Monday, September 14, 2015

Could the Refugee Issue Help Stephen Harper Win the Election?

I was planning to stay away from writing about polls for a while because all of them suggest a three-way tie, and with the margin of error could mean anything.

But something about this latest Nanos poll bothers me. 

Not because of the result, which with a margin of error of 2.8% could have any of the three parties in the lead.

But because of the tracking line...

Which resembles to some degree at least, the one from the most recent EKOS poll...

And if it is an accurate reflection of reality would surprise me. Because I can't help but wonder why what many called one of the Con's worst weeks, could turn out to be one of their best?

Or even worse, make me wonder whether Frank Graves is right to suggest that the refugee crisis might actually be helping Stephen Harper. 

Our data show that the values of the Canadian majority are clashing with those of the Conservative base over the refugee crisis — but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the Conservatives have misread the electorate this time.

In fact, the current conventional wisdom on this issue is probably wrong; the refugee crisis has not hurt Mr. Harper. In fact, it seems to be helping him. It appears from our polling that the Conservative party has consolidated — and possibly even expanded — its base. At these numbers, the Conservatives could easily win the election and form a minority government despite being stuck at 32 points.

Wonder too if this poll, which I ran a couple of days ago, is also right...

Just 36 per cent of Canadians think the federal government should allow more refugees from Syria, according to polling by EKOS Research.

 “There is a very large number of Canadians that are saying we have to be very careful about who we bring into this country,” says Kyle Matthews, senior deputy director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University.

And there really is a dangerous gap between what many Canadians say they feel, and what they actually want.

Which in turn makes me wonder whether Harper's Australian attack dingo Lynton Crosby is mining that gap, has seen where this story might be going. 

"The aim of this measure is to limit the current influx to Germany and to return to orderly entry procedures," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters. "This is also urgently necessary for security reasons."

And is planning to use anti-refugee sentiment as a dog whistle wedge issue as he has done before in other elections in other countries...

Now no decent Canadian could NOT want to help those desperate refugees, or not want to bring more of them into Canada. And you know where I stand.

But there are only 35 days before the election, and we will not help those refugees by electing another Harper government.

So what I strongly suggest is that we broaden our attack on the Con regime, focus slightly less on the refugee issue, and more on the state of the economy which will in all probability decide the result of the election.

Which is something the Cons know only too well. For now that they may have firmed up their base, they are moving aggressively to try to boost their phoney economic credentials, and win the support of the less than ten percent of the others they need to win a majority.

By releasing no less than EIGHT new attack ads on the economy yesterday, aimed at both the NDP...

And the Liberals...

For very good reason. Because they know that on the economy they are now vulnerable. And that if Canadians understand where Harper's oily obsession might be taking this country.

Goldman Sachs has bad news for anyone banking on the oil price rebounding any time soon, saying in a report that the price of crude could fall to $20 per barrel by the time it's all said and done.

He won't stand a chance of winning the election...

We should also broaden the campaign to include what Harper is doing in the fight against climate change i.e. nothing. Because it is the greatest threat we face, it has been practically ignored, and it is a way to motivate young voters who in this campaign so far have had little to excite them. 

We also need to bring the future of medicare into the picture, because it's also an important issue. Especially for seniors whose votes we also badly need.

And because on that front we can also remind people that when Lynton Crosby was working for the Cameron Tories in Britain, he went for the jugular of that country's National Health Service...

And use Harper's Aussie attack dingo to attack him, and his plans to stealthily strangle medicare.

We should also play up the scandals of the Con regime because the stench of corruption has or had demotivated some of his base. And if we can encourage only five per cent to stay at home on election day the Harperites will be fatally wounded.

And of course above all we need to focus on what Harper and his political thugs have done to our democracy, and make this campaign a crusade to save Canada and its values. For that is what it's all about.

But as for the refugee question, I strongly suggest that over the course of the next month we don't make it a major election issue or ask for too much.

It pains me to suggest that we temporarily restrain our better instincts because it runs contrary to everything I believe in, and my vision of Canada as a decent and noble country.

As a progressive I am proud to wear my heart on my sleeve, and the thought that this poor little child might have been saved by a Canadian government, but wasn't...

Just about kills me, and will haunt me for the rest of my life.

And I do want Harper and his callous political thugs to pay for their crimes. 

But what good will we do other desperate refugees like little Alan Kurdi, or ourselves, if we put our hearts before our heads?

Fall into the trap of good intentions, which as you know can sometimes pave the road to hell, and inadvertently help the Cons to win the election.

I still believe that we can and will defeat that brutish regime. 

But to be sure that we are able to drive a stake into its rotten heart, in the 35 remaining days we have to be very, very, smart.

Because we are up against an absolute monster...

He is wounded but still dangerous.

The fate of our precious country and its values hangs in the balance.

And failure is not an option...

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  1. I'm beginning to think that a vast majority of Canadians are very selfish and are only looking at what the government will do for them! To Hell with my neighbour! and especially "to hell with any human beings outside our Canadian borders"........
    Humanity is on a downward spiral Worldwide...........not much faith left in Humanity, in my opinion.

    1. hi's not surprising that ten years of Harper rule has corrupted many Canadians. But don't lose faith in humanity, all we've got to do is remove that invasive tumour from our midst...

  2. As I wrote in my own blog - yes this can, and probably will, win him the election. The sad fact is that a huge number of Canadians are deeply bigoted even if they wouldn't admit it publicly. Because of this bigotry it is easy to feed on the fear of the other and the basic xenophobia that seethes under the surface of our society. Watch for Harper to win with about 38% of the vote. Damn I hate that idea more than I can say, but that is the reality that I see shaping up.

    1. Anonymous12:14 PM

      We need the "Facebook generation" to make sure their friends all get out to vote against that tragedy--also the unions--also the First Nations people that heil harper constantly treats so well--the LGBT short anybody who isn't a complete fucking idiot who is sick and tired of their criminal cabal ruining our country in the name of "security" and "patriotism".

      “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”
      ― Joseph Goebbels

    2. hi Kirby....sorry I missed your post, I have almost no time for blogging these days. But now that've read I see we are both disillusioned. However, since I am always more optimistic than you. ;)
      I don't think it will have much effect on the election as long as we don't beat that drum too loudly until after the election. The Con base is already very disillusioned so as long as their fears of a Muslim invasion are not stoked, those grubby bigots will simmer down, and we may still get some of them to stay at home...

    3. hi anon...we do need to get out the vote if we are to be sure to defeat the Cons. I'll have some ideas on getting out the youth vote, and hopefully some videos as soon as I can find the time. But I understand that there is quite a lot of activity on university campuses across the country, so there are some grounds to be optimistic. And yes the parties need to kick their propaganda up a notch, because so far it's far too gentle. When bullies attack you and try to smear you I've always believed that the best way to deal with them is to give them a taste of their own medicine...

  3. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Abbott just got turfed out of Oz.

    Might be worth the time to find out why, and see if anything there applies here.

    1. hi anon...yes I saw that, and will have to write something about it. Poor old Stevie must be absolutely devastated...

  4. I agree with what you are saying Kirby and that we are headed for another 4 harper years. The vote split between the Libs and NDP is not helping matters and the priority of ridding Canada of this corrupt regime is not on their collective radar and they appear more than willing to hand harper yet another victory. Hat to say it but they have succeeded in destroying yet another liberal leader "just not ready" has been on the airwaves for how long now and they know that the NDP's chances of forming government are slim. Sure hope I'm wrong but our side is really not as committed to winning as they need to be otherwise harper really would be finished by now, and he's not. Now that Duffy is clearly in our rear view mirrors he can now focus on sliming refugees and pumping his chest about his non-existent economic credentials and those who bother to vote will give him an even stronger majority. I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life.

    1. hi bcwaterboy...I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way. And I don't blame you, there are some discouraging signs, and we definitely do have to watch out for a vote splitting situation. However, don't forget that polls show that the desire for change remains very high, and they also show that many NDP and Liberals Party supporters are prepared to vote for the other if that's what it takes to defeat the Cons. So that's a promising development and whoever looks like the best leader to defeat Harper will get a lot of last minute support. As I said in my post we just have to work hard and be very very smart...

  5. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Montreal Simon, the polls could be a reflection of Christians who are brainwashed with decades of teaching demanding adherence to believe when a leader is being maligned this is the work of Satan due to the fact God has such a calling on the leader's life and purpose. The truth is going to need to stare brainwashed people in the face.or Harper will have to submit and confess himself - otherwise the brainwashed will only be more determined to support Harper in difficult times, due to this teaching.

    1. hi anon...I have no doubt that Harper's religious base is a factor, but remember they are prone to be put off by the corruption of his regime, and they aren't that many. In fact a lot of church groups are leading the battle to help refugees, so he may still alienate enough of them to hurt his chances of winning the election. And of course, also remember that this time a minority won't save him....

  6. I really despair for my fellow Canadians. How can we be so callous and selfish? What have we, as a nation, become?
    I suddenly feel like I'm surrounded by ravenous wolves, an enemy of the state, that suddenly this country that I've called my home for my entire life has turned on me.

    It's terrifying to suddenly realise you are not amongst friends, but amongst those that wish you harm.

    1. Exactly how I in a dog eat dog world!

      Now, all of a sudden, Canada has lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ with balanced books..........make no wonder Joe was incognito for awhile!!!!

    2. hi Noah...I ask myself the same questions you do all the time. But as I told Kathleen it's not surprising that ten years of harper rule have corrupted many in this country. But don't despair, about 70% of Canadians are still planning to vote for other parties. So if we can get out the vote, and don't split it too badly, we can still win....

  7. Anonymous8:47 PM

    We only have to look at our balance of trade deficit to know that the Con economic plan has been a disaster for Canada. Selling oil and base metals only to have other countries add significant value and then sell them back to us is a losers game similar to the those species that occupy the bottom rung of the food chain. Essential but not something to aspire to! Unfortunately this is minor compared to the "us vs them' mentality that they are fostering to gain votes. This will destroy Canada because there are many "thems" within our borders and we figured out a long time ago that the best way for "us" to benefit is to have the "them" benefit as well. Welcome to the brave new world of the Retro-Cons!

    1. hi RT...the Con regime has been a disaster for this country in every possible way, economically and morally. But the good news is that its foul actions have alienated all kinds of groups from scientists to veterans, so I still think they have sown the wind and they will reap the whirlwind...

  8. Anonymous9:56 PM

    Oil will continue to decline in price. This will put huge pressures on the government. There is still 5 weeks left in this election; voters aren't that stupid. I believe once the renewed senator trial sparks up again, Harper will run out of rooms to escape into. 75% of people demand change.

    The majority of Canadians don't answer polls. I don't. When some computer or person calls me? I rage and hang up. I already know i'm voting NDP. The riding I'm in doesn't have a hope in hell, but fuck Harper, fuck his evangelical religious xenophobic bullshit.

    I think the majority of people who vote for him are big oil companies and seniors with Alzheimers.

    1. hi anon...well that's true, nobody has ever called me to ask for my opinion, and I have a land line and a cell phone. So I wonder who do they call, and are they the same people? Still, as I told the others, so many hate Harper and his filthy regime that it will make a difference. Fortunately in my riding the Cons don't stand a chance. So I can vote for the NDP or the Liberals or the Greens, and still be sure that we are going to win...

  9. e.a.f.10:42 PM

    if played right the Cons could use the refugees as a way of winning the election and they have just the lizard from oz to help them do it. People can be frightened easily. Just start running stats about the increase in rapes in countries which have taken in refugees, add to that some stats about crime, sharia law, Additional children in schools, need I go on. People can be frightened and turn inwards especially if they feel threatened and perhaps not secure in their jobs or social benefits, i.e. there is so little to go around. how will we accommodate the extra people. Its just all those single men coming. why did they leave their families. when they bring their families it will be they have such large families and will claim welfare. Oh. the lizard will have a very good time.

    what the other parties need to do is continue to hammer on what harper's record is, crime, disregard for Veterans, disregard for our Constitution, looks more like a hell's angels chapter than a political party, 1,200 murdered/missing First Nations women were not on his radar, and his planned cut of $38 Billion to our health care. People keep forgetting Steve doesn't like our national health care system. he still hasn't signed the national accord. Steve likes the communist Chinese and has no problem letting them into the country or allowing them to buy up our country, but one Muslim/Arab coming in, is one to many.

    What we are seeing is a replay of what happened prior to WW II. England, U.S.A., Canada and a lot of other countries refused to take Jewish refugees. One boat of refugees was turned back and as a result they died in the gas chambers. when the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto staged a fight, no one came to their assistance. We know how that ended. This is no different. We let millions of Jews die prior to WW II because Canada and other countries wouldn't take them. Canada is just doing a re do, just with another group.

    1. hi e.a.f.... as I said n my post it could be a factor, if some people put their hearts before their heads. But as long as those bigoted fears about a "Muslim invasion" are not stoked before the election, we should be OK. It's not only a Canadian problem you can see the same thing happening in other countries. And even those who should know better like the Hungarians, are acting very badly. But luckily there are many other reasons the Cons must be defeated, and hopefully they will be enough to deliver us from the Harper beasts...

  10. Anonymous11:25 PM

    And now heil harper has manufactured an economic "surplus"? W.T.F.???
    Has anybody bothered to fact check this to see how they cooked the books this time?

    1. From the Stephen Harper Non-Answer Generator:

      "We have achieved a $1.9 billion surplus for the 2014-2015 fiscal year because government departments massively underspent their budgets. Making huge cuts to veterans, aboriginals, seniors, and immigrants really did pay off!"

    2. hi David correctly points out, the Cons managed that surplus by underspending in just about every department, even if that meant keeping money back from our desperately poor native people. I will be writing about that in my next post...

  11. Voting Conservative: not the Christian thing to do
    Why author Michael Coren's Christian faith will keep him from voting Conservative in the upcoming federal election.

    Election 2015: Religion and faith help guide voters

    1. hi David...yes. I read that article and I must say I was impressed. I must admit I never thought that Michael Coren would become a good Christian. But his transformation has been absolutely wonderful and I who attacked him so many times, even sent him a note to congratulate him. I've always believed in the power of redemption, and he has certainly redeemed himself...

  12. The only poll I will believe (IF United Nations represenatives monitor the election) is the Oct. 19 poll:

  13. The surplus was not manufactured. It was planned. The Cons have been promising and budgeting for a lot of programs that they had no intention of carrying out. The amounts just made them look good at the time. They spent 97 M less than budgeted for disabilities, 1 B less for Native Affairs, Saved 1.1 B for veterans affairs, 200 M for RCMP. 350 M Immigration, 321 M Climate change, And they cut 300 M in foreign aid. Not to mention a lot of lesser amounts. It is a brilliant plan. They announce all these expenditures during the past year with no intention of actually spending the money. It made them look like they cared for all these budget items and they were able to brag that they had a budget of 1 B more than they ever intended to spend for veterans, native affairs etc. As usual the Cons were lying through their teeth. Hopefully the opposition parties will point this out. It also shows how short all these sectors are due to lack of expenditures. The other factor is the 3 parties all drawing votes from the 60 % of voters who will not support Harper. It is a dream that the Libs and the NDP are almost tied. They could not wish for anything better to improve their chances.

    1. hi John...yes you're right, that surplus was entirely manufactured. They have done it on the backs of Canadians including some of the most vulnerable. However, the good news is that by doing so they have alienated many Canadians even further, and when its pointed out how they achieved it, I don't it will win them many brownie points...

    2. The clue to all this was when they DELAYED the Budget last Spring!

  14. Anonymous9:55 AM

    The amount of xenophobia I've seen is just ridiculous. I'd be curious to see the reaction of many of these people if they knew just how many of there "darned foreigners" actually work here in the Cons beloved oil sands. I've certainly seen many at Suncor. At any rate, I think do think we are seeing our political landscape becoming too polarized. Definitely have seen this as it applies here to Alberta and next door in Saskatchewan. I'd rather not see this play out federally so personally I'm hoping for a minority and a strong message to be sent that our federal parties need to get their heads out of their collective arses and start working together for a change for Canadians and not just themselves.

    1. Since 2012 until today, the Cons have only allowed in 2374 Syrian refugees. How pathetic is that!

      Yet their mantra of "we're going to bring in 10,000 MORE Syrian refugees" makes it seem that the Cons have already brought in the first 10,000.

      A good example of how the Cons spin/ lie.