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Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 5134
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votes: 8

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:56 am    Post subject: Predictions for the New Year ... Reply with quote

Let me indulge myself with some sense of how things are developing for next year.

As you may know, I feel we are going through a major cultural change at the moment. All our cultural maps are obsolete. We are moving in stages towards a very different social world.

Big year of entertainment. Hillary may go to jail, how's that for drama? In all seriousness, I think the deep state is going to be revealed, at least in part. It will be a good thing in the long run, but the Democrats will have to go through a reconstruction process. They are so crooked at the moment that something must be done. Serious Democrats must surely know that.

That will mean that, after the midterms, Trump is likely to have an easy time of it.

On the Republican side, the process will pass the tipping point with the mid-terms. Michael Barone recently wrote an article: Trying to take Trump seriously. It's a case of a sceptic coming to terms with the Trump record so far -- which appears way better than Obama's because (let's face it) Obama's performance was so bad.
http://www.washingtonexaminer......e/2644440#!

In fact, Trump is 'producing' on all the traditional Republican themes better than Bush did. The remaining Republicans will fall in line in tbe 'normal way soon when it becomes apparent that Trumps coattails can help other politicians.

In Canada, it will be a good year economically. We will be riding on the overflow of American prosperity, as usual. NAFTA will be cancelled, and we will suddenly feel our vulnerability.

It could be an amazing year in the USA. 4% growth is amazing, considering. Will it continue? What about the debt? That questions will be put off for a decade. Inflation will be the new problem, and its appearance will be greeted as a good thing for awhile. Later, in the Trump era, it might be a big problem. Not early.

In Canada, the bumbling Liberals will continue to bumble us into ever greater debt. I think it's going to be an eventful year I have been disappointed by both Scheer and Jagmeet. Is the NDP an exhausted force? They are broke and probably a little dispirited. It's beginning to look like it is going to lose a lot of seats.

I suspect the Conservatives are an exhausted force as well. The price of the merger was that the CA was forced to drop its populist roots. It led to Harper's success, but now it has left the reconstituted Conservatives with a problem. They have no energy, and no connection to the public. Look how they downgraded the membership in the farcical election they ran! It's a sure sign that the elites are out of touch, and the results are looking disastrous.

But I don't see much vision with the Liberals either. It's a dark time for us. We are adrift, and the country is in the hands of zealots and narcissists with no sense of direction. They will increasingly resort to gaslighting the issues, and spending to stay in power.

The Canadian public, increasingly, sees their public institutions going off the rails in a truly Orwellian direction. There is denial, on the one hand, and cynicism on the other. The Universities, the Courts, and the media are imposing something called "Human Rights" on us through state power. Hidden in the rhetoric is the idea that these 'human rights' give other people a right to control our individual behaviour and to require us to give them the services they need. To the point that it is now embedded in the Ontario Human Rights regulations that we have to use special pronouns that make a special place for the sexually weird in our grammar.

Look for signs of a reaction. This is the new, emerging issue in Canadian society, and yet the Conservative Party of Canada won't go near it with a ten foot pole and rubber gloves. This will continue, and mean that Conservatives take on the part of cleaning up Liberal messes into the future. It's their only path forward.

The other notable thing. The mainstream media is slipping to a secondary position in the formation of public opinion. The kind of big city papers that could support hundreds of reporters has passed. The television networks have little credibility. . Most people get their news from Facebook or Jimmy Kimmel, et al. Hannity rants on with his predictable pimping for Trump, night after night, but he sings to the choir. In Canada too. It's the same on every channel.

In this context, the internet has the capacity to overcome the media news blackouts, and to refute the official 'narrative'. It is Judicial Watch. plus certain internet sites, that have created the DoJ scandal, not Congress.

That is changing everything. Twitter is to Trump what radio was to Roosevelt.

--oo00oo--

We're a day away from New Year's Eve when we say goodbye to the old year, and promise to shape up for the new. My best wishes to all the participants on this board -- let's hear more from you! And that even goes for you, TC. I really wish you'd up your game, because snottiness only goes only so far. This board needs more argument, imho.

Any predictions of your own. folks?
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

predictions ?


Trump - he likely has another year in office and enough republican votes in senate and congress to pass things but midterms will be tough

it seems unlikely the democrats will try and impeach trump , at least not now , it they were to gain votes in congress maybe it becomes more likely


Canada Federal - looking like a quiet year , leadership races are all finished , few by elections on the radar , may be some nomination meetings starting up for 2019 election


provincial

Ontario - long awaited provincial election , it seems the pc's wait years and years for there chance to beat the liberals then blow it , hopefully this is finally the year they don't

Quebec - also a provincial election , can the CAQ pull it off ? will the liberals force an early election before opposition is ready ? very unpredictable province


Saskatchewan - sask party leadership race and at least 3 provincial by elections , very busy start to 2018 in that province , who gets to take over after wall ?


Alberta - looks like a quiet year , UCP leadership race over , kenney has a seat but how does he maintain momentum when there are no by elections or anything going on . I can't recall a lot of provincial governments who didn't have to defend at least 1 seat , so far notley hasn't had to face a by election in an ndp riding

BC - is this the year the ndp / green alliance unravels ? another unpredictable province

New Brunswick - a provincial election that so far hasn't generated a lot of interest

Nova Scotia - pc leadership race this year ? new leader

Newfoundland - also a pc leadership race I believe so another new leader
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2018: The year of the Ontario voter


Antonella Artuso



Published:
December 30, 2017


Updated:
December 30, 2017 5:04 PM EST


Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
News ›
Ontario ›


Integrity. Fairness. Bike lanes. More highways. A chicken in every yard.

Politicians are working on their promises as 2018 brings two significant elections to Ontario – a provincial general election on June 7 and a municipal election on Oct. 22.

Dandelions will have to fight it out with election signs for lawn space as politicians vie for the office of MPP, mayor, councillor or school trustee.

First up, voters weigh in on the Ontario Liberal government, which will have been in power for almost 15 years, the last five under Premier Kathleen Wynne.



Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne delivers remarks at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ont. on Friday December 22, 2017. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)

Forum Research President and CEO Lorne Bozinoff described as “strange” how the Ontario Liberals are introducing wildly popular programs, especially the $15 minimum wage, but not seeing any love in polls.


“Kathleen Wynne, she’s got a disapproval rating of like 70%,” Bozinoff said. “It’s a little unprecedented situation to have a leader with this low standings going into an election.”

During the last provincial election, Wynne surprised conventional political thinkers and gained a majority by taking on the NDP, not the Tories, with a shift to the left, he said.

It could work again but any government gets old after four mandates in a row, and the trend shows the Progressive Conservatives under Leader Patrick Brown out front in majority territory, Bozinoff said.

Political strategist Warren Kinsella predicted this election will come down to the quality of the campaigns run by the three main parties.

“The Ontario Liberals have a very unpopular leader but a very durable party brand. The Ontario PCs have a not-bad brand, but not nearly enough people know their leader. And the Ontario NDP have a very popular leader – but few folks trust their party in the role of government,” Kinsella said in an email this week. “ I’d say any one of the three parties has a shot at winning – if they have the best campaign.”


One-on-one with Patrick Brown, MPP and the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in Toronto, Ont. on Monday December 18, 2017.

Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, who’s not running again but will serve as the Ontario Liberal campaign co-chair, said the party will run on the issue of fairness.

The economy may be going strong, but not everyone is benefiting at the same rate, she said.

The Liberals have introduced a minimum wage hike, free tuition for those who qualify, no charge prescription medication for under 25 year olds – all to close that gap, Matthews said.

Brown has already released an election platform that includes middle class tax cuts, hydro bill breaks and a tax credit for snow tires.

In a year-end interview, Brown said integrity in government would be a top priority for him, as he’s lashed out repeatedly at political corruption he says has flourished under the Ontario Liberals.

“When I came from federal to provincial politics I was shocked by the huge loopholes that existed, and frankly they’re still being abused,” Brown said. “I’m going to close those loopholes.”


Brown’s approval ratings are so-so but that’s mainly because a lot of people still don’t have a fix on him, Bozinoff said.

Poll-after-poll shows Ontarians highly approve of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, but election after election has found that doesn’t mean much when voters were casting their ballots strategically to defeat the Tories.

After provincial voters figure out who they want running things at Queen’s Park, they’ll have to turn their attention to the people who fix their sidewalks, clear their roads of snow and pick up their garbage – their municipal politicians.



A City of Toronto snow plow. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

The Toronto mayoral race is considered on from Jan. 1, although the provincial campaign may detract from it.

So far, it’s incumbent Mayor John Tory against former councillor and mayoral candidate Doug Ford, and Tory’s to lose, according to polls.

Ford still has Ford Nation behind him, a roughly 35% block of loyal end-the-gravy-train voters.

But without a major candidate on the left end of the political spectrum to siphon off Tory votes, Bozinoff doesn’t an easy path for Ford to defeat a high-profile incumbent who has kept taxes to about the rate of inflation and calmed down city hall.

Tory’s desire to ensure another Olivia Chow-type candidate doesn’t show up in the race could be behind his very recent pledge to work more with left-leaning councillors in a second term, Bozinoff said.

However, risks remain for Tory.



Toronto Mayor John Tory during a year-end interview at his office at City Hall in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday December 20, 2017.

“If that Scarborough subway goes south, that could be very dangerous. I think, for John Tory because Scarborough was kind of Ford country, and the Fords really went all out to get that subway built,” Bozinoff said. “Here we are four years later. Nothing’s been started on the thing.”

Ford has already said that he would increase the number of proposed stations on the Scarborough line to three from Tory’s one, and he’s raised the ‘war on the car’ issue by focusing on the controversial King Street pilot project.

Tory told the Sun in a year-end interview that he’s happy to fight an election on whether the city is better off today or was under the previous administration, that included Ford and his brother Rob, the former mayor.

“It’s a war for common sense and a war for sensible balanced policy, not anything else,” Tory said.


http://torontosun.com/news/pro.....ario-voter
queenmandy85





Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 269
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votes: 2
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO, you forgot to mention the Saskatchewan NDP are also in a leadership race. Depending on the results of both races, the Socialist Credit (Sask Party) could be in trouble.
Bugs, the internet lends its self to believing news we want to hear rather than what is factual. Predictions are a mugs game because we cannot foresee the future.
However, I am a mug so I will play too.
US. Secretary Clinton will not have legal problems.
President Trump will not be impeached, or at least, will not be removed from office unless the 25th Amendment is invoked and that is unlikely.
Democrats will pick up 2 seats in the Senate. Not much change in Congress.
Canada: Federally, no change. Jagmeet may be resurrected but Sheer will continue to be invisible.
Ontario: Conservatives will win a small majority but for the rest of Canada, who cares.
BC: NDP will hold out the carrot of electoral "reform" to the greens until the next election. Proportional rep. is the stupidist idea ever dreamed up and it would kill the NDP's chances of power in BC.
Sask. NDP and Socialist Credit are electing new leaders and maybe the graft and corruption of the Wall government will end. However we still won't get our inter city bus service back. Out side of Sask. nobody will care.
Alberta, no change. Kenny will defeat the NDP eventually.
Happy New Year everybody. :D
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

queenmandy85 wrote:
RCO, you forgot to mention the Saskatchewan NDP are also in a leadership race. Depending on the results of both races, the Socialist Credit (Sask Party) could be in trouble.
Bugs, the internet lends its self to believing news we want to hear rather than what is factual. Predictions are a mugs game because we cannot foresee the future.
However, I am a mug so I will play too.
US. Secretary Clinton will not have legal problems.
President Trump will not be impeached, or at least, will not be removed from office unless the 25th Amendment is invoked and that is unlikely.
Democrats will pick up 2 seats in the Senate. Not much change in Congress.
Canada: Federally, no change. Jagmeet may be resurrected but Sheer will continue to be invisible.
Ontario: Conservatives will win a small majority but for the rest of Canada, who cares.
BC: NDP will hold out the carrot of electoral "reform" to the greens until the next election. Proportional rep. is the stupidist idea ever dreamed up and it would kill the NDP's chances of power in BC.
Sask. NDP and Socialist Credit are electing new leaders and maybe the graft and corruption of the Wall government will end. However we still won't get our inter city bus service back. Out side of Sask. nobody will care.
Alberta, no change. Kenny will defeat the NDP eventually.
Happy New Year everybody. :D



true the Sask ndp are having a leadership race too , they did gain 2 seats in Saskatoon in by elections but both of them were historically ndp seats the sask party never should of won to begin with .

whoever is elected the new sask party leader has until 2020 before there is another election and its not clear how the ndp could ever win back rural sask voters , I seem to recall reading one of there policy ideas is to reduce the number of rural ridings and give more power to the cities , something sure to go over poorly in small town Saskatchewan .
if the ndp are somehow able to win any of the 3 by elections ( kinderlsey , Swift Current and Melfort ) maybe I'd be more of a believer but at this point I'd say the sask ndp are more likely to disappoint as they've done recently



I'm not sure how the democrats could possibly gain 2 seats in the senate ? they have to defend a huge number of seats , many in states trump won . I don't think its an easy task as CNN is making it out to be . even if they gain Nevada , a republican could easily win Indiana or North Dakota and then overall numbers are the same
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 5134
Reputation: 266.3
votes: 8

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conrad Black's sense of what's coming in the future ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVoOgkwn0rg

Warning: 44 minutes long. but very good. Expertly interviewed by Faith Goldy. Both of them are well informed.
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a look into the looming 2018 quebec election )


As Quebec enters election year, PQ may disappear — in part because of the CAQ

Fifty years after the PQ’s creation, analysts say this could be the year the federalist-separatist stranglehold on Quebec politics is broken



For half a century Quebec politics have been dominated by the split between those who wanted to stay inside the Canadian federation and those who wanted out. Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault responds to reporters questions during the end of session new conference at the National Assembly in Quebec City Friday, December 8, 2017 .Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS


Graeme Hamilton
Graeme Hamilton



December 31, 2017
10:59 AM EST

Filed under
News
〉 Canada


MONTREAL — As Quebec enters the 2018 election year, the biggest story could be not who wins, but who loses.

The Parti Québécois is in deep trouble heading toward the Oct. 1 vote, shunned by younger voters and a distant third in opinion polls. The Coalition Avenir Québec, formed with a mission to focus on the economy instead of the Constitution, is the runaway choice of francophone voters. Fifty years after the PQ’s creation, analysts are saying this could be the year the federalist-separatist stranglehold on Quebec politics is broken.

The PQ “is becoming a little bit the party of a generation and a party of the (outlying) regions,” said Christian Bourque, executive vice president of the polling firm Léger Marketing. He sees no clear escape for the PQ from its steady decline in public support.

“The only way out of that,” he said, “is for them to come up with a new way of defining why sovereignty could be appealing for younger Quebecers who do not see themselves in the old politics, which is Quebec versus Ottawa, us versus them.”

If the Coalition party under François Legault translates its current popularity into an election win, it will be the first time a party other than the Liberals or PQ has been in power in Quebec City since the Union Nationale was defeated in 1970. The situation has prompted speculation that a realignment predicted 30 years ago by the late Université Laval political scientist Vincent Lemieux is here. Lemieux called the PQ a “generational party,” like the extinct Union Nationale, and predicted its place would be taken by a party combining nationalism and more laissez-faire economics, as the Coalition does.



The only way out of that is for them to come up with a new way of defining why sovereignty could be appealing for younger Quebecers

-

Legault, a former airline executive and PQ cabinet minister, created the Coalition party in 2011. It holds 21 of the National Assembly’s 125 seats, compared with 68 for the governing Liberals and 28 for the PQ. Despite having devoted the first 11 years of his political career to the PQ, Legault has no qualms about potentially driving a stake into his former party.

“For me, sovereignty was always a means to an end. The end was to have a better quality of life in Quebec for all Quebecers,” he said in a recent interview. But what he calls “50 years of polarization” between federalists and separatists drained energy that needs to be applied to more pressing problems.

“I think that 2018 could be the first election when the ballot question is not on sovereignty,” Legault said. “In 2018, there could be an election where Quebecers ask themselves, ‘Who has the best platform on the economy, on education on health care?’”
See AlsoMontreal versus the rest of Quebec: new divisions ahead of the 2018 election
Don Macpherson: For Quebec’s struggling Liberals, a strong separatist opponent may be the key to survival

PQ leader Jean-François Lisée, who replaced Pierre Karl Péladeau in October 2016, responded to the low support for sovereignty by promising no referendum in a first PQ mandate. But instead of assuaging fears, the move seems to have been a gift to the Coalition. Federalist voters tired of a Liberal party that has been in power 12 of the last 14 years can vote for the Coalition, safe in the knowledge that whatever the outcome, there won’t be a referendum. And without even a faint hope of a referendum, nationalist voters have nothing to lose by switching to the Coalition party, which seems best placed to defeat the Liberals.

A Léger poll published Dec. 2 found the PQ had the support of just 23 per cent of francophone voters — key to deciding Quebec elections — compared with 43 per cent for the Coalition. Overall, the online poll of 1,010 Quebecers put the Coalition at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 32 per cent, the PQ at 19 per cent and the left-wing Québec Solidaire at 11 per cent.


Sovereignty is not dead, but it is certainly being marginalized

-

Bourque said that what remains of PQ support is concentrated outside major cities and among those aged 55 and over, leaving a shaky sovereigntist edifice.

“Sovereignty is not dead, but it is certainly being marginalized,” he said. “It is a movement that is aging quickly.”

He identifies three pillars that historically supported the push for independence, and says they have crumbled for the younger generation.

“Being dominated by ‘the English’ is not relevant. They have never known that era of Quebec,” he said. Similarly, with a National Assembly dominated by francophone Quebecers, the complaint that the levers of power are in the hands of others no longer applies.

“And the third one is recognizing yourself in a linguistic/ethnic brand of nationalism, and that doesn’t resonate anymore in the culturally diverse Quebec we live in today,” he said.

In 2016, political scientists Valérie-Anne Mahéo and Éric Bélanger made similar observations in a paper titled “Is the Parti Québécois bound to disappear?” Noting a decline in PQ support from 44 per cent in the 1994 election to 25 per cent in 2014, they attributed it to the aging of the party’s core supporters.

“As Generation Y (and soon the millennials) occupies a larger place in the electorate, and as the weight of the boomers continues to decline, we should see further decline in the PQ,” they wrote. They said the PQ could hang on as long as 2034, but it could also unravel as soon as 2018.


Of course my first attachment is to Quebec, but I love Canada. I hope to contribute to Canada

-
If a Quebec without the PQ seems unthinkable, Bourque points out that the party’s counterpart in Ottawa, the Bloc Québécois, once dominated federal politics in Quebec. But it never recovered from a crushing 2011 defeat.

“I think the same could happen (to the PQ),” he said.

While a dwindling number of Quebecers cling to the sovereigntist dream, Legault has switched to another vision, equally ambitious if not as romantic: a Quebec that has eliminated its wealth gap with the rest of Canada and no longer relies on equalization payments. He expects that Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard, robbed of the referendum bogeyman, will try to paint him as a separatist in federalist’s clothing.

But he says he has nothing to hide.

“Yes I love Canada,” he said. “Of course my first attachment is to Quebec, but I love Canada. I hope to contribute to Canada.”

http://nationalpost.com/news/c.....of-the-caq
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are 10 who could shape the 2018 federal political agenda


Political prognostications are fraught with danger, but these seven men and three women bear watching closely in the coming year, Tim Harper writes.


Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould will have to handle what promises to be the biggest story of 2018 - the legalization of marijuana, writes Tim Harper. Wilson-Raybould is one of 10 people to watch this year, Harper says.



By Tim HarperNational Affairs Columnist

Thu., Dec. 28, 2017




The coming year in politics will be full of hair-pin turns and issues that no one saw coming, making a mockery of any prognostication.

But – leaving aside the obvious principal player Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – here are 10 players who could steer much of the agenda in 2018.

Chrystia Freeland

Freeland has become something of a media darling at the end of 2017 and she’s earned that love. But the toughest test is yet to come for the foreign affairs minister, with contentious NAFTA negotiations heading for collisions with the Mexican presidential election and the U.S. mid-term elections in 2018. Crunch time could come as early as March and Freeland will have to steer talks away from the ditch.

Jane Philpott

The minister of Indigenous services has laid out an ambitious plan for the coming year, promising progress on potable water, closing the gap between child welfare spending on Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and reducing the number of Indigenous children living in foster care. Expectations are high but Philpott has a reputation as a minister who delivers. This will be the year to test that reputation.

Bill Morneau

The embattled finance minister would like to put a nightmarish 2017 behind him, but he still faces an ethics probe over his introduction of a pension bill that could have benefited his company, in which he held shares at the time. It will also be a test of incoming conflict of interest commissioner, Mario Dion. Morneau has the confidence of Trudeau and can boast economic numbers that should keep him in his job.


Patrick Brown

The former Stephen Harper backbencher is in a position to become Ontario premier in June, costing Trudeau an ally in the country’s largest province. Should Progressive Conservative Leader Brown or Kathleen Wynne win a minority government, then you can add NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to the list of game-changers in 2018.

John Horgan

Despite some sniping from Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver the coalition headed by British Columbia NDP Premier Horgan should hold for the foreseeable future. That has two national implications. Horgan is doing everything he can to stop Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion, the most volatile front in Canada’s pipeline wars and Trudeau may be forced to take a more active role in selling the project to B.C. voters. Weaver’s Greens would benefit if the province votes for some type of proportional representation in a 2018 referendum. If it passes, it could lead to similar moves elsewhere, even as Trudeau abandoned his own electoral reform pledge.

Andrew Scheer

The federal Conservative leader has proved to be an effective opposition leader in Parliament, but that will count for very little. He has a full year to market himself as the anti-Trudeau before we head into an election year. It might be a hard sell.

Jagmeet Singh

The new NDP leader has had a rough start, fumbling some policy questions, watching the party’s vote share tumble in byelections and enduring criticism for not seeking a Commons seat. But Singh is playing a long game and it is far too early to judge his performance.

Jason Kenney

The former Stephen Harper minister spent his year merging two opposition parties, winning two leadership races, then a seat in the Alberta legislature. In advance of a spring 2019 election, Kenney, as newly-minted opposition leader will attack NDP Premier Rachel Notley’s carbon tax and promises to be a much tougher advocate for bringing Alberta crude to Asian markets. He has accused her of being missing in action when the Energy East pipeline was cancelled. Notley already faces two NDP foes, Horgan and Singh, when it comes to her goal of getting Alberta bitumen to the west coast and the ascendancy of Kenney could change the climate debate in Canada and cost Trudeau a valued ally in Notley.

Jody Wilson-Raybould

The justice minister will share the job with Morneau, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, and MP Bill Blair, but she will play a key role in the legalization of marijuana in 2018. The provinces had complained about timelines and revenue-sharing, but if the Senate does not derail the government’s plan, Wilson-Raybould will have to stickhandle much of what promises to be the biggest story in the coming year.

François Legault

Like Wynne next door, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard will be swimming upstream in a 2018 provincial election. Both Liberal governments were elected in 2003 with only the Quebec party spending a brief time out of power. If Quebec Liberals are painted as tired and out of touch the beneficiary could be Legault and his Coalition Avenir Québec. Trudeau could lose another ally to a “pragmatic” conservative who would reduce immigration in the short-term and provide incentives to boost the province’s birth rate.

Tim Harper writes on national affairs. tjharper77@gmail.com, Twitter: @nutgraf1


https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2017/12/28/here-are-10-who-could-shape-the-2018-federal-political-agenda.html
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8000
Reputation: 271.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jostle for provincial party leaders begins with six months before vote

Queen's Park
Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. is seen in this undated file photo.
.


Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, December 28, 2017 5:21PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 29, 2017 2:45PM EST


In less than six months, Ontarians will head to the polls to elect a new government. The Liberals have been in power for 14 years —11 of those with a majority. Patrick Brown is contesting his first election as Progressive Conservative leader, while Kathleen Wynne will battle in her second and Andrea Horwath will embark on her third campaign.

Here’s where things stand.

People dislike Wynne, like her policies


Premier Kathleen Wynne’s own commissioned polling indicates that Ontarians generally accept and like a number of her government’s recent policies including raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, introducing public pharmacare for children and youth, and the “Fair Hydro Plan,” which will temporarily halt hydro rate increases. But her own approval rating is considered lower than any other provincial leader in Confederation. And it’s been that way for years.

Angus Reid put her approval rating at 17 per cent in September, up from 15 per cent in June and 12 per cent in March. Mainstreet Research President Quito Maggi said his firm’s research indicates Wynne has been the least popular premier in Canada for at least two years.

“If you noticed the way (the Liberals have) changed, the message has been about the policy and not the leader,” Maggi told CP24.

While other polling firms have repeatedly come back from the field placing Wynne firmly in third place behind Horwath and frontrunner Brown, Maggi says his polls have come back with a far narrower result.

“We’re seeing a tightening up a bit but still a ten point gap,” Maggi said, with Brown in the lead and Wynne in second place.

Maggi said Wynne needs to recruit big names to contend with the recognized leaders Brown has already recruited – such as Caroline Mulroney, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Rod Phillips and Paul Calandra ¬– because it’s the only way to get voters to see past her own low popularity.

“We’ve tested 30 different ridings this year,” Maggi said. “Alone (Brown vs. Wynne ) you get Brown winning. But when you ask (the) local candidate’s name with the brand – then you get a much different result.”

Brown’s plan reveals himself as a centrist

A quick glance of Patrick Brown’s 2018 platform, The People’s Guarantee, reveals a centrist plan, with none of the explicit promises of austerity or screeds about Ontario jail inmates having it too good that former PC leader Tim Hudak included in his platforms.

His platform promises tax rebates for the purchase of winter tires, refundable tax credits for daycare spending, the largest increase in mental healthcare spending in the province’s history, and a 12 per cent rate cut on hydro bills.

There is no explicit promise to lay off or buy out civil servants like Hudak’s last platform, but there is a reference to reduce spending by $6.1 billion over three years and end the $1.9 billion per year cap and trade program. The Liberals say this will equate to civil servants losing their jobs.

But it is a far cry from openly pledging to cull tens of thousands of civil servants.

“It appeals to the middle of the road voter,” former Canadian Press Ontario politics reporter Keith Leslie said of the platform document.

As a former Harper-era MP, Leslie says the Liberals and NDP highlight Brown’s past at every opportunity in an attempt to malign him. But he says the Harper legacy is “markedly different from the policies he (Brown) is trying to pursue now.”

With Wynne professing to govern from the “activist centre,” there is little incentive for Brown to move that far to the right, as his is the only conservative option available to voters.

The NDP went to the centre in the last election with a focus on “affordability of life” issues and gained just more than one per cent of the vote from the 2011 election.

‘Pivotal’ test for Horwath

NDP leader Andrea Horwath will be contesting her third provincial election next year, after securing the leadership of the party in 2009.

“This is where most parties expect their leader to have a breakthrough,” Maggi said.

But Horwath’s best effort in 2014, backed by a platform focusing largely on the provincial government aiming subsidies to assist ordinary people with their monthly expenses, failed to get the party out of third.

Horwath’s deputy party leader, Jagmeet Singh, is now leader of the federal New Democrats.

Maggi says that although Singh can be expected to campaign for her in June, it’s not the same.

“I think it’s going to hurt her in certain key ridings.”

Maggi says the Liberals have “outflanked” them by proposing large increases in the minimum wage, and generous subsidies for low-income families with children in college or university. But he says they can still succeed in a crowded battle for the political middle of the province.

“How far left do they have to go to get any oxygen on policies,” Maggi says. “Because if they go too far left it may backfire.”

The budget is balanced ... sort of… not really.

At the announcement for the 2017-18 Ontario budget last April, Finance Minister Charles Sousa beamed that the province was ending deficit spending after nine years and the budget — thanks to a rising job market and record land transfer tax revenue — was balanced. But like everything in politics, the truth is bent based on who you ask. That same day, PC leader Patrick Brown said the budget was a “shell game (Liberals) are using to hide a $5 billion operational deficit.”

On Dec. 11, acting Financial Accountability Officer J. David Wake said that using generally accepted accounting principles, Ontario is still in a deficit this year, a $4 billion deficit to be exact. He added that the deficit could grow to nearly $10 billion in 2021-2022 if nothing is changed. Both he and the auditor general blame the Liberals’ “Fair Hydro Plan” where government borrowing will delay and moderate future hydro rate increases for consumers, for much of the worsening fiscal picture.

The Liberals contend they are using the accounting method used by the province since 2001, when PC Premier Mike Harris was still in power.

Do the verdicts matter?

Trials concerning allegations against three former political aides and one local Ontario Liberal Party organizer were heard in 2017. But experts told CP24 their impact on the vote is likely to be small.

Pollster Maggi says the Sudbury byelection trial, where a Liberal aide and a local party organizer were accused and ultimately acquitted of bribing a prospective Liberal candidate to not seek his party’s nomination, is a “non-factor” in the minds of most likely voters.

“Sudbury should have never been a trial to begin with.”

Andrew Olivier, the hopeful candidate, went public with recordings that showed Liberal aide Patricia Sorbara and local organizer Gerry Lougheed offered him jobs or appointments if he stepped aside.

The Ontario PCs called for the OPP to investigate and they laid Election Act charges.

But Premier Wynne had already decided to nominate another candidate, then-federal NDP MP Glenn Thibeault. The Ontario Liberal Party’s constitution allows Wynne to select and nominate a candidate on her own, meaning Olivier was never a prospective candidate and offering him a job or appointment wasn’t a bribe.

Charges in the case were dismissed by a judge on Oct. 24.

Leslie says the opposition’s immediate demand for police to investigate political scandals is a new tactic.

“We used to just demand a minister resign or call for an inquiry – now (parties) get the police involved. How much further ahead are we as a province after years of these police investigations?”

A judge is set to deliver a verdict on another trial — this one involving top aides in former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office — on January 19.

The so-called Gas Plants trial stems from allegations that McGuinty’s chief of staff David Livingston and deputy chief of staff Laura Miller deleted politically contentious emails about the cancellation of two natural gas power plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

The judge in the case has already dismissed one charge against both defendants, a count of breach of trust, leaving only offences of illegal use of a computer and attempted mischief to data.

“Even if there’s a guilty verdict I’m not sure how much it will impact voter sentiment,” Maggi said.

“It could further solidify Patrick Brown’s platform when it comes to dealing with accountability and transparency at Queen’s Park.”


https://www.cp24.com/news/jostle-for-provincial-party-leaders-begins-with-six-months-before-vote-1.3738171
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