Business Marketing & News From Canada

Business and marketing news.

Tag: Conservatives

Ontario and Quebec keep the Liberals in power and the Conservatives out

Ontario and Quebec keep the Liberals in power and the Conservatives out


The Liberals lost support in every province across Canada in yesterday’s federal election, and it cost them their majority government.

But it wasn’t enough to cost them power.

Justin Trudeau will remain prime minister because voters in Quebec and Ontario didn’t want to give the job to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

The Liberals took a beating from coast to coast. With 33 per cent of the vote, the party lost 6.5 percentage points from the last federal election in 2015. It put the Liberals behind the Conservatives, who jumped 2.5 points to a little more than 34 per cent.

For the first time since 1979, the party that won the most votes didn’t win the most seats — and by a healthy margin.

With 157 seats, the Liberals have a big minority government. But nearly three-quarters of the Liberal caucus will hail from just two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, while two other provinces — Alberta and Saskatchewan — won’t have a single member sitting on the governing benches.

That alone explains much of what happened last night.

Ontario electoral map doesn’t look that different

The Liberal vote in Ontario and Quebec held up pretty well. In Quebec, the Liberals dropped to 34 per cent support, a little more than a percentage point from 2015. In the process, the Liberals lost six seats to the Bloc Québécois, which surged by about 13 percentage points in the province — though not enough to topple the Liberals as the most popular party in Quebec.

In Ontario, the Liberals were down only about three percentage points, still managing to take over 41 per cent of the vote in the province and outpacing the Conservatives by a significant margin. That only cost the Liberals a net loss of one seat.

The key for the Liberals was holding their vote in the decisive Greater Toronto Area. They swept all 25 of Toronto’s seats and even increased their share of the vote slightly. They also came out of the surrounding suburbs with 24 of 29 seats — identical to where they were on election night in 2015.

Losses to the Conservatives in a handful of rural ridings were made up for with a few gains in southwestern Ontario. Electorally, the province doesn’t look much different than it did four years ago.

And that is why the Conservatives came up short.

Conservative gains not where they needed them

With disappointing results in Atlantic Canada — the Conservatives captured just four seats — and underwhelming performances in Quebec, the significant gains the Conservatives made in Western Canada were not nearly enough. The GTA was always the most important place for Scheer to make gains if he was to win this election. It didn’t happen. Instead, the Conservative share of the vote dropped by about five points in the region.

There was something about the Conservative message that didn’t resonate with Ontarians. Everywhere else in the country outside of Quebec the Conservative vote went up. The gains were most significant in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where the party’s share of the vote jumped by double-digits.

But there were only so many new seats to grab in that part of the country. The Conservatives took back the four seats in Alberta they lost to the Liberals in 2015 and swept all of Saskatchewan. Two Liberal seats in the suburbs around Winnipeg also fell to the Conservatives.

Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland handily won her Toronto riding of University-Rosedale Monday night, part of a Liberal sweep of the Greater Toronto Area. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Those are important gains for the Conservatives, including the defeat of Liberal cabinet ministers Amarjeet Sohi in Edmonton Mill Woods and Ralph Goodale in Regina–Wascana. It was this surge in support in Western Canada — which did not pay off much in terms of seat gains — that is behind the Conservatives’ popular vote win.

Just look at Alberta. Only one of the 33 Conservatives elected in the province failed to get a majority of ballots cast in their riding. Most of them get more than 70 per cent of the vote.

But that just ran up the numbers where the Conservatives already held seats. It was the Liberals’ ability to hold on to their seats in Central and Eastern Canada by narrower margins that made the difference. In all, the Liberals lost 15 seats west of Ontario, more than their combined losses east of the Lakehead.

NDP, Greens struggle to get their vote out

Another factor that contributed to the somewhat unexpected scale of the Liberal win was the performance of the New Democrats and the Greens.

The Greens, who have historically underperformed compared to polling expectations in virtually every election at both the federal and provincial levels, stayed true to that tradition. Their support was slipping in the final days of the campaign and dropped to just 6.5 per cent on election night — a disappointing result considering that the Greens managed to get 6.8 per cent of the vote in the 2008 federal election when they failed to win a single seat.

The party held its two seats on Vancouver Island but wasn’t able to make the hoped-for gains in the region. A win in Fredericton looks more like an exception — the result of the increased popularity of the Green brand in Atlantic Canada following provincial breakthroughs in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, along with a collapse of the NDP vote in these two provinces.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer increased his party’s support but was unable to win new seats in the Greater Toronto Area. (Michael Bell / Canadian Press)

But it was the performance of the New Democrats that was more of a surprise. While the Greens were trending down, the NDP was riding some momentum going into election day. In the end, the NDP performance didn’t match its polling, taking about 16 per cent of the vote nationwide when most polls showed the party in the 18 to 19 per cent range.

This underachievement was most obvious in seats in which the NDP has historically had some strength and should have been more competitive. In Atlantic Canada, the NDP finished a distant third in Acadie-Bathurst and was about 12 points behind the Liberals in Halifax.

Some of the seats targeted by the NDP in central Toronto were won by the Liberals by big margins: 14 percentage points in Toronto–Danforth and 16 points in Parkdale–High Park. Conservative gains in the Toronto suburbs was one thing the Liberals had to be worried about. NDP progress in the downtown core was the other. Neither happened.

Climate of change in Quebec

Quebec maintained its reputation as the most volatile province in recent Canadian elections. Fully 25 of its 78 seats changed hands — nearly as much as the rest of the country combined. 

While a few individual Liberal candidates knocked off some NDP incumbents, on the whole, there were a lot of losses in Quebec. The Liberals dropped six seats, the NDP lost all but one of its seats and the Conservatives fell from 12 Quebec MPs in 2015 to 10. People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier was defeated.

The Bloc returned with a vengeance, just finishing behind the Liberals in the popular vote and taking 32 seats, the party’s best performance since the 2008 election and a result that suggests the Bloc was the top choice of francophones in the province.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his wife, Gurkiran Kaur, greet supporters during an election night party in Burnaby, B.C. The NDP fell short of the support some polls had predicted, ending the night with 16 per cent of the vote. (Darryl Dyck / Canadian Press)

With the exception of the traditional Liberal strongholds of Montreal, Laval and the Outaouais, the Bloc won every region of the province — even knocking off a few Conservative incumbents in the Quebec City region. It was largely at the expense of the New Democrats that the Bloc made its return, with only NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie surviving the cull.

What’s the path to a majority now?

It raises a few questions about the future of every party in the House of Commons.

Where do the New Democrats go from here in Quebec, the province that took them to official opposition party status in 2011 and put them in the running to form a government in 2015?

What do the Greens have to do to make sure their support doesn’t disappear on election day?

And is the Bloc back for good?

The questions for the Conservatives and Liberals are more existential. The future of both parties looks murky when the Liberals have been pushed out of much of Western Canada and francophone Quebec. The Conservatives activated their base once again, but they lack representation in some of Canada’s biggest cities and took a significant step backwards in their outreach to Quebec.

Unless either party can figure out how to reconnect with these electorates, neither will be in the running to form a majority government in the near future. In the short term, it’s all about making the next Parliament function. In the longer term, it is about bridging the divides that are polarizing the country — and potentially making minority governments all the more likely.



Source link

Strategic voting, Doug Ford, and why the Conservatives 'couldn't break through' in Ontario

Strategic voting, Doug Ford, and why the Conservatives ‘couldn’t break through’ in Ontario


Inside a subdued Milton, Ont., pub, Conservative MP Lisa Raitt thanks supporters after losing to a rookie Liberal candidate, former Olympian Adam van Koeverden. The defeat is a significant personal political loss for the veteran politician, but also a symbol of the disappointing finish for her party in Ontario.

“The reality is that is not the result we wanted, unfortunately,” Raitt said.

Nor is it the result the Conservatives had hoped for across the province, where they gained a trickle of seats but fell  short of what they hoped to achieve.

“The Liberals essentially held their own and the Conservatives couldn’t break through,” said Elly Alboim, an associate professor of journalism at Carleton University.

In Milton, a city of just over 100,000 located about 60 kilometres west of Toronto, the Liberals did more than hold their own, recruiting Olympic gold medal champion van Koeverden to try and topple a former cabinet minister, leadership contender, deputy party leader and all around political giant.

Milton is just one of the coveted 905 and Greater Toronto Area ridings, and one the Conservatives needed to keep and build upon in order to form some kind of government whether majority or even minority.

Repeated stops

The province itself is widely viewed as essential to electoral victory, and it became a focal point for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leaders Andrew Scheer, who made repeated stops here.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau repeatedly invoked the name of Doug Ford during the campaign. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

But the fact that the Liberals did bleed some seats in the province and across Canada suggests there was an opportunity for the Conservatives in Ontario, said Myer Siemiatycki, professor emeritus of political science at Ryerson University.

“There were all kinds of seats in 905, in kind of semi-rural, quasi-urban Ontario, that were there to be had for Mr. Scheer. He didn’t get them.

“Even though they picked up some seats in Ontario [it was] not nearly enough and not nearly as many that not that long ago were being projected,” he said.

Toronto itself remained a sea of red, and so did areas where the Conservatives hoped to make inroads, in ridings like Brampton and Mississauga.

So why were the Conservatives unable to make the electoral gains in the province?

When Raitt was asked the question, she said simply: “I have no idea,” and that she would have to go over the results with her staff.

Alboim suggested there’s no law of physics that precludes the Tories from gaining support in Ontario

Ontario did play a critical role in building the Liberal majority in 2015, capturing 80 seats of the 121 in the province and 43 per cent of their entire seat total.

But the Harper Conservatives made great gains in the then Liberal-dominated parts of Ontario in 2011. And in 2018, led by Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservatives won a decisive majority in the province.

‘Natural balance’

The reason for the Conservatives disappointing results may, in part, have to do with tradition, said Queens University political science professor Kathy Brock. Voters in Ontario vote opposite to the government that’s in Ottawa, she said.

“There’s a natural balance that occurs.”

But Alboim said he thinks other factors were in play, like “the NDP collapse” in Ontario and the failure of the Greens to advance, which allowed the Liberals “to cash in.”

The outstanding question of the night is whether strategic voting played a significant role, he said.

While it’s too early to determine, Alboim said he thinks “it’s very likely that enough NDP voters voted Liberal to keep the status quo.”

And that leads to the so-called ‘Doug Ford’ factor, and how much the growing discontent with the premier prompted some Ontarians to deprive political power to a Conservative federal leader.

According to a Vote Compass survey, it just may have played a defining role. Nearly 25,000 respondents were asked whether Ford’s policies in Ontario made you more or less likely to consider voting for the Conservative Party in the upcoming federal election. Fifty-one per cent said they were much less likely, while 12 per cent said somewhat less likely.

“Doug Ford’s support has dropped so precipitously since his election. To align himself to Doug Ford I think probably would have cost Mr. Scheer even more,”  Siemiatycki said.

“As eager as Mr. Trudeau was to speak about Doug Ford, conversely to the same intense degree Andrew Scheer was determined not to mention the name.”

Referendum of Ford

Trudeau turned much of his campaign into a referendum of Ford, with an attempt to link him, and his unpopular cuts, to Scheer.

During one campaign stop in Hamilton, Trudeau invoked the premier’s name 14 times (including twice in French).

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer appeared together on stage at the Conservative national convention in Halifax last August. But the premier was largely absent from the campaign trail. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Ford’s absence on the campaign trail became a bit of a political albatross for Scheer, forcing him to field questions from reporters about whether he was intentionally avoiding the premier.

(Ford himself addressed the issue saying he was busy governing the province and wasn’t going to involve himself in the federal campaign.)

“The Conservatives must have had internal polling showing them it would be a liability for the party,” Siemiatycki said.

WATCH: Andrew Scheer says despite loss, Conservatives are ‘government in waiting’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s looking forward to heading back to Ottawa with a bigger Conservative team while speaking to reporters in Regina, Sask.  1:29

However, as Brock, the Queen’s professor noted, the Liberals didn’t make any big gains in the province, either. Some of that may have had to do with the effects of the SNC-Lavalin affair, which she thinks had an impact on holding and depressing the party’s vote.

But Brock said the Liberals may have also hit too-hard “on the anti-Ford note.”

“I think that took them so far, and it took them places with their traditional voters. But I don’t think it won them the vote in the 905 that they hoped that it would win them.”



Source link

Andrew Scheer falls short — but vows Conservatives will be ready next time

Andrew Scheer falls short — but vows Conservatives will be ready next time


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer ran his party’s federal election campaign as a referendum on the performance of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals over the last four years.

Now the results are in: a minority government for Trudeau, a slightly larger caucus for the Conservatives — and new pressure on Scheer’s leadership.

Beyond a promise to voters to make life more affordable through tax cuts, Scheer said Canadians should back Conservatives in this election because Trudeau had lost the “moral authority to govern” after the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the ‘brownface’ photos surfaced. A substantial number of Canadians didn’t agree.

While Scheer did not pick up enough seats to form a government, he did hold Trudeau to a minority. But more than that, the Conservative party appears to have won the popular vote thanks in part to lopsided victories in the West.

In his address to party supporters Monday, Scheer gave no indication that he would be resigning his position as leader.

“While tonight’s result isn’t what we wanted, I’m also incredibly proud, proud of our team and proud of the bigger and stronger Conservative team that we’ll send to Ottawa,” Scheer said.

Andrew Scheer says the Conservatives are the ‘government in waiting’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s looking forward to heading back to Ottawa with a bigger Conservative team while speaking to reporters in Regina, Sask.  1:29

“Tonight, Conservatives have put Justin Trudeau on notice and Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win.”

Scheer failed to substantially bolster his party’s standings in the House of Commons. The Conservatives return to Parliament with roughly 20 more seats than former prime minister Stephen Harper won in 2015.

In once deep-blue ridings in places like Atlantic Canada and Ontario, Liberal candidates managed to fight off their Conservative challengers. The party failed to make any gains in Quebec. Deputy party leader Lisa Raitt, a Conservative stalwart and a Red Tory, went down to defeat in the suburban Toronto riding of Milton.

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt loses in Milton, Ont.

In her concession speech, Ontario Conservative candidate Lisa Raitt says it has been an honour to serve as the deputy leader of her party. 0:51

The Conservative election strategy — sticking to tried-and-true Conservative policies like tax cuts while rejecting substantive climate action to motivate the dedicated Tory base — failed to sway enough independent-minded voters in Central and Eastern Canada.

Scheer was able to tap into the palpable anger in Western Canada — particularly in the Prairies, where the Liberal government has been accused of stifling the oil and gas sector with policies like the northern B.C. oil tanker ban and the controversial overhaul of the environmental assessment regime.

Conservative candidates toppled all Liberal MPs in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including long-time Liberal MP and cabinet minister Ralph Goodale. In Alberta, Conservative candidates secured an eye-popping 70 per cent of the vote. In Saskatchewan, Tories swept all the seats with more than 67 per cent of the vote.

But Scheer’s future as Conservative leader is now in doubt.

Scheer said Monday’s result is just the “first step” and the popular vote success of the party in this election means that the Conservatives are now the “government in waiting.”

Under the Conservative Party constitution, if the party fails to form government — and if the leader has not yet formally signalled an intention to resign — then delegates can vote at the next party convention to hold a leadership race. If more more than 50 per cent of the votes cast at the convention favour such an option, that would trigger a leadership race.

Of course, Scheer might resign before that leadership review vote is even necessary.

Andrew Scheer’s full election night speech

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to supporters in Regina, Sask. Scheer won his Regina-Qu’Appelle riding. 10:44

While Trudeau’s campaign was beset by scandal, Scheer also faced questions about his resume and his political positions. Scheer appeared awkward when asked about social issues like gay marriage and abortion. There were also questions about his past as an insurance broker (he was never actually licensed to sell insurance) and his dual Canada-U.S. citizenship.

Scheer was first elected in his adopted hometown of Regina in 2004, beating long-time NDP MP Lorne Nystrom.

After years on the Conservative backbench in opposition and then in government, Scheer served as deputy speaker in the House of Commons before taking the big chair himself after the 2011 election.

Conservative party members were forced to pick a new leader after the electoral thumping in 2015. At the outset of that leadership race, Scheer struggled to stand out in the crowded field of 17 candidates who were vying to replace Stephen Harper.

Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer jokingly tries to fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton as they escort him to the Speakers chair in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 2, 2011. Andrew Scheer is no stranger to making political history. When he first sought federal political office in 2004, he beat out the NDP candidate who at the time was the longest serving MP in the House of Commons. Seven years later, his Conservative party won its first majority government and Scheer, then only 32, would soon be elected Speaker of the House of Commons, the youngest person ever to hold the storied post. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

With media attention focused on higher-profile candidates like Kellie Leitch, Kevin O’Leary and Maxime Bernier, Scheer quietly assembled a significant amount of “second choice” support among members.

He courted socially conservative voters — a not insignificant portion of the Conservative leadership voting base — but also more moderate elements of the party who feared Bernier’s strident libertarianism would be a turn-off for the general voting public. He narrowly beat Bernier by less than 2 points on the 13th and final ballot.

Scheer acknowledged early that his policy proposals were not all that different from those of his predecessor. He willingly embraced the “Stephen Harper with a smile” label, saying he would govern like Harper but with less of a stern image.

When he assumed the helm of his party, the Liberals were still flying high in the polls.

Andrew Scheer, right, is congratulated by Maxime Bernier after being elected the new leader of the federal Conservative party at the federal Conservative leadership convention in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

But Scheer scored some wins as an opposition leader, like a come-from-behind victory in a Quebec byelection. He capitalized on Liberal scandals — like Trudeau’s much-maligned trip to India — and some ethical lapses, like Trudeau’s trip to a private island in the Bahamas.

And with the SNC-Lavalin affair, Scheer sought to paint Trudeau as a man unfit to govern after inappropriately pressuring his justice minister. His efforts paid off in the early months of 2019 as Liberal popular support numbers dipped significantly.

Scheer launched the campaign with a promise to make life more affordable for Canadians (“It’s time for you to get ahead” was the chosen slogan) by promising to revive Harper-era policies that were dismantled by the Liberals.

Scheer committed to a children’s fitness and arts tax credit, a public transit tax credit, a new green home retrofit tax credit and a “universal tax cut” to slash income taxes for middle-income Canadians.



Source link

'We aren't going to turn the page': Conservatives try again to tie Norman trial to SNC-Lavalin fallout

‘We aren’t going to turn the page’: Conservatives try again to tie Norman trial to SNC-Lavalin fallout


Federal Conservatives made a pitch today — in the wake of the SNC Lavalin affair — to turn the criminal case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman into the spinoff political scandal of the spring.

While the pace of the SNC-Lavalin scandal could start slowing down now, following the ejection of both former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus this week, Conservatives effectively served notice Friday that they’re not letting the Liberal government off the hook over allegations of political interference in criminal cases.

“We aren’t going to turn the page on the rule-of-law corruption from this government,” former Conservative veterans minister Erin O’Toole said Friday as debate began on an opposition motion which, among other things, repeated a demand that the federal government cover Norman’s legal bills.

The motion also insisted that senior political staff and bureaucrats around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign “an affidavit affirming that no evidence or records” related to the criminal case against the former vice chief of the defence staff have been destroyed.

The Conservatives have made similar demands before as they’ve pressed the Liberal government to account for inconsistencies and allegations of political interference in the prosecution of Norman, who faces a single count of breach of trust.

The Crown accused of him of leaking cabinet secrets to a shipyard executive and a CBC journalist related to a $668 million deal to lease a supply ship for the navy.

Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould referenced the Norman case in her secretly-recorded conversation with  Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, suggesting alleged attempts to interfere in SNC Lavalin’s prosecution could taint the public’s perceptions of both the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and the Norman case.

‘This is worse than the SNC-Lavalin scandal’

“Canadians should be outraged,” said O’Toole.

“This is worse than the SNC scandal … you may have issues with a company and bad practice by a company, but here is a Canadian who gave three decades of his life to his country, and before that grew up in a family serving the country, who is being hung out to dry.”

The parliamentary secretary for the justice minister, Arif Virani, responded — as the government has before when faced with questions about the Norman case — by chastising the opposition for talking about a matter still before the courts.

Norman’s lawyers will be back in court in two weeks to resume their fight for access to federal government documents to prove their theory that his prosecution is politically motivated.

The federal government has released a few thousand pages of internal documents, but many pertinent ones — including Wernick’s 60 page memo on the case to Trudeau — have been redacted due to solicitor-client privilege.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman follows his lawyer Marie Henein as they leave the courthouse in Ottawa following his first appearance for his trial for breach of trust, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Conservatives repeatedly have sought assurances that government documents related to the case have not been destroyed. They’ve attempted to connect the handling of Norman’s case against Norman with a scandal that erupted in Ontario over the cancellation of gas plant construction under the former Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty. Government records were destroyed in the course of that scandal.

O’Toole pointed out that many of Trudeau’s government’s current and ex-senior advisers served in the McGuinty government, or its successor under former premier Kathleen Wynne.

“That was the same crew that brought us the billion-dollar scandal in Ontario,” he said.

The RCMP have separately charged a mid-level federal government procurement official with leaking cabinet secrets related to the same shipbuilding deal.

Matthew Matchett is also charged with breach of trust. He is accused of leaking a cabinet memo and slide deck presentation to an Ottawa lobbyist working for one of the shipyards before a meeting on Nov. 19, 2015, while Norman is alleged to have disclosed the results of the secret discussions

O’Toole insisted that Norman was the “only one [that] has been set up as the fall guy.”

The opposition motion will be voted on next week.



Source link

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén