Category: Federal Politics

2021 Election reflection#1:Atlantic Canada leads move to the right

Elections Canada was still busy counting mail-in ballots into the weekend, so analyzing the fine detail of the mostly status quo federal election is a work in progress. However, aside from the disappointment probably being felt by many partisans of the three major parties – it seems they all hoped to do better – the most ominous development was at the political margins. The Green vote collapsed and the anti-vax, anti-immigrant and pro-gun PPC saw its vote total triple. In 2019 the Greens attracted 1,189,607 votes, 6.5 percent of the total. The PPC, on the ballot for the first...

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Pandemic Election 3:Fourth wave fails to swamp Liberals

The Trudeau Liberals are a lucky bunch. Calling an unnecessary election during a pandemic that was gaining in intensity could have turned out very badly. Now that the numbers are in, the last five weeks may one day be described by chroniclers of this political moment as “disaster averted.” The Liberals came back with a minority government and the pandemic remained under control in most of the country. As reported here when the election was called on August 15, active cases totaled 17,025, up 65 percent from the previous week. Had cases continued to grow at that rate for...

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On health transfers, Houston needs to lead ‘Anybody but Conservative’ campaign

We’ve seen this play out in previous federal election campaigns. The provinces, constitutionally responsible for health services, unite to demand more federal help in this endeavour. The party in power at the federal level rejects the ask, while the opposition parties initially embrace it. But when the writ is dropped and one of the major opposition parties starts to waffle in its support the provinces fail to react. They put party loyalty ahead of the their populations’ need for adequate federal support for health care. When we observed this in the 2015 campaign and its aftermath it was mainly...

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Conservative platform’s a variation on the old bait-and-switch

Bait-and-switch is when a merchant advertises a product at a low-low price with the aim of tricking customers into buying something more expensive. The O’Toole Conservatives’ platform, revealed in its entirety this week, reverses the process. The big expensive promises they put in the window to lure voters turned out to be facade – Tiffany’s fronting a five-and-dime. After weeks of boasting about a platform implying they had plans for spending on health and day care to match the other parties, costing provided through the Parliamentary Budget Office revealed the moth-eaten tackiness of Conservative commitments. The ballyhooed $60 billion...

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This election there’s real $$ in the health care debate

It’s not unusual for health care to be selected by the Canadian public as a top election campaign issue. What is new this go around is the willingness of the Liberals and Conservatives to talk about it. Unlike the vague generalities characterizing their health care commitments in the last two federal elections, the two parties most likely to form government have been quick with some big-ticket commitments. We can probably thank the pandemic for that. It revealed the deficiencies in the health care system and shattered the over-riding obsession with spending restraint. The main plank in the Conservative platform,...

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Pandemic election 2: Bad news. Not so bad news. Worse to come?

There was bad news and not so bad news for the Liberals after week one of the pandemic campaign – the election no one except the Trudeau party much wanted. The bad news for the Liberals has them going down in the polls and COVID-19 cases going up. The less bad news is that the rate of increase in COVID cases last week was not as high as the week before. Table 1:Change in Active case numbers selected dates Aug. 8 Aug. 15 Aug. 23 8-15 increase 15-23 increase 10,307 17,025 24,234 65.2% 42.3% Source: Health Infobase While the...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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