Canadopers: fall federal election[!]

To return to the discussion over inflation, while Canada’s inflation rate has been reported as 4% over last year, the previous year the rate was zero, meaning a 2 year inflation rate of 2%, that is, nothing to worry about.

Let us also remember the “war on inflation” in the 1970s and ‘80s was part of an attack on working people, where unemployment was allowed to rise, social services slashed, industrial planning and policy abandoned, pensions privatized, unions gutted, and more. It was never just a battle to keep the cost of living from rising. It was a response to the success of working people in improving their lives. That hurt profit levels, and capital fought back successfully, with “think tanks” such as the Fraser and Cato Institutes, new political leaders and in Canada, parties, and more. Thus social welfare has suffered, from education to health care, wages have stagnated, but hey, with “the market” unrestrained and unrestricted, some sectors of capital, notably FIRE, have made out like bandits. So yeah, I’m not too worried about inflation in the next little while.

Canada’s inflation rate has been very low for many years. Economists sometimes go in for simple explanations of things and some felt there was a simple relation between inflation and employment. (Spoiler: Not so much).

A change in inflation, however, can be concerning in the presence of big debt. I agree the current levels, nor length of time raised, are particularly concerning - at the moment.

I just heard a CPC radio ad. I still have not the slightest idea what they stand for or what their policies are, but the ad spent 60 seconds confirming that they hate Trudeau and so should I.

The one I keep hearing is that he dared to throw an expensive election in the middle of a pandemic just so he could get himself more power. Well…

  1. If you were in charge and the odds favored you, you would throw an election too and don’t try to convince me you wouldn’t.
  2. There have been elections during the pandemic and thus far we have survived.
  3. Trudeau doesn’t decide how much an election is going to cost.

I’m not voting for Trudeau but it isn’t because of financial scare-mongering by the party that thinks there is gold in the tar sands. Come on Conservatives, you can do better than that.

For at least three days, every time I see Otoole, his sole talking point is now, ‘He called an election!’

Honestly, that’s his whole issue it seems. Kinda sad, I think. But maybe it’s all he needs to say?

Complaining about it rather invites the response “Well, if you think you should continue in opposition, why shouldn’t the voters leave you there?”

I don’t like that approach, not so much because it’s ineffective, but because I actually don’t mind reviewing and shuffling the government about. I like making these parties step out and show me what they are. We’re a democracy - complaining that we’re going to publicly consider the parties is rather missing the point.

While I’m still annoyed that they called the election when they did, one possible good outcome is if the Liberals at least hold steady on their number of seats, and the Conservatives lose some seats to the NDP, and the PPC gets absolutely nothing, it could be considered to be a mandate on how to deal with the end game of the pandemic.

Trudeau and Singh could both argue that the anti-mask, anti-vaccine mandate, anti-vaccine passport factions had the chance to convince Canadians to support them, and they were soundly defeated.

I would prefer “no election”, but am not annoyed by the fact one was called. One could make a case that government spending needed public review. Of course, if this is so the Liberals could have used a more inclusive approach. If it is true that the Conservatives should not be elected under any circumstances (a dubious proposition) why call an election?

Still, nice to measure the public pulse. I do not think the change in seats will ultimately be that different. The PPC seems thrice as popular as before with its contrarian views, and the Greens half as popular due to infighting and other parties co-opting some of their ideas.

Interesting to see the Conservatives go British and try to attract labour. A wide move, and O’Toole is a compassionate candidate. Most of the Conservatives I know are smart but perpetually aggrieved. That doesn’t win elections. But does O’Toole redefine his party or just (barely) lead it? I do not like to see medical and social issues unduly politicized and this far O’Toole has shown restraint.

I don’t think O’Toole even qualifies as “barely” leading his party.

There’s two ways to lead a party. Firstly, you actually convince them to move in the direction you want them to move. Secondly, you can just get out in front of them, and act like the direction they were going anyways was where you wanted to go all along.

O’Toole can’t seem to do either of those. Clearly the rank and file have no interest in following where he wants to lead, and at the same time, he’s too wishy-washy to fully commit to pandering to the masses and act like their desires are his desires. I can’t see this ending as anything more than a chaotic mess.

As far as I’m aware, Erin the Tool supported all of Harper’s previous anti-union initiatives so I think (or hope) most “in the know” union supporters will see through that hypocrisy.

On the question of the similarity of the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP, this article, from a left-leaning source, may be interesting. Liberal, Tory, same old story? Voting records say yes. ⋆ The Breach
It is an old observation that the Liberals “run left, rule right,” and this has been the case since the Laurier years. That is, they promise popular reforms and ideas from the left (broadly defined) and are successful, then once in power, rule in ways nearly indistinguishable from the Conservatives.

The “run left and win” tactic does suggest Canadians are not as keen on the “middle way” as some assume. It also leaves open the question of what the NDP could actually do if it gained power.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but my understanding is that unions are powerful in the public sector and less so in the private sector. This may be because private industry discourages unions, because less people wish to join, because of intrinsic political issues and so forth.

My take on O’Toole’s offer to have union representation at the board level, as in countries like Germany, is that it would not likely accomplish much in practice. Public unions already have clout and influence. Absent other guarantees and unique features of European industrial stakeholder alliances (laws, sectorial bargaining, etc) - it would not likely add much power or influence to private sector unions. That does not mean it is an unreasonable first step.

Nevertheless, the British and American conservative wings have been somewhat successful in attracting some sympathetic blue collar votes. I am sure the unions and many workers do see through the hype. However, all of the above are simplifications and people may have many reasons for voting any particular way.

If using history, one might say Pearson, Peterson and Harper all unsuccessfully called early elections in the hope of expanding then minority governments.

You’re right that the public sector is more unionized than the private sector. This reflects changes in the private sector economy—less logging means fewer loggers means smaller union, for example; tech change; shifting manufacturing overseas; shift to the service sector as a mainstay of the economy are some of the reasons.

It also reflects changes in labour law made at the behest of business that make it harder to organize unions today than it was from 1945-1975, harder to negotiate the first contract, and easier for employers to stall union drives and de-certify unions if they are established.

Thus the construction sector, once heavily unionized, is much less so today. When working people are polled, they strongly support unions. This is true even in the US and support has been growing over the last few years.

Working class support for Trump and similarly inclined Canadian politicians is very hard to assess. One reason is the definition of “working class.” In the US, often “working class” is defined as “doesn’t have a college degree.” This fails to capture the reality of class. That is true of income as well. Also, “working class” is often a stand-in for “rural”; much of the so-called working class vote in Canada is better understood as a rural vote that differs widely from urban working class voters on issues such as gun control.

The weakened union movement—from about 50% of workers unionized in 1955 to 30% today, with the private sector down to about 10% (until the 1960s, the public sector was more or less unionized) does much less education than it used to, with a leadership that squabbles amongst itself and can’t decide which party to support, and does not spend much time asking what its membership wants.

Here in Alberta, we’ve been seeing a lot of political ads lately- every single one of them from the conservatives, telling us how much we should hate Trudeau.

I can’t vote in this election, but I have a general rule- if you can’t tell me why I should vote for you and can only tell me why you think I shouldn’t vote for your opponent, I’m probably going to vote against you. Negative ads suck.

Not sure why the CPC are bothering to run ads in Alberta. Argle bargle I hate Trudeau is pretty much a given there.

Well, the provincial NDP are polling higher than the provincial Conservatives, so it could be out of fear that Alberta will wind up giving a few seats to the NDP.

There might be a couple urban seats where vote-splitting between CPC and PPC might allow some communist LPC or NDP candidate to come up the middle. Especially with Kenney finally admitting to the reality of the 4th wave. The anti-vax crowd are furious with Kenney and Moe right now, and I’m legitimately surprised that both of them didn’t sit on their hands for an extra week because of it. Although, I might be overestimating how much either of them care about how the CPC do in the federal election.

Well, election tomorrow. 36 days after the election call I imagine our USA cousins are jealous.

My prediction (worth a bucket of warm spit) for the 338 seats in HOC

People’s party. 0 seats
Green. 1
NDP. 30
Bloc. 35
Conservative 132
Liberal 140

Liberal minority. All parties claim they are pleased with results. Political talking heads go crazy with how slim the minority is. CPC and Bloc start talking coalition. Elizabeth May of the Greens is put on the spot. Supports Liberal govt with conditions.