Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Springtime in Harperland and the Battle to Take Canada Back

Well Spring has finally arrived in the little corner of Canada where I live. 

The hockey goals have been fished out of the once frozen canal where they sank after the ice melted.

And biking season is here at last...

Which would be perfect if I didn't live in Harperland, where winter never really ends.

And you can still be hit by this kind of icy chill.
Perceptions of Justin Trudeau’s leadership abilities have tumbled, according to a new poll, while Stephen Harper regained the lead as the top choice for prime minister. 

A Global News/Ipsos Reid poll released Monday found that Mr. Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, was the choice of 38 per cent of respondents as “best prime minister,” an increase of three points since September of 2014. He was followed by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair with 31 per cent support (up seven points from September) and Mr. Trudeau, the Liberal Leader, with 30 per cent (down 12 points).

Which I admit does shock me.

Because while I'm not surprised that Tom Mulcair is doing well, after his strong performance recently. And while I'm not surprised that Justin Trudeau is not doing that well after practically disappearing from view.

I find it hard to believe that more Canadians trust Stephen Harper than they trust the other leaders. And this strikes me as absurd.

Mr. Harper led on most of the 11 traits, including “someone who will get things done,” “someone who is best to manage during tough economic times,” and “someone whose values best represent my own,” many of which previously went for Mr. Trudeau.

And the good news? I don't believe this poll accurately represents what's really going on out there.

Not just because other polls taken at the same time show a different result...

But also because the Ipsos Reid poll was taken before what I have described as Stephen Harper's absolutely disastrous week  

So it doesn't reflect how the Duffy trial is degrading his credibility... 

It doesn't reflect the rising tide of resistance to Bill C-51.

Or how more and more Canadians are giving him the thumbs down...

Or how they feel about all his other crimes against Canada...

And it also doesn't yet reflect the way the economy is degrading his self-styled image as a Great Economist Leader... 

Which can only be further damaged by what Lawrence Martin predicts will be a long period of economic stagnation. 

In the past decade, Canada experienced its lowest run of economic growth since the 1930s. Gross domestic product grew at an average of only 1.9 per cent a year.

Unless some unforeseen remedy appears, jobs will be harder to find, living standards will languish, Canada will lose global standing.

It's only a matter of time before Canadians realize that his promise of better times ahead is only an illusion.

Seems we’re living under an illusion that we’re doing reasonably well, the reason being that until the recent oil price plunge the Conservatives pushed out a lot of feel-good messaging about Canada faring better in the wake of the global financial crisis than other major economies. But doing better than some rivals doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well yourself.

So the economy will not lift his boat before the next election, and may well drag him down.

But what this latest poll and others do tell us, is that ridding this country of Harper and his foul regime will be a brutal battle.

It tells us that our leaders do need to be more aggressive if they wish to prepare the ground before the next election campaign begins in earnest.

That they do need to realize that this is the time to go big or go home.

Just like we need to realize that we do face a demographic challenge...

For unless we can convince older Canadians to vote in less numbers for the Cons, we will face an uphill struggle.

So while this ad which is aimed at younger voters is an excellent one...

We also need to target seniors, and convince them that a Harper victory would be a death sentence for ALL decent people in this country.

And the best news? I don't doubt that we can do it.

Our boat will soon be arriving to take us all young and old to the biggest battle of our lives...

But our flag will be waving proudly when it is over.

And the Cons will be defeated...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Simon, that is a superb clip by Lynden McIntyre. Along with extracts fom your blog, I sent it to those who might relate to the message.

    Since I am also in Lynden McIntyre's demographic, I find it appalling that people my age blindly follow the Harper Regime to the detriment of their own offspring. Unfortunately, many of my more well-to-do aquaintances don't want to hear the truth. Rather than open their minds and show some compassion for their fellow citizens and future generations, they coldly wallow in their own wealth.

    1. Love this clip from Lynden McIntyre.............reminds me of the late, great George Carlin......may he RIP!
      Thanks for sharing.

    2. hi anon...yes it is a great clip, I have a huge amount of respect for Lynden McIntyre, and I can't forget how badly he was treated by CBC management when he went to retire and was treated like dirt after so many years of faithful service. I'm lucky to work with seniors and young people so I can try to convince them to change their voting habits. I don't try to brow beat anyone, but as you can imagine, I do let them know how I feel...;)

  2. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Seriously, Simon, Harper leading Junior by 8%? That poll you quoted above was an Oopsos ... recall the huge Hudak victory they had predicted? Yup, "oops" said it all.

    Here is the link to Ipsos on this particular poll: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=6819

    Note that it is one of those dubious non random, online, opt-in/ self-selected, panel polls about which this had been said : http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/03/14/a-voters-guide-to-political-polling-in-this-2015-federal-election-year/#.VS1LHfJFB9A

    Two further comments:

    (a) from the second link above: "....By opting in, panellists may provide pollsters with a detailed profile (such as age, gender, income, employment, locale, and even banking and shopping preferences) that can then be used to build samples for particular surveys. This is a great tool for doing targeted market research but is problematic when trying to survey public opinion at large." , and

    (b) it seems to me that Ipsos apparently had given up even pretending that they are carrying out a scientific poll. Here is what they said (see paragraph in italics from first link above): "The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled."

    Unlike the well known "Margin of Error", which is calculated using an accepted mathematical formula applied to a probabilistic based population (which does not apply to non random, opt-in/self-selected, online polls), there is no standard statistical entity I know of that is known as "credibility interval". Unless I am mistaken, Ipsos must have made up this "credibility interval" themselves likely to make it look like they have a margin of error for their poll. Lol

    All this may sound a bit technical, but In this day and age, the wise know that with polls, it is rather buyers beware, eh? :)

    1. Anonymous3:53 PM

      Correction, Simon. Seems Ipsos is basing it on Bayesian Credibility Interval. However, here is what the AAPOR has to say on credibility intervals: https://www.aapor.org/AAPORKentico/AAPOR_Main/media/MainSiteFiles/DetailedAAPORstatementoncredibilityintervals.pdf

      Clearly, from the above, the AAPOR has cautioned the public against using the credibility interval as the equivalent of the MOE and still emphasizes that the underlying biases associated with non probability based online polling remains a concern.

      AAPOR has said that the use of Bayesian credibility intervals is dependent on the pollsters' choice of model and that there is no easy way to validate the latter. Hence the last line of the above link: " .... Consumer, be aware".

    2. hi anon...look I don't try to evaluate polls since many are flawed and all over the place. And in all my years nobody has ever asked me for my opinion, so how representative are they? What I look for are trends, which do give you a rough idea of where we are going. And once you translate your second comment into English I'm sure I'll have something to say about that... ;)

    3. Anonymous10:45 PM

      Actually, most scientific polls are incredibly accurate. Accordingly, those who say they are flawed, or dispute the results are most likely people who didn't like what the results of a particular poll said. (at least according to a recent poll, lol)

    4. Anonymous8:27 PM

      @Anon 10.45 pm. Either you are genuinely ignorant about the current state of scientific polling or you are perhaps hoping that others are more ignorant than you. ;)

      Perhaps this will help. The AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) is arguably the most qualified body on public pollimg. Here is their strong caution against the use of opt -in or self selecting online panels for surveying public opinions: https://www.aapor.org/AAPORKentico/AAPOR_Main/media/MainSiteFiles/Response-to-NYTimes_AAPOR-website-final_logo_01Aug14.pdf Just read their first conclusion about how people should avoid nonprobability online panels when the objective is to estimate accurately population values. In English, this means that the online panel methodology being employed by many outfits such as Ipsos Reid and Angus Reid are really not suitable for measuring the true public response such as which party voters support or whether they support the Iraq war or Bill C-51.

      Here is another AAPOR caution against the use of Bayesian Credibility Interval (as applied by Ipsos Reid) that I had referred to above: https://www.aapor.org/AAPORKentico/AAPOR_Main/media/MainSiteFiles/DetailedAAPORstatementoncredibilityintervals.pdf

      Here is a caution against the use of margin of errors for non probability online panels by the M.R.I.A. (Marketing Research Intelligence Agency), the corresponding body for public polling in Canada: http://mria-arim.ca/about-mria/standards/margin-of-error

      In summary, there are legitimate uses for the non probability (non randomized) online panel polling currently being widely employed by several outfits previously mentioned, however, using them to gauge true public response is extremely dubious. Only a truly random poll, carried out correctly, can do the latter.

  3. e.a.f.3:59 PM

    To target the aging baby boomer bunch all some party or group has to do is advertise and remind them that the national health accord has not yet been signed and in 2017 Stevie and his slimes will take $30 Billion out of the transfer payments to the provinces for health care. Then just ask them if they can personally afford that?

    Part of the Canadian identity is our health care system. If the cons plan on removing it so they can fight foreign wars people might be a little less willing to vote for Steve.

    In B.C. a couple pays $130 a month for health care. then there are fees for this and that at the doctor's office. Every one except those below the poverty line pay $130 per month, a million a yr or $40K a yr, you all pay the same. Except the rich get to go to private clinics for a lot of surgeries and avoid the wait list. The Premier, "sparkle pony" queen has no intention of changing that. She needs the money so she can give bigger tax breaks and cheques to the mining companies.

    so the polls might want to ask how they felt about harper now that they know stevie is taking $30 BILLION out of health care.

    1. hi e.a.f...you're right, I find it hard to understand why so many older Canadians support the Cons when they are trying to get rid of pensions, and slowly strangling our medicare system. I believe that free health care is a human right, and there is probably no issue I feel more strongly about. People should check out what the Cons in Britain are doing to the National Health Service, because it's an absolute tragedy....

    2. Anonymous10:39 PM

      Health care is a Provincal matter and the Federal government has no say in how they run their system or how they spend (waste) their money.

      CEO's of the hospitals make anywhere from 3 to 5 times as much salary as the PM, that in itself is an outrage.

      As for pensions, I contributed to my own pension all my life because I didn't expect the government to automatically support me. Call it personal responsibility, if you will. But as a result, I'm now comfortably retired.

      The younger generation should do the same because eventually there will be more of us retired than those working to support CPP, which is part of the reason the government is being proactive by making changes to the system now.

      As John Adams once said, "facts are stubborn things"

  4. Anonymous11:01 PM


    LEONARD: “The Prime Minister is requesting a 15-minute meeting Mr. President.”
    OBAMA: “What’s with that guy?”
    LEONARD: “Sir?” (coughs)
    OBAMA: “He’s shifty…he’s never standing where his voice seems to be coming from.”
    LEONARD: “Ummm…”
    OBAMA: “And he’s a large lump isn’t he? All pudge and hair.”

    1. Isn't this from a satire news site?

  5. Young Voters Could Defeat Harper, So Why Don't They?


    PrimeTime Politics - iVote-JeVote
    Federal political leaders discuss how to motivate more youth participation in politics at this University of Ottawa event. Speakers include Conservative MP Michael Chong, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and Green Leader Elizabeth May. (March 25, 2014)

    1. hi David...I read that Tyee story about young voters which is a good one. But it is important that people recognize that the young demographic is shrinking in relative importance as this country ages. And I believe that seniors should be targeted with ads that help explain why they shouldn't support the Cons because they are doing things that can only make their lives miserable...

  6. Anonymous10:26 PM

    So you're saying us older Canadians are dumb and don't have a clue about what the government is doing? Give me a break! As you get older, maybe you'll realize that you get more life experience and learn from mistakes and your view on politics, and life in general for that matter, takes on a more objective tone.

    Harper and the Con's may not be perfect, and I certainly don't agree with everything they do, but when compared to the 2 alternatives in Ottawa right now, he's the lessor of the 3 evils and for that reason alone, he'll have my vote come October.

  7. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Anon 10:26 I am an older Canadian but I don't see through rose colored glasses like you. Harper is the worst of the three evils as you say. He is top criminal evil he will not be getting my vote. Are you brainwashed or what? I ain't sorry for you to support a criminal like Stephen Joesph Harper who took over $5.000,000.00 dollars from real working Canadians. Sorry the highway robber baron does not get my vote. Because he is a cheat and a sneak in the dark in other words an ugly criminal. I'll never vote for a criminal...

    Like I'd vote for Rob Ford? Not a snowflakes hope in hell same as stevie...

    Mogs Moglio