Tag Archives: election

Interesting Facts from the Election Entrails

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Monday’s election results

confirm there’s a fire of frustration burning in Western Canada.

The Niagara Independent, October 25, 2019 — For politicos and pundits, inspecting and dissecting the results of a vote provides endless hours of amusement. Canada’s 43rd general election results have not disappointed – and in fact they have produced a few political firsts.

Consider this political first. The Trudeau Liberals will form government with the lowest share of popular vote in Canadian history. The Liberals recorded 33 percent of the vote and one needs to go back to the country’s confederation to find anything comparable. The last and only time a party formed government with less than 35 percent of the national popular vote was Sir John A. Macdonald in 1867 with 34.8 percent.

The Conservatives actually received a greater number of total votes: 6.1 million to the Liberals’ 5.8 million. Remarkably, like the U.S. presidential race four years ago, the Leader who garners the greatest number of votes does not win the Office.

The final seat count on Monday night also revealed a collapse of the NDP support in central Canada (one Quebec seat and six Ontario seats) and a failure of the Green Party to convert good will to actual votes (only 1.1 million votes nationally). The Liberals were the direct benefactor of the NDP and Green weaknesses and nowhere is this more evident than in Ontario. Though the Liberals dropped 20 seats nationally, their seat count in Ontario remains unchanged from the dissolution of Parliament. Liberals received 41 percent of the vote in Ontario; won all 25 seats in Metro Toronto and 24 of 29 seats in the GTA.

Toronto was but one City where the Liberals dominated. They also swept the ridings on Montreal Island, in Halifax, and won 4 of 6 seats in Winnipeg.

The Conservative bedrock in Western Canada resulted in lopsided ballot box victories and a bevy of seats. The Party captured all but one seat in Alberta with an avalanche of votes. In fact, 32 of 33 Albertan Conservatives captured 70 percent or more of their local vote. Conservatives swept Saskatchewan, won all but one rural Manitoba seats, and upped their seat count in B.C. And notably, the Conservatives defeated key Liberal Cabinet Ministers in the west: Amarjeet Sohi in Edmonton and (Sir) Ralph Goodale in Regina.

So, Monday’s vote reconfirms the Liberal base is built in the urban centres of central and eastern Canada, while Conservative support is entrenched in the West. It is a political divide in our country that has the potential of becoming a societal chasm. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, we are only beginning to witness the potential fracturing of the country.

On Monday night as the results were still being reported out, the term ‘Wexit,’ (a western Canadian version of Brexit) was trending on Twitter. Tuesday morning Alberta Premier Jason Kenney spoke with PM Trudeau to tell him directly the “deep frustration expressed by Albertans is very real.”  Kenny repeated to media later “If the frustration and alienation in Alberta continues, it will pose a very serious challenge to national unity.”

Both Premier Kenny and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe have publicly called on the newly elected Liberal Government to demonstrate its support for the West by advancing new development of pipelines and restructuring equalization payments. Unquestionably, these are two initiatives that the Trudeau-led-NDP-supported minority government will not address, which is sure to escalate the tension and sense of alienation for western Canadians.

Professor Barry Cooper of the University of Calgary opined about western alienation, “It’s about the bizarre ingratitude of Laurentian Canada and what they have taken from here. People are saying, ‘What is the point of belonging to a political organization where we are donors and no one says thank you.’” Peter Downing, the founder of the movement Wexit went further in stating, “People are heartbroken. The concept of Canada has died in a lot of people’s hearts.” Point of fact: the VoteWexit Facebook page with its motto “The West Wants Out” went from 2,000 members on the weekend to nearly 171,000 by Tuesday afternoon and the group has received more than $20,000 in donations and membership fees overnight.

Other facts from the national vote.

  • On Tuesday there were diametrically opposing reactions in Canada’s eastern and western business communities, perhaps best illustrated by the companies SNC Lavalin and Husky Oil. The shares of Quebec’s SNC Lavalin surged 13 percent in trading with their investors’ belief that the Liberals will defer a prosecution agreement and allow the engineering company to escape justice. Conversely, hundreds of Husky Oil workers were laid off as the company is “taking steps to better align the organization and workforce” in Alberta and through western Canada.
  • Elections Canada reports that four of the five biggest third-party spenders during the pre-writ and election campaign periods were organized labour. Unifor, the union representing a majority of Canada’s media, spent close to $1.3 million on an anti-Conservative ad campaign. The United Steelworkers, who endorse the NDP, spent the second-highest amount. Third was Fairness Works funded by the Canadian Labour Congress. Then there is Friends of Canadian Broadcasting that spent more than a half million dollars, and Canadian Federation of Nurses Union that spent $412,000. By comparison, Canada Proud, an anti-Liberal organization, spent just under $200,000.
  • The national public opinion website 338CANADA.com was highlighted in media throughout the campaign period. For the record on the weekend it published its last seat count predictions: Lib 142 / Con 126 / NDP 34 / Bloc 33 / Green 2 / PPC 1 / Ind 0. Looking at the vote results, it under-estimated the Liberal tally by 15 while over-estimating NDP support.

Breaking news from the re-elected Prime Minister is that he will announce his Cabinet on November 20th. With this news, the ruminations of Ottawa’s chattering class will soon turn from the minutia of the vote results to the questions of governing in a minority Parliament.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/interesting-facts-from-the-election-entrails/

Quotes on Elections

   

It’s been said that “The election is not very far off when a candidate can recognize you across the street.” So, with the Canadian federal election about to be called in the coming days, we bring you 20 political quotes on elections.  

 

  • A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman, of the next generation. – James Freeman Clarke
  • The election is not very far off when a candidate can recognize you across the street. – Kim Hubbard
  • Vote for the man who promises least. He’ll be the least disappointing. – Bernard Baruch
  • Of two evils, it is always best to vote for the least hypocritical. – American Proverb
  • If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal. – Emma Goldman
  • Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. – Franklin P. Adams
  • A politician should have three hats.  One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.  – Carl Sandburg
  • Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.  – Winston Churchill
  • Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote. – George Jean Nathan
  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. – Gore Vidal 
  • Half of the American people never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. – Gore Vidal
  • In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. – Newt Gingrich
  • The only thing we learn from new elections is we learned nothing from the old. – American Proverb
  • If elected I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same. – Abraham Lincoln
  • In times of stress and strain, people will vote. – Anonymous
  • What in fact takes place in an election is that two hand picked candidates are propped up before the citizenry, each candidate having been selected by a very small group of politically active people. A minority of the people… then elects one of these hand picked people to rule itself and the majority. –  Robert J. Ringer
  • Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan I know he is going to vote against me. – Harry Truman
  • However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. – Winston Churchill
  • Don’t vote, it only encourages them. – Anonymous
  • If elected, I will win. – Pat Paulsen

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Post Election Analysis

The Post Election Analysis is in:  Hillary Clinton is the President of California

 

Here’s a short and informative read – an excellent analysis but I doubt if it will be discussed in the media. Our fore-fathers were brilliant!!!

We hear a cacophony of blaring and bleating from the media and the Hillary gaggle that she won the popular vote and therefore she should be president, 60,839,497 to 60,265,847 or 47.8% to 47,3% with the remaining 4.9% going to the other candidates.

But here are the facts: Trump won the popular vote in 31 states to her 19 and DC. 2% to her 38%. Trump led in the total popular vote for all states except California.

Hillary won California 5,860,714 to Trump’s 3,151,821. that’s 61.6% to 33.1% exclusive of the other candidates.

Thus California gave Hillary the popular vote for all states as claimed by the Democrats and their media stooges. But deduct her California vote from her national vote leaving her with 54,978,783, and deduct Trump’s California vote from his national total, leaving him with 57,113.976, he wins in a landslide in the other 49 states, 51.3% to her 48.7%.

So, in effect, Hillary was elected president of California and Trump was elected president of the rest of the country by a substantial margin.

This exemplifies the wisdom of the Electoral College, to prevent the vote of any one populace state from overriding the vote of the others.

Trump’s Campaign Manager, Kellyanne Conway, whose expertise is polling, saw this early on and devised her strategy of “6 pathways to the White House”.  This meant ignoring California with its huge Democrat majority and going after the states that would give him the necessary electoral votes to win, FL, NC, MI, PA, OH, and WI.

At its lowest point since the civil war!!! Could this mean the end of the Democrat Party? When the afternoon of January 20, 2017 arrives, the Republican Party will have:

1)  The Presidency.
2)  A majority of the House of Representatives.
3)  A majority of the Senate.
4)  Almost two-thirds of all the governorships.
5)  Total control of the statehouses in almost two-thirds of all the states.
And in the near future, Republicans will be able to add:
6)  A majority of the Supreme Court.

With the demand that we do away with the Electoral College and take the popular vote being pushed by the media, etc, all Americans need to know that the Electoral College is working exactly as our Founding Fathers intended.

 

(ed. – From the By George e-mailbox.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

FAV U.S. Election Memes (of the last week)

As the dust settles from what was a wild U.S. election, here are FAV memes of the past 7 days (right click on image, copy and share!).

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us-2016-election

 

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

Quotes on the Art of Campaigning

  • Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of celebration man can normally muster. – James Harvey Robinson
  • A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in. – H.L. Mencken
  • There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. – Bertolt Brecht
  • I do not believe that any political campaign justifies the declaration of a moratorium on ordinary common sense. – Dwight David Eisenhower
  • I have tried to talk about the issues in this campaign… and this has sometimes been a lonely road, because I never meet anybody coming the other way. – Adlai Stevenson
  • There is no excitement anywhere in the world, short of war, to match the excitement of the American presidential campaign. – Theodore White
  • I believe in the battle-whether it’s the battle of a campaign or the battle of this office, which is a continuing battle. – Richard Nixon
  • I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Prosperity is necessarily the first theme of a political campaign. – Woodrow Wilson
  • In any grass-roots campaign, building an ongoing base of support is as important as winning the ultimate goal. – Patricia Ireland
  • You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. – Mario Cuomo
  • A campaign is about defining who you are – your vision and your opponent’s vision. – Donna Brazile
  • The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Do not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother. – Robert C. Byrd
  • The problem with smear campaigns is that too often they work. – Mark Shields
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? – Robert Orben
  • During a political campaign everyone is concerned with what a candidate will do on this or that question if he is elected except the candidate; he’s too busy wondering what he’ll do if he isn’t elected. – Everett Dirksen
  • The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is… the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. – Oscar Ameringer
  • Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. – Charles Krauthammer

(ed. – This compilation of quotes first appeared in a By George Journal post of January 2010.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

On the Art of Campaigns

  • Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of celebration man can normally muster. – James Harvey Robinson
  • A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in. – H.L. Mencken
  • There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. – Bertolt Brecht
  • I do not believe that any political campaign justifies the declaration of a moratorium on ordinary common sense. – Dwight David Eisenhower
  • I have tried to talk about the issues in this campaign… and this has sometimes been a lonely road, because I never meet anybody coming the other way. – Adlai Stevenson
  • There is no excitement anywhere in the world, short of war, to match the excitement of the American presidential campaign. – Theodore White
  • I believe in the battle-whether it’s the battle of a campaign or the battle of this office, which is a continuing battle. – Richard Nixon
  • I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Prosperity is necessarily the first theme of a political campaign. – Woodrow Wilson
  • In any grass-roots campaign, building an ongoing base of support is as important as winning the ultimate goal. – Patricia Ireland
  • You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. – Mario Cuomo
  • A campaign is about defining who you are – your vision and your opponent’s vision. – Donna Brazile
  • The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Do not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother. – Robert C. Byrd
  • The problem with smear campaigns is that too often they work. – Mark Shields
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? – Robert Orben
  • During a political campaign everyone is concerned with what a candidate will do on this or that question if he is elected except the candidate; he’s too busy wondering what he’ll do if he isn’t elected. – Everett Dirksen
  • The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is… the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. – Oscar Ameringer
  • Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. – Charles Krauthammer

Campaign Success and the Internet

Here is Google’s Colin McKay (head of GR for Google Canada) take on the role of the Internet in election campaigns these days:

“The Internet is outstripping what would traditionally be considered tactical media.”

McKay’s observations come from Google research data that shows both the public’s interest in political websites and the shared social experience is having a significant impact on the way Parties campaign and how Canadians engage in campaigns.

Here are the numbers:

  • 87% of Canadian households have Internet access.
  • Canadians spend 41.3 hours online per month.
  • Canadians now watch 28.9 hours of Internet video each week, surpassing television (which sits at 28.8 hours/week) for the first time.
  • Canadians are ranked second in the world for YouTube video viewing.
  • People look to the Internet for information on an election, candidate and issues 14.7 times leading up to election day.

It used to be that the Party and/or candidate’s website was an important element to inform voters within the last 72 hours of a campaign. However, McKay’s numbers suggest, a Party’s and candidate’s on-line presence is paramount to their success. An effective on-line strategy is a must-have and good, compelling content must be prepared from the start, and maintained throughout the campaign.

Bottom line: the Internet is the primary resource for voters’ information and has become the most important media weapon in any campaign’s strategy.

20 quotes on voting

  • “Every election is determined by the people who show up.” – Larry J. Sabato
  • “We don’t vote for people because they are the exact embodiment of our values, but because they are likely to be the most responsive to them.” – Charles M. Blow
  • “That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything.” – Lou Henry Hoover
  • “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” – John Quincy Adams
  • “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “Vote for the man who promises least; he’ll be the least disappointing.” – Bernard Baruch
  • “Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.” – Will Rogers
  • “Voters don’t decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.” – George F. Will
  • “…they say if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.” – E.A. Bucchianeri
  • “Scoundrels will be corrupt and unconcerned citizens apathetic under even the best constitution.” – William Earl Maxwell
  • “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” – George Jean Nathan
  • “Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.” – H.L. Menken
  • “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill
  • “We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.” – Walter Cronkite
  • “If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties… By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” – David Foster Wallace
  • “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Voter apathy is a civic abdication.” – Charles M. Blow
  • “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles

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3 simple truths for voting day

000ab1. National polls do not reflect voting results. An election is not a horse race. Vote for the person, not with an eye to the latest polls but with a mind to the type of country you want to live in.

 

2. The nature of politics is dirty and it is a greasy pole that politicians climb. Good people get into politics and begin the climb. Know that under the grease they are still good people.

 

3. We live in a great country. It is great because we all care and take actions to make it so. Voting is part of that caring. Go vote.

– Chris George

 

(ed. – This is from the By George Special Election Edition: The Campaign Wrap.)

20 quotes on Elections

  • Vote for the man who promises least. He’ll be the least disappointing. — Bernard Baruch
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? — Robert Orben
  • Our elections are free – it’s in the results where eventually we pay. — Bill Stern
  • Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. — Franklin P. Adams
  • Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote. — George Jean Nathan
  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. — Gore Vidal
  • Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. — Gore Vidal
  • No wonder Americans hate politics when, year in and year out, they hear politicians make promises that won’t come true because they don’t even mean them – campaign fantasies that win elections but don’t get nations moving again. — Bill Clinton
  • In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. — Newt Gingrich
  • The only thing we learn from new elections is we learned nothing from the old. — American Proverb
  • Of two evils, it is always best to vote for the least hypocritical. — American Proverb
  • If elected I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same. — Abraham Lincoln
  • If elected, I will win. — Pat Paulsen
  • In times of stress and strain, people will vote. — Anonymous
  • A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman, of the next generation. — James Freeman Clarke
  • Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. — George Burns
  • We’d all like to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate. — Kin Hubbard
  • The election is not very far off when a candidate can recognize you across the street. — Kin Hubbard
  • The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. — Will Rogers
  • What in fact takes place in an election is that two hand picked candidates are propped up before the citizenry, each candidate having been selected by a very small group of politically active people. A minority of the people… then elects one of these hand picked people to rule itself and the majority. — Robert J. Ringer

Election quotes

Here are some of our favourite “election” quotes for this election year:

  • The only thing we learn from new elections is we learned nothing from the old. – (American) Proverb
  • Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. — Franklin P. Adams
  • The election is not a time to discuss serious issues. – Kim Campbell
  • No wonder Americans hate politics when, year in and year out, they hear politicians make promises that won’t come true because they don’t even mean them – campaign fantasies that win elections but don’t get nations moving again. – Bill Clinton
  • Elections are like dictionaries: They’re all about definitions. The candidate who succeeds in defining the contest — and the contestants — wins; the candidate who gets defined, loses. – David Frum
  • In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. – Newt Gingrich
  • The election is not very far off when a candidate can recognize you across the street. – Kim Hubbard
  • An election is like a horse-race, in that you can tell more about it the next day. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods. – H.L. Mencken
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? – Robert Orben
  • What in fact takes place in an election is that two hand picked candidates are propped up before the citizenry, each candidate having been selected by a very small group of politically active people. A minority of the people… then elects one of these hand picked people to rule itself and the majority. – Robert J. Ringer
  • Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. – George Bernard Shaw
  • An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it. – George Bernard Shaw
  • Our elections are free–it’s in the results where eventually we pay. – Bill Stern
  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. – Gore Vidal

1001-205x300The quotes are taken from the By George e-publication: 1001 Quotes on Politics, Elections, Democracy and Government.

 

Read more on this collection of quotes and how to get your own copy.

 

 

 

Introducing Mayor Shaun McLaughlin

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Many readers of this Journal will know that Chris George has been preoccupied over the last number of months with managing Shaun McLaughlin’s campaign for mayor of Mississippi Mills. Read “About Shaun.”

On Monday night, when the votes were all in and counted, it was one-term Councillor McLaughlin, who beat out both the veteran politician and incumbent Mayor and another popular Councillor, the dean of the Council. Click here to see the official results.

It was a great election (although heated and at times nasty) and a wonderful campaign for the many volunteers who helped Shaun along the way. For more information on the Mayor-elect, take a look through his website: ShaunForMayor.ca . He has posted a great collection of “campaign memories.”

Shaun made four main commitments through the election, including to the promise that growth and development in the community would take into account the shared values and heritage of the Town. Most importantly, he spoke out against a very unpopular hydro generating project that would have a hugely negative impact on the heart of the downtown – the beautiful river walk. Read Shaun’s statement on the Enerdu project and what he has promised to do about the development.

almonte_falls2So, the election was a victory for Shaun, a victory for those folks who love the Town’s potential as a quaint, tourist mecca and a beautiful, heritage and nature wonderland. There is great hope and confidence riding on Mayor Shaun McLaughlin and his mandate. Here’s to four important years in the evolution of our Town!

Read some media accounts of the election results – from the Inside Ottawa Valley News and Mississippi Mills’ own on-line news source, the Millstone.

 

10 Facts to Contemplate regarding Ontario’s Election

The day after the night before – and I am both irritated at how the election played out with the public sector unions ruling the day; and I am troubled about what the next 4 years will bring with a Liberal majority government. We all work hard; pay our fair share of taxes; and should expect that the tax money is not being misspent, wasted or unaccounted for. Here are ten facts that were exposed during the election that should give pause to any taxpaying Ontarian.

  1. With its unbridled public sector spending and growth, the Liberal government doubled the Province’s debt in just 10 years. It has grown to a total of $291.9 billion; the debt increases by $400 a second, $25,000 every minute and $1.5 million every hour. This is a fiscally undisciplined, tax-and-spend government.
  2. Ontario is now in a worse fiscal situation than the State of California (that is on the brink of bankruptcy and has had municipalities declare bankruptcy). The Ontario government spent 9.2% of its revenues paying off interest on debt in 2011/2012, more than three times higher than California’s 2.8%. On a per person basis, every Ontarian owes $20,166 compared to $4,282 for every California resident.
  3. It is going to cost Ontario $ 1,000,000,000 ($1 billion) every month to service its debt. That is money going to pay financial institutions and not going to government programs and services like bettering our health care and education.
  4. The Liberals grew the public sector by 17.6 per cent; 300,000 new government sector positions added in the last 10 years. More alarmingly, Ontario teachers, police, firefighters all enjoy pay and pensions that make them the highest paid public sector earners in the world for the jobs they are doing. And today, approximately 40% of our population in Ontario is public sector. One word: unsustainable.
  5. Our healthcare mess is not going to be addressed. There is the never-ending multi-year E-HEALTH development project; the ORNGE air ambulance fiasco; and the establishment of new inefficient LHIN bureaucracies that have cost us billions. This is money that should have gone directly into delivering front line health care. The diagnosis for our Province’s healthcare is anything but hopeful.
  6. The Liberal energy programs and policies will cost us dearly. We already know that our hydro rates will rise 42% in the next few years – and natural gas prices will rise this year by 40%. This is while the Liberals offer subsidized hydro to New York & Michigan. The total cost of Ontario’s subsidies for wind and solar power is $46 billion – which we will continue to pay for the next decade. In the years ahead, our energy costs are going to zap us.
  7. The Liberal’s “election budget” which they will now pass, is digger us further into a hole from which our generation of taxpayers will likely not to climb out of. There’s $29 billion for transit and roads; $11 billion for hospitals; $11 billion for schools, $2.5 billion for corporations; a new pension plan to save us from ourselves, and on, and on, These are 10-year commitments, and with the new debt level and increased monthly debt-financing load, it all adds up to “no chance” of the government hitting its promised, balanced-budget target by 2017-18.
  8. For a government that spends like this one does, it should not be surprising to know Premier Wynne will impose new taxes. We can expect in the years to come the taxes she has already hinted about (prior to the election): raising HST to 14 cents, adding new gas taxes at the pump; and introducing new taxes on employers and employees to pay for a pension plan scheme. All these tax hikes will shakedown more money from our pockets.
  9. And there is no tax relief. When the Liberals brought in the Harmonized Sales Tax in 2010, they extended the reach of the province’s 8% sales tax to a wide range of goods and services to which it did not previously apply. Among those items were the cost of electricity, home heating fuels and gasoline. As the cost of those services rises, all household owners and consumers will be hit over and over again by that 8% provincial sales tax.
  10. Literally billions of dollars have been lost and wasted. The mismanagement and scandals of the last ten years will never be explained. There will be no atonement for E-Health, ORNGE, Green Energy, power plant cancellations, etc. Is it also any wonder when a scandal-plagued government is returned with a majority mandate that people become disengaged with politics and disrespectful of politicians? Is it any wonder, we have become increasingly agitated to pay our taxes?

 

A Clear Choice: To Party On or Begin to Pay the Piper

Thursday we choose between our generous Step-Mom,
who is treating us and partying with Dad’s credit cards
and Dr. No, who we are told will enforce our bed time

We are either Wynners with all our wishes, wants
and desires; a celebration for the here and now forever!
or we are conscientious objectors who pronounce the party over

The really neat thing about credit cards is the sky is the limit;
Dream big, live large and we can chill for Step-Mom tells us
“We can have it all; there’s no bills due and no consequences!”

Gotta believe her when the fun filled gaiety is supported by teachers,
nurses, and even the police who recount stories of shadowy Dr. No,
while they’re stuffing their pockets and faces with Step-Mom’s treats

We are told we can happily live the dream, no curfews or alarm clocks
and no need to heed Dr. No’s prescriptions for restoring a routine of
paying the bills, putting in a full day, providing for Family and community

Much is at play in Ontario’s election and our vote comes down to either:
Enchanting Step-Mom, leading a parade of partiers thru our living room
Or the Doctor, with his serious, sour demeanor and a scary set of rules

Chris George
June 2014

 

 

 

Favourite Quotes on Elections

Ontario voters to to the polls this week. Here are some favourite “elections” quotes as we consider our choices:

  • The only thing we learn from new elections is we learned nothing from the old. – (American) roverb
  • Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. — Franklin P. Adams
  • The election is not a time to discuss serious issues. – Kim Campbell
  • No wonder Americans hate politics when, year in and year out, they hear politicians make promises that won’t come true because they don’t even mean them – campaign fantasies that win elections but don’t get nations moving again.  – Bill Clinton
  • Elections are like dictionaries: They’re all about definitions. The candidate who succeeds in defining the contest — and the contestants — wins; the candidate who gets defined, loses. – David Frum
  • In every election in American history both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins. – Newt Gingrich
  • The election is not very far off when a candidate can recognize you across the street. – Kim Hubbard
  • An election is like a horse-race, in that you can tell more about it the next day. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods. – H.L. Mencken
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? – Robert Orben
  • What in fact takes place in an election is that two hand picked candidates are propped up before the citizenry, each candidate having been selected by a very small group of politically active people. A minority of the people… then elects one of these hand picked people to rule itself and the majority. –  Robert J. Ringer
  • Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. – George Bernard Shaw
  • An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it. – George Bernard Shaw
  • Our elections are free–it’s in the results where eventually we pay. – Bill Stern
  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. – Gore Vidal  

The quotes are taken from 1001 Quotes on Politics, Elections, Democracy and Government. Read more on this publication and how to get your own copy here:

https://www.bygeorgejournal.ca/?p=2260

A few observations in the election aftermath

A strong national Conservative majority government….

C’est ca.  Now, consider the remarks made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper once the reality of these election results sunk in for him and his Conservative team. In post-election interviews, the PM has given us a glimpse of how he views his responsibility through the next four – five years:

“We are intensely aware that we are and must be the government of all Canadians, including those that did not vote for us.”

“We got that mandate because of the way we have governed, because of our record…. Canadians expect us to continue to move forward in the same way, to be true to the platform we’ve run on and be true to the kind of values and policies we’ve laid out before them.”

Mr. Harper also intimated that he feels the burden of Canadians’ trust and their vote for a majority government:  “It feels great but at the same time I am very much aware of the immense challenges that lie before us in the government and the responsibility that this office carries with it.”

This is all refreshing that we have a Prime Minister with these reflections after having been handed the keys to absolute power in the Nation’s Capital.  Furthermore, the fact that he immediately jetted back to Ottawa and is back in his office today to attend to the country’s matters speaks volumes for the type of man he is. (Most elected representatives and candidates are cacooning themselves with their families and friends and putting their feet up from their grueling campaign schedules – but not Stephen Harper.)

Let us take this point one step further in saying that PM Harper’s immediate response to the Canadian public is both refreshing and reassuring. Can you remember hearing this type of comment from previous PMs in the wake of their majority mandates? We did not hear it from PMs Chretien or Mulroney – and, in fact, we heard the exact opposite – an arrogant bravado about the dawn of a new Liberal era – from former PM Trudeau. So, given this comparison, we are ever-hopeful our current PM’s observations are a sign of many good things to come…

So, By George Journal will complete our 2011 federal election commentary with a final fractured poem (and note we’ve moved to sailing analogies from flogging that horserace analogy): 

crashing blue wave

a striking Orange undertow

drowned Grits and separatist

forward now, wind in sails

calming waters, edging to the right

 

The home stretch… a photo finish

And they are in the home stretch:

NDP surges and Liberals suffer a stutter step – is it really neck and neck to place?

and where is the Bloc – and will the Green cross the wire this time?

The Conservative have not broken their purposeful stride throughout the race; 

yet have they pulled far enough away from the pack to deliver an elusive majority?

Here are the calls:

  • Angus Reid: Con 35 % NDP 30 % Lib 22 %
  • Forum: Con 34 % NDP 31 % Lib 22 % …
  • EKOS:  Con 33.7 % NDP 28.0 % Lib 23.7 %
  • Nanos: Con 37.8 % NDP 27.8 % Lib 22.9 % Bloc 5.8 % Green 4.7 %

It’ll be a very interesting photo finish on Monday night!

It’s not about being “first past the post”

Entering into the backstretch, it’s no longer about winning the Run for Sussex Drive.  For the Prime Minister, it’s about winning decisively – lengths ahead of the other ponies.

In a candid response to reporters this week, PM Harper repeated his claim that being first past the post will not be enough. The Conservatives needed a majority is he is to enjoy the winner’s circle for any length of time.

The G&M:    

… Mr. Harper appears to genuinely believe that he has little hope of staying on as Prime Minister unless he wins a majority. “If the people of Canada were to give our government another minority mandate, we’d be honoured to accept it,” he responded, when asked why he didn’t believe another Conservative minority government was possible. But “I don’t think that’s in the cards. I think if we win a minority, all the signals are clear the other three parties are going to get together in some form” to replace the Conservatives, he said. 

So the question is whether there’s enough of a kick in the Conservatives’ stride in the last two weeks of the campaign. Can Harper put the necessary distance between him and the rest of the field?

For the Conservatives, it’ll be a race to the finish…

(Read the full G&M article here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/will-harper-resign-if-defeated-he-wont-take-the-bite-on-that-one/article1991134/ )

Scrap the per-vote subsidy of federal Parties

There are millions of good reasons (millions of taxpayers dollars!!) to eliminate the annual per-vote taxpayers’ subsidy of federal political Parties.  Kudos must go to the Conservatives for promising to scrap this expensive life-line to political also-rans and Ottawa’s backrooms.

This political Party subsidy must go because:

1) Political parties already enjoy enormous tax advantages and taxpayers should not have to support parties they do not / would not support with their votes (such as the Bloc Quebecois movement!)

2)  The subsidy payments provide a constant and generous flow of financial support to Parties that no longer need support of their Party members

3) Undermine the democratic process by artificially supporting also-ran political movements – and providing otherwise unattainable war-chests for election campaigns

The result of this subsidization of Parties has been to nurture political leadership that no longer reflects that of their grass roots (it doesn’t matter what Main Street says anymore when the cheque is assured) and the dawning age of Pizza-Parliaments (subsidies are steroid payments to NDP and Greens – and separatists Bloc Quebecois!).

Because the Conservatives have threatened Opposition Parties about the end of their gravy train run, there’s been much written about the $2 per vote subsidy. News columnist Andrew Dreschel puts it this way: Vote subsidies create political welfare bums.

     To my mind, it’s just one more way the general public gets stuck paying for partisan political machines that should be responsible for bearing their own weight. Remember, candidates are also reimbursed for 60 per cent of their election expenses if they snare 10 per cent or more of the riding vote. And parties have 50 per cent of their election expenses refunded if they land at least 2 per cent of the popular vote. The plain truth is, the vote tax is a multimillion dollar ripoff.

Kevin Gaudet, speaking for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in January, advocated that it was time to “pry political parties from taxpayer trough.”

     Scrapping the Vote Tax subsidy, reimbursements and gold-plated tax credits would level the playing field for parties, requiring them to compete for donations. It would relieve taxpayers from some of the burden of funding political parties. It would eliminate one barrier to entry for new political parties. Finally, the cause of national unity would be helped if, instead of being subsidized by federal taxpayer dollars, the separatists would be forced to ask their few supporters for cash, instead of getting it from taxpayers.

Mark Milke, director of the Alberta office for the Fraser Institute makes the case: “The idea that public subsidies help democracy is ridiculous. What subsidies do is insulate political parties from Canadians. They don’t actually have to address the concerns of Canadians. It actually undermines democracy.”

PM Harper furthers this thought, when he explained on the campaign trail March 31st, “”This enormous cheque that keeps piling into parties ever month whether they raise any money or not that means we’re constantly having campaigns, the war chests are always full for another campaign. You lose one, immediately in come the cheques, you’re ready for the next one even if you didn’t raise a dime.”

Readers of By George Journal will know our distaste for per-vote subsidies and our re-occurring call to end this scam of Canadian taxpayers. Bottom line: it’s time political Parties got off the dole and raised their own political war-chests.

The Incredible Cost of the Per-Vote Subsidy to Federal Parties

Last year, Canadians paid Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois Party $2.7 million to prepare for this federal election campaign.  In 2010, Canadian taxpayers doled out $27 million to fill the coffers of the federal Parties. Here’s how the per-vote subsidy was divided amongst political Parties:

  • Conservatives – $10.4 million
  • Liberals – $7.2 million
  • NDP – $5 million
  • Bloc Quebecois – $2.7 million
  • Greens – $1.9 million

Over the last five years this subsidy adds up to over $135 million.  

  • Conservatives – $ 50.8 million
  • Liberals – $40.3 million
  • NDP – $ 24.6 million
  • Bloc Quebecois – $14.4 million
  • Greens – $7.5 million

It’s incredible to think that the $2 per-vote subsidy provides far more money than any of these Parties would ever raise on their own (perhaps with the exception of the Conservative “fundraising machine”). Think of these millions of dollars as life support for Parties like the Bloc Quebecois who need never have to raise a dime in Quebec again. It is “candy money” for Conservatives and Liberals allowing them to pay for even more TV ads and attack-ad mailings. There is something troubling with the realization that our tax dollars are going directly to fund the Parties’ backrooms.