Friday, October 31, 2008

Leadership Convention: I hope the field is small

I hope the Liberals have no more than 5 leadership hopefuls and that all are fluently bilingual.

Leadership Convention has to be held Before May

There is a lot of talk of turning the Liberal policy convention into a leadership convention. This is a terrible idea. The problems with the Liberal party go far beyond leadership and the party can ill afford to delay a policy convention or turn it into a complete afterthought. That said, if the policy convention is to be held at the beginning of May and mean something, the Liberal leadership contest has to be held even earlier. Now there are some who claim that the party can ill-afford to have the leadership convention in March or April. However, the longer the leadership contest goes the more money it will cost the party in terms of lost donations and the longer the party will remain adrift. The added bonus is that by having the leadership and policy conventions a month or so apart the Liberals should be able to dominate the political agenda. The economic downturn will tie Harper’s hands.

Harper Cabinet: Tokenism on Steroids

I see the Conservatives are adopting some of the Liberal's worst habits. This cabinet is as bloated as Paul Martin’s and same attention to tokenism is there. There is no reason to keep Oda in cabinet, for example, and the decision to put Leona Aglukkag in charge of Health is politics at its worst. Andrew Coyne was spot on. It sure would be nice if cabinet was based on, oh, merit instead of such things as regional representation, ethnicity and sex. The way Canada selects cabinet ministers bares more of a resemblance to how a Benetton ad is cast then the process by which it is done in other Western countries.

Fortunately for the country, but unfortunately for the Liberals, social conservative fruit cake Alice Wong did not make the grade. For those that do not know, she is right up there with Rob Anders and Cheryl Gallant. The same can be said of that intellectual giant Donna Cadman.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brossard-La Prairie: Something smells

I am surprised that no one has commented on this, but I am sorry something went on in Brossard-La Prairie that needs to be looked into further.

563 rejected ballots

212 vote swing on the recount

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How The Conservatives Successfully Branded Dion as a Wimp

Dion apologists are busy trotting out the line that Conservatives would have had just an easy a time defining Ignatieff or Rae. Who are they kidding? Sure with Rae there is a lot to work with, but Ignatieff did not give them much. What were they going to say? It is not as if they were going to claim that Ignatieff was as big a backer of the Iraq war as Stephen Harper. More importantly both would have been able to fight back and that matters. One reason that Conservatives were successful in defining Dion is, as I said, simple. His English is not good. People did not understand him or have to patience to listen to him and so turned to the Conservative translation instead.

Moreover, everything the Dion said and did fit perfectly with the Conservative caricature of him. They played him like a fiddle. The Conservatives painted Dion as an indecisive wimp. The worst thing Dion could do once the Conservatives started making everything into a confidence motion was to talk tough and then abstain. That is what a wimp would do. The worst thing Dion and Liberals could have done when the Conservatives started playing bully boy was to get high and mighty and self righteous, but that is exactly what the Liberals did every single time. (I am starting to think that the popping puffin was no gaffe but was rather part of deliberate attempt to emasculate Dion by having the media play it ad nauseum and having Dion and the Liberals get all huffy about it.) The way to handle Conservative bullying is to roll your eyes and mock them. Think of the fun Trudeau would have had with an – intellectual-- lightweight like Peter Van Loan. Tell John Baird that he looks like he is going to stroke and that putting Harper in sweater is about as strange a sight as Paris Hilton carrying around a dressed up pit bull instead of one of those puntable breeds. Do not demand an apology. An apology is what a wimp would ask for.

Then there is election itself. Dion said he was going to take the highroad and like any wimp he did. He wanted to show that if he could not beat Harper in the trenches at least he would show that he held the moral high ground. So instead of doing the smart thing and rolling out one hard hitting negative ad after another, Dion gave us the odd negative ad and a lot of sunshine, butterflies, flags and happy people. In other words, the Liberals rolled out just the kind of useless ads wimps would roll out.

What happened in the English debate was even worse. Dion needed to have some zingers reader. He needed to be brief and not verbose. He needed to hit Harper hard, the way big sister Elizabeth May did. Instead, Dion was hopelessly cheerful when not filled with righteous indignation. His accent was strong throughout, revealing why a bully might have taken notice of him in the first place. I thought I was watching a Conservative ad every time he spoke and “Do you think it is easy to make priorities?” stuck in my head the rest of the night.

So it is only fitting that Dion signs off by talking about the successful smear campaign against him and promising that he will do everything in his power to make to sure this does not happen to next Liberal leader. That is exactly what a wimp would do. But, fear not Stephane. The next leader won’t be a wimp.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Defining Dion: Why it worked

The Conservative were successfully able to define Dion for one simple reason. Dion’s English was not good enough and his accent very strong. Half of Dion’s sound bits were incomprehensible even to people whose first language was English. As for people who struggle with English, many would not have gotten a word he said. ESL students have a terrible time with accents and Dion’s was particularly pronounced. His inability to communicate turned him into a blank slate on which the Conservatives could write anything they pleased. The Liberal support in English Canada went down nearly 950,000 as a result. The Conservatives tried to pull the same thing off in Quebec, but Dion speaks French. The Liberal vote went up 94,000 there. The next Liberal leader must be able to speak both official languages flawlessly. That rules everyone from the last leadership convention out except for Rae and Ignatieff. Quebec will be key next election. Having a leader who speaks better French then Harper gives the Liberals the advantage there.

Dion Going but alas Not Gone

The good news is that Dion is leaving. The bad news is he is not gone yet. Another 6 months of near incomprehensible sound bits and tactical errors awaits us. I am giddy with excitement. At least the leadership race will generate publicity and the candidates will be able to take some shots at Harper.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It is Simple; Canadians Do not like Dion

Dionistas, as Mound of sound refers to them, seem not have heard of Occam's razor. Shaving away the sometimes paranoid stab in the back conspiracy theories, the most plausible explanation for why the Liberal vote was down 944,350 outside of Quebec is also the simplest and most straightforward. Canadians do not like Dion or his policies, particularly his green shift.
The sooner Dion goes, the better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Liberals can not afford to move to “the Center”

Sometimes when people talk about the Liberals needing to move to the center what they mean to this. The Liberals need to pander to the god gays and guns crowd to again seize power. I could not imagine a worse approach and one that would fatally damage the Liberal brand. The Liberal brand really shines through when the party is aggressively pursuing socially liberal policies. It was certainly true in 1968 and it was true in 2003. If for no other reason than who we are is wrapped up in who we are not, viz., not Americans and America is a conservative nation, Canadians want a “cool” Liberal party. Quebecers want a “cool” Liberal party. They do not want a Tim Horton’s coffee drinking Michael Ignatieff trying to be one of them. Besides the research is abundantly clear on this; lower income voters give much bigger weight to economic issues than to social ones. It is the well to do, that care most about social issues and Canada’s well to do are socially liberal.

As for Canadians outside of major centers, if you want to make headway with that group you promise to improve their economic lot. The Torries have done this. They promise them tax cuts every election and have more or less cornered the market in that regard. The Liberals need to promise to reduce expenses in a way the population can get their head around and that is by again embracing universality. People do not understand or care about means tested policies and this is all the Liberals have offered up for decades now. You can not strengthen your brand by proposing a means tested policy. Furthermore, the population knows that a means tested policy is politically vulnerable and is likely to be chopped in hard times or in Tory times. However if you think raising taxes is a hard see just try cutting a universal social program. A popular universal social programs quickly become part of what it means to be Canadian and real boon to the party that introduced it.

Dion's Kool-Aid drinking Bloogging Friends

I hate to be so bellicose, but my god Lib bloggers need get some perspective when it comes to Dion. This was not some minor hiccup on the road to a majority, this was arguably the worst showing in the party’s history and it was entirely predictable.

The Liberal vote was down by 849,425.
The Liberal vote was down 944,350 outside of Quebec. This is the biggest drop in history of the party. Yet the delusional Dion supports still want to maintain that Dion’s English and manner of speaking are fine. Christ.

The Liberal share of the popular vote was the worst in party history

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 8.3% in BC

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 3.94% in Alberta and at 11.36 this was the party’s worst ever showing in Alberta

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 7.55 % in Saskatchewan and at 14.85 this was the party’s worst ever showing in the province.

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 6.87% in Manitoba and at 19.13 this was the party’s worst ever showing in Manitoba

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 6.11% in Ontario

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 7.33% in Nova Scotia and this was the party’s second worst showing there.

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 4.33% in PEI.

The Liberal share of the popular vote was down 6.81% in New Brunswick.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

BC and the Dion Disaster

While the Liberal share of the popular vote in other provinces has gone up and down over the years, the Liberal share of the popular vote in BC remained steady between 1993 to 2006 at between 27.6% to 28.8%. That all changed for the worse with Dion. The Liberal share of the popular vote in BC collapsed and the Liberals finished with 19% of the vote in 2008. The sooner Dion leaves, the better for the Liberals in BC. Oh yeah, he can take Mark Marissen with him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There are at least 849,425 reasons to Dump Dion

The “good” news is that the number of people that voted for Harper was down even though his share of the popular vote went up. In 2006 5,374,071 Canadians voted for the Conservatives. In 2008 that number went down 168,737. Now here is the bad news for Liberals. Not only was the Liberal share of the popular vote at a historic low, the number of Canadians that voted Liberal was the lowest since 1984. And if you throw out 1984, you have to go back to 1965 to see so few ballots cast for the Liberals. The Liberal vote went down by 849,425. Between 2004 and 2006, the number of people casting the vote for the Liberals went down by 471,692.

This is this is the second worst election performance for the Liberals in modern era.

Dump Dion

Sharpen Your Knifes

Let us review.

The Liberal share of the popular vote has never been lower. The Liberals where down everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, accept Montreal. They bled votes to the Greens, to NDP, and above all to the Conservatives. Thousands upn thousands of Liberal voters also just stayed home.

The next Liberal leader must be able to speak both French and English flawlessly. Dion Kool aid drinkers can claim that Dion's English was not a big deal, but they are deluding themselves. It was a huge deal.

The next Liberal leader must be willing to play smash mouth politics. Dion’s high road approach left the Liberals high and dry.

The next Liberal leader must renew the Liberal brand that is all but dead. That means he or she must embrace universality and full blooded social liberalism.

Dump Dion

Pink Slips for Green People: Dump Dion

I hate to say I told you say, but I told you so. “Heureusement, ici, c'est le Bloc!” Otherwise we would be looking a Conservative majority. Save for the Quebec language debate, not much went right for the Liberals. It was hard to conceive of them running having run a worse campaign. Their ads were pathetic, their messaging was pathetic, their election readiness was pathetic, their platform was worse than pathetic and of course Dion’s English was pathetic. Their failure to use any wedge issue was inexplicable. Boy do the Liberals look stupid for having punted away the Afghanistan issue. Headlines screaming that the Afghan mission is massively over budget heading into the last week just as the markets collapsed might provided the Liberals with a bump going into the last week. In every region of the country the Liberals were hindered by Dion and his carbon tax. Dion appeals to no one accept a few Liberal bloggers. The sooner he goes the better and believe me he will go. The only question to be answered is Dion the worst Liberal leader of all time. Quite possibly he is.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seat Predictions

Large numbers of former Liberal voters in urban Ontario and BC will vote Green. The NDP and Liberals will see a slight uptake in support in Quebec as Conservative voters migrate to the Bloc to replace Bloc supporters migrating to the NDP and Liberals in Montreal.

The Conservatives will make gains in Winnipeg, the Lowermainland, and the 905.

Liberal looses in Northern Ontario are the NDP’s gain.

The Conservatives will loose their stranglehold on Quebec City to the Bloc

With the electorate unhappy and uninterested, the number of Canadians voting will reach historic lows

Voter Turnout


Popular Vote

Conservatives 34.5 (-1.5)
Liberals 27 (-3)
NDP 19 (+1.5)
Bloc 10.5
Greens 7.5 (+3)


Conservatives 138 (+14)
Liberals 75 (-28)
Bloc 53 (+2)
NDP 40 (+11)
Independents 2 (+1)


Conservatives 23 (+6)
NDP 9 (-1)
Liberals 4 (-5)


Conservatives 28


Conservatives 12
Liberals 1 (-1)
NDP 1 (+1)


Conservatives 10 (+2)
NDP 4 (+1)
Liberals (-3)


Liberals 37 (-17)
Conservatives 50 (+10)
NDP 19 (+7)


Bloc 53 (+2)
Conservatives 6 (-4)
Liberals 14 (+1)
NDP 1 (+1)
Independents 1

New Brunswick

Liberals 4 (-2)
Conservatives 5 (+2)

Novo Scotia

Liberals 5 (-1)
Conservatives 2
Independents 1 (+1)


Liberals 4


Liberals 5 (+1)
NDP 1 (+1)
Conservatives 1 (-2)






Conservatives (+1)

(Liberals -1)

Conservatives: seat pick ups

1) Conservatives pick up Newton North Delta from Liberals
2) Conservatives pick up Saint-Boniface from Liberals
3) Conservatives pick up Nunavut from Liberals
4) Conservatives pick up Brant from Liberals
5) Conservatives pick up Huron-Bruce from Liberals
6) Conservatives pick up Richmond from the Liberals
7) Conservatives pick up Newmarket Aurora from Liberals
8) Conservatives pick up West Nova from Liberals
9) Conservatives pick up Madawaska-Restigouche form Liberals
10) Conservatives pick up Mississauga South from Liberals
11) Conservatives pick up Oakville from Liberals
12) Conservatives pick up Winnipeg South Centre from Liberals
13) Conservatives pick up London West from Liberals
14) Conservatives pick up Mississauga Erindale from Liberals
15) Conservatives pick up Halton from Liberals
16) Conservatives pick up Fredericton from Liberals
17) Conservatives pick up Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca from Liberals

1) Conservatives pick up West Vancouver from Greens

1) Conservatives pick up Vancouver Island North from NDP
2) Conservatives pick up Surrey North from NDP

Liberals: seat pick ups

1) Liberals pick up St John's South Mount Pearl from Conservatives

1) Liberals pick up Parkdale-High Park from NDP

1) Liberals pick up Papineau from the Bloc
2) Liberals pick up Ahuntsic form the Bloc

NDP: seat pick ups

1) NDP pick up Churchill from Liberals
2) NDP pick up Nickel Belt from Liberals
3) NDP pick up Algoma-Manitoulin Kapuskasing from Liberals
4) NDP pick up Thunder Bay Rainy River from Liberals
5) NDP pick up Sudbury from Liberals
6) NDP pick up Welland from Liberals
7) NDP pick up Kenora from Liberals

1) NDP pick up Thunder Bay Superior North from Conservatives(Liberal win 2006)
2) NDP pick up Vancouver Kingsway from Conservatives(Liberal win in 2006, Emerson)
3) NDP pick up St. Johns East from Conservatives
4) NDP pick up Oshawa from the Conservatives
5) NDP pick up Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar from Conservatives
6) NDP pick up South Shore-St. Margaret's from Conservatives

Bloc: seat pick ups

1) Bloc pick up Jonquière-Alma from Conservatives
2) Bloc pick up Louis Hebert from Conservatives
3) Bloc pick up Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles from Conservatives
4) Bloc pick up Beauport-Limoilou from Conservatives
5) Bloc pick up Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean from Conservatives

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What needs to be done to Save the Furniture

1) Keep Dion in Quebec and tell him to speak French and only French. I do not want to see him speaking English on any news clips. Every time Dion is heard on English speaking television or quoted in an English speaking news paper, the Liberals loose votes.

2) When attacking the Conservatives in English, have Ignatieff or Rae do it.

3) Go after the female vote. God knows they have lost men. Stress that the Conservative Daycare plan has not produced a single daycare spot.

4) Bring up social issues. As I said thousand times before, this is the Conservatives Achilles Heel.

5) Layton has described Dion as "A man of principle and conviction”, and May has also said similar things about Dion: That being the case, why the hell are the Liberals not using these quotes?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Harper and the Debate

Harper did not come out of this unscathed. For example, what is left of his environmental platform is in tatters. It is too bad one of his opponents did not deliver the coup de grace by pointing out that just as emissions in Canada have risen over the last 20 years emission intensity has gone down.

However, given the number of shots he took on the economy, Harper came out relatively well on that account and his get dumb when it comes to crime plan was more or less given a free pass. Harper kept on saying that crime is up in “some” places and amazingly no one had the foresight to say “yes it is, but it is down in the vast majority of places.” Furthermore, May was the only one to point out how odd it is that Harper would consider sending somone, who is not considered mature enough to vote or drive, to jail for life. It was too bad May did not take it further. Not only are 14 years not allowed to vote, or drive, but they are also not allowed to decide whether to quite school, decide to marry, drink alcohol or consent to sex with adult. It takes a great deal of chutzpah on Harper’s part to on the one hand raise the age of consent to 16, or as the Conservatives like to say “age of protection”, and on the other hand claim that 14 years should be held to the same standards as adults when it comes to criminal matters. It also says a lot about the Conservative world view.

Of course the main reason that the major opposition parties were not able to mount an attack on Harper’s get dumb when it comes to crime platform was that they refuse to address the root cause surrounding the only kind of crime, viz., drug related crime that is going up and will continue to go up. I do not mean poverty; that was mentioned. No serious discussion of drug and gang related crime can take place without first acknowledging that what fuels drug related crime is the amount of money involved in the drug trade and the lure of money is the main reason why poor young men and teenagers come to be the foot soldiers in the drug trade. Not to put too fine a point on it but gang bangers to do commit drive bys for shits and giggles. They are on the job when they commit these acts. Pace the politicians, these are not meaningless random acts.

I surmise that part of the reason that May remained silent on the subject of legalizing marijuana, for example, was the political fallout of NDP’s version of Cheech and Chong.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

English Leaders Debate: May Set the Tone

May was breath of fresh air and kept Harper on the defensive all night. Dion and Layton were terrible and Harper told so many lies of omission I lost count. Duccepe was an after thought, albeit a charming one. More later.