Canadopers: fall federal election[!]

To be fair, that paper refuting R&R is from 2013. I’ve no doubt there’s been a more considered review since then but even so I’d rather we hammer those particular findings around instead of the original.

Oh please. Everyone is seeing inflation this year, this isn’t unique to Canada. The idea that the Canadian government can have any significant influence on world economic trends is nonsense. We could cut spending to zero, and gas prices would still be going up.

This is true about almost every topic within economics. This list of subjects on which economists do generally agree is astonishingly short.

Economics and economists are, even when they claim to be “scientific,” very political and ideological. They bring to their work assumptions about who should get what and why. They then try to convince others they are right.

It can be helpful to ask of their work, “so who wins and who loses under their scheme?” You can then start to correct course a little. I’m afraid that in a capitalist economy, there are 2 major sides, and a few smaller groups in between. On one side there are those who own and control capital, which we might define as “wealth used to create more wealth through the control of inputs, chiefly land, raw material, technology, and labour.”

On the other side are those who must go to work for those who own and control capital. That is, what the capitalist considers merely an input–labour–is actually people. Capital allows capitalists to treat people like things.

Now the question is, who does inflation hurt? Why, everyone. So how do we control inflation? One answer is, “we cut government spending and let unemployment and underemployment rise.” That answer hurts people a lot more than inflation does, and it helps capitalists by lowering the price of one of their inputs: labour.

So the questions are always, cui bono? and “which side are you on?”

Indeed. That’s why the phrase “Economists generally agree” should be greeted with healthy skepticism, if not howls of derisive laughter.

While it is easy to poke fun at economists…okay, here goes, with a quote attributed to the economist John Kenneth Galbraith:
“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

And as his friend the economist Joan Robinson, a student and critic of John Maynard Keynes, suggested “The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”

Thus it may be useful to look at the claims of politicians regarding the economy carefully, to see which economic theories they purport to hold, and to judge again on the basis of which best fits your world view. An objective, scientific answer is probably not possible.

I largely agree with you. But there are companies that consider their workforce as an asset, not a liability. My son worked for Microsoft three the 90s and then for another ten years starting in 2005. He was a developer and MS spent a lot of money on options to keep him happy. He walked away with maybe $10M, but it would have been 17 had he never cashed any in. This was all from the 90s. By his second stint, that attitude had definitely changed under a different management. In all fairness, I should admit that they never had that attitude towards support staff; e.g. secretaries and cleaners.

There are good questions to be asked about continued deficient spending and debt payments. Every billion paid out to debt charges is a billion not available to use. The question is one of trade off but I’m not seeing that kind of discussion from any of the parties.

I would say support for the PPC is a mixed bag, but that this party has a higher percentage of people with views outside the mainstream. Support will vary, but they should (in my view) have had a debate spot (and I understand why this was discouraged). Trump’s Canadian support maxed out at 15% and Bernier would do well to get half that.

As for other views, a survey suggesting one values equality, support for tradition, etc. does not mean one supports reading manifestos. It has, admittedly, been a long time since I read a manifesto. But I doubt they have improved over time.

Everyone votes - where they have to by law. This includes IIRC Australia as well as less happy places.

PPC whining to the contrary, they did not meet the requirements under the rules to have a spot in the debates. Depending on how well they actually do this time around, they may qualify for the next election.

Otherwise, why have any rules at all, if we’re not going to actually apply them? Should every weird-ass political party be allowed to join the debates, no matter how few votes they ever get?

We need some guidelines to determine who is worth hearing from, and the rules in place seem pretty good to me. If that means some crazy, racist, conspiracy theorist gets to join the debates next time around because they found a wellspring of C,R,CTist support this year, well, I’ll just have to work my mute button a bit harder.

Although applying rules may make sense, having rules for the sake of excluding a candidate means decisions are made by bureaucrats instead of voters. Polls are variable - but the CBC interactive site claimed the PPC was pulling above four pct when the decision was made. They stated they were using polls showing a lower number. They have persistently polled higher than the Greens, more so in my area.

This is not an important issue for me - I am not voting for Bernier this election. I did not watch much of the debates and did not like the interrupting moderators. I would prefer fewer candidates and more debate - No one without a realistic chance of being PM - thus only the top three candidates. But rules just to exclude one candidate are anti-democratic; and one can argue this was not why those completely arbitrary numbers were chosen. Okay. Maybe. But subsequent polls have been pretty clear.

I wonder if it would help prevent gaming of the election system if we passed a law that said any changes to the election system can not take place for two election cycles or something, to prevent incumbents from passing rules that benefit themselves.

Note I’m not accusing any current politicians of anything - just thinking out loud about how to allow mesnngful changes to improve the election system without the process being hijacked for partissn gain.

With the introduction of vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination of health-care workers in various provinces, and with the re-confining of Alberta, I think at least one candidate from the PPC (or perhaps the Maverick party) will get elected. Then they will get disproportionate press coverage for a few years, while complaining that the liberal media is not covering them.

I doubt it. They might pull enough votes from the Conservatives that the NDP or Libs pick up a couple seats in the west, though.

This seems more likely. Is Bernier polling above 10% in his home riding?

The only public service office involved with public debates is the Leaders’ Debates Commision - Mandate and roles

Setup up by the order in council P.C. 2018-1322 (“OIC”) on October 29, 2018 meaning the organization has been in place for the last 2 elections. Which means of course all sorts of other debates could be held if someone wants to hold them.

2018 criteria

  1. Have at least one member elected under the party’s banner;
  2. Nominate candidates to run in at least 90% of all ridings; and
  3. Have captured at least 4% of the votes in the previous election or be considered by the commissioner to have a legitimate chance to win seats in the current election, based on public opinion polls.[70][71]
    2021 criteria
  4. Have at least one member elected under the party’s banner;
  5. Have captured at least 4% of the votes in the previous election; and
  6. Five days after the date the general election is called, have an average level of national support of at least 4% in Opinion Polls as measured by leading national public opinion polling organizations.

The PPC made it into the 2018 debates but sadly were so bad at running M. Benier’s vanity project that they did qualify for 2021. Boo hoo. With much luck we continue to not hear from the current incarnation in the future.

Again, I would prefer fewer people on stage and have no stake. But the thing I saw in the Globe was a party had to be polling above 4% on a certain date, which arguably they were. Since everyone has said their piece I have no more to say about this. By the earlier criteria they would not seem to qualify. There are good arguments against tyranny - but a vaccine developed at enormous cost for a dangerous pandemic is not a strong one.

I wasn’t clear - the party must meet 2 of the 3 criteria.

In 2019 the PPC met #1 #2
In 2021 the PPC met none of them (0 seats, 1.6% in previous election, ~3.2% in opinion polls)

Personally I’d like to see party leaders paired off and answering reporters/public questions with maybe some back and forth between leaders. You’d actually have far more discussions and be able to see various party weakness/strengths. Something like this-

  1. Liberal and Conservative
  2. Liberal and Green
  3. Liberal and NDP
  4. Conservative and Green
  5. Conservative and NDP
  6. Green and NDP

That is a good idea. I would limit participation to pairing people with a reasonable chance of becoming PM. A party representing a region, though important, might not meet this criterion. Three pairs would allow for more debate than six or ten.