Monday, December 29, 2014

Late Year Update

As the year draws to a close, I'd like to review some events from late December; things that may have been skipped in "year end reviews". I am also going to include smaller stories from earlier that may have been passed by. I'll go alphabetically.


Alberta

There has been a poll taken since the "collapse" of Wildrose into WildRump. It is as follows:

44% - PC
20% - WR
18% - ND
14% - LB

As you can see, Wildrose still holds the #2 slot; as I expected and suspected, there are those within Alberta who do truly support their platform. My feeling is the closer we draw to the election itself, the closer Wildrose will get to 15%.



Greece

The snap elections called in late 2014 have caused some surprise. Even more so given a terrorist attack in Sweden, and the cancelling of snap elections in that country after the opposition agreed to pass government budgets. Greece however now finds itself in snap elections, elections which could decide the future of the Eurozone, the Euro, the European Union, and at worst, the world economy. This is a topic I will cover in detail in multiple posts over the next few weeks.



Israel

Just a short update to an earlier story; the Prime Minister is being allowed to run for leader by his own party.



Manitoba

The Premier has decided to run in a leadership election due to internal opposition. He looks set to lose by a healthy margin. This deserves it's own post in the new year, and I will go into greater detail at that time.



Prince Edward Island

Both major parties are electing new leaders. In the case of the governing Liberals, it looks to be an acclimation; for the opposition Tories, one candidate (Stratford MLA James Aylward) seems to have a large advantage.



Senate

Not really an "update" here, but rather a "keep your eyes open". There are 17 vacancies currently, and Harper does not appear to be set to appoint replacements. More importantly, The NDP leader has tipped his hand and revealed the NDP's "plan" for the Senate, saying that the government has no requirement to fill vacancies. Though and NDP government is not terribly likely, this does give us a preview of how such a government would deal with the Senate.



Sweden

See entry on Greece.

11 comments:

  1. I think in Alberta WR has a strong chance of rebounding. After 42 years in government a natural "opposition" to the PCs exists and will gravitate toward the party best able to knock off the Government. Much will depend on the new WR leader but, it is telling that the Tories only manage 44% support. 44% is low for a Government without an opposition.

    With number like these Prentice will be tempted to go to the polls in the Spring (it will be 3 years on April 23rd) before an effective opposition can coalesce.

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  2. Also Raj Sherman should probably resign, 14% is dismal. Nobody expects miracles but, amidst the chaos of the last few weeks the Liberals should be registering better than fourth place and 14%. Sherman's leadership has not "caught on", he needs to recognise and respect that and resign for the good of the party. The Liberals should be the beneficiary of the collapse of Wild Rose.

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    1. Who would lead the Alberta Liberals? There are no high quality candidates in the waiting. The only one with potential is Nenshi and he's not leaving his current job. If there was someone else I would say it's a great idea, as Sheaman is B grade at best, but who else is there?

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    2. Frankly any member of the current caucus would be better. Laurie Blakeman (Edmonton-Centre) is the most obvious choice. The problem with Sherman is he commands very little respect among the population. In the last election he won 10% of the vote and 5 seats, he is leading the party to an identical result in the next election. Druh Farrell, a Calgary Alderman (yes, you read that right!) also comes to mind.

      People assume Nenshi is a Liberal but, there is scant evidence to suggest that such speculation is justified. I suspect since, The PCs are the only party capable of forming government, Nenshi would become a PC cabinet minister should he wish to move over to provincial politics.

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    3. You yourself have said the Tories time in office is limited.

      Nenshi's smartest move is to finish this term in office and hope the Liberals retake the official opposition. His best hope is then that the Liberals will hover a few points ahead of the WR and ND but a ways back from the Tories, but then that the public gets into a "change" mood.

      Then - and this is perhaps 6 years from now - Nenshi can run for Liberal leader, and become Premier by winning Calgary and Edmonton. He'd then have as long as he wants as Premier (a decade, two maybe)

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  3. I have not written that the PCs time in office is limited. I write that after so long in office a "natural" opposition exists and that people opposed to the Government will gravitate to a party that looks capable of knocking off the Tories. I am not predicting the end of the dynasty. In fact, as of today I would bet the PCs will win the next Alberta General election.

    I have heard the Calgary-Edmonton theory before and while they do constitute a bare majority of seats it is not enough. The liklihood a single party will sweep both cities in a general election is slim to none. Voters and elections are rarely so monolithic. Now the Liberals do enjoy some support in the Province's smaller cities like Lethbridge and Medicine Hat but combined they only equal a handful of seats. Like any party that espouses to win government they need support from multiple regions.

    Men like Nenshi want to govern, I think the prospect of Opposition holds little appeal. If he moves to provincial politics he will do so to govern and at the moment that means joining the PCs. Although I personally like Nenshi and think he has done a good job as mayor I don't think he is the right man to lead the Alberta Liberals, I think his appeal ends at the city limits of Calgary and Edmonton for a host of reasons including his politics. If the Alberta Liberals are serious about winning government they will find a white rural farmer to lead them-someone who can appeal to the whole Province.

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    1. Then I will say the PC's time in office is limited, because it's true. If Nenshi wants to be Premier for a decade, he can't do that inside a party which is a ticking time bomb of death, thus he need to do it from the party that will be the successor.

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    2. I don't think there is any indication Nenshi wishes to be premier. The Alberta Liberal party had a chance to end the dynasty and perhap become government in 2012, instead "Liberals" abandoned the party because they were afraid of Wild Rose and voted for the PCs. ALP support is an inch deep. I don't think the PCs are going to the opposition benches anytime soon.

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  4. Alberta Liberals both federal and provincial desperately want Nenshi to be a Liberal because, it fits with their saviour/ messiah complex. I have not read or seen any evidence that Nenshi is a Liberal. He has favoured "quasi left wing" infrastructure spending and increased property tax but, increased spending and tax increases are just as much the purview of the NDP as Liberals. Or his penchant for raising taxes could be an indication of his fiscal responsibility and Tory roots! Nenshi has displayed his cosmopolitanism and aversion to "cowboy attitudes". I think this an indication that he has very little interest moving up to Edmonton or the equally provincial Ottawa.

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    1. Nenshi is not part of any political party, but I doubt a person of his caliber is not interested in provincial or federal politics down the road.

      Many politicians do not chose their political affiliation until it is necessarily and whether a party machinery is successfully able to bring them into the fold.

      Nenshi is often regarded as a left-of-centre or progressive in the Alberta political scene. He could easily be seen as part of an Alberta PC government or a federal Liberal government.

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    2. Why would Nenshi want to spend half his time in either Dedmonton or the equally dreary Ottawa?

      When Nenshi decides to leave Calgary politics he'll have much more interesting prospects thyan an opposition backbencher in Ottawa or an opposition backbencher in Dedmonton.

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