I haven’t posted much lately. That isn’t to say things haven’t been happening.
We have a new premier in Ontario. She may even recall the legislature. We’ll see. Maybe Horwath will cut a deal, maybe we’ll have a spring election. May depend on whether or not Horwath calculates that Hudak can win a spring election.
Toronto still has a mayor.
Federally, it’s still Stephen Harper’s government. (I’d say Stephen Harper’s country, but the country is most emphatically not the government — that’s as true when I like the governing party as it is when I dislike the governing party.) Justin Trudeau still leads the Liberal race. Tom Mulcair bides his time and avoids pitfalls. (For what it’s worth, Harper is probably the best political analyst out there. He just uses his stuff for his own benefit, these days…)
All in all, we’re waiting.
Stateside, the gridlock of 2010-2012 persists into the 2012-2014 period.
Not much is changing there till the 2014 midterms, or possibly the 2016 presidential election…
So yeah, last pre-second debate Gallup has Romney up 51-45 among likely voters, 48-46 among registered voters.
It’s pointed out over at National Review that “in the history of Gallup, no presidential candidate has ever been over 50 percent in mid-October and gone on to lose”.
So either Romney will manage that epic collapse, or he’s going to defeat Barack Obama on November 6th.
Remember when we actually took Quebec separatism seriously? When it looked like there was a serious prospect of a coalition of opposition parties taking over government, in the age of the Bloc Quebecois?
Canadian politics makes so much more sense now — a strong centre-left opposition, a centre-right slim majority government, a third party in between…
So yeah, 28%?
Le Parti québécois est aux portes du pouvoir, mais le courant souverainiste est clairement en perte de vitesse. Seulement 28% des gens voteraient Oui à un référendum proposant que le Québec devienne un pays souverain, un recul de huit points depuis le début de la campagne électorale. …
Dans son coup de sonde, CROP constate que le camp du Non ne gagne pas autant de terrain toutefois. On est passé de 60 à 62% depuis le début août, révèlent les données brutes. Ce sont les indécis qui ont pris du poids – ils étaient 4% au début du mois d’août, on en retrouve désormais 10% sur la question référendaire.
I hesitate to post something from Frum, but here’s why:
If Quebec breaks the fiscal union with Canada, it must for its own sake exit the currency union too. Which means that Quebeckers will awake the next day to huge depreciations of their salaries, benefits, and savings.
Quebecers know that, or anyway intuit it. The old promises of an easy separatism have been discredited. Separatism is now a hard path, involving great sacrifices, reduced standards of living, more work, and fewer social benefits — all at a time when PQ supporters yearn to hear a message of no sacrifices, improved standards of living, less work, and more social benefits. Which is precisely why Quebec separatism is effectively dead.
So what is offered instead is an elaborate pretense. PQ leader Pauline Marois has promised to form of committee to work on a project to develop a plan for a new strategy for independence. The committee will begin by studying past studies of Quebec independence, and then — once the studies are complete — proceed to propose action plans. A new diplomatic initiative will seek to gain international approval of the independence that Quebecers themselves do not want.
In tough economic times, these studies at least offer make-work jobs for under-utilized economists, sociologists, and party functionaries. But they impose a tough challenge on the rest of Canada: how to keep a straight face through the prolonged hemming and hawing. “Okay, you just let us know when you finish talking to yourselves. Take your time. We’ll wait. Four years? Eight? Twenty-seven? Fine. No rush.”
If the sovereigntist movement is ever to die, this is how it will die:
One thing is clear: I don’t want to define myself as a federalist. I want to define myself as a Quebecker first, but also as a Canadian. … I am a Canadian. We accept that we are in Canada. I think we’ll have a good relationship with Stephen Harper. I think that we agree on many issues, including the economy and public finances. Of course, we have some disagreements on social issues. … I am back in politics for ten years, and I will never promote the sovereignty of Quebec.
That’s the best case scenario for these ex-separatists, and it’s not a terrible one.
Real popular bill there, Senator.
Most tellingly, she touched upon the key question that I believe the Court is still working through: what to do with the law if the individual mandate is indeed found to be unconstitutional.
My sources (which I freely admit to be third-hand) suggest that Kennedy will side with the conservatives and strike down the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that nearly every American must buy health insurance. The key question is: how much of the rest of the law should be struck down along with it? …
My understanding—again, from third-hand sources—is that this question of severability is the subject of intense debate among the justices, even now. It’s entirely unclear whether the Court will strike down the mandate and two related provisions—what I’ve called the “strike three” scenario; or take down the entirety of Title I, where the law’s restructuring of the private insurance market resides; or overturn the whole law. Indeed, it is probable that the Court has not yet decided how it will rule on this question. …
If you’ve been following my writing on the Obamacare legal challenges, you know that a pet peeve of mine is the 1942 Supreme Court caseWickard v. Filburn, in which the Court decided that Roscoe Filburn couldn’t grow wheat on his own land to feed his own animals, because this somehow constituted interstate commerce. Wickard remains the core justification for 70 years of federal intrusion into the activities of individuals and localities. …
The bottom line is that if Scalia [now] thinks Wickard was wrongly decided, he’s almost certain to vote to overturn the mandate. This isn’t a surprise based on his commentary at oral argument, but it may shed light into the thinking of Justices Alito and Roberts, who are thought to share Scalia’s precedent-oriented approach to dealing with the Commerce Clause.
Well, we’ll see.
The singalong involves singing; the vote signifies the end of the recall campaign. [via Hot Air]
Some weren’t having it.
A Trudeau leadership team is being quietly assembled, even while their man continues to insist that he will sit out to spend more time with his family. Yet he has been heard to say he will run “if I have to” and my bet is that he will, in part because, if he does, his formidable army of Facebook and Twitter followers will swamp all his opponents.
Interesting. Some Liberals will be hashing it out here.
I say this: there are many Canadians who want to actively defend his dad’s legacy. Is there a better standard-bearer for them than him?
I can’t think of one. Which is why I half-expect a Justin Trudeau Liberal leadership push — more of a “Draft Justin” movement than anything else. And Justin may go for it.
Update: Word is, he’s going for it.
I went to an Anglican school, dear readers.
I am perfectly fine with Ontario schoolchildren hearing about Jesus Christ, participating in Nativity plays, putting up a tree, and doing all that stuff.
I wouldn’t mind too much if the secular public schools were still Protestant, as they were until the 1980s.
I wouldn’t mind at all if all denominational schools were funded, where the numbers warranted — a Sikh school in Brampton, a Hindu school in Richmond Hill, even a Muslim school in Scarborough.
But I do mind the current system, and I especially mind being told that it isn’t unjust.
Ontarians get this, I think. I can cite polling:
A recent Forum Research Inc. poll suggests a divided Ontario.
The survey found that 53% of Ontarians don’t believe Catholic schools should receive public money, 40% favour continued funding and 6% were unsure.
Supporters for all four main political parties in Ontario — Tory, Liberal, NDP and Green — were more likely to oppose Catholic school funding.
The majority of Green Party supporters, 60%, disagreed with funding the schools — a position the party also endorses.
Tory supporters were the next political group most likely to disagree with Catholic school funding — 58% against versus 40% in favour.
New Democrat backers also disagreed with funding the separate school system, 53% to 41%.
Even Liberal supporters, the most likely to endorse the funding, still disagreed with funding 48% to 44%.
What do I propose? Well, Quebec and Newfoundland reformed their systems in the 1990s — all it takes is a single-province constitutional amendment under s. 43 of the Constitution Act.
I’d call a plebiscite into the question, “Should the Province of Ontario fund denominational (religious) schools or not, as part of its public system?”
If the answer is yea, I’d fund all denominational schools where the numbers warrant. If the answer is nay, I’d move to a purely secular system. And I’d table a constitutional amendment to change s. 93 to reflect this new reality.
I’m fine with going one way or the other; the status quo is a nagging injustice.