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Old
03-09-2013, 01:26 AM
  #101
Johnny LaRue
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Originally Posted by Meteor View Post
I'm actually more mad about the corporate tax cuts that both Harper and Martin before him have made. Encouraging investment is a worthy goal, but at what cost? Most studies I've seen show that there is either no increase in investment when corporate taxes are cut, or a small enough increase that questions whether a tax cut is really worth it. I really don't have much faith in neo-liberal economic policies.

The GST at least you can say is a regressive tax, which (in percentage terms) burdens the poor more than it does the wealthy.

I don't think you're using the word "stimulus" properly. The point of stimulus spending isn't to create a deficit, it's a temporary measure to get the economy going during a recession, and once the economy is strong again the stimulus disappears and the budget is balanced again. If you're spending so much (or lowering taxes so much) that you go bankrupt, that's not stimulus, that's reckless policy.

However, I do think Flaherty gets too much criticism for his handling of the economy. He actually hasn't been that bad, he just hasn't been that great either. People like to talk about him creating "record deficit" and "record debt", which is only true in nominal terms (and thus is very misleading).
The thing with the GST is that it isn't applied to either rent or staple food items. Food and rent are the two biggest costs that low-income people are going to incur, so if they're not taxed it makes the tax much less regressive. Also, the government gives a GST rebate for low-income Canadians to counter-act the any financial hardship the tax may give.

Low corporate taxes make for healthier businesses which ideally will encourage investment. There is still a lot of volatility in the world right now, so unfortunately the businesses haven't increased their investment enough to be commensurate with the tax cuts.

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03-09-2013, 02:18 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Meteor View Post
I'm actually more mad about the corporate tax cuts that both Harper and Martin before him have made. Encouraging investment is a worthy goal, but at what cost? Most studies I've seen show that there is either no increase in investment when corporate taxes are cut, or a small enough increase that questions whether a tax cut is really worth it. I really don't have much faith in neo-liberal economic policies.

The GST at least you can say is a regressive tax, which (in percentage terms) burdens the poor more than it does the wealthy.

I don't think you're using the word "stimulus" properly. The point of stimulus spending isn't to create a deficit, it's a temporary measure to get the economy going during a recession, and once the economy is strong again the stimulus disappears and the budget is balanced again. If you're spending so much (or lowering taxes so much) that you go bankrupt, that's not stimulus, that's reckless policy.

However, I do think Flaherty gets too much criticism for his handling of the economy. He actually hasn't been that bad, he just hasn't been that great either. People like to talk about him creating "record deficit" and "record debt", which is only true in nominal terms (and thus is very misleading).
Paul Martin followed the same neo-liberal course but did so more carefully and after reducing the deficit like Reform wanted, he lowered corporate taxes from 27 to 21%, but kept a buffer in the budget in case of a downturn. It's this buffer that Harper used to lower the GST and corporate taxes more, in a hurry. By the time the financial crisis hit the fan in a big way, Harper was already running a structural deficit. It wasn't reported by the 2008 election because the budget hadn't been tabled yet. He was more reckless than Martin but never paid a political price for that, the world recession got the blame. And people like tax cuts. People wanted Keynesian stimulus by 2009 and Harper grudgingly agreed. The huge deficit then gave him the political leverage to propose more deep cuts in government programs. Harper has followed the US Republican playbook and it has done well for him.

I look at economic philosophy as a viewpoint on how the economic pie should be shared. Neo-liberal policies have favored the wealthy in the past decades. You just have listen to Kevin O'Leary on CBC to get the scoop on how that system works. The most surprising thing IMO is how they have convinced the poor and unwashed that they are right to a large degree.

Conservatives and Republicans in the US are the most aggressive in pursuing the raw deregulated investment model. Other parties are on the bandwagon too to some degree to compete, but aren't in the reckless hurry in the adoption process. I'm a bit surprised at how much pain and abuse the average working stiff has accepted during the post Reagan-Thatcher era. The neo-liberal economic transformation continues, but greed and corruption will eventually kill the pooch IMHO. We've already seen Act 1 of the crisis repair playbook in 2008, more chapters are surely on the way in the future. (and we've all seen who is expected to bear the brunt of the sacrifices to repair the damage, it isn't the ones on top). That has been the ongoing history of the world and that part hasn't changed in the 21st century. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)


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03-09-2013, 07:14 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
Is there even debate over the idea that Greece was spending too much money?
If you really want to analyze their problems, it has much more to do with the Euro than spending money. Again, this is a problem that Canada just doesn't have (obviously).

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03-09-2013, 08:15 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
Is there even debate over the idea that Greece was spending too much money?
Do you think there's any benefit in describing it as simply as that? How could there be debate over that?

There is absolutely debate around Greece being too stiff with austerity and that they should have attempted more of a stimulus plan earlier.

**** man, please provide some unique, forward thinking policy that has helped buoy Canada, but I see you're not the specifics type.

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03-09-2013, 10:07 AM
  #105
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Do you think there's any benefit in describing it as simply as that? How could there be debate over that?

There is absolutely debate around Greece being too stiff with austerity and that they should have attempted more of a stimulus plan earlier.

**** man, please provide some unique, forward thinking policy that has helped buoy Canada, but I see you're not the specifics type.
Other than rational tax policies (for the most part)? Other than smart changes to banking rules? Other than not indulging on more stimulus spending as was advocated by the opposition?

What more do you want? Being a good steward of the economy doesn't necessarily mean a lot of action, it means smart action.

The Tories could have levied crippling carbon taxes like Dion advocated. I am not sure it would have helped, but it would have been action.

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03-09-2013, 10:40 AM
  #106
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Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
I disagree. I think that cutting the corporate taxes probably helped keep a lot of businesses in Canada that might otherwise have left. With industries like filming and manufacturing, we see a lot of flight out of developed countries. While we have had big losses, lower corporate taxes do help.

Also, the mortgage and banking rules are some of the best in the world right now.
Which again reinforces my point. Cutting corporate taxes was a measure started by the Martin-era Liberals. As mentioned by Puck, lowering them even more along with cuts to the GST removed the buffer that was in place in case of future turbulent times, as opposed to the structural deficits these measures were steering us towards before the global financial crisis hit. While lower corporate taxes help, the main drive of our economy has been the development of natural resources, which aren't necessarily encouraged by further cuts to the corporate tax rate. The Martin-era corporate tax rates were already very competitive compared to other developed nations.

It seems to me that the Martin-led Liberals were better forecasters and more suited to perform the required adjustments as needed and as the world situation evolved. Our mortgage and banking rules were weakened when the Conservatives first came to power, and brought back to previous Liberal-era levels after the economic crisis to avoid a situation similar to the Americans. That does not exactly instill a lot of confidence.

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03-09-2013, 10:58 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by Kellogs View Post
Which again reinforces my point. Cutting corporate taxes was a measure started by the Martin-era Liberals. As mentioned by Puck, lowering them even more along with cuts to the GST removed the buffer that was in place in case of future turbulent times, as opposed to the structural deficits these measures were steering us towards before the global financial crisis hit. While lower corporate taxes help, the main drive of our economy has been the development of natural resources, which aren't necessarily encouraged by further cuts to the corporate tax rate. The Martin-era corporate tax rates were already very competitive compared to other developed nations.

It seems to me that the Martin-led Liberals were better forecasters and more suited to perform the required adjustments as needed and as the world situation evolved. Our mortgage and banking rules were weakened when the Conservatives first came to power, and brought back to previous Liberal-era levels after the economic crisis to avoid a situation similar to the Americans. That does not exactly instill a lot of confidence.
The taxes were lowered to encourage businesses outside of the natural resources sector. Deficits are being addressed through moderate spending reduction.

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03-09-2013, 11:41 AM
  #108
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If British Columbians even give one seat to the CPC the next election I will be pissed. They clearly don't give a **** about our lives - closing the Kits station when it would be pocket change to keep it open. People will die from that decision. **** CPC.

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03-09-2013, 11:58 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Kellogs View Post
It seems to me that the Martin-led Liberals were better forecasters and more suited to perform the required adjustments as needed and as the world situation evolved. Our mortgage and banking rules were weakened when the Conservatives first came to power, and brought back to previous Liberal-era levels after the economic crisis to avoid a situation similar to the Americans. That does not exactly instill a lot of confidence.
To this day, I still don't know why the Liberals or NDP did not more forcefully engage and oppose the CPC on several poor budget policy choices. They did up to a point but it was probably difficult explaining complicated options to a public that prefers simple choices (tax-cut candy). Another reason might have been political in nature, they might have reasoned an amount of futility in spending so much political capital on a difficult topic that was going to go over most people's heads (people understand the danger of cuts, deregulation when it leads to an issue like food poisoning, but aside from that, they don't see the larger long-term negative impacts of CPC slashing).

The third reason they didn't go for the jugular might have been NOT to create a scare/panic when Flaherty was messing with the budgets and finance laws; they don't want to be accused of creating an atmosphere of fear and doubt when the markets needed confidence building. We also saw this 'sober' pattern of behaviour when the Liberals let the CPC off the hook on the Afghan flap (Geneva Conventions irregularities), few (except the Bloc, they were going for the jugular) wanted to soil the office of the Prime Minister by thowing it to the 'wolves' in international court (even though they might have chuckled if the occupant was charged). There is also the fear of political payback and revenge.

It is really tough seeing the CPC make supposed 'popular' short-term decisions that you know will have longer-term negative impacts. But we live in a system based on 4-year popularity cycles, simple marketing one-liners to explain complicated issues and a lack of openness/sharing of information much needed in a free market system (to make good informed decisions).

I also disagree with some Liberal decisions (e.g. Martin's hoarding of the EI surplus, the CPC did the same later, or with some NDP foreign policy options). However I am aghast at the amount of poor long-term policy choices the CPC have rammed through in a short period of time. The Liberals would never have dared. I don't know how or why they can call themselves 'conservative' with such an activist agenda.


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Old
03-09-2013, 12:17 PM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderTwinsUnite View Post
If British Columbians even give one seat to the CPC the next election I will be pissed. They clearly don't give a **** about our lives - closing the Kits station when it would be pocket change to keep it open. People will die from that decision. **** CPC.
Most BC CPC seats come from outside the lower mainland or areas that will be affected by the closing of the Kits station. They're still going to get tons of support in the interior, Okanagan and parts of the Fraser Valley dominated by the fundies.

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03-09-2013, 12:33 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by WonderTwinsUnite View Post
If British Columbians even give one seat to the CPC the next election I will be pissed. They clearly don't give a **** about our lives - closing the Kits station when it would be pocket change to keep it open. People will die from that decision. **** CPC.
I just don't get closing the Kits station. I know that everyone asks "why are they cutting in our backyard?", but the Kits station closure will very possibly cost lives. The Vancouver Harbour is a busy one, and the Tories for better or worse are advocating more tanker traffic in our Harbour, so closing the Kits station just doesn't make sense.

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Most BC CPC seats come from outside the lower mainland or areas that will be affected by the closing of the Kits station. They're still going to get tons of support in the interior, Okanagan and parts of the Fraser Valley dominated by the fundies.
The North Shore seats should be safe for the Tories, especially if Justin gets the nod for the Liberal leadership. North Vancouver could switch, but the Liberals need to run a strong candidate for them to get any traction.

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03-09-2013, 12:59 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
The taxes were lowered to encourage businesses outside of the natural resources sector. Deficits are being addressed through moderate spending reduction.
Taxes could have been lowered in a more efficient manner. For instance, they could have offered tax reductions to those corporations that invest in Canada and create employment and wealth here rather than abroad (to create incentives), or avoid profit hoarding that the Bank Of Canada Governor spoke about. It could have been spread out better. On the spending side, the program cuts have been strategically partisan in nature, ideologically revengeful in application.

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03-10-2013, 10:46 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
Other than rational tax policies (for the most part)? Other than smart changes to banking rules? Other than not indulging on more stimulus spending as was advocated by the opposition?

What more do you want? Being a good steward of the economy doesn't necessarily mean a lot of action, it means smart action.

The Tories could have levied crippling carbon taxes like Dion advocated. I am not sure it would have helped, but it would have been action.
Come on. A carbon tax can be made revenue neutral and it can be designed to specifically target the sectors you want it to. As a BC resident you should know better than to buy into the CPC's "CARBON TAX = FINANCIAL RUIN" hyperbole.

And as to the question of "is Harper a good economic steward", I'd say he probably gets too much flack from the left and too much credit from his supporters. Yes, Canada was in an advantageous position to start with and yes, he has done some things that may have unnecessarily compounded the deficit. However, he also avoided any serious missteps that could've led to worse results. For the record, Greece and Portugal are very bad points of comparison. Canada though is doing better than France and (depending how you look at it) Britain, so there's something to be said there.

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03-11-2013, 07:14 AM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
Other than rational tax policies (for the most part)? Other than smart changes to banking rules? Other than not indulging on more stimulus spending as was advocated by the opposition?

What more do you want? Being a good steward of the economy doesn't necessarily mean a lot of action, it means smart action.

The Tories could have levied crippling carbon taxes like Dion advocated. I am not sure it would have helped, but it would have been action.
So wrong on so many levels. Rational spending? Like spending $85M on advertising campaign for the Action Plan that has got a majority of Canadians fedup and most say they have never even gone do visit the website?

What taxes policies from the Harperites have been rational? Not taxing the wealthy more? Not taxing big business more? Not taxing oil companies more?

The Tories have done nothing great economically for this country in 7 years of power. They have not been smart or good stewards in any way, shape or form.

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03-11-2013, 07:18 AM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny LaRue View Post
The taxes were lowered to encourage businesses outside of the natural resources sector. Deficits are being addressed through moderate spending reduction.
And guess what? It didn't work. As most good economists predicted, i.e. not Stephen Harper who is a terrible economist, most of the companies have taken the monies saved from taxes and put it into their cash on hand. Virtually nothing is being spent on new hires or R&D.

What moderate spending reductions? You mean the huge cuts to public services that saw the cutting of tons of jobs, especially those on the front line that provide the services to the public? Great work Harper....

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03-11-2013, 07:19 AM
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puck View Post
Taxes could have been lowered in a more efficient manner. For instance, they could have offered tax reductions to those corporations that invest in Canada and create employment and wealth here rather than abroad (to create incentives), or avoid profit hoarding that the Bank Of Canada Governor spoke about. It could have been spread out better. On the spending side, the program cuts have been strategically partisan in nature, ideologically revengeful in application.
This is the way you do it. If a corporation wants a tax credit it needs to meet certain hiring goals and specific levels of R&D spending IN Canada.

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03-11-2013, 09:40 AM
  #117
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http://www.hilltimes.com/news/news/2...-it-page/33964

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The Parliamentary Budget Office is about to be destroyed if Parliament, the media, and Canadians do not stand up for it, warns Canada’s outgoing PBO Kevin Page, who says it’s a mistake for the Parliamentary librarian to be in charge of the office’s operational mandate and administration.

“It was an accident that the current PBO became a true legislative budget office. If Parliament, the media and Canadians want a true legislative budget office they will have to ‘stand up.’ The current PBO is about to go down,” Mr. Page told The Hill Times. “The process is very late. I am leaving in two weeks. We will have a budget very soon. The PBO will be in Federal Court on a reference opinion very soon. The timing of the selection process and the interim appointment of the librarian do not support the interests of Parliament. If Parliament, the media, and Canadians do not see what is unfolding and react appropriately—PBO will soon be an institution of the past. The risk is we go from the spirit of accountability to the spirit of a ‘sounding board.’”

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03-11-2013, 01:46 PM
  #118
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What has become painfully obvious over the past years is that dissent is disorganized in Canada compared to the US. Or we just follow US trends and if US media or dissenting public opinion is silent on an issue, then it hardly makes a dot on the radar screen here. Considering we shouldn't expect US media to pick up on Canada stories, then many Canadian issues go by largely unnoticed or unheeded.

(e.g. ACTA, if they get upset in US, it hits home here, if nothing is happening in the US, then the government in Canada can slip whatever it wants and everyone is asleep at the switch; nobody here questioned the supposed health of Canadian banks in 2008-9 when it becomes obvious years later that not all what they told us was true; how easy it has been for the CPC to use negative ads with all their cash and the response from the opposition has been terrible; and it scares me how easy it was for the government to control and change the messaging during Idle No More/Attawapiskat; and worse, how easy it is for the government to throw the kitchen sink into omnibus budget bills and the dissent hardly seems to hit the radar).

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03-12-2013, 06:11 AM
  #119
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This is sad, Kevin Page has done some good work and has brought to light many issues that otherwise would have remained hidden by those in power.

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03-12-2013, 08:48 AM
  #120
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Defender of neo-Nazis, real Nazis, Holocaust deniers and all sorts of hateful, bile-spewing lovely people, lawyer Doug Christie is dead at age 66 from metastatic liver disease. I wish he didn't die on the same day as my actually lovely, warm and giving aunt, who didn't defend the boils on the ass of humanity.

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Supporters called Victoria lawyer Doug Christie a staunch defender of free speech, while detractors criticized his legal defence of people charged with hate crimes.

Christie's client list includes former Nazi prison guard Michael Seifert, Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel and self-proclaimed Nazi-sympathizer Paul Fromm.


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03-12-2013, 11:48 AM
  #121
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http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03...-registration/

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Less than a third of the almost 300,000 members and supporters who signed up to choose the Liberal party’s next leader have so far registered to vote . . .
Trudeau representative Cyrus Reporter asks that registration be extended by one week and that the party “engage additional resources” to create a “high intensity phone bank” to contact anyone who has not yet registered.
I'm quite interested in seeing how this plays out.

None of the other candidates appear to have spoken up about this year (that I have seen). If no other candidates make a similar request, would the LPC still acquiesce to the request? I have to think this could fundamentally impact the race as it will give more sway to the party establishment (I highly doubt it is the party establishment that has failed to register and get their supporters to register).

No doubt Trudeau's campaign put a large focus on attracting/signing up new 'supporters' to win this thing. If all of a sudden most of those are a non-factor, he could be in trouble?

Has anybody seen/heard from any of the other candidates about this?

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03-12-2013, 12:02 PM
  #122
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Deborah Coyne is echoing Trudeau's call for the deadline to be extended.

http://www.deborahcoyne.ca/statement...tion-deadline/

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To the extent that we are technically able to extend the deadline in order to maximize registrations, we must do so. The negative consequences to the party of a low registration number, particularly after the bar set with supporter signups, is obvious.

For one, the media narrative will be that these signups were not committed, reporters of renewal are over-rated, and the supporter system is a failure. We don’t want to hobble our next leader right out of the gate unnecessarily.

Second, and more importantly, we run the risk of disenfranchising potentially thousands of members, the very people that we need as campaign volunteers and donors. These people are the core of the party, and their loss would be devastating. And their loss would likely be permanent.

While a balance must always be struck between the security of the vote and the openness of the system, right now the pendulum is too far on the security side. We must ensure that everyone, including members, have every opportunity to register, and to participate in this democratic process.

From what I gather Joyce Murray's team is arguing against an extension.

There does seem to be some sense that there ARE issues with the actual registration process and that it's not simply a matter of people singing up as a supporter and losing interest.

Ultimately, it will be a bad news story for a day or two if the Liberals wind up only retaining less than 50% of those who initially agreed to sign up, but they have to be careful not to freak out too much over it. No one will remember any of this after the leadership is over. Once the Liberals have a new leader in the place the stories will be about his or her performance. Stuff happens quickly in the 24 hour news cycle, and one has to be careful about dwelling on the inconsequential.

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03-12-2013, 12:17 PM
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transplanted Caper View Post
Deborah Coyne is echoing Trudeau's call for the deadline to be extended.

http://www.deborahcoyne.ca/statement...tion-deadline/




From what I gather Joyce Murray's team is arguing against an extension.

There does seem to be some sense that there ARE issues with the actual registration process and that it's not simply a matter of people singing up as a supporter and losing interest.

Ultimately, it will be a bad news story for a day or two if the Liberals wind up only retaining less than 50% of those who initially agreed to sign up, but they have to be careful not to freak out too much over it. No one will remember any of this after the leadership is over. Once the Liberals have a new leader in the place the stories will be about his or her performance. Stuff happens quickly in the 24 hour news cycle, and one has to be careful about dwelling on the inconsequential.
I agree that it will look bad on them for a while, but I think right now Trudeau will be fighting pretty hard to get an extension. Otherwise this thing may no longer be a coronation...

Probably the worst thing they could do is start messing with the deadline and create infighting about the process which would only draw out the issue in front of the media. Easy for me to say, though, when I don't have a horse in the race who could have their chances to win fundamentally impacted by this...

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03-12-2013, 01:18 PM
  #124
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I think the real story here is that Joyce Murray thinks that her chances are helped as if she had a chance in the first place. That said, the whole system seemed pretty stupid; old fashioned conventions or well organized primaries are the way to go, not some website.

I wouldn't be surprised if all the 100,000 new supporters were Tories and the Liberals get Cauchon as leader.

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03-12-2013, 01:29 PM
  #125
Free Torts
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Joyce Murray - while a good candidate - has about as much chance becoming the leader of the Liberals as she does becoming the leader of the Tories. No way they ever go with a western leader.

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