Ces 47% d’approbation – contre 50% qui sont toujours insatisfaits – pourraient sembler une mince victoire pour Stephen Harper. Or, il y a un an et demi, en mai 2009, l’insatisfaction des Québécois atteignait 65%.
Ce regain de popularité du gouvernement conservateur au Québec se manifeste aussi dans les intentions de vote, selon les chiffres que CROP a obtenus. Si des élections générales fédérales s’étaient déroulées la semaine dernière, les conservateurs auraient obtenu près du quart des votes au Québec, 23%, à égalité avec les libéraux de Michael Ignatieff. Après répartition des indécis, le Bloc québécois de Gilles Duceppe est toujours en tête, avec 32% des intentions de vote, et le NPD de Jack Layton ferme la marche, avec 18% au Québec.
Mini-Harpermanie in la Belle Provence?
Query: what to do?
Well. First, make sure you have the facts straight. It is the New York Times, as the Duke lacrosse team might remind us.
But say we assume the Grey Lady has it right for the length of this post.
It happened at a university dormitory, so suspension or expulsion is perfectly in order.
There’s a lot of heated rhetoric going around about “hate crimes” — nonsense. It was a particularly cruel invasion of privacy. To the extent that the criminal law covers unauthorized video-making and invasions of privacy, charges can be laid. This is so in the state of New Jersey, and so they have. In the Criminal Code of Canada, on the other hand? Not sure. Unless there was a particular case to spark a public outcry in the last decade up here, doubt it.
On the civil side, there is much grist for the mill. Seems a textbook case for “intentional infliction of mental distress”, except that the plaintiff committed suicide.
Could his family file some sort of wrongful death suit, as the Goldman family did against OJ Simpson? Don’t know. Is it reasonably foreseeable that humiliating a man with public broadcast of a video revealing explicitly his homosexuality might push him to kill himself? In the early twentieth century, it would be — people did kill themselves over that sort of revelation. Now, in the era of gay pride parades? It’s less certain. Was the victim particularly sensitive — more so than our hypothetical reasonable person in the same situation would be? Possibly. But then, I know many painfully shy people — heck, I was, too — and I can easily imagine feeling so humiliated that I would want to throw myself off a bridge.
I have grown, and changed, and now know those feelings usually pass with a good night’s sleep. Suicide on the morning after only, if you please. After listening to “Everybody Hurts” by REM. Does the reasonable college frosh know that? Or know that his roommate might not? Should that standard be used, or a simple reasonable man one?
Keeping in mind that old legal maxim, hard cases make bad law — to what extent are we our brothers’ keepers? If I do something viciously cruel as a “joke”, and someone kills him- or herself as a result, to what extent am I legally — not morally, but simply legally — culpable?
So Adam Radwanski sees an anti-incumbent wave a-comin’.
All over the place, they’re dropping like flies.
Earlier this year, it was Gordon Brown across the pond. Later this fall, it’ll be congressional Democrats south of the border.
Closer to home, the once-promising career of Shawn Graham is in tatters after a single term as New Brunswick’s premier. Gordon Campbell’s B.C. Liberals have bottomed out. Toronto Mayor David Miller wanted no part of an angry electorate; the only candidate who dares to run on Mr. Miller’s legacy is trailing a distant third.
Some have been the authors of their own misfortune. Mr. Graham infuriated New Brunswickers with his abortive plan to sell the province’s hydro utility to Quebec; Mr. Campbell did a terrible job of selling the new harmonized sales tax.
Still, there’s a pattern here: It’s a very, very bad time to be an incumbent. Abstract though it may be, the anger toward governments is palpable. …
Consider what’s happening in Ontario, where a new poll suggests Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals trail the opposition Conservatives by 12 percentage points, with fully three-quarters of respondents saying it’s time for a change in government.
Do you know who isn’t in trouble?
Oh, I grant you that he isn’t doing great. Bunch of unforced errors over the summer. But you know what? The dust is settling, a new parliamentary session is going, and… there he is, eight points up!
How _does_ he do it?
As we now look ahead to Harper and Flaherty’s sixth budget come the new year, I think we must salute the PM’s survival skills — and note, once again, that Mackenzie King’s first decade looked very much like Harper’s first five years…
This sounds ominous:
President Barack Obama’s focus on an exit strategy for the Afghanistan war is an indication he is” out of Afghanistan psychologically “according to author Bob Woodward, whose recently released book “Obama’s Wars” offers an inside look at the often contentious decision-making process behind the president’s wartime strategy. “The president’s committed to 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan but in these secret meetings in the Situation Room in the White House, he repeatedly says, ‘We need a plan to get out. There can be no wiggle room. I’m not going to do 10 years.’ He is out of Afghanistan psychologically and the question is, for a commander-in-chief, don’t you have to be kind of the guy who’s up there, ‘Yes, we can, we’re going to win?” Woodward said during an appearance on CBS’ “The Early Show” Wednesday.
Woodward’s turned on him?
I read some of the first half of the book as comparing Obama unfavourably to Bush as commander-in-chief, but I figured that was my own bias…
Here’s what not to do: Matt Taibbi’s take.
Go Matt go!
Well, here’s how to prevent a wild lame duck session…
I think so. If she does, watch the victory party…
So, let’s do a tally.
Of this year’s races, I say we have North Dakota, Arkansas, and Indiana in our back pocket. I’m pretty sure about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Illinois.
That gets us to 48 seats, with seven pickups. (Yes, MO, FL, NH, NC, KY, and OH hold. By double digits.)
Nevada’s a fifty/fifty shot. This year, coin-flips go Republican. 49.
This now depends on whether there’s a wave or not. If it is, however, Connecticut, California, and maybe West Virginia and Washington fall. 53. Alas, I do not think our witchy Delawarean friend can get us to 54, and our New York Italian can’t get us to 55. But this is a strange year.
Ask me right now where I think the wave crests, and I say with Angle’s win in Nevada — leaving the GOP with 49 senate seats. (Castle would’ve put us at 50.) But if the wave keeps on rising, a 52 or 53 seat Republican caucus in the United States Senate is not out of the question…
If we get to 55, I’ll just declare that Sarah Palin is our next president.
Update: My bad. WV is probably going GOP.
I say we get fifty seats as of today.
Tasha Kheiriddin thinks that’s what the PM is up to.
For election purposes, the stimulus deadline might be one of the few financial lines in the sand the Conservatives can draw with the Liberals. Once stimulus is done, the Tories will also need a second economic act – and to pass it, a majority government.
Conveniently, February-March happens to be the traditional budget season in Ottawa. The budget is a handy, if obvious, sword on which a government can fall, because it provides a ready-made campaign platform, especially if the economy is your ballot question of choice.
This leaves the Tories with a comfortable window to prepare for a spring vote. Already, they are changing gears at PMO, with a new, economically-savvy chief of staff, Nigel Wright, set to assume duties no later than January 2011.
In early 2011, assuming polling numbers are favourable, the government can play a game of Budget Chicken, by presenting a plan the Liberals cannot live with, and refusing compromise. Either the opposition parties will defeat the budget in a non-confidence motion, thereby provoking an election (and allowing the government to blame them for causing it), or the Prime Minister will pre-empt his rivals and simply call a vote (if he wants to go to the polls and thinks Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will not take the bait, due to poor Liberal poll numbers). …
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is known for his long-range tactical planning. While he has been spectacularly wrong on the small stuff, such as proposing to change the national anthem, he usually gets the big picture, including wedging his way to victory in the 2006 and 2008 federal elections.
So my money’s on a spring election. As for the outcome of that vote well, that, of course, is a whole other column.
Does that make sense?
Well, it’s a tidy way of framing it, and lets the Tories get the drop on the Liberals in terms of defining the ballot question. Letting things drift till 2012 might be undesirable, given that.
And Harper may need a better justification for a majority than “THOSE COALITION BASTARDS”. Though that’s a good one, really — no worse than what many other victors needed.
Apparently, in North Dakota…
(The URL has it wrong — headline is that _Bush_ is being embraced by a vulnerable Dem.)
Sign of the times — and it’s not that we think W was so great.