Cons, Libs, NDP — all tied up

Abacus Data graph


The results in the charts above were published by Abacus Data from a poll done Aug 30-Sept 4. It was an online survey of 1,600. More info on the methodology and for full tables is available here.

Last night, Ipsos Reid published the results of poll it did from Sept. 18-Sept. 20. It, too, was an online survey . There 1,035 in this panel.

Ipsos Reid Graph


Two pollsters. Difference of nearly three weeks. Roughly the same top-line number for committed/decided voters: CPC 30/32 | LPC 29/31 | NDP 27/26 .

But who’s listening to pollsters these days?



The Harper record on climate change: Believers and big spenders!

Corn pile at Greenfield Ethanol

On Friday, the latest report from the Integovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be released. It will be controversial. Here, for example, is colleague Lorrie Goldstein arguing that the real purpose of the IPCC is not scientific but “to re-distribute global wealth.”

Lorrie and many of my colleagues will, no doubt, be taking on the scientists and established opinion about climate change .

As for me, I’m more interested in following the politics of it all. The opponents of the Harper government love to holler that the Harper government are climate change deniers. Really? Well, bad news for those folks.  Here’s an interview I did at the end of 2011 with Peter Kent, the Conservative MP who was, at the time, Stephen Harper’s environment minister. I asked him flat-out — first question —  if his government believes that human beings are causing global warming and whether or not we can do something about it: Continue reading The Harper record on climate change: Believers and big spenders!

Academic freedom in action: Ignoring the women at the U of T

David Gilmour, novelist and former broadcaster, and currently teacher at the University of Toronto:

I teach modern short fiction to third and first-year students. So I teach mostly Russian and American authors. Not much on the Canadian front. But I can only teach stuff I love. I can’t teach stuff that I don’t, and I haven’t encountered any Canadian writers yet that I love enough to teach.I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.

via David Gilmour on Building Strong Stomachs | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada.


UPDATE: Is David Gilmour a sexist? David Gilmour says, of course not.

UPPERDATE: Lest you believe Gilmour was taken out of context or misquoted, the transcript has been published.

EVEN MORE UPDATES: I put together a Storify — “Twitter is such a bore …”

Can Dexter do what Clark and Redford did? Overcome a 20 point deficit?

Looking at the latest poll in the Nova Scotia provincial election, it looks like NDP Premier Darrell Dexter may have his chief challenger, Liberal Stephen McNeil, right where he wants him — 20 points ahead with three weeks to go.

A survey of 400 Nova Scotians published today finds that that 48 per cent are ready to vote Liberal while 28 per cent would vote for the incumbent premier. Jamie Baillie’s Progressive Conservatives are attracting 23 per cent of the support.

Dexter, on the campaign trail Friday in Hammonds Plains, NS, had only one comment about this poll: “Keep calm and carry on.”


Dexter can take comfort in the fact that, in the last couple of years, a lot of incumbents have come back to win even after being down by a few touchdowns in the first quarter. Continue reading Can Dexter do what Clark and Redford did? Overcome a 20 point deficit?

In Ontario, do Horwath's NDP have the this fall's spring in their step?

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne seems to be threatening an election — threatening, in fact, to do what Prime Minister Stephen Harper did in 2008 and break a fixed-date election law — which could see Ontario voters having to choose between Wynne, PC Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in a fall vote.

Pollster Abacus Data was in the field recently and found that the three parties are basically tied with around 30% support of committed votes. But, as Abacus CEO David Coletto writes:

… the results suggest thatt the Ontario NDP and its leader Andrea Horwath have the greatest opportunity to expand its support since Horwath is the most popular provincial leader and its potential pool of support is equivalent to the Liberals 45% would consider voting NDP and Liberal and higher than the PC Party 42% would consider voting PC.

Find the polling data and methodology here:  Ontario Politics: Tories lead by 3; Ontario Liberals and NDP tied at 30% | Abacus Insider.

We’ll have more on this tonight on my television program Battleground on Sun News Network at 6 PM ET and 8 PM Pacific with Abacus CEO David Coletto and Sun Media National Affairs Columnist Anthony Furey.

And don’t forget to read my colleague Antonella Artuso’s take on this latest poll.

In 2011 interview, Harper's new DComm dodged 2 questions — but not the pot one

Jason Macdonald
Jason MacDonald, seen here in 2011 while running for the Ontario PCs in an Ottawa riding, will become Stephen Harper’s 8th director of communications. (OTTAWA SUN)

Last Friday, Andrew MacDougall celebrated his last day as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 7th director of communications with a long flight home (with me and other reporters) from the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. Today, MacDougall tweeted:

And so, MacDonald begins his term as the 8th top comms official in Harper’s PMO. His last port of call Continue reading In 2011 interview, Harper's new DComm dodged 2 questions — but not the pot one

NDP buys front page of Halifax paper, much tut-tutting ensues

Halifax Metro Fake Front

This was the front page of the free commuter newspaper Halifax Metro today. Looking at it quickly, it might appear as if Metro‘s front page editors were making some editorial judgements about the winners and losers in the first debate of the Nova Scotia general election campaign, held yesterday evening at the CBC Halifax studios. The lead headline is “Dexter in tune with today’s families” while the sub-heads with Liberal leader Stephen McNeil reads “McNeil disappoints on jobs, health care” and with PC Leader Jamie Baillie, “Baillie dodges disastrous record.” Continue reading NDP buys front page of Halifax paper, much tut-tutting ensues

Breaking down Trudeau's pot data and his anti-pot voting record

In the interview in which we learned that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau had smoked marijuana “five or six times” in his life, including at least once while he was an MP, there was this paragraph and quote attributed to Trudeau:

Trudeau hopes to have a serious discussion with policy experts about legalizing weed this fall. Canadian taxpayers spend more than $500-million a year on enforcement and punishment related to marijuana convictions, he said.

“We are talking about 475,000 people since Stephen Harper has become prime minister who have criminal convictions because of marijuana,” the Liberal leader said. “Those are lives ruined.”

That was in an interview published Aug. 22.

On Aug 23, the Canadian Press moved a file with the following line: Continue reading Breaking down Trudeau's pot data and his anti-pot voting record

Nova Scotia Premier Dexter on election timing: "Very shortly"

After spending the last few weeks showering the province with spending announcements, including $100 million commitment for new housing in Halifax, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter tells a Labour Day rally that the election is right around the corner:

“Very shortly we’re going to have the opportunity to profoundly influence the direction of this province in the years to come,” he told the strongly pro-NDP crowd at the Halifax Common on Monday.

via Premier tells Labour Day rally in Halifax that election call is coming ‘shortly’ – Local – The News.


My bet — and it’s just a hunch — is that the writ gets dropped Wednesday but maybe it’ll be tomorrow. Either way: Sun News Network will be the only national news network providing wire-to-wire daily coverage of the Nova Scotia general election on my program Battleground at 1900/000 Atlantic, 1800/2300 Eastern and 1500/2000 pm Pacific.