

Regardless of what happens this election the NDP has again proven itself a contender. I believe Singh's turban and beard caused him to lose a significant number of votes particularly in Quebec. Imagine how successful he would have been without that issue or the issue of his race. Or imagine if he had the boost Trudeau got through name recognition.

Conservatives, slowly but surely, will become the fringe party.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I think it is the Conservatives that are on the way out. They have cobbled together an unholy alliance of social conservatives, free market extremists and a bewildered segment of the working class that blame immigrants and elites for the decline of their industries.

As evidenced by the fact that right now, the Premiers who have approval ratings above 50% (excluding Horgan) are all Conservatives?

I've heard the idea that as the older population dies off the yonger population will shift voting habits to the left. It didn't happen. The Conservatives are still here, and they appeal very strongly to people's desire to take care of themselves first and foremost. Even in the smaller communities where right-wing parties dominate, while it may be true that younger people there may lean more to the left, my experience is that younger people there also support right-wing politicians in great numbers characteristic of the rest of the population. Look to the small areas where right-wing politicians blow out their competition in large numbers. Even though demographics in these areas tend to tilt older, there aren't enough of them by themselves to blow out other parties by those large numbers. They are getting help from younger voters. Younger voters who disagree with this often end up in bigger centres, which are more left-leaning to begin with.

You are stuck in the left right axis. Climate change and wealth inequality are the big drivers of what is to come. Sure there are some young conservatives but I very much doubt they reach 30%. The Conservatives don't have to lose all of their followers to become the third party. I expect they will become the new NDP in terms of perpetual 3rd place. If the media sees the Conservatives as losers they will rally behind the Liberals.

Spoken like someone who has never been outside of a big city and learned that part of life. I spent most of my life in a smaller centre, and I can assure you that the conservatives are not going anywhere. Conservatives appeal holds much sway in small and mid-sized centres. There are also economic reasons why people choose the conservatives, mainly because people look up to the local business community as community leaders. They may not be socially conservative themselves, but it doesn't bother them enough to prevent them from voting for socially conservative candidates and parties. Even an influx of younger people and younger families into cities like Steinbach has not loosened the iron grip that the Conservatives have on Steinbach.

As for your cheering for PR specifically to give the rural areas less clout? That is a desire to effectively throw rural Canadians under the bus and not have their concerns met, or try to point out how the Conservatives are actually doing nothing meaningful to reverse the decline in those communities. After seeing how that resentment in the US expressed itself politically in 2016, do you really want to bring that into Canada? Not only that, but this loss of clout would also hurt Frist Nations communities as well.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote: 

To be Conservative in the past meant being conservative as in traditionalist don't rock the boat types. Old-fashioned. They were not radical. They were social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Reformers are radicals.

I'm not sure what you mean by "social conservatives" and "fiscal conservatives" here, but, going by the textbook usage of those terms, the Reformers were both. Or at least a very significant number of them were.

The Reform Party had a sizable contingent who wanted to restrict immigration, outlaw or at least severely curtail abortion, and roll back equality for gays and other marginalized groups. All of that is very much in tune with what is commonly called "social convervativism".

And they railed against spending and deficits, which made them "fiscal conservatives", though some would call that neo-liberalism.

If by "social conservative", you meant not taking supposedly extreme positions(of the left or the right) on social issues, then yeah, the old Progressive Conservatives would qualify, eg. Mulroney tried to pander to both sides of the abortion divide by proposing a bill(nixed by the senate) that would make abortion legal, if a woman could find two doctors willing to say it was needed for health reasons, thus avoiding the "radical" polarities of a total ban on one side and "abortion on demand" on the other.

But that's not the commonly understood definition of "social conservative". As for "fiscal conservative", that would work only if the term is considered the opposite to neo-liberal, which it isn't; like I say, they're pretty much synonymous.

 

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