Thursday, November 26, 2009

Two looks at the HST

Andrew Coyne, hardly a cheerleader for the McGuinty Liberals, comes out in defense of the HST.

Andrew Steele takes a look at some of the myths and facts around the HST, and the risks of Tim Hudak being a flip-flopper on the issue.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hudak endorses the HST

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of an email sent by current PC LeaderTim Hudak in February, when he was still the Opposition's Finance Critic, which seems to suggest Hudak was not as flatly opposed to theHST as he is today.

"There are a number of models for harmonizing the PST and GST, ranging from full harmonization ... to various ''made in Ontario" models that allow for certain products to remain exempt from the PST portion of theharmonized tax,'' wrote Hudak.

Harmonization, with exemptions for certain products. We all know Hudak and the PC's were for the HST before they were against it, but can anyone tell me how Hudak's statement above is any different from the Liberal position?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ADQ disintegration watch

Interesting to see this getting more and more play in the non-Quebec media, as the ADQ, which once came within a handful of seats of forming government on the backs of the reasonable accomodation discusion within Quebec (which in the face of an economic downturn, seems to have almost totally faded as an issue), seems headed towards footnote in history status. Gilles Taillon stepping down as leader after less than a month on the job has got to be one of, if not the shortest reign by a party leader over a party with parliamentary representation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

By-election analysis

Nomination news has slowed to a crawl with an election now being far on the horizon in seems, but there are the 4 by-elections coming up, so I'm going to break down each parties best and worst case scenario (within reason) for the parties.

The best case scenario for the Conservatives would be winning back the bedrock Tory riding of Cumberland РColchester РMusquodoboit Valley (which outside of Casey being elected as an independent in 2008 and Casey losing his seat in the 1993 wipeout, hasn't elected a non-Tory since the 50's) by a healthy margin over a the NDP, which looks to capitalize on the popularity of the provincial NDP, which won the popular vote and 3 of the 5 provincial ridings that make up the federal riding, a strong second place finish in Montmagny РL'Islet РKamouraska РRivi̬re-du-Loup (actually winning the seat is I think unrealistic), flipping New Westminster РCoquitlam from NDP to Tory, and getting 10% of the vote and getting the deposit back in Hochelaga, which like most East-End Montreal ridings are not fertile ground for the Conservatives. Worst case scenario, the NDP GOTV operation in CCMV turns out to be hugely effective, and the Dippers pull off an upset, the Liberals finish ahead of the Tories in MLKR with the BQ winning easily, the popularity of Donnally and HST anger propels a distant Tory finish in NWC, and Hochelaga delivers a -10% return.

The NDP go into the by-elections with high hopes, with a best case scenario being an upset in CCMV for Mark Austin, Fin Donnally comfortably holding NWC, a second place finish ahead of the Liberals in Hochelaga (they have been targetting the BQ working class vote heavily), and at least getting on the radar in MLKR, as they only won 5.5% of the vote last time around. Worst case scenario, the Tories survive comfortably with a local candidate in CCMV, putting the damper on hopes of an NDP Atlantic breakthrough, the economy first/tough on crime message of Dilworth flips NWC into the Tory column, attacks on the BQ fall flat in Hochelaga, leaving them stuck in 3rd place, and stay off the radar in MLKR.

It's difficult to do a best case and worst case scenario for the Liberals while staying in the bounds of realism for these ridings, as none of them are Liberal friendly (to put it in perspective, in 3 of the 4 ridings last election, the Liberals didn't win a single poll in the riding, with Hochelaga returning the only Liberal polls, and not many). When I did an earlier analysis when the Liberals were doing about 10 points better in the polls than they are now I still didn't have them even coming within sniffing distance of winning, yet something tells me that after the Liberals return empty handed in terms of seat gains for this round we can expect another round of articles predicting Iggy's demise, overlooking the fact that it would be difficult to pick 4 ridings less likely to return Liberal victories outside of the rural Praries. Anyway, best case Liberal scenario, retaining second place in Hochelaga, finishing ahead of the Tories in MLRK, getting back to 10%+ (they finished in 4th with 8.5% last time), in CCMV and raise the vote in NWC to a more historically normal 20% or so. Worst case, they finish a distant third in MLRK, get jumped by the NDP in Hochelaga, finish -10% in both CCMV and NWC.

The BQ go in defending two seats, both of which are neither on a knife edge, but we can still form a best/worst case scenario. Best case is Daniel Paille continuing Real Menard's dominance of Hochelaga, with the Liberals finishing ahead of the NDP, damaging NDP hopes of prying working class francophone support from them, and comfortably holding MLRK over the Tories. Worst case, the NDP gives them a scare in Hochelaga, and the Tory GOTV operation pulls off an upset in MLRK. Hochelaga will be interesting to watch given an increasingly nasty back and forth between the BQ and NDP, with the NDP launching this attack site: and putting these posters up:

attacking Paille for his former ties to the Conservative government, which was countered by the BQ attacking NDP MP's for supporting getting rid of the gun registry with this rather brutal poster:


The Greens really have no stake either way in this round of by-elections, not running a candidate in CCMV last election and gaining between 2-7% in the other 3. If they could break 10% in NWC, which gave them 7% last time around it would be nice for them, but since they really have nowhere to go in the Quebec ones, up or down, and not running a candidate in CCMV makes direct comparisons difficult, this one is sort of a write off, analysis wise.