Federal election thread -- August 4, 2015

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MegB
Federal election thread -- August 4, 2015

Continued from here.

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socialdemocrati...

In response to this comment

... here's Mulcair's event in Montreal today.

Wish the Q&A was online.

[Edited by CF to fix weird formatting errors on Election splash page]

Misfit Misfit's picture

He looked really smart today and was in true Mulcair form. I was really worried after Sunday.

mark_alfred

It was great.  Hopefully the full statement along with the full question and answer period can be found.

josh

He didn't say job creators did he? Oh well, he's said it before. Or was that Andrea Howarth?

It's going to be a long campaign.

Pierre C yr

He did indeed have a good day and his message is very good... yes we want trade and industrial development and investment in green and energy efficiency and yes we support unions and proper taxation... Awesome delivery.

NorthReport
NorthReport

Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  13m13 minutes ago

Norman Spector retweeted Ray Heard

Heh. Never saw this video. But @cafreeland is spot-on.  Laughing

Norman Spector added,

Ray Heard @RayHeardChrystia Freeland on the advantages of having a famous daddy: http://youtu.be/MNGl4O9T3qg  via @youtube

 

NorthReport

Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  7m7 minutes ago

Norman Spector retweeted Gary Collins

Check Wynne's popularity now--in the pits

Norman Spector added,

Gary Collins @[email protected] Let's check Wynne's popularity in September when teachers are on strike. I can't wait to see her campaign with Justin.

 

NorthReport

Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  50m50 minutes ago

Norman Spector retweeted DeMarcus Frunk

Rachel Notley has as much of a mandate as Harper has ever had

Norman Spector added,

DeMarcus Frunk @[email protected] Polls suggest that Albertans don't think she has a mandate, her approval is tanking, and a tax hike kicks in on October 1.

 

NorthReport

Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  55m55 minutes ago 

Really, Rosie. Kathleen Wynne's agenda is not Justin Trudeau's agenda?

 

NorthReport

Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  1h1 hour ago

The Star's Tim Harper spot on about the premier of Ontario

 

Embedded image permalink

NorthReport
  1. Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  1h1 hour ago

    Norman Spector retweeted Derek Leebosh

    Absolutely no justification for Harper to be attacking Notley. Purely partisan electoral strategy

    Norman Spector added,

    Derek Leebosh @Dl[email protected] Notley is extremely popular in Edmonton where the Tories are at risk of losing several seats to the NDP. Don't see how this helps 7 retweets5 favorites Reply  Retweet7  Favorite5 More

  2. Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  1h1 hour ago

    What Harper says is true, and it is advice he received, but it doesn't explain his attack on @RachelNotley

    Embedded image permalink 4 retweets1 favorite Reply Retweet4 Favorite1More

  3. Norman Spector ‏@nspector4  1h1 hour ago

    Milewski says beating up on premiers a tried and trued strategy--must have missed it in previous elections!

    0 retweets0 favoritesReply Retweet FavoriteMore

 

josh

Are you being paid by Norman Spector to spread his tweets?

NorthReport

You sound desperate.

josh wrote:
Are you being paid by Norman Spector to spread his tweets?

NorthReport
Brachina

 Harper's lashing out at Premier Notley appears to have back.fired, its pissed off Albertans.

bekayne

NorthReport wrote:

Jenni ByrneNo comment required. #cdnpoli #elxn42 #cpc #lpc@JustinTrudeau http://t.co/hQXGkqEQpf

So you're spreading the tweets of the Conservative Campaign Manager for free?

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Whenever I get anything which even smells like the vile conservatives, it is block or mute. They really are quite disgusting.

josh

bekayne wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Jenni ByrneNo comment required. #cdnpoli #elxn42 #cpc #lpc@JustinTrudeau http://t.co/hQXGkqEQpf

So you're spreading the tweets of the Conservative Campaign Manager for free?

Anything for the cause.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Well, Justin is getting more help from the Anti Abortion types. They are mailing horrible mailings that attack Trudeau and are surely going to help him instead. I just don't get why these guys can't figure it out. Of course, the fact that NDP has been pro choice officially since 1970, 40 YEARS PLUS BEFORE THE LIBS FINALLY CAME AROUND TO IT KICING AND SCREAMNING gets lost in this too. Damn shame!

Pondering

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/08/05/ndp-15-minimum-wage-pledge-mulca...

On the streets of Toronto, Canadians of all ages were surprised to discover the NDP’s campaign promise was missing some important details.

Food truck worker Patrick McCormack said he thought the NDP’s $15/hr proposal meant that “that if you are working a job, regardless of what it is, you would be getting paid $15 an hour for that job.”

The NDP plan applies only to federally regulated industries not to service workers like himself.

“I would say it [the NDP ad] is probably a little bit unfair. I don’t think it is the coolest thing ever,” he said.

Gary Wright thought the NDP’s ad meant the party would be bumping up the minimum wage to $15 an hour across the country.

“It is definitely misleading. They should add the bit about federal employees,” he said after learning that his initial impression was wrong.

Waitress Katie Evans also described the NDP ad as misleading. She thought it meant people like her would be getting a salary boost.

“I’m an NDP supporter, [but] they need to make it clear what they are advocating,” said Naomi Garber. “I would have thought it was a minimum wage, which meant that anybody who gives a wage has to pay a minimum of $15 an hour.

“I would have been wrong.”

A young man soliciting funds at the corner of the street for a charitable group said he was “pretty pissed” that his impression of the ad wasn’t accurate.

Told you so. Now that the campaign is kicking in people will be looking more closely at Mulcair and his platform and many were assuming the minimum wage was for everyone.

NorthReport

NDP AD: "Not Working"  Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MSvdY5OCAQ

 

DLivings

"Not Working" works well!

socialdemocrati...

That's a pretty good ad. It's important to keep Harper on the defensive, and keep people eager for change.

NorthReport

Lot's of creative talent within the NDP it seems.

socialdemocrati...

"... (The NDP is) peddling false hope to hard-working people. They’ll say they will help. But they won’t. And Mr. Mulcair knows it.

... And the NDP’s other answer for everything is to make the company you work for pay more in taxes. That means fewer jobs and less investment, all while our economy is stalled. The NDP wants to put the brakes on the economy at the worst possible time."

 

The NDP: too much hope for workers, too mean to corporations.

Pondering

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

"... (The NDP is) peddling false hope to hard-working people. They’ll say they will help. But they won’t. And Mr. Mulcair knows it.

... And the NDP’s other answer for everything is to make the company you work for pay more in taxes. That means fewer jobs and less investment, all while our economy is stalled. The NDP wants to put the brakes on the economy at the worst possible time."

 

The NDP: too much hope for workers, too mean to corporations.

FALSE hope as the minimum wage doesn't apply to 99% of workers.

mark_alfred

Presumably it applies to 100% of the workers under federal jurisdiction.  They really can't go higher than that, can they?

socialdemocrati...

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/mulcair-promises-federal-minimum-wage-as-...

Mulcair says although the number of workers who would benefit is small -- overall federally regulated full and part-time workers make up only about six per cent of the Canadian workforce -- raising their wage will pressure the provinces to do more.

"This leadership we are showing today by talking about a living wage -- a $15-an-hour wage -- will have positive repercussions on the provinces," he said.

The New Democrats made a similar promise before the last two federal elections.

The Liberals are so desperate to catch the NDP in some kind of faux scandal. Now they're omitting details from a crucial proposal to claim it's misleading. Like shredding your classmate's homework and then saying it's incomplete.

You know what would be misleading? Saying thay you're cutting taxes for the middle class when it doesn't apply to 2/3 of taxpayers. The only defense the Liberals have is that they honestly consider the richest 1/3 of Canadians to be "middle class". 

Pierre C yr

The federal minimum wage is a trendsetter. Like union wages. If enough workers start to fall under it it will push other jursidictions to follow suit. The misleading is Huffpost as usual in its liberal bias. So far Alberta is doing it and that will make the local dominoes like Sask/Man and BC fall even faster in that region if the Feds join in at 15.

 

People dont realize how important this is. In the US alone 42% of workers make less than 15$ an hour. Numbers are similar here Im sure.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Federal employment law applies to Federal civil service employees, the five chartered banks, the RCMP, the railways, and interprovincial transport companies. fisheries, radio and television communication, marine navigation, etc.

NDPP

Centre For Israel & Jewish Affairs - A Word From Our Chair: Beyond the Ballot Box

http://www.cija.ca/centre-publications/media/beyond-the-ballot-box/

"...To encourage engagement, CIJA is launching a campaign called Beyond the Ballot Box, an initiative to inspire our community to do more during the campaign than just cast a ballot on October 19.

Our colleagues at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC) are ready to help, advise, facilitate and enable the entire range of political engagement. It's what they do.

If you want to make a difference, this is one of the most powerful ways to leverage Jewish involvement in the democratic process..."

 

"...Or has the great Jewish liberal tradition been cancelled entirely by Canada's Jewish establishment?"

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gerry-caplan/2015/08/harpers-once-iron-g...

 

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

Presumably it applies to 100% of the workers under federal jurisdiction.  They really can't go higher than that, can they?

No but people on the street are assuming the minimum wage applies to everyone. That is not the fault of the "Liberal media" nor the Liberals. The NDP put it out as one of their 5 major planks in the fall making it seem as important as the daycare initiative. They are pushing the angle that the Liberals did away with it while omitting the detail that the NDP also voted to abolish it.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/09/16/delicate_politics_mark_tom...

Canada used to have a separate federal minimum wage. But in 1996, the then Liberal government, with the support of the NDP, abolished it.

Instead, federally-regulated companies were required to adhere to the minimum-wage laws of the provinces in which they operated.

Ironically, the immediate effect was to raise the minimum wage for federally-regulated workers. In 1996, provincial minimum-wage laws were more generous than Ottawa’s.

But in those days, the federal minimum wage was not a top of mind issue. Many workers in areas of federal jurisdiction were unionized. Most received well over the minimum.

The NDP are deliberately trying to mislead people by leaving out the fact that they too voted to cancel the federal minimum wage.  They have not been making it clear that it doesn't apply to everyone nor that it will take 5 years to roll in. By making it a major platform plank they made it sound far more significant than it is.

What you and I say isn't what will make the difference. What will is people's first reaction which is to think it applies to everyone.

Brachina

 The actual spending limit is $54,500,000 and the Liberals have commited to spending the full amount. I see it as unlikely the NDP will do less, especially when its this close to winning.

mark_alfred

Pondering, regardless of your endless quibbles with details, it's a good thing that many people are open to hearing that the minimum wage should go up.  In Ontario, there was worry about a negative backlash to this since the minimum wage would apply to the larger pool of provincially regulated jobs.  So, in Ontario, the ONDP and OLibs were far more conservative in their proposals than were the ANDP and now the fed NDP.  The more parties that begin to advocate for a decent minimum wage the better.  The fed NDP proposing this for federally regulated jobs is a good promotion of the idea.  It's a step forward -- one which Libs should also espouse, rather than than opposing it and quibbling over it. 

Pierre C yr

Pondering the NDP would rather have raised it than abolish it but if abolishing it raised wages for workers at that time then its understandable. Remember these were the Martinite liberal years and they were cutting everything in sight and we almost lost medicare over them. NDP was trying to gain any benefit for poor working people they could. NDP is ramping up the minimum wage along with Alberta which is more than Trudeau is willing to do. In fact Trudeau is doing absolutely nothing for most people who are in the 15% federal tax bracket.

socialdemocrati...

I wonder what would happen if we asked "people in the street" what Trudeau means by a middle class tax cut. Does that mean the richest 1/3 of Canadians?

Maybe ask them what Trudeau meant when he promised "electoral reform" before the next election. See how many different answers we get. It's a rorschach for everyone's electoral hopes, without promising anything.

Don't count on anyone doing the "people in the street" test for the Liberals. Althia Raj used to work for a few different Liberal MPs. She's the one holding the microphone. 

It's one thing that so many voters are uninformed. It's another thing to edit together a video of uninformed voters, and insinuate that a political party is deliberately misinforming them.

Pierre C yr

Even Charlie Angus is posting in the comments thread at Huff over this... the article is grossly misleading. One of these days Althia will definitely put her foot squarely into her mouth and put her journalistic creds at risk. Or whats left of them.

mark_alfred

Mulcair apparently gave a comment to the press today mocking Harper's claims about an alleged Netflix tax.  There was supposed to a clip here, but, well, seems the CBC can't get it's shit together sometimes (there's no clip there).

CTV has it.

Pierre C yr

So Justin votes to raise the federal minimum wage last year on an NDP motion and now he's against it? This issue comes out in the debate Justin will get raped.

 

http://www.youthandwork.ca/2015/08/justin-trudeau-truthiness-and-1500hou...

 

I remain baffled by the Liberals’ stance, or lack thereof, on a $15.00/hour federal minimum wage. I've pressed Mr. Butts multiple times for a clear answer on what the Liberals' actual position is, but haven't yet received a response (perhaps he's not ready). Curiously, on September 18, 2014, Liberal MPs voted alongside the NDP and the Green Party in favour of a motion, that was ultimately defeated, requesting that the Conservative government reinstate a federal minimum wage and increase it to $15.00/hour. And now, less than a year later we have Justin Trudeau attacking the NDP for proposing the same measure, why the flip-flopping?

 

 

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HouseChamberBusiness/ChamberVoteDetail.aspx?Langua...

 

 

 

jerrym

Pondering wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

"... (The NDP is) peddling false hope to hard-working people. They’ll say they will help. But they won’t. And Mr. Mulcair knows it.

... And the NDP’s other answer for everything is to make the company you work for pay more in taxes. That means fewer jobs and less investment, all while our economy is stalled. The NDP wants to put the brakes on the economy at the worst possible time."

 

The NDP: too much hope for workers, too mean to corporations.

FALSE hope as the minimum wage doesn't apply to 99% of workers.

 

It raises the question why can't this occur in my province, just as the $15 minimum wage in Seattle is triggering this question elsewhere in the US and stimulating other American jurisdictions to introduce it, after decades of minimum wage stagnation there.

ETA: It also gives low wage workers in Canada and the US an incentive to vote for a party that will introduce a $15 minimum wage. 

Quote:

Over the last two years, several cities and now the entire state of New Yorkeither have or are in the process of enacting a $15 minimum wage for various workers. Here’s a look at the cities that have enacted huge pay increases, and the ones that could still be to come.

New York

How it Happened: A wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented a recommendation Wednesday to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 per hour across the state, up from the current $8.75. Cuomo has enthusiastically backed the initiative.

The Plan: In New York City, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 by the end of this year, then increase incrementally each year to reach $15 by 2018. In the rest of the state, the increments will be smaller and $15 will be reached by 2021. The wage increases apply only to fast food chains with at least 30 locations in the U.S.

The Effect: None yet, since the measure still must be approved by the state’s labor commissioner. Experts predict other types of businesses that employ low-wage workers, like retailers or landscapers, will have to increase wages to compete with fast food restaurants.

Seattle

How it Happened: Mayor Ed Murray made increasing the minimum wage one of his first priorities when taking office at the start of 2014. In May of that year, he put forth a proposal to increase the city’s minimum wage from Washington state’s rate of $9.32 to to $15 over several years. The city council approved the measure a month later.

The Plan: Workers at large businesses with 500 or more U.S. employees will see their wages hit $15 per her hour by 2017. Workers at businesses with fewer than 500 U.S. employees will reach that rate by 2021. After the hikes, large businesses will have to keep increasing wages to keep pace with inflation.

The Effects So Far: The first stage of Seattle’s plan went into effect in April 2015, with large businesses raising their minimum wage to $11 per hour and small businesses’ wages rising to $10. So far, the effects are largely anecdotal. Some local restaurants have raised prices from 4 to 21%. In nearby SeaTac, where the minimum wage for some workers jumped to $15 per hour last year, there hasn’t been any measurable economic fallout.

San Francisco

How it Happened: City residents voted by a large majority to raise the city’s minimum wage from $10.74 to $15 last November.

The Plan: Wages have already jumped to $12.25, and will increase to $15 by 2018. After that, the minimum wage will increase every year at a rate tied to the consumer price index.

The Effects So Far: This year’s wage increase boosted the pay for as many as 86,000 workers, most of whom were women and minorities, according to one estimate. However, at least one local bookstore said it would close due to the increased costs.

Los Angeles

How it Happened: The Los Angeles city council voted in May to increase the local minimum wage to $15 by 2020, up from the current $9. This week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 for people working in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Plan: Workers will earn $10.50 per hour starting next year, with incremental increases until they make $15 in 2020. The hikes are delayed by a year for workers at businesses with 25 or fewer employees. After reaching $15, annual minimum wage increases will be tied to the consumer price index.

The Effects So Far: Because many cities in L.A. County, like Pasadena and Long Beach, haven’t yet committed to matching the county’s wage increase, prices for goods and services at stores very close to one another could become highly skewed.

Washington, D.C.

How it Might Happen: Residents of the nation’s capital will vote next year on whether to increase the minimum wage to $15 from the current $10.50.

The Plan: The minimum wage would increase to $15 per hour by 2020 and would afterward be tied to increases in the consumer price index.

http://time.com/3969977/minimum-wage/

 

 

Brachina

Pierre C yr wrote:

So Justin votes to raise the federal minimum wage last year on an NDP motion and now he's against it? This issue comes out in the debate Justin will get raped.

 

http://www.youthandwork.ca/2015/08/justin-trudeau-truthiness-and-1500hou...

 

I remain baffled by the Liberals’ stance, or lack thereof, on a $15.00/hour federal minimum wage. I've pressed Mr. Butts multiple times for a clear answer on what the Liberals' actual position is, but haven't yet received a response (perhaps he's not ready). Curiously, on September 18, 2014, Liberal MPs voted alongside the NDP and the Green Party in favour of a motion, that was ultimately defeated, requesting that the Conservative government reinstate a federal minimum wage and increase it to $15.00/hour. And now, less than a year later we have Justin Trudeau attacking the NDP for proposing the same measure, why the flip-flopping?

 

 

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HouseChamberBusiness/ChamberVoteDetail.aspx?Langua...

 

 

 

 No surprise, he votes for Bill C-51, but is against it, says he supports weed legalization, but votes in favour of higher punishments, and so on. That doesn't include the knots he twisted himself into during the minority years. Voting against what he believes in is becoming Trudeau's thing.

Brachina

mark_alfred wrote:

Mulcair apparently gave a comment to the press today mocking Harper's claims about an alleged Netflix tax.  There was supposed to a clip here, but, well, seems the CBC can't get it's shit together sometimes (there's no clip there).

CTV has it.

  Harper's losing his fucking mind, he's seeing campaign promises where none exist. Boy between Trudeau and Harper this debate is going to be a trainwreck of fuckedupitude.

Pondering

Trudeau is not against raising the federal minimum wage.

Whether or not it was deliberate it was foreseeable that people would misinterpret it to mean minimum wage for everyone.

A measure that applies to such a small percentage of the population isn't generally announced as a major platform plank.

Nothing we say is going to make people believe they were or were not mislead. IF people misunderstood it to mean it would apply to everyone they will each individually decide whether or not they were misled and react accordingly.

So, if you believe what you are saying nothing the Liberals or I say about it will matter.

Pierre C yr

Trudeau is arguing against the federal minimum wage, thats its 'only 1%' and pointless, and its nowhere to be seen in their platform.

NorthReport

Mulcair pledges to tackle "very real challenge" of climate change

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/08/07/news/mulcair-pledges-tackle-v...

NorthReport

Unfortunately Justin's priority is a desperate attempt to escape third place, whereas Tom's priority is to defeat Stephen, and that's the difference. 

Trudeau fires recklessly at Mulcair, lets Harper off the hook

Trudeau surprised and Harper held his own, but Mulcair won. That is how Gilbert Lavoie of La Presse saw the debate.

Lavoie's is far from a unanimous view, however.

Many have noted that Mulcair looked overly cautious.

He seemed excessively aware of that fact that he was auditioning to be prime minister not opposition leader. Advisors had obviously counselled the NDP leader to avoid, at all costs, his House of Commons prosecutor persona.

To this writer's eyes, Mulcair may have gone too far in that effort, especially in the early part of the debate.

He allowed Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to assume the role of Harper's chief attacker, at least for a while, which seems to have energized the Liberal leader's fans. Trudeau could not sustain his opening thrust, however, and, over the course of the debate, became more and more shrill and disjointed in his remarks.

His closing statement was pure cant.

"We are who we are and Canada is what Canada is," Trudeau intoned, "because we've always known that better is possible."

Huh?

Green leader Elizabeth May was natural, spontaneous and intelligent. Viewers saw the real Elizabeth May, not the jet-lagged performer who bombed at last spring's Press Gallery dinner.

The Green Party leader did not let Prime Minister Harper get away with his claim that the Conservative government has cut greenhouse gas emissions, and quoted actual facts and figures to him.

And as the evening wore on Mulcair became more May-like, unafraid to delve into the thicket of policy, especially on energy and environment issues.

Mulcair was the only opposition leader who evoked the Harper government's record of gutting the federal government's environmental capacity, and was impressive when he talked in detail about his own record as environment minister of Quebec.

May also gave the NDP leader the chance to play the I-am-a-moderate-pragmatist role when she attacked him for being even tentatively willing to consider any pipeline project.

Mulcair could position himself between Harper, who "never saw a pipeline he did not like," and May, who never saw one "she did like."

The NDP leader even gave a spirited defence of the Energy East pipeline proposal, pointing out that it would be a safer way to transport oil, even raw bitumen, than by rail.

The Canadian business community and the economy-focused, middle class voters the NDP hopes to attract this time will be assured by Mulcair's "reasonable" position on pipelines. The Council of Canadians and many environmentalists will not.

Trudeau made little sense on minimum wage

It was predictable that Trudeau would spend almost as much time attacking Mulcair as Harper.

His jab at the NDP's plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour was bizarre, however. The NDP has never pretended that such a raise would apply to all workers in Canada. Only a small proportion of minimum wage workers are federally regulated; most are under provincial jurisdiction.

For the NDP, the point of raising the wages of more than 100,000 federally regulated workers would be exemplary -- to prod the provinces into raising their minimum wages.

The Liberal rhetoric on this is disingenuous.

Is it a coincidence that in the hours before the debate the Liberals' most reliable media ally, Huffington Post's Althia Raj, distributed a video showing that a handful of randomly selected voters thought the $15 per hour minimum wage would apply to all workers?

It is hardly surprising that the details of how Canada's federal system distributes powers is a mystery to many. The NDP has never claimed, however, that its plan is anything other than what it is, and Mulcair reiterated that point in the debate.

Indeed, when the NDP proposed the $15 federal minimum wage in the House, in an opposition day motion, the Liberals voted in favour.

Now Trudeau sees in this modest and highly achievable proposal an opportunity for a bit of campaign demagoguery.

It seemed to fall flat in the debate, however, and the NDP is now highlighting the fact that the Liberals seem, inexplicably, opposed to raising the wages of federally regulated workers. 

The old canard about the NDP being 'soft on separatism'

Trudeau may have been more effective in his attacks on the NDP leader on the breaking-up-the-country-on-one-vote issue.

The NDP's position is fair, clear and represents the consensual view in Quebec, among separatists and federalists alike.

An NDP government would recognize a majority yes vote in a separation referendum as the basis for negotiations, as long as there had been an utterly clear and unambiguous question and the vote was demonstrably fair.

Note: the NDP's position says 50 per cent plus one triggers a negotiation. It does not, perforce, give a separatist government everything it demands. Far from it. 

And if a Quebec separatist government tried to concoct a tricky, unclear question (as it did in 1995), an NDP government would push back even before a vote happened. It would discuss the question in Parliament, and, if necessary, refer it to the (federally appointed) Quebec Court of Appeal.

When the party articulated it in 2013, that latter aspect of the NDP stance was an affront to some Quebec nationalists. It caused a Quebec member of Mulcair's caucus to bolt to the Bloc Québecois.

No matter.

In English Canada, there is political hay to be made, apparently, in trying to portray the NDP as soft on separatism, and the Liberals are bent on making that hay.

Trudeau even ignored moderator Paul Wells' pertinent question on the state of Canadian democracy under Harper to engage in some neo-McCarthyist, you're-a fellow-traveler-with-the-hated-separatists slander against his NDP colleague.

Mulcair fought back, asking Trudeau what "his number" was, if not 50 per cent plus one. Trudeau's response of "nine," for the number of judges on the Supreme Court, struck some media commentators as clever, but was, in fact, a ridiculous non sequitur.

The unavoidable fact is that if the worst came to pass and Quebeckers did vote yes to a clear question on separation from Canada, a federal government of whatever political stripe would do its best to limit the enormous economic uncertainty that would ensue and quickly seek a modus vivendi with Quebec.

No Canadian government would have any interest in a 35-cent Canadian dollar; and none would ever consider keeping a recalcitrant Quebec in Canada by force. 

Trudeau's efforts at playing Captain Canada on this are transparently opportunistic bluster with no content. As Mulcair pointed out, the only ones interested in raising the spectre of separatism in this campaign are Trudeau and newly re-instated Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe.

Who was the bigger demagogue: Harper or Trudeau?

What is most egregious about Trudeau's 50 per cent plus one gambit, however, is that it let Harper off the hook on the issue Maclean's Paul Wells had raised -- Harper's record on democracy. It is more than surprising that no commentators or pundits have called the Liberal leader on this.

None have pointed out that when given a chance to talk about the Fair Elections Act; the Conservatives' flagrant misuse of omnibus legislation and closure; Harper's hypocritical appointment of a record 59 partisans to the unelected Senate; the Conservative attacks on officers of Parliament such as the Chief Electoral Officer, the Privacy Commissioner and the Parliamentary Budget Officer; and so much more, Trudeau chose, instead, to turn fire on Mulcair over an issue that is nowhere on the horizon.

Mulcair was the only one to bring up the Fair Elections Act. Without going into detail,  he pointed out that a good many of the Act's notably unfair provisions were opposed by every expert who appeared before two parliamentary committees.  

Harper's answer that the principal purpose of the Act is to require voter ID was patently false. But Mulcair was trying so hard to be positive and amiable he did not push back.

Only May tried to counter that howler, by interjecting that voter ID provisions actually became law in Canada, in 2007. She did not have a chance to point out the many outrages of the Fair Elections Act. But May did explain that the new and onerous additional ID rules of the Fair Elections Act will make it harder for the young, the poor, Indigenous Canadians and seniors to vote.  

In a contest for who was the biggest and most dishonest demagogue of the evening it was a close call between Trudeau on the 50 per cent plus one issue and Harper on Fair Elections.

Harper's deficit fetish bites him 

After all is said and done, the economy is what pundits and pollsters tell us voters care most about.

Before the current downturn, opposition leaders mighty have countered Harper's argument that he has sagely steered the economy through rough global headwinds by pointing to social justice issues such as rising inequality, household debt, weak employment growth and the lack of any plan for sustainable economic development, especially of natural resources.

Now, with the economy in a technical recession, the opposition has a new line of attack, which should appeal as much to centrist voters, who want to elect a solid and pragmatic managerial government, as to progressives.

Harper's policies have failed, opposition politicians now can say, even by his own measures. 

As Mulcair quite effectively argued, Harper now owns not only the worldwide recession of 2008-09 but the current made-in-Canada recession. The promised surplus for this year, in which Harper irrationally places so much stock, is probably a mirage. Plus, manufacturing has yet to benefit from declining oil prices and a lower dollar, and most job growth is of the fragile and part time variety.

May was the only one on the stage to rightly argue that running a deficit is no big deal. It is a kind of fetish for the Conservatives, however.

It was, however, a bit odd for both Mulcair and Trudeau to criticize Harper for his string of deficits, most of which were caused by the government's resort to counter-cyclical stimulus spending -- a policy the opposition parties had vigorously urged on the reluctant Conservatives back in 2008.

Mulcair did make a good point when he said deep cuts in corporate taxes had not yielded results in terms of corporate investment. May helped him out by talking about the "dead" un-invested money the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty used to complain about.

Mulcair was particularly effective -- especially, again, in appealing to moderate, centrist voters -- when he explained why he would not raise anyone's personal income taxes.

Trudeau attacked him on that point. The Liberals promise to raise the marginal rate on high personal incomes, but would leave the excessively low corporate rate where it is. 

Mulcair explained that a raise in the federal rate on upper incomes would result in a near confiscatory combined federal-provincial tax bite in some provinces.

With a combined marginal rate over 60 per cent, he said, a province such as New Brunswick would have a hard time attracting doctors.

For voters looking to see if the NDP has truly shed its socialist past, that should have been a revealing moment.

As with the rest of the debate, however, it is not clear if enough voters were paying sufficiently close attention to notice.

 


http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2015/08/trudeau-fires-rec...

NorthReport

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip accuses Justin Trudeau of trying on Stephen Harper's big-boy pants

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  • Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and his wife Joan are supporters of the NDP's Jenny Kwan.CHARLIE SMITH

Speaking from a First Nations perspective, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and former Quatsino First Nation chief Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi agree about the significance of this year’s October 19 federal election.

“This is the most important election this country has ever faced,” Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told the Straight at the sidelines of the Vancouver Pride Parade on August 2.

How the election should be decided, though, is where Phillip and Hunt-Jinnouchi differ.

Phillip believes that it’s Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats that “offer the fundamental change that this country needs and deserves”.

As to what that entails, Phillip said: “Clearly, this country is crying out for a new national vision that is more inclusive, that respects democratic values and understands the need for sustainable development and to ensure that the natural values of this great country are preserved for our future generations.”

Phillip is not impressed with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, saying: “He’s really obsessed with trying on [Conservative prime minister Stephen] Harper’s big-boy pants and really wouldn’t represent the type of fundamental change we need in this country.”

The outspoken leader disapproves of Bill C-51, the antiterrorism measure brought in by the Conservatives that was supported by the Liberals and opposed by New Democrats and the Green Party.

“Clearly, Bill C-51 is designed to silence the voice of indigenous peoples, to intimidate Canadians,” he said.


http://www.straight.com/news/501506/grand-chief-stewart-phillip-accuses-...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Everyone's a Winner with Tyee's Election Debate Awards

Most adept wonk? Best use of staccato? Our contributors break down the zingers and gaffes.

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/07/Tyee-Election-Debate-Awards/

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