Friday, November 16, 2012

Federal by-election polls

Forum Research, November 12, 2012




Perhaps because it was a significant issue in recent U.S. elections, Forum Research asked Canadians for opinions about the legality of abortion:



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16 comments:

  1. Damn, I was pulling for Galloway. Oh well, Rankin is a pretty decent guy. Notice how the Tory has flipped on the sewage treatment issue?

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  2. pleased in Rankin completely outpacing all the other candidates.

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  3. I would suggest the NDP drop out of Calgary Centre and endorse the Green, and in Duram, the Green should withdraw and endorse the NDP.

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  4. Might I suggest that here is no love for the NDP from the Greens any time soon. E. May is busy attacking Mulcair in Victoria and her desperation is showing. Really disappointed to see this side of her, even though it is supposed to be a race to elect Galloway and not her!

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    1. Aren't people like E.May and A.Carr in the Greens because they couldn't gain traction elsewhere? The Greens were populated by a number of ex-NDP members who wanted leadership positions but couldn't obtain them at the old party.

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    2. The Greens are made up of every political spectrum, not just old NDPer's. I believe Galloway used to be a Liberal and E. May a PC'er from way back. If they ever have to grow up, I predict a lot of infighting.

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  5. The Canadian electorate is, by and large, middle-of-the-road. If we suppose for a moment that each party could be tagged with a partisan stereotype and that there is a range of partisanship within each stereotype, then we might see the Conservative party as a vessel that contains both compromising moderates and non-compromising, radical neo-rightists, all tagged "free-enterprisers." Same for the NDP, a vessel for both compromising, middle-class working people and far-left Marxists. The vast preponderance of moderates in either of these parties, which are perceived as diametrically opposed in ideology, tends, so far, to support the middl-of-the-road theory; the non-compromising elements of each are a tiny, fringe component.

    The distinguishing range of compromise might be a bit less discernible in the Green party for a number of reasons, mostly related to its newness and pre-incumbancy level (except now Saanich-Gulf Islands) of political evolution. Yet we don't have to squint too hard to recognize a range of compromise within its environmental ethos. Granted, because it is more difficult to discern the weight of either level of compromise within the Greens party (an imprecision due to its small size), the middle-of-the-road theory is not supported as clearly as it is with the more overtly ideological parties compared above.

    But what about the Liberals? (Not to be confused with the BC Liberals, which is a far-right party that usurped the brand.) Where we tag the others as either free-enterprise, working-man or environmentalist parties, each with a range of compromise in respective ethos that supports the MOTheR theory, we might become hypothetically stumped with a party that is itself a middle-of-the-road party. After all, we cannot understand extremes of moderation or "fringe" moderates. The party only bushwhacks itself on issues of power, not ideology. I suppose one could construe, at a stretch, that erstwhile Liberals abandoned the party because a substantial number would not compromise on the legitimacy of power (that is, the illegitimacy of Ignatieff's leadership victory) and, according to the MOTheR theory, offended the moderate (that is, compromising, in this case on power legitimacy) position found in all parties across the Canadian political spectrum. Put another way: when the party of compromise got too hard-headed about power, support shifted to other, more compromising parties, giving Harper a majority. (Note he didn't win by the MOTheR theory but rather by default. The Conservatives have moved decidedly to the non-compromising end of the scale and, by the MOTheR theory, will therefore lose the support of centrist Canadians.)

    In this context, the above data suggest: the front-running NDP in Victoria are vulnerable on environmental issues as indicated by the runner-up position of the Greens; The Conservatives in Calgary are vulnerable on issues of compromise as indicated by the runner-up position of the Liberals; the Conservatives in Durham are vulnerable on social issues as indicated by the runner-up position of the "working-man's party," the NDP. The closeness of each race predicates the level of compromise required to shore up their particular vulnerabilities.

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    1. As always, Scotty on Denman provides a thoughtful and interesting analysis. I find it entirely worth attention.

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  6. Canada's problem is the lack of proportional representation. The cons only get a small portion over the overall vote, but lead the country through unite the right divide and conquer, the polls above show this to be the case. What that leads to is a minority running the country. That is an oligarchy, it is not a democracy, which means rule by the people of the country. True democracy can be achieved via proportional representation.

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    1. Try as I may, I'm not sure my analyses are always thoughtful or interesting (I am, however, always thankful to be convicted of any offence against rote and chauvinism.) I can affirm that many have found criticism of my opposition (qualified) to pro-rep worthy of their attention, occasioned by back-to-back referenda, the first of which came close to accepting (perilously so, IMO) and the second, upon closer inspection of the Single-Transferable-Vote style of pro-rep, resulting in a convincing rejection (of which I approved.)

      People are unwarranted in their criticism of our current system of government; they risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Another analogy might be that people rashly want to scrap the car (our system of government) because it can crash (bad policy) if controlled by a reckless driver (the government of the day) as if it had no brakes (the courts) nor steering (public opinion) nor regular pitstops (elections) for repair. We hear how government is "broken" from partisans unsatisfied by the government of the day. But what can one expect after three decades of neo-right propaganda, government bad, taxes bad (and global profiteering good), etc.

      People's expectations of pro-rep are also unwarranted. "More representative," they say; "gives everyone a voice," is commonly heard in support. Here's a hypothesis to which most pro-rep proponents would probably object: say five per cent of voters favour capital punishment; unless five per cent of criminals are executed, it is difficult to weigh exactly how much these voters are being represented. Perhaps simply being "represented" by five per cent of the seats in a pro-rep assembly, and accepting the approbation of the other 95%, is an acceptable booby prize; perhaps just being heard in the hallowed chambers of parliament is a reasonable facsimile for their political purpose. But I doubt it. It seems to me many proponents of pro-rep misconceive everyone having their say with everyone having their way. Real democracy recognizes the impossibility of the latter.

      Pro-rep proponents often claim that since pro-rep would likely lead to more frequent minority governments, parliamentary members would be forced to compromise (as if they don't currently) and parliamentary decorum would thereby improve. Don't know about you, but I noted a sharp downturn in parliamentary civility, a near Constitutional crisis (prorogation to avoid a confidence vote) and a precedent-setting contempt of parliament conviction during the last two minority governments. The rules for passing legislation are Constitutionally enshrined regardless by what method members are elected. Parliamentary civility is not systemically predicated by pro-rep.

      I could cite many reasons, technical, constitutional, philosophical, why I disapprove of pro-rep in general (I would compromise, however, on pro-rep being used to elect Senators, provided each province gets an equal number of them.) But in addition to those I must criticize the rash judgement of out current system by some proponents and the ill-concieved ideals of almost all of them, particularly the preposterous demands that involve Constitutional Amendment.

      Finally, all successful political parties broaden their tent, and therefore their chances of getting elected to government, by being inclusive. Take me, for example: I'm an NDP party member who is opposed to my party's policy on pro-rep (I should note that the BC NDP's policy supports a mixed system, a compromise that I can accept and remain in a party whose social policy I fully support.) Pro-rep would, IMO, tend to divide polities into smaller, more focused and possibly single-issue parties where compromise has to be erased. In my view, democratic politics is about finding the best compromise amongst disparate interests, not about everybody getting their own way.

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  7. Your assumption is that the LIBERALS, NDP, and GREEN parties are all of one mind and thought and I just don't understand how you can make that assumption. One difference is, that I know of between Greens and NDP is that in the Green Party, the leadership approaches individuals who they believe have a good slant on a subject and ask them to write the policy for the party. Well that's a bit different than the NDP where much policy comes from the membership. Did the Liberals (Chretien / Paul Martin) consult their constituents when the did away with the social housing infrastructure in Canada. No, they saw it as an expense that could be done away with. So, I am right off the mark. Compromise is good and can happen at any time as long as there is a will and between any parties. Look, w Limited thoughts I know, but trying to jingle and mingle parties and say they are the same is just so far from reality.

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  8. I agree with Scotty on Denman's assesment of the politics of a pro-rep electorial system. I do not support the NDP, and probably never will in my life. This is the first time I have ever seen any major thought that was not theoretical, partisan, or combative coming from a member of the NDP party. Far to often, in party polotics we are forced to blindly go along with the views of the leader, even when we disagree with their policies; Personally I find the NDP that way, they have their core issues and they stick to them like glue, even when the economic realities, evrionmential realities, or the times dictate comprise; In short the NDP is the party of least comprimise, and that is the biggest reason they have run into trouble when every their provincial wings have been elected government; Lets hope no NDP goverments forming our federal government. Politcs is the art of comprimise, and parties that are unwilling to do that fail to win elections majority of the time.

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    1. The art of compromise you say? Could you site an example in the past 100 years?

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    2. I think the BC Liberal compromise regularly. Compromise their principles, that is.

      Read Bob Mackin or Ian Reid and tell me that Christy Clark, Rick Coleman and colleagues have not compromised principles we expect to find in those who govern us.

      The Real Story

      2010 Gold Rush

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  9. "I do not support the NDP, and probably never will in my life."

    "they have their core issues and they stick to them like glue"

    Hmmmmm.

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    1. Strange that Anonymous, who states a stubborn intention to never ever vote for one party, complains bout the inflexibility of that party. Strangely inconsistent, eh wot?

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