Friday, April 25, 2014

Tories ahead nationally? Also, the Senate.

As you likely already know, a poll was released a short time ago that had Harper's Tories in the lead. I decided to throw that though the ElectoMatic and map it.

As you can see, this is good news for the Tories. Note however a few important things.

First, the Liberals had a very high number on the Prairies; one that I do not think will play out if the other provinces have proper numbers. Also, BC went NDP quite strongly, and the Atlantic remains a Liberal lock. These are poll numbers I doubt in part, and would only strengthen the Tories if my doubts are true.

Note however that despite this, the Liberals are still on track to win 3 seats in Calgary. I've beaten this dead horse for years - the fact that we are set to win in Calgary in a general election - and I will continue to do so at every opportunity to the 2015 election.

One thing I consider important however.

Trudeau had a very long lasting and large bounce after being elected leader.

This is what things look like when that is canceled out.

My gut tells me that if an election were actually held today, this would probably be closer to the real result. Trudeau, while liked, has yet to be put though the ringer as a leader. Mulcair, while better known, has also yet to be tested. For those reasons, and because while voters may think Harper corrupt, most consider him competent; I think that this is a "realistic" view of where things currently stand.

My "pivot" post from earlier ties in to this; in that I feel we are moving from the "fantasy" of winning an election easily, to the "reality" that the Tories will be very hard to beat, and the NDP will not be easy to displace.

Also, as broke earlier today, the courts struck down Harper's Senate Reform ideas.

In 2006, I voted for Harper to get Senate Reform, so I personally don't consider this a victory. However, the kind of reform I want to see is not the same that Harper does. I want to quickly go over some of the issues.

Selection. How to pick Senators is one issue, and the one that's the most sexy and discussed. Harper's idea was to have provinces hold elections. The courts said this would require 7/50 to pass. In fact, any legal change will require 7/50, that is, 7 provinces representing 50% or more of the population.

It's actually hard to find a combinations of 7 provinces that do not contain 50%+1 of the population. Even if Quebec, BC, and Alberta were to team up, they'd not meet the 50% requirement. This puts the "veto" power in the hands of Ontario. Ontario along with Quebec alone can veto changes as together, they have far over half the population. Ontario and BC also now have over half the population, with 51.5%.

My personal favourite approach is to have the Premiers appoint the Senators. This, too, would be impossible without 7/50. There are however unofficial ways to do this, such as a commitment from all 3 party leaders to follow the Premier's recommendations; but the political will is not there.

Another alternative is to make the Senate truly the house of "Sober Second Thought". This SST would be an alternative to the famed EEE. In this proposal, you simply have both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition sign off on any Senators. Again, this could not be done legally, but I do feel the political will for this can be found. Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau, and even May would likely agree to this. Once the agreement is in place, it will be difficult for any future leaders to find an argument to start appointing clear partisans again.

Distribution. Harper nor the courts touched on the subject. The courts only mentioned it in passing. This is because the matter has effectively been settled, any change will require opening up the constitution.

I also personally see this as an issue that could enrage Quebec. In addition, when mentioning the property issue, the courts reminded us that Quebec's Senators are special, for one they represent districts and not the whole province, and changes need the approval of the Quebec legislature. For that reason I will leave it at that. If you want to see a map of these "Quebec Senate Ridings" or more accuratly, Quebec's Senate Divisions, you can do so here.


1 comment:

  1. Link to my "Pivot" post; for the record