Saturday, November 30, 2013

Common Ground voting is closing soon, support my policy on Encouraging Youth Voter Participation and Improving Civic Education!

It's on a Liberal website, but I think it's a good non partisan idea that could have a positive impact on youth participation in the electoral process.

Many American states allow for youth voter pre-registration, so this isn't a radical idea - it works in other places, why not Ontario? The Chief Electoral Office of BC recommended British Columbia take a look at youth pre-registration, why not Ontario?

It takes just a couple minutes to register and vote, and I encourage you to read more about the policy here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Orange continues to be crushed in federal by-elections

I was happy to help the Freeland campaign in Toronto Centre over the last couple of months, and I'm glad to have her as my MP. I was a poll captain, and Freeland pulled 62% of the vote in my home poll, woot.

With the results spinning game already going on, here is my contribution, taking a look at some of the data from by-election results since the last election:

  • The NDP did get its best ever result in Toronto Centre with 36%, but despite Mulcair running a star candidate with a hard negative campaign, the actual margin between the Liberals and NDP increased from 2011 from 11% to 13%, with Liberal support increasing by 8%
  • Of the nine by-elections held since the last election, Toronto Centre marked only the second time that the NDP actually increased its percentage of the vote. The NDP saw a 5% increase in Durham, when the Liberals were shorthanded because of the provincial Liberal leadership race
  • The NDP also ran a star candidate and ran a hard negative campaign in Bourassa...and were rewarded with a lower share of the vote than 2011 and a Liberal margin of victory almost double over 2011
  • In by-elections since Mulcair has become NDP leader, NDP support has declined by 9% on average, with three seats (Brandon-Souris, Calgary Centre, Provencher and Victoria) seeing double digit declines in support
  • While the NDP vote has only gone up in two by-elections, the Liberal vote has only gone down in two races, (Victoria and Durham) which were held when the Liberals were without a permanent leader (and as mentioned when Liberal energies in Ontario were elsewhere) and the decline in both seats was less than 1%
  • While the NDP was running from Mulcair's record on resource development in Toronto Centre, in Western Canada the NDP vote declined by 11% in Calgary Centre, 14% in Victoria, 10% in Provencher and 18% in Brandon-Souris. In all but Victoria, which was a held NDP seat and was retained, the NDP candidate finished with under 10% of the vote
  • The Manitoba NDP holds a seat in Brandon, making the 18% drop they experienced more troubling, as they hardly lack a ground game. 
  • While the Liberals took Labrador from the Conservatives and came within 4% and 1% of winning Calgary Centre and Labrador respectively, the 13% gap in Toronto Centre represents the closest the the NDP has come to actually winning (and again, this is actually a widening of the gap for the NDP from 2011) and the NDP only retained Victoria by less than 3% after a 14% drop

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Stephen Harper’s climate-change record can’t be ignored anymore" - because it's putting Canadian jobs and our economy at risk

Worthwhile article from Chantal Hebert here.

She's not the first to link Harper's gutting of environmental regulations, skeptical attitude towards climate change and attacks on the environmental movement to other countries (particularly our major trading partner south of the border) reluctance to embrace Canada's natural resources, but in just two sentences, Hebert does a good job of exposing the box that the Conservative government has painted Canada's economy into:

"Harper has made it impossible to have a national conversation on the economy without talking about pipelines, but just as impossible to debate those without addressing his climate change record. When it comes to Canada’s energy agenda, it is the elephant in the room that will no longer be ignored."

When other countries and trading partners read reports that state Canada ranks worst on climate policy among industrialized countries, that doesn't encourage confidence. 

As someone who was part of the Young Liberals of Canada delegation to the United Nations Conference of the Parties climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, it is disappointing that Canada's leadership sees the environment and the economy as competing interests, but I am happy that the the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau have a sustainable and balanced energy policy.

This understanding that responsible approaches to environmental and energy policy can benefit all Canadians also contrasts nicely with Thomas Mulcair and his NDP, who are when speaking in front of a Calgary corporate oil sands audience say "Pipelines...should be a priority...[we] will be a partner with the development of energy resources...We will be there with you." while attacking the oil sands in Toronto Centre.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why not a McQuaig vs. Mulcair debate on natural resource development?

As I predicted back in September, the Mulcair NDP has wasted no time in demonstrating that the "Love is better than anger" NDP is long gone, as Mulcair candidates in the by-elections (particularly Toronto Centre) have spared no opportunity in launching angry attacks on the third-party Liberals.

Mulcair's candidate in Toronto Centre, Linda McQuaig has been negative from day one, attacking the Liberal candidate for not being "from" Toronto (an interesting strategy in a riding with one of the largest population of New Canadians in the country and not one I really thought worked well for the NDP against Glen Murray in his by-election, but the Mulcair NDP is not going to miss a chance to be angry) and attacking Justin Trudeau on the environment and energy development. You can see a sample of Ms. McQuaig's consistency on environmental policy above, but something McQuaig has also been demanding is more debates. I'd love to see her debate a political leader who has positions like this:

And this in a speech "organized by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by oil sands producer Suncor Energy Inc. and pipeline company Enbridge Inc." Or how about a leader, who speaking to the elite and well connected Canadian Club of Toronto:

"Mulcair throws support behind West-to-East oil pipeline...Mulcair gave his clearest sign of support yet for the notion of a west-to-east pipeline...Mulcair said shipping western oil to Eastern Canada is “pro-business"...Mr. Mulcair later told reporters he has long said he would not speak against the oil sands expansion.

A debate between Ms. McQuaig and her fellow Mulcair candidate Cory Szczepanski in Brandon-Souris would also be interesting, considering he proudly tweeted out the first article on October 27th: