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A number is never just a number: Political divides

Photo: Tony Webster/flickr

62%

Percentage of Canadians who place themselves along the middle of the political spectrum, according to an Environics survey of public opinion.

24%

Proportion of Canadians who self-identify as right-wing -- 10 percentage points higher than those who saw themselves on the political right in 2010. They're more likely to be male, in the top income bracket, and/or immigrant.

14%

Proportion of Canadians who self-identify as left-wing. They're more likely to be under 30, university-educated, and/or cite no religious affiliation.

37%

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Toronto Election: The left has some work to do

photo: flickr/robert taylor

For the first time in decades I worked in a Toronto election.  

I thought that Olivia Chow would make a great mayor and I was worried that Rob Ford could win, but I was also concerned about the anyone-but-Ford movement.  We have seen a strong move to  strategic voting in most of the last few elections but in this case it made absolutely no sense. We had an excellent candidate for mayor in Olivia and John Tory is a Tory, true blue. So why on earth would anyone progressive vote for him?

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Evan Soloman: Likely not a zombie
| June 25, 2014
Columnists

Kathleen Wynne brings an opportunity to do government differently

Photo: Premier of Ontario Photography/flickr

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While I realize it is churlish to take so much pleasure in the whining and whingeing of the usually arrogant right-wing pundits, I just can't help myself. This gaggle of ideological nut bars rarely get angry because most governments in this country have been doing their duty in dismantling the democratic, activist state for 25 years. They really thought that it was impossible -- due in part to their own pernicious influence -- that the idea of government actually working for people could rise from the ashes.

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Columnists

Hudak's balanced budget panic and fear of debt

Photo: Laurel L. Russwurm/flickr

There's an Alfred E. Newman quality about Tim Hudak, and I say that with great affection, speaking as one of Mad magazine's early devotees. (My collection of vintage Mads perished in a cottage fire years ago.) The resemblance became clear on that subway ride that was cancelled because his aides lacked a permit, leaving Hudak grinning manically in the back of the shot -- and even then only after some genius added circus music to the footage and posted it on YouTube. He has to be saying, What, me worry?

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Columnists

Andrea Horwath leads NDP into a new right-wing era

Photo: Ontario NDP/flickr

Andrea Horwath has led Canada's NDP into a new era. They've floundered over an absence of clear principles for a long time, which has been true of formerly socialist and social democratic parties everywhere. It's been a hard run, with the zeitgeist firmly in their face. But they maintained a sense that, despite their own behaviour, they still believed they were in the grand old traditions. It may have been delusional but it was an honourable attempt to stay anchored. Horwath marks the change. She's a right-wing populist, full out.

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Photo: flickr/Blurgle
| February 4, 2014
Columnists

Seen from the hinterlands: Left could grasp defeat from jaws of victory in Ford debacle

Photo: Eric Parker/flickr

The Rob Ford debacle may be humiliating for most Canadians and Torontonians, but it also shows clearly how the Right manages to triumph frequently in the face of reason. Meanwhile, the Left is showing off its talent in grasping defeat from the jaws of victory.

It's incredible to most that a mayor who has done and said things that would make Homer Simpson blush has managed to maintain such amazing loyalty. Polling tells us his approval rating in "Ford Nation" is almost as strong as ever. It's not just the sympathy vote.

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Columnists

Peter Worthington and the blurry divisions between left and right

Photo: Matt MacGillivray/flickr

I'll miss Peter Worthington, Canada's archetypal right-wing journalist, who died this week at 86. I say that without irony or subtext. I'll just miss him. When we did public events together we were always positioned as left vs. right. But I couldn't conceal my delight at seeing him. CBC's Michael Enright, who hosted one panel, said: "Would you two stop acting like long-lost brothers?"

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| February 26, 2013
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