Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Campaign promises to continue increasing healthcare transfer payments to provinces


A campaign promise by all three political parties to continue increasing transfers to the provinces won't be enough to fund health care in the future, provincial finance ministers say.

The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP all said they would maintain the "escalator clause," which increases the amount of money the federal government transfers to the provinces by six per cent a year, while campaigning April 8.

That means...

Source: The Hill Times

Election campaign: 'leader-centric,' and leaders focus on 'micro-politics,' say political experts


The 41st general election appears to be "leader-centric," the political parties are focusing on "micro-politics" to win seats locally, and the parties are having difficulty connecting with voters because "lunch-bucket language" doesn't cut it anymore with today's voters, say political experts.

"There seems to me to be a change," said University of Regina political science professor David Smith, who wrote the 2008 Donner prize-winning The People's House of Commons: Theories of Democracy in Contention.

"I think what has struck me recently, looking at the front page of The Globe and Mail, or something, is that you almost never see, at least I don't see it, reference to policies. You

Monday, April 18, 2011

Most voters concerned about AG's leaked report on G8 spending: Forum Research poll


PARLIAMENT HILL—The leak of a potentially explosive draft report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser on $45.7-million spent by the feds on G8 summit projects in Industry Minister Tony Clement's riding last year caused concern among more than 70 per cent of voters nationwide, according to a Forum Research poll conducted at the end of last week.

But concern was greatest in Ontario, where the G8 and G20 summits were held last June amid a controversy over costs and a massive security clampdown that clogged the City of Toronto for an entire weekend.

The Forum Research poll, the first survey of voters asked about the sensational release of a draft report by the auditor general on only a portion of the spending to The Canadian Press last week, found concern over the report and its leak was highest in the region Prime Minister Stephen Harper is depending on the most for his majority breakthrough – the 905 metropolitan area surrounding Toronto.

Some 54 per cent of voters in the Greater Toronto Area said they were

Friday, April 15, 2011

'You're literally putting your name out there and people can get very passionate': NDP candidate Dewar


It's "door-to-door combat" in Ottawa Centre as the incumbent NDP Paul Dewar, who won in the 2008 election with 39.7 per cent of the vote and is considered a media darling, campaigns to get re-elected against the Grit, Tory, and Green candidates in the riding the Parliament Buildings call home.

"I knocked on about 12,000 doors since before the election started, and now I've been doing between 500 to 700 doors a day. So I'm sitting...

Source: The Hill Times

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Political parties strategically targeting TV ads to specific demographics


Although this election campaign has been dubbed the "Twitter election," parties cannot avoid investing the majority of their resources and spending limits to traditional media advertising, says a pollster.

"We haven't moved to a point where the parties can take ads off TV and put them up on YouTube and that will be enough. Still, a lot of voters, the vast majority of voters will learn about the candidates or the campaigns through...

Source: The Hill Times

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National campaign crucial factor in 80 vulnerable ridings across Canada


There are 80 vulnerable ridings and although elections are won riding by riding, experts say the national campaign is more important to turning these close ridings than the local one is.

"I very much feel that way. Local constituency factors, and there's been work by Munroe Eagles from the University of Buffalo suggesting that local constituency factors count for no more than five per cent and some ridings are within that margin, so it's not to say it's not a factor anywhere, but it's just not a huge factor and it will only affect a relatively modest number of seats I think," said Wilfrid Laurier University political science professor Barry Kay.

He told The Hill Times that any ridings won with less than about six or seven per cent of the vote is an unsafe riding.

Any ridings won with 10 per cent or less can be considered vulnerable ridings, as they range from losing the vote by 2,500 votes at a nine per cent margin, for example, where Conservative Jean-Maurice won in Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, Que., or by 3,800 votes at a 6.6 per cent margin won by Liberal Peter Milliken in Kingston and the Islands, Ont., in the 2008 election.

Every vote matters in these types of ridings, but University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman said depending on how the national leaders do, it could also affect the local outcome.

"The problem with saying, 'Oh no, it's all about the individual ridings,' is that you assume that you're going to hold onto all of your ridings. That's a good assumption where the Conservatives are sitting right now, but if they drop to 36 per cent, well, it's not a good assumption. You're going to lose some of those seats," he said.

When asked what can help a party turn the seat, Prof. Wiseman said: "Put in outside resources into the riding. You've got to get the local media there onside early. The community newspapers. If there's a big ethnic vote, of course they're pivotal. Your

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mass detention of 300 Tamil migrants cost $18-million, says Canada Border Services Agency


The detention of more than 300 Tamil migrants who landed on Vancouver Island last summer aboard a rusty Thai cargo ship called the MV Sun Sea has so far cost $18-million, the Canada Border Services Agency says.

With 107 of the Tamils still in custody—and only five so far publicly linked to accusations of even indirect links to Tamil Tiger fighters in Sri Lanka—the high cost for the mass detention has prompted opposition MPs to renew calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's (Calgary-Southwest, Alta.) government to withdraw a controversial bill it claims will counter human smuggling.

The detention terms of