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  1. #1

    Default Canadian Federal Election 2019

    Yesterday the writ was dropped, which means the Canadian election campaign is now formally and legally under way.

    It will be an exhausting 39 days to listen to much blather with some intelligent discussion from time to time!

    I will drop election news here from time to time and post a non-partisan comparison of party platforms once they are all out. Currently only the NDP has a full platform out w/costing. I expect the others will all be out within the next few days.

    ****

    For those looking for quick primer to follow the action.

    Canada has for the last few decades had 3 major national parties.

    The Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP (roughly, right, centre and left).

    However, there has also been a regional party in Quebec called the Bloc Quebecois which typically wins between 5-15 seats which can affect an electoral outcome.

    New this year is the Green Party as a factor, currently holding 2 seats and projected to win between 4-10 or so.

    As well as the People's Party which is essentially somewhat anti-immigration Conservatives.....I say somewhat as they aren't proposing to shut the borders, but to cut back on immigration, particularly of the non-economic variety.

    They are currently only believed to be in contention in a single seat, however, they may poach enough Conservative votes to hand seats to other parties in some constituencies.

    The current polls have the Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer in a dead heat with Justin Trudeau's Liberals at about 34%.

    With every other party much lower, at NDP 13%, Greens 11%, BQ, 4% and PPC 3%.

    The seat projections tend to suggest a Liberal victory, because of the way their vote is distributed vs the Conservatives, but this is far from certain.

    Should they win, however, they may fall short of a majority and might require support of the NDP or Greens to govern.

    That is to be determined.

    CBC Poll Tracker is here:

    https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elec...racker/canada/

    Election Date: October 21, 2019

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    Thanks for putting all this together. I have to be honest, with all the Brexit news, I really need a primer on parliamentary systems. How is Canada different than Great Britain? How are you represented? Does the majority party vote for the PM? I'm off to find the wiki.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby_ View Post
    Thanks for putting all this together.
    You're quite welcome.

    I have to be honest, with all the Brexit news, I really need a primer on parliamentary systems. How is Canada different than Great Britain? How are you represented? Does the majority party vote for the PM? I'm off to find the wiki.
    So our system is parliamentary and very similar to the UK's.

    There are some differences in how party leaders are chosen; we also have a written constitution, which the U.K. does not.

    ****

    In Canada political parties elect their leaders however they see fit, typically when a leader steps down.

    That is to say, in Canada once someone wins a party leadership, its theirs until it isn't. They don't have to run for it a second/third time.

    There are exceptions, but they are rare. Convention is that most party leaders would resign if they were in government and lose an election; or if they have tried to win government but lost 2 elections in a row; but there is no hard/fast rule.

    Traditionally, parties ran delegated conventions to elect leaders.

    Today, most parties use one-member-one-vote; though this may be modified (weighting the votes to match the ridings/districts that the party needs to contest etc. That is up to the party itself to decide).

    The Prime Minister is typically the leader of the party that has the largest number of seats in the House of Commons.

    That is not an absolute rule, starting with the situation that said party may not have an absolute majority. If that is the case, its possible for the lesser parties to get together and form government. This is rare in Canada, but has happened on a few prior occasions.

    There are some other technicalities, but most don't apply in practice.

    ****

    So here we vote in our local election, as you would for Congress, except that whoever can command a majority of votes, in the House of Commons, gets to be the executive branch of government (Prime Minister and Cabinet)

    A typical cabinet, federally, is 20-30 members, though can be larger or smaller, with the remaining MPs (Members of Parliament) being what we call 'back benchers'. Whose function is mostly constituency work and committee work.

    The Prime Minister chooses his/her cabinet from the available MPs.

    Typically with an eye to representing both sexes, minorities and Canadian geography. (ie there's at least one minister from every part of Canada).

  5. #5

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    Thank you for your updates and explanations of your upcoming Canadian election. it sounds like, from what you've described so far that the Liberal Party will have to bring Greens and/or the NDP into its government. That suggests that Trudeau's next government will be even more liberal. Are there issues on which the NDPs or Greens are not more liberal than the Liberal Party? What would be the advantage of having just either the NDP or the Greens in the government rather than both if either would have enough MP's to rule with Liberals?

  6. #6

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    All I know is that a 40 day campaign sounds like Heaven on Earth!!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by oladub View Post
    Thank you for your updates and explanations of your upcoming Canadian election. it sounds like, from what you've described so far that the Liberal Party will have to bring Greens and/or the NDP into its government.
    That's certainly one possibility, though a Conservative minority is also plausible, as is a Liberal majority. The Canadian electorate can be volatile; in the last campaign Trudeau went from 3rd at the beginning to 1st by the end.

    That suggests that Trudeau's next government will be even more liberal. Are there issues on which the NDPs or Greens are not more liberal than the Liberal Party?
    Canada's Greens are not really all that 'left'. They are pro small business, and infavour, ultimately, of abolishing income tax, albeit they they favour much higher value-added (sales) taxes and carbon taxes. I say ultimately because no one expects them to run on that promise within a 4-year term, but rather something they want to work towards.

    They are pro Universal Health Care but so is our Conservative Party, opposing it would be like a US politician suggesting abolishing Social Security.

    They do favour some lefty ideas environmentally and they favour things like higher minimum wages and some social program investments; but within a very pragmatic context.

    The NDP are much more traditional social-democratic and openly favour further increasing taxes on high-incomes and wealth.

    In terms of items where either would be squarely to the 'right' of the Liberals.......The Greens are very anti-corporate welfare, don't like the government picking winners; both they and the NDP favour electoral reform (some form of proportional representation, that's neither left or right, just not the same as the Liberals who enjoy the status quo).....

    Might be some other items from the Greens, I'll know once they publish their full platform.

    Typically parties here like to do the tease for the 1st 10 days or getting media play out of each major plank. Then they publish the whole thing.

    What would be the advantage of having just either the NDP or the Greens in the government rather than both if either would have enough MP's to rule with Liberals?
    Tough to say, the Liberals haven't put out their platform yet either. I have a pretty good idea what's in it, but nothing is official til its public.

    How close they are to the official policies of the other 2 determines the liklihood of a deal on say 3-4 items that would then be government policy.

    As an example, it looks like all of the Greens, Liberals and NDP will offer something towards the idea of pharmacare. But each will likely differ in scope and cost, my expectation is that the Liberal one will be the most tightly scoped, but I can't be sure.

    How close they will be would influence whether or not a deal could be made.

    Should the Conservatives win a minority, the only party that might support them is the Greens.

    The NDP have said they would not back a Conservative minority (no surprise there).

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcole View Post
    All I know is that a 40 day campaign sounds like Heaven on Earth!!
    Amen to that. I would be in favor of time limits and spending limits on US campaigns.

  9. #9

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    I remember, a long time ago, when the campaigns didn't start the week after the Inauguration. Or maybe that just SEEMS like a long time ago
    Quote Originally Posted by Pam View Post
    Amen to that. I would be in favor of time limits and spending limits on US campaigns.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam View Post
    Amen to that. I would be in favor of time limits and spending limits on US campaigns.
    Canada's spending limit is $1.75 per voter during an election.

    That works out to about $175,000 for a typical riding/district for a candidate/party.

    The maximum any party is allowed to spend is $28,100,000 (28.1 Million).

    For comparison, the US has roughly 9x Canada's population.

    That would cap a US Federal campaign at 250M CAD or about 180MUSD. (using the Canadian system)

    The last federal campaign in the US saw spending of 1.4B by the Dems and about 1B by Reps.

    ****

    Worth adding here, most Canadians favour lowering spending and donation limits further.

    Currently Canada caps donations at $1,575CAD to a candidate, and a party.

    There are calls to reduce the per voter limit in spending by more than 1/2 to .75c per voter; and some are suggesting lowering the donation limit to as little as $200CAD

  11. #11

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    Ok, first some broad election news:

    Polls: have been fast and furious, a good way to track is the CBC poll tracker which aggregates (averages with weighting) all polls and shows trends.

    Of note for those of you not familiar the site also shows seat projections for each party, which don't necessarily reflect the national polling as like the U.S. we actually have 338 local elections, so how a party's vote is distributed matters.

    https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elec...racker/canada/

    Latest Averages:

    CON 34.3%
    LIB 33.6%
    NDP 13.7%
    GRN 9.9%
    BQ 4.5%
    PPC
    2.9%

    No significant change there in the 1st week of the campaign except for a small downward movement for the Greens and up for the NDP

  12. #12

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    Next up, 2 platforms are fully out now, the NDP and the Greens; though costing on the latter is not due out til the end of the week.

    For the moment the Conservatives and Liberals are both rolling out one promise at a time....with platforms expected shortly.

    The party links above will afford access to every detail; for our purposes here, I'm going to highlight what I see as the big items in each party platform and how the propose to pay for it, if stated.

    I'll start w/the Greens.

    Greens:

    - Aggressive emissions reduction program of 60% from baseline by 2030, that would double Canada's current target, one we are not on pace to meet. A variety of measures proposed including tougher standards, higher Carbon prices, and incentives to business and consumers to go green.

    - Universal Prescription Drug Care, and low-income only dental care.

    - The big surprise......total abolition of tuition for both community college and University.

    - To pay for it........corporate tax from 15% to 21%, higher carbon taxes, eliminating business entertainment deduction, taxing stock options.

    To be clear the above is an oversimplification, but I think accurate and fair.

    The full platform for the Greens is here: https://www.greenparty.ca/sites/defa...date_09-16.pdf for the political junkies 88 pages of entertainment.

    Analysis: Prescription drug coverage expansion is broadly in the platform of every centre-left party in this election. Nothing unexpected there.

    The proposal to abolish tuition was a surprise.

    The emissions targets are VERY aggressive and IMHO unrealistically so.

    The Greens in Canada are traditionally a party that is neither right nor left.

    This platform has a more leftward bent than usual. Though, note, in deference to their normal political ways.....income tax rates would not change, and small business rates would stay the same as well.

    Their slogan: "Not Left. Not Right. Forward Together"

  13. #13

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    NDP Platform:

    - By far the big spending is on healthcare. Universal Prescription Drugcare, dental care, vision care, hearing care. Essentially blowing remaining private insurance out the door by covering pretty much everything.

    - A big push on 'affordability' including forcing down cellphone and internet bills (consensus is Canada's oligopoly of service providers inflate prices) as well as eliminating interest on Federal Student Loans.

    - A big green push too; with a commitment to protect (national/provincial parks) 30% of Canada's land and water by 2030

    - Paying for it........ Corporate tax from 15 to 18%, foreign buyers tax on homes, net wealth tax on those with over 20 million dollars, and raising capital gains inclusion from 50% to 75%.

    NDP Platform Promises:

    https://action.ndp.ca/page/-/2019/Q2...nts-Doc_EN.pdf

    NDP Platform Costing:

    https://www.ndp.ca/platform2019-our-...approach-draft

    Analysis: A move substantially leftward for the party in the scale of its promises. A reaction to being out flanked by Trudeau on legalizing pot and electoral reform (a promise he didn't keep) they want to establish their bona fides on the left this time.

    Pharmacare is a popular idea and so are many in this platform but the sheer scale is more likely to scare a chunk of the populace that please them.

    On the other hand, the NDP has been faltering lately, and this will probably please their base, creating a cushion for them to not fall below.

    Slogan: NDP "In it for you"

  14. #14

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    I'll get to to the 2 leading parties when there platforms are out.

  15. #15

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    Apparent bombshell tonight.

    Time Magazine has published a photo of Trudeau in 'brownface' from a party he attended at age 29, while a teacher in private school.

    He was apparently supposed to look like Aladdin.

    Subsequently Trudeau has admitted he previously did blackface as Al Jolson when in High School.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...ghts-1.5289165

    Not the sort of news a PM who typically comes off as 'woke' would care to have.

    Not clear to me what the impact will be.......large or small; or how that will affect the outcome in a highly competitive race.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Visitor View Post
    Apparent bombshell tonight.

    Time Magazine has published a photo of Trudeau in 'brownface' from a party he attended at age 29, while a teacher in private school.

    He was apparently supposed to look like Aladdin.

    Subsequently Trudeau has admitted he previously did blackface as Al Jolson when in High School.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...ghts-1.5289165

    Not the sort of news a PM who typically comes off as 'woke' would care to have.

    Not clear to me what the impact will be.......large or small; or how that will affect the outcome in a highly competitive race.
    He's "woke" now; he may not have been 20 odd yrs ago...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Visitor View Post
    Apparent bombshell tonight.

    Time Magazine has published a photo of Trudeau in 'brownface' from a party he attended at age 29, while a teacher in private school.

    He was apparently supposed to look like Aladdin.

    Subsequently Trudeau has admitted he previously did blackface as Al Jolson when in High School.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...ghts-1.5289165

    Not the sort of news a PM who typically comes off as 'woke' would care to have.

    Not clear to me what the impact will be.......large or small; or how that will affect the outcome in a highly competitive race.
    Well, the leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh looks like the perfect Aladdin character, nobody takes offence to that.

    Never had much sympathy for the cultural appropriation arguments. If Jagmeet Singh stops wearing a three piece suit with his turban, then we can talk.
    Last edited by canuck; September-19-19 at 07:53 AM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Visitor View Post
    Not clear to me what the impact will be.......large or small; or how that will affect the outcome in a highly competitive race.
    If Trudeau was a conservative, it would be a game changer. Consider the persecution of Judge Kavanaugh. But since Trudeau is liberal, conservatives don't care what someone wore to a Halloween party when they were twenty and liberals have no reason to otherwise ruin Justin Trudeau, brown face probably won't be a big deal.

    I've gone out as 'king of the greasers' and as 'a tourist from Milwaukee' and never received retribution from either greasers or Milwaukee people.

  19. #19

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    Just in. He was very good also dressed up as an Asian Indian.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by oladub View Post
    If Trudeau was a conservative, it would be a game changer. Consider the persecution of Judge Kavanaugh. But since Trudeau is liberal, conservatives don't care what someone wore to a Halloween party when they were twenty and liberals have no reason to otherwise ruin Justin Trudeau, brown face probably won't be a big deal.

    I've gone out as 'king of the greasers' and as 'a tourist from Milwaukee' and never received retribution from either greasers or Milwaukee people.
    Well.......this is what the leader of the Conservatives had to say.

    “Like all Canadians, I was extremely shocked and disappointed when I learned of Justin Trudeau’s actions.” Scheer related to press outside his campaign jet, “Wearing brownface is an act of open mockery and racism. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019.”

    The Green Leader had this to say:

    Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tweeted that she is "deeply shocked by the racism shown."

    The leader of the further right People's Party had this to say:

    ....
    while he won't call Trudeau racist, he accused him of being the "master of identity politics" and "biggest hypocrite in the country." ....

    The NDP leader, the only visible minority among the contenders has this to say.

    "Seeing the prime minister do this makes a lot of people question his sincerity, but really question their place, and I really want people to know, despite how hard it is, given those images....."

    We shall see what the polls have to say in due course.
    Last edited by Canadian Visitor; September-19-19 at 12:45 PM.

  21. #21

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    Now the thing is.......the Conservatives have had multiple candidates with 'bozo moments'.....as have the others, though the Conservatives have been defending their problem candidates more, as opposed to dumping them, suggesting personal growth and apology are sufficient.

    Many in the centre will have a tough time shifting Conservative w/Scheer as leader, in that he is pro-life, he is a gun owner, he is a devout Catholic, and he is at least somewhat homophobic, based on past speeches and his total absence from Pride Parades (a norm in Canadian politics is to be in those).

    But if votes bleed to Trudeau's left.......that may result in electing Conservatives, depending on where it happens in the country.

    I'm still uncertain how this unfolds...........also whether his opponents get burned by their own hypocrisy or over-reaction, as the case may be.
    Last edited by Canadian Visitor; September-20-19 at 09:02 AM.

  22. #22

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    Its still early yet, 4 more weeks of campaign......but polling data seems to suggest Trudeau has taken a fairly modest hit.

    Generally it looks like he may have shed 1-2 points.......but still appears to have the advantage in seat totals and be within the margin of error of a tie with the Conservatives on popular vote.

    I find that quite curious; I honestly expected him to take a bigger hit. That may yet be the case as people ruminate......but perhaps not.

    I'm quite intrigued at what early polling suggests which is that 'racialized' Canadians, ie. visible minorities, by and large aren't phased by this.

    Where Trudeau has been hit is some of his left-leaning base in Toronto and Vancouver, almost exclusively 'white'.

    The other group most upset, seemingly was ultra-conservatives in Alberta and northern BC; where the Liberals were already unpopular, and unlikely to win many (any?) seats already.

    Hmmmm

  23. #23

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    Hey what do you think is going to happen if Trudo does not win the election?

    It is apparent that because of the current Dem impeach saga USMCA trade agreement will not be addressed until after Christmas,well after the Canadian election.

    If whoever takes power in Canada decides they do not like the current trade deal on the table, they can nix it and start all over.

    Is that being addressed in the election process there? It could very well turn into trade war 2.0.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Hey what do you think is going to happen if Trudo does not win the election?

    It is apparent that because of the current Dem impeach saga USMCA trade agreement will not be addressed until after Christmas,well after the Canadian election.

    If whoever takes power in Canada decides they do not like the current trade deal on the table, they can nix it and start all over.

    Is that being addressed in the election process there? It could very well turn into trade war 2.0.
    I'll start with Trudeau and with the very big caveat that there are still 3.5 weeks to go in the campaign and a debate; he is either winning or in a tie w/the Conservatives based on polling at this point.

    It appears (for now) that we are headed towards a Liberal minority government, one that would likely require the support of the NDP to govern. But who knows, that may change.
    ]
    ***

    In terms of the USMCA, No party is really running against it in Canada.

    The Conservatives have said they would got a better deal; but have not suggested they would seek to reopen negotiations.

    Again, I'll say anything is possible, but it seems unlikely to me that any party would do anything other than ratify; unless Congress directed a reopening, in which case everything would be back on the table.

    Generally, I think the only thing that was clearly unpopular here was allowing US milk into Canada; and that's all about BGH (Growth Hormones allowed in US dairy cattle). My understanding is that that is shrinking in terms of portion of the market that is like that; so I'm not sure its a big issue; but it does rub some folks the wrong way who see US milk as adulterated.

  25. #25

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    So the news of the day is that the Liberals; finally, dropped their full platform.

    Political junkies may read it here (warning over 80 pages)

    https://2019.liberal.ca/wp-content/u...ddle-class.pdf

    Its fill with high minded, virtue-signally fluff and the odd good idea too.

    But on the whole I found it disappointing.

    Their flagship spending promise, arguably, is Universal Pharmcare. I support this.

    But depending on how many drugs are covered and whether there is any copay; the program would have a cost range of between 6BCAD per year and around 26BCAD per year.

    But the Liberals have allocated less than 2B, in the 4th year of any new government (2023); which is to say, the promise is empty.

    They have a load of other spending goodies; some of which strike me as truly odd; a $2,000 bursary for families to try out camping in a provincial or national park. The money would cover park fees, travel costs and presumably some equipment costs.

    I love camping; but ......if a family can't afford to camp; offering them money, but only if they go camping, just doesn't come off as good for the recipient or the country, not to mention it sounds administratively like a royal PITA.

    Ah well.

    There's also the matter of fiscal policy. They are proposing deficits every year for the next 4, somewhat larger than they are now.

    At least they show a slight decline in debt to GDP; but given some serious uncertainty about future revenues and several underfunded promises, it does not strike me as fiscally responsible.

    Of course all 4 parties are showing deficits over the next 4 years.

    The costing is at least a bit more transparent from the others.

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