Andrew Coyne on the Conservative paradox: strong economy, weak support


It is unusual enough for a governing party to fall, and stay, below 30% in the polls. But to do so in good times? Unheard of.

Real wages, household incomes, average net worth: all are at or near all-time highs. Unemployment is back below 7%: not as low as in the boom years of the last decade, but lower than at most times in the past 40 years. The proportion of the population on “low income” is the lowest it has been since Statistics Canada began collecting data on it.

The paradox remains: How could a government presiding over such a strong economy be so unpopular? It is unusual enough for a governing party to fall, and stay, below 30% in the polls. But to do so in good times? Unheard of. And while governments sometimes are obliged to take a hit early in their tenure, traditionally the time for taking tough decisions, it is hard to think of what the Conservatives might have done on the policy front to make them so unpopular.

It seems, rather, to be almost entirely to do with their no-prisoners approach to politics. The criticisms on this front are well known; the point is it is wholly self-inflicted. The Conservatives are in such odium neither by bad luck (as governing in bad times usually amounts to) nor necessity, but by choice. They aren’t an especially bad government. Arguably they’re more competent than most. But they seem almost to have gone out of their way to alienate people.

So: it’s not the economy, stupid? People don’t necessarily vote with their wallets? At any rate, with numbers like these the Tories are toast, right?

Not so fast. These are polls, not an election. Much can happen between now and voting day. (Officially, Oct. 19, 2015, though you never know…) And, with regard to the economy at least, much of what happens could be to the Conservatives’ advantage.

They’ve already signed one big trade agreement, with Europe, which won them the best press they’ve had in years (before the Senate scandals enveloped them again). Others may follow, notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Assuming continued economic growth — and there are signs the recovery is picking up speed, notably south of the border — they will almost certainly be able to report a balanced budget before then, making way for the tax cuts promised last time out: income splitting for couples with children, and a doubling of the amounts that can be socked away in Tax-Free Savings Accounts.

Moreover, by late 2015 unemployment will most probably have fallen further, possibly to near 6%. On its own, this argues powerfully for the Conservatives’ chances: Since 1957, no majority government has ever been defeated when unemployment was below 7%.

As it is, we have lately been provided with several examples of how strong the urge is to stay with incumbents: Voters in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario all returned the governing parties to power, though each had trailed badly until shortly before election day. Add a divided opposition, with leaders who are untested or unloved, throw in another 30 seats in Conservative-friendly territory, and the odds would still seem to favour the Tories.

With numbers like these the Tories are toast, right? Not so fast

And yet: the scandals are not going away. The RCMP will continue to investigate the Senate mess, with charges likely (though possibly not before election day). At some point, too, the Auditor General will report the findings of his examination of senators’ expenses — the same senators who so lately sat in judgment of three of their fellows for abusing theirs.

On another front, later this spring the trial of Michael Sona, the only person to be charged to date in the robocalls affair, gets under way. His lawyer has suggested Mr. Sona is being made to take the blame for a much larger plot. Whether that is true or not, the Conservatives’ handling of the whole matter has been so strange that its return to the headlines can hardly be a welcome development.

A weakened government emboldens its critics, within and without. The Northern Gateway pipeline, for example, is likely to meet with fierce resistance, even after its approval by the National Energy Board. Public-sector unions, ordinarily a convenient punching bag, might find a more sympathetic public this time out. Meanwhile, the unrest on the backbenches will surely continue, not least since the prime minister is sending every signal of his determination to carry on exactly as before, of which the return of Dimitri Soudas as party director is only the last.

All of the things that have combined to bring the government to its current state, in other words — the scandals, the polarization, its own nastiness — remain in place. In all likelihood, the Conservatives will have a good story to tell about the economy in the next campaign. The question is: Will anyone be listening?

Postmedia News


The Conservative slide continues. Post-election polls put the party above 40%. By last spring, they had fallen to 30%. Year-end polls have them somewhere in the upper 20s.

A Nanos poll for the Institute for Research on Public Policy shows 56% of Canadians rate the government’s performance as poor or very poor, a 23-point increase from last year. Ekos, likewise, finds 46% of respondents, a slight plurality, saying the country is “moving in the wrong direction.” But fully 52% say the government is on the wrong track.

As the party’s support dwindles, its isolation grows. The same Ekos poll shows just 9% of those who supported other parties listed the Conservatives as their second choice. Perhaps more tellingly, 48% of Tory supporters refused to make a second choice. They are down to the hardest of the hard core.

The slide predates the Senate scandals or the election of Justin Trudeau as Liberal leader, though each has surely helped to make it worse. Yet throughout this period, as the party was losing a third of its support, the economy has continued to improve. Indeed, by many measures the country has never been more prosperous, as I’ve argued more than once.

Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

It is tragic that while Mr. Harper has done well managing the economy, it has come at his prostitution of the values of fundamental principles of democracy and the Rule of Law.

Rather than adopt a correct social policy he has always chosen political point scoring which has left Canada with some serious problems that mean total destruction for many Canadians.

In Ontario, over One Billion Dollars is spent on Ontario's largest Criminal Organization, the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.

This corrupt organization relies upon fabricating evidence, hired pens, and having installed their own judges, former CAS lawyers who devoid of conscience, rubber stamp decisions for the Criminal Cartel called the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.

More often than not, it is directed at Fathers, to deprive children of fathers.

This is an organization that promotes hatred towards fathers, especially those who are victims of domestic violence.

The latest craze of the Children's Aid Society is to terminate children's relationships with fathers because they state, that they were victims of domestic violence.  That is, children never see their dad again because mommy used to beat the kids and daddy up so CAS "give her the kids".

How can it happen?

Well the corrupt Children's Aid Societies believe, they are above the law. Their workers and lawyers habitually flagrantly commit criminal offences against the administration of justice.

Take Marguerite Isobel Lewis of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa who fabricates evidence personally in the court-room. Ottawa Police commenced an investigation and after at first being outraged, they refused to lay a charge claiming Fabrication of evidence, and obstruction of justice by a lawyer, in the court room was a "civil matter".

That's a classic example of how Ottawa Police support Criminals committing crimes against children and against the administration of Justice.

Then there are the string of judges who turn a blind eye to lawyers in Ottawa committing endless criminal offences against the administration of justice, including perjury and do NOTHING. except protect criminals.

If want to come to visit Canada's corruption Capital where the Police support Criminals, come to Ottawa Ontario were real crime starts at 1602 Telesat court, the offices of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa.