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General

Accidental Deliberations: On end goals

Posted August 2, 2015 by Greg Fingas

We can fully expect Canada’s election campaign to feature plenty more talk about possible coalition outcomes – which are favoured by the public, and may represent the best way to ensure the Cons’ replacement if Stephen Harper again tries to cling to power. And as I’ve noted before, there remains little reason to take the Libs seriously in their threats not to cooperate.

But I’ll take a moment to answer the latest excuse as to how the Libs are trying to present themselves as a party of change while needlessly ruling out what may prove to be the only way (Read more…)

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Canadian Politics

Cowichan Conversations: From CBC Polls Éric Grenier’s Poll Tracker-From ThreeHundredEight.com

Posted August 2, 2015 by Richard Hughes

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called on the Governor General to dissolve parliament and schedule an election for October 19th.

This will be a Harper big money push to

Read more…

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General

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Posted August 2, 2015 by Greg Fingas

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

– Frank Pasquale and Siva Vainhyanathan write that we shouldn’t mistake schemes intended to get around employee standards and other laws for innovations worth celebrating or embracing: Uber has confronted admittedly stifling restrictions on taxi driver licenses in France by launching a service called UberPop. Several authorities in Europe have ruled UberPop illegal, but Uber kept it operating anyway as it appealed. Now France has charged Uber’s general director for France, Thibaud Simphal, and the company’s director for Western Europe, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty with enabling taxi-driving by non-professional drivers and “deceptive commercial practices (Read more…)

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Election

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Does Hypocrisy Underlie the Long Writ Period?

Posted August 2, 2015 by Anonymous

It’s official. Stephen Harper went to the Governor General and initiated the official election campaign period, which will be about twice as long as the minimum the Canada Elections Act requires. That Act declares that the date of the election must be at least 36 days after the writs have been drawn up. It doesn’t … Continue Reading

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General

Accidental Deliberations: Good to go

Posted August 2, 2015 by Greg Fingas

A few images which may or may not become highly relevant in just a few minutes.

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Advertising

A BCer in Toronto: Election ad review: Ready (and repeating vs busting the narrative)

Posted August 2, 2015 by Jeff Jedras

After months of the Conservatives carpet-bombing the air waves with an ad declaring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau just not ready, the Liberals finally responded with an ad of their own yesterday: Ready.

While many initially dismissed the Conservative ad as lame and ineffective (as they have every ad they’ve released for a decade, only to later concede they were devastatingly effective) I immediately saw it as a very effective piece because it zeroed it on a doubt most Canadians already have: is Trudeau ready to be Prime Minister? Very smart was the line at the end — I’m not saying (Read more…)

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General

Election: EKOS poll – Seniors will return Harper to power as Prime Minister

Posted August 1, 2015 by CuriosityCat
A key statistic is not who favours what party before election day, but how many voters actually cast a vote on that day.  Seniors vote. Younger voters don’t vote in the same proportions.
The latest EKOS poll explains why Stephen Harper will be Prime Minister on September 20, 2015, leading a minority government:
Neither the Liberal Party nor the NDP has managed to make big enough inroads into the senior vote in order to knock Harper’s Conservatives out of power.
This means the key to who will actually govern Canada will be settled in the months after the election, as Harper tries to stay in power with the support of either the NDP or the Liberals. He probably will need just over a dozen MP votes in the confidence votes to survive as a minority government.  The longer he can survive, the more likely it will be that the Governor General will agree to a request from Harper as PM to dissolve parliament again, and plunge us into another election.
If he can survive for roughly six months (say until the end of March 2016), the GG most likely will accede to a dissolution request and we will be off to the races again.
What does that mean for the governance of the country?
Firstly, Harper would try to delay the convening of the new parliament as long as possible, so as to gain time and run the 6-month clock out as much as possible.
Secondly, he will be constructing his first budget with the view to enticing either the NDP or the LPC to support the money vote in the confidence motion following the Throne Speech.
This means he will pull out all the stops to inject as many goodies attractive to Mulcair and/or Trudeau as possible.

We can expect him framing the Throne Speech as one that has as its primary purpose the holding of a referendum in the country on the abolition of the Senate, with goodies for individual provinces designed to encourage them to vote Yes to its abolition. This plum will be dangled before Mulcair, who might well find it irresistible.

However, Harper will not really care whether the required number of provinces sign on to abolition, nor whether the required number of voters agree in the referendum he will legislate. His objective will be to run the clock out, getting to the 6 month mark (April 1, 2016), and then proroguing parliament and asking the GG to allow him to go to the country again.

Because this plum of Senate abolition will be well-night irresistible to Mulcair, but perhaps not enough to make Mulcair prop up Harper’s minority government, we can expect Harper to dangle further plums before Mulcair.

These will be aimed at one or two of Mulcair’s main economic planks in his election campaign, plus – and this could be the key plum – some kind of deal with the province of Quebec that will be supported by 70% of voters in that province.

This dramatic shift to asymmetric federalism will be aimed at making Mulcair an offer he cannot refuse: if he does not keep Harper in power to implement the changes, he will be punished in the April 2016 election by the voters in Quebec who form the foundation of NDP strength there.

Mulcair will know that if he pulls the plug on Harper, it is unlikely that he will be able to take over as PM of a minority government and give Quebec the same rich deal that Harper might be offering. Why not? Because Harper would withhold his support (read Ibbitson about Harper’s behavior if he feels he is crossed by anyone), and Trudeau has locked himself into a position where he will not support such a deal for Quebec, whether proposed by Mulcair or by Harper.

So we could then face another election in April 2016, with Harper dealing from a position of strength; the Liberals pushed to the side if the ballot box question of that election is asymmetric federalism for Quebec; and Mulcair having to face a hornet’s nest of fury from his base in Quebec, and from voters in the rest of the country who want Harper out of power in October this year.
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Activism

“It’s not what you look at that matters…it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.

Posted July 31, 2015 by Laila

Driving along the gravel road to a pristine mountain lake last weekend, the sound of the white water rushing in the river that ran alongside, was as welcome as any cold cocktail on a hot summer afternoon. The clear water … Continue reading

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Books

Would We Have No Commitment to Equality Without Christianity?

Posted July 31, 2015 by Austin Dacey

Readers of my last post, and readers of English more generally, could be forgiven for…

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General

Stephen Harper and the Insanity of Harperland

Posted July 31, 2015 by Simon

I’m glad I’m leaving Canada for a while because I really need to get away from this ghastly political monster.

Who is now so desperate, he is turning his depraved Harperland into a mad house.

For there he was in a Bloomberg interview claiming that he was a Great Economist Leader, the steady hand on the wheel.

And that letting anyone else steer Canada through these perilous times could only lead to disaster.
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General

Who Says the Cons Aren’t Trying to Buy the Election?

Posted July 30, 2015 by Simon

As I mentioned in my last post, Stephen Harper and his criminal Con gang now seem to have a triple-edged strategy.

They are going to try to cripple the opposition by extending the campaign. They are going to use the financial advantage that gives them by bombarding us with their porky ads.

Even if it costs taxpayers millions of dollars.

And of course they are going to use our money to try to buy the election.

But even by their grubby standards this is outrageous.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Final Battle for Canada

Posted July 30, 2015 by Simon

For ten long years he has schemed and plotted to destroy the Canada he hates so much, by perverting our traditions, and dismembering our democracy.

And now he’s got a new plan that he hopes will do both.

Force a long and exhausting election campaign upon Canadians, so he can bombard them with ads from his well funded propaganda machine, while draining the money like blood out of the opposition.

So he can claw them to death in the final stages of the campaign.

And it seems that the Final Battle for Canada is about to begin. 
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General

Stephen Harper and the Pathetic Con Sheeple

Posted July 30, 2015 by Simon

Well never let it be said that the Harper Cons are not a cult, or a herd of pathetic sheeple.

A baaing bunch incapable of independent thought, who can only repeat word for word what the PMO tells them.

As even their so-called Finance Minister, the hapless stooge Joe Oliver, does all the time…

And for even more evidence of that please consult the following video.
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General

When Progressives Fire Back At the Con Attack Machine

Posted July 29, 2015 by Simon

As you know, I wasn’t too impressed by the latest Con attack ad aimed at the NDP. And I’m sure Tom Mulcair wasn’t either.

Because when Stephen Harper accuses you of being as corrupt as he is, that could be dangerous. You could die LAUGHING.

But then I also hate the never ending Con attack ads aimed at Justin Trudeau.

Because every time I see this ghastly geezer on TV I feel like screaming.
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General

Donald Sutherland’s Angry Message to Stephen Harper

Posted July 29, 2015 by Simon

He is one of Canada’s best known citizens. A famous Hollywood actor, and a proud Canadian.

But now like more than a million other Canadians who live abroad, he’s been told he no longer has the right to vote.

And Donald Sutherland is not amused. 
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General

Hog Harper’s Absurd and Desperate Assault on the NDP

Posted July 28, 2015 by Simon

It couldn’t be more grotesque, it couldn’t be more hypocritical, it couldn’t be more laughable.

After smearing his own excrement all over this country, the lowlife political hog Stephen Harper is now accusing the NDP of being corrupt.

By firing this attack ad at them out of his rear orifice.
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Feminism

Will the Pope’s Woman Problem Alienate Young Catholics?

Posted July 28, 2015 by Anonymous

Calling Pope Francis their “holy conundrum,” Catholic scholars, theologians, activists and religious convened in Chicago on Saturday…

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General

The Day Stephen Harper Lost His Economic Crown

Posted July 28, 2015 by Simon

The other day I ran a video of Joe Oliver literally running for cover, so he didn’t have to answer questions from reporters about the state of the economy. 

And explain why the Parliamentary Budget Officer says he has a billion dollar DEFICIT instead of a billion dollar SURPLUS as he has been claiming.

And now I’m sorry to report that Oily Joe is STILL running, so is Stephen Harper.

And the Cons are trying their best to make sure they never have to answer that burning question.
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General

How Stephen Harper Is Stealthily Changing Canada Into a Theocracy

Posted July 28, 2015 by Simon

The other day I wrote about how Stephen Harper is remaking the judiciary in his own ghastly image.

In his never-ending attempt to bend the Supreme Court to his will, and destroy the Charter of Rights.

Well today he took another step by appointing another uber right-wing judge. 
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General

Stephen Harper’s Stealthy Assault On Our Judicial System

Posted July 26, 2015 by Simon

All through the long and dark years of Stephen Harper’s evil regime the Supreme Court of Canada has been his most mighty opponent.

Time and time again it has rejected his foul and flawed bills that would have turned us into a monstrous police state, or a vengeful theocracy.

It has been the last bastion of Canadian values that the depraved tyrant has been unable to corrupt or destroy.

But what most people don’t know, and as the Globe’s Sean Fine points out, Harper has been slowly undermining the court from below. 

By stealthily remaking our judiciary in his own monstrous image. 
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General

Can Stephen Harper and his Cons Really Buy the Election?

Posted July 25, 2015 by Simon

Well there he was in Saskatchewan yesterday, looking as ghastly as I have ever seen him.

Announcing his plan to shrink the Senate by attrition. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is vowing not to make any more Senate appointments, in an effort to distance himself from the scandal-plagued Red Chamber and to goad provinces into agreeing to reform or abolish the discredited legislative body.

But since I don’t care what happens to the Senate, all I could think of was why is Stephen Harper looking so beaten?

When a new poll suggests that his sleazy plan to buy the election is working. 
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General

It’s Still Your Fault: The Cubit’s Guide to Blaming

Posted July 24, 2015 by Anonymous

For the past three weeks, The Cubit has explored blame in the twenty-first century. We…

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General

Simon’s Summer and the Great Con War on the Senate

Posted July 24, 2015 by Simon

Well I have to admit that I too am now deep into the Canadian summer, and don’t feel like writing about politics, or doing anything too strenuous. I just want to have fun with my buddy Sébastien.

As humble as that might be. 


Yikes. How low have I fallen?

But I just HAD to share this great joke with you.

It seems that Stephen Harper and his fellow oil pimp Brad Wall are about to declare war on the Con Senate !!! 
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General

Globe and Mail: UN Human Rights Committee raises concerns about C-51

Posted July 23, 2015 by Anonymous

This morning, the UN Human Rights Committee said Bill C-51 could run afoul of the international covenant on civil and political rights. This reckless legislation lacks legitimacy and we need to…

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General

The Day Stephen Harper Was Exposed As a Con Artist

Posted July 23, 2015 by Simon

For weeks Stephen Harper and his grubby flying monkey Joe Oliver, have been trying to fool Canadians into thinking that they had balanced the budget for the first time in eight years.

Harper has been travelling around claiming that the economic shock waves that are rocking this country are just a “downturn” not a recession. And that he still has the money to bribe them.

While the senile simian Oliver has been claiming that he has a surplus not a deficit.

But yesterday all those claims came tumbling down, and both men were exposed as shameless Con artists. 
Read more »

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General

Is This A Sign That Stephen Harper Is About to Call An Early Election?

Posted July 22, 2015 by Simon

I realize that we are now in the heart of the Canadian summer, and the last thing most Canadians want to think about is politics.

But the PMO never sleeps, there are still rumours circulating that Stephen Harper is planning to call an election in the next few weeks.

Before all those Canadians he’s trying to bribe, spend the $3 billion child care dollars he sent them. 

And in that regard this may or may not be significant.
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General

Why Stephen Harper’s Porky Plan to Buy the Election Won’t Work

Posted July 21, 2015 by Simon

Well there was Stephen Harper yesterday, looking and sounding like a sleazy used car salesman, declaring it was Christmas in July, and feverishly trying to buy an election.

And in all the years of writing about him and his corrupt, morally depraved regime, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more disgusting spectacle.

Two days ago in this letter marked “confidential” he was urging his caucus to look like Con Santas, and lie like thieves.

Let me be perfectly clear: if Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair form the next government, they will take these benefits away from families, raise taxes, and put Canada back in a cycle of spiralling deficits. We only have to look at Greece to see where that plan leads.

And yesterday, in a what was called a “special message” by his propaganda machine, there he was in all his greasy glory…
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General

Pierre Poilievre and the Con Christmas in July

Posted July 20, 2015 by Simon

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a scary tricycle scene since the famous one in the horror movie The Shining.

You know this one.

Pierre Polievre aka Mini Harper or Dickhead, pedalling furiously all over Canada pretending he’s Santa Claus.

And that it’s Christmas in July.
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Catholic

Do We Owe Human Rights to the Christian Right?

Posted July 19, 2015 by Austin Dacey

Historian Samuel Moyn argues that the history of “human rights” begins only in the twentieth century—and it may owe more to Christianity than to secular ideals.

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General

Stephen Harper and the Great Con War on Pensions and Seniors

Posted July 19, 2015 by Simon

I’ve written a lot of posts about the Stephen Harper and his Great Con War on Pensions and Seniors for a couple of very simple reasons.

I like old people, I work and care for them all the time. I see far too many of them suffering the indignities of poverty in a country as rich as Canada. I will not remain quiet when so many are suffering in silence.

And of course I loathe and despise foul bullies like Jesus Harper with every bone in my body.

So now I’m writing another post, because as Martin Regg Cohn writes, his latest assault on pensions couldn’t be more disgusting and reflexively destructive. 
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General

Stephen Harper and the Growing Anger of Canadians

Posted July 19, 2015 by Simon

I don’t know why it’s taken so long for many Canadians to be angered by Stephen Harper, considering what he has done to Canada.

But a new EKOS poll shows that anger is growing.

And it has a lot to do with the state of the economy. 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and the Con Plan to Steal the Election

Posted July 18, 2015 by Simon

It was a day of good news and bad news on the election front yesterday.

The good news is that now that we know that Stephen Harper is cancelling his annual trip to the Arctic, we know that he is almost certainly going drop the writ much sooner than expected. 

So we can be ready, and try to foil his plans to buy the election.

And the bad news? A judge has approved his devious plan to try to steal it. 
Read more »

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General

Stephen Harper and the Bloody Harvest of War

Posted July 18, 2015 by Simon

As I’m sure you remember, during the early years of the war in Afghanistan there was no greater chicken hawk than Stephen Harper.

Until he realized it wasn’t winning him enough votes, and he decided to cut and run.

But while he has been able to run away from a lot of things, like the state of the economy.

He can’t run away from his precious war, because we’re still reaping its bloody harvest.
Read more »

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General

White Supremacy, Mental Illness, or Society: What’s to Blame for Religious Violence?

Posted July 16, 2015 by Michael Schulson

This article is part of It’s Your Fault, The Cubit’s series on blame in contemporary…

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Election

Fighting fit opposition for election 2015? Unlikely.

Posted July 16, 2015 by Boris

Alison draws attention to the very, very slick Conservative election winning machine that we are up against now. These folks, an international political conspiracy if there ever was one, have their game worked out down to fine detail. It may even be …

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Economy

Harper is talking about our recession…

Posted July 12, 2015 by trashee

… er, economic downturn in front of a crowd of Grade fivers because… – They are only a few years younger than the PMO short pant staffers who set up this photo-op, so could talk about cool stuff common to them in between takes… – He has found a group of economic advisors with better insights […]

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General

The Harper Game Plan: Taming the dragon

Posted July 10, 2015 by CuriosityCat

A must-read article by Bruce Livesey in the  National Observer should send chills down the spines of the 60% of Canadians who do not want Stephen Harper to win another election in October.

Here is a snippet about the Kenny outreach to conservative minorities:

Another effective strategy was championed by Jason Kenney, who would later be Harper’s immigration minister (and current defence minister) – tapping into the rich pool of voters among new immigrants. These voters had traditionally voted Liberal, but Kenney saw that many of them were social conservatives and felt the Tories had ignored them for too long.

“They stole that constituency [from the Liberals],” says Kinsella. Indeed, between 2007 and 2013, financial contributions from the Canadian Chinese community to the Tories almost doubled.

And the origin of the slice and dice campaigning strategy (my underlining):

But who were those key swing voters? One person who had a notion was Patrick Muttart, who became one of Harper’s top political advisers after 2004. Muttart had risen through the ranks of the PC and Reform parties before becoming a public relations manager of a hotel chain and working for Jaime Watt, a former Mike Harris political adviser in Toronto.

“I think [Muttart] really helped us clarify our approach to communications – to targeting who we wanted to reach and what sort of messages would work,” says Flanagan. “He was a fulcrum for a more sophisticated approach that paid off in the 2006 campaign.”

For one thing, Muttart had developed a rich knowledge of how conservative parties worldwide were winning elections, in particular in Australia. He was intrigued by the success of Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a conservative who ended 13 years of Labour rule in 1996 before going on to win three consecutive elections. Howard adopted a market segmentation approach to appeal to “the battlers” – hard-working families struggling to raise their kids on small incomes. Focusing on this group had helped Howard win and Muttart was determined to find equivalent groups for Canada’s Conservatives.

“Close campaigns are decided by the least informed, least engaged voters,” Muttart once told Jennifer Lees-Marshment, a New Zealand-based political scientist. “These voters do not go looking for political news and information. This necessitates brutally simple communication with clear choices that hits the voter, whether they like it or not.”

One of Muttart’s messages to Harper was to not waste time and money on voters who would never vote Conservative. This was a break from the past when Tories and Liberals conducted mass marketing campaigns to appeal to median voters.

Now, the Tories were looking at segment marketing – with the idea of turning a coalition of subsegments of the electorate into a governing force.

This approach is known as “hypersegmentation”, whereby the party’s polling would identify voter’s demands and then allow the Conservatives to design ads to appeal specifically to them, helped by focus groups. Flanagan has called it “slice and dice politics.”

Indeed, Muttart broke the electorate down into types and gave them names: such as the “Zoes” — young, single, female, progressive downtown apartment-dwellers who would never vote Tory and therefore should be ignored. On the other hand, there were the “Steves and Heathers” – married, Protestant, small business owners with children in their 40s living in the suburbs; or the “Eunices” – widows in their seventies living on a modest pension – all of whom could be persuaded to vote Conservative if ads and policies were designed for them.

And the problem that voters saw through a lot of this:

The Tories still had the problem of Harper’s personality: He was not an easy guy to sell. “We did all sorts of focus groups after the 2004 election [on Harper],” recalls Armour, “and I remember going into a room where Tom Flanagan was going through all of the topline results and a report back from the pollsters and him turning to me and saying ‘My God Jim, it’s worse than we thought — they see him exactly as he is’.”

There were attempts to humanize Harper by having him wear sweaters, or photo ops of him throwing a football on the front lawn of Parliament Hill. In the end, says Flanagan: “Ultimately, the main thing has been to portray him as a competent and reliable leader. Someone you don’t necessarily have to feel warm about but someone who will get the job done and deliver results…You’re not going to turn him into pretty boy Justin Trudeau… You showcase what you have.”

Don’t count the Harperites out just yet.
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General

2015 Election: Harper’s Conservatives down 30% in EKOS poll

Posted July 4, 2015 by CuriosityCat
The most significant statistic in the latest EKOS snapshot of Canadian politics is that the “new” Conservatives lead by PM Stephen Harper have now plunged to a level in anticipated support which is 30% below the votes they garnered in the May 2011 election:

You can find the EKOS report through the reference in this Huffingtonpost article. 
The Tories are 12 percent lower in the latest poll than they were on election day 2011. That’s a 30% plunge in total votes!
Now ask yourself: You are in early July with an election in October. Almost 1 in 3 of your party’s elected MPs is not running for re-election in the October election, thus diminishing the power of incumbency. Your front bench in Parliament has been obliterated. Your party election spokesman is tripping over his own tongue with his unconvincing responses to questions about tawdry and perhaps illegal ads your party has put out. Your leader looks wooden, avoids journalists, takes only limited, previously-submitted questions when he does face the press, no longer has Parliament to voice his views, and seems to have no policy ideas for the coming election except a stay-the-course-elect-me-because-the-world-is-a-fearful-place-and-I-am-the-only-one-who-can-keep-the-monsters-at-bay.
Given these events and facts, just how motivated do you think you would be as a Conservative Party supporter, to work your butt off to re-elect your government?
Or would you say Yes to any telephoned request you get from your party, but make sure that you either find something else to do on election day (trim your toenails or watch all the Godfather movies) or vote for change if you do go into the polling booth?
After all, hundreds of thousands of your Conservative Party fellow members did just that during the recent Alberta election.
One thing is becoming clearer each day: Stephen Harper will not be PM of Canada again, and perhaps will quit as an MP.
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